Joshua Ip is a poet, editor, translator, and literary organiser. He has edited
nine anthologies and written four poetry collections, most recently
footnotes on falling (2018). He co-founded Sing Lit Station, an over-active
literary charity that runs community initiatives including SingPoWriMo,
poetry.sg and the Hawker Prize for Southeast Asian Poetry. joshuaip.com
The poems here are anachronistic translations of classical Chinese
poetry from the Tang and Song Dynasties Dynasties. They are from a
manuscript pending publication with Math Paper Press, working title
translations from the tangish.
new year's eve
a windy night for fireworks— bursting peonies and palm-shells. they trail away, as if a meteor shower. BMs and Benzes fume and fill the road. horns, then sirens, then a spinning strobe. all night, darting pedestrians and the dance of queues.
here, moths, there, meadowsweet and gilded threads. light-footed laughter wafting into the distance. in the crowd i sought her, a thousand, a hundred degrees. and i turned, and there she was— standing in the lee of the light.
junction of ulu pandan and clementi road
perhaps i have loved the shy grass on the canal embankment
and the black-naped orioles singing from the nearby trees
rush hour, it's raining, and the urgent traffic
and my empty car parked in the middle of the junction
phillips investor centre
bukit batok, and the flock has flown,
the paths devoid. before a bank of screens,
masked in a ragged singlet, a lone
uncle fishes a feed of wintry static.
a dream of sentosa cove
the curtain and the rain undecided,
an idea of spring, no, less than an idea,
should have brought a sweater to this dream.
didn't know i was the guest here,
just kept hitting up the open bar.
if alone, one shouldn't stand at the banister
its unparalleled view of drains and alleys
so easy to wave from, so easy to slip behind.
a gush of fluttering bills— they're going, gone—
rooftops and basements.
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