Excerpts from 3 letters


There was once a boy who’d wake up at dawn,
to listen to the birds in a sky torn
from the darkness to paint: a picture is born
With such lust for life, the birds, they take on
each day as a new life, they live on
rich and to the full, every day, they are born.

But one day, when the birds weren’t to be found,
the boy wrote a letter to a poet who had left town.
But the poet in his shame and silence didn’t write back,
and he burnt his poems and scattered them in a lake.


If prayers could solve practically,
but I’ve heard, it solves, for the heart and soul,
and for the spirit,
but I could use a lil’ bit of practicality,
a little bit, if not too much,
just a little bit,
I could use.


We are all twisted fuckers,
in our own ways, messed up crazies,
the loonies and the bins,
but as long as the thread of love runs through —
we can stitch up a couple of patches too.


I look at science fiction for a freezing bed.
Let me sleep for months, a couple of years in death.
And I shall wake up amidst friends.
Friends are family in a dress.


Forgive me as I couldn’t recognize you.
Forgive me as I have seen through
Your Majesty’s disguise.
Oh, Princes of Malawa.
Oh, Malavika.

Neal Ym (Phalguni Y)
July 4, 2017


Today, Florentino puts a mouthful of papers,
of letters, his fingers pushing them down,
peripheral vision tearing up, miserable face, miserable act.

Today, Florentino chews his own letters,
chokes on his own words, whitewashed, white lies,
romantacised, chiseled love, refined words, aged wine.

Tonight, Florentino dips a finger in ink, swims,
moves a leisurely leisure. No words, just lines,
little finger, swaying circles,
a curve here, there, a twist, a turn,
a circle, misshaped, misfit, a crooked rhythm.

Tonight, Florentino puts his face upon paper,
rests his face upon lamp’s lap, warm glow, warm face,
warm light, warm forest face, evening dusk, evening ends,
tearing eyes, tearing papers.
Florentino chokes for his unloved love letters.

Tonight, Florentino weeps, in bullock cart’s rhythm,
heart sobbing in bulls’ bells’ swinging motion,
face falling in face-cupping palm-hands, hair-pulling hands.
Sniffs, snobs. Life’s music — God hums, oh, Florentino,
oh, Florentino, He hums while Florentino writes another love letter.

Neal Ym (Phalguni Y)
May 2017