Writings / Poetry

Changming Yuan

Corn, Sweet Corn

A whole body of teeth
Nothing but teeth

To chew the passing summer

We bite off from you
All the pearl-like memories
Tinged with sunlight

A hard but juicy kiss

The Unseen: A Parallel Poem

(after Lorna Crozier’s ‘A House to Live in’)

Most ignore such things
As dirt, rock or trees
That make up the collective pronoun
The pronoun is all

Before you open your eyes
All is there
And there you may perceive
Your whole world in them

Out of their shapes
Their colors, their textures
Their statues

You construct an open garden
To concentrate upon
That patch of nature
Never confined to the human mind

English Kanata

Living in the buttes and parklands
With the chutes running through the muskeg
Where Douglas fir and Sitka spruce dwarf
Manitoba maple and tamarack
Among kinnikinnick, saskatoon and soapallallie
We keep fool hens, siwash ducks
Turkey vultures and whiskey jacks
But not really caribous, pecans
Siffleurs or Massassauga rattlers

We eat cisco, inconnu, kokanee, ouananiche
Or oollichan together with timbits

Under the guidance of a bush pilot
Along the blue line
We sometimes ride a chuck wagon
On a grid or asphalt road

When we have a tea party on our veranda
We always prefer to sit on a chesterfield

We have coined tons of loonies and toonies
To pay our premiers and suitcase farmers alike

It matters not if we dwell in a flat or apartment
If we play with a pack or deck of cards
Not even if we take a holiday or vacation

But we do care about how our MLAs
Face off with one another
Even over a puck

Civilization

Eat MacDonald’s or Kentucky Chicken
Drink Coca Cola or Pepsi
Listen to Jazz or Rock n’ Roll
Smoke Kent or Marlboro
Watch CNN or Hollywood movies
Wear blue jeans or polos
Drive a GM or Ford
Invest in derivatives rather than in properties
Go online with an IBM or Apple
Read New York Times or Great Gatsby
Play football or baseball
Microsoft all your Intel hardware
Talk aloud about freedom, democracy, human rights
Support the strike against devilish Iranians
Evil North Koreans, demon Mainland Chinese
Most important: vote while you google, google while you vote
And you will become an American
A political correct member of the truly civilized world

Quasi Americans, welcome aboard

Chanson by a Chinaman: A Parallel Poem*

ching chong, chinee
chink, chinky, chonky
so was i called a dragon of barbarity
a born rogue holding the laws of truth in deformity
because i ate rats, dogs, slugs and snakes
i began with anything but genes of true humanity

ching chong, chinee
chink, chinky, chonky
so am i made a dead enemy of civility
growing grotesque against values in white reality
because i hate freedom as much as human rights
although i have the right to be a human entity

ching chong, chinee
chink, chinky, chonky
so will i be seen a species of non-conformity
an inflated satan beyond the borders of christianity
as long as i’m pig-eyed, crow-haired, the farthest other
i must be treated as a real demon only

*A parody on ‘Chanson for Canton’ (London: Punch, 1858), a telling example illustrative of the deeply rooted and long-held western tradition to demonize China as culturally the most disparate Other.

Me & Them

First, they looked but without seeing
So, I began to yell in a yellow voice

Then, they listened but without hearing
So, I cooked according to a Chinese recipe

Still, they smelt but without tasting
So, I melt myself into spring water

Finally, they touched but without feeling
So, I began to tattoo words on my own heart

About The Author

Author

Changming Yuan is a two-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Politics and Poetics (2009), who grew up in a remote Chinese village and published several books before moving to Canada. He holds a PhD in English, works as an independent tutor in Vancouver, and has had his poetry featured in Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, Canadian Literature, CV2, Descant, Grain, London Magazine, LRC, Queen's Quarterly, Rampike, Vallum and 270 other literary publications worldwide.

/ Essays

Andrew Suknaski, Poet of the Prairies

Rob Mclennan

Esiaba Irobi: The Tragedy of Exile

Olu Oguibe

/ Reviews

Film Reviews

Lequanne Collins-Bacchus

Poetry & Graphic Book Reviews

George Elliott Clarke

Fiction Review

Julia Cooper

Poetry & Fiction Reviews

Candace Fertile

Fiction Review

Michael Hingston

Fiction Review

Rosel Kim

Fiction & Poetry Reviews

Rena Klisouris

Fiction Review

Julie Leroux

Poetry Review

Andrew MacDonald

Fiction Review

Justin Pfefferle

Poetry Review

Stephen Potts

Essay & Fiction Reviews

Amanda Tripp

Fiction Reviews

Tom Ue

/ Fiction

The Hunt for the Big Bluestem

Mary Baxter

The Oak Tree

Claudia Del Balso

Another Way of Putting It

Maurice Gotlieb

Headlessness

Kyle Greenwood

The Lunch on Good Friday

Sylva Nze Ifedigbo

An African Attends St. Georges Day

Austin Kaluba

Pounding Peppers

Ifesinachi Okoli

Back When We Were Superheroes

Taryn Pearcey

Ramki and the New Christmas Tree

Pratap Reddy

Allspice Dreams

Sonia Saikaley

Opening Eyes

Chika Unigwe

/ Creative Non-Fiction

Wine Dark Sea

Ross Laird

Under the Overgrowth

Kyle Stewart

/ Poetry

Ankur Betageri

Salim Gold

Ogaga Ifowodo

Ian Malczewski

Angela Nwosu

Adebiyi Olusolape

Changming Yuan

/ Drama

Euripides’s Iphigenia at Aulis

Nicolas Billon

Excerpt from 5 ½: Montreal Suite

Lara Szabo Greisman

Fresh Paint

Celeste Parr

Let’s talk of a system that transforms all the social organisms into a work of art, in which the entire process of work is included [..;] Something in which the principle of production and consumption takes on a form of quality. It’s a Gigantic project.

– Joseph Beuys
Featured Artist

Neo-Primativism

–Brendan Fernandes

Volunteers for Issue 7

For sub-editing this issue MTLS thanks:

- Lequanne Collins-Bacchus
- Amanda Tripp
- Bianca Spence
- Rosel Kim

Acknowledgement

MTLS is grateful to Ian Loiselle for his hard work on web management.