my mentor likes the poems i don’t

Those read like LRT doors,
a cat’s flehming every few steps so
we can see down its throat, swallow the 
it choked on last night. The tracks I prefer to
follow nearly nudge the flats, 
close enough to kitchens
and bedrooms and 
TVs and towelled girls to
give us the frost we deserve. The closed lid of the cat,
its orange curled, crumpled till our hands
reach to tickle. Then it yawns.
We cannot believe what we see. Next station
is across the country. The places 
we’ve passed
we’ve alighted. 5th life down, now irretrievable –
perfect, the cat grins. But my mentor likes the poems
I don’t have the cargo to milk, nor the milk to cargo.
A cat’s nature is to curl, lean against the rail.
When its belly is prodded, it mews and cleans itself.

duck tusks

”Pain is truth; all else is subject to doubt.”
J.M. Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians

                                                   we saw his head see circles as it fell.

the elephant in the room turns
its tusks towards the sun. this is a duck
crafted from gold, the buoy i must
inflate – i swim to it.

my nails barely make a clik ting
when i realise the kuap kap
kiap- ah shit, i should have reached
for thick skin instead but this is what i saw.

                                  but my hands, they had been behind my back

to have a gnawing not your own is
guilt’s webbed feet, it goes swoosh
swoossawoosh to keep up, keep
you up, till the colour smushes 

fingers like a Midas spiak fiewm.
i can only envision a step-ball-
change to the trunk that stores
exit, bla biash bleugh into untruth:

                                                    his head was in your lap when it fell

from the elephant’s mouth. the duck is
germinating tusks and grey skin
fold after fold replacing gold
still afloat, the yak yap armoured now

with blood and script, tuned to the
resonance of repetition, of you you
you and your lie lie lie till you lie
down down with that lie now:

                                                    his head, it was in my lap when it fell

it was at the tuck of dusk
i confessed to what i had not done.
the sun turning away from boom
boom corhk!, watering its mile-long nose

                                                                          under my hand and it fell.

flight fight


tabula rasa
beginning had always been white-slit
black-think, crevice here to please donate

dollars, perhaps drop sense, or identities free
to dark into an eternity
for uterus soils to raise once more. 

this ground has been stamped before. now
the laundry of flags is grasping its colour, elephant
slates wash their green. they are circumventing
the apocalypse of the eleven-floor
claw climb.

forgive us, father,
for we know not what we have
dug the ground and found, this whiteness
splayed by movement – this arcing motion over
heads; sometimes it is difficult to see.

a decade and we are still ejecting paper expecting
flight – how do you expect to fight the flames you
fan yourself? never less,
in heat we will still
cursive; conceive; conjure; 

we are the creators from creators. we hit the
marks left
to etch further 

the whitewash with black tint,
those kamikaze men,
nosedive, still standing.

international buffet of closed doors

in this flat no one ever feels like eating.

since when was it this way –
“we all eat everything, i trained them from young”
bean sprout? get the plates out;
liver? who’s faster?;
fish eye? a fist fight;
third serving? oh we’re all in.
we had four stomachs eight plates,
then dessert: two hot, two cold,
a cake knife, and a box of agar agar
whose colours played striptease with
every three hundred meals.

ta da!

the last layer was white.
in this flat no one ever liked the coconut layer
the red bean paste
the attap chee
the under-every-plate grease
lying aside the fractured-finger-fork.
neither wants a fuck; neither gives a fuck.

i walked an hour to take away.
when i returned to kiss the handles
the knocks on every door kept them locked.

2 ol 2 b excptinal, anytig spcal

i am approaching anciency

my expiry date the distance between
index finger and thumb,
beheading fluted plastic.
it is dark blue like the wine in my dream,
moët’s skinny dipping into flames
and this is how i taste my shrivel

they don’t feel that spiced dryness but i do

do check the carton before
purchasing any product.
2 ears late and the milk is sour on the tongue,
curd rising into its cream architecture
that knives the palate open as his
jaw shuts to a close

alligator i have broken you

elevator a love letter, a date.
eighteen years and quickly dying, damn.
choke that thought at its condensation
the light of the mind is blue like Plath
as dramatic, as true,
my yellow tongue pressed up against

your two front teeth are cracked

like the erosion of cameron highlands.
a landslide victory to nine years
and now a tumble down the stairs at
nine years more. my curdle fertiliser pours
into the soil of your lips, how
mutable, how they open

into the terror of my name

it is grey. first a toddler petrified, age-old,
no clatter of teeth but an exhale through
wrinkled crevices exhausted of rupture.
it barricades a lie, the noun your milkweed
melts into a mild meek smile
actually actually actually

, defined as the overstepping of time
rotten tongue missing the mark of the mind.

et 8 ate

walk yourself some pork trotters
some dear pork trotters walk yourself
beneath blankets clean with dust from
a 19 away house. the children run to
conflate and then new ones again,
house quiet of red packets,
loud with fireworks that in this decade dare to scare
not in hand and into tyres –a shiver shock happiness–

but into smoke, air, hands transposed
to ears and not more fuel.
even without crawling after tradition
we shred the wax from giant candles from flower gardens,
a passing that remains, an abalone-linger. like sticky stick
the zinc spurts with every fold of mandarin,
old tongues on diamond-bedded sofas tasting
other lovers. stochasticity,

two spring cleaners.
and after largeness the trees are still bleeding
the same grains, flurry flours that melt
to a stop by stop by stop by stop
an eeny meeny miny moe
these voices still running, top-speed and drifting
taking turns pointing fingers
a year a date a passing that’ll stick.