[SingPoWriMo Day 5] i’m not lying, even, not really.

Singapore Poetry Writing Month Day 5 Prompt: Write a poem about everything you would like to say yes to.

i’m not lying, even, not really.

when i’m telling my mother about my friends’ boy troubles,
that a likes b, so on and so forth, while b likes c,
she looks over knowingly and asks “what about you, and which boy is of your fancy?”
i blush, grateful that my family’s at least this open, and deny any involvement in these stories
i’m not even really lying, strictly.


when my father tells me all the good traits a boyfriend must have
patting my head before enquiring if i have a “good male friend” currently
i’m caught, momentarily, in all the responses i can possibly offer him
before deciding to just shake my head, and say no, not at the moment, not really.
i’m not even lying about that, technically.


when my grandmas on the phone
asking in loud, boisterous chinese
if i am in a “relationship”, and who’s the lucky boy?
i laugh, quickly, buying time to find a response
this one’s just a tad harder to avoid lying about, so i don’t beat around the bush
and i tell her i’m not thinking about dating boys right now.


when my class plays truth or dare
hollering about how we’re “too old for this, guys, come on”
and i have to tell the truth when asked if i have a boyfriend (“be honest! karma will know if you aren’t!”)
i can laugh and shake my head and say no, don’t be ridiculous, who has the time in this economy?
and i know i’m not even lying, really,
but i share a smile with my friend who winks at me surreptitiously.


and when in ethics class the lecturer asks if a lie of omission is the same as lying itself,
i stay silent
not sure if i want to know the answers to that question
cause i pride myself on being an honest person
just that sometimes, on some things, i talk in half sentences.


no, mama, i’m not interested in boys right now (or ever, because have you seen a girl, oh my god, they’re so soft and so much easier to love)
no, papa, i don’t have a boyfriend (but i do have a girlfriend, you know the nice girl that comes over every week, ho boy don’t i have explaining to do if this ever comes out)
no la ah ma, where got time for boys! (girls though, that i have time for, do you know how much less time i have to waste reminding them not to mansplain things to me?)
no la yo i not dating, a boyfriend and 3 essays due next week? who do you think i am, superwoman? (a girlfriend and 3 essays due sound manageable though. sorry not sorry.)


the ethics lecturer keeps talking
unaware of the flashbacks and monologues going on within me
the words ive never finished saying and the people i’ve deceived
and he asks, how much should we forgive lying out of necessity?
that’s when i give up listening
and drop a text to the person most dear to me.






[a note: not strictly personal! also! i know i started on day 5 ok SHHHHHHH HAHAHAH also ya i did manage to fit in #bonus1 which called for 5 nos to be include in the poem about saying yes, but however i did not eat cake (which was bonus 2.) but anyways I AM TRYING THIS SINGPOWRIMO THING OUT I ACTUALLY DO HAVE A POEM FOR DAY 2 HAHAHAHAHA SO U KNOW. I MIGHT CLEAN THAT UP & POST IT AS WELL. ho boy but also really this is really not about me it’s maybe a portion of my life but not fully YA JUST DON’T ASSUME THINGS ABOUT ME FROM THIS PLS THANKS OK I AM OUT PEACE]

lil ranty rhyme-y thing-y

sometimes to make myself feel half decent i’ll tell myself i deserve better. that for some reason despite all of my crookedness i don’t have to deal with the same in others. and that when you jet off yet i linger i can ask myself how is that what i deserve? that i am always the one more eager but everyone has their own different emotions and all of them are just as real as another’s. just because i feel my own the most intimately does not mean that mine’s the only one that matters and i do not think of these things often but yet now i do, yet now i do.

maybe it’s not about due, or being deserving. it’s high time i let go of the comforting notion of karma. regardless of my faults (of which there are many), that doesn’t justify me refusing love just because i don’t think i’m worthy. i don’t have to do this to myself that’s what it boils down to it reduces down to the truth that tears away my self perpetuating berate hitting me with a sign in my face that says “you don’t owe fate anything” and maybe i don’t. maybe i don’t.

a wise man once said that we accept the love we think we deserve but aren’t we such terrible terrible evaluators for our own self worth? isn’t it ridiculous how a quote from a book for a teenaged self still stands true in the face of adulthood? a cheesecake to you might not be a cheesecake to me. then whose words should we believe?

anyways i think i’m just a lil sad and a lot confused. about my arrogance and my shame and me wanting to pave my own lane; fuck fate. about deferring to higher forces and considering if that’s laziness or humility. about preserving pride or happiness, and the strange strange way those two elements intertwine. i’m sick of this. i’m sick of this complexity, of making decisions, of being vulnerable to my very own emotions. is this what being alive feels like? when can i stop lying to myself just to make myself feel better? why does everyone i choose to trust die?

just a lil sad and a lot confused. but what’s new? •u• *shrug*
[a note: i feel uncomfortable calling this a piece or anything! its just me being a lil ranty & this is how i keep my rants from being to aggressive, i guess, i prose poetry the crap outta them. shitty art for shitty emotions, i guess.]

an early Thursday morning, an ode to public transport

an early Thursday morning, an ode to public transport

this morning I lay in bed
awoken by my bladder
the lone motivator for my voluntary movement, these days
but I lay in my bed
and it was the early morning, mind you, the time when the city was alive but not quite awoken
where the masses stumbled under the greater influence of routine than of conscious individuality
although what is individuality but a matter of perspective and scope
but for the sake of the next 29 lines of prose
let’s assume that with enough similarities
individuals form a cohesive enough unity

and I lay in my bed
listening, to the sounds of this mass of a city
go about the beginnings of a truly ordinary day.
and I thought to myself
I have never heard the crickets sing, in woody forests
nor have I heard of a silence that, to hear my father say it, becomes so encompassing that it overwhelms your senses
that you cannot help but take notice of it
so look, I am 17
I was born in one city
and brought up in another
and this morning I find myself awake in a third
where my grandparents complain we live too close to the road
and the cars make too much noise
but I know of nothing else, and I want nothing more.

so I lay in my bed on this normal morning
and thought about how much
I love the sounds of this city
and how soothing they are to me.

then I closed my eyes on this average morning
and let the warm hubbub blanket me
the bells on buses ringing
the exhausting pipe poisoning
the tires, multiplied by friction, added the variable of tarmac, spat out the sound of resistance
these urban sounds – the most enthusiastic,
most comforting usher –
guide me to slip, gratefully, back into a settled slumber.


[a note: lil love song to big cities. love y’all]

who is your enemy

the ending of poems i did not mean to write


i find it hard to enthuse about the current news

title from a poem by ogden nash. highly recommended, btw. also, ranty personal ish blog post ahead haha

i cannot do this. jesus christ it’s 2:38am and i’m reading an nyt article about how trump is doing all these terrible things to sustainable energy and you can’t even talk about it because you’re so tired and they won’t listen so what good does it do. we can be better all we want but one asshole can come and bulldoze all our efforts away and how is that worth it? how is that even— why? is it money? because how much money to you want? how much money to you need to have?

on a separate not jenn ah aiyo i thought we were gonna do this anymore. b i thought we agreed to leave that all behind? yet here you are again. flustered, vulnerable, trusting. you’re so eager for friends on the same wavelength as you. you’re scrabbling for people who have the same (unconventional) values as you. didn’t we talk about this, when we talked about independence? loneliness is the 0 value on a sin graph; we’re gonna encounter it again and again and again. and how are you gonna learn how to deal with that if with each time you just say “it’ll tide over when i find a stopgap”? i’m trying really hard to be more positive about these things. cynicism is fucking tiring, thats what they don’t tell you. is it better than disappointment from hope? idk, & idk if i wanna find out.

can we just hit fast forward and get to the part where everything is comfortable?

here, give me that

[a note: idek what this is. i might brush it up???? i genuinely have no idea what this.]

here, give me that

here, give me that— no, the other one. give me another muse. for there is but myself and another, and the cities that sprawl, and the nature that sings. i wish to see more, feel more, receive more, so that i can devour the words, process the images, digest the colours, and give it back to the world newly arranged and freshly minted. give it back to the world how one’s eye might see it knowing full well that another’s will likely see a wholely different thing.

here, no, give me that— the other one. give me a new perspective, for i have had that of a child, a toddler, and a teenager. for i have had that of a female, an asian, and the other labels society puts on me. for i have had the one these eyes offered me. but give me another, i wish to see these concrete buildings and see beyond that to the flatland it used to be. i wish to see my own wrinkles and shaking hands and judge for myself then if it is as repulsive as i’ve always believed, so i can come back, and tell them, all of them like me, that we were wrong, that we were right, and rightfulness no longer matters, that we should value something else instead. so that i can come back, grown, learned, and eager, to spread.

no, give me that— here, the other one. give me more emotions, for i am sick of the ones i’ve been made to feel. the boredom of time squandered, the urgency of time meant to be better spent, the happiness and sadness so fleeting it is hard to recall just how they have felt ever again. give me a hopefulness so strong no negativity can extinguish it. give me anguish so pressing i cannot tell the left hand from the right one. let me feel all i can feel so i can come back and tell you what it felt truly having lived.

give me that, the other one, here— no, actually, please don’t do that. for life is for us to grasp ourselves, for the joys of fruitation will not be as sweet have they been handed instead of pursued. for life is, after all, just a series of tries. then because we will, we must.

[end notes: completely unintentionally, this mess of a piece has the same ending as lanterns, the one before it, except lanterns was about how necessity spurs will and this mess ends the other way round. lel idk I HATE ENDINGS OH MY GOD]

what burns colours into you?

i have never felt less alive. i am a mockery of who i aspire to be. routine is comforting and great and all, but routine from mindlessness is absolutely stifling. i have never felt less engaged with all that i love- i have not seen art in so long, i have not sat through a hockey game in the longest of times, i have not discovered new music , i have not unearthed new creators, and instead i reread books i’ve read before in a desperate bid to find comfort and emotion. i have not written or created in so, so long. my mary oliver book is overdue because i have yet to find the energy to finish it, yet i refuse to return it unread, for that surely is a sign of defeat. a definite sign that paints out loud and clear: i no longer have time for art in this shadow of a life i have.

this mindless shuffle for greater achievements is unbecoming. this withdrawal from activities that stimulate you is embarrassing.

godamnit, jenn

once again, here’s the century-old argument between fate and freewill

reading old writings always strange, lol. like, i titled this a “century old argument”, but answered the unspoken question explicitly in the last verse. what childlike simplicity in the confidence in our bluster lmao 

once again, here’s the century-old argument between fate and freewill

They all say that fate is gracious that fate is kind,
okay but why, then, why,
is love for only the desperate, the innocent,
and the blind;

They all say that fate is impartial that fate is just,
okay but why, then, why,
do the rich live with diamonds the size of
the morsels of bread for the kids in the Jordan dust;

They all say that fate sees all that fate will know,
yet the zodiac killer is still unknown;
swindlers still live while the innocent die,
and Lucifer’s eyes will remain bright.

They will all say what they say,
while we will all do what we do;
and the truth is, my dear,
fate can’t decide anything for you.