Photo by Supply on Unsplash
  1. I’ve been obsessed with shaving recently. I’m not sure what it is about it that fascinates me – blade on skin, scraping scraping scraping until the board is wiped clean.
  2. If I shave every 2 to 3 days, and I wash myself after, eventually a full head of hair will form itself somewhere in the sewer.
  3. Sharp, close, the taste of iron. Tongue caressing steel.
  4. When I last went for surgery, I was put under anaesthesia. I couldn’t remember much, save for the moment right before everything went black. Lights dimming, lowering.
  5. Grunts in the dark. The curtain is still drawn. I am lying almost-naked in bed with my thoughts and feelings. It is a new morning, like how every morning is. Refund, return, refund, return. I want to turn but it hurts. A dull ache at the base of the spine. A dagger long rusted.
  6. The blade of my tongue is in need of sharpening.
  7. Yesterday, I went out to buy a new razor. This one is curved, and supposedly more sensitive. Imagine that as a metaphor. Go on, do the work yourself. There are no shortcuts I can offer.
  8. In Turkey, there is a practice for divining the future from the grounds left over in a cup of bitter, thick coffee. You flip the cup and let them run slowly down the sides, forming some kind of Roscharch painting. I don’t know how to spell it, but everyone knows it, and as such, everyone knows what I think about that practice.
  9. This morning, when I was washing the razor, the orphaned hairs formed a message in the sink.

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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