TSE HAO GUANG


Hao Guang is interested in form and formation, creativity and quotation, lyrics and
line breaks. His work has appeared in various anthologies and literary journals both
online and in print, in a couple of art exhibitions. He has a chapbook (hyperlinkage,
Math Paper Press 2013) to his name. Having gone through the Mentor Access Project
under the guidance of Alvin Pang, he is currently in the University of Chicago's
Masters of Arts Program in the Humanities.






Learning Things
Great was the surprise of those who viewed these curtains at a distance,
for they seemed not at all to differ from the colour of the sky
—Josephus

What can be done with a word
like autumnal, imaginary creature
which lives on literature alone,
complacent wanderer? So it is
with this untethered season,
with night's advancing lips
upturned, with clocks beating their
retreat. Another excuse to stay
awake and pine, fruitlessly, for strict
expanse of light, for dolphin hide,
for reflections in salty water.
Counting is worry, hardened.

In blinds we can refuse all kinds
of ghosts. Electric bulbs of
unknown neighbours. The menace
of the morning ash. Old clouds
which seem to keep the eyelids
yoked in place while sharpening
the ears. Consider the safety of
scars or veils, and spite it. Put
eyes out and replace them with
wind and lamps and thunder,
for this storm is just another
fallow time, fickle, listening.

When one is faced with dwelling
strange domains are breached.
Speak of moving tents at peace with
swirling air; just a minor symphony.
The heart plays too, though new
and still, still working out its part.
There are only twelve months on a
calendar, four seasons in a solar
revolution. How does the atmosphere
split into a home? Twelve over
four is three. Three, here, is
the figure of completion.






The Democracy of Birds

Feathers charged with thunder gift
the ground an offering of fleece.
Compasses of marrow; these missed
realms of sun; all rising drafts

of air are prayers. Mynah's tongues
are our tongues? We try to speak
together—still our sinews break
apart. All this strife to bring

a chord to life. We cannot quite
align our lips. We stun as crows
stun and cry for murder. Below
us land: we are watching it

for signs and wonders. High above,
a ragged wingtip clicks against
wingtip. No attempt to constrain
this mass of heaving sky will move

it. A thousand eyes; bead and bone
and flint; the laws of gravity
are smelted short; a single tree
of promises. Plucking at them one

by one we strip the field of feathers
and play at tribes. A loss. A gust
of wind hides shapes that blow past
our flesh to separate the lesser

power from the greater. A diamond
V slices through these rustling
pages. Look here—this living thin
line is the beginning of the end.

Our cracking earth is cold and bare.
The swollen sun is in the air.






Dream Movements
courtesy of two old men

I.
Bedfoot. Moonbright berths
as frost upon the earth.
An upward glance: moonbright.
Down: these thoughts of hearth.

II.
Spring sleep past the dawn —
birdsong carries on.
What nightstorm screamed and
broke blossoms on the lawn?



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