Photo by Rick Tap on Unsplash

Hammer drum the nail behind a spine
I am letting God go to work on my back
the notches of my spine as steeples and
the bruises as my alms and offerings
Oftentimes pain is the sign of existence
plenty of our relations are based around it
I think about its transactional nature
and I am tempted to say that we can’t avoid it
The hammering drumming pitter-patter of
keyboards, the tick-tock of stock market
brokers eyes fixed on the screen, all this
purpose we invent for ourselves, all this
power we locked away. I think about
the painful nature of transactionary
thinking, how we only do anything
if it benefits us, really. God is smiling
on every dollar note, in the curve
of every number, the ridge of every coin.
I wanted a better way to be holy, to be there
for others, but part of me realises that this
might be a defense mechanism against
some lingering sort of guilt, the fear that
no matter what I do it is insufficient, the
penance rejected. It is early now and I am
awake not to do anything for society. I am
just thinking of ways society has hurt us,
and how we can hurt it back but know its prayer.

Freewriting Explanation: Every day, Valen shall use 5 minutes to write completely unprompted and uninterrupted, letting the words lead the way. There is no end purpose to each piece, but rather, the pieces are allowed to develop naturally in their own way. The pieces are then uploaded without edits.

Filed under: Freewriting, Poetry


A member of Singapore-based writing collective /stop@BadEndRhymes ("/s@ber"), Valen dwells in the swamp of poetry. He has been published in various publications, including Anxious Poets Society, Eunoia Review and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore. He has performed his work at the Arts House, the Singapore Art Museum, and in various dingy bars.

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