Besiege Me

Nicholas Wong. Noemi, $18 trade paper (80p) ISBN 978-1-93481-994-4
“Shouldn’t you be going home, where questions/ are decades old?” a weary speaker asks in Wong’s bracing follow-up to his 2015 Lambda Award–winning Crevasse. Wong’s poems address queer and urban experience while also dissecting the political and economic factors that shape them, engaging with the history of Hong Kong, the speaker’s often unspoken sexual orientation, and generational gaps. His style is often playful and linguistically inventive, adding another layer of complexity to these poems. “The rain is a misnomer of the weather,” he writes in “City Mess, Mother Mess, Fluids Mess,” but notes later that “the teargas is beauty, puked after a long night.” Shorter, multilingual poems accompany longer ones, each thinking carefully about how intimacy is shaped in a time of political unrest: “Some people love like they believe the romantic/ folklore about the moon,” Wong writes, “They love/ the shoreline, without loving to trudge/ back up to hard land.” The poet’s kaleidoscopic consideration of cities and desires, which crackles with emotional energy, is successfully accomplished. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 05/03/2021
Release date: 03/01/2021
Genre: Poetry
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