Two poems by Tse Hao Guang




East Coast Park


Sand bar thins.

Half-wild, half-white dogs

root in tins.


Shell dust

in crab holes. Last

month’s newspapers.


Wrinkled black

in the wind, men

reel mystical fish.


Reduce family

of six to a tent.

Sweet meat smoke.

Gray gulls stretch

slow across sky,

wireless alarms.


Those ubiquitous

dogs. Jutting

concrete watch-point.


Unripe coconut jewel,

thimbleful of sour wine

in husk-heart.


Dead faced kites


by reclaimed land.







Lisa got new habit: wearing her mum’s

clothes out to Orchard Road. They so old already

she won’t know right, she say, and the others

see her like some movie hero. Vernie also

very bad. She got boyfriend waiting in Baguio

still want to make her face until so colorful.

She say mum and sir okay with it. You come here

to work or to party? I cannot understand.


I have bigger problem than fun. Yesterday

mum cry in front of me again. She cannot make

Meimei eat on my off day. Meimei keep

asking Where is aunty Joy? Where is aunty

Joy? Then when I come back she will hold me.


I not like Lisa not like Vernie. I too tired

to be bored. Sometimes on Sunday when my back

ache I stay at home and try to read the articles

in newspaper. Watch Chinese TV with the subtitles.

Cook here cheaper and Lucky Plaza foodcourt

too big and taste is not like home. Or go Mass.


When Meimei come back from the maths tuition

I will tell her: why can’t you love your mum.

If my baby will not listen to me, how sad I will be.

Don’t love me. Don’t make life difficult for everybody.

I don’t want to go home. But she only six year old.

Sometimes I throw away my letters to make sure

I wait for the next one. I reply say I very happy.


Hao GuangHao Guang is interested in form and formation, creativity and quotation, lyrics and line breaks. His poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in QLRSPrairie SchoonerTinctureSoftblow and Third Coast. He has published a chapbook, hyperlinkage, with Singapore-based Math Paper Press, and is working on a full-length collection.

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