Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Two Poems

Two Poems

By Ng Yi-Sheng


Ymir’s skull
Pan Gu’s eyes
Tiamat’s ribcage

Muhammad’s beard
Christ’s foreskin
Buddha’s teeth

Nadim’s blood
Rapunzel’s hair
Surpanakha’s nose

Venus de Milo’s arms
Winged Victory’s face

Van Gogh’s ear
Kahlo’s toes
Francis Xavier’s hand

Evita’s womb
Hitler’s ball
Zheng He’s cock

Tin Woodman’s heart
Little Mermaid’s voice

Your skin
Our bones
My breath


* * *

From a Bilingual Haiku Series, Inspired by Four-Character Chinese Idioms

4. 唇亡齿寒
These jagged shards of
stone in my mouth: how they shake
for your absent lips.

的嘴唇颤抖 。

8. 刻骨铭心
Come, tattoo artist:
ink your heart onto my heart,
your skull on my skull.


9. 一针见血
The second needle
pierces skeleton. The third
strikes the mortal soul.


NOTE: This piece first appeared on canvas sheets in "The Art of Rebellion: 造反有理," an exhibition by Amanda Lee Koe.


Ng Yi-Sheng

Ng Yi-Sheng writes poetry, drama, nonfiction, journalism, and slam. He is the youngest winner of the Singapore Literature Prize, which he won for his debut poetry collection, last boy. He was a co-editor of the anthologies GASPP: A Gay Anthology of Singapore Poetry and Prose and Eastern Heathens: An Anthology of Subverted Asian Folklore and a co-organizer of the monthly SPORE Art Salon multidisciplinary art events. He is currently pursuing his master’s degree in creative writing at the University of East Anglia.

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