Onjana Yawnghwe grew up in Thailand and in Vancouver, Canada. She has been published in various literary journals and appeared in the Canadian poets anthology, emerge. She is the co-founder and editor of the little literary journal Xerography, and was the book designer for the chapbook Ghost Works by Alison Calder and Jeanette Lynes (JackPine Press). She is a collector of envelopes and is learning the ukulele.
Vancouver City Map
"A child has much to learn before it can pretend."
the city is articulated
with handrawn heart
and bent shoe
George and Simon had a grand ol’ time
whistling on ships and powdering their wigs
a little blind to some people who were already there
“the town lacked refinement, but it was certainly lively”
In 1886 the city was named.
Three months later,
it burned down.
Thus began a history
of ugly incidents.
when you are in such a place
you are likely to lose your way
One must be careful not to enter territory that one is unaccustomed to,
lest you haphazardly intrude on an imagination that wants to remain private.
of mirrored high-rises
mountains nudging the city
to the sea
glass and metal:
the dark sky of rain
impartial, never the streets
umbrellas point up
what little tigers
stalk the faces of
/coffee is always hot / words strange in your mouth/
point to the ‘place of articulation’
word is the code for the thing
we have a code for the code:
you hesitate to name the heart
when looking at a map
position is important
align yourself to a particular landmark,
become extension to the city in which you are lost
prepositions are less important,
whether you are on or in some place
near a historical building you might find
an immovable map, itself a statue
and strangely, as in a Borges story
you meet yourself through plexiglass:
discover the ideolocator—an arrow, a dot—
saying “You are
In that country years ago we’d taken a picture of you
grinning with cigar, cowboy hat and groucho moustache
amidst the heat and drunken flowers of that day
you held the future close like stones.
Your passport expired years ago.
This game is a game of exhaustion
a dizzying game, with no end in sight.
The game requires every player's full participation.
The rules must be agreed upon by the players.