Monday, 2 November 2009

Sharlene Teo - One Poem

“That summer, at home I had become the invisible boy"

That year I could stay
in my room for hours.
I would lie in bed
staring at the ceiling,
shell-shocked by a kind of
elegant blankness.

I’d seen this brand of
blankness in movies
before, curled around
the barrel of a long
shot. Leading man takes
lady’s hands.
Clinically tender, he turns them
over like old coins,
as if searching for the rareness,
the responding warmth which
should rise like a clear note,
a sigh, soft steam from a
broth. Outside the diner,
bombs go off.

My father forgot to go home
in the late light. Search party
of one; maybe he left
a message. I comb the coast
shaking starfish, throttling
seagulls. For lack of envoys,
I scour the sand for slow cursive,
beer-bottle, sea-mail.
No sign.

This is what I tell myself.
I tell myself I’m giving up
on people. Moving up to
the mountains, away from every
mouth. I am tired of how people chew
and cluck and crinkle. I want things
to be inchoate, simple.

Always wondered what it would
be, my totem animal. A stag,
perhaps, slow canter, bright
eyes — nothing so noble. It would
probably be a hedgehog; stray
dollop, far from doubting whole.
As a child I watched this cartoon
on television, the Hedgehog in the
Fog. Wild and scratchy, it flickered
through four o’clock and
left me speechless — I had never felt
so cleanly alone. And it keeps on
recurring — bright like blindness,

blip-sized world.


Matt Merritt said...

Fantastic! Absolutely loved this.

blackseafleet said...

wow. i have not seen such good fresh work in a long time.