Featured

In the Kitchen on a Rainy Day

The purplish-red onion sat in your palm.

Like my heart, you held it firmly.

As if afraid, it would roll onto the dusty

floor. Quietly, you reached

for a knife. The ceramic one we bought

together, a lifetime ago. You

said it would never blunt, stain, or rust.

Unlike us, lovers cast in iron, now

decayed. Blunt, stained, without trust.

The crunching sound, two halves.

One always bigger than the other.

Your fingers, peeling apart the skin,

so gentle, so familiar. A lifetime

of thickened walls, grown in muddy

fields. Torn away like scabs.

You chopped methodically, from left

to right. From right, to wrong. Pieces

of flesh scattering across the wooden

board. Bruises, an ugly, purplish-red.

The crushed remains, scraped

into a plastic bowl. The type that said

disposable, breakable, vulnerable.

You reached for another onion,

a white, unblemished one. Found

while wandering alone

in the supermarket. I left that day,

tears in my eyes-

for I stood too close, while you

chopped.

Featured

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.

The Boy who Ran

There was a boy who ran
away, into the garden
of Eden. Each hand
holding on
to a single stalk
of Chrysanthemum.
Every step, another petal,
falling, floating, flailing
in the last breath
of dawn. 
A bright, yellow
trail sinking into freshly
turned soil. Footprints
from his bare soul
left right left right
left behind
in the
dust.
All paths
leading to
the same depression
carved from the earth.
As the woods shut
out all sound, the
silence only
meant he
could
rest
in
p
e
a
c
e
.

Night and Day

Soon as the stars
suffocate the sun,
shadows slither into
silent streets.
Silhouettes of the
suffering, the sorrowful,
serial killers murdering
senses, sentiments,
shyness. Surrounded by
strobe lights. Snarling sounds
sending shivers down
spines. We swallow
Spirits, staring at smoke
shrouding our solitary
stage. Sinister screams
shredding sane survivors.
submerged beneath
scandalous whispers,
salty streams gouge
scars across
strange faces. We are
shackled to the freedom –
till the sun releases us
into slumber.

Birthday Wishes

“Make a wish,” they said,
as I stared at the tiny flames, 
so many. So orange. So hot. 
I was more concerned wax
would drip onto the awfully
dark, black cake. 
Wishes used to be magical
when I was young. Clasped hands, 
closed eyes, whispering for
games, toys, sea monkeys. 
How easily happiness could be
bought at Toys R Us.
When I was ten, without my games,
toys, sea monkeys, I spent
my single wish each year on
PSLE, O Levels, GPAs
to satisfy my parents.
How easily happiness became
dependent on others. 
When I was 21, I started 
wishing for love. The kind
I have only seen in
books, movies, dreams
written by loveless people.
How easily I realized wishes
were never real. 
We throw our unrealized
hopes, aspirations, dreams
on the altar of candles,
watching the flames go out
in a breath of resignation.
“Make a wish,” they said,
so I blew out the candles, 
plunging the room into
Darkness. 

The hunter and the hunted

I shot a bird, soaring
in the golden sun. Wings
torn asunder, like fluttering petals
floating, falling, plummeting
amidst the smoky sky.
A blossoming plume of
crimson feathers.

I shot a hare, leaping
from its earthen burrow. Legs
ripped apart, like picked roses.
Trembling, struggling, quieting
amidst the tangled garden,
grasping vines tearing at
crimson fur. 

I shot a fish, gliding
in the azure waters. Fins
flailing as it sank, like withering leaves. 
Gasping, gulping, drowning
amidst the flooding tide.
Bubbling waters embracing
crimson scales. 

I cupped my ears with both hands,
as the deafening shots surrounded me.
Who was pulling the trigger?

I fell, tumbling
in the cloying smog. Looking
where my wings were gone. 
Floating, falling, plummeting
amidst the crimson glare,
melding with concrete everywhere.
A flower blooming on the sidewalk. 

I clawed, rasping
against the abandoned ruins. Bitter
soil burying me under broken bones. 
Trembling, struggling, quieting
amidst the crimson bodies of things I killed,
and things I have not. 
A little mound in the garden. 

I was helpless, sucked
into the inky darkness. Freezing
cold numbing the unbearable pain.
Gasping, gulping, drowning
amidst the crimson tide of
feathers, fur, scales.
A reflection in the water.
Silence, forever. 

Unexpected

Unexpectedly, your smile
Surprised the boy in me.
The candor, the relaxed
Words that breached my Sanity.

Your genuine demeanor,
Surrounded by the sound
Of music, dissonant chatter.
I loved the way you were found.

Piece by piece I unravelled,
The mystery that you were.
Filling each puzzle piece,
Our lovely banter.

Muddled words addled with emotions,
But words don’t mean anything,
When all we wanted was a bubble,
Where we could be forever.

The Rain

I watched as the heavens crumbled,
in sheets of salty tears.
The roof that once sheltered me,
now fragments of a million fears.
I listened to the rumbling tenor,
the orchestra of the skies.
I hid as the pillars shattered,
beneath the weight of plunging knives.

I prayed as the stars disappeared,
for guidance, hope and love.
Shrouded by the dusty clouds,
the empty, dying hearth.
I knelt upon the silver moon,
disembodied, crescent blade.
I fell from heaven’s embrace,
into the storm, that we made.

Time

I was Once told,

that time was the only constant.

Two many occasions we have lamented

the past, even as we are dragged, demented

through birthdays, alarms, schedules,

actions, thoughts, emotional dues.

Threes grow and wither, mowed down to build.

houses, dreams, that we clock

in and out, in and out, to afford.

We Four deeper and deeper, a meaningless cycle

of routine – eat, play, work, debts, death.

There will never be Five seasons,

we will never have a second chance.

Some choose Six, drugs, alcohol to forget,

while others accept the melancholic

countdown to the denouement of life’s act.

God created the world in Seven days,

but what have we achieved in seven decades?

We Eight, like gourmets, prance like kings,

a caricature of a morbid dream.

We are reminded, by the celestial sun,

which rise and set as we lie,

drowning in delusions at Nine.

Now and Ten, we would remember,

bygone eras and childish ambitions

as we scroll, to the TickTock heartbeat,

a crucial game, we could never cheat.

Finally, at the Eleventh hour,

we grasp at straws to find

meaning, what have we been fighting for?

At the cusp of realization, the clock

strikes Twelve, the next day has come.

Time has run out, and we turn numb,

forgetting what we really One.

Lost in Space

Lost in Space

We are planets, orbiting
In perpetual silence, wrapped
By the vast space
Which separates us. We
Strive, forced onwards
By gravity, but always ending
Where we started.
Decades spent in a never-ending
Cycle. To give purpose to life,
Death, love and loss. We spin,
Seeking the sun, a fleeting
Glimpse, followed by darkness.
Again and again we circle,
Narrowly avoiding each other.
Yet sometimes, we break
From our orbit to Collide,
Turning Into dusty debris,
spiralling into the abyss
Together. An asteroid shower,
So surreal, carrying our
Hopes and dreams
To faraway lands.

The Rose in the Glass

The Rose in the Glass

In a garden by the sea,
Filled with orchids, lilies, daffodils.
There was an odd irregularity,
A twinkling dome, of glass and steel.

For there she bloomed,
Of beauty incarnate,
A life so fragile, a rose so sweet,
A crystal Palace for the last retreat.

Encased in her private sanctuary,
Thousands flocked for a fleeting glimpse.
But from afar outside her sparkling jail,
The thorns within were left unseen.

The heat of the people’s adoration,
Sweltering envy mixed with lustful greed.
The delicate rose burning in scarlet flames,
Oh so dazzling, wrapped in smokey chains.

The sun would set on the trampled garden,
Long shadows cast across broken leaves.
The sweet smell of the dead and dying,
A graveyard etched, in black ink.

The people would leave with baskets,
Filled with orchids, lilies, daffodils.
The whole garden picked clean of life,
Besides the rose in her deadly vice.

For though the people wanted her,
She was a dream, unattainable.
And like the rest, she would slowly wither,
Never picked, but encased forever.
In her safe, transparent womb,
Which would then become her tomb.

Kuro

Black were my boots,
When we first met.
The pungent Kiwi,
You sniffed, curiously.

Black was the ink,
Marring sheafs of paper.
As you wondered,
I graduated.

Black were my nightmares,
As I wake, watching you
Twitch, Yelp, a ruckus din.
Tell me, what’s in your dream?

Black was the box,
They put you in.
Rigor Mortis,
Your loving heart, it ceased.

White is where I hope you’ve gone,
To meadows bright, and golden corn.
For light is all you’ve given us,
Kuro my boy,
goodbye at last.