Posts Tagged ‘babylon’


A Global Industry

January 30, 2009

In Brickfields

Past the saddest petstores in the world

Where puppies dance and frolic

Pressed against glass walls

Seeking only love

Getting older

Moved from the window

To cages, then disappearing

To be replaced endlessly.


In Chow Kit

Through cheap meat markets

Ripe with stench

Where fish thrash in a glaze of water

Gasping, parched

Watching as the cleaver

Claims the head

Guts the stomach

Scrapes the carcass aside.


Five ringgit for a shirt

That looks like

A tequila sunrise

Poured into a glass

Covered in seaweed.


Then they spot me

“Hey, friend


I smile and try

To flee

I know what’s coming


He follows me


“You want yanga?

Yanga? Dadah?”


I smile, walk


He fades away.

Ten feet and

Two seconds later


“Hey. Hey.

You want girl?

Massage? Blowjob?

All young girls

Chinese. Malay.

Indonesian. Indian.

You look first.

Then decide.”


And in that instant

That’s exactly what I want

The desire is planted into

My mind

But something drives

Me away


No, no, no thankyou

Smiling and walking

The matsalleh and

His morality


Who am I kidding?

I’d fuck anything

That offered itself

As long as it was

Free and honest.


Paying for it is a whole new game.

A different world.


The world’s oldest profession

Is exploitation.


In Amsterdam

They live in little glass boxes

A tourist site

And people form

Orderly queues

Along the canals

“Fuck and suck,

50 Euro.”


Then you slide with the crowd

Down into an impossibly narrow alley

To find the otherside

The swollen, bloated, old whores

Shaking their meat

“I’ll suck your titties,

Lemme lick your pussy”

The Irish guys went crazy

For it.


In Barcelona

There’s a street for the transvestites

Who grab your balls

And steal your phone

At the same time

A free service


“Ey, ey, let’s go,


Next to that

The Russian street

Where I once watched a man

In a wheelchair

Driving from one girl to the next

Back and forth

Waving his money

Being angrily denied

A horny Stephen Hawking

Everyone has their limits

“30 Euro for me,

10 for the room.”


Down from there

The Barrio Chino

Right out of the tourist zone

Where the girls carry

Hidden knives

And coffee shops swarm

With Arabs

“20 Euro for me,

10 for the room.”


In Thailand

I wandered into a bar

An innocent

And was beset by a legion

Of moon-faced girls

Who all wanted


To play games

And something unspoken

“1500 baht

For the night.”


All these girls

Had the same look in their eye

A hardness

Like nothing

Or nobody

Could touch them

In the same way




January 18, 2009

She came back and said she had told her dad about me

And he had replied

“So now you are dating that funny looking matsalleh?”

That word again I had heard so often

Accompanied by laughter and soft derision

I am far from home, and this word I don’t own

Fits uncomfortably into my personal composition.


(They even call her coconut; brown on the outside, white in the middle).


Are we really defined by race?

By the colours of our face?

But they feel the same; soft-smooth skin

And our hearts beat the same rhythm.


Her father was unhappy

And now daily tells her not to marry; not to embarrass the family

For I will never be considered their kin

Even if I convert and sacrifice my foreskin

Even circumcised I’ll always be circumspect

Given some respect but always a reject

Simply because of my melanin-defect

For both my race and religion are from the wrong set.


It is HARAM. I am HARAM. We are HARAM.


So maybe I’ll never get my Bumiputra discounted education and housing

And I might remain a heathen and a sinner

In their eyes

But at least I try to transcend skin colour

At best I look beyond the appearances and the differences

At least I seek the humanity within us all

They are trapped by their definitions

We break free and forge new ones

And when she puts her hand brown in my white

And the two become one

I’ll say to all those name-callers and curtain-twitchers

This matsalleh has his own words for you

And that is

That some sons of the Earth are real sons of bitches.






Please Don’t Arrest Me Under The ISA

January 11, 2009

Please Don’t Arrest Me Under The ISA


This is not a poem about Malaysia

This is not a poem about Malaysia

This is not a poem about Malaysia


This is not a poem about institutionalised racism

Not about fear, division, hatred

Not about conformity, self-censorship and blindness

This is not a poem about mindless construction and destruction

And slash and burn economics


This is not about a one party state


Nor is it about theocracy, autocracy, hypocrasy and a complete lack of democracy

About dead Mongolians, sodomy or segregation

About apartheid, 13% discounts or sons of the earth


This is not a poem about propaganda, fascism, consumerism or detention

About the disappeared, the Orang Asli

This is not a poem about Malaysia.


This is a poem

About the poem

I cannot read out

The words I cannot say

The things I cannot think, or feel

The person I cannot be

Even though this poem is not about Malaysia


Tell the hakim

Tell the jury

Tell my lawyers

Tell the people when I disappear

When I am detained

When I am revoked

When witnesses testify I sodomized them

Or drugs are found in my house

Or a bullet in my head

That it should not be so


This is not a poem about Malaysia.



February 24, 2008


Whatever happened to individuality?

Whatever happened to idiosyncracy?

Whatever happened to unity? Unity? Unity?

Whatever happened to you and me?


There’s a war going on in Batu Arang

There’s a war in the Bukit Bintang

There’s a war going on in Chow Kit, Brickfields

There’s a war going down your street

From the KLCC to the Damansara Heights

From PJ to Puchong to Ipoh

Port Klang, Melaka, Penang, JB

There’s a war in your kampong scene


You need to get up, get alive and get free

What you see on your TV is not reality

Camera cannot capture a conscious duality


I express through creativity.


In a society where art is a travesty

Self-expression denied with screams of death to originality

A championing of bland, oppressive banality

Of musical theatre and brash commerciality

I fear the seductive lure of mediocrity

And self-censorship, where you don’t say what you think

(Muffled) People here acting like their shit don’t stink.


I call up warriors of words to combat this depravity

Because word sound have power, charged with liberty

Literary emancipators, the inside-outsiders

Introverted heroes of rhythm and rhyme

Extrovert to reconstruct our world with a freedom cry.


There’s a war going on all across the globe

You fighting in that war as you crossing the road

The war is for your thoughts, your mind, your desire

From the moment you born to the time you expire

How you gonna get-de-get-de-get-get free?

Buh-buh-buh-buh-break your mental captivity?

For me-me-me-me-me the answer’s plain to see

You gottagot to think, you got to write, right?

Conjure lexical spells to challenge lies and hype

Thinking free and feeling fast

Combat dead futures by remembering past.


There’s a war going on in London Town

Brazil, India, China, Japan

All across the globe from shore to shore

Whose side you on in the cultural war?


Here is the time you find creative revolution

Artists, poets, addicts in a new art evolution

You can’t see us; we throwing cultural bombs

Art-terrorists, wailing freedom songs!

Storming the barricades of your mind-wipe galleries,

By chanting poems we burn-up those lethargic calories.

Fighting fit, mentally clear

Overcoming the little death of fear.

Guerillas of thought in the jungles of your apathy

Cathartic expression changing lives subliminally.


You see our words is weapons

A poem is an army

A poet is an ideology.

Freedom fighters of the mind, born to defy

Heart warriors and disciples of Hakim Bey

The inside-outsiders, we are many not few

Living amongst you

But never of you.


After The Orgy

February 24, 2008

After The Orgy 

Twisted, blistered, hamfisted

Mutilated yet still cognitive

A sprawl of mutant indiscretions

Piled upon each other without end

Without sin, without realization

Every drug taken, every liberty taken

Abused, poisoned, misused, intoxicated

Needles out our eyeballs and between our toes

Stacks of fresh human meat

In the shopping centre rows

Every holy place desolate, every obscenity sanctified

Categorized, commercialized, advertised, desensitized

Overloaded, overstimulated, manipulated, condescended

Evaluated and commodified, sold back to us pound by pound

Any and every and all experiences in a Hollywood film

Marketed to us as reachable dreams

Have it all and more

The most beautiful girls, the most erotic sex, the highest high!

Every error paintbrushed out, people become perfect, unreachable, godlike

Smiling from the magazines subtitled in bold type:

“How To Be Happy!”

“Get Lips Like These!”

“What You Don’t Know About Being Beautiful!”


Erogenously exploited, they’ve managed to tap into

Our minds, our souls, and begin to fill them

We the human land-fills, deposited with the shite

The trite, the meaningless, the gibbergabber

The sensational, the spectacular!

Spastically tackling each drama in our lives

Hungry, famished, starving

Wastrels and skeletons in our plastic mausoleums

Devouring each other, soaking up every emotion

Every event, the screens plugged into our souls

We read from scripts transmitted subliminally

Our poor degenerate Gods

         the Celebrity Pantheon –

pity the poor plastic spastics trapped in

Paparrazzi lenses

They are our slaves! Our gladiators!

Our whores and by Christ do we take our money’s worth

They are our martyrs and our saints and our sacrifices

And we are told to idolize them and then we

Gleefully butcher them on the altar of publicity

A week’s media entertainment.

The bloodletting is ceaseless

The slaughter unimagineable

Across the globe, our planet is raped

Dying, we the cancer that is killing it

Yet we continue to fuck and smoke and drink

And party and smile and shit over everything and everyone

Flicking through magazines, gloating over pictures

Of people we know, but have never met

We lap them up, drown in them, resent their success and revel in their dismay

Selfish, senseless, demonic seraphim that we are.

There is no saving the planet. There is no light.

The human race is on a crashcourse with God’s own wrath.


And we know it.

But we hide behind this infantile, puerile, degrading, demeaning nonsense.

We used to communicate in the language of song

Converse with the trees, the animals, the angels

With our own souls, with each other,

We were understood; we understood.

Now our babel of languages causes only confusion.


In the suddenly chilling darkness

I find myself surrounded by sweating, clammy flesh

Anonymous bodies, blank faces

Panting and spent

Drained of all emotion

All desire

All humanity

We look at each other and see

The mound of human debris we have become.

Empty vessels, bereft of God.

We dress, and shake hands. Awkward smiles.


After the orgy

After all those perceived moments of fleeting bliss

And ecstasy beyond comparison

Those strata of novae like super-pleasures

After every degradation possible

After we’ve done it all, seen it all, experienced it all

We walk out into the cold night street

We will find

That our world has become a wasteland

Our souls have become vacuums

And we are no more satiated

Than when we came in.


Punkrock Dreadlock

February 24, 2008


I don’t believe Bob Marley died of cancer

The CIA made him pay

They knew he had the answer

Now all your hatred is directed at each other

When it should be at the state, economy and Big Brother


Your apathy merely keeps you in line

Pointless hatred only wasting too much precious time

We need some new revolutionaries of rap/rock/rhyme

Teach all y’all peace and unity

Is no crime.


I’m getting down like a new de la Rocha

With my fist in the air and a finger for the motherfucker

Keeping us in fear of our sisters and brothers

We should be fightin the power

Not turning on each other.


So be a fighter with a true cause

Give a fuck about the truth of new terrorism laws

Give a fuck about Guantanamo Bay

Innocent men and women deprived of their fair say


Cause this democracy a true sham

We could take it back

If you only gave a damn

But you too busy getting drunk, fucking bitches, chasing money

You won’t realize that it’s wrong till all the rebels are gone.