Jill Chan


Each One and The Next

I’ve known people
who use different names,
each one unpronounceable
as the next. Their faces
changing faster than
you can make them out.

Then there is one who faces you,
the quiet features of his gaze,
quite recognisable
even when it is now you who are different

you who are each one and the next,
trying to find the familiar,
what wasn’t there before
he too is familiar,
before similarities fade.



Jill Chan is a poet based in Auckland, New Zealand. Her poems have been published in MiPOesias, foam:e, fieralingue Poets’ Corner, Tears in the Fence, Blue Fifth Review, Asia and Pacific Writers Network, Otoliths, JAAM, Poetry New Zealand, Brief, Takahe, Trout, Deep South, Southern Ocean Review, Blackmail Press, and other magazines. She is the author of three collections of poetry: These Hands Are Not Ours (Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, 2009), Becoming Someone Who Isn’t (Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, 2007), and The Smell of Oranges (Earl of Seacliff Art Workshop, 2003). She is one of the poets featured in the New Zealand Poetry Sound Archive. Official website: jillchan.net