Monday, March 1, 2010

The Facebook Poetry Challenge

Yesterday on my Facebook status update I asked friends to challenge me by contributing the opening line to which I would then proceed to write out the rest of the poem. 12 lines were contributed so 12 poems. (There is a 13th line. But I'm still writing that. I'll update this entry when the last one is done.) I don't know if other people might consider it a fun thing to do but I do love writing poems. The problem is sometimes I don't really have anything to write about. So sometimes I go for weeks and months without writing a single word. So this challenge was basically to write to specs. LOL. So here they are. 12 poems written in the space of maybe 5 hours or something like that, beginning with the first contribution. I admit not all of them are great... LOL. But I'm sure at the very least they're kinda amusing... :-P


For Amir Muhammad: Why Can't A Woman Be More Like A Man?

Why can't a woman be more like a man?
Or a tepid jellyfish be more like a clam?
I'm sure it can be done if only Nature
tried harder. But she's a stubborn dame,
if ever there was one, far too content
in her pursuit of evolution to sort out
the difference between women and men.
One under a moon waiting for her prize.
The other finding it gleaming in her eyes.
Infinite mysteries elude us yet again.
I am a child; I do not understand.


For Margaret Agusta: Is It You I Miss Or The Faded Possibilities?

Is it you I miss or the faded possibilities?
Futures tested and failed, or
the hands I knew once as yours
clasped in mine not so long ago?

Is it you I miss or our broken histories?
Golden yesterdays that gleam, or
your honeyed eyes I thought
would never look away?

Is it you I miss or that promise of bliss?
Your lips that turned to velvet upon mine, or
that moment before you turned cold,
no longer fated, no longer gold?


For Nell Ng: Hold On, If I Could, I Would

Hold on, if I could, I would
be the thing that you want.
A vessel of deepest desires
from posterior to the front.

I would waste nothing.
And I would play the game.
I would strip naked
and find a different name.

A thing of brevity I'd be.
Solid in my transparency.
A riddle no one can undo
except to pour your truth into.

And yet you loathe and despise
everything I've been.
If you could, you would've
torn me limb from limb.

But you could not
and you would not, not
in all your hallucinations of me,
because you knew what you mean to me.

If I were really that thing
you thought you could own,
you would've already known.
You would've been alone.


For Tim McCann: Wild Ghosts Hold Fast To Keep The Dreams At Bay

Wild ghosts hold fast to keep the dreams at bay,
howling as they tug on my sanity
each and every damned day.
My edges fray, my eyes turn grey.
Life is a storm in which I am a blotted ray of light
spun into a violent dance,
haunted by the future,
hounded by the past,
pushed up the broken stairs into the little chamber in my head
where I keep time, eyes closed.
This is where I stay.
In the middle of the floor,
back and forth
I gently sway.
To the music
of the waves.


For Ian Chew: I'd Be Your Wrist If You'd Be My Blade

I'd be your wrist if you'd be my blade,
bring you my mist to soothe you as you fade.
Lest you'd be the kiss that alights on my frog,
I'd be the comment that appears on your blog.

I shall not be sorry if I cause you laughter.
Your infernal amusement is all I am after.
I'd be your sunshine if you'd be my plant.
To my beloved block of sugar, I am your ant.


For Shieko: Busy Bangsar Pasar, Don't Put Si-ham In My Kuey Teow

Busy Bangsar pasar, don't put si-ham in my kuey teow,
those tiny quivering pieces
of boneless, faceless flesh,
like bruised amputated lips staring up,
or eyelids hanging loose over hollow sockets,
winking in between greasy waves of flat noodles and taugeh,
signaling to me with bruised looks,
trying to say something to me
in a wordless language
too nauseating to be understood.
Bangsar, I don't like si-ham at all.


For Ronnie Khoo: Let's Do It, Let's Do It, Let's Do It, Let's Do It, And Do It, And Do It, Let's Live It Up

Let's do it, let's do it, let's do it, let's do it, and do it, and do it, let's live it up.
The oyster said to the knife, as the blade reached under and severed it from life.

Let's do it, let's do it, let's do it, let's do it, and do it, and do it, let's live it up.
The paper said to the hand, as it crumpled the white surface into a ball like a fist.

Let's do it, let's do it, let's do it, let's do it, and do it, and do it, let's live it up.
The sin said to the sinner, as it stabbed it in the heart again and again.

Let's do it, let's do it, let's do it, let's do it, and do it, and do it, let's live it up.
The eye said to the memory, as it retrieved all the hollowness it felt in between.


For Asrar Muzamir: God Is A Linguist, Life Is A Book

God is a linguist, life is a book.
He read all my secrets and from me he took.
God is an artist, colour his tool.
But he made me blind and called me a fool.

If I were a fish, he gutted my ocean.
If I were a pig, he roasted my cousin.
God is my saviour, he pays all my bills.
Like a soldier of love, he's ready to kill.


For Chew Hiu Wah: Here I Have Seen Truth Crucified And Justice Buried

Here I have seen Truth crucified and Justice buried.
One to feed the crows and the other
to be forgotten.

Not so long ago, I saw them walking side by side,
sometimes in quarrel,
sometimes in embrace, but never apart.

They lived among the people
and when the people called upon them
they would answer, for they were bound to the people.

Truth showed the people what they've always known
and Justice made sure they were
always in the right.

Where the people would go, they followed,
Truth and Justice, though to be frank,
they were not always wanted.

For the people often preferred Lies and Corruption.
Lies and Corruption made the people feel wealthy
instead of being in need.

In secret they told the people to make a cross
and dig a hole. They told the people,
Deceit will make it easy and Denial will give you courage.

And so it came to be, on that fateful day when the people
called on Truth and Justice for the last time,
when I sought the killer's names, the names

they belonged to me.


For Jeremy Liew: I Will Not Succumb To Your Challenge!!!

I will not succumb to your challenge!!!
The Prime Minister addressed his wife
sternly, despite his state of undress.

I will not give you the satisfaction!!!
But she's not really listening to the man
tied up like a sexpig to the bedposts.

I will never ever surrender!!!
He struggles against his bondage as
the whip cracks across his appendage.

I will give you nothing!!! Nothing!!!
She twists his pegged nipples
clockwise, then counter-clockwise.

I will never kow tow to you!!!
He chokes as she tugs at his
studded leather monkey collar.

I will never be your slave!!!
She turns on the electronic device
and watches as he comes.

You will obey me.
You will obey me.
You will obey me.


For Azwan Ismail: Lick My Tango, You Rubber Pussycat

Lick my tango, you rubber pussycat.

For years it tormented him.
All through high school and college
and even now as a well-loved literary professor
all he could think about was
that message she gave him when he was 10:
Lick my tango, you rubber pussycat.

Lick my tango, you rubber pussycat.

Lick my tango, you rubber pussycat.

Where exactly was her tango?
Was it code for some secret location
she would only reveal to the members
of the Explorer Club?
And why would she want to have it licked?

Lick my tango, you rubber pussycat.

She didn't even like to be touched,
much less licked.
There was a time when they were walking
along the perimeter of the school field
and he wanted to touch her hand.
But she gave him the look.

It was the look of murder.

Lick my tango, you rubber pussycat.

Lick my tango, you rubber pussycat.

She didn't like touches.
She didn't like cats.
Did she tango? He couldn't remember.
But rubber pussycat?

Maybe it's an anagram.
Or maybe it's a warning disguised as a riddle.
Or maybe he was supposed to repay it with a rhyme,
nonsense that it was;
perhaps it was meant to be the beginning
of a transaction.

There was that moment at graduation
when the look she often gave him
morphed into something else.
He was about to go off with his friends.
And she was about to go off with hers.
There was a softness in her eyes he'd never seen before.

He had wanted to call her afterwards
but he was too shy at first,
and by the time he did,
her mother told him
she had drowned on a camping trip.

Twenty five years too late.

Lick my tango, you rubber pussycat.
Why won't you tell me where you're at?
I'll be your mango, my sugar paperhat.
Why not show me your heart, you silly fluffy rat?