To Be a 男 in English

We read by words formed by letters

individually, they have no meaning

explain to me the meaning of abc

I see the sounds

what do they mean?

Here is where I envy Chinese

we have twenty-six letters

they have over 50,000 characters

we write phonetically

they write meaningfully



trusting that the reader will recognize power

to be power

when it’s just power

til it’s placed below field and now we have made man

for man in Chinese is power that works in the rice field

in English it is just the makeup of the letters: m-a-n

and man in English is powerless

and without a rice field

our language says so much about us

our lack of language says even more

if language was God

and the more words you learned the closer you got

would we be so spiritually illiterate

to limit our conversation with the Divine to the few words we know?

You tell me

but, in Chinese, please.


7 thoughts on “To Be a 男 in English

  1. granbee

    I definitely see your point about needing a lot more characters to properly communicate with The Divine! A man being a power in a rice field says a great deal about what males in Western cultures need to return to, dear Peter. Me thinks you are on the right track!

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      Rose! I greatly respect the Chinese language and its metaphorical ability to transcend thought. However, I’d rather use my hands to type than plant seeds in the ground. If I’m on the right track, it’s because I’ve bought a ticket for the local train, not the express.

  2. Steven Myers

    so english people are schizofrenic fools relying on some collective hunch over symbols that in reality don’t represent anything…or at least not a chinese character shaped like a tree…logical.
    but mental institutions are entertaining and usually anyone can participate.

    1. cottonbombs Post author

      I’ve always figured the Chinese poets got it over us English cause their whole language is framed in metaphor and symbolism. I draw like the Chinese, I doodle, when they do it, they’re dancing.

      1. cottonbombs Post author

        I`ve always thought reality was highly overrated. Let me explain myself using the first five words I flip to in the dictionary: item disciple fleeting invention chew. I bet it sounds a lot better in Chinese.

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