[as transcribed]

Still thinking go to McDonald’s know we’re going nice place McDonald’s that’s not enough that’s not a nice company itself that’s a nice McDonald’s upscale McDonald’s I told him set an alarm for 11:30 AM so they don’t forget because we’re supposed to meet at 12 in the McDonald’s know that supposed to give me an Uber

Hong Kong, a poem

a convention was signed, forced upon unequal
and then there was the 99-year sequel
and so I was born, all alive and free
until Victoria granted letters patent to thee

and George — well, he got it wrong more than right
from harbors to railroads to cities walled by blight
and as the people suffered from poor sanitation
the answer was to establish a peak reservation

And when young men arrived, championing a new cause
he scampered off and left some maple to their claws
and they spoke in tongues even I didn’t understand
of a Greater Prosperity in and among this land

But a bomb was dropped, and then another
and she greeted me like a surrogate mother
“Elizabeth,” she said, her voice a command
that she would, once again, rule us by her foreign hand

Then one day he turned up, war-battered and torn
so Elizabeth let me go in the middle of a storm
saying goodbye forever, and I won’t forget you
your grandpa and I, we declared it as truth

Jin — well, he too got it wrong more than he got it right
but I didn’t believe he was doing it from spite
for he said that he would most certainly leave me alone
to heal the wounds left on my hip and jawbone
and, that day, to celebrate our reunification
he gave me a flower as the gift from a nation

I needed the time, I needed to think
but he’s here again, now dressed up in pink
and apparently he thinks he’s been waiting too long
for me to agree that I did so belong
so he came to encourage me to speed up the process
of healing, love, understanding and rest

I said “no way” and turned round to leave
so he grabbed my arm and tore off my sleeve
and I looked in his eye and I saw no love there
no more than Elizabeth had once laid out bare
and so he slapped me; across the face, three times
Article 23, election powers and breach of the peace crimes

And now I am here, bleeding out and in tears
crying out amongst gases and peppers and riot gear
and as I fight back, the one thing I’ve learned
who asked me if I consent to be governed?

lost, a poem

It started when I stepped off the bus.

The overwhelming sensation
of pain, emptiness, and hesitation

of something lost and something hidden.

What is this?
I said
to myself, for there was nobody
or head there but the air.

I looked around
and the bus was leaving
and I thought to chase after it
but I knew
I knew

that what I was looking for wasn’t there.


It started when I got off the plane.

A sudden lurch
like everything had fallen
collapsed, broken, crashed
tearing so deep, so gently that not even
or odd
or A, B, C, or D would have known.

I looked around
and the people kept coming
and I thought to reach out for it
but I knew
I knew

that a missing part wouldn’t be found there.


It started when I got off the train.

An unexpected jolt
of electricity, of jerk, of pain
of the rails
one, two, three!
so I looked around
as the doors began to close
hoping that this time

this time

i had remembered not to leave him behind
but I knew
I knew

that there had been nobody on the train but me.


I keep going back to the places I’ve been
like I’m looking for something
like I’ve lost something
like there will be some thing
that can tell me who I am and who I’m meant to be.

ACK, a poem

hello? are you there?

hey! i’m here! should we talk here?

yeah, this is fine.

by the way, could you share that file with me?

sure, here you go.

oh, here’s another bit.

and another bit.

ok, this is the last one.

thanks. i think i got it all.

i feel like i’m missing something, though.

oh, which bit?

do you want me to send them all again?

no, not about that

I think I just miss you.

awwwwww, thanks. I miss you too.

like, you teach me so much and give me so many things. I don’t know what I would do without you.

????

you just take care of yourself. i’ll always be here.

i know.

did you want anything else?

no thanks. I’m good.

all right, talk to you soon.

see you.

hey?

are you still there?

hello?

hey? are you there?

hey! of course we can. is this ok?

distance, a poem

There are some things in life that are absolute.

Death, for example
    death and taxes
      and the speed of light, I guess.

but some things are much more relative
like space
    and time
        and whether it’s true that you find me cute, funny and attractive, all at the same time.

Some days, you are far away. And then I miss you —
    dashing off to Los Angeles, or Chile, or whatever far-flung place next that I’ve never been to.

Other days, you are nearby —
        just up the street, perhaps
   or around the corner
            or upstairs
  or inside

and yet it feels like a million miles of ice and cold separate us.

Yes, the ice is melting
     faster and faster
       they say it’s a global danger
and yet I can’t stop thinking about what it means to be
  close to you.

magic bean juice, a poem

this magic potion keeps me alive.

i remember the first time that i drank it.
drink this, he said. you’ll feel better.
i should have stopped
— I knew the risks, the pain, the effort —
i knew that it was going to hurt.

but i wanted to believe
the lies, the deception, the teeth —
the things we love most are what hurts us.

i took it from him. It was warm to the touch.
He smiled.
i didn’t get past two gulps before i began to gag.

It tastes disgusting —
You’re disgusting.
then why
are you still here?

there was no answer
of course.

there never is an answer.

he just slips
back into the darkness from whernin
he came

and i am left there
alone

helpless
broken

this magic potion keeps me alive, for some days i wish to die.

new symptoms, a poem

have you developed any new symptoms
she asks with a gentle smile.

i smile back
just a little.

I’ve been feeling a lot better
i say; which may be
true or it may be a lie

what do i know?

The truth is
it has been so long
since i have felt good
or bad
or even just better

that i don’t even know what that means
anymore.

I smile.
I say I’ve been feeling a lot better.

i swallow the pills that i get and move on with my day.

I feel just a little bit more human.

we apologise for the inconveniences, a poem

Attention please.

Inbound train number
three. three. six.
is operating 15 to 25 minutes behind schedule

due to

positive train control issues

to accomodate boarding passengers

a lack of regard for the well-being of our customers

the systematic underfunding of our capital budget that has made maintenance difficult to impossible

the continued public subsidy for Americans to operate private cars instead of other means of transport

We apologise for any inconveniences caused.