Sengkang to Harborfront – a train of thoughts

J showed me this Poetry Slam thing at BluJazCafe last evening and it was great fun. What a nice setup and crowd they’ve got there.
Very entertained by the poetry. Diverse themes from angsty, political, emo, hilarious, tongue in cheek, NSFW… from an equally oddball group of people brought together by a penchant for little lines of words on a page – words which follow, or seem to follow, rules as eclectic as their writers. So there.

Mark Nair (spellings are approximations), read pieces on Man, birds crashing into power lines. He was so good. Great wit, spot on humour, smooth delivery, polished work.

Benjamin Chow. Sprightly boyish guy, reminds me of someones. Totally looks like a rock guy – he did indeed leave with a guitar on his back, humming away. Very cool poetry. Unconventional. Full of technique, experimentation, technical competency. Cool. Abit mingwei-like in affectation.

Yi Sheng. Who I greatly admire for his local knowledge, his singaporean roots, his passion for local issues. I much prefer this guy over mr brown, who is so duh and ignorable. This guy’s the satire one. Bookish guy, wears shirts and backpack, long slim fingers scribbling hastily in the dark on sheaves of paper, fingers stretched out holding a blue Red Leaf pen, mind buzzing away inside. He reads with great expression, absorbed in his fantasy world, entranced by it and living his words. Eccentric till the end, threw a totally odd piece into his final round poem.

One guy got up with a crudely written piece titled 0.1, in jest of judges’ scores. I loved that. It was not designed to won: it was written to prove a point, to illustrate a concept, to write a thought down, to joke at oneself, to make light of the whole affair, and to show that in a poetry slam, you just write as you go along. Unassuming guy dressed in office clothes.


Art. Expression. Experience. Words. Words. And more words. In love with words.

Accents. Sure lots of ppl had accents last night, from the brainy norvge guitar strumming stunner, to the floppy haired beer-laden Chinese Brit, to the jiak kangtang singaporeans, to the straight faced Expat housewife, to the hairy chest brazilian-looking guy, to the closely trimmed Mark Nair, to the elbow capped wispy white haired old geezer, sure we all had our backgrounds, our experiences. What I would like to stress is the breadth of knowledge that each person brings to the table, despite the accents we all speak the language, of New English, of Facebook, of Old English; we all understand many references to adult jokes, puns, pithy sayings, local issues, current affairs. Somehow, under the guise if Art and Literacy, one flirts with politics, crass, vulgarities; one is empowered, liberated.

I was thinking, on the way home, how absurd my life can be: daytime business issues, night fiddle with computers, listen and write poetry, go running, play tennis, play badminton, read Jonathan safran foer, read murakami, study molecular biology, remember quadratic equations, do salsa spins, write JavaScript, go india, speak french, speak English, speak mandarin, brew Earl Grey, take photos, juggle 3 balls, raise eyebrows, climb a mountain, jump into the sea, lost a friend.
It puzzles me.

If you overhear my music playlist on the train, you’ll hear Japanese, German, pop, new age, french, oldies, Chinese…

Never been to America, never been to China.

On top on that I’m quiet in real life.


Sengkang to Harborfront – a train of thoughts

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