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.











Author: Marc

Creative educator. Sometime photographer. Fiddler of words.

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