alvin pang

Half Mystic Radio, Season I, Episode VIII: Without the Lead of Sunlight

Welcome to Episode VIII of Season I of Half Mystic Radio! I’m thrilled to share that HMR is now available on all of your favourite podcast platforms: Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, & Soundcloud. You can subscribe to the podcast for free, & stream all episodes on those platforms now. Please also leave a rating & review if you enjoy Half Mystic’s work, so that we can reach more listeners! This is the final episode of Season I of Half Mystic Radio, so we want to hear your voice as we think about whether & how to potentially record a second season.

If you prefer to listen in here, Episode VIII: Without the Lead of Sunlight is out now—

This episode features Alvin Pang’s poems “Untitled”, “What It Is Like to Go Blind Slowly”, & “Humming (For Pooja)”, & Daniel Gallie’s song “Coming Home”.

Alvin Pang is an internationally active poet and editor from Singapore. Featured in the Oxford Companion to Modern Poetry in English and the Penguin Book of the Prose Poem, he has been published in more than twenty languages, including Swedish and Croatian. His latest book is WHAT HAPPENED: Poems 1997-2017.

Daniel Gallie listens for the melody that lies within the heart of every good poem, the voice in music that moves the heart, and the harmony of their union when they dance as one. With morning comes the gift of the day in which each moment opens itself to be mined fully, to gift its meaning, its pleasure, and its love as blessings for us to love in return for all that has been received and all that has yet to be given. The dawn is metaphor for the coming spring, the entry into life, and the renewed commitment to make this world a welcoming one to those who wish to come home to the person they were always meant to be.

If you’ve enjoyed the snippets of light we’ve shared without you throughout Season I of Half Mystic Radio, don’t go yet! Please do share your thoughts on Episode VIII with us using the hashtag #halfmysticspeaks. Or, you can @ us directly on social media—@wearehalfmystic on all platforms.

Thank you for listening throughout this season, dear friends. I & Half Mystic love you always & always.

Untitled 

Words are waves, how the deep speaks 
from one shore to its other, and hunger too 
is a song of the road, its keening. He tells
 the raucous mynahs to carry his freight. 
The sun to send grass, from whose susurrations 
he learnt the language of caress. He remembers 
the pumafold of your back, the fleeting emberscar 
of your breath on his cheeks. Left on his lips
the promise of sea, the scent reached for 
on every coastline, you both so, shy of storm
 quickened at the prospect of rain, listening for bells 
with fingers on mute, wet glass.

What It Is Like to Go Blind Slowly

Even black holes let glimmers out: like the ghosts 
of signal, fugacious, dubitable. They're calling a name 

at the nurse's station: is it yours?  That's just the brain 
dreaming it is whole. Sometimes the switches snap from use. 

Sometimes the damp gets in, or rats (ha!) chew up the circuitry 
and before you know it you've gone and ruined someone

else's retirement.  The stew a little less salty, every time. Sea 
stinging a little less, becoming more horizontal, more cloud. 

I did not notice the edge of the glass, it was suddenly there
like bad news in the mail. Like a phone call after midnight.  

A faint tea scent, like distant lips.  The sun with a headcold 
come to collect. Not enough to take home in a bag: finish it here 

or get some help. Nobody is going to stop being happy just because 
you broke your eggs. It gets night earlier and stays there. 

Muffled laughter, but with photons. The pillowy underneaths 
of blankets. Tree bark scraped off so the sap dries out. 

Did you touch me or did the feather of a crow?  Speaking louder 
or more slowly doesn't help, you know. Be thankful for the rest 

of the cutlery drawer. The stench of roses. 
Get your garden ready before the gate closes. 

Humming (For Pooja)

“The hummingbirds hover in mid air desperate with agitation and blue hysteria” —Pooja Nansi, “Dear Alvin”

I want to slow down the framerate to see the chopchopchop of their pinions, their lesson that living is movement. To see what all too swiftly progresses. Too many things will soon be this grey blur as they pass me by. The heart, too, races for the cliffs, has learnt from cartoons this is how to take flight, that the fall only resets the game. All too often you hear birds before you see them, overhead, the hiphop of a hundred daily battles to mate and feed and fend. I want to know it is alright to let go of knowing. To steep, below the green canvas, in blind listening. Just as the flock of our breaths follows the long river within us home without the lead of sunlight. In the night that will soon become my day, drums roost, strings nest, words play, colourless, untethered, aloft.