Fiction    Reading Room    Memoir    Interview
Chris Tse


Close my eyes and pretend:
this is all just preparation
for the real thing,
an interactive sneak preview.
Barely a white face among the crowds
or any trace of bearable English: signs
that suggest we Take For A Lucky Today,
another store offering Cheap 4 U souvenirs,
but once inside I can’t find anything
that screams Canadian or even Chinese:
purple leather stress balls?
Red and white pyramids? I brace myself
for a little basket
of plastic tikis on the counter.
At the specialist tea store
the saleswoman forces
samples of tea-flavoured mooncakes
into my hands, promising me
a generous discount
for three or more boxes. She is small
and full of voice. I can see
the commission
behind her determined eyes.
While I half-listen to her offer
the World’s Ugliest Moose
stares at me from across the road.
Outside, a man slaps his palms
on a sack of glutinous rice, then crooks
his body down to meet it.
He inhales. The beating
brings out the fragrance. He sighs.
An impossibly large smile blooms
on his face.
Johanna Aitchison
Michele Amas
Angela Andrews
Airini Beautrais
Jenny Bornholdt
Amy Brown
Lynn Davidson
Emily Dobson
Fiona Farrell
Cliff Fell
Janis Freegard
Helen Heath
Anne Kennedy
Stefanie Lash
Jan Lauwereyns
Vana Manasiadis
Talia Marshall
James McNaughton
Alice Miller
Gregory O’Brien
Frances Samuel
Robyn Schiff
Marty Smith
Elizabeth Smither
Chris Tse  
Nick Twemlow
Ashleigh Young

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