Photo by Alicia Steels on Unsplash

Arms take to music, each limb
a swaying branch, my room an
opera’s booth; music streams
softly down the mountains of
my shoulders. I am perpetual
in rehearsal, drinking in the
introductory steps to how I can
be art, which is to say. how I
can obfuscate which I am to say.
I imagine the artist’s mind like
a clam, opening up to swallow
sand only to create a pearl.
Each grain stuck behind molar,
dagger-tooth, to change what
we step upon to what we place
above ourselves. There is an
uncertainty to how art is to
be practiced, and I find myself
musing about loftier concepts
even as I dance with nobody
in the curtained stage of my
5 x 5m room. A foxtrot, a
left step over a cliff edge,
a head full of rattle and sun-
spot. I imagine myself the
pearl and my brain a sponge
to be wrung dry. I find not
art but disappointment, but
most art is disappointment
with a bow tie, and maybe
most art is just not named.

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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