blackmail press 18
Jill Chan
New Zealand

Jill Chan was born in Manila, Philippines.  She migrated to New Zealand when
she was 21. Her first book, The Smell of Oranges
(, was published by Earl of
Seacliff Art Workshop in 2003. Her poems have been published in New Zealand
magazines Poetry New Zealand, JAAM, Brief, Bravado, Trout, Southern Ocean
Review, Spin, Takahe, and some other magazines.

Her second book, Becoming Someone Who Isn't
(, is scheduled for release from
Earl of Seacliff in July 2007.

The Night

I know you would disappear from me
singing that song
only the weak can hear. 

Leave the night.
How it makes me lean closer. 

Leave the night to its dark,
then disappear.  

Walking Beside Lampposts

I climb up
these steps
thinking of where
I fail to follow.

The second I move
out of sight,
you come into view.

Is it like this,
the way love leads to
some place nearer,
some deeper delight
yet hidden from us?

These lights
turn on the beauty
that's already here
that makes us reach to it.

I Might Be Here

The days are longer when you don't think about coming or going. When you're
listening to time passing and what silence means it to be.

Later, I will think about what I'll do.

There's another height to fall from, another changing season to take inside. 


I watch sunlight
travel across the floor

into endless arrivals

I grow into loving
time itself

Let it pass
Let it still be here


You don't come home anymore.
All your days are houses
that don't need building. 
You use your hands
to hold the things
that don't let go
before you do:
water taps, newspapers,
food you unwillingly eat
just to feed those who love you,
who remember for you
the necessary lives,
the mornings that repeat their erasures;
memory folding its glances.
Now is the time
to be utterly useless,
to let all but the real
fall away from us.