and this is the beginning of it all,
in the middle of someone
always someone else’s narrative
when one barges in, spewed like an
interruption, our first cries dissonate
(even science cannot make us, sans ciy)

and here i (he)
am, was not born Joshua Michael David Chan Kwok Keong (Gúo Chiáng) nor
Tan Ah Kow, that proverbial arithmetic
Doggerel example, smacking of warehouses:

“Tan Ah Kow can carry a hundred and five bags of rice a day.
The Taipan/Towkay/colonialist merchant/
entrepreneur has three thousand bags of rice on his ship. How
many days does it take Ah Kow etc.”

no 1 am no longer Ah Kow, nor the clerk at the foreign exchange newly shorn, in christian white, translator
of teochew/hokkien/hakka/henghwa into currency,
guăng tōng yuán into cantonese dollars. We have gone past
these relics and anxieties; I still speak english but no,
(since you asked)
Am no longer quite a

(Does that answer your question?)
and here we land with strange initials
so am I Joshua Chan, Michael Chan, Kwok Keong Chan, or
K. Chan, K. K. J. G. M. Chan, even though
I am none of these
fictions, even though
I could have been any of these.

No, I could not say that i (he) was legitimate
But by common law (and sense) may be said to
exist. In this story.

(isn’t this how it’s supposed to go?)

So in this story, this
His story, he is a poor confused bastard
(except that he isn’t poor, yes, Margaret, nor confused
nor a bastard). But then again, the story of someone
who thinks he is poor and confused, though not
“Bastard”, nor does he know
the feeling and flavour of the word.

So our hero/wanderer/protagonist/swordsman/lover ventures
forth unto distant shores/lands/inferni/Purgatori, encounters

women/snakes/demons/foreigners/the Evil’ in his ‘soul’/the
Other poor bastard who’s wandering around
this meek, inherited earth

and eventually, his wins through/dies gloriously/both
(no, these are not choices, they are not exclusive,
they are all in there, somewhere)
enters Paradise/Nirvana/the Kingdom of Death/Hell

enters the cycle of renewal to become hybrid
to be bred again with other inventions, by other

(if he had a bastard’s mouth he would bite)

and they will tell you that he/she/it is not them, they are
not any
of those fictions, so
(just in case)
they bite

as for me,
I withhold the ending (deliberately, knowingly)
I withhold all endings, and
without it you shall lose your way through me

you shall never find the moral to the story