Within Singapore, Verena Tay (www.verenatay.com) has published two short story collections, Spectre (2012) and Spaces (2016), and four play collections, and edited twelve fiction anthologies, including Math Paper Press’ popular Balik Kampung series. She is now working on her first novel as part of her PhD studies in Creative Writing at Swansea University.
Today hot. Lucky I rest.
artist draws woman sitting
In her curves, there are lines, and her lines, curves.
friend paints artist drawing woman sitting
Get right – shape, position, colour – you have a picture.
i describe friend painting artist drawing woman sitting
I see. I like. I write.
you read me describing friend painting artist drawing woman sitting
* inspired by Liu Kang’s Artist and Model (1954). Oil on canvas. Collection of the National Gallery Singapore
curl your shoulders
fumes feed your
i me mine
exploding then rules
and audiences have learned
read only your body and
wonder how you
won respect when all you
* inspired by Latiff Mohidin’s Aku (1958). Oil on board. Collection of the National Gallery Singapore
Curated Five: Only in Singapore
Each pencil-charcoal shaded paper
Human form perfectly caught
Three profiles facing left
Two girls, one man
Two shirtless youths
One full-bodied, gazing left
One seated, turning right
Note their ethnicity
the road oft taken
roads are never equal. poets always claim:
wander to wonder, explore bent undergrowths,
discover divergence. the efficient truth is
we’re forest shrews scurrying black
the everyday path until we know well
how many steps taken to and from home,
where to swerve, not trip over dip-holes,
when to slow down, not fly over bumps,
and crash into our enemies’ mouths.
surprise is far too risky. can we survive?
ages hence, the woods can be just as glorious
by absorbing how way leads on to way.
evolved into blind mole rats, we’ve kept alive.
so why can’t we hold our heads up high?