Whither Hong Kong? / September 2014 (Issue 25)


Constituent Command

by Jason S Polley


I have this friend
Former friend
Actually
Now

Actually actually is one of my favourite Hong Kong words

Kei sat
Kei sat as step back

A rhetorical revising
On second thought
Yes
For real

Honesty actually is instantly forthcoming
ASAP
For real
Kei sat

Actually actually is as emblematic of Hong Kong as are its umbrellas

Show
Actually show
Don't merely tell

Umbrellas in the sun
Umbrellas in the rain
Umbrellas in the shade

Actually
For real
Look

See the sea
Look look
See

Umbrellas at dusk
Umbrellas at dawn
Umbrellas in shade

Umbrellas in the hands of
Umbrellas in the face of
Umbrellas on the cover of

Of
For
Against
In defense

Let's actually return to the reason
The reason for the friendship forsaken
pihsdneirf nekasrof eht rof nosaer ehT

Here are the keywords to our

Our
The friends forsook
Aken
Aching

Final final words

Hong Kong and CY Leung
Cantonese and overseas
Museum and requiem

But
Actually
Requiem is evoked not be

Spoke like this actually did she

Hong Kong for me
(A five-year resident of the place
Of
Of this special administrative region
Is she)
Is not special

Though
Actually

I could only ever live in Hong Kong
Or in my unspoiled village in interior Taiwan
Where I can still speak my dear dear undead dialect
A dialect in danger

Endanger
Ed
Educa
Shhh

Plus
Actually
I only ever speak English in Hong Kong

Mandarin is too too
Actually
You know
To speak Mandarin in Hong Kong is to
People would think I was
Actually

Vocal pause

And you said See Why Long

CY Leung

Actually I don't know who's she

He

I don't know what this particular chief of
Of

Vocal pause

And the protests

The umbrella uprising
Yes

But actually in Mong Kok too I didn't know

No

Yes
I live
Really
Near
There
Actually

So

Cantonese can be
People will
Cantonese people can actually leave
Speak it overseas

Festivals
Museums
As
A
The
Preserve

Enough
Drama

Tic

Democratic

An irony schmirony symphony
A coughing choir cacophony
A conservation that kills

Pandas in plexiglas prisons prefer not to procreate

A conversation that

Umbrellas for
In defense of

Peaceful
Passive
Pacific
Polite

Defense of
Democra
See

A Bruce Lee jeeting

Jyut
Ng


The sound the sound
The Cantonese resound

Umbrellas
Confronting
Interrupting

Jyuting

Boys in blue
And pro-Beijing bylines
And censuring presses censored

Jyuting jyuting

Pepper spray
Tear gas
Batons
Brutes

Umbrella made verb

To serve and to protect

And to take umbrage
To umbrella

Against
Offense

In defense of
To defend

Votes
Voices
Choices

From the sterile bureaus of cold elites to the cleaner publics of street-sweeps

Forced

Mong Kok
Where actual unarmed students actually hold actual mirrors in front of actual riot police
Et tu, Custode?

Say four say say
Yat yee sam say

And ng
Add ng

Add oil

A perpetuation
A persistence
Pengyau
Ga Yau


A resistance morphing exhaust-toxic motorways into sculpture-park boulevards
So the public can
Mongkokers
May

Sit
Wait
Walk
Wander

Can persist to resist to
In order to
Exist

Us as

Us is

Not
Us was

Here
Hear

The people sing
Actually actual
Umbrellaing
 
 
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ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.