coming to a municipality near me:     that tofu stink again, hot pepper

and rot to ghost my nose   awash in silent waves,
as Delillo might describe them:      the language of radiation
how the dead speak to the living     where we wait together

our carts stocked

                                                  with brightly colored goods.


                                                  and it’s not racist,     coworker says

’neath the street market’s bloody light.      it’s not racist

to call it stinky tofu ’cause it’s stinky,     which i might actually fuck

with ’cause    it’s all running back now.      not just what to read
but also     how.


how with the metro/tube/transport machines?        how with the laws,

not quite opaque enough?   how with the racisms?     and of all
these aberrations     how is racist             for sure racist?


definitely the eyes! like Ginsberg’s Moloch,       whose eyes are a thousand

blind windows!       whose skyscrapers stand in the long streets
like endless Jehovahs!

                                 and fine not quite New York,
but Hong Kong.       where the eyes scritching my velcro folds

get me loud af.     feelin’ pretty     kill the master and marry his wife.


i'm rife with desires: McDonald’s,      the boy back home,      a form of general







but whatevz,      i'm here now, clearing now.      buzzcut the air

with body cause wood scrap makes for one good scrap.

                          useful Hong Kong got me
passing out of another study on                young black queer male suicides.


because the dead don’t travel well and living makes these unravelling conditions

sound so swell.      someday      way back home is waiting flashbacked
and flushéd with rememory

                                     and rolling up all at once      like:


            ma and i are about the last minute shopping and it’s about the dessert

            though it’s not about the apple pie.       cause the apple pie is about

            baseball       which somehow makes my throat feel a bit noose­-y.


loosey goosey i am in Hong Kong,      not quite cut with homesick quease

but a lack of familiar tension,      though surprisingly well­-sourced.


it’s the locals who giggle at me in the market:      staring down
packaging like a very hungry spaghetti western,      hands holstered in flustration

wondering about the bruised apples,      the dehydrated cheese puffs
what Delillo would notice,

                                     through the misspelled American branding.






            an isotonic rehydration sport drink launched in Hong Kong in 2011 . . . specially formulated for

            those who enjoy a healthy and active lifestyle, suitable for . . . hot weather or sweating occasions.


                        —Coca­Cola corp.


faster than a speeding bullet      my gullet poached with steam:

Aquarius!       here to ply my wet dream. nine hunnit and twenty

milliliters of hydraulic lubrication and Coca Cola product to rock

my western ass to sleep.       crampless, campless the woes

of my white whine and deedless hands.       Mrs. Bishop knows:

travel is a needy needy boy,     but there's always you, Aquarius.

kissing on my ethnic booboos, my vegetarian barracuda,
my constant reminder of capitalism.        like cigarette smoke

caught in cotton.       Hong Kong we poppin bottles    of Aquarius,

ticking through the streets    we bombed out hilarious.    the point

is product         and ain't you one sharp ass star, aqua love?

quick prick in the dry mouth of sky.      eleven pins popping
the tumbler under my tongue    all blue tasting, thank you thank you

thou art a minor­-love god     all hydrating and completely recyclable.






my tinder love it some Hong Kong.      my tinder swipes right and takes
a quick rinse in adoration.       my tinder don’t leggo this eggo-­tistical situation

for anyone [not even the white woman who claims i have yellow fever
which is def racist].


            always a form of variation,     always a boy,       always

something to look at.


so we go out,     we get fucked          up, we get up an alleyway, and suddenly
it’s gorgeous: three Scottish dudes, drinks [double vodka with soda      which
should not be a thing but is and oh are we thankful for the free drunk], and the evening’s

colander spiked with light.      until he’s not that cute ’cause now he’s asking

if my dick is a       big organic black dick?      my drunk tongue snorts      i’d rather be
kind  of person that has yellow fever than the kind that answers you with want.


revision: totes made out with him and the two other imports [drastically improves

my batboy average].       don’t tell mama or my friends.    also    the co­workers aren’t that racist

but i have points to make,          baskets to drain.     they deserve it anyway. some way.


Aerosmith can walk this way, talk this way      even use the colorless [white] water fountain, stroll

that club­-invite-­in skin.       getting me weeded, got my whole spot fucked up and poorly seeded.






the first time i’m a Hong Kong picture frame anchor [without
my permission, ofc],          i recall Mrs. Alexander’s Boston Year.

about her good alien love and attempts at life:


            how whenever she saw other colored people
            in bookshops, or museums, or cafeterias, she’d gasp,

            smile shyly, but they’d disappear before she spoke.


            What would she have said to them? Come with me? Take me

            home? Are you my mother? No.


and i feel it,    feel her [i wish].

in HK the bakeries are everywhere,      a whole populus cracked out on some kind of puff    or

poof, this programming has been brought to you by carbohydrate inc.      these spindly limbs slip

through the heat and camera lenses.      my body a disruption and oddity.      here be the modern

American negro    come see what fantastic work       this ocean can bring!






and always the ocean still,          the ocean unstill,        the ocean

split by the Central ferry and the ocean split by Hawai’i [read home

sweetened home].       Chinaman’s Hat pushing the ocean elsewhere

and Google will spit with a quickness: more than 2,000 miles
from the nearest continental land mass, the Hawaiian Archipelago

is the most geographically isolated group of islands on Earth.


i guess in this sense i’m acclimated. the humidity always pressing
my buttons and the anonymity always pressing me down.
Hong Kong is half island and a familiar place to love,    a familiar place

to work that word around.


until yeah the coworkers are a little, tiny bit, accidentally super fucking

racist. until i’m tired and sad and [apparently] in need of a white woman

to save me, and she just wants me to know [over blueberry Yoplait]

that: you should totes come to vacation with us        you can stay for free

no one has to know anything       don't even worry about money.


and nah i get it that’s a sweet offer,      why yes,     i would love to eat dinner

at the table      with the rest of you.






Hong Kong might be the world’s best locale to stress shop      or buy

yourself back.      like T Hayes says      you can tell what's important

to a culture by the size of its buildings.      and Moloch ain’t got shit

on the malls.    i’m tellin ya    shoe stores,     sock stores, store stores.

once my blister became sore in the doors of a Hong Kong mall

and i started crying.      but that could have been either my stiff throbbing

respect for HK capital,      or because this shit hurt    a lot and mom

mom would know what to do:       where to be      what to buy. there’s

always a list: shopping, wishes, things to do and things long done. HK

will definitely get you writing     reasons to scribe and script: dude,

look at these buildings      how many floors do you think there     are?






and here’s the heart of the nasty little wart.       the mole, the poor sport.
i’m drunkenly asked if i know that the guy buying me drinks
is a mainlander,       and no i didn’t, don’t, and am complicated in my understanding

of the question.


             until Urban Dictionary is all like: ahem excuse me lemme tell you



                          Mainlander [n]: People from China. They are usually FOBs [fresh off the boat]. They

                          usually have shit loads of money to blow but has very little manners. Talks hella loud in

                          public and talks Mandarine with a Bei Jing accent. They often wear terrible knock offs

                          clothings like Nikke, Reboot, and Addadas without noticing it.


                          Those damn mainlander . . . piss off or crash your BMW and die!


i conclude my navel gazing and turn to the asker / Hong Kong nationalist /

racist / political theorist / random lady at the bar extraordinaire.      tell her

i know what it’s like      outside of the thing everyone else is under     and

not to be vague     but      it is much more polite      dontcha think?


because who wants to be that dude?     crystal ball gazer of national origin

bathing still in memories of milk powder and sweat

                                                                           this lovely urbane sleet.






you don’t know Hong Kong rain until the only thing you want
is an umbrella.       until you're willing to drop fifty U.S.D.s on an umbrella.

until you’re willing to truck­stick a child for their umbrella.

in the states we call this CLOSE THE SCHOOL FUCK,       in Hong Kong
it’s called black rain.     in Hong Kong it’s all black all disruption and the government

wants to protect you therefore:      People having no safe place
to go may take temporary refuge in any of the special temporary shelters
opened by the Home Affairs Department.


my first flight to Hong Kong was rocked with rain     as i stumbled to the

vacuum sealed bathroom.

                                      instead of soap      or lotion there was
a variant of skin lightening cream, there was black rain pounding through

the airspaces.






 . . . meanwhile     somewhere in Taiwan a fire arrived late

to the warehouse turn-­up.           how rude and shameful


dude! i bet if the attendees knew      they’d a finally done it:

bought the tassled orange tube top,        asked the guy


from the gym if he’s      busy this friday? cause there’s this

cool color party thing     at a warehouse    ya know with


the powder and stuff      it might be your thing     it might not

just had to ask . . .


                       BUT NO YOU HAD TO GO FUCK THIS UP!

with your oceans of chance.         what are my odds homie? char­-


master? flip a coin for my continued function? i’m not mad just

DISAPPOINTED.        and yeah


i know i’m being irrational       with my hot breath heaving.
i'm all sweaty and thumbs     i’m all waiting for it: my final destination,


rube goldberg machine,   hitting the outfield  like someone who

already knows     he’s walking the long way home.     heady


with the sleep     of a new parent [even in repose]     waiting

for the impending scream      in the plasticine night’s light.






it’s always there
                        if carefully examined:

another poor preposition, tense modifier

with the quick cliffhung.

ma home from work, eyes large and hungry

for error:

                       of course y’all forgot
                       the laundry; what if i forgot

                       the light bill?


and yeah she’s right [again], it’s always

something.      the loose thread,

another sunset pickled with smog.


Hong Kong with so many dogs unchained.     my shiny
American fears rattled as always      just for me, clearly.


yes, i am so interesting,    so blindingly staggeringly


             the dog must surely want my throat,

             my mother for a fur coat.


but still HK     buying everyone another round     lookin’

cute and shit.

              eclipsing my small personal concerns,

anonymity like gum in the deconstruction machine.

i couldn’t dream of this many air conditioners,
this many egg crate apartments. but i need to wake,

there must be something to do

                                                   by now.

                                                                                   A version of this poem first appeared in DREGINALD.