RE: TO ALL CHICKENS CONCERNED
Here is the latest coop from the Progressive Chicken Party (PCP):
The Party believes in equality for all chickens;
no chicken should be left behind, caged against its own will.
Eggs must not be aborted into omelettes but must claim
their rights; as shell-shocked chicks scrambling to life.
All chickens suffering from cage layer fatigue
will be given a free pass to watch Chicken Little.
Chicks are yellow because they have escaped the yolk;
they are free range children of the sunny side of life.
Cockerels rise to greet the dawn, chasing the devil away.
As hens lay blessings, chickens are the progressive proletariat,
watchers of time and egg, hard-boiled believers in suffering.
Stop chicken genocide. Go for the cows, they won’t see it coming.
Chickens will be restored as oracles; once we brought
prophesies to pass, we still guide nations from the dinner table.
The foundations of philosophy have been laid from us;
which came first, the chicken, or the egg?
In other news, the Hen Pecked Association of Cockerels is organising
its annual summit on ways to minimise committing domestic fowls.Read More
Something I wrote for a reading at the close of the Singapore Biennale 2013.
Cosmology of Life, detail
After Toni Kanwa’s Cosmology of Life,
Singapore Biennale, 2013
If empty has a sound, what would it be?
There has been a sign hanging over this door
for as long as I can remember. It waits, resigned,
the way some shops are perpetually on sale,
their dusty eyes with no expiry date staring
balefully at shoppers who pass them by.
For rent, the sign speaks, in a thick steel tongue,
its prayers unvoiced as I grow older, and still, this
gnawing continues at the bustling heart of the city.
I can only imagine the unconditional summers
in the eyes of the man who laid the first brick
in this façade before it became forgotten, while
we laid down our pillowed offerings elsewhere
and promised to appear fully stocked, steering
through the solitude of a thousand ways
to fill our lives while the world turns, slow as ever.
So we consume desire in passing eyes, we drink,
in the shadowed days, the sighs of crowded hearts.
But look again, past the sign. The cosmos heralds
a thousand voices gathered around in the shape
of life. Look again, at its curving pageant, its delicate
pleasures, look how it falls in order. If empty has a
sound, it might just be the hum of possibility when we
take down the sign, and start to fill this vacancy.
In the beginning was the Word eternal,
sunshine of the spotless,
mind petals on a wet, black bough,
the best laid plans of mice
between the shadow and the soul.
Death is nothing to us, since
there’s a bluebird in my heart, for love
is strong as death, friends, Romans.
Countrymen, lend me your hope,
is the thing with feathers, all kisses
are metaphors decipherable by sea
that bangs in my throat. Between my
fingers and my thumb, I wandered lonely
as a cloud, the mind is its own place.
I have heard the mermaids singing
when a woman loves a man, the clock
strikes with her hands, when we two
parted in silence, your absence has
gone through me. The breezes at dawn
have secrets, the rain is full of ghosts.
Do I dare disturb the universe?
You can hear the dew falling.
I carry your heart with me and
your fingerprints on my windows
in the machinery of the night.
Between the dark and the daylight
the stars are not wanted now,
death makes angels of us all.
Two roads diverged in a wood
and in between are the doors.
Now I’m trying to dig deeper, things
fall apart; the centre cannot fear
in a handful of dust to be, or not to be;
I still have time to be, a narrow fellow
in the grass, going where I have to go.
Tonight, let us not become tragedies.
To err is human; to forgive, I celebrate
myself, and sing myself. Like a bridge
over troubled waters, the weight
we carry is love.
Although this is technically not necessary, nevertheless here are the lines by their authors in order of appearance:
The Bible, Alexander Pope, Ezra Pound, John Steinbeck, Pablo Neruda, Epicurus, Charles Bukowski, The Bible, Shakespeare, Emily Dickinson, Saul Williams, Anne Sexton, Seamus Heaney, William Wordsworth, John Milton, T.S. Eliot, David Lehman, Saul Williams, Lord Byron, W.S. Merwin, Rumi, Edna St. Vincent Millay, T.S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, E.E. Cummings, Allan Ginsberg, Henry Longfellow, Jim Morrison, W.H. Auden, Robert Frost, Jim Morrison, Richard Siken, W.B. Yeats, T.S. Eliot, Shakespeare, Anis Mojgani, Emily Dickinson, Theodore Roethke,
Buddy Wakefield, Alexander Pope, Walt Whitman, Paul Simon, Allan Ginsberg