Fragrant Island and Three Other Poems

by Deborah Wong

Fragrant Island

I sing praises
to the fragrant
island milk tea
before it has
deposited into
else’s velvet hole

Turbulence break-
dancing inside
Deftones on ear-
phone talent-scouting
Change (in the House
of Flies), amble motion

where the taste of
birthing dusk,
transfigures the
back-packing dawn.
Engorging twaddle
moon of tutu,
quietly knitting from
the walrus moustache

Poaching love marmalade
by the Bangkok Venice,
Capturing picturesque
of wallflowers’ parturition.

Swim Dry Water (游干水)

Crack, clung, crack!
More than 24 Rounds to go

Honey, I just realised my sketchpad
had vanished w/out a trace

Mama-in-law turned them into
Four-Walled-Tango of North/South/East/West
Red Peacock guarding White Paddy Board

Sounds of augmented ceramic pieces cleansing
Blessed by talisman water at the mahjong table,
I can’t help but look on when mama-in-law
whisks me to the kitchen, insists that I should
start the fire burning; simmering black glutinous
inside the Guangzhou crack pot –

Use only the said –
And don’t ask the reason why

Searching Happiness

After ‘Tears of a 70 Year-Old Nun’

Dust collecting and bound
on hard surface. That night
I flip it to cure insomnia. Page
one-hundred-sixty-three sent
forth to brain receptor. Having registered
each stroke of characteristics, driven
clue to unearth my sorting emotion.
Gripping thorny edges, knuckles
turning pale. Reluctant to tear it,
mixing altogether with talisman water.
Because of the author, living and
breathing, and celebrating, he
has chosen the path of a sinner;
walking in Gautama’s belief. Still,
I’m learning the subject matter.

Cemented Avenue

The time is 2315
Emmanuel is on air
By the alley heading to Aberdeen-jai
Vertigo of microscopic skyline

The room misses your presence
I’m marrying the air-ventilator, tonight

Folks are ready to bed, early
Inhaling joss-sticks to compensate the
desire to touch and feel

Thinking of you
please fly me to thermosphere
Next door, cubicle-like tofu
Manchurian casket singing hymn

It’s approaching 2345
The bed is our enemy
English-Cantonese verbal intercourse
Suffocating this –

Cupping my breasts to test the gravity
I squeeze you hard, mirror-facing

Your veined palm asphyxiating
like candy in the chamber of inferno

Woman’s tears are to defeat men
Shedding blood, only to the hostile nation


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