Changming Yuan

by Horror Sleaze Trash on October 19, 2013

Changming Yuan, 5-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Landscaping (2013), grew up in rural China and currently works as an English tutor in Vancouver, where he co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan (Poetry subs welcome at Recently interviewed by PANK, Yuan has poetry appear in Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Exquisite Corpse, London Magazine, Threepenny Review and 730 others across 28 countries.



As I flopped about, not unlike a foolish fish

Thrown into a coffin, I noticed my western neighbor

Begin to move his belongings out of his dwelling

With masks and costumes of foreign gods as well

As native ghosts all left in a nightmarish mess


Then, behind my dilapidated garage, I heard

The old skeletal couple giggling secretly, saying

How delicious the grey matter they had just

Sucked from the brains of newborns, and how

Too salty some celebrities’ semen and menstruation


Wondering why everyone seemed to be moving now

I found my eastern neighbor jump wildly, busy setting fire

On their new monster house, apparently to burn or

Destroy all the aliens, robots, hygenas, wolves of war

They had been keeping as pets, which often ran astray


In the dead heart of a stormy night, I have no idea

About where I can locate my soul for some rest






The man chops off his own head

And tries to barbecue it with human hair

In the slaughtering square


The woman cuts open her own chest

Takes out her heart and uses it

Like a gas pump

To add all her blood to the fire


While the volcano is vomiting violently

Its lava smashing onto every creature

Running around wildly






As giant ants march ahead in nightly arrays

Demonstrating against the ruling humans

Along the main street of every major city

Hordes of hordes of vampires flood in, screaming

Aloud, riding on hyenas and

Octopuses, waving skeletons

In their hairy hands, whipping at old werewolves

Or all-eyed aliens standing by

With their blood-dripping tails


Gathering behind the masses are ghosts and spirits

Of all the dead, victims of fatal diseases

Murders, rapes, tortures, wars, starvation, plagues

Led by deformed devils and demons

As if in an uprising, to seek revenge

On every living victor in the human shape

Some smashing walls and fences, others

Barbecuing human hearts like inflated frogs

Still others biting at each other’s soul around black fires

All in a universal storm of ashes and blood


Up above in the sky is a red dragon flying byAt the Intersection


A huge cross paved hard with cement

They can never carry it away

From the heart of their city


Though all traffic lights remain green




Moving Sale


A whole box of human hearts, each

Still pulsing like a fresh-skinned toad

Two rows of shining skeletons of unknown gods
All with fingers longer than legs, skull-sized toes

Three sets of enchanted knives, possessed
By evil spirits (need sharpening)

Four giant alarm clocks, guaranteed
To wake the dead in a five-mile radius

Five wine bottles filled with pickled souls
As colourful as the rainbow over the Styx

How much for just the reddest heart?






Unable to endure constant burning

The suffering souls finally find their ways

Out of the topsoil, trying

To rise together

With the summer sun


Yet they are all shot

With its very first needles

Into the darkest moment of last night

Where the ghosts of the newly dead, the invisible

Linger on, staring at one another

No one knows how many of them

Were still holding their authentic

Human shapes, how many of them

Became deformed, agonizing

Between pools of stinking blood


And piles of rotten flesh






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