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ADVERSE POSSESSION
Michael Chang



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Nobody:
Absolutely nobody:
Poets: SELF-PORTRAIT AS

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I title my longest poem “Size Queen” until I write one even longer. Now it’s “Fake Billionaire Tears”

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I sign shit “in solidarity—” but never say with what. Answer is me. In solidarity with me.

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A lot of y’all claim to be from elsewhere but I know ur from Jersey

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If I read another piece that begins with any etymology, but especially the origins of the word “essay”—

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Oh yeah ???? How many blacklists are YOU on ????

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I don’t know why ppl say stupid things & then go “that’s just my two cents.” Well your cents aint worth shit

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Some poems you read & are like well that’s 3 minutes I’m never getting back

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Remember when ppl thought tech was progressive? That was a fun 20 years

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Best advice is to get a second opinion. Or learn how to layer, make a mean G&T. For once I just want Snapple caps to tell the truth

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Millennials are bland btw is Robin Thicke still cancelled

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What if some of my poetic ancestors are idiots

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One of Obama’s dumbest quotes (which he stole from Rahm) is “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Horrible for public policy, but great for poetics!

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Debates don’t matter unless you choke

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Is Lee Pace just a 6’5” figment of our imaginations or—

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Don’t know what the hell the platinum plan is but I want it

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I need a workplace that RESPECTS & ADMIRES my jewel-toned knits

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If the title is longer than the body of the poem you are onto something

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I feel your pain cuz growing up we only had one (1) car elevator

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Remember when ppl said Matthew Dickman was the new Frank O'Hara ???? Haha

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Q has been ax whether art “should” reflect the life we want for ourselves & the world we want to live in. Framed that way, no, art can be anything you want. Just so happens that MY poems are candid abt calling out unjust practices while having fun. Life is short, blow shit up

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A poem unfurls then manages to coil back up again like a reverse music box

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Hyper focused, he clips his toenails, massages his feet, rubs his eyes, makes a sandwich

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Let me see those baby blues, all my life I’ve ordered grilled cheeses, wanted to be stranded on the great grilled cheese highway, no ketchup in my meatloaf, only jungle fever

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These feelings, passed thru dat illusive centrifuge, lead to ???? [nowhere], my presence is a gift

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If you mention birds in poems you will have hairy palms
Who among us hasn’t wished for a yacht with a sexy crew ????
Have we sent Nate Silver back under the bridge yet ????
My roommate said Brendan Fraser decided this election

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“Write what you know” is lazy

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Someone actually said “big sag energy” to me & I had to say Nothing saggy—I am TAUT

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I saw Kay “Bailout” Hutchison hit a VERY pretty male staffer with a purse as he cowered. I felt so powerful

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hey blake →
i put up with your adverse possession b/c you’re the best lay →
that’s how things work →
i’ll be on my knees when i’m knighted →
don’t check my ID, you’re no spring chicken →
sure, we can discuss the strawberries in the bowl →
the girl with the pink notebook →
you boast abt your luck, your luster, ________ , ________ →
i watch you turn in the shadows →
admire your extremities →
you always want the first word—& the last →
somehow →
you believe the stories they tell you →
shake your fat bottle of pills →
push pancakes into my mouth →
i know it’s not, you know, orthodox →
but i need to prove something →
i don’t know what →
a boy like you wouldn’t understand →
if i looked like you my life would be very different →
i hope you’ll see me the way i want—
a paper boat in the face of a massive wave →

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hey blake →
i know better now →
i will never jump the turnstile for you →
i will never drag my shit thru a crowded station for you →
i will never schlep to ________ & ________ for you →
i will never ride a peter pan (or, worse, ________) for you →
go back to your stupid ex-girlfriend →
what have you done for me lately →

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hey blake →
this could be your lucky day →
tell me →
are you coming or going →

A Lambda Literary fellow, MICHAEL CHANG (they/them) was awarded the Kundiman Scholarship at the Miami Writers Institute. A finalist in contests at the Iowa Review, BOMB, NightBlock, & many others, their poems have been nominated for Best of the Net & the Pushcart Prize. Their manuscript <big shot manifesto> was selected by Rae Armantrout as a finalist for the Fonograf Editions Open Genre Book Prize, & another was a finalist in the Diode Editions Book Contest.
Mark
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©2020 Volume Poetry
Subscribe to our newsletter.
Follow us on instagram.
Submit to our next issue:
submissions@volumepoetry.com
Site design by Nick Fogarty