Quarterly Literary Review Singapore
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Vol. 1 No. 1 Oct 2001

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On Offal

lau lim pored over a stack of brochures —
sanyo, hitachi, national, westinghouse.
a washing machine, a compact dummy-thing,
has replaced the dhobi, spreading out clothes to dry.

this man, as job epithets go,
is in the porcine line — stall 27;
his pig-intestine soup diffuses aroma to all.

a pig is a very compact arrangement
and lends itself to gastronomic deconstruction,
every which part is tedious and messy
but no parts more so than the innards —
slippery, slithery ropes to hang
culinary excellence on.

the scraping of the mucilage takes two people
some hours each early morning, a job
of moan and groan. worst of all,
not showing up is total loss of trade to the man
pursuing the brochures with a vengeance.

bypassing light cotton, delicate fabrics,
and other settings, his two sonys whirl and churn
loud and clear. if you look at the glass windows,
grey snakes glide in quick-heavy motion.
and, from the bowels of these machines
to the boiling cauldron, it is a duplicitous movement.

what a congruence
of processes it all is:
the soup arrives,
for you and for you,
steaming in your face.

By Arthur Yap

QLRS Vol. 1 No. 1 Oct 2001


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About Arthur Yap
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Return to Vol. 1 No. 1 Oct 2001

  Other Poems in this Issue

Fair Youth
By Arthur Yap.

By John Tranter.

Incendium Amoris
By Alvin Pang.

Garden City
By Gilbert Koh.

My Father Growing Old
By Gilbert Koh.

By Megan Ng.

The Wandering Eye
By Dominic Chua.

Concealed Exit Ahead
By Yeow Kai Chai.


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