Sunday, May 09, 2021

Tai Seng

He sat across from me. He said, "I will bury him." I thought, this guy is very unhappy and crazy. "Look, let's have another beer and I will take you home. Where do you live?". "Tai Seng", he said.

photo by Darius Bashar at Unsplash

Tai Seng

talking about
                 Tai seng
when we were watching Hard Boiled on the CD
you know, you can wander into that place
and never come out again.

taking another
                 swig of vodka
she in her teddies just bored
i have been there a couple of times, told her
the guys there are quite friendly

once i went there
                 to play cards
and when i left one of the guys
lifted a zinc sheet off the wall and outside
was a tiny alleyway with cut steps

just follow it
                 to the bus stop
just so casual, like old friends
the other time we went there to get grass
we found out what a labyrinth means

the dealer took us
                 left and right
we went through someone's house
the people didn't bat an eyelid, just nodded
like it was another day in the office

her silk dudou
                 a distraction
on the screen Chow Yuen Fatt
was shooting up the gangsters in the teahouse.
but i didn't seem to hear the gunfire

this probably is not a good time to talk about
                 Tai Seng


Ask any old-timer where are the most dangerous 'hoods on the island in the 70's and they will rattle off names like Tai Seng, The Gasworks, Geylang and Redhill. And in most lists will be Tai Seng.

Band-Maid - Thrill (スリル)

© cheong lee san ( dsnake1 ) 2021

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Blogger Rommy said...

It just goes to show some things are a lot more than their reputation might let on. But a little healthy caution in certain situations isn't a terrible idea either.

09 May, 2021 22:54  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

a little healthy caution in such places is always recommended. :)
Thank you, Rommy!

09 May, 2021 23:09  
Blogger Gillena Cox said...

Your poem took the labyrinth path. Nice one

Happy you dropped by my blog today


10 May, 2021 00:35  
Blogger Helen said...

I love reading your poems .... cheers.

10 May, 2021 01:03  
Blogger Magaly Guerrero said...

I've always found "dangerous" neighborhoods alluring. I know, very irresponsible of me. But I just like looking at the locals, getting to know them, finding glimpses of living like your poem, which end up giving the place soul.

10 May, 2021 03:31  
Blogger colleen said...

Sounds like a dream or a movie scene. The last line broke the tension.

10 May, 2021 04:19  
Blogger Rosemary Nissen-Wade said...

Fascinating! Ah, the risks we take and the situations we survive (sometimes more or less oblivious) when young. At any rate, that's what I'm reminded of, reading this beautifully crafted piece with its mix of reminiscence and immediacy.

10 May, 2021 08:29  
Blogger Marja said...

You painted a great picture of a a place which is like any other place They just deal with problems in a more dangerous way

10 May, 2021 09:07  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you! :)


Thank you! :)


'dangerous' neighbourhoods. i just happened to live in one at that time, and know of others. like you said, each place has their character and flavour. because of different dialects or race.
thank you for your comment! :)

10 May, 2021 12:45  
Blogger Old Egg said...

Sounds as though the best time to visit there is about midday then I'll have a better chance of getting home alive and with some cash still in my pocket.

10 May, 2021 15:24  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


yes, a Chinese movie was used in some of the lines. :)


Thank you!
when we were younger, we were much bolder and risks weren't that frightening.
glad it reminded of the silly things in our youth. :)


Thank you!
yes, they just deal with problems in a more dangerous way.

10 May, 2021 15:30  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


yes sir, you are right!
it's not really a gambling den, usually games between friends (and not so friends), and the night is best left to more serious stuff. :)

10 May, 2021 15:35  
Blogger magiceye said...

The other side of urban life.

10 May, 2021 21:26  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, magiceye!
yes, the underbelly. :)

10 May, 2021 21:30  
Blogger Debi Swim said...

What a fabulous story you wrote with a authentic mood. I felt like I was in a noir movie where the slow-witted detective suddenly realizes there are more things at hand than reminiscences. I really enjoyed this.

10 May, 2021 21:34  
Blogger dsnake1 said...

Thank you, Debi!

LOL, loved the comment : "the slow-witted detective suddenly realizes there are more things at hand than reminiscences"

10 May, 2021 22:35  
Blogger Jim said...

Sort of like the "Hotel California"?
(It's in an oldie song if you care to read or to listen.)

11 May, 2021 04:55  
Blogger dsnake1 said...


Thank you!
perhaps it's a little bit like that, with all its dubious characters. but we still can leave that place. :)

11 May, 2021 14:26  

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