Excerpt 1 from “Gigi’s Graphologist & The Ngadhu Gecko”

xún xù jiàn jìn :: please take note of the proper sequence
by Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé

Dr. Eichelberger had a habit of rotating his head, to get his blood circulating, he said. He did this frequently while he was saying something, usually something he found difficult to say, like an assessment, which wasn’t forthcoming of therapists in general. Or a self-help method to take home, like self-administering antihistamines for hay fever. The idea of cognitive therapy actually working got him into a tangle, as if any possible success of thinking one’s way out of life’s problems was a long shot, something he needed to wrap his head around. Narrative therapy was his modus operandi, and he was known to be good at it. Dr. Eichelberger took his time with letting his clients reveal their own pasts, their thoughts about different life situations, even current affairs, if they were into that. They would understand their neuroses better, and everyone had neuroses. What was Dr. Eichelberger’s neuroses, Gigi wondered. She asked him once, and all he gave was a smile, which already seemed to be something of an effort on his part. This one-way street of communication wasn’t choice for Gigi, but it seemed to counterpoint the kinds of communication she enjoyed with other men, which was reciprocal. Not always happy circumstances, of equal relations, but at the very least, two people were talking to each other, learning more about each other. Even if one inevitably seemed more keen or needy. Or in the moment. There was an acorn right at the tip of her forefinger, by the left. It seemed to teeter on its point, its embroidery a bit frayed. So many people must have told their stories on this couch. So many memories have filled this room, and how many have receded to the place from which they came.


More excerpts from “Gigi’s Graphologist & The Ngadhu Gecko” to come.


Singapore Poetry Desmond Kon Pix

Desmond Kon Zhicheng-Mingdé helms Squircle Line Press as its founding editor and publisher. He is the author of The Arbitrary Sign (Red Wheelbarrow Books), with I Didn’t Know Mani Was A Conceptualist(Math Paper Press) forthcoming in 2014. He has edited more than ten books and co-produced three audio books, several pro bono for non-profit organizations. A former entertainment journalist with 8 Days, Desmond has traveled to Australia, France, Hong Kong and Spain for his stories, which have included features on Madonna, Björk and Morgan Freeman, culminating in the authorship of the limited edition Top Ten TCS Stars for Caldecott Publishing. Trained in publishing at Stanford University, Desmond studied sociology and mass communication at the National University of Singapore, and later received his theology masters (world religions) from Harvard University and fine arts masters (creative writing) from the University of Notre Dame. An interdisciplinary artist, Desmond also works in clay, his ceramic works housed in museums and private collections in India, the Netherlands, UK, and USA. He is the recipient of the PEN American Center Shorts Prize, Swale Life Poetry Prize, Cyclamens & Swords Poetry Prize, Notre Dame Poetry Fellowship, NAC Writer-in-the-Gardens Residency, Stepping Stones Nigeria Poetry Prize, and Little Red Tree International Poetry Prize.

About Jee Leong Koh

My book of poems Steep Tea (Carcanet) was named a Best Book of 2015 by UK's Financial Times, and a Finalist by Lambda Literary. I also wrote three other books of poems and a book of zuihitsu. My work has been shortlisted for the Singapore Literature Prize, and translated into Japanese, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian and Latvian. Originally from Singapore, I live in New York City, where I edit the arts blog Singapore Poetry, and run the Second Saturdays Reading Series and the Singapore Literature Festival in NYC.


  1. Desmond Kon

    Hi Jee Leong: A million thanks for taking these pieces! You’re a darling! Much luv, Dez.


  2. datta2014

    A very interesting narrative starting from Cognitive therapy,narrative therapy,the person Gigi and other peoples ‘reaction there -all so endearing and vivid,make us wait for the next. Appreciate the start.


  3. datta2014

    Dear Jee Leong, Really you are so persevering and furthering the reader’s interest via this site.Kudos to you.


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