alternate forms: Cop-out, 虎头蛇尾
copout (plural “copouts”)
- (Literal) A situation whereby police officers have either been prevented from doing their job properly under any circumstances. These may include anarchy or cowardice.
- (Idiomatic) A term used to describe poems written with extremely high effort and thought but disguised as low-effort so as to suit the Asian Values of humbleness, honesty, and horseshit.
- (Idiomatic) To avoid performing something at all or to a requisite standard, for instance, writing shitposts to fulfill all 30 days of SingPoWriMo. Alternatively, to go back on one’s commitments. See definition 1. Also an adjective. (“a copout poem”)
- (Idiomatic) Any excuse used to avoid performing said tasks or duty. See Chao Keng. Examples may include stress over finals, stress over the finality of life, et al. Also a verb (“to copout”)
- (Idiomatic) A person who cops out. (“what a copout”)
- (Colloquial) A common mispronunciation of kapoot.
Examples of common usage:
My heart is the beating of a thousand schoolchildren. My heart is a hostage situation, and I am both inside and outside the school, both the gunman and the cop. I am the tracking lines of the bullets in the rifles and in the pistols and the half-scribbled chalk on boards. Or maybe I am not. Who is to say that I feel anything at all? Who am I to say that my heart is any more traumatic. I must be honest with you and say that I don’t know whether what I’m writing is true. For all you know it could all have been horseshit. I need someone to teach me how to feel, lay out definitions and guidelines and terms and conditions so I can line it all out within the classroom of my chest, my heart a fevered student. I avoided seeing the truth for the longest time, pacing about in the halls of this hallowed institution, the petrichor-ridors of my chest, waiting for people to turn up to class. But I have been relying on other people’s answers for too long. It becomes evident that I must toss out all these extra staffs. Fire the janitor of self-depreciation. He has done nothing but to spread the rot. Get rid of the security guards, the campus cops who do nothing. They did nothing when the trigger ran up and down the halls like the world’s most exciting playground. Send the nurse to medical school. She’s written up excuses for me long enough, and the stress is boiling over into viciousness. Me, I don’t keep to form. Can’t. Throw away my faux pas rosary. Don’t let all of this become kapoot.
Acrostics. Academia. Balancing work, life and a healthy sleep schedule. Breaking up in your head with people you don’t even go out with. Confessing to your first love at the wrong place and time. Denial when you don’t mean it. Even if you do mean it, does that really work? English as second tongue. Editing. First strikes when you don’t have the time to think them through. Fuck as a vulgarity, not a noun. Falling into love at first sight – how cliché. Generosity just because people ask. Honesty when no-one does. I as a singular noun. I as a concept. Just joking, fake philosophy and pseudo-spiritualism. Jamming words together to sieve out poetry. Kafkaesque as a word. Keto. Listing out words and calling it poetry. Laying out scenes and calling it love. Lying about the writing process. Love as an independent variable. Misreading the Tao Te Ching as Dao De Jing. Making an audience hum while sober. Memory loss. Monkdom. Never making the first move. Or just being content with letting things slip. Or just being content with repeating yourself. Orientialism as a concept in the 21st century. Pretending to be woke when you’re still asleep. Puns that no-one appreciates. Puns disguised as poetry. Quokkas. Quips about things no-one cares about. Quantum theory. Running to lose weight. Rote memorisation. Rhymes that don’t rhyme. Lines that ruin your form. Short-term memory loss. Slaying your daddy unironically. Slaying as a concept at all. To be honest about things that you’ve never thought about. Thinking about things that you’ve never thought about. Thinking about people 24/7 that you’ve just met. Thinking. Underestimating when love can strike. Overestimating when it does. Forgetting to keep to form again. Uniqueness as a selling point. ‘Valen’-themed lines because really, how many times do those work? Writing poems to people who will not read them. X starting any word other than xenagogue. You spilling your personal life into groups of 5000 strangers, give or take. Zen Buddhism, but as an aesthetic. Zealotry, but only for self-destruction. Endings without satisfactory closure
spwm day 16
We are stamping each other to death in a furtive Cha-Cha. We will lock ourselves in birdcages but shout at those who sing. We eat our meals in a feedback loop and soon the man in the tasseled fez has taken our job. It’s ok because We Are Majulah; we are onwards we are progression we are inclusive except for those we don’t include. We will give up our seats reserved for the elderly but not the normal ones. We will be seated far from the fat man in the purple shirt, far from the man whose sweat smells like dust and cement. We will create a safe space. Those are precious; that too is Majulah. Elsewhere on the globe a paper writes about a Singaporean Family Feud and we chant, Sue her! Sue her! Sue her – that too is Majulah, that is only necessary, that is only love, that is only the Singaporean way. We are Majulah; we don’t turn back on what we do. There is only forward.
Write a poem in the first person plural, i.e. “we”, with a minimum word count of 70. Contain this poem to a single, unbroken stanza with no line breaks, using at least one of the following words: LOOP, PURPLE, GLOBE, TASSEL, STAMPING.
CHALLENGE: Use all five words.
KAMIKAZE CHALLENGE: “We Are Majulah”
Latest version available here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/singpowrimo/977440642371187/?notif_t=like¬if_id=1460589431047639
Second entry for prompt here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/singpowrimo/permalink/977471922368059/
You knew when it’d come around. It’d never knock on your door, like a mailman with a parcel. It wouldn’t call you beforehand. It was all predetermined. It would kick your door down, yet creep in afterwards. And the time would indisputably be at night. It suits the ambience after all: it suits the mood of the scene. Just you, in your house, and it, walking down the hallway, muffling its breath, hushing its footsteps, creeping, slowly. Yet you hear it still, like the heartbeat of a dying man. It comes. It strikes, only when you least expect it. You can shut the door. You can turn off the lights, lock yourself away in the closet. You can pretend it’s not there. That it doesn’t exist. Yet the end is invariably the same – by the time you start to feel its presence, its scaly hands pounce: and it clutches onto your guilty, guilty breast.
transmitted messages to orphaned pagers litter the landscape, sullying the soil with words which follow others , phrasing phrases such as “I’ll call you sometime”, “I’ll see you tomorrow”, et cetera et cetera ad infinitum. we lie facing up, like numbers on a tattered phonebook – seeking reception – but we operate face down; plugged out, zoned out, ruled out. our batteries seek chargers and the chargers seek us, yet out in the dark, the lukewarm glow of a mobile phone still illuminates a face. in its eyes lie the answers to everything you wanted to know, but never dared to ask in person, for fear of interference, of eyes peeking over your shoulder. the world continues to turn, and so we orbit in turn. There is nothing to stop this connection. I call you. Ring.
Another attempt to emulate Harvey…I have some time these two weeks. Might as well try writing more.
What lies ahead after these two weeks?