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Jedd Ong Dec 2016
(i see) two scions dance in traffic: sun and moon,
sky and stars; God’s two heirs
dancing in traffic as if they weren’t demigods but
small maya birds - transfixed
mortals, fighting to keep away from the blinding
might their status affords them.

as His children their world and its light is for their taking,
of which they can feed - or not:
they go on instead like hungry wolves, next to I, rising
(sidelined, falling) flagging down jeeps
in the thick of the Vinzons Hall jeepney stop. They bark loud
and cheerily to keep idle; from unravelling
their wax-worn strings. They are birds guided by concrete routes,
those yearning to feel its bleakness

in each syllable creeping up their gold-and-marble throats:
the soft choke of exhaust smoke
and the rosiness of their gaunt in the face of all-knowing fate:
that of snatching from death
a world not theirs. They declare: “Perseus we are not, and
Janus we choose.” They shuttlling
commuters obscure and without fuss and without end
to and fro, where they come

they spit on the universe in baggy basketball shorts
Dec 2016 · 1.2k
the cat by the call centre
Jedd Ong Dec 2016
the cat snores
at midnight, below

call centre agents:
bathed in white lights above
and the security guard’s badge below which gleams
of splendour; reflects the moon
by his chest: waxing
where it rises
and waning as it falls; a truck’s engine
roaring in the distance. my footstep

stirs not the cat
Mar 2016 · 1.4k
Iron Giant
Jedd Ong Mar 2016
"Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

O wait for us, Colossus

as we wait - and throw you
to earth: from heaven’s gates judge you
unworthy - to hades’ lands assign,
where your iron limbs make mincemeat out
of anguished homes - by tyrants
you were thrown but floated aimless past

the drifting realms where once lay hell,
and fired you your rocket boosters - apollo’s gift

blinding still your eyes -

next, awake: the visage of the Child
in your face - languishing, affronted:
two vast and trunkless legs of iron glare, only to grow
rigid still - slumping at His feet: with heart-engine smoking,

eyes hollowed-black,
lying in slumber with giant's knees bent,
in grasslands rest and where hearkens the plain - He cries out:
’tis you!

though dwarf, He is - he kneads your iron
by grass, and your wounded legs the earth
now christens, snd blesses still your sleep.

He moves forth with grass blades and twigs,
crown you a nest; and bear stones unrolled to where

your feet first kisses ground.

An attempt at "sketching" a cartoon. Originally a photo piece.
Feb 2016 · 890
quick exercise of freedom
Jedd Ong Feb 2016
do i want to lie flat in your prison cells? perhaps not.
but i do know that the curse of our words is that
they will one day swap out our air for oxygen,
and we will breathe ink down our throats; gasping
for sound.

it is inevitable. these vestiges of mind matchless to those
who give chase - we who disappear like ghosts - one day
to resurface - our bodies in exchange. we will be beaten
by batons, cut open by silver: a cuff for a tongue. we perish
for our

Feb 2016 · 1.2k
reverse engineering:
Jedd Ong Feb 2016
reverse engineering:

i will know still your voice,
how your silence splits words
into pieces, as you break me
with your collared sweaters and polka dot
socks: tell me i am floating,
question my Gods, forbid me
from touching your church elders; your parents’

i will know your laughter, a tad frail:
the voice of an unsteady
deity - your fingers - never stilling a pen,
nor sketching a hand - whittling
my own: your chin trembling as you chide me
for their largeness; i show you their erasures:
your lack of wayward lines; your work
of an artist.

i tell you to sing, you tell me not to -
you arm yourself and lock away in your room,
say your poetry terrible,
wrong, un-joyful, cross-averted; they cracks
in all the wrong places like your flimsy
hands, like your hopes massive-disintegrating
like the feebleness in your dust-allergic bodies; your lack

of lungs: brittled long by heavy-handed
words and thin brushes: you with death -
the un-wayward stroke: You
who are sickly, whose quiet breaths reach
where we cannot find

and find the places where
our gods long to be touchable.
Jedd Ong Feb 2016

the poem has a beginning exactly as you’d expect it:
pa in sweatshirt, ma with purse; the funny thing is
i never used to call them those names:
always found them too cowboy-ish,
too un-me, un-like

us: who held chopsticks before dinner time and shared
stories of how grandpa came over from china.

ii. (at the dinner table)

there is no symbolism here. there has been none
for a while now. this household eats and
eats in quiet. my grandmother is a poet but their
books all burned down

back in ’45 when mao stormed into fujian and
all her uncles could eloquent on was that
“the communists were coming!”
“the communists were coming!”
and instead of poems took with them their
children, and their gold to pawn

and their clothes on their muddy
mortar-stained backs

and the japanese


my grandfather now comes twice a week to the
hospital for chemotherapy. it is a nice hospital.
good view of the cleanest part of our *****

city. there are lights and white folks now. two things
my dad said did not used to be there. they

used to be spanish. they tilled
our rice fields and spent the money on living rooms
with lots and lots of space to sleep. we on the other hand,
worked. he claims.

your grandfather and his grandfather and i


awake every sunday morning at precisely 8:30.
made to go down to the temple in kalesas
and told to fetch the office paper for
noontime reading. see we weren’t spoiled: grew

up just next to the pasig river which back in
the 70s did not smell as bad as sin only

and the sweat we soaked them in we reeled along
steamed fish heads and chopsticks for picking at them with
and bowls of rice we never really ate with spoons.

v. (back at the dinner table)

i listen to my mom and dad
sweat profusely in the evening heat only we can have here
he in his sweatshirt and she
with her golden purse,

preparing to leave - a wedding party awaits -
an jacket draped over his shirt just like grandfather used to do it
in a sense,
but gripping the chopsticks delicately for all us
to see:



it is not cowboys that give us our names.
Jedd Ong Feb 2016
for my pastor, for my father, and for a friend.

i find your name carved quiet by the windowsill
in an empty room.

i find half your coat hanging wayside where once his coat was, too.

father told me you too keep your dentures in a cup like grandfather’s.

that you were there as he packed his bags and warbled off
for the hospital. you didn’t talk to him then
but still we knew. or so he did:

he caught you smiling by the desks where he worked.

i find your photographs by the balcony,
and your footprints by the garden. bits of your
hair by the pavement next to candy wrappers and
pencil jars.

together we pick up the pieces you left behind. and sew. and stitch
ourselves together. open our mouths in silence.

we wait for your next visit.
Jan 2016 · 652
Of the concrete kind
Jedd Ong Jan 2016
Let us rise once more as saplings sprouted from gravel,
by the highways where the mufflers of the buses threaten
to blow us all

away, and sprout none
the lesser and watch for
maya: who may take our seeds and spread them and we

by them survive, strangled as we are by breath, exhaust and
white smoke: teach them with our dying leaves their names,
and let them mouth

it on their tongues, discoloured as they might be by
their birth, and see
and hear once more

the cars’ horned blare
and the tired cackle of gravel,
and the whistles of the trains rushing to: up, forth and

away, farther farther farther farther from the cracks where
they must have heard it, and with that sound pick themselves up
and give chase

to that sound that too
is theirs, but fading
away from where they too were born, and begin to begin again.
Jan 2016 · 1.2k
Jedd Ong Jan 2016
“And he was one of the bravest men I ever met."

Wands raised, we sing for thee who bows to death,
And greet him well hello with such a smile,
Whose smile bade such farewell we shan't forget,
A teacher - always, now - who loved beguiled:

His potions dangling coloured on the walls,
The marks of darkness shroud by hidden sleeve,
Who glided quiet, blue through hallowed halls,
And stared down pupils green like daybreak’s Eve.

The dawn she, and her forlorn chaser you,
Who sought her out as kin seeks too for kin,
Who found instead her brood, and harshly knew
Her steadfast love kept just by scars within.

Pierced sharp, his wounds knit twice from serpent's pain,
Now wakes to see, and leaves this world no blame.
Rest in peace. Always.
Jedd Ong Jan 2016
For volleyball games with our kids*

and the grit of dirt slipping through your teeth
like a pancaked hand flat on cement surface.
Ball. Court. It is a good morning and
the sunrise rises to give life to the game. This game:
ours. We run and jump and sing; old bones

made to jog its memory. Bounces the ball and we run
again. Laughing like children. Next to the children.
Leaping after them. Watch as the ball rises high
in the sky next as outstretched arms give chase
to them: its hands caked with dirt; gravel on nails
from the swept cement rock and line paint. This we

share like a communion, a church service. Young
and old, here and not here we rise and we
fall prostate next to the prayers of the net, the brush of fingertips
against fabric against rubber, each palm
of the ball a Sunday chorus stretching, congregation, religion,

swept from the sky and made to kiss ground where
the gods of our sweat and grit belong.
Dec 2015 · 888
Up (Chemotherapy 2nd Month)
Jedd Ong Dec 2015
It is impolite to wonder
whether the hot air balloon in your
lungs have begun to deflate,

Whether you wish to float away.
Dad said you never feared flying -
dad said nothing about it, rather.
But I fear for you.

You are old. Older than I can ever imagine.
You are frail but for the globes rising
in your chest and stomach; they fall
with each frail breath.

Let it carry you away. Do not
let these wires hold you down. They do not
pump poison into your body. They do not
let the heat escape.

If it must, it will, grandfather. The ceased oldness
in you expanding and contracting
at will. You will not die without a fight,
grandfather. Oh you will.
Was never close to you. But you're an intriguing study. Very grave.
Dec 2015 · 998
Kyoto by the bus station:
Jedd Ong Dec 2015
They guard our gates. We are ruled by mechanised gods.

We are not free.
We are not real.
We are not awake.

Our mornings wake up to dew and smoke. We wake up and pick up our broomsticks and sweep.

You and I are made to sweep.
And it is through these sweeps we dance our fated dances.

Dance to wake the castles,
and water the gardens,
and venerate Emperors long dead and gone.

“This,” we say, “is our duty.”
“To belong.”

“To bow together.”
“To hope as one.”

We, all key cogs in the machinery. Everyone has a broom and dustpan. Everyone is made to sweep.

"Is this the land," we ask, "that we sang for and dreamt our feverish cartoon dreams for?"
Perhaps not. Our stories exist only in a land beyond time.

We’ve been there. It is a mechanism for the gods. They too hold brooms.

They too sleep in shrines of stone.
They too live in temples of steel.

The gold ones have long ago burned.
Dec 2015 · 588
Jedd Ong Dec 2015
help is in order -
you and i still screaming each other sick
like twin fathers. one

who wishes to surrender his church
to the rust and the other hastening
to restore it:
stone, metal and all.

many nights i
fail to tell apart one from the other,
tell apart the resurrection
from the ruin. i

and you both picking up and
at loose ends of temple rubble
and made to snivel at what
could have been.

there are pieces here we keep
that need be thrown away.

there are pieces here we leave behind
that need be kept.
I use "God" a lot for my titles. But this one is rather apt for now. It lacks the power I want from a poem entitled "God," but it's true. And truth sometimes is all that needs to count.
Nov 2015 · 994
we are not butterflies
Jedd Ong Nov 2015
we are not butterflies
wings splayed flat across tables
like specimens. we are
not fluttering in the wind
like figurines. we are

and love, and hope and
faith floating eternally
in the distance, just
and beneath our grasp. past
the skies we fly still,
splayed across blue
like specimens. poised
to spring to life
like figurines. we

are beautiful. we
are strong. we
are feeble, and plastered,
and nailed half-folded
to surfaces that scrape against
our cheeks but still
we fly. still

we are not butterflies.
for my brother who still chooses to fly away.
Oct 2015 · 630
Old Crows:
Jedd Ong Oct 2015
An old crow does not fly;
        dark, lopped wings un-sing.

His straw men long’d fought,
        are now with stuffing wring.

A lone branch holds his feet,
        claws scratching at its folds.

His caws now echo hoarse,
        his weak legs too grow cold.

His wings yearn but to spread,
        but spread yearn they to die;

To straws he cannot cling,
        hence trust put he to sky.
For my old volleyball coach, and my old volleyball team. (May you never see this.)
Oct 2015 · 494
Jedd Ong Oct 2015
Am I not my Father’s son,
who too, touched sky and stars
and sat atop moons gawking at the
world’s birthright that tomorrow
would be his if he had only

Am I not He, who walked too
upside down shrubs, and skies,
and bushels of wood and fire and
swam through soil, digging through
water, marvelling at the glorious
ruin of His creation, how he’d
one day bring it towards light

Am I not He, too of Joseph,
father of dreamers, closing
his eyes and feeling stars crackle
beneath his feet despite the Earth
burrowing his neck further beneath

Am I not He, son, of Solomon,
who worshipped in temples of gold,
robed in purple and gifted with
brilliance -  made to plot, sow
stitch and reap the fruits
of fragment kingdoms at sceptre’s

Am I not He, Son of God,
nailed to crosses and sprung from
stone graves, body light as air,
heart white as snow, skin
made to glow glorious, guiding
those who wished only to see,
blinding those who thought nothing
of sight?

Am I not He, God, Your son,
who was knit bones at your
suggestion, made to stitch soul
to flesh, knelt as your soldier,
became one amongst they:
ruinous, crumbling, blinded, they,
split, and crooked, and

Am I not of You, God?
Am I not You, God?

Am I not, God?
Jedd Ong Sep 2015
And know that these streets are irresponsible,
and that you are too. And that no matter
how bright your eyes and headlamps may be
you will always find something you didn’t
see before. Life will always be throwing at you
curveballs. And car insurance. And the ungainly heft
of police officers leering in lustily at the watch on your
wrist and the hollowed, hungry eyes of your companion.

Do not answer them, I beg of you, when they ask
you too for your name and your father's,
for they truly care not to hear
its sound. They only want to add to the noise -
continue living beneath its dins. Not after money but the
fear, the control that from you stem. Now, yes
I may be over-exaggerating (after all, it was but one
slight dent in the bumper of the car, but

there is no exaggeration to the voicelessness of they
who queued before me, no companions guiding them,
no voices shouting for them.) He, they, there, by the streets,
only has in his hands a car horn. And so he honks.
And so the siren wails. And so the chaos reigns.
And so do they - officers - living silently beneath it all,
urging us onward to yelling and screaming and shouting.
And yet we can’t. And we don’t. And we won’t.
And yet they, for all their damages, do not - scratch,
refuse not - to do so.

They only can look down at the pavement,
dotted yellow, black and white dashed.
Sep 2015 · 657
Jedd Ong Sep 2015
A stone lies shadowed at morning,
Its figures carved long like the shore.
An acolyte lies on it, yearning,
For flames that stoke now no more.

This birthright, he sold for quiet,
A peace but traded for pride,
His scorns, his scar - once scarlet,
Now fades: and so his stride!

To which the eastward sun, foreseen,
Blinks by the shade, above,
Tracing the vestige of figures beneath,
And their voices that beckoned thereof:

“To the Sun belongs the truest light,
“And with it, heard let, and be,
“The fire of men was not for fight,
“But the fight sealed tight in he.”
Aug 2015 · 718
The Mask
Jedd Ong Aug 2015
Perhaps you aren’t as faceless
as you think you are:

your skin not green,
your face not plastered
with wide-eared grins,
your house neither yellow nor
full of garish trampolines, trapdoors and springs.

This static,
this stillness,
this is you:

Quiet, loud, alone in your room
screaming in whatever tongue you
speak best at, staring back
at reflections in mirrors
that don’t recognise you.

You smile,
measure the gaps between your
teeth and find that they
are a little bit smaller,
check their slant and find
that they lean a little more
to the left,

feel your skin and find
that the green tinge
comes off with a light scratch
of a nail,

and that beneath the coverings,
you still
are flesh and blood.
Aug 2015 · 1.3k
Jedd Ong Aug 2015
You are full of deluges,
thunder lips and
lightning eyes,
footsteps punctured by light claps,
voice parted by turbulent
winds, You
are the last light in this
greying darkness,
the last calm before these endless
howls, the eye of
the storm.

You catch me in this mud-tracked
ground battered
by wind and rain,
umbrella turned and
turning out-inside, and
inside-out like the butterflies fluttering in
my stomach. You watch
my knees begin to shake
and steady them
with your glance.

You make me wish away
the rain dances,
the raincoat choruses caroming
the river-ran streets
in the middle of day
like a colourful charade,
the desperate
songs and car horn honks
and fog-lit buses and street lamps
piercing through this
watery veneer.

Am I lost in Your sea of silence?

I don’t know,
but I know that I have drowned in
these storms before.

And I know, that my cheeks
run with Your rainwater now.
Aug 2015 · 854
On Your Coming to Heaven
Jedd Ong Aug 2015
At the gates of heaven
we will be made to
strip and reveal our scars,
our wounds, our addictions,
our hiding.

And we will weep one last time
for joy, and mourning,
at the blood that we shed and was
and for the pain that we felt and he.

"There is nothing to fear,"
He will say,
"There is no struggle left to fight."

And so we will tell of our scars,
and sing and yelp with the crowds
that have already gone before us.

“See this here, on my left breast,
“was gotten the first time I decided to tell
“my parents I was struggling with *******.”

“And this here, on my left leg,
“was gotten the day I decided to ask my
“high school volleyball coach if he
“wanted for a prayer.”

“And this slanted one here,
“on my right forearm,
“was gotten the day I decided to walk away
“from the friendships I yearned to have
“to follow Him.”
Jedd Ong Jul 2015
Your children roam the gridlocked streets
hand-in-cardboard, feet firmly on uneven ground,
eyes heavy with the rubble of their foreclosed homes.
They live in grocery carts.

Forget Fifth Avenue, or the Villages,
or the cobblestone streets of young and old,
or the unseen gates of Striver’s Row.
Your heart lies by the subway stations
that ring with the songs of a lonely old man,
his teeth yellowed, but voice golden,
asking not for introductions nor coin,
but for a listener.

New York, they cry for you to hear them.
(Your poor, your tired, and your weary)

Bowery, 6.13.15.
Jul 2015 · 746
Sea, Rising From the Venus
Jedd Ong Jul 2015
Puddles of water
slip your neck
an ever changing

while you cry tears
welling not from humanoid
eye ducts
but a patch
of cornea.

It sloshes you
on rainwater
as sea foam rises
from your torso.

Poseidon’s chariot
rolling by.
Jul 2015 · 629
Nuclear Shelter
Jedd Ong Jul 2015
We will build concert houses
next to bomb shelters,

chain theatre chairs
to desert floors,

have in-house orchestras
playing contrite wars.

We will pray each
note rupturing bullet holes,

each baton swing
urging soldiers back,

each bar of sheet music
leaving open invitations.

"Dear visitor,” it will read,
"break whatever you want.

“We all must scream
“to be heard in this desert."
Jul 2015 · 1.5k
Jedd Ong Jul 2015
A silver pipe strikes me on the left-hand window,
breaking the dullness of these grey hospital walls.

Granddad, you’re due for your umpteenth colonoscopy,
and here I am thinking about how your IV’d wrists
strip away light like a prism.

They bandage the hurt leaking from your eyes
and let rainbows clog up your insides.

(Is that why you can't go, you old geezer?)
(Smile a bit more, will you?)
Jun 2015 · 837
Lit Class
Jedd Ong Jun 2015
when all is but gone,
books, words,
reduced to dust and
arbitrary faces I
will remember -

the absurd
pretension in
every line of
an ee cummings

numbered capital

and I
birthday parties.

the little drummer
boys that made

and the
gibberish that only
made sense when
you read it at night

and I

believe pavllions.

and tucked away
homes hidden in
ol' Kansas bluegrass

still somewhat up
at two
in the morning puttering
away at stories so

it is here
where our
rooms stopped time to
break free of metaphors.

where the metaphors
become symbolisms.

where the symbolisms
become you—

I guess
I’d just like to say
that I
will remember

and thank you.
For my lit teacher.
Jun 2015 · 816
Red Pill
Jedd Ong Jun 2015
It was this Jabawockeez dance back in ’09
where all the members had red
tracksuits, and white masks.

They, popping and locking their way through
to the hiphop world title, a rhythm all their own:
a tight mesh of violins and dropped beats.

Your evenings wake up like their dance routine -
all fuzzy, late edges and hard, sideways locks -
you the trapped light from an old photograph.

Your limbs are a tangle of red tracksuits and gloves,
sterile-white boots, but yellow masks: its sounds full
of their bedtime violins, your heavy beat sunrises.

You take these pills to keep the mornings asleep.
Jun 2015 · 948
The Wrap
Jedd Ong Jun 2015
Pentagon fights ban on
Russian rockets. Turkish
vote shapes up as refer-
endum on leader. Deng's
legacy: corruption of par-
ty elite. ECB chief sug-
gests flexibility on Greece.
New York Times 6/4/15.
Jun 2015 · 569
Jedd Ong Jun 2015
The littler man walks up to the little man and asks for a gun.
"I wish to join you, and fight for justice."

The little man coughs.
"Young soldier, why do you ask for a gun?"

Gavroche, with head held high, answers:
"Because to be a soldier one must have strength,
"And to have strength one must quiet his fears."

Upon hearing this, the little man smiled and handed him a quill.
"Your gun, young soldier. Use it well."

Remember this as you watch him fall.
May 2015 · 501
Seymour is an Introduction
Jedd Ong May 2015
There is a Seymour in all of us - not more a fragile name but perhaps not less. We are all equally cut, strings loosened past our own internal metronomes, flashing bits of poetry past those who will listen. Or rather, those who must listen - the longer no one does the faster these strings within us snap piece-by-piece. Soon we will become balloons that float away and pop. We, leaving Earth for space. Note that poetry is not just the meter that stirs heat and snaps foot-beats within our tongues - but the needles that ***** them too.

In these poems are buried stick figures and falsified diary entries - excepts of a language wrought from our own souls. Today I wore a baseball mitt scribbled with bright green verse as to not get lost running around the diamonds. We are all, in our own way, misunderstood and that’s where I feel Seymour’s got something over us. The innate, misread poetry of our collective consciousness is pervasive in his entire life. Maybe this is less of an introduction. Less of a poem even, than a eulogy for Seymour Glass - the most delicate man who ever lived.

He threw a stone at the one girl he truly loved, as we drew stick figures.
Raise High the Roofbeam, Carpenters can be found here: It's not necessarily a poem, but I hope it's poetic enough to pass as one. It's been tough.
Jedd Ong May 2015

Somewhere in a mailroom in China
is my acceptance letter to
Brown University,

fluttering in the
sticky, smog-filled wind like an
unspoken birthright,

vacuum sealed in some shoddy warehouse,
slap-banged next to my father's
porcelain wares and flasks – and my grandfather's,
and his father's. "Son,"

my father tells me,
"you've got a lot of the old man in you.
"I am grateful."

I then retch
in the dingy comfort
of our hotel room bath
before proceeding to lunch.

Dad's Chinese counterparts
congratulate me on
being able to tell them what I
want to do when I grow up.

"Wo yao dang yi ge shangren – zhu fu."
“I want to become a businessman – get rich.”


"Wo xuyao xiezuo."  
“I must write.”

TS Eliot once asked me,
"Do I dare disturb the universe?"

I do not know yet,
but I think I have found fragments
of an answer lodged in
hotel bathrooms,
a Tianhe-bound overpass
on the way to Beijing Street,
heirloom warehouses,
And two Canton fairs.

"To get rich is glorious,"
Deng Xiaoping once said.

But I glance at
My father and mother,
And theirs,

And wonder if all their life, they have but
knocked on the doors of their fate -
chased dreams not
tobacco stewed or gold-ground
by the teeth of an Other.

As to answer your question, T.S Eliot:
Maybe, if just to find where I truly belong.
Well it's kind of a sequel. First poem here:, though I'm not quite sure of the relationship. You tell me.
May 2015 · 599
Horror House
Jedd Ong May 2015
we, go, God,
to, where, the, house, upon,
prairie, darkens,
snaking, through, nonsensical,
fear, and, slip,
death, a, song, quickly, lop,
at, its, paw,
in, the, din, roaring, as, it, presses,
we, whisper,
having, borne, it, scars,
A thing called alternate reverse consonance - every ending word of every other line punctuated by the last letter of the previous other line. It's like "ABAB" only with ending letters. E.g "God" and "darkens", "darkens" and slip", so on.
May 2015 · 496
Jedd Ong May 2015
We are not warriors yet.
We still gaze at stars
that predate the dawning
of time - heaven-sent
crumbs bowing to Earth.

This is all that becomes of us.

Our bodies will explode.
We will chase the other off
shadows nursing our blood.
Moonlight will ground whispers
into long-drawn screams.

We, reduced to streaks.
Apr 2015 · 560
We won't go gently
Jedd Ong Apr 2015
For amy fight*

You and I,
Into the good night -
Wrought by bleak
And scattered by twinkle -
We won't go gently.

Gazing the pink
Leaping the blue
Painting the sky
A thousand hues -
We won't go gently.

Screaming the fat
******* the know
Clothing the brown
And clotting the snow -
We won't go gently.

We, winding the tunnel,
Pinking the red,
You, look out below
As we're coming up dead -
We won't go gently.

So you guard the keys,
key the louse
And watch these hues
That guide our house -
We won't go gently.

We bleed this city
Pink and blue
And skip to these twinkles
And wrinkle our Lous -
We don't go gently.
Apr 2015 · 939
Jedd Ong Apr 2015
Jay-Z sounds like he's underwater. And the showerhoses tilt shut and the bathroom door opens to reveal - well, what I thought was a sealing wound thankfully turned out to be headphone covers and my brother's obscured big toe. Trembling.

He walks as if he was the rapper himself - chest hunched, back lurching forward like that of a street cat who doesn't know he's made it. Shaky feet, wet hair, darkened eyes that hadn't been shut for days.

''For my father was black, and beautiful, and beautiful, therefore, black. There was a blackness to him that was beautiful. A blackness entirely clear and his own.'' -James Baldwin, Notes on a Native Son (paraphrased).

His legs if you roll up the pajama bottoms are filled with quilt patched mosquito bites and blacks and blues. Self-inflicted. Eyebag patches punched back into his face resurfacing in the hidden contours of his thigh. Trembling. Allow me to reintroduce myself. Trembling.

He is and he isn't. No native son of ours black but yellow covered, yellow but eyes tinged with red, and awash in shadows black and blue - he is beautiful - puffy eyed, brickfaced boombox carrying screamer of profanity and tongue tied silence all and still - he is black, and he is beautiful.

An underwater mixtape taking shape to be a broken record anthem.
Apr 2015 · 679
Subway Car Shadows
Jedd Ong Apr 2015
I am aware that the lights of this city always wash up underground.
it is here we stumble upon an abandoned MRT car.
we celebrate her finding.

Maybe tonight we'll finally knit her together!

We'll make her whole again!
Bones, carbine batteries, and all:
creaky joints brittle, flimsier than
the hour hands drumbeat-beating back
the good,

old times.

We are tired.
of forever chasing
your headlamp leftovers through decaying brick walls,

of forever waiting on your streetlamp-stained limbs to finally reach the graveyard stations of our subconscious.

of picking up after
the shadowy remnants of your visage,
now a checklist of unfulfilled promises:

pulley - rusted,
benches - mothballed,
cable strings - straining.
paint - chipping,

engine - huffing,
axle - bleeding,
spirit - broken.

we are tired of waiting.
Apr 2015 · 1.1k
McDonald's at 10:00 pm
Jedd Ong Apr 2015

Sickly, dark-skinned Joseph
Bustos was in a suit,
picked his phone from his
Pocket and asked us to take
Him a selfie as he motioned
To the statue of an eerily staring,
Possibly demonic Ronald
McDonald languidly swaying
On a faux-park bench. Collective

Laughter - "Are you serious,
"Man?" We said, having all heard
Full well stories of
****** painted clown statues
Moving its creaky bones
At the crack of dawn only
To devour our soul. "Are
"You serious,
"Bustos?" we genuinely taunted -
"Well I'll have a mirror," he told us
"So don't worry." I never

Quite got what that meant.


The laughter and tales of
Business school and
Med school continued full on
Into the late (school) night,
Dense tails of superglued
Frog brains, Chinese economics,
Girl problems in the
Philippine stock exchange drowning
The macabre absurdity
Of the take out
Terror, Ronald

Staring blankly into the crevasse of
The night, and we absurd,
Blanketing in laughter scarred and scared
Wanting to approach
The chained playground but shivering
At the slightest hints
Of movement - which of


Came. And Jack
Yeung (The largest, yellowest
Of us all, perhaps smartest too,
Studying in Hong Kong)
Leapt, at which we laughed,
And made jokes about how
The cockroaches
Matched the color of
Our country's skin, made it
Crawl not just because
Of its stick thin haunches,
But its brownness,
Seediness, inconcealable


To which we laughed - yellowed
Out, almost as pale
As the sticky ice
Cream cups that adorned our
Table, pale not though,

From lineage but rather
The collective rosiness of our
Disillusioned, ice
Cream-fed cheeks, and the fear
Of darkness, and eerie
Whitefaced Ronald, and
Brown cockroaches and

Spirits that could move
Frozen marble faces. Bustos
Gestured quietly
To his cellphone,
Gazed downward and muttered
Something about
Fraternities and connections.


Behind our mutterings,
The Movement: children,

Coffee-stained and tattered rag
Shorts slit open like grass stained
Skirts, holding their bony
Hands and kissing Ronald's
Hollowed cheeks like he was
An ancient god. "Stop,"
I imagine us warning them,
"Evil spirits, dark and deep
"As night itself, haunt his body.
"Stay away - we've studied
"His countenance plenty."

They would only laugh though,
And continue to stroke
His paint-chipped cheek,
Brown - not
Ghost-thinned cockroach,
But rather rich
Like brewing coffee and

Mar 2015 · 3.2k
Jedd Ong Mar 2015
Muelle de Binondo Street,
Barangay San Nicolas,
Old Manila.

My dad's fate
Will always be muddled
With nostalgia:

The mid-afternoon
Traffic of fruit vendors,

The toothless strains
Of my grandfather's voice,
Bouncing off
The warehouse walls
Like folding cardboard,

The ceramic gallops of horse-
Drawn kalesas taking him
From school to
My grandfather's offices,
Every day and back,

Up and down
The cardboard box river
To Tondo. There, he hurriedly
Buys ten
Asado buns
From a stall across the
Street from their
School - a voracious
Forever late for class, forever

Putting on basketball jerseys
Too wide for him,
Basketball shorts too
Short; body
Always too gangly,
Too long-limbed, wide eyed
And fleet footed
For his dreams to catch.

He once could dunk.

He is still a baby boomer -
Scared of firecrackers,
Weird penchant
For popped collar shirts,
Pointed shoes, and
Sequins - he, was an avid

Lover of stars - his old
Dust-strewn bed posts
Giving way, I imagine,
To iron bars caging
The luminous starry night,
Floating high above
The sewage
And the freight trucks
That weigh him so.

They sang to him.

In the tune of
My mother's voice -
The only album
He ever possessed.

Song set from
His favorite band.

"Apo Hiking Society."

His favorite word,
Was "leap."

A disciple
Of MJ, Dr. J,
And Magic,
Samboy, and Jawo,

Icarus on hardwood
And leaping
From the free throw line.

"Son," he once told me,
"You gotta leap
"If you wanna live."

He was always afraid of heights.

It wasn't until 41 that
We made him ride a roller-coaster,
That he had even seen a roller-coaster.

"You gotta leap
"If you wanna live."

I think my favorite
Memory of my dad
Is still him wringing my fingers
At Space Mountain with
Eyes so tightly shut
That we forgot
Our fears,
And screamed instead:


Is how the stars look like
When unbolted
By folding cardboard,
And iron bars.
Mar 2015 · 2.3k
Selecta Ice Cream Anthem
Jedd Ong Mar 2015
These streets they
light into us like
waffle cone whipped suns
reeking permanent
reprehensible dawn of
afternoon trade -

carnivore carton carts
brimming blue rolling red
their way down the
coarse grain streets.

Their wheels brown wood
sandpaper rubbed
brown smoke
elbows smooth prattling
bells bellowing for

ice cream dark cookies
ice cream and cream
ice cream quite rocky,
we are

a road rising mellow and marsh
dreaming mallow yellow lazy
Sunday evenings.

Street lamps dinning bright white
cloth white ringing
church bells gold
smooth bells pure

not cloying nor uneven
pouring down
levelled pavement catching
its taste but forgetting its
waffle cone
crumbling -
Mar 2015 · 678
To a land I have not known
Jedd Ong Mar 2015

as the ends of your
sea seep like
blood through our
pores -


and dream of
crashing harshly
against the uncut
ridges of
shores -


with legs closed
to Olongapo,
to the freight truck
liaisons of
our starless nights,

clouds so light
and bare
they ought to be
bright -


fingers through
the pocketfuls
of loose change
in the torn hems
of your skirt,

on the pinions
and gears
that grind quietly
the dollars
your sunset shores

awake, city,

and know
the caress of
your marbled dawn,
and smother your dress and yearn
to acquiesce,


no more.
Mar 2015 · 2.3k
Oh, Mango Cake
Jedd Ong Mar 2015
Nice to see you again. Our paths were supposed to only intersect once. Yet here we are. You and me. Lost in a sea of other friends and volleyballs. Whenever we meet, it feels like I'm drowning.

"Long time no see!"

Or sea. There is always something vast and new to you - perhaps a hint of peanut brittle, or the slightest hints of sea salt just enough to keep me wondering. Or perhaps, keep me talking. You see those bright red Bang and Olufsen speakers in the corner - well they cost about five thousand US dollars. You see that cake broken open on the balcony floor - well that cost about a fraction of that. But you should have seen the look on Andrieu's face when they threw it at his face. Andrieu over there - well when I first tasted coach's angry spittle on my teeth, he was the only one brave enough to stick out his hand for me to shake. Nice to meet you, he said.

"It's your lucky day."

There's a mango cake coming. So maybe you ought to stick around.
Jedd Ong Mar 2015
Dear Sarah,

I think I got lost a bit there in the patterns of your dress - stars splattering over the hems of your skirt like a never-ending physics class.

You ever studied the constellations? Because speaking of, I think I've gotten lost too in the way your voice sounds like a nebula cracking open. Your eyes travel at speeds laced with infinite decimal points, each glint and blink slowly chasing down light particles - which is to say I cannot seem to grasp how flustered I really am by you and how your poems always seem to leave my lungs screaming for more air.

Staring at your face makes me feel like I'm trapped in a vacuum.
Project Voice. Sarah Kay. They made me write a letter. Hate the fact that I didn't get to read it. Well more of relieved.
Feb 2015 · 958
Jedd Ong Feb 2015
A little boy and little girl stood
Quietly to the curb sweeping
At flowers that never really
Swept back. They gathered them gingerly
Like newborn saplings. Petals,
I may add, wilting ever
So steadily on cement floors. Blown
Off branches by wind and
Made to dance on thorny ground. They
Remind me of us. Flowers one,
All wilting on the cold hard
Earth. Fallen petals from home.
From home. Swaying each and every
One. Like little boys and
Little girls plodding hand in hand
In unison.
Jedd Ong Feb 2015
I can name you
The exact date
On which he was shot:
June 28, 1914.

Who killed him?
Gavrilo Princip,
Member of the Bosnian Nationalist
Movement: The Black

Suddenly this montage
Of bullet chambers
And dead wars
Shift -

Hands. You. Me.
Your fingers,
Which I long to hold.

Your voice,
Which I long to hear.

Which I have forgotten -

Sometimes it is hard
To trace the annals
Of history. Our
****** pawprints

Make the trail of
Arms and hatred
Harder to keep straight
Than sin and so

We walk backwards.
****** trail of footsteps
Perhaps stepped

By a meandering
Mao, or ******,
Or Tojo. Muddied further
By the presence
Of an Alger
Hiss -

Your voice
Is a whisper,

It sings to me in
Secrets - I do not
Know you but I
Am in love,

You are beautiful and
I don't know why
But there's a
War. In my heart.

A war of attrition. Subtraction
Of causes. And the Archduke,
Well the Archduke
Is glad to see you.

Hear his dates blur
Into yours -

History tests,
And love notes
Crumpled away folded
And stored
In the same junk

I imagine his hands
To have folded
Quite slowly,
Searching for something
To latch onto.

Like mine.

Empty palms flickering
Amidst a trail of
Blood and dust -

Oh, and yeah
The history lessons
Of course.
Feb 2015 · 858
end of the known universe
Jedd Ong Feb 2015
heaven sent
to usher us
out - busts
of deified
dead, noses
chipped - like
paint on
old highway
billboards -
signs atop

Jedd Ong Feb 2015

on the
           of theknown
           world aren't stars        
but rather:


val - leys,


to the


Jedd Ong Feb 2015
Five AM.

Dawn is the one remnant of the 1800s left in all of us - the weather. And even that disappears quickly. The pockets of morning stuck between you and me, between this car, and that car, and Dawn's Appalachian highway slipping itself in between the SLEX and the sky take your breath away and slip past consciousnesses like faint dreams. You snap awake. ****** reminder that it's already

Five AM.

Faint strains of rooster crow and traffic whistle keeping you up despite your desire to sleep. This bus ride is meant for sleeping, rather. Your teammates lean on pillowcases shifting hues from black to gray to light pink to faint orange. You stare quietly out the ever shifting window. Somehow your eyes keep track of the streaks of light running alongside it. Somehow you're awake even if it's just

Five AM.

The sky is the one part of our cities that isn't yet covered in *******. Outlines of shantytowns and exhaust smoke belching smokestacks and piggeries and overpriced skyscrapers provide platforms for the sun's pink rays to shine upon but still it rises above it. With it. Through it. Over and around. Sunset mornings that glow with an innocent hue. Some say Apollo preferred the form of a young boy whenever he'd come down to Earth. Makes for easier running, I guess. The roads look wider at

Five AM.

The sky is the one part of our cities that isn't yet covered in *******. The time it takes for one photon of light to hit the surface of the Earth is eight minutes. Light is far. Light is distant and twisted and radiant. Light provides surface for the sky - paints the floors of heaven by which we gaze upon with bleary eyes and pray to. God walking on our ceilings. Humans knocking on our floors. Alarm clocks reminding me it's just

Five AM.

It's just

Five AM.
Feb 2015 · 1.1k
Pale Blue Dot
Jedd Ong Feb 2015
And Carl Sagan
Would have said:

This here

Is us.

We are but
Flecks of dust
In this vast region
Of space and time

Or so all the astronomers
Gravely would
Have us say.

And who are we
To argue?

When God created the universe
We were an afterthought:
It is possible.

Breathed life into us
And left us
To float
And spin
And twist like tiny
Wind up toys

And see for ourselves
One day the
Irony of it all. See

Maybe past it,
Around it,
Bend over sideways
And squint
And leer
Over ourselves
And towards

The slit-narrow
Windows of
Our homes,
And look

And trace the
Hums of colors
Hanging forth
On the edge
Of our galaxies.

And come forth
And marvel at

The magnitude of
Our inheritance.
Feb 2015 · 605
Nihilist Hymn
Jedd Ong Feb 2015
Here. There is no
Sorrow. There is no
Suffering –
Here. There is no
Weeping. There is no
Crying. There is no
Mourning –
Here. There is no
Day time. There is no
Night time. There no
Them, us –
Here. There is no
You. There is no
Me -
Here. There is only
Feb 2015 · 457
Jedd Ong Feb 2015
The nightingale
Treads light
And trembling, grins;

Tread carefully
As she spreads
Her wings.
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