the poetry that matters

Jane Shi

Jane Shi was born in Nanjing, China and writes from Richmond, B.C. She edits for UBC’s Undergraduate Journal of English, The Garden Statuary.


ying tang se / hard sweet colour 


ài wàng tè yŏu tù tè ā ché mì

tī chè mì sĕ elle fèi shī nè sī

èn the form of én à ther's touch


Tài up măi tàng, kē tē it èn tù brick sè

with wèi qì yŏu could build è stone hào sè


 èn dè then shēi kè the wā awl sè

ēng til ăi sè yīng once more



"Teach me a way to you--"

      (for her doing shines)

                       a tight chemise

in endless forms--of energy, thirst,       

                                                              her touch

toughness may talk so: "Keep it in brittle balance;

with each awakening                      you establish hell's





who could watch

                 the colours

                  enter, without delay,

once more?  




Whale Friend




my friend writes much about whales

but this is because he cannot help them



do whales need help?

my empty blubber fills with anthropocentric acid



at night as I lie awake dreaming

lying to reimagine the different ways



you have sewn different species of whale

hide over my trembling skin, so I would never again shudder



having a creature so close to me

is not what the moon’s huntress felt



the high you get when someone wants you to sleep

is the same hide that sews over your forehead (and eyelids) in an island fog



a punctured frontal core text anchors no one

to their stove light flickering



as metal pots sweat fish oil

into a fly’s eyes



our love and sorrow for whales has never

been about our love for nature, animals, mammals but rather



our sorrow and vision for the empty, atomic sea

we have always believed, and prayed, would help us





Boarded Rib



I believe that if you wrenched songs from my wet wallet you would find a song that sounds just like the one you jammed while taking speed because I recorded that song and


because I recorded that song and found you waiting by the river of Gaza where all the movies about bits of bones were made because you came to


because you came to the river where I waited and cast my clothes out into the water and scraped it against a boarded rib which you insist has been carved by your great grandfather because who

because who writes who writes the truth who writes on wet wallets with their lighters who dares jam their throats into air before wiping dirt from scavenged foreheads because I believe

I believe you believe because and then songs and then falling




ai love yr yay yr ee yr yes


ai want to squeeze yoo into littler yoos

ai want yoo to pick me e apart

like a frozn animoo for the little childies supper

ai want rain to push us closr


so lucky to have yoo

so frightened to kno yoo

swear yoo will still try to hole mi

even when yoo half some1lse

wen iam sick & unable to hole enny1    

yoo will still b confound


mi in the hopitoe

mi in te burntub

mi in e yard


yoo sung hinge hymns

yoo ai will knot

kno howl to choo


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                                                                                                         October 18, 2013