Musings over Metamorphosis

Yuan Changming

Sure, I would paint my skin

Into a colorless color, & I would dye my hair

Wear two blue contacts, & I would even

Go for plastic surgery, but if I really do

I assure you, I will not remove my native village

Accent while speaking this foreign tongue (I began

To imitate like a frog at age nineteen); nor will I 

Completely internalize the English syntax & 

Aristotelian logic. No, I assure you that I’ll not give up 

Watching movies or TV series, reading books

Listening to songs, each in Chinese though I hate them 

For being too low & vulgar. I was born to eat dumplings

Doufu, & thus fated to always prefer to speak Mandarin

Though I write in English. I assure you that even if I am 

Newly baptized in the currents of science, democracy & 

Human rights, I will keep in line with my father’s 

Haplogroup just as my sons do. No matter how 

We identify ourselves or are identified by others, this is 

What I assure you: I will never convert my proto selfhood 

Into white Dataism, no, not 

In the yellowish muscle of my heart


Yuan Changming  published monographs on translation before leaving his native country. Currently, Yuan edits Poetry Pacific with Allen Qing Yuan in Vancouver. Credits include Pushcart nominations & publications in Best of the Best Canadian Poetry (2008-17) BestNewPoemsOnline, among others.