Recent Work By Michael Chang

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Mueller Report: long wait, no orgasm.

Barr says Biden probe unlikely.  Liar.

Supreme Court takes case.  Uh oh.

Tell me again how Bernie won.

Florida man sees opening.  Dick stuck.

Faye’s inner battle: which Cheez-Its.  Buffalo.

My face in your mirror: handsome.

I am your lover.  I think.

Deuteragonist means second.  Is that me?

Poem bursts out of rock: pleasure.

This was written in response to the people of Hong Kong’s demand for universal suffrage and other democratic reforms.  Protests have been ongoing in the island territory for a while now; things abated with COVID-19, but have roared back.

The Hong Kong people are protesting the Mainland Chinese government’s shameless attempt to ram unconstitutional national security laws through its rubber-stamp legislature, bypassing the territory’s own legislature and Basic Law (the island’s mini-constitution). The  Chinese government has dropped all pretense that Hong Kong is a quasi-independent territory, and its tactics are increasingly alarming and inhumane.  The government has turned Hong Kong’s common law legal system, widely regarded as one of Asia’s finest, into a mockery, jailing dissidents and retaliating against those engaging in civil disobedience.

Further, and laughably, the Mainland Chinese government has asserted that Hong Kong’s colonial-era policing laws are insufficient to quell the protests.  This, of course, is ridiculous as British Hong Kong was in fact used as a testing ground for the Crown’s most brutal riot-policing tactics.  Suppression is as heavy-handed and relentless as it was decades ago.  Only the master has changed.

This poem is fundamentally in response to the Chinese government’s callous disregard for the people of Hong Kong.  The nature and character of the territory’s democratic system, with rights hard-earned in the post-colonial era, will be irreparably damaged by the government’s actions.  The poem is a fictional account of a protestor and their establishment/government partner; it can be read as a queer poem because some of the most-visible leaders of the protests are queer people.  This is all the more controversial in the conservative territory where many people do not even come out to their friends and loved ones.


Fire alarm, 3 a.m.
Feet shuffling
Soldiers marching
Ball and chain
Innocent eyes
Central Park Five
Hey, he said, voice thick with sleep
Don’t go out, Blue Shirt warned
He obeyed, he hid
Firefighters and police came and went
Ruse to flush him out

In solidarity with Black Lives Matter, TNB Poetry has created this space for BIPOC voices to shine. We will be publishing work by Black poets daily.  Black Lives Matter.


There’s no kindness in your eyes / the way you look at me, it’s just not right”—Hilary Duff

I used to know how to save the world / now I don’t know anything anymore”—Justin Chin

 

(—Once in a blue moon, maybe several times a week,
I write a truly great American poem;
Here I will tell you abt 8th Street . . .
my rules for American life—:

Generally: TV always; no sharia law; don’t say gay; bathrooms are sacred; no hugging/touching (men); don’t pay attention to politics; really, don’t, they only need you every 4 years; small talk is an art & national pastime; acceptable small talk topics include complaining abt wife, kids, kids’ sports, schedules, Chinese boss; even if you hate sports, you have to pretend; candy corn is the worst; mac-n-cheese is the best side.