How to make a Monster

Take an innocent
infant. Marinate
with neglect. Rub deep
into its skin. Ignore
the cries, shrieks, scream
for attention. Let it rest
in your cold embrace.
Watch it fade
from pink to ghastly
white. Shred viciously.
Bake the heart until
it shrivels. Sear
slightly. Boil with
abandon. Every part
pickled in a different
jar. Douse in your
alcohol of choice. Add
more to taste. Finally,
simmer in a pressure cooker.
You might ask
“How will I know when it’s done?”
When it starts to resemble
You.

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Alcohol

It started with a few gulps of Beer,

chilly glasses to remove the pain,

liquid courage, trumping fear.

 

Golden bubbles in my Champagne,

slamming the door, leaving my car,

I just wish you would remain.

 

Straight up, on the rocks, Vodka

I gave up everything to see you grin,

why won’t you leave that motherfucker

 

I hate the taste of bitter gin,

the resentment, watching you go far,

I’m throwing your things into the bin.

 

Two more glasses of Tequila,

the lying, the cheating, the fights we dodge,

I only wish I listened to ma.

 

Finally a glass of scotch,

drunk, dizzy, I feel faint,

you are someone, I will always watch.

 

But I will never love again,

The hurt, it has driven me insane.

Sestina for a Little Boy

Students marching in single file, smiles

all around as the sun burned

in hues of orange and gold. A little boy

clutching the hand of his teacher,

while in the other, held a popsicle.

At the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum.

 

English, Chinese brochures, recommending this museum.

History, memories, encased in books my teacher

read to us when I was a little boy.

The British victory; freedom and smiles.

It was a lazy Monday afternoon. A popsicle

lay melting in the sun. There was nothing I learnt.

 

I followed the students inside. Burnt

black, the cool interior like a popsicle

on a warm day. I listened to their teacher.

Drawn, by the foreign lyrics filling the museum,

a journey into a dark past. The little boy,

staring at a wax figurine. A mother, an infant child.

 

An American tourist, posing with a smile

beside the tortured statues. Burning

flashes at rapid intervals. The little boy,

drawn, to the foreign spectacle, a falling popsicle.

Melting goo like melted flesh; specimens, in the museum,

wiped clean, by a kneeling teacher.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What prayers must have rend the air, as teachers

hugged students, while a foreign little boy

tumbled through the air. The crumbling city burning

under the ochre sky. Would the British smile

as they watched flesh melting like popsicles,

from the bones of women, children, immortalised in museums.

 

Pictures, artefacts, figures in this museum,

taught truths never mentioned, by my teacher.

The true cost of victory. The burnt

city that liberated my country. The little boy,

born 6 August 1945, who licked a giant popsicle

with tongues of flame that writhed and smiled.

 

Beware, the mention of a little boy,

An innocent name hiding the macabre sight of burning

children and melting flesh. A blood, red popsicle.

Methamphetamine

2300h

Pure white smoke,

bubbles.

Puffy clouds. I soared

on wings of euphoria.

 

0000h

People dancing. To

the beat of my heart.

Colours. Sound.

Another puff.

 

0100h

Floating, weightless.

Falling, flying.

Swaying.

Is that a boy on the ledge?

 

0200h

Staring at the ceiling.

Shouts?

Cold water.

Screams?

 

0300h

A taxi.

Someone crying.

Headache.

Sirens.

 

0400h

The house was

empty,

When they found his body.

18 floors below,

splayed on cold, hard concrete.

 

2017

We were afraid

of prosecution. Yet,

we should have been more afraid,

of being haunted.

The Prostitute

Her pale, cherubian hands were cold,

as she poured me a glass of whisky.

She will do anything she’s told,

I told her to stay with me.

 

Her lips so moist and sweet,

ravaged by mine, which reeked

of dinner, of stale vomit. Yet,

her smile, so innocent, so meek.

 

Her breasts, so smooth, so soft,

caressed with sticky bare hands,

my fluttering heart, like an escaping dove,

I was exploring new lands.

 

Her eyes, glistening, a brownish colour.

Tears.

For the first time, I truly looked at her,

this helpless, young, migrant Girl.

 

Her voice, so pure and honest.

Her family, whom she loved.

Her dream to be an architect.

Her way of escaping poverty’s turf.

 

Her name, meizhen,

a girl I never saw again, who

made me forget my hunger.

For no oyster can ever be better,

than a beautiful pearl.

Prayers in Bhutan

My fingers trailed the prayer wheels,

wondering which God was listening

as I left whirling colours behind.

The clatter of carved dragons, birds,

some other animal, a tourist breaking

the sacred silence in the mountain.

Five temples, five days, surrounded by muddy

water, surrounded by cloudy air. I found

myself, nodding in reverence as my guide

extoled stories taught by her mother, and

her mother’s mother. Flying tigers, flying

monks, vacant tombs. I left my shoes

at the threshold. The timber, cold

hard beneath my disbelieving

sole. Her ernest eyes, gentle voice,

speaking fact, fiction, tales she

believed. A convincing book of miracles,

pictures, healing. Would I have, the same

awe while walking in Israel, the dusty

paths where Jesus strode. Was history

a placebo? Was faith, merely imagination?

 

I held my laughter, watching a British

woman. How strange, how sobering,

as she ran around the compound,

bright, pink phallus strapped with red

ribbons to her body. Her desperation,

a baby. Perhaps she believed in fertility

Gods. Perhaps she was mad. Perhaps,

a miracle, ten thousand miles

from home.  It is easy to see shapes

in the mountain mist. A dead father, a baby,

a flying tiger. But who could ignore the miracle

of faith, of strangers heaving granite idols

to the peaks of creation. Like Jesus,

heaving the cross to the peaks of Calvary.

The Bible, Quran, Tripitaka, God’s

word, translated by human tongues. Taught

by human priests, human rulers. God

on Earth. The cold spread from the crown

of my head, to the soles of my feet. Blessed

water, tinkling down my neck. Somehow

I still wished, or prayed, for prosperity,

health, wisdom, as the bells chimed

and the monks chanted, amidst the smoky incense

of a distant world.

Dinner Preparations

You rinsed under a torrent of water,

emerging naked, bare, beautiful.

Eve, before she partook in the sacred

fruit. You picked out the skin

of dead things, brown, black and grey

to cover your own, raw pink

flesh. You tastefully try

all the ingredients. Silk, cotton,

so much leather. Wrapped,

like a spring roll in gossamer threads,

trapped in a delicate cocoon. White

powder, like flour. Your neck, your

face, the floor. So pale, like a

crumpling snowflake.

Glistening skin, marinated

in butter and cream, so fresh,

like fish laid on ice.

I lean in for a kiss, but you

refuse. It would ruin the lipstick,

you said. It would break your fragile,

porcelain face. So pretty,

so untouchable, so alien.

Where was the raw, sweet

morning fruit. The smooth,

pink skin glistening with dew.

The half open eyes, crusted

with innocence. Life,

still beating in the veins, cooing

words, whispered under the sheets.

I love my meals; au naturale,

gluten-free, organic. So why

do you doubt me, when I say

you are beautiful?