Two Poems by Michael Chang

Poem Ending With Lines From Frank O’Hara

“​I have seen boys, also, walk in the street with their arms twined around each other’s necks, and always in each other’s society. They say they love each other very much.​”—Jena Osman

“​As a dog returns to his vomit, so a fool repeats his folly​”—Proverbs 26:11

In 1467, Alfonso de Spina asserted that the
number of demons was 133,316,666

Living in Brooklyn is Napoleonic exile

I’m the Pope of desire
like fucking with, well, the weather

Like a storm
taking a bath in seltzer

With dry eyes
watch my heart harden
Evan & his practice tests

I hate ppl axing who I write for

I don’t write for myself

I do other things for myself

I do this for you

You the whiteboy whisperer
Pied Piper of questioning boys
I want to be the type of bitch who sips tea & sits on chintz

I think it’s bad there are giraffes in New Jersey—
giraffes shouldn’t have to deal with that—

You get off on his hiking pics,
rub your bean to him, rhythmically

Tell him you want to see his mountaintop
His cock bends towards white supremacy

He returns to the Appalachian trail
He will get his comeuppance

Sextina sestina
cat’s in the
cradle Hanoi

Comedy is tragedy
plus time


oh Lana Turner
we love you
get up

Spooning is Stupid

︶           ︶

Let’s get down to brass tacks
If you love this country, you wake up every day in fucking awe
It fucking takes your breath away
Yet, as it turns out, we’ve been lied to
“Prickly pears” are achilly cacti
“Peanut butter” contains neither nuts nor butter

Thin cigarette between your teeth
You pat me on the back
Tell me abt your demons, your body
Lord set aside that nagging truth
Tell it slant like my eyes
Ash on your tongue, Mount Nittany looms like death & taxes

Yeats said ​out of the quarrel with others we make rhetoric
out of the quarrel with ourselves we make poetry
Tupac said ​the blacker the berry, the sweeter the juice
the darker the flesh, the deeper the roots
My voice catches when I say—:​ if the British cared abt us
they would’ve granted us citizenship

50% of Roger Federer’s name is ​er
Snickers have a dick vein
Will Ferrell is the sexy hunk of a Catholic high school
Not as funny as the original, but Justin Bieber dies in this one
Winner winner chicken dinner
[ 人生百态 ]
I’m a hunter, a hare
Original fruit medley
Not you, not you

Two truths & a lie—:    “​I guard my life with no apologies.
My concerns are small
and personal.​”          —Essex Hemphill

“​Asia is rising against me.
I haven’t got a chinaman’s chance.​” —Allen Ginsberg

I push the men’s room door,
smiling as they say—: ​wrong one

A Lambda Literary fellow, MICHAEL CHANG (they/them) was awarded the Kundiman Scholarship at the Miami Writers Institute. A finalist in contests at the Iowa Review, BOMB, NightBlock, & many others, their poems have been nominated for Best of the Net. Their manuscript <big shot manifesto> was selected by Rae Armantrout as a finalist for the Fonograf Editions Open Genre Book Prize, & another was a finalist in the Diode Editions Book Contest.