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Poetry Focus On: TAMMY HO LAI-MING

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming

Tammy Ho Lai-Ming is a Hong Kong-born writer currently based in London. She is a co-founder of Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, an editor of Victorian Network and the poetry editor of Fleeting Magazine. She edited Hong Kong U Writing: An Anthology in 2006 and co-edited Love and Lust in 2008. Her own work has been widely published in print and online and she has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize twice and the Forward Prize. She is finishing her PhD thesis on Neo-Victorian fiction at King's College London. 

Covert Plagiarisms

When do I know you've made up a pseudo-affair?
Well, when you can't remember accurately
the person's name. Last month it's Christine Owen,
today it's Olivier Chris. Make up your mind already.

I recommend that you write down a believable name
(good news: both Christine Owen and Olivier Chris seem real)
and stick to it. Consistency feeds authenticity.
If you do not have a notebook (actually, I know you don't),
perhaps etch it on your iPhone.

Also, please do not use LOL when talking about her.
You never use that acronym (and I love you for that)
so why would you use it if not to give the false impression
of casualness? Trust me: LOL and you do not match. In fact,
you don't go well with any short forms, except the one
you carry with you always, like a false modesty.

The other day I caught you talking on the phone
with that stupid colleague of yours, who you repeatedly say
is a 'half retard', who cannot tell the difference
between inspired designs and covert plagiarisms.
But when you finished, you told me
'It's that lover, the best kisser.' Give me a break.
If I were zero years old I would believe your lies.
As it happens I am twenty-seven and am very shrewd.

Why is it that you've concocted this non-existent chick?
To make me feel jealous? To counteract my imaginative poetry?
To tell me that you are attractive not just to me but a hoard
of beastly girls looking for temporary romance, hot and salty?
You succeed. Please hold me, now. And give me a kiss.
Errata lists contain further errors and let me correct this.

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