Poems and Texts

“MENU IN CHINGLISH” by Michael Leong


for John Yau

monolithic tree mushroom stem squid

braised rainbow mangrove maw

double pronged rhizome berry pig sniper

shepherd’s sponge spigot

beef cheek ricochet

preserved duck eggplant implosion

pungent heliotrope of oyster pouch

salted forehead belly blossom

chicken web monad broth

silver fin swimming membrane flavor

retinal eel matrix

bamboo vertigo

triple tongue cocoon in tube sauce

gluteal libidinal shrimps*


* A note on the text: This poem was inspired by the phrase “monolithic tree mushroom stem squid” from the New York Times article “Shanghai Is Trying to Untangle the Mangled English of Chinglish” (May 2, 2010).

Michael Leong

Michael Leong is the author of e.s.p. (Silenced Press, 2009) and Cutting Time with a Knife (Black Square Editions, 2012). He has also published numerous chapbooks, most recently Li Po Meets Oulipo (Belladonna*, 2015) andFruits and Flowers and Animals and Seas and Lands Do Open (Burnside Review Press, 2015).

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