Sunday, April 01, 2018

We Who Are About To Die : Stanford Cheung

Stanford Cheung is a poet and musician from Toronto. He is the author of the chapbooks Comfort of Malice (Inspiritus, 2018), Kite Extension (Words(on)Pages, 2017) and Any Seam or Needlework (The Operating System, 2016). His work has appeared in Nomadic Journal, Asian Canadian Writers Workshop, X-Peri, Otoliths, and elsewhere. His full-length collection of poems Structures from the Still will be published by Akinoga Press in summer 2018.

Where are you now?

Toronto, Scarborough, in my room, by the piano.

What are you reading?

I just finished reading War of the Foxes by Richard Siken, a poet who gives me the analogue of a painter rather than imperatives of what lifespans of words can notate. I recently revisited Night Sky With Exit Wounds by Ocean Vuong- which has been savored a dozen times already. The work of Kiyoko Nagase, also interests me. Her poem Burning a Light at Night, I find myself constantly returning to.

What have you discovered lately?

Paintings of Florine Stettheimer at the AGO
The best hot chocolate stand at Distillery District
Mango Saké

Where do you write?

Writing in cafes is where I usually enjoy finding myself, simply due to the mosaic presence of people and the natural white noise it provides in the backdrop. Now days, I often write on my phone while doing my daily night train commute across Toronto- usually standing. During summer, Bamburgh Park is where solace and routine finds me. I’d say writing comes to me anywhere with a sense of lilt and cadence. I can also say that I love writing in supermarkets. Anywhere urban, familiar, and fresh. Another part of me is convinced writing can be enjoyed anywhere so long a sense of passionate urgency arrives; and the field is open for attention.

What are you working on?

I have this vague idea of a new poetic form I’ve been having visions about in my sleep. Timbres of what fashions memory and the repetition of trauma in the mundanity of metered line breaks- visual signatures in relation to canvas. A freedom within the manmade metronome perhaps? For the time being, at least.

Have you anything forthcoming?

My full-length collection of poems Structures from the Still, will be forthcoming from Akinoga Press in 2018. I also have a chapbook coming out titled Comfort of Malice.

What would you rather be doing?

I don’t know.


I told stories to myself cranium after
When I speak talk from pillows punctured by
dreams when
glory are piles high that come crashing down
that soothe my calmness
If you let go of sleeping,
glory are the eternal days that layer
and minister a way of longing
probing the air and rest
If you stretch out a measure
with every indication of day break coming
Things like sweethearts and faith
like afternoon legend,
like dove treatise
If finitude
my nostalgia like take it or leave it,
things like fractions that elapse
and leave fractions nomad
and collapsing 

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