[The creator who may or may not exist]
The creator who may or may not exist
vouchsafed you the power to feel pain
as brimstone rains down as punches into
a queer’s face a knuckled culmination
of chastisement by passersby or peers
or the lurid slickness of petrol poured
over a disowned head a bloodied result
dumped under cypresses or the popped
eyeball of a surveillance dome warped
into a child’s plastic magnifying glass
as an ellipsis of ants millipede towards
the focal incinerator of the convex lens
inverting the immolating sun and God’s
vantage point which you may have stolen
Pound said Rihaku said I, wrapped in brocade, went to sleep with my head on his lap.
Pound said Rihaku said emotion is born out of habit.
Pound said Rihaku said I was drunk, and had no thought of returning.
Pound said Rihaku said we must make separation and go out through a thousand miles of dead grass.
Pound said Rihaku said there is no need of asking diviners.
Pound said Rihaku said it is like the flowers falling at Spring’s end.
Pound said Rihaku said our horses neigh to each other as we are departing.
Pound said Rihaku said the phoenix are gone, the river flows on alone.
Pound said Rihaku said I can not see Choan afar and I am sad.
Pound said Rihaku said men’s fates are already set.
Pound said the poem is especially prized because she utters no direct reproach.
are you trying
do you dream
of sex I saw
a boy staring
at your denim
to become you
or a version of
this I think
Eric Yip was born and raised in Hong Kong. His poems appear in The Poetry Review, Magma, The Adroit Journal, and Best New Poets. He won the 2021 National Poetry Competition and was shortlisted for the 2023 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. He is currently based in Cambridge, UK, where he studies.