Tom Chandler is the Poet Laureate Emeritus of Rhode Island. He is the author of five books of poems, including the latest Toy Firing Squad (2008). He is a professor of creative writing at Bryant University.
Tammy Ho Lai-ming
Tammy Ho Lai-ming was born in Hong Kong. She studied English Literature & Translation at the University of Hong Kong and is currently living in London, studying at King's College London. She edited Hong Kong U Writing: An Anthology (2006) and co-edited Love & Lust (2008). She is a co-founder of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal.
The Greyhound express won't be leaving till six
so I'm hunched in this broken vinyl chair sipping
coffee long gone with twelve hours to Providence
laid before me like a day of splitting rocks.
You nuns in clutches on those benches in shadow,
your prayers are questions the paper bag derelict
in the corner knows better than to ask.
The driver arrives in the back of a hack,
having caught a three beer nap
since the last run from Winnipeg, used to
steering frazzed in permanent twilight,
strung out for years at a time.
Finally the loudspeaker cackles and gasps,
the storage bin doors lift open,
we stash what little we have beneath,
save the rest to place at our feet like offerings
to whoever decided the clouds above,
smelly bus belly below, dark air hissing
through the windshield crack that
will grow by a tenth of a tenth of an inch
all the way down through Vermont.
送给 那创造云的 那管是谁
by your shoe size emblazoned
on the back of each heel, undistracted
by all the bright silk shirts, the skirl of rolling
balls on shellacked and waxed lumber,
the soft jets of air to dry your fingers
so they slide like sex in the customized holes,
the little numbers glowing everywhere.
You sip the air like pilsner, size up
the quantum physics of the lane,
aim straight into the vacuum
at the edge of your life, distant
dead end of the imaginary alley where
all of us stand cringing in a wedge.