“And I knew that in spite of all the roses and kisses and restaurant dinners a man showered on a woman before he married her, what he secretly wanted when the wedding service ended was for her to flatten out underneath his feet like Mrs Willard’s kitchen mat.” ― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

My mother says she’s afraid for
my freedom, that i will
lose it. Lose that freedom to my
husband, who will grow old to
become a religious nutjob.

That my children will have no freedom
dictated by the will of her
Cross. Dictated by what is true
in the minds of your JAKIM,
PERKIMs and what not.

That my life will dwindle,
diminished in the hands of
those men.

But my freedom is mine, mother.
Are you like those men? Of course not.

Those men think that they are able
to grasp the choices of others.
Dictate will.
Dictate freedom.
Those men know my body more than I
know it myself. They know what
shade of red stains my sheets.
They know the moon when it
waxes and wane.
Those men know.

Basked in the golden rays of
goddamn prayer. So bright. Light.
Lies.  there were words uttered only to
keep up with appearances.
these are words to save our souls from the fiery
pits of hell, my mother says.

Forgive me Lord for I have sinned.

My mother. Your MUIS. God forbid we let
devils and jinns touch our souls. My mum
so afraid that her heaven won’t be mine.
Where else would I be, if not hell.
The megaphone screams the azan at
the crack of dawn. ‘beware hell’

No cross is mine to carry. I will
tell you, because I know when the
sun strolls along my back. I will
tell you, even when the cat’s got
my tongue. I love you, Ma. I can tell
you to trust me.

But these men.
I will burn the three RM50 notes
given by these men as an offering
to ghosts in the month of July.

chasing your dreams with vodka

hi. nothing’s so pure as this feeling, my dear
the one where you’re staring at the bottom,
bottom. groomed by the bottle.

you weak as shit. drink more. drink till your lungs
give out— to breath, to life. to the concrete pavement
plan of tomorrow’s Latter Day Saints’ morale.

this will be a toast to the reckless,
the young, the free, the wild.
there’s a gaping hole in the horizon.
don’t wake up to see it.


For MaPoWriMo 2016. https://db.tt/LbzBucKQ


1. You and I. We were always sinners. Together with the banished son. The son Kinoingan left at the foothills, for he was a sinner. The heavens folded. As man, he sinned again. The earth wept for our misgivings as Kinoingan grew angrier by the day.

Kinoingan’s wrath no longer incontestable by the seventh disaster, his only daughter sacrificed herself. For the sake of mankind, she plunged into the deep waters. Huminodun’s spirit merged with the earth. Bambarayon shaken to an awakening and made whole again. The paddy fields bloomed, golden and beautiful, swaying with the wind on this land that lies just beneath the typhoon belt.

2. Bambarayon is broken. We learnt our lesson once and forgot about it. We divorced the lands. Drink to forget. Fill our tajau some more. Drunk and aching, believing we are gods. Huminodun replaced with wearing crosses on our necks and heeding calls to Allah. Excavating dirt, we found only empty chests that leave us yearning. We quit looking towards the sleeping giant. Forever banished at the foothills.

Written for MaPoWriMo 2015

“The poems in this collection were taken – unedited – from the entries for May 2015’s Malaysian Poetry Writing Month (or MaPoWriMo for short). Participants wrote a poem for each day of May. This anthology is the result of that effort.

To join future editions of MaPoWriMo, be part of our group at facebook.com/groups/mapowrimo.”

Download here – https://mega.co.nz/…

coastal highway

We are ahead even before sunrise.
trying to exist, here and now.

in the big city living means a constant
drone of sound, from dawn till dusk.

Each pedal warrants a longing for
home. as in the Coastal Highway.
as in watching waves crash in only
a right turn of the head.

I had dreamt of wasps chasing me.
in this city. When i woke, i breathed
in ocean salty air. My heart left by the
coast. i am a ghost hovering,
by the sidelines.

work in progress – not entirely sure how to continue anymore

You placed my hand over

what you call your lopsided chest. You said
“this is it. This is yours”
I swear that day your skin was paper thin
that I could almost feel what was inside your ribcage.
I am climbing those walls, guarded
searching for an entrance

But lover, I can never claim you

When we met for the first time,
I didn’t think much of you. of course, I didn’t.
I only told a friend across the ocean that i am
thinking twice over that boy, the one far away.
I didn’t have your number but I knew you
by the two-syllables that spooned in my tongue
quite nicely. Now I call you by something else,
a shared word between only the both us

Perfect, you’ll say
I’d say: I don’t know but this bloom just keeps growing
and I’m afraid a storm might brew and blow
all the flowers to smithereens. What ifs, right?
It’s always these things that keep me awake,
but I’d pretend not to notice because
what if one day I don’t feel the same.
what if, what if, what if

there is this slow and steady burn

lover, i can’t assure you but it’s there
it’s not a flare, and nothing like fireworks

on New Years.

the dim light is

bright enough, dousing your eyelids
lover, it’s also form and presence,
the cadence of your fingertips
on the plateaus of my arms

to ex-lover, dearly departed

the gaps between our

last words expanded
and the walls raptured.

no longer habitable to
each other, i left when
the sun sought refuge.

i could not see your eyes
with clarity. the moon
held no light for you.

i had wept when the
swell of my dreams
carried you, a vagrant

limbs moving with those
other faceless women.
no such dreams, no more

you are almost a mirage
an obscure apparition
drifting away, away

on another note. over the phone yesterday:

“what perisa (maggi mee) did you cook?”
“how does that taste like?”
“like yellow skin. mmm”
“sounds delicious, sayang”

I didn’t answer “chinese” on purpose, I swear.


I got used to you, too much
the ancient hours graze an all-too
digital face as the seconds
dissipate, in between the dark
of this dingy hotel room
locked inside out, i don’t mind if you
swallowed the key

we are apart
my head rests on a pillow where i
cannot feel your weight, and i
imagine silence that can stretch to a
forever that i do not want to be a part of.
i don’t ever want to listen to just my own
breathing. so i want to take you on my astral
travels, and then some.
never apart, again

i quit being a singular organism
that is merely a part of this throbbing
universe because you are here.
i question a force that is beyond you and i,
when the first cell emerged from solid rock
3.5 billion years ago. if we are all speckles,
you are still slight larger.
i am younger, a mystery to myself while
you know where to land

i got used to you. of course
you are faultless in this endeavour.
i have only myself to blame for trying
to hitchhike onto your orbit
i’m trying to catch up with the miles
you have travelled and when i finally lodge
myself next to you, then maybe we can start
counting the next ten-thousand, or a hundred more.
whatever works

there are no maps to follow
no ‘x’ marks the spot. i am blind on this
journey, so i have only my hands to hold you
until fuel burns out. (oh god, no)
i’ll find a way to survive if dislodged
maybe another lonely planet to venture
and all that’s left would be your form grazing
a half-past midnight shadow of myself,
trying to be alright