Iain Lim Jun Rui
Iain Lim Jun Rui is a Singaporean poet and aspiring filmmaker currently on a sabbatical from his studies in Belgium. A two-time winner of the Love Poetry Competition and winner in the National Poetry Competition 2019, his poetry is published in OF ZOOS, Voice & Verse Magazine, Rambutan Literary, Kitaab and Twin Cities, among others. His first documentary short is a finalist at Singapore Heritage Short Film Competition 2017.
an image as echolalia in the camera obscura
after new year’s goals, for Xin Hwee
here, the saying begets itself insofar as the orchestra never leaves
this amble, this gambit, this turn of events reappraised
as the poet says, “insofar as it begets the graven ending of all narrative ,”
to insinuate another arrival, another imbibement, another hopeful day
begetting the future insofar as history reopens its blank pages for the present
as the poet begins near the end, never breaking the refrain, only to
say, “you must feel very strange ,” for sleep and dreams begotten insofar as
a new book invokes another colour as a metaphor for love, abiding
by its silence, insofar as the poet begets no new promises, having already written.
1: Desmond Kon, "m for moralität" in Reading to Ted Hesburgh: An Alphabet Book
of Visual Fields, Birth Centennial Edition (Singapore: Squircle Line Press and Glass Lyre Press, 2017), 63.
2: Allen Ginsberg, “A Supermarket in California” in “Howl, Before & After: San
Francisco Bay Area (1955-1956)” in Collected Poems, 1947-1997, (London: Penguin Books, 2009), 144.
May Chong is a Malaysian poet and speculative writer who enjoys birdwatching, great stories and terrible, terrible puns. Her work has been nominated for the Rhysling, Pushcart and Best of the Net, and featured in Strange Horizons, Fantasy Magazine, The Willowherb Review, Apparition Literary and Anathema Magazine. May's nature-themed microchapbook Seed, Star, Song is available from Ghost City Press as part of their Summer 2020 series.
I was soft once, like you,
beancurd blossom and cream
repaid by the world
with the knife. The dehiscence
of all known wounds
under knowing hands forced
a hardness I never wanted.
This is how you become: Unlearn
how to flow, mingle, detach
from a world unwilling to deal
in fairness. Give only
what you get. For every action
the equal reaction, stronger
this shell, these teeth bared bloody,
grit through storms, sharding
only away from light. Grow
worse before the bettering.
Re-embrace the tender parts
you have fought so hard
to keep safe.
Mr Newton, I would like to not
be constrained by your laws.
I am learning a new
softness in absence
Give me hands that run no riot
along skin that still remembers
being armour, yet yearns
to rust. Let me ooze myself
at ease across my space
and puddle where love
is ignorant of agony.
Be tough, not by force or need
but through desire.