The Present Never Ends


Song of a Manhattan Suicide Addict 

By Yayoi  Kusama
Swallow antidepressants and it will be all gone
Tear down the gate of hallucination. 

Amidst the agony of flowers, the present never ends

At the stairs of heaven my heart expires in their tenderness. 

Calling from the sky, doubtless, transparent in its shade of blue

Embraced with the shadow of illusion

Cumulonimbi arise. 

Sounds of tears

Shed upon eating the colour of cotton rose

I become a stone 

Not in time eternal

But in the present that transpires. 

(A video installation at the Yayoi Kusama exhibition, National Gallery, Singapore.)

Review: Sad Girls by Lang Leav

sadThis review was first published in The Star on 9th July, 2017

Sad Girls: A Novel

Author: Lang Leav

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 362 pages

‘Your first love isn’t the first person you give your heart to – it’s the first one who breaks it.’

That line, on the cover flap of Lang Leav’s debut novel Sad Girls, is a quote from the book, but also a prose poem (from Leav’s collection Lullabies).Read More »

No Friends

I’ve just seen my friend Senthil. He lives in Singapore (he’s Malaysian), but is in KL for work meetings. I Miss him. If only he lived here. When we first met, back in 2007, he was here but he moved soon after. I think he’s the only friend I’ve made after turning forty whom I feel about the same as the ones I made in my teens or twenties. The sort I can take for granted and who take me for granted too, but in the best possible way.

I don’t feel like that about anyone in KL and I am no one’s go-to friend here. There isn’t a single person in this city who thinks of me as the first person to call when they are  happy or sad or angry or confused; or when they want to watch a movie or have a coffee or check out a new play. I don’t hang out doing nothing with anyone here. I am no one’s default person and no one is mine.

Is fifty too late to make that sort of friend? Maybe that’s why having a partner is important to me. Was important to me. I can’t rely on that anymore. I won’t. It’s a mistake to depend on a lover, even one supposedly bound to you legally, to safeguard your emotional well being.

Like Holy Wine

A Case of You

Just before our love got lost you said
“I am as constant as a northern star”
And I said “Constantly in the darkness
Where’s that at?
If you want me I’ll be in the bar”

On the back of a cartoon coaster
In the blue TV screen light
I drew a map of Canada
Oh Canada
With your face sketched on it twice
Oh you’re in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet

Oh I could drink a case of you darling
Still I’d be on my feet
oh I would still be on my feet

Oh I am a lonely painter
I live in a box of paints
I’m frightened by the devil
And I’m drawn to those ones that ain’t afraid

I remember that time you told me you said
“Love is touching souls”
Surely you touched mine
‘Cause part of you pours out of me
In these lines from time to time
Oh, you’re in my blood like holy wine
You taste so bitter and so sweet

Oh I could drink a case of you darling
And I would still be on my feet
I would still be on my feet

I met a woman
She had a mouth like yours
She knew your life
She knew your devils and your deeds
And she said
“Go to him, stay with him if you can
But be prepared to bleed”

Oh but you are in my blood
You’re my holy wine
You’re so bitter, bitter and so sweet

Oh, I could drink a case of you darling
Still I’d be on my feet
I would still be on my feet

© 1970; Joni Mitchell

From BlueRead More »

Let’s Stay in Bed

sleepy head by matt blease
‘Sleepy Head’ by Matt Blease (http://mattblease.tumblr.com)

Let’s stay in bed, my body says.

Let’s stay in bed, my head sighs.

Let’s stay in bed, my heart beats weakly.

Let’s stay in bed, say my unseeing eyes.

I am all tangled up in the bedclothes of life.

When is laundry day?