Sunday, July 15, 2007

Expanding an idea

This is a poem that I wrote a very long time ago, and which I have posted very early on in this blog. In a way, it is another re-post, but it is more than that.

The reason I take a look again at this poem is because of the honest and insightful comments I received regarding this piece. And I am thankful for that.

Gilbert Koh, lawyer, poet and Golden Point Award 2005 winner in English poetry, nailed it when he commented that "The poem tries to capture a very heartlander part of Singapore life, but some of the language used was distinctly non-heartlander..." Gilbert went on to give a detailed and helpful analysis of the poem.

SilverMoon, a blogger artist and poet, also offered some helpful suggestions. Thank you, GEL (yes, that's what she is known as now)

I am not rewriting this work. Instead, I am writing several poems out of this piece. Expanding an idea, writing from the experiences I learned from living at that place. And yes, this batch of work will be my submissions for the GPA competition.



dirty window pane
image enhanced by dsnake1
from a photo from imageafter.com



Jalan Bukit Merah




       Panties on bamboo poles
       like battle flags
       Lifts eternally reeking
       of urine and sweat
       The dusty stairs are stained
       with vomit of heroin
       The graffiti on the walls
       speaks for all.

Packs of young punks, with nothing to do, except
smoking, bragging and cursing their blues
"Shall we lay a girl or two, bum?"
"No joe, go home get your parang"

Some poor bastard gonna lose an arm or two.

1st Oct 1978
************


I am mindful that this poem does not give a true and exact picture of the place. It is a tough neighbourhood, but I do come across a lot of very nice and kind people there. Mostly, I have very fond memories of the place.

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12 Comments:

Blogger polona said...

this definitely has potential.
wish you luck with your submissions :)

16 July, 2007 04:26  
Blogger Plus Ultra said...

I like the raw language, makes the poem even more immediate and real, this is probably a conversation overheard in the void decks....ks

16 July, 2007 06:02  
Blogger floots said...

a real sense of rough tough urban life
cheers

16 July, 2007 14:47  
Blogger Pat Paulk said...

I've always had a more romantic view of panties. Eaw is the only way to express the reality of this poem.

16 July, 2007 21:36  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

polona,
thank you!
i am still struggling with some of the poems. :)

hey Kianseng!
Long time no see! (conversation in the void decks!)

cheers!

floots,
thank you!

pat,
:D

17 July, 2007 00:43  
Anonymous gautami tripathy said...

You won't believe it but it speaks out for certain parts of Delhi too, maybe Mumbai...

I wish all the luck in the world..:)

17 July, 2007 21:00  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Gautami, for your encouragement. :)

i guess all big cities have some rotten parts... :)

17 July, 2007 22:26  
Blogger J. Andrew Lockhart said...

very powerful! reality...

18 July, 2007 11:31  
Blogger magiceye said...

wow very powerful!

18 July, 2007 14:12  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

andrew,
thank you.:)

magiceye,
thanks!

19 July, 2007 09:03  
Blogger Rax said...

like gautami, i find this scene in parts of manila too. wonderful work indeed. looking forward to the series you will make on this. a picture perfect piece, that captures not only the scene but the underlying stories within. good luck on the competition

19 July, 2007 20:58  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

rax,
appreciate your kind words, thanks! :)

21 July, 2007 00:42  

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