Kevin Zhu


Mount Buzhou (不周山)
{Mythical Mountain}

at the bed of water and sky, mediation, a space forms

to support the heavens from Earth’s fits of anger. Paradise up north,

cascading winds smash the jagged ridge. I desire

divination, yearn for relief from sorrow. To see fire drown water,

my ground steady from His shame. He breaks me, and I seek

Nüwa for restoration: I tilt eternally, too jaded to revive—

Diyu (地獄)

lost tunes wander Earth’s mansion, gazing into dire straits

as needles prick this sinner’s mirror. I yield to atonement. Yama finds

red spider lilies to pick and gift souls, eternal companions,

singing reincarnation’s harmony. The Lotus Sutra carries

omens, mourning eighteen skies. My arrows pierce frigid and fiery purgatories,

creating fertile beginnings in blood. Mortal emotions ache

Note: This poem is in a form invented by K-Ming Chang, and can be read both top-to-bottom and bottom-to-top (left to right). Each stanza is structured in the shape of an I-Ching hexagram based on Chinese divination, and the stanza titles and numbers are also the names of the hexagrams as well.

Kevin Zhu (he/him) is a 17 y/o Chinese-American writer and musician from Long Island, New York. As a poet and journalist, his work has been recognized by INKSOUNDS, COUNTERCLOCK, X-R-A-Y, Bennington College, and Scholastic Writing Awards. He is the editor-in-chief of The Incandescent Review and is often confused with a college student going through a quarter-life crisis.

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