Tonight, Matthew


Thirty-something and — shit! — 

        Windows is shutting down — 

                again with the lag and tidings. 

If I don’t have a name for it, how do I recover? 

        Maybe I should push more. 

                But then I see the riverbank 

sluiced in red from the sacrificial high season. 

        I can’t get on board with that, no siree! 

Artistic men standing by with their motivations and fashionable 

facial hair.        Me? I prefer a “I grew up like this” aesthetic 

for my unsuccessful auditions. 

                Thirty-something and — 

what’s that crash scene up over the horizon? 

When I grow up, I’ll impress the world 

        with how calmly I can walk away 

                from exploding cars/buildings/spaceships. 

                        My life story will fill pages and pages 

                                of Google search results — instant proof 

                                        I’ll neither confirm nor deny 

                                when the time comes to sell out. 

                        Instead, I suggest you hunt through 

                        secondhand stores looking for 

                             my obscure inspirations and give new life 

                                 to Goosebumps® reading lights. 

I’m going to 

fuck it up.                (Don’t fuck it up.) 

        I guess I’ll sit here silently 

in the name of art. Has someone written a book about that? 

            Thirty-something and 

ivy adding class to ambition. The walls 

are fit for purpose, but the sky is not. 

                Tonight, Matthew, I’m going to 

disappear into the dark side 

        of the stage.        Tonight, I’ll just watch. ​



Chris Tse‘s writing has recently appeared in SportCordite Poetry ReviewIKA, and Queen Mob’s Tea House. His first book of poems is How to be Dead in a Year of Snakes (AUP, 2014).