POEM: Tense tense, The Hong Kong Review, (2021)

Poet and copy of literary journal

Thanks to Editor Tony Huang and the staff of The Hong Kong Review, my poem “Tense tense” can be read all over the world. It’s an absolutely beautiful journal and I’m so happy to see my work ON THE PAGE right next to the wonderful poet Mary Morris (who we had the pleasure of publishing at The Citron Review). Other excellent fiction, creative nonfiction and poetry contributors are in this issue of HKR including: Christine Sneed, Avital Gad-Cykman, Vikram Kapur, Imogen Arate, Carmelinda Scian and the stunning photography of Wong Man Fai. What an honor to be included in this January 2021 issue (Vol II, No. 3).

Here’s my poem.

Tense tense

Yesterday, a watched pot.
That it will boil
yesterday was a strong belief.
Held by many, ‘twas.

We will believe, then
in bought blueberry preserves.
Today we would be atheists
when it comes to boiling pots.

Tense tense will be memories
of the berries we forgot to pick
when frost didn’t forget to
freeze sweetness solid.

Tense tense will not be backs
we will not bend yesterday.

Tense tense the muscle muscles
into our hearts full of blood
so much rich blood since
evicting love be our will.

Tense tense will use itself
repeatedly. The future will
use yesterday. It’ll be tense,
whether pots boil or not.

We will watch yesterday
boil tomorrow.
Belief should object like
a stuck seed in your tooth.


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