Premature Love Poem

They don't start out in
book form,
and ready-to-print,
each word in straight-backed posture,
posing as less than a metaphor, and
more than a cliché.
                    But this is my
portrait of a living man
trapped between cartoon and documentary--
his visage slides off my cheeks
each night, to be repainted
in the morning,
pressing for more reality than
I can grant.
            It is not
that marks the birth of this poem,
any more than a greeting
for a long-lost friend,
never met, never spoken to,
is robbed of its joy.
Perhaps my gestures
are bad, conjuring
rocks out of fog-webs, too weak
to snare a real, publishable giant
out of my history's castles.

Failing that,
it is enough to trip you into
this vat of words
congealing in the stale afternoon air.
When I come for you
you will thank me for this monument--
half-formed, unfixed,
birthed into a bloody mess
--just to be able to call you mine
for those suspended moments prior to
rigor mortis.

8 March 1994
- line -

Return to Table of Contents

[Art on the Net]

Sylvia Chong (