Christine Shan Shan Hou: Three Poems

Sugar On Fruit is an Untidy Wish

If only I could grow upward, I would never drown.
A kite rich, penny-pinch. Some salad to suck it all
in tremendously. A sinking belly turned upside down
is a rising whale. There are allergies in all tree
pollen and wanting. My disguise sat with me closely
that evening. Towards fruit and utopian metaphors.
But this is not for me. Complaints of tough skin
and bitterness. A little less rock, a little less

The snack box option for today’s flight
is savory. All salad is believable, wild. A raised
wooden walkway winding though supple, tangled
wood. Fingers persuasively holding onto two
European travelers. Meld and jumble.

A crab side-walked into a hole for dinnertime.
Was it two years since Antelope Island?
Hold fork lines against the horizon and I
will make it there. Disguise me for sand cannot
be charmed. I poke at plantain balls, buttery and
delicious. Life is not real or for sale, even if I lay
beneath the sun indefinitely.

Even if I reminisce, mildly, of discomforting fruit.
A quick cough and a pill is another kind of home.
He thought trees made the wind blow.
Pins and needles make a wishful fist. Cauliflower
makes me float after it is swallowed and forgotten.
My mother is clean and unshaven even though
I may not see her naked.


Take Out

Becoming all body is not what my mother taught me.
There is paranoia in immigration. Clamoring fruits
in the kitchen. I am speaking of red apples, sliced
and without skin. Since puberty I have experienced
an increased desire to be swaddled. Called euphoria
backwards. Cereal is more expensive when not on sale.
I know because I am allowed three options.

Hair, when out of my face is more acceptable.
(I do not have sensual bangs, or beef on Fridays).

Make tight or loose around the waist. Three generations
under one suspicious roof. The untidiness of intention
mixed with the grueling nature of doubt.

Dreamed my plants turned plastic.

Dreamed I refused my own shell.

A house duster is a barbarian muffler.

Forget your keys on Saturday. Some are in need of
Stairmaster to be rid of all wanting and allergies.


Heavy Head Cubism

Irregular season, moss grows feelings in a holding container.
Learning how to build, lean into it. The forest is deeper than
you would imagine. So finger it. Leap left foot first.
Red clothespins pinning green on silver canoe. I am cruelest
when bumbling and weeping like a paper lily hiding from rain.
People come out of their joints in metropolitan unison.
Sounds captured in miniature globes. Alice, a globe like no
other. I step out of a bathtub into a puddle of water.
The decency of arrangement cast in deranged shadows.
People look at fake nature in reference to Cubism.
The man behind the curtain wallpaper jeopardizes safety
in a rush to modernize. Bedraggled from the rain, solitude
thrives in a lukewarm habitat unbeknownst to the inhabitant.
An unsmiling woman is not a revelation to the order.
Some women are opulent and contemporary.
They lounge in bathing suits then streamline through the water.
Monochromatic difference is rarely seen, but you can always
feel your way out of it.


bio pic 11_11_13Christine Shan Shan Hou is a poet and artist living in Brooklyn, NY. Publications include the forthcoming, Food Cuts Short Cuts (The New Megaphone, 2014), Accumulations (Publication Studio, 2010) and C O N C R E T E S O U N D (2011), a collaborative artists’ book with Audra Wolowiec. Additional poems appear in Weekday, EOAGH, Critical Correspondence, Bone Bouquet, Belladonna #148, Gwarlingo, and ILK. Her criticism has been published in The Brooklyn Rail, The Performance Club, Hyperallergic Weekend, and IDIOM. More information at





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