Sonnet for Cold Showers

– Written for SingPoWriMo, Day 7’s Prompt: The Found/Fount Sonnet Prompt:

In this creative prompt, we’ll be working with a new version of a classic poetic form, quaintly named The Found//Fount Sonnet.

Yes, it’s one more thang to add to our expanding catalogue of Southeast Asian forms. The Italians have the Petrarchan sonnet; the English have their Shakespearean and Spenserian sonnets. Billy Collins has written “American Sonnet”, with Tomaz Salamun penning “Sonnet to a Slovenian”. And of course, from good ol’ Joshua Ip, we have his collection, Sonnets From the Singlish, which co-won the Singapore Literature Prize in 2014.

Take the found//fount sonnet as a fresh, newfangled formal variation of our very own.

 

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I shiver under the icy shower and grieve for your peeling skin
While we wash away all our evening sins,
letting you scrub away all the dead cells from my body; rinse and repeat
Nonetheless, we scald our tongues on all that we eat
If I could put this moment, your hands on my body,
open mouthed kisses and sandwiches gone soggy,
in a picture frame, I would somehow be
whole, even while everything still tastes of clay
I would be home, on your bed while we lay,
watching an otter as it searches, frantic, for another hand to anchor itself upon
lest it floated away, into nowhere, under nothing.
I want to shiver under cold showers with you, where we could still be something
While we still have all the time; so turn the lights on
For our burnt tongues, lost skin, shivering bodies and please, say that you’d hold on to me.

Building Hope On Broken Things

– Written for SingPoWriMo, Day 5’s Prompt: The Speculated Fiction Prompt:

Imagine you open up and explain everything about your life today—your biggest fears, hopes, ambitions, habits, the technology– to someone who lived in the past (any time period before the year 2000– you decide!), and they went back in time and wrote a science fiction novel about you. They knew (know?) no one would believe it was fact, so they exaggerated and fictionalised some elements of it. You somehow find the novel and open it to a random page. This could be any page. You find a poem. Write that poem.

I wrote about an Immortal who fell in love with a Time Traveller.

1591, Berwick, Scotland
We met in an alley, I said I wanted to be something more
As you yawned on the stake, gone before you smoulder

1662, Port Royal, Jamaica
The soft leather of a necklace fell around my collarbones
And you lead me to the harbour, waiting for a storm

1781, Yorktown, A British Colony
You hand an empty gun to Alexander Hamilton, knowing,
And you tell me you will be waiting for me in

1890, Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, France
I cleaned the sheets where Van Gogh once lay,
The old ones wrapped around a stolen painting of a hill, your eyes twinkle

1900, An Unknown Village, China
The screams are earth-shattering, and I say something about life, birth and death
You push me into a muddy field and we run before the farmer gets us

1966, San Francisco, America
Your arrival was marked by pointed laughter at my outfit, and I hand you a banner
I bring you up to speed while we march, and I watch you lose time

1999, National University Hospital, Singapore
We stand in the hall and listen to your mother’s screaming
This is your time, your beginning, your past and present. The next time I see you, it’s

3020, Who knows, Wherever
The walls gleam as I wake up from a New Year’s Eve Party
Your arms wrap around my waist and you say hello, and I say you found me.

1509, Berwick, Scotland
A witch cursed me to an eternity to count the stars in the sky,
You, with stranger eyes haunted by what will happen, has happened, took my small hands, and told me to meet you in

To My Acne

– For the constellations and craters that call my face “Home”.

you litter my face like stardust
in conversations with the mirror
there you are, shining bright red
like you are signalling to the world
“come land here!”
but really, you’ve accomplished the opposite.

we have been through a lot together,
like that time you showed up on my nose
on the day of our class photo
you were always there for me

in spite of the Hiruscar and Proactiv
in spite of the face scrubs
and Shiseido sheet masks
you were just always there, you stubborn trooper.

when you and menstruation came to dance
it was always so mesmerising
every sensual rake my nails brought across you
menstruation reminded us that
you will always be a part of me

nevermind the itching
nevermind the redness
nevermind the constant reminders from my mother to slather more chemicals on my face
you are the companion no one asked for
you are reason for every “You’d be so pretty if”
you are why every morning is a constant battle to feel beautiful

but jokes on you, acne,
because i am beautiful.
my reflection is not the enemy
and neither are you.

the enemy is within me-
and i have emerged victorious.

We Wear Glasses To See Better

Written for Day 4 of Singapore Poetry Writing Month: The Haterade Prompt:

Write a love poem to an aspect of yourself that you hate. Or at the very least get annoyed by. Or at least wish you could change. This could be something about yourself that scares, angers, disgusts, or disappoints you. This could be a bad habit, condition, physical attribute, something you used to believe in the past, something you did in the past, someone you fear becoming in the future. Think about how this affects you. Does it harm you or others? How? If not, what caused you to hate it? If it were a person, who would it be? What would your life be like if it was changed?

I wrote two poems for this prompt. One about my acne, and one about girls who hate their face in glasses. The form used for this poem was a Ghazal.

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Girl ponders over a prom invitation, dreams of Boy
cries in her sleep, wishes to be whole

Boy wanders the halls, thinks it echoes
smiles at her, she feels whole

Girl shivers when thunder eats her, wishes for Boy
to save her, but she isn’t whole

Boy considers the umbrella, wants to fall
but she wears glasses, but he wishes she was whole

Girl smoulders with the kindling, squints at Boy
she says goodbye to eyesight, forgets to feel whole

Boy shoulders past Girl, scoffs at her face
she is not enough, yet he swallows her whole

Girl ponders over the prom invitation, dreams of Boy
she wonders if this is what it is, to be whole

Boy wanders the halls, thinks it echoes
smiles at girls who don’t smile back, wishes they weren’t whole

Girl shudders as the world refocuses, and he is blurry
but she is not empty without him, instead, she is whole.

Sidewalk Puddle

– To the first friend. I wonder what you’re doing now, I hope life is treating you well these days. Written for Day 1 of SingPoWriMo 2018, which took place in April. We were challenged to write one poem every day for a month. I completed 23 days.

Each day, a new prompt would be released to help us with the writing process. Here is the prompt this poem is based on:

THE H20 PROMPT by Stephanie Chan
Write a poem about a body of water.

#SEASTARBONUS: Read about its history/geology. How was it built/formed? How old is it? Does this information change how you think about it?
#FISHBONUS: write about the body of water as if it was a person.
#LETTERINABOTTLEBONUS: the poem is addressed to the body of water.
#PARTOFYOURWORLDBONUS: you have at least two conflicting feelings about this body of water.
#SHAPEOFBONUSBONUS: write it from the perspective of the body of water. Or a mythical or real thing that lives in it.

It would be
a fine proposition
if you ask that we
get dirty right now
bare feet on wet asphalt
bubbles of laughter
tree-broken wrists mending
in the curled lips
of our appalled mothers

Continue reading “Sidewalk Puddle”

Musings of a Slut

I’ve been too obsessed on posting poetry and photography simultaneously, instead of posting poems that I’m proud of having written. So I’m going to stop being so uptight about my format from now on.

Enjoy the poem!

It’s no one’s fault
But sometimes I am feathering along the hips of a lover
Whose love will dissolve in spit by morning.
Sometimes I crave touch that must be paid for first
In the form of climaxes.

I know-
There are better ways to gain affection
There are healthier ways to be loved
Like alcoholism, because you never drink alone
Like drugs, because your doctor will always prescribe xanax
Like insomnia, because there is always someone in Texas who’s awake enough to hold a conversation with you.

Continue reading “Musings of a Slut”