Malaysia

SHE loved him you see and so she thought it was honesty that would matter in the end.
So when she said, “You can’t handle the truth,” she was unprepared for what happened next.
He dragged her by the hair,...

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(from a Malay Pantun)

The flying dove high above,
Perches a while on a dead tree;
Strike the water in a pail,

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JERIT 
(Malay for ‘howl ’)

**Excerpt fromOnkalo(Math Paper Press, 2013)

And so he says it again

through headlines screaming black bold Serif
on undulating white perimeters

Write −...

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Morning star: like a signal
To stop. In the hard air words venture, through night,
In sleep: somnambulists plan, on the wings of a cloud, bare,
Towards a cape

That sometimes disappears...

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(an episode from the Sejarah Melayu – the Malay History)

And then several horses and cows and goats were slaughtered. Rice crusts collected in a mound. Water for the ceremony amounted to an ocean upon which...

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(for J.F.R, with thanks to Michael Longley)

I will tell you this;
That love, is the art
Of green hands, nestled
Keen as the root,
In red earth.

Here, where my body
Grows thin...

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In the footsteps of my history
And shadow, I am caught
In the half light of remembering,
The house, the mouth,
The woman, whose cotton-coiled
Waist is the yearning for an India far...

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