The Leaves That Could Not Burn

There is a tree

that waits,

whose leaves cannot be burnt.

Men hold flames to it

but cannot charr nor singe it.

They cannot catch onto the

fires thousands try to give it.

The day will come when its branches 

waste away to ashes,

and its roots curl to the gods 

crackling like coal in a furnace.

But its leaves will lay scattered on the flaming

ground,

Untouched.

Unharmed.

Unweathered. 

Mr Cat Is Wet

Mr Cat

is wet. 

I like

Mr Cat

wet. 

-A reading from the Gospel of Mr 

Alex Ian Loh, 2014.

The Little Boy and the Ice Cream

Once upon a time there was a little boy who really loved ice cream. He had only ever tried ice cream a few times in his life but he knew what ice cream was. He had seen movies and tv shows, read books and poems, and danced giddy to music all about ice cream.

But he could never seem to get any ice cream. Whenever he thought he found ice cream, it always turned out to be frozen yoghurt. But the little boy didn’t want frozen yoghurt. 

So he made a wish every night for ice cream. He wished he would one day find ice cream, plenty of it, and he wished that it would last forever and ever.

One day, the boy got his wish. He woke up to find an ice cream truck right in front of him. A few seconds later another ice cream truck appeared. And another. And another! Soon, there was nothing around him but ice cream trucks oozing the fuck out with ice cream just everywhere and the little boy said “what the fuck la” and he was so overwhelmed with ice cream that he just died. He just lay the fuck down on the ground and he died.

The End.

The Magician

I feel a thousand eyes and their fixation

on the stillness of my being. 

I lie there, in the middle of a parade atop 

a cliff. 

I am impaled through my back

by a large pike that suspends me above 

the ground. I spin

hypnotic around my own

inhibition. 

A man with my face and the 7th

shade of my voice speaks,

he calls himself the greatest magician of all time.

He assures the crowd that I am alright,

his certainty masks my stillness. 

Though I am already dead.

Though I have been dead for a long

long time. 

But nobody knows. 

Some rabbits don’t need to be pulled out of the hat. 

The Final Power

Change my boots and go back into my cave. 

Make my life a permanent celebration and take back the power,

give back the common. 

I will be my church, seek the breath of salvation to become

the reins of my prophets. Holding back

only what I cannot keep.

I am the human at the violent hour. 

Heave the tears and be the human

at the violent hour. 

The man going back into his cave

to never show again. 

samvattanika

I walked along a path covered in leaves, smoke crowded over my feet, gushing into the blankness of my footsteps. 

I walked rhythmic, stepping beat for beat to the drums in the distance.

I saw my grandfather who had turned into an owl, who sat with frameless glasses, magnifying his already large pupils, on a tapestry over a fallen log.

He gestured for me to come closer and I did, growing eager with each step. 

Rhythmic, stepping beat for beat to the drums in the distance. 

He pulled me into the tapestry and shot me through a universe I could hardly imagine. Wisdom beyond all worldly understanding. 

On an undulating table cloth we swam through the liquid of my consciousness, feeling each drop of thought sliver past my cheeks and onto my neck. Dripping seamlessly down past my body and onto my feet.

I saw each knot in my soul untie itself and lay themselves before me, baring all truth and understanding to my beating heart. Overcome with an overwhelming sense of acceptance, I stilled my motion and began to listen.

I heard everything beautiful I had ever remembered, music beyond all sound, perfection beyond the imagination of the great composers. Melodies infused with words that bore the calm to the rage of war that stuck onto my veins. 

Music that ebbed through my stream of the present and lifted me above and beyond the limitation of my own inhibition. 

My grandfather turned to me and whispered, “When you can feel. When you can understand the beauty of that which lies above desire. When you can accept the living life in all things you see with your eyes, smell with your nose, listen with your ears and touch with your hands and hold them close as company enough. When you can forget the arrows and stones that stay trapped at your feet and release the scars that lay webbed across the underside of your skin. When you can see beyond yourself, you will find your peace waiting there for you.”

He disappeared in a morning mist that dewed my body, blessed the darkness with crystal light that clung eternal onto the surface of my being.

An arrow on a compass stopped abrupt and pointed.

I closed my eyes, cleared my breath, shed the boulders that hung heavy off my shoulders and followed. Step by step.

Rhythmic, beat for beat toward the drums in the distance.

To Feel

I held on to you like you were a crucifix

and my entire body 

the trembling hands of a man already

dead,

whose flesh wheezed weak with any real will

to see the light of tomorrow.

So long,

one day we’ll laugh and cry 

and cry and laugh about it all again

with the leaves on the trees softly sighing 

all around us. 

Some days, 

we just want to come close to dying

to feel like we’re alive. 

Boy, 1901

Take my shackles, take my bones,

take my shelter, take my home.

Take me with you when you’re not alone.

Take sides, take fights, take lefts, take rights,

journey us away and stay

and pray with me. Stay with me. Be brave with me

past police men suited full, swirl,

see you in full, swirl,

hope with me for a beautiful world.

Fill cracks in the building walls with,

some gum you left in your wallet,

we’ll tape them shut and hope to god that our plans don’t go on stalling.

Fly kites too close to the sun

to bite too slow and be shunned,

watch the chances dance and prance us round

cathedrals preaching, teaching

messages of St Francis,

and then float away.

Watch the moments with me.

Cast the dark out and flee.

See the golden arrow

pierce the sparrow then

make a stand, make your mark.

Make your plan, take my heart

and come away with me. 

Perhaps, Maybe

I see you,

in the halfway point between consciousness

and lucidity. 

.

You do that

thinking thing you do about the future and the past but

never the present

.

Where I am.

Next to you beneath the sky painting pictures of lonely roads,

and tired feet.

.

You flash your

smile that glues my soul together, even if for a second or two,

and I am unbroken. 

.

I wish that

you knew you were as beautiful as you are, your skin nestled neatly around

a breath-taking whole.

.

You make me

want to be better. To believe in good. To believe in

love, again,

.

like it was possible.

Relic dreams of that “if,” relic dreams of that

"Perhaps. Maybe."

.

So don’t

turn away and drop your gaze. Please don’t remove yourself from 

my hallowed heart.

.

and

.

Stay for

another round of scrambled eggs and tea. Make me whole and

don’t disappear. 

.

Please.

A Mysterious Prologue

I sat there, full of longing. Full of almost everything else I had pushed out of my mind weeks ago and at the same time, full of the empty nothing I had filled my entire being with.

The sand stuck between my toes made the crevices feel like they were on fire. I curled my toes anyway.

I lit my seventh spliff that afternoon and took a deep drag, feeling the Big Buddha Cheese engulf the tarnished insides of my lungs. I tugged at the hospital tag bound to my right wrist and tried to snap it free but it wouldn’t budge. They must make these things out of some new unbreakable plastic or something. Science. I don’t know. I never made it past high school so science ain’t really my gig.

I took a swig out of the carton of chocolate milk I had wedged in the sand in between my legs and looked straight out into the sunset. There are very few moments I remember in my life, but that was one of them. The beach, weed, the sunset and chocolate milk. No better way to spend my last few hours on earth.

Somewhere behind me, a police siren echoed down from a few blocks away, getting closer. I knew they’d trace my call sooner or later so I kicked back and lay facing the crumbling clouds above me. I closed my eyes and drifted slowly back to where I usually go. I was ready for them.