[etc.]

by Changming Yuan

we, yuan ii, by the grace
      of god, emperor and autocrat of
         all english words, king of dreamland
grand duke of assonance and
      consonance, author of
         allen qing yuan, architect of
               george lai yuan, last scribbler of
poetic lines, et cetera et cetera
                                    et cetera et cetera etc

Changming Yuan, 4-time Pushcart nominee and author of Chansons of a Chinaman, grew up in rural China and published several monographs before moving to Canada. With a PhD in English, Yuan works as a private tutor in Vancouver, where he edits and publishes Poetry Pacific. Yuan’s poetry appears in 669 literary journals/anthologies across 25 countries, including Asia Literary Review, Barrow Street, Best Canadian Poetry, BestNewPoemsOnline, Exquisite Corpse, Istanbul Literary Review, LiNQ, London Magazine, Paris/Atlantic, Poetry Kanto, Salzburg Review, SAND, Taj Mahal Review, Threepenny Review and Two Thirds North. Poetry submissions welcome at yuans@shaw.ca.

What can you tell us about the origin and/or writing of this wonderful piece?

    On the morning of my last birthday, I was trying to continue my serial poem about the Arabic numerals when the idea of writing a piece titled ‘etc’ occurred to me. After checking up the entry in Wikipedia, I decided to make a parody of this example from Tsar Nicholas II of Russia: ” We, Nicholas II, By the Grace of God, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, King of Poland, Grand Duke of Finland, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera”. Instead of political titles which I do not have, I tried to identify myself in terms of language and family, since both of my sons, Allen Qing Yuan and George Lai Yuan are publishing poets in their own rights. Within 5 minutes, I finished the poem, much to my own satisfaction.

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