I first read this in 2013 and it has been important to me ever since. I read it again near Kwai Chung dock in 2016. This throws me back to the student movement of 2010 and the uprising of 2011 and my two years in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. The text is a dense, quasi-collective bildungsroman and allegory. The narrator and the angel Nuriel have a discussion in Kwai Chung, while workers demonstrate in the background. Nuriel predicts that change is coming, and the discussion turns to social “atoms” as the setting turns to defeat. Valves punched out of the poet’s nose deliver the counter-argument. Their debate is a necessary read for any contemporary writers who hope to grip the unity that our separation must entail. At its end, the narrator descends into the hell of the present.
In People, Mountain Press, 2013