On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous

on earth we’re briefly gorgeous—pinkdot 2018 with readers & friends alike, the brightest smiles, the loudest songs, the tenderest souls true & imagined—so in love with this sunlit afternoon, this dizzy magic, this rainbow-scented dream, this feeling that maybe-just-maybe our country loves us exactly as we are, nothing more & certainly nothing less—i think i will forever remember our sunburns as haloes

"I want to wake up & realise there's no such thing as skin to burn." (a poem for you)

Good evening, my loves. I'm exhausted tonight, & sort of overwhelmed, but in a beautiful way, a way full of gratitude & cloud-shape, a way made less of ache & more of soft. I don't know how to put the feeling into words, really, but I'm glad for it. It feels very steady, very true. Like this is the texture life is supposed to have always. There's so much left to do, so much left to say, but for now I'm tired, & it's been a long day, & I'm glad you're here reading these words. I have a small ragged poem to share with you entitled "For H"; it's quite an old one, but nevertheless a quiet fumbling thing that I am rather proud of even now. This piece was originally published in Reservoir Literary, alongside some utterly incredible friends—I'm so pleased it's found a home where it can close its eyes & let down its guard, a home where it's safe to breathe in all the warmth it's surrounded by.

Singaporean darlings—if you're in the area, I have an event coming up this Saturday where I'll be writing on-demand poetry in celebration of my publisher's new pop-up store. It's from 4 to 8 PM at Great World City, & there will be free drinks & food, & I'd so love to see you. You can RSVP right here - come say hello & I'll write a poem just for you, a keepsake & a thank you note for gifting me with your presence.

In the mean time... I do hope you enjoy this piece. If you have a moment, I'd love if you shared your thoughts with me in the comments below. Thank you so much for your support.


For H

so we’re in your bedroom    which is another way of saying we’re in    the dream your mother had of       a different childhood the one          so gorgeous she sliced it in half with her own carving          knife              anyway           i’m lost in the aisles of the grocery store so please come find            me please come         find me please come find me please                      i want to leave you exactly as you were before     i want to wake up & realise there’s no such thing as skin       to burn           i mean i’m the one who lit the match in the          first place but sometimes i forget where my hands       were made to fit        i           mean i’m lost please come find me please             come find me anyway           your mother taught you to be a good girl        which is another way of saying she taught you    not to take up space with your wanting     so we’re in your bedroom & i’m                        tracing a match to the road of childhood in the throat                shhh your mother doesn’t like you with matches in the              bedroom doesn’t like you    lost in the grocery store       the grocery store so careful so quiet it’s    terrifying        how much i need you here    it’s terrifying              shhh   your mother doesn’t know about this        shhh   two girls are in a bedroom & now               there’s a wind that knows their names & now               there’s a match there’s a carving knife      which is another way of saying your mother        always thought i was a bad influence              you’re impossible your eyes are so goddamn loud so goddamn gorgeous i’m              in the bedroom & your mother can’t know     i’m in your bedroom which is another way of saying       somewhere a dream is losing the will to live         which is another way of saying please             don’t leave me alone in the aisles   of the grocery store              we’re in the bedroom we’re together we’re          alone don’t leave me         alone               shhh   put your ear to the door      listen to the wind      your mother has a stranger’s carving knife &      she’s sharpening it into     light

Thursday, December 28th / Half Mystic's Issue IV: Grazioso

What an incredible night. Thank you all infinitely for the light & warmth you brought me & the HM team this December 28th during launch of Half Mystic Journal’s Issue IV: Grazioso. I've always known how brightly this community of songbirds shines, but it was another thing altogether to see you in person—the support you showered on each of the scheduled performers & open mic readers was stunning, ethereal, so many definitions of melody. Thank you for filling BooksActually’s tiny space with your voices, for joining the HM team in our celebration of light as we waved goodbye to the grazioso era & to 2017. Everything blurred & full of wonder, every song like a prayer, like a poem, like a ray of light, a creature caught mid-bloom. & love, love, love, so much of it, tender & immeasurable, rose-lit & whispering against every surface. I am so grateful.

If you haven’t purchased your copy of Issue IV yet, you should remedy that soon (we’re very close to selling out!). Thank you especially to the five gorgeous writers & musicians who came on the 28th to grace us with their work—Jonathan Meur, Daphne Tan, Cyril Wong, Joshua Ip, & Natalie Wee—as well as Kenny Leck & the BooksActually team for providing us the space to showcase our creation. Happy Issue IV, friends. I & the team adore you.