A practice ground :gravestones
taking off, touching down
gathering these dead
as the dirt for loving you
–this is no bird who sings
–this is a bird  who circles
by the book, eats rocks
–what’s left is a sky
that has stone to it
is bending the Earth
to steady your arms
covered with grass.

                                           by Simon Perchik


Through near-desert
brittle as busted glass,
a river forgets
where it left itself

Nesting      by yuan changming

With withered grasses from epics
Sticks from philosophy
Feathers from contemporary art
We are all busy building nests of meaning
So our souls could settle there
High up as if on Ygdrasil

Silent Days       by John Timothy Robinson

Pardonable mouse, awake!
Squeak your lilted song in the paradigm’s hour.
For many days of silence,
unnoised, made mad chaotic with clear-lined eyes.
Without unseeing in some quiet state,
only hear birds at five am,
or a metal roof move its jagged joints of rust,
the refrigerator’s hum.
There’s a faint wail from the highway,
some long-suffered machine
dying, leaving Earth.
And then one jet will break the mood,
call up unyielding, regal notions
where one, perfected vapor trail soars in Cirrus wisp.
All imagined in some room of giant quiet
where you, young lioned-mouse
have unsqueaked the hours in cobwebs,
the paneled walls of empty rooms,
cozy drawers in paper shreds
that once were finer words,
now hulls of lost expression,
well-mused bedding for your weary head.


YUAN: the Origin of a Family Name   by yuan changming

Y:         You are haunted by ‘Y’, not because it’s the first letter in your
Family name, but because it’s like a horn, which the water buffalo in your
Native village uses to fight against injustice or, because it’s like a twig
Where a crow can come down to perch, a cicada can sing towards
The setting sun as loud as it wants to; more important, in Egyptian hieroglyphics
It stands for a real reed, something you can bend into a whistle or flute
In pronouncing it, you can get all the answers you need, besides
You can make it into a heart-felt catapult and shoot at a snakehead or
Sparrow as long as it is within the wild wild range of your boyhood
U:        is surely a part of you, while you sound no more than a s single letter
U, which is nothing but a copy of a chick; you used to be on the bank of
The Nile, where u can be changed into v within a european word as in yvan
It’s said you have the makings of a victor, a powerful us or un representative
Who begins the unit, the union, the uniform, the university, the universe
A:        As the first born to the Semitic family, A was originally
A picture of an alef or ox, the agricultural energy that was rotated twice until
Alpha loomed up in the Greek psychoscape even before
Adam became the chosen father of all Europeans close to
Athens, where Apollo had acupunctured wisdom and knowledge into
Aristotle, the intellectual ancestor of modern man, who inspired
Alexander to make the first effort of globalization, which did not reach East
Asia, the land of Ah Q’s, the largest hotel for
All travelers until centuries later, but it is
Atomic bombs that will blow up all our pasts and send us through
America to a higher civilization, where the drop of an
Apple is to enable us to fly to the other side of the universe
Along the cosmic string as Africa, the heart of human darkness
Awaits for Buddha, Jesus, Allah or an other unknown
Author to come and rotate for the third time
A scarlet letter of A
N:        No, nobody knows this but you are really no more
Or no less than the old Egyptian metonymy of  a stream, river
Lake, sea or even an entire ocean, where there is always water
Where there are always fish rather than a synecdochic Z
Pushed straight upright On the bank of the Euphrates

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