POETRY

How a City Is Transformed into Poems

By

i.
Roads dissolve into lines,
criss-crossing the city,
punctuated by stop signs,
orange lights. Cars are words.
Some stuck in congested phrases,
stuffed with headlights.
Others flow rhythmically on blank verses.

ii.
Stanzas rise into epic skyscrapers,
hundreds of meters high,
built on a foundation of predictable rhyme schemes.
Floors alternate: a b a b a b
until a final couplet of executive suites.

iii.
Letters cluster like people
In alliterative alleys and haiku parks.
Families combine into syllables,
occasionally forming complete words;
while others walk
as meaningless sounds.

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a Hong Kong-born writer currently based in the UK. She is a founding co-editor of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal and the poetry editor of Fleeting Magazine.

Roads dissolve into lines,
criss-crossing the city,
punctuated by stop signs,
orange lights. Cars are words.
Some stuck in congested phrases,
stuffed with headlights.