How Memory Works

By TIM TIM CHENG

 

A shattered porcelain shard of a city drawing laid on a white background.

“Newspaper Transferral on Plaster” by Hasami Ho (2020)

 

Location: Hong Kong

 
         on the sudden closure of Apple Daily, the biggest pro-democracy press in Hong Kong

1.
We see the newspaper for tomorrow, not tomorrow
It’s already midnight. Today that is. News that stays
warm and inky on our fingertips at 2:30 am.

2.
I keep thinking of a kong girl last year this time,
one among the thousands staying up to queue,
to stream: her black T-shirt, hot pants, flip flops.

3.
Printers rumble and spit beyond the usual volume.
Papers snake along conveyor belts, up and down,
all over the factory. The ASMR of holding fast.

4.
Sure they won’t catch us for buying the paper?
Mother went with me, still. She prayed for me
to hear before the elevator. Ghosts police too.

5.
I would love to believe the sky
is apologizing but it never does.
We rain on its behalf.

6.
In convenience stores:
Cashier A: “It’s not here yet” without looking.
Cashier B: “How many copies?” without counting.

7.
Newspapers are a genre for fathers.
They die again with the newspaper.
Their absence, the absence of words

8.
Tat Ming Pair: why is this person making
me ask for the only choice in this garden?
I picked a formless fruit, already forbidden.

9.
Windowless: News about news. Bars behind bars.
Forms of Farewell: Stare straight. Hit and miss.
Sounds and fury. Refresh — 404 not found.

10.
We saved interviews and unphotogenic snaps,
the mean, low-cost animations too.
We mourn every day. We are good at it now.

 

Cheng Tim Tim (she/her) is a poet and a teacher from Hong Kong, currently reading the MSc in Creative Writing at the University of Edinburgh. Her poems are in Berfrois, diode, Cicada Magazine, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Cordite Poetry Review, and Ricepaper, among others. She is working on chapbooks which explore Hong Kong’s landscapes, as well as desire and rituals through the lens of tattooing. timtimcheng.com

How Memory Works

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