Our issues melt away and run, like dirty water into drainage pipes. Black fishes into estuaries. When we are out of each other’s sight, we’ll be out of our minds. Flushed away and forgotten. Invariably some scum stays: stains on a manhole. Is it disgusting? For me to wish thusly: I want to know everything. What are you doing right now? I wonder as I type these words, whether an old poem would remind you of me. Or maybe, an old Weezer track. A putrid display of cliche. Whether some strange, blackened memory comes rushing back out of the depths of the sewer we consigned ourselves to. Something no-one wants to see nor clean. Things – and people – we’d rather let rot somewhere else. So let me say it again, I wish to know everything. As if repeating it makes it any cleaner. I am scrubbing my mouth with this repetition. No matter how disgusting it may be – I want to know where each river ends, where every one runs dry. I want to feel this world: every festering wound, black-mold enclave, drip of a shedding. Every single shoddy half-written metaphor. I want to see you, behind your squeaky-clean 5-stars public-toilet facade. And I want somebody to tell me – that everything which was filthy was fine, everything which was wrong was right – that everything which was not, will be. Truth be told, I’d love it to be you, but I know. I already know the answer. My mind has no qualms with being in the gutter, as ever always.
- (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:
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
I am the first to awaken the first pod to crack open I am the unfortunate accident 90 years too early I am the lonely man the first man the first man to walk 90 years too early I am a system malfunction of a man I am the ship and its pods and the cracking I am silent I am cruise through asteroid belt I am in isolation malfunction in space isolated I am despondent I am an engineer engineering the fastest route to Nirvana 90 years too early I am the hammer cracking you open Aurora I am smitten I am reviving you I am revival I am sperm egg zygote I am your malfunction lonely man unfortunate accident 90 years too early I am devastated lying Scheffler in a pod floating through space I am the place/space in space/race only man in this space/race unfortunate I am prepared to die with or without you I am dying 90 years too early I am being written into your book covers closing like pod doors like millenniums like Buddha’s palms I am the We in the contrived ending I am sperm egg zygote Homestead and Avalon 90 years too early I am hammer glass shatter penetration penetration I am devastated in a pod floating through revival I am an engineer engineering Nirvana dying lying through space 90 years too early malfunction sperm smitten written malfunction unfortunate Aurora unfortunate revival 90 years too early Aurora Aurora Aurora
spwm day 6
When the holes started popping up so did the epiphanies. Men and women rushing to the mountain, eager to find where they fit. When it showed up on the telly I wanted to switch it off – but there I was, rewinding and rewinding the footage, trying to see if anyone I knew had gone there. I had hoped that they would try going in, like a key in the lock. If I could, I’d push them in myself.
Having spent my life on the path, I learnt one day that I was but a stepping stone, when all this while I thought I was moving.
These holes, they stretch all the way through. One in the hole slowly moves, elongated in all directions. There is no way of turning back. They walk deeper and deeper into the the earth. I sat that night in front of mine, peering into the black. This was my hole. Of all the other holes my size, my heart had decided that this was my own. And so I could not muster the strength to go, nor the strength to leave. So there I lay, imagining myself walking through miles of stone, with no light, no sound, no end to be found. I imagine another me having made it through. What would that me look like?
I sat on a hill in Vietnam, looking into the distance. There, I could glimpse into infinity. Surely somewhere, elsewhere, there is a home I do not see myself in. That is a world of nothing but happy places, a glorious plane, one I cannot and do not belong.
There can be no salvation for me now. No escape, no return. The walls close in, like mothers whispering love. This is the path I had chosen – and now I must die on it. Or worse still – I don’t.
Paralyzed and emotionally stunted,
poet finds solace in unread words.
Sometime tell me it’s wrong to
be. Mad, about everything and
nothing. Sad about something
for sure. If God is real, is this
ataraxis, or bad writing? Am
I a background character on
this ugly stage? The man in
a tree costume. I feed, off
the bright of these stage
lights. I stand reluctant.
I want to live – I want to
die. I see your message
and I don’t reply. The
sun rises; I turn away
into falling leaves,
stage left; to no
no no no.
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.