Poems by Fergus Ong

September 6, 2003

Fergus Ong is an ex-Foundation Studies student of Trinity College, who went on to complete a degree in Media Studies and Creative Writing at the University of Melbourne. He now resides in Malaysia.

Muar

Back home,
somewhere between the
smog-famous Kuala Lumpur and
garden City Singapore,
I dream of
somewhere back home
in Muar
You are “mew-ar” to foreigners,
but you are “moo-ar” to me
(and all the locals).
I know you so well
like the lines on my 20 year-old palm.
You are the river and the swamp
you are the bridge
and the park
and the playground.
You are roundabouts in town,
dilapidated shophouses
And glutton-street, with
Chinese hawker food-stalls
lining both sides of a one-way road.
You are an infinite
Muarian McDonald’s drivethrough,
The old Indian man who sells
roasted nuts outside the cinema,
and the other one, who cycles around
selling sweet bread in the evening.
You own me,
my sleepy-hollow town,
retired person’s village,
famous for the
furniture factories I never see.
And I own you
in some weird form of memory.
But old nostalgic town,
right now, you are so real.
right now, you are
big-screen TV,
24 channel satellite transmission,
internet phonelines and Microsoft colony,
shopping mall and VCD heaven.
My boom-time town,
with your congested roads
wide enough for the ‘80s
you oscillate between
truth and falsity.
Navigate me with your browser’s
back button.
I know there’s something left behind
That I need to cut,
copy and paste.

Sunset, Pollocked

They used to call you
Poetry in Motion,
a walkin’, talkin’
Livin’ Doll.
But today, you look like
a painting, framed
inside a doorway
with one hand
pressed against the wall.
I watch you forty seconds,
looking out at me
with all those crazy lines
dripping on your face.
Reds and yellows and orange
splatter across your dress,
making a thumping, dripping sound –
like wall paint falling
on old newspaper.
You look so caged, almost wild
like a sunset from somewhere. Pollocked.

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