June 8-14, 2009: Ivan Jenson and Changming Yuan

week of June 8-14, 2009: 

Ivan Jenson and Changming Yuan

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Ivan Jenson
colorism@comcast.net

Bio (auto)

Ivan Jenson was a prodigy in poetry and art In New York City he received recognition and praise for his bold Pop Art His “Absolut Jenson” painting was featured in Art News, Art in America, and he has sold several works at Christie’s New York His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Word Riot, Camroc Press Review, Hidden City Quarterly, Thoughtsmith, Viral Cat, The Commonline project,  The Write Place at the Write TIme, Poetic Desperation, and Bread & Circuses, among others He now writes mainstream/contemporary novels and poetry in Grand Rapids Michigan and has published widely in the the US and the UK.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Ivan Jenson and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.


The Things I do for you

I have lifted your couches
and swept your floors
and painted your walls
and listened to your stories repeat
like a
scratched up 45
I have known you for years
and put up with your ups
and your let downs
and red wine nights
and your sleep all days
I have watched you
change from frenetic and young
to someone always looking
over their shoulder
at the blur of years
like fast moving faces in passing trains
you have had me
running in circles
trying to catch some
flying bouquet of pleasure
so that I might
offer it to you
and only now do
I question
our vaudeville
song and dance
but the only
answer I can
find is written between
the laugh lines
etched under
your eyes
and the answer
is yes
I can give you
a ride to the store
tonight
you crazy, wonderful
car wreck of a woman

Actions loud and clear

when I met you
you scribbled your name
and number
it was barely legible
I should have known then
when you came over
dressed in old jeans
and a tee shirt
you interrupted my stories
this spoke volumes
you arrived empty handed
what else can I say?
you kept making
and taking calls
this colored the evening
you spilled your drink
this was no accident
you ignored the dog
and critiqued the decor
this was outrageous
and then on your way
out you asked for cab fare
this was the last straw
and yet we have
plans for next week
I guess I must be lonely

This is my life

This is where I was born
these are my brothers and sisters
this was my father
and that is my mother
and those are the cats and dogs
and the pigeon I named Picasso
and look at the years
I spent in New York City
and all the girls that
stayed overnight
and this is the sky we share
and that is the earth we walk
and this is a song I love
and this is the town where I live
and these are my plans
and my dreams
and now you are in the picture
so smile

Memory Man

I have
become a long term
memory man
it’s true
short term names
and faces escape me
and yet the long ago
Herbs, Pams,
Judys and Aldens
remain with me
in the bewitching hour
before sleep
I’ve become
a “go way back” guy
and I still live
in a one room
New York City
studio in the past
though the next door
neighbors
think I live
here in
a suburban dream house
I will always reside
there with the car horns
and the snippets
of conversations
just outside my storefront door

Changming Yuan
yuans@shaw.ca

Bio (auto)

Changming Yuan grew up in rural China, authored three books before immigrating to Canada, holds a PhD in English and currently teaches in Vancouver Yuan’s poetry appears in Canadian Literature, Exquisite Corpse, London Magazine, New Quarterly, Queen’s Quarterly, Salzburg Review, Sentence and over 100 other literary publications Changming’s first collection entitled ‘Chansons of a Chinaman’ is coming out soon through Leaf Garden Press.

The following work is Copyright © 2009, and owned by Changming Yuan and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

Maize Amaze

A whole body of teeth
Nothing but teeth

To chew the passing summer

We bite off from you
All your peal-like memories
tinged with sunlight

A hard but juicy kiss


East Idioms (5)

1/ at a waterfront pavilion you can readily
fetch the moon in its clearest reflection
just like the plants facing towards the south
always the first to feel the breath of spring

2/ only by living close to lakes or rivers
can we make friends with fish and shrimps
those living far away from hills or mountains
can never hear the original songs of birds

3/ thanks to the trees our ancestors
planted long time ago, we can now
enjoy all the coolness of their shades
under a scorching summer sun

4/ just before the sun rises
he pulls up every seedling
a little bit higher in his field
so as to have a harvest sooner


Provincial Proverbs

An onion a day keeps the salesperson away
A grin a minute keeps the oak in spirit
A lie an hour keeps the chief in power
A wind a night keeps the mind light
A poem a week keeps the heart freak
A payroll a month keeps poverty at arm’s length
A trip a season keeps the dog in reason
A boss a year keeps the worker dear
A wedding a decade keeps the couple off headache
A big bang a century keeps the human world friendly