Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Tuesday poem #262 : Chia-Lun Chang : Post-Cities

Cites and the Adventurer

Imagine this, on the way to your home, one day, as regular as the day with white clouds, the blue sky, a long road, and a black handbag turns to grey because you have been carrying it for too long, an old face, and the dim streetlights that always walk home by you.  Trundling the handrail of the bridge on the way home, you start to look back on your daily life. The first day you were hired, you thought your life would be steady. It was steady but it keeps repeating. You start to wonder about your future, your past, your memory, your goals, your reason to exist, your passion, the end of your days, being loved and being hated, and your path. When the night comes, there is a stranger sitting on your couch, and waiting for your arrival. He wears a top hat and a scarlet collar and tie. With a sham smile, he says, “You have been waiting for me. This is the day. Welcome back!” He gives you a golden key and asks you to open the volute doorknob, the door that you have noticed before in your room but have never tried to open. You feel anxious and dizzy and you wait. After he leaves, you over the door and you see a long, narrow, dark road that extends from your room. You walk in and start the first day of spring.    
In the city, there is no formula to follow, but there is always a decision that waits to be explored.

Cites and the Linguist
The building is located at a sharp pinnacle next to the ocean. You wake up every morning and you are on a cable car passing the ocean with two open windows. The wind caress your skin above the sky. You put the mask on to concentrate on the job you go to later. Every day you talk to your book, listen to your voice, touch your fingers that you have flipped through thousands of pages, write down notes, reconsider the layout, compile a vocabulary.
You say goodbye with a sleepless smile, you have been chosen to join the group. It's a full time job that will keep you alive in the island. You have always been sensitive to sounds, the expressions, the strikes, the patterns, and the traditions. Living history, others always call you. Waves come to modernism, so the farewell is a must.
When you have free time, you have a seminar with others. Everyone is the same kind but belong to different catalogues. Comfort your voice before you make a sound.
In the city, the most essential element is to preserve the path that we have been walking on.        

Cites and the Cheater

A regular relationship needs sparkle. One is necessary and several are a bonus. The day you drop your tears by feeling nothing, that day you are a member. Walking on the street, you notice a familiar face that passes by you deliberately. She or he looks at you as if you have never met. All the memory flashes back in a second. You sit on the bench and pick up those days. The days you were dizzy, ecstatic, overly friendly, and prissy because of the odor in your stomach and the person in your mind. You know this is the second to say, hey think about me. After you make decisions, close the door and taste the regret. Circulation can wake you up to feel excitement.
In the city, you always walk on a sloping street, either bumping into the one you cannot recall or the one you recall at mid-night.               

Chia-Lun Chang is the author of One Day We Become Whites (No, Dear/Small Anchor Press, 2016), recent work appears in Pen America, Hyperallergic, Literary Hub, MuseMedusa, Evergreen and The Tiny. She has received support from Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, The Center for Book Arts and Poets House. Born and raised in Taipei, Taiwan, she lives in New York City.

the Tuesday poem is curated by rob mclennan

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