Personality Overdrafting by Changming Yuan


Born with a deformed heart muscle

You are as timid, introvert and cowardly

As a little quiet chick, but all your life

You have been trying to play tough, forcing

Yourself to be tough-minded, tough-bodied

Like an iron fighter rooster in the legend

Until now your worsening ischemia

Drives you into your old premature selfhood

With cardio neurosis, trembling, all

Thanks to a tenant, a sociopath, a rattlesnake

More evil than Satan, whose greatest joy

Is to destroy you as a petty landlord

Of a rental property full of foreign words


Changming Yuan, 8-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman (2009) and Landscaping (2013), grew up in rural China and currently tutors in Vancouver, where he co-edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan and operates PP Press. Recently interviewed by [PANK] and World Poetry [CFRO100.5FM], Yuan’s poetry has appeared in Best Canadian Poetry (2009;12), BestNewPoemsOnline, London Magazine, Threepenny Review and 819 other publications across 28 countries.

Photo credit: Paolo Margari / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND


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