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道听涂说 (RUMORS)


When Dorothy Chan accepts one of my poems, a 

fellow poet says: “You guys can be poo poo 

platter together.” Yea we’ll make you moo goo 

gai pan. How food fuses consumption & identity. 

How the act of eating is erotic & violent. How I 

once promised to swallow John like an eclair, 

wholly consuming his confection. Lately I’ve 

been obsessed with being enough for a boy. One

specific boy. One boy in particular. One boy 

whose nakedness I’m curious abt. Phil Dunphy 

said that success is 1% inspiration,

98% perspiration, & 2% attention to detail.  I wonder 

what will be enough for this boy. How queerness 

is a vector & not a destination. 80% of life is 

showing up. I’m showing up for your body. It is 

very satisfying to call someone a ******. The way 

the word swirls in your mouth like a fine 

whiskey & comes out silky smooth. I mean the 

word Fremder, German for “stranger.” Eating 

makes me vulnerable. How race is a fishbone in 

the throat. How I want to be lost tampon 

between your scarecrow gf’s thighs, meeting you

when you come through. How you couldn’t 

masturbate after moving back in with your mom. 

Untouched Vaseline, high on a shelf somewhere, 

out of sight & away from inquisitive eyes.

Sometimes you show me glimpses of the real 

you. I want to pierce the veil. Eat you peskily. 

Pay tribute to your visual culture. A political 

act. My body is inscribed with the marks of race, 

& food, & you. Tell me what you eat & I shall tell 

you what you are. We are all chameleons in our 

diet, salamanders in our habitat, inasmuch as we 

live always in the fire of our own smoldering

combustion. We are perishing & being born again 

at every instant. We enter over & over again into 

the womb of that great mother from whom we get 

our bones & flesh, blood & marrow. Last night 

dreamt that you’d written me. But of course you 

hadn’t. I want to smear my smile onto your face. 

Share the standard Chinese greeting: “吃饭了吗?” 

“Have you eaten?” How we sense our own fear. 

Slip out of our half-underground apartment. 

Drive past the sign. Avert our gaze. Get trashed 

like the Bush twins. Yea I tend to think that 

we’ll be together again. You got to burn to 

shine. A baby puffin is called a puffling. Nutella 

is pronounced “new-tell-uh,” not “NUT-tella.” I 

want to nut in the first Canadian that comes to

mind. There is no such thing as permission 

cheese. If I get dragged out of here in cuffs, 

Bruce, what do you think my last act would be?



fanmail flies when i look in your eyes cerulean

supernatural smooth fuchsia rose no two

against nature midnite vultures say bye bye

bye true red acoustic soul you can’t leave

behind love & theft walk on drops of jupiter

fallin aqua sky come away with me a thousand

miles don’t know why tigerlily tail up goat the

love below elephants under construction blue

turquoise genius loves company american

idiot college dropout here we go again heaven

more sepulchral than starstruck voluptuous

dollar chaos & creation broken dreams gold

digger in the backyard we belong together

chili pepper not ready to make nice your

beautiful blue iris echoes, silence, patience, &

grace mimosa please read the letter bleeding

love centauri in rainbows year of gentleman

death turquoise halo honeysuckle need you

now f*** you suburbs fame monster teenage

dream tangerine tango holocene hooligans

wasting light lonely boy we are young some

nights radiant orchid get lucky radioactive the

blessed unrest marsala morning all about that

bass in the lonely hour shake it off rose quartz

sound & color pimp a butterfly serenity

stressed out work magic greenery story of o.j.

damn melodrama prismatic heliconia

beerbongs & bentleys all the stars invasion of

privacy rockstar shallow living god’s plan

coral bad guy father of the bride truth hurts

crepuscular this is a seminal text classic blue

by the way, i forgive you

A Lambda Literary fellow, Michael Chang (they/them) was awarded the Kundiman Scholarship at the Miami Writers Institute. A finalist in contests at the Iowa Review, BOMB, NightBlock, and many others, their poems have been nominated for Best of the Net. Their manuscript "big shot manifesto" was selected by Rae Armantrout as a finalist for the Fonograf Editions Open Genre Book Prize, & another was a finalist in the Diode Editions Book Contest.

ISSN 2632-4423

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