In an alleyway on Ann Siang Hill,
palm trees and stone stairways spiral
back to colonial roofs, white-washed
backdrop to chickens scampering free,
a pair of carp circled in yin-yang smiles
as old men reminisce below wood cages
and women in red-gold cheongsams set
themselves loose in soft twirls of jazz,
like Bruce Lee’s youtiao nunchucks or
teh tarik flourished for Samsui ladies,
who laugh at Anglo-Chinese schoolboys
blushing at a man bent on one knee, God
and the Devil scissors-paper-stoning above
a portrait of Rajinikanth as star and savior,
sun-glassed dictator of tots in Sheng Shiong
shop-carts racing cat astronauts to pyramids
tripped in blue acid and acrylic blonde, pink
cows biking to work even as their oxen gods
chortle from the clouds, a pair of PMD rabbits
skirting the ripple roots of painted reality.
See the specific mural by Belinda Low that inspired Ian Goh's poem, here.
Ian Goh teaches Literary Arts at School of the Arts (SOTA) Singapore. His work has appeared in Quarterly Literary Singapore Review, Eunoia Review, Star*Line and is forthcoming in The Tiger Moth Review. He has read for the Singapore Writer's Festival, Georgetown Literary Festival and Catharsis Poetry Competition. He currently holds an MA in Creative Writing from Goldsmiths University of London.
The Ekphrastic Review
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