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Three Poems by Wo Chan

“@nature, i avoid you,” “my life newly painted is well,” and “@nature, teach me things”

Poetry | poetry, Poetry Tuesday
September 20, 2022

@nature, i avoid you

with all my heart

I siton toilets
& travel on gravel

migrationis the most expensive cut
of meat. It braids me to my birth.
I was give’d lungs, I was give’d brunch, I was give’d up
to daylightand diagnosed

mammaria absentia

a ho hum souffléin the oven I collapsed

a father scooped the soggy mess of me
in his hands and declared “what a modernist”

under the operating light
I was lifted, constructed. My teeth glittered in Cantonese.

my life with newly painted nails is well

thank you. beyond recall, it most
melt against me. I make stand like wall
frame, high-postured Tinkertoy,
booger at Port Authority on the blue
seat. living is such wet data.
and most me is breathing acrylic.
so high consumption that animal is sick.
my mother dances the domestician in soiled clothes.
she hasn’t been promoted in years. the boundaries
are negotiable. one trick is to simply not
wear your own blood down the apron’s front.
where I’m from (I’ll tell you—), public art is gauche!
they fell from hunger as the republic raised its foundries.

@nature, teach me things



at its basicis blind

& other ableisthorse. radish

why should I glee / at love snatching me
blackwooled & panicked
into its pinksome mouth?

I was going somewhere

had an agendaLisa Frank, holographic

I bought from Kmartfilled with Jokes and Grocery Lists

you asked me“what rhymes with tessellation”

fuck if I know   I don’t work here

Speaking of batsdid you know america

in World War II(that lump in your mind)

harvested Mexican batslongtailed & hibernating in desert caves

bunched by the millions & stuffed them with plastic incendiary bombs
like breathing shishito peppersthey planned to drop them at first light

Over the industrial cities of Osaka Bayforty bats encased in each canister

Dispersed from the cargo holds of B-24sfive thousand feet, plummeting

the bats would wake& roost in the secluded eaves,     attics of the flammable

mostly wood & paper constructionsmany thousand rooves—factories,

inns, schoolyards—would ignitesimultaneous,
as the timers detonate in the belly of each mammal.

And anyways,
by then they had finished construction of the atom bomb

“@nature, i avoid you,” “my life with newly painted nails is well,” & “@nature, teach me things” by Wo Chan, from Togetherness (Nightboat Books, 2022). Copyright (c) 2022 by Wo Chan. Reprinted with permission of Nightboat Books.