Death of a Poet

This is not an epitaph for
the lights in my eyes
and this is not a requiem for
the clumsy scoreboards
and this will not be
the ending theme to
our final episode

This is a party
for the last finger-snapping rhymes
for bleeding tongues
and aching hearts

My history begins here,
the struggle to find my voice
I speak my poems too hard
raw passion surging in my veins
my face turns red from the pressure
I am too young to be in this space,
an alien in a human spacesuit,
still clinging to the arm.

I never make a good 10 score
But I don’t care as long as
there is room for
my old polished leather boots
on the carpet stage
naked, all my words laid bare.

So here we go with a-
(Stomp-Stomp Clap)
(Stomp-Stomp Clap)

This is not goodbye
Not yet, I don’t think
The pencilled murals are not yet done dancing,
And yet there is a way to be
when the curtain calls
Say thank you, roll the credits and take your bow.

So this is goodbye
to spaces we used to know

To dancing, to stage dabbing
to falling in love with girls way out of my league
to learning that there is no league
to breakups, to connection.

This is where I learnt to stop being sorry
This is where I learnt to march to the beat of my own drum
This is where I will have to learn to say goodbye

Three minutes will never be never enough
to learn to love myself
but I’ve been here for three years running so
perhaps the math should count
Where will we go?
aliens in spacesuits, spinning past the stars

Are these three minutes what I have left?

This is not an epitaph for
the lost poetry slams
This is not a requiem for
bottles of silence, carelessly strewn
This is not a final poem
this can’t be a final poem.

For this is not the end.

This is not

The End.

An Ode to the Asshole Cat That Wouldn’t Leave the HDB Flat Someone Else Was Trying to Move Into

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Stupid asshole cat.

Are you trying to fly again, my dear?
You’re brandishing the broomstick like a man on a mission,
Staring out at the boundless sky, where the lady in the moon
Is awaiting her replacement.

Shoot up the bedroom-
Bang, bang, bang
Scream out “IT’S ALWAYS ME LAH, MY FAULT LAH-“
I will still be here, always here.

You are dancing in the living room,
Stirring up the dust mice, shaking up the grout
I will chase them away, the rats and the roaches
Just for you.

I trip over the same spot every morning.
A little ledge before the kitchen,
Just before you drop.
The threshold gets me every time.

Slowly and shakily, shivering into a stop
I try to avoid the puddles on the floor,
They are deadly to you, your sightless eyes,
But I do not understand why.

I am afraid, sometimes.
The broom swishes unpleasantly, trapping tasty spiders
Before it crash-lands upon my back,
But I’m still here, and that’s okay, isn’t it?

You are the only home I’ve got left.
If you fly away, take me with you
If you dance a pas de deux, hold me closer to you
If you fall, I will pull you up as many times as it takes,

Just don’t leave me-
Please.
Don’t go, darling, don’t leave me.

I left a dead mouse
At the foot of your missing bed.

It’s the only one I’ve ever managed to catch.

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.

——————————————–

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.

The Good Days

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Leave the poem writing to tomorrow, I whispered to my hands, for today is a good day. Today a breeze kissed my cheeks and folded away all the chores.

Leave the poetry to tomorrow, where happiness would waver, where things are harsher. Leave the poetry to the sad days. Leave the poetry in the hands of broken hearts.

On any other day the metaphors may strike the paper with veined anger and the poetry might shriek of the poet’s misfortune, on other days the tears may become ink, but today the words don’t bleed, today is kinder than yesterday and tomorrow is waiting to decide, a gentle coin-toss game in motion. The day is not over yet.

Leave the crying to tomorrow, I whisper to the sorrow. Leave the ink off the sheets, forget the feeling of anti-gravity and hold on to the rails, so that you may not float off into space. Hold on to the warmth of someone’s gentle words. Hold on.

Call him back. Mute the group. Walk until you can no longer drag your feet across the burning concrete, until the sun bids farewell. Today there is no rain, no clouds, no grief. Today is kind. Today, you are invincible.

Leave the poem-writing to tomorrow, I whisper to my hands, for today is a good day. Because poems are for the bitter days, not for days like today.

Today is kind. So leave the poem-writing for tomorrow.