AGNES HANYING ONG


Agnes Hanying Ong is a queer-crip poet whose poems have appeared on Drunk Monkeys,
The Scores, Gravel and elsewhere. Born in Malaysia and raised in the dangerous bordertown
of Johor Bahru, she has been admitted to Columbia University.






In the Eaves

They say
we are playing the piano

scales, and they say you
must, you must

speak up and I
speak up and die

I must, with a knot
in my crotch

clutching water

to walk on where I am from.
I am only a little

animal you keep cutting
off like a fork, at the marriage

-marinated-mad
cow in the gritty grasses I kept

for so long. Comes
night, the past

tenses, like Noah's
covenant woven into a house

of attap dwelling, all his

saltwater rolling in a bed
forgotten. And the lip,

of what delicate
envelope, dog-ears for what

is holding the sun
-flower around its neck.






Bringing in Lion

I know what the donkey must think of thought
the shape of a bagel. I know what crow will come

back to my hair strung with the dot's golden prayer
beads some identify as, retentiveness. All gods,

with what small lilt of a weather they reign
in, had him followed, spine-deep, into the eye of whirling

carrara, and its trunk, an antenna watching for air, salt
-sloshed in knuckle-darkness moving around.

Poor periscope, wet like a brain appareled, in soft silk of
arak, not ark. I hear a mewling, flurry of foliage, as snow

flakes like fish, with the dumb restraint of spiders
stilled in midair. Comes Noah, water bombing bowls

of inspiration to what the balloon whisks, twirling like
crinoline wide, as any water awakened, above the fire

-place. Noah finds dust, using reflected sound. I don't
deserve. Any of his white space. Foreign-registered

hooves, stuck. In smog of a fault song. It is stripped
of painted-on zipper, used to separate: our opposing

travelings, soon, as it touches: the wholly imaginary salt line
delineating country. Tarmac is rough, now closer to mouths

closed like most checkpoints, on the other side, behind
him. Noah gathers from rags, to many rages, knowing,

at a border, what crow colors some black meadow of my
childhood, what nothing turns silver bell.






Happiness Sure as Saltwater Reaching

My sister is my mother rich in
heaviness. To lose weight of shaking
headstone rosary on a scale
is clinging to left, more

left. The cumulative tea leaves
slowly, very eventually. Who
in the thirteen of them did not come
with a pair of eyes? This way did it live
for a week? What of setting light

to amulets, sediments only to keep
sleeping, in the armored Christ
-like cactus spooning an iron maiden,
blessing her, with the birth
pagan control? Oh,

heaviness stays, forever
like the two-note birdsong: prognosis
is poor. Our real literately grand-
mother did not enter
heaven, that is all

its fiery advent: what child
is this boy born just
days ago? Cooked kettle of her
reservoir, wringing, raises
temperature, in the clockwork
flashes:

tuned jugular, larruped by Good
Morning Towel, following Adam's

ale. When she was
falling, into the walking
mountains, sky, as crowded, was
afraid of the moon. Where is the Virgin
Chang'e, like Mary? Assumed
into thin air?

Postnatal lashes lash out detached
quills, spooked nightly unable
to move. Visitations

they waited for, said
yes, to the flinging of mirror
immaculate sea as white
flag guarded, in pendulum

of the Infant's fists. Quo vadis? Stay
a beast! Basset-sagged beast!
Wilt not for time or
clime the fountain-brined
driblets, blood of cries scrying,
beading furrows into
rose.

Mind as absent
makes the hard fonder, no?

Noosing round, to catch
the day of debutantes starvation
knocks out

pelvic fins on the broken hard
roof of ice, picked with the line,
the worm, an auger

ring-tossed the way our caterpillar goes O
Allow me to sell you a couple?

Daughter of the wagging day
is wolverine wearing god corroded alive
by alcohol like Kali
not even trying, to kill us all.



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