Kristin Bong, a student, nominates as her favorite Singapore poem “Rumour” by Jerrold Yam. She writes, “To me, it reveals the vulnerability of being in love that is so often masked by the romanticism portrayed in films. Yam’s poems are always fresh and unapologetically raw, voicing truths that capture the sentiments of so many of his generation.”
Always, on a postcard night, snow slipping
like sifted sugar, they would arrive,
lovers reconciled under Christmas lights in
complete disregard for traffic. For a while
my eyes would agree, fogging
with the warmth of a cinematic scam,
sockets to widen like lips
greedy for the first kiss in seven episodes.
Truth or accidental cynicism
depends conveniently on gender.
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXBut in the first
few moments I’d somehow be trapped
with the characters, the fear of losing
almost as great as love. Then I’d pull out,
away from indulgence, as a thief
pulls out before the crime, his hands
unshackled, yet willing to be proven wrong.
by Jerrold Yam, from Scattered Vertebrae, Math Paper Press
Reprinted with the author’s permission.
Image from author’s website.
Jerrold Yam is a law undergraduate at University College, London, and the author of the poetry collections Scattered Vertebrae (Math Paper Press, 2013) and Chasing Curtained Suns (Math Paper Press, 2012). His third collection is forthcoming in 2014.