Midnight to Fluorescent Blue
What shade of blue is sadness? You can’t blue pencil that kind of blue. Whether it’s Kathryn Sadakierski’s anxiety or Srinjay Chakravarti’s migraine, what begins in the mind can become so distressing, it seems downright dreadful. Such affliction can seem simply impossible to endure.
Melvin Sico relates the dreams medication “dredged up”. Karen Little, too, “binned the indifference tablets”. In her three poems, one is dispensed the sheer reality of having to live with mental health problems all one’s life. The language is plainspeaking about how agonising and paralysing it can be.
The health companion or caregiver is not spared the hard fight, which can be as alienating as it is exhausting. In “Suspension”, Dagne Forrest writes of being made to feel “invisible” while waiting in the MRI room for her son. Julie Irigaray relates how she “couldn’t hug” her mother suffering from breast cancer.
Intriguingly, Sng Bee Bee acquaints herself with the phenomenon of pain through striking up a conversation with it. Right after, we come face to face with Lydia Kwa’s deftly assembled lines.
Through excerpts from her two books, Lydia shows us the different faces of pain, from the physical to the psychological to the emotional. In her finely enjambed lyric, she tells us: “I've decided to / remain unsettled // stop pretending… peeling away the illusory / in search of / uncertainty”.
Catherine Joan Devadason // Ysabel Anne Aluquin
Julie Irigaray // Sarah Tan Shu Ling
Karen Little // Srinjay Chakravarti
Kathryn Sadakierski // Pierre Vinclair