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tearing the rag off the bush again
Ten Poems PDF E-mail


The Calm Clam


with a bow-wow mouth
as big as my bald body
both lips thin and hard
carved in full eloquence
with my tongue grown right
out of my heart and soul
i am surely meant
to be a voice empowered
for all around me
either silt or sediments
shining dull and dark
with soiled secrets

i often imagine myself
like a free seagull
singing at the top tip
of a towering coral tree
as myriads of grains
of yellowish sand
are panned or sifted out
from the huge waves
galloping ahead

yet color-blind and tone-deaf
i am deeply oppressed
under the heavy water
where sharks and squids
keep yelling towards the sky
above my blue musings
as i withhold my tongue
waiting for a sunny spell
to translate my loud pain
into a muted pearl



Human Culture


when i wake up
and open my eyes
i see all my dreams
bounced back from the frames

when i take a shower
and start to sing
i taste my song tart
behind the blurring curtain

when i strive to step
out of my humble house
i feel fences quarreling hard
in the whole neighborhood

when i visit around and
do some blind sightseeing
i smell blood stained
along the castle foot

finally i flee from this world
and hide myself far away
i still seem to hear
the glaring cries from the great wall

delicately hung is this earth
a bluish cage in the universe



Collage of Voices

...did you
did you sight that
last night
a miraculous mirage
of sounds without bounds:
mishmash, hodgepodge-
jingling, jangling
tingling, tangling
chitchat, ticktack
clink clank, claptrap
riprap, syrupchirrup
hubblebubble, hocuspocus
like a symphony of cacophony
a cantata by the dead
all woven into a fine line of the mind
or a colored call
did you hear that?



Communion

at a private spot of time
in a public phone booth
i try to make a long distant call
to a strange friend
or a friendly stranger

not knowing his direct number
i just keep putting all i have:
my coins
my limbs
my senses
and finally
my naked soul
yet each time i get connected
i hear the same synthetic voice
prompting me to leave a message
on a vast voice mailbox
which ( i doubt) has lost
its designed functions



War Zone

my younger son has learned
to snatch a sunny sunday afternoon
and claim a corner of our wide tv screen
as his territory for dragon fight
before his big brother invades
our cozy living room and changes it
into a bloody battlefield for warcraft

full of forced fragments
my life gives me only edited sights
of another super hero slaughtering
an entire army of monstrous militants
somewhere on the other side of the globe
while my wife trying to read a romance
beside the killing kettle in the kitchen
finds herself totally lost
in the reality supposedly virtual



Buoys: 40 Maxims/Paradoxes/Redefinitions
Forty years of age means no more bewilderment.
Confucius


1. There is light in every dream we have in darkness.

2. Pleasant or painful, all experiences are as good as cash saved for
a long rainy day.

3. The meaning of life, if any at all, is to create a meaning for life.

4. All human relationships are merely a matter of words: the
situation is always determined by how, where, when and what words or
nonwords are uttered by whom.
5. Money is as much a number-play to the rich as a death-dance to the
poor.

6. A house for sale is never a home, while a heart unoccupied is a
hotel for rent.

7. Freedom is the thin distance between the fleeing mouse and the
chasing cat.

8. Love may be 99% honey and 1% money, while marriage is definitely
otherwise.

9. True wealth is measured by the number of times you say no or take
a shower.

10. Birth throws us out into different times whereas death recalls us
back into the same place.

11. One most rewarding self-entertainment is masturbating with the
idea of death.

12. Those who carve their love on their chestbones often fall in love
with those who throw their love together with their used lipsticks or
handkerchiefs.

13. This is not simply a grammatical game of changing the voice:
every man loves a woman, but a woman is not loved by every man, and
et cetera or vice versa.

14. Many still very much alive are stone dead; many already stone
dead are still very much alive.

15. There are almost as many animals that have taken off their human
clothes as humans that have put on their animal skins.

16. Comedy can come without romance or finance, but tragedy has to do
with either or both.

17. Growth is painful because it means a series of deaths of our
pasts, while death can be pleasant because it may result from a
series of births of our presents.

18. Misfortune is a peculiar privilege.

19. In memories, roses always look fresher, while thorns less sharp.

20. What we see or read has always been so edited that the truth
remains only in the mind of history unwritten.

21. You may have everything except disease or nothing except money.

22. Humans are different from animals in that they wear garments,
build walls, tell tales and eat each other.

23. Remaining an outsider can give you a sense of superiority,
transcendence and peacefulness.

24. Every life is a work of art; however, not every work of art is a
life.

25. Only those determined to reform others can hope to be reformed.

26. Art is a bizarre business of dying there or living forever.

27. He is happy who is not afraid not to be rich, sexual, famous or
powerful.

28. Do some deep thinking about nothing every day, and you will stay
healthy, wealthy and wise.

29. We all have some questions for heaven, but heaven always remains
silent.

30. In this age of information, we are all fish swimming freely
before the net is towed onto the boat.

31. With the whole world becoming so crowded with salespersons, it is
high time to invent new alien buyers for our hearts and souls.

32. Good writing comes from the proper author from the proper place.

33. Political correctness means to see to say nothing as if it were
news.

34. Democracy is a government of, by and for the few most manipulative.

35. You may have as many futures as new beginnings, but you can have
only one past and one present.

36. Wisdom and religion are different in form but identical in
essence: while religion is a ritualized social practice of wisdom,
wisdom is an art of staying happy without having to be successful in
a social sense.

37. Many stars have already died long before their light reaches our
eyes.

38. Schooling is either an interruption or an intervention of learning.

39. Mask is the only garment that will never go out of fashion.

40. Like god who invented man to expel him from heaven, man invented
money to drive himself to hell.



Life Ride=

not really because i have an invalid ticket=
but probably because i got on the wrong train=

i keep elbowing my way from one car to another=
only to find no seat unoccupied or reserved for me=

huddling in cold together with my own soul and shadow=
i have but the corridor as my claim in this cage-like compartment=

there is surely more room and warmth in a sleeping car=
yet without the conductor's key i cannot pass the gate=

among my fellow passengers are relatives and strangers alike=
they will keep me company whether they like my face or not=

unawares many have gotten off the train at dawn or dusk=
but even more pack onto the cars each time we run idle=

i enjoy catching the scenes surging outside the window=
my only luggage left when i have to get off at my station



To the Homeless

neither the first fallen
from the overcrowded tree
as spring's sole prophet
nor the last against night
hanging on like a soldier
bayoneting with the whole winter
you are nothing more or less
than an introvert leaf
stalking in summer's shadow

face faded, body forlorn
you are a lonely being, being alone
wandering around in a whirlwind
rolling over the bumpy roof
passing by the wet threshold
or sleeping beside the road sign
you never care when to disappear
or where you have come from
except your dreams frosted
in a forged fog

before the unseeing eyes
betwixt the city's pitiful noises
you seem a sad withered soul
dyed with heavy dusk
waiting to witness
the ever hardening of autumn
but right now who knows
deep in you unwalled heart
you are flirting with the freedom
found only in a permanent house?



Chinese Chimes: the Unpatented Quadrants

we chinamen, half and quarter chinamen
children of eight or sixteenth chinamen
constantly pounded with a peculiar pride
over our ancestry's four great inventions:

the first was paper to transcribe ancient ballads
but later often used to give ultimata to your emperors
also the printing technique to transmit sages' teachings
but later often used to exhibit your ugliest scars
a third the compass to help find the golden dragon
but later often used to guide your foreign creditors
the last gunpowder to launch fireworks at spring festival
but later often used to bombard your long walls

they chinese, half and quarter chinese
children of eight or sixteenth chinese
baffled with belief, brief belief
that their unknown ancestors happened to invent
the wrong stuffs in the right times
or the right stuffs in the wrong places



Chinese Chimes: the Confession of A Calendar
it all began with an animal race Emperor Jade called to amuse
himself and his earthly subjects...

Rat
yes, i admit betraying the cat as my only close friend
but i won the race, with my head rather than my legs

Ox
to honor my contract with the yellow sun
i eat green grass, yet give red meat to man

Tiger
as the only feared king of the thick jungle
i am afraid and tired of my own timidness

Rabbit
with my cagey ears held so high
i will not miss a sound of peace

Dragon
although my portraits hung lively above the clouds
no human eyes have ever seen my authentic being

Snake
the moment i sloughed off my old slim self
i forgot ever seducing any manhood in heaven

Horse
my body looks more masculine than a strong man
and my heart feels more feminine than a tender girl

Goat
when i bleat towards the passers-by
i never mean to speak in an other voice

Monkey
each time i try to find any lice in the corner of my mind
i act like the humans outside the fence with barbed wire

Roaster
with my wings plumed with the feathers of night
i can not fly but to crow loudly towards dawn

Dog
given my canine camaraderie and pack mentality
i feel at home before, among or behind soldiers

Pig
i spend all my lifetime wisely
to guard this single moment
 
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