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From “Ungovernable Bodies”



Matt, February 16, 2007 (Fri), his place, next day American Folk Art Museum



in anhedonia                           i hide an anon


catatonic dreams                    mace c-data on stir


of kittens in ovens                  o tens of tin knives


alogia wilderness                    loading a wireless                   


spandex                                     expands


the jerk chickun                     the Jurchen kick


genetically mute                     met in glutey lace


the lucky allele                        all they eke and cull



not martin ramírez                nor trim ez martian


pregnancy stress or                cypresses n grantor


cannabis use                            e-scan bi a sun           


committed ‘im                        mode mic mitt


to institutions                         on its tot in situ


and also art                              raton as lad



after Yeow Kai Chai

Andy, May 27, 2007 (Sun), Mr. Black



The tunnel has been closed for some time now,

but a claw of panthers find their cast-iron steps

from daylight street to basement dungeon

to suffer the flail of ecstasy. Mr. Conductor, 


when will train service begin, the velvet

rope that ties one to all harmonically?

The Rose Boy is antsy. The brick arches

jump from toe to toe, making an entrance


for the Black Detective with a blank map.

He does not come in the name of the law,

but with a nose ring that glints in the dark.


Follow him! Father has been buried here

for far too long. We will exhume his bones

and beat a retreat playfully with the femur.


after Yeow Kai Chai

Mike, June 22, 2007 (Fri), Urge, then my place



Half-time. Hyphenated adjectives.

Hefted to the edge. Holy shit!

Half-boiled eggs. High and low. 

Ho, ho, ho, the phone clock rhymes.


Borderlands half-awake. Hot takes

on a hairy chest but not overly so. 

History. Handfuls of old chestnuts.

Half-Black, half-Irish, half-Scottish.


Hackers of the world, unite haply!

Hundreds of centaurs and unicorns,

wholesome as Angel, hip as River.


Half-life only is my life, haiku-like,

compromised, lukewarm, judas,

but, hey, I’m uncut too, hallelujah!

Jee Leong Koh is the author of Steep Tea (Carcanet), named a Best Book of the Year by UK's Financial Times and a Finalist by Lambda Literary in the US. He has published four other books of poems, a volume of essays, and a collection of zuihitsu. His work has been translated into Japanese, Chinese, Malay, Vietnamese, Spanish, Russian, and Latvian. His latest book is a work of hybrid fiction, titled Snow at 5 PM: Translations of an insignificant Japanese poet (Gaudy Boy LLC). Originally from Singapore, he lives in New York City, where he heads the literary non-profit Singapore Unbound.

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