I'm absolutely loving this poem.
It has got me reading and re-reading it for days, and poring through it line by line. But most of all, it broke my heart with the quiet simplicity in which it states the stark truth about unrequited love.
the girl who could love you
(6 spam fantasies)
You already know her, have known, will know her. She’s been waiting all her life, or for as long as it’s realistic to wait, if waiting is what one does, until eventually she settles into someone of whom she is mostly fond, someone kindly and to her eyes secretly dull, who knows neither the key to her secrets nor what to do with them. She is content not to be alone, and to be cared for dutifully, might even come to call it, loosely, love. You might think nothing of her, browsing through your database of faces. You might screw up, let yourself go, even almost hit her once and she’d forgive you, no questions asked, she would have loved you that much. You could spill the milk, forget the detergent, drink as much beer as you want, see other people, stay up late watching movies: there is nothing she could not overlook save your absence, replete as she is with the simple fact of you. Such ease with which you make her preternaturally happy, a carelessly tender word, the accidental brush of your fingers, a distracted smile between the shower and the morning papers. There is nothing you would need to understand, no lock you need to pick with care and patience, nothing to be said or unsaid. It would have been perfect. If only she were someone you could bring yourself to love.By Alvin PangQLRS Vol. 2 No. 4 Jul 2003
[I've only listed part VI of the entire poem because it's my favorite. For the poem in its entirety, please visit this page.]
The earth falling away, and already
I am falling into the past
, as the plane
climbs, and all New York shrinks
through the diminishing glass of departure.
Now the take-off into the zone of not-being.
Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bridge between
sinking, the streets like drowning songs
floating toward some foreign country
to haunt the unborn dreams. The peculiar
smells and sounds of each name will appear
like hieroglyphs of smashed meaning
upon landing someday.
Helena, what we found there, in the senselessramble through the streets of insomniacs
our thoughts groping like blind hands to connect,
to find a touch to remember our lives by.
will perhaps come back, when we forget
to remember, or remember to forget, when
lost in another place and time, we daresay we are lost, and lay our losses under a particular tree
, pick a particular stone
and let the fingers recollect as they trace
the lines in the earth's hands, the routes
down which the dead travel. Or writing
another poem, we begin listening to one
we wrote ensemble, the voice between our fadedvoices like a hand on the shoulder, saying"We were and still are one."
Somewhere along the post-bohemian walksthrough Soho and Greenwich
, our bones knew the need
to take the long voyage out to come back
to what we love, knew what we want arrivesalways too late
, like the good news at the close
of Hamlet and Lear, that we would never findthe simple words of the ordinary man and womanin love
. In another age, before our hands lost
their innocence, became ghosts, we might have lovedbetter, or found easier words that accomplish more.
Instead, over long and strong coffeeson Bleecker Street
, we looked as one at others, pained
voyeurs happy in the lives of others, blowing blue
riffs of smoke-talk, small talk, comparing lifelines
the distances between, improvising aroundthe eternal melody of loneliness.
Then the ride back to the hotel. Strangely
coupled, our souls in momentary harmony
we could have touched each other to silence
if the right note had found us. After the laugh
at how the day went, how we keep practisingthe art of losing
, the flick on of darkness
and the solo improvisations in separate beds.
But now enforced detachment, the print
of your voice, the strange, sad light in your eyes
the glow of your mirth in dim bars
are fading out, and I feel like one
going into a labyrinth, as the plane wings abovethe storm clouds
into the rarefied blue, dazzledby too much reality, too much light effacing
the short, strange life of our being together.
I hear a Finnish voice
singing "In the old songwe are on the way to each other."
trails off into the blue, and no one
will teach us again the words that touch,
and fold our hands together in one bed.
[From the book After The Fire
by Singaporean poet, Boey Kim Cheng
[Bolding of select phrases mine]
One sunny Monday,
we slept till noon, and had ice-cream for lunch. Pear sake and pineapple tart flavor.
The bus took us past our stop and somewhere in the middle of Katong.
We walked through blocks and blocks of flats,
and ended up in East Coast Park.
So we went cycling!
Pit stop #54: where we tickled some ah-cheks
with our high-action shoots
and did some gazing out to sea
but mostly, we just talked
and waited for a fish to bite
and then we cam-whored some more
Now, wasn't that a day as good as any?