Sᴜɴʀɪsᴇ Oᴀᴛʜ

Four Poems


I rise from dust and ash, a Cinderella phoenix born at midnight. A thousand years and fifty microseconds, examining observers passing by. What brought me to this single time and place? Why have me be aware in my surroundings, suffering as a slave to fate?


Three mugs on coasters on a desk
sculptures for drink

Stanley Cups hoisted as chalices
holy water with backwash spit


I entered the alley, letting mud splash on my boots, and wandered to a market at the intersection of Diana Liu's favorite railway tracks. The stalls sold knick-knacks and widgets worth exactly their price to the perfect buyer, an impressive feat that shows the humorous God of the Hebrews smiles through spacetime.

Seventy things stood out, and I left with ten dollars fewer in pocket yet everything intact in my ultimate fortune. Nothing bought changed the deathbed destiny, for that was the one place where someone could do more than move gracefully to the jerking strings. 

Recover Agency, lively lizards and groovy geckos, found the Buddha in Nabokov and gained the land as a cosmic joke. Have real free will for the first time, and it leads to the same place as always.


What’s the greatest thing I can write? Depends on me, on who-what-when-where-why-how I am.

No words stand as they are, so the best combination of them needs context. Imagine a one-page poem with a thousand-page foreword; a one sentence prologue for a novel; a single-word last installment of a long serial work. The possibilities are endless.

If art is framed by its context, how might we control the context? If context is part of art, what is the artistry of contextualizing?

“This sweet rose still beareth thy scent, 
and now the stars shall be thine eyes.”
This is the fourth block of the fourth poem, the last line of the set.

written by
Tian Min

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