Bloom Actually

Shanhu Lee

The yellow parasol is blown away

by the tornado to the neighbor’s backyard.

Stumbling between fallen boughs

and twigs, when I turned back

In the midst of chaos

When i decided the winter will never end

On the hill, I saw this blooming redbud

Like a prayer of the spring

Like the intention I want to write a poem one day

The intention that keeps me sane.




Niagara Falls

夜雾蒙蒙 尼亚加拉瀑布



33年之后 在另一个大陆上

做新的朋友 需要条件和考验

可大学旧友 似乎是个




时光流逝 像海马漫游



而远处 愔愔闪烁的灯塔

也许是 唱一首




Fifty Thoughts

Shanhu Lee

  1. I feel I will wake up tomorrow morning not alive.

2. I feel I really don’t like holidays.

3. I feel my body and mind are separated and they live on different continents.

4. I feel spring is sometimes colder than winter.

5. I feel I am happier being alone.

6. I feel I am not capable of loving someone unconditionally.

7. I feel my dog is my child.

8. I feel people should admire my good body.

9. I feel I worry too much about whether I will have Alzheimer’s disease.

10. I feel sometimes no one understands me.

11. I feel I like to talk about myself too much.

12. I feel I need to learn to talk about myself less.

13. I feel I cannot stop talking about myself.

14. I feel talking is useless. I rather want to write down.

15. I feel I am an underdog and I want to support underdogs.

16. I feel I will never be able to finish writing a book, even though I have so many great ideas.

17. I feel love is like a Christmas tree I see in January.

18. I feel ashamed of my low voice and I cannot speak in coherent sentences.

19. I feel two squirrels live in my house and they make babies every day at the attic.

20. I feel I will fall from the stairs at any time.

21. I feel money is the most reliable thing in life.

22. I feel lucky I don’t have to marry someone for a green card, money, or sperms.

23. I feel I look much younger than I am, although I know what I look like.

24. I feel I never can remember the names of plants.

25. I feel I want to eat breakfast all day.

26. I feel I don’t know how I slept with many men whose names I don’t remember.

27. I feel I cannot stand bullies.

28. I feel most people are lazy or dishonest.

29. I feel I complain too much all the time.

30. I feel I have accomplished none and I will just extinct quietly from Earth.

31. I feel I have more sex in my dream than in real life.

32. I feel children are ungrateful in general.

33. I feel sex is overrated, marriage is overrated, and relationship is overrated.

34. I feel more than 50% of people are not qualified to become a parent.

35. I feel I can never find an interesting show to watch on TV. I wonder what people watch every evening. It is a mystery to me.

36. I feel I want to confront my mother about why she did not like me.

37. I feel sick when I think of my father who died alone – in the hospital at the cold night in the snowing winter, all alone. What was he feeling? What was he thinking? Was he wondering about me?

38. I feel I will never see my mother again, and this makes me feel sad.

39. I feel I want to stay in bed and read all day long.

40. I feel I want doing something constantly and this makes me feel very exhausted.

41. I feel Nancy Pelosi is a hypocrite.

42. I feel I will not vote for a Democratic president anytime soon.

43. I feel my house is much prettier than many places I visit. When I travel, I miss my home and the sunset I see from my living room.

44. I feel getting up before 7 AM can improve my mental health more than doing daily meditation.

45. I feel very irritated when I waste time or someone makes me waste my time.

46. I feel my green jade ring is the most beautiful thing I own in my life.

47. I feel I cannot remember anything after reading a book.

48. I feel I own too much stuff and I don’t want to acquire anything anymore for the rest of my life.

49. I feel my neighbors watch me whether I have Christmas decorations or not.

50. I feel I miss Eric’s island home in Martha’s Vineyard and I feel I want to have a breakfast at Black Dog.














Houston Dispatch

Shanhu Lee

A highway over another highway

Crossing like a braided bread.

Wild oak trees on the street covered 

By dust and ozone and nitrogen oxides.

Old white van sitting in the UH Law Center,

Dignified in the burning sunset.

Inside the van, the steamy temperature 98 F.

We installed two new AC units

And 12 box fans to recirculate stagnant air.

Scroll pumps cry aloud then stop,

Even stainless steel chambers cannot take the heat.

But we survived one week, then another week.

In God’s hands – we say every evening 

When we leave the trailer in the dark.

Heading to the America’s Best Value Inn,

A cheap motel near the Medical Center.

Here AC runs violently, feels like the Arctic.

Strangers shout and smoke and spat 

At the night in the parking outside our rooms.

Who knows who these people are,

Who knows why they stay with us 

In the middle of the insane September.

Two more weeks to go till we pack

Our things and head back to Huntsville.

Until then, we say: everything is 

In God’s hands. This God’s land.


The Face of Smell

– Parody of Nancy Morejón’s The Dead

Heaven Lake

The smell is what’s absent,

invisible, unforgotten.

Queen of the Night blooms,

its loneliness swaying amid the moonlight.

The smell comes from my dream

or it comes from the dusk

to feed my repulsion,

from wind chimes,

from father’s molded winter coat,

from perilla leaves,

from spoons and sea sprays,

from the knife blinded by use,

on the graffiti of malls,

on the shadow,

on the skin,

on spin.

In the droplets of fog,

appears the face of smell.

In the fragment of the Heaven Lake

upholding high clouds,

lies the hidden smell of history.

The smell remembers.

The smell dances.


Nine Canzone

Shanhu Lee


Who are these nine ugly people?

Do they think they are the god(s)?

It’s none of your business!

Get fuck out of my business.

When did I give them this power?

They are just nine regular people,

With all possible flaws like all other people.

And now, they decide to dictate my life?

Decide what I should do with my life?

They became the justices, chosen by the wrong people.

This is not about pro-life or pro-choice.        

I don’t want to live by someone else’s choices.

Gee, they don’t look like the god–

They are just nine ugly flawed people.

Do they really believe they are the god(s)?

Well, I don’t believe in God!

For wrong reasons, they became justices.

They are just nine senseless people,

Selected by even more senseless people.

And now they make the laws?

About my life? What’s kind of laws!

Do they really believe they are the god(s)?

This is not about pro-choice or pro-life.

No one can decide what I should do with my life.

It’s my body; it’s my life.                   

It’s none of your business.

Whether I live a happy life,

– or a miserable life.

It’s none of your business.

You cannot dictate my life.

I decide what I do with my life.


None of Your Business

Shanhu Lee

It’s none of your business.

Whether I am married or not.

It’s my life. It’s my choice.

Whether I have children or not.

Whether I am heterosexual or not.

Some choose one way or another.

Whether I am sexual or asexual.

Is one way better than the other?

Some choose one way or another.

Who said we should have it all?

Is one way better than the other?

What if I don’t want to have it all?

Who said we want to have it all?

Who defines my happiness?

I don’t want to have it all.

Is one side of the coin better than the other?

Who defines my happiness?

You cannot have both sides of the coin.

Is one side of the coin better than the other?

This is the law of thermodynamics:

You cannot have both sides of the coin.

It’s my life. It’s my choice.

That is the law of thermodynamics.

It’s none of your business.


The Ancestors

Shanhu Lee

Coral reefs in changing climate

The ancestors live in the warm Siberian thaw in spring,

With rising carbon dioxide and methane.

The ancestors sing in the deforested Amazon rainforest.

Moonlights rain in the wildfire.

The ancestors roam in the yard with Canadian geese,

white-tailed deers, and hellebore flowers.

The ancestors bloom in blue, red, and white coral reefs.

They hide in the Forthesia bush with cardinals.

The ancestors play Nintendo with children and chickens,

in the Sunday afternoon in the kitchen.

The ancestors cook shiitake and chanterelle risotto,

For my fifty-fourth birthday.

The ancestors climb ice in the Boulder Canyon in January.

They tell me to watch out for blackbirds.

The ancestors traverse to the moon. They live with

two ­rabbits, and a flute made of moonstone.