Chi Chi’s Glorious Swansong by Anna Chen




Chi Chi’s Glorious Swansong, a new collection of poems by Anna Chen, is out now.

‘This marvellous collection builds like a symphony, from its opening dances through the surf of language and ideas to the breath-taking cross-channel swim of “Tinderbox plc”. Assured, funny, angry, exhilarating … Chi Chi’s Glorious Swansong demands to be read; demands to be listened to. A triumph.’

‘Anna Chen’s talent is rare yet what she writes is in a long-standing tradition: as a poet she blends commentary on both the social and the political in sharp, vibrant, often cuttingly funny verse. Highly recommended!’


2B or not 2B: that is the pencil:
Whether ’tis nobblier in the line to scuff up
The springs and marrows of outmoded representation,
Or to take snaps upon the digital:
To sketch up the dawn of a rosy hue,
Or to take lines of sea and rubble
And by Photoshopping, amend them? To dye:
To scumble the surface no more
But open a window on the world.
Depths and planes, impasto and light,
Vision and perspective.
Aye, there’s the rubbing out
For in that ghostly haze what dreams may bleed through
Our pixellated grasp of a sigh:
Who would facets bear in the lens of someone else’s eye?


I murmured Ohhhh and sighed,
You clicked your mandibles and writhed,
Shuddered round my pi r squared,
Ran your feelers through my silken hair.
Tendrils explored, slipped past my defenses.
Do I look pretty in your multiple lenses?
A little more to the right, please, yeah, right there,
Where multiverse nerves strip myelin bare,
Shift your soft-tissue silicon shell
Just a little bit more, you do it so well.
Undercarriage slips across moistened skin,
Shivers and sinks right in.
Glistening membranes, two merging forms
Seeking shelter from galactic storms.


We sat on the grass, my mother
making daisy chains for my long black hair,
like cables, she said.
Her May Queen, she called me,
as she picked up her lambkin, giggling and chubby with love,
and set me on the high place I mistook for a pedestal.
By the blaze of her blue eyes
I saw it was an altar to her spring rite,
cold stone and, as I reached for her, a flash of sharp metal.

Sat here on the sofa,
all time between swallowed,
you see me staring at the electronic window into the world,
but I am watching the grass and the daisies and waiting for them to cover me.

Chi Chi’s Glorious Swansong by Anna Chen
ISBN: 978-0-9573635-6-4