Quarterly Literary Review Singapore
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Vol. 2 No. 3 Apr 2003

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Memento Mori X

These days, the meteorological report winks then slips behind its water sleeves. Last night's sandstorm has whipped the logical dunes and unearths colossal worms as they gape for air. Framed by a ring of white marquee lights, his eyes roll in ecumenical suspicion, just when an albino anaconda slides down the waiter's starched lapel as spy-movie jazz glides over thunderous rubble from a distance. Instead of striking the triangle, you insist on drawing up an axis of evil in the stable crowded with vicious donuts. As always, his pointed ears pick up the rattle of marimbas in the ghostly corridors of the synagogue while funeral brass swells with wipers of mass dyslexia scraping against his corrugated temple. A catholic pumpkin explodes and lets slip the imperial agenda: You've been an accessory in this homophonic rubber. So let's blow a didgeridoo for united seduction.

On his way to the supermarket to get new rolls of toilet paper, he thought he saw three or four swami slither on your future tombstone and hum a calypso tune heralding The King Cobra. That's all it takes - a careless twister. Meanwhile at the Symposium, professional gunmen comb the theatre for anonymous lice in monochrome trench coats as the Orator delivers a nation's address and scratches his balls. Mutinous simians and wild horses slip in by the backstage to steal the drum machine from beneath rifling feet and banana skin. I want to sink my teeth into stiff necks and taste the rush of livid fear and unplug the spigot of power. O, what it means to be cocksure!

The day will come when the velvet rope is released, the persuasive zither leaves and we won't be stuck in Lucky Restaurant where the chips are itchy and the bats awake. Let the incubus feed on lackadaisical waitresses while I eat the ruddy-cheeked bellboy with sentimental disinterest after what shall be, mercifully, his last supper. Just then a cavalry of clean-cut statisticians enters the palace through the revolving door armed with white papers and power-point presentations. Soon, the bill will roll in a jiffy and the fiscal justifications are ready to rumble. Bite the bullet and face the magisterial typhoon, the cowboy decrees at the Council as the cloaked, slick stranger takes a sip of caffeine then spits it out.

He's crossed out the puzzle and silenced the ingratiating xylophone and now waits for succulent lawyers who stop by the drive-in with incurious birds for fast food and quick-fix powwow. Car keys rustle in duplicitous pockets and supple buns shape things I cannot repeat here. The sofa reeks of fragrant sulphur and his throat's gone hoarse from pop soda and fatal jingoism. "What you don't see could kill you," intones a pretty slit hooker to her American beef jerky who pushes the button anyway. "You know, historically, with my beak I'd have unlaced my bodice-ripper for your unspeakable lust," shrills the Chinese seamstress before she zips up then splits. Latest satellite shows impending cloud coverage. A patty melt with extra cheese spilt over Baghdad, dessert ambushed in fork of night. It's time to feast. Oil drums roll. Springs swell. Rather than face a shooting squad, my favourite day would be that smoke-free afternoon: I'd slam the door, crawl out into the sun and combust.

By Yeow Kai Chai

QLRS Vol. 2 No. 3 Apr 2003


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  Other Poems in this Issue

Beethoven, Opus 92
By Zhang Ruihe.

The Wall
By Eugene Datta.

By Eugene Datta.

By Ng Shing Yi.

The News
By Joanne Leow.

Second Day of Mourning
By Gaston Ng.

You make it easy to leave you
By Wendy Gan.

By Grace Chua.


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