Tianxing Wan

  • Coffee Beans

    Round and brown
    Tough and sour
    Wrinkled little babies
    Lying in the dark

    Who ripped your belly
    A blackened scar you’re so proud of
    From head to toe

    Is that where Moses
    separated the Red Sea
    or just another carved abyss
    that we should be aware

    Just your birthmark?
    That’s lovely
    Dear little babies
    Good morning

  • Silence to be Heard

    We drove to the Red Sand Hotel in the middle of nowhere in order to visit the Natural Bridges National Monument on our road trip in Utah. Chris booked this place for 200 dollars a night which sounds ridiculous. Because there was no other lodging in this area, he explained while driving. And he was right. But no one would plan to stay overnight like he did as well. Next to the motel it was a gas station, and a Mexican restaurant that served watery burrito. It tasted so bad. Other than that, it was purely spacious land, soil, wild grass, all the way towards the horizon. Far far away at the edge of the world, lies the rusty dark brown canyons. They formed a circle that surrounded the little box-like motel. Monumental, like guards. So quiet, but their existence is shaking the ground, and my body resonated with that divinity. Their highly textured rocky surface reflected every bit of the sunset, an intense red that blind your eyes.
    Oh well, I guess we were the only guests in the area that night. No one was at the reception. We rang the bell, someone showed up and took us to the room and disappeared. We went to our room, chatted a bit, and our words dissolved into the air.

    We were in the little box room.
    The little box room was in the middle of the land.
    At the edge of the land it was the canyons.
    We were in the middle of nothing.
    We were in the middle of everything.

    No, I don’t even know about this place. This planet. Arrogance being crushed by the unmeasurable silence around me. It’s been too loud, too crowded, too many things to own, to claim. Now I’m standing in the center, the center of speechless softness, with breeze passing by my ears.

  • Who Am I

    Who am I
    An invisible interferer
    A fishbone sticking in the throat

    Who am I
    I stand somewhere in the middle of
    A Mobius ring
    Not to the left
    Not to the right

    Who am I
    a drop of Bacchus’s splashing wine
    not much pleasure
    but satisfying enough

    Who am I
    A clear glass

    I am
    In the air
    On the ground

  • Born To Be

    I used to think my grandma was born old. No one had ever talked about our family history—everyone is looking forward to the future and so it seemed that things were always as they were in the present. Whenever I would visit my grandma, she would tell me stories repeating them hundreds of times. These stories intrigued me, and caused me to look at her as a person other than just "my grandma”. This intriguing person had gone through so many life experiences that crossed significant historical events, such as World War II and the Cultural Revolution.

    Getting to know her is also a process of getting to know myself. After numerous interviews and requests to see family photos, I feel deeper connections between me and the people with whom I share bloodlines, who came before me, who I have never met. I have learned that death is not the end point of discovering things about their life. We recognize our family—from someone's description or unintentional talks. Energies are intertwined; we carry little parts from them in ourselves. As we live, they live with their lives passed on through time.