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Jedd Ong Apr 2014
In a cosmopolitan world where
Yeezy reigns supreme on our
Speakers, loathed for loving
Genius-acknowledging, we

Have set a standard of beauty
So surreptitious, soulless—
Unattainable in this number-
Crunching world so pre-

Occupied with symmetry and
Egotism—structure—black and
White dominated by rawness and
Robotics: steampunk screams echo-
Ing from the rooftops of skyscrapers

As lightning continues to strike the highest point.
Ain't no way I'm giving up. I'm a [sic].
Jedd Ong May 2014
I can spend hours
Losing myself in this
Transcendent embrace—
Chest warm and welcoming,
Always understanding.

Father's advice not
In the things he says but
In the curves of His
Brow, contours
Of His smile—quiet,
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.
Jedd Ong Oct 2014
Today I learned
That God kicked my ***
At poetry,
Among other things.

Not that
It wasn't a given,
But still.

Adds to the list.

Mile long,
Mile wide.

And here
I'm simply stuck
Making mountains
Out of molehills.

And over there
He's making molehills
Out of mountains.

Would you look at that.

My God can
Take apart
Put together
Break, fix, turn sideways

Even the largest
Of his creations

And I sometimes still
Can't figure out
How to open a
Bag of potato chips properly.

The elephant
In the room,

Well no seriously,

The elephant in the room
Has ivory
For teeth
And a sinewy trunk
Made out of some
Neat little fiber to
Take in water and nuts.

Given our world
The closest thing
To a walking gold

And here I am talking
About his poetry
For crying out loud.

Gotta love him man.

Gotta love him.
Praise him. I feel humbled and ready to write again.
Jedd Ong Apr 2014
The book folds to reveal
The real world,
Beneath my crouched knees

Untied sneakers sprawled
All over the floor, muddy.

There is a silent joy in
Watching others consume
Realities all too
And all too
Common to

Perhaps all too so.

For the past two days
I've caught the people
Crouching beside me
Jedd Ong Oct 2014
To be one day performed in sign language*

You could call it
A gentle guitar
Or even a piercing
Voice clear
And high.

Silence is a song.

I know
And you do too.

Perhaps I don't
As much as you would.

There is a cadence
To the way
Our pens
Twist and turn
Like my grandfather's

There is an art
To the way
Your fingers
Seem to curve
At the slightest
Of your lips.

Your body's language
Is like an evergreen
Eyes, hands, feet wide
Open to the
Rhythms of the world.

And what a stunning
Beat it drums.
Jedd Ong Sep 2013
God please
Let my ruse
Hold out
Just a little bit further.

Let my mask
Stay on
Just a little bit longer.

Let me walk away
With Pride
Still dangling
From my chest-

Lord grant me no rest.
We all fall short.
Jedd Ong Nov 2013
The only story I have of you is when dad told me
You used to be so cheap,
That you used newspaper to wipe your ***.

When I made the trek to
Abad Santos to visit your grave,
I found myself staring upward at
Brows knotted permanently
In a scowl.

I associate your scent with
The smell of incense and
Burning candles,

Your touch like that of
Cold marble.

Even in death,
You eclipse my grandfather.

He has your eyebrows.

I hope you noticed.
On a heritage built on bitter tears.
Jedd Ong Sep 2014
If we
Stepped back far enough,
I bet we could
Fit the Earth
In the far corners of our hand.

If we measured
The heavens just right,
And picked out the exact
Magnitudes, I bet you
We could do it.

Because I know.
Whether we know it or not
The distance between
Our hearts
And the very center
Of the universe
Isn't all that far.

We just
Have to find the right
Measuring tool for it,
And no,
The telescopes,
It won't do this time.

The galaxy we are shooting for,
It exists only
On the pinpricks of our fingers.
Its standard unit
Is that of closeness and
Of vast quiet.

I'll show you.

On the count of three,
I want us both to close our eyes
And whisper.


See there?
There is home.
And you hold it
In my palms.
Hopefully to be one day performed.
Jedd Ong Jul 2014
These                                                                       (this) are


(:a poem;
                                    For yOu.)

                                                                                      (Whom i hAvE)

                                 (been nursing)
                        ( B             h                  e
                              u          c            r
in                                     a     T                                            My
                                  T    m
                             f        o          l
                       i               t                e

butterflies—they glow
              For you,                                     {they've spared me some cold,



              <goodby>                they're yours now.

Butterflies. Haha. I was never great at drawing.
Jedd Ong Jul 2014
I think
I've seen it all:
****** turbans,
Mosques riddled
With bullet holes,
Bus stop bomb shelters,
Bad aim.

I've been out of the loop
Had the time to
Stop and smell the
Newsprint on

The coffee table but,
I see pictures.

Paper maché
Leg casts,
Hello Kitty bandages,

Slit wrists,
And a ground out cigar.

Lonely engines,
Browning fires,
And balsa wood.

Gas masks,
A judge's gavel
And traveller's checks.

House of cards,
Plane ticket,
Ukrainian flag.

Smoke bombs,
Sandpaper flares...

Rocket ships filled
With bags of sand.
And cups of coffee:

Wake up.
Jedd Ong Apr 2014
There was a time when I watched it happen.
Strangers pressed to other strangers
in one bed, clothes on, air humid
with the cloying scent of fruit juice
and *****; none of us
giving into another and yet unwilling to leave the scene
of that possibility,
pretending to sleep, actually sleeping.
Then waking again to slip a hand
over a shoulder, slide a finger
inside the waistband of a skirt; so young
(we are even now still
so young) in that hotel room
turning blue then lighter blue.
We wouldn’t have tried for more:
the kiss, the button; firm, white shape
of an image slipped wholly into the mind,
acted upon, dreamed upon,
filling the thin vessels of the lungs.

Earlier, a film, its forced sounds
of *******. The tension I felt winding
into the muscles of some of the others in the room.
I remember I left for awhile.
We all left for awhile;
even the music was frightening. How
to strip ourselves like that, point
at the places that were wanted, plucked
and peeled; speaking the words, hearing them form us,
the nature of what we were
and could do to each other?
The music, the rocking, the sobbing.
The man called the woman by parts of herself.
Some laughed at this. I remember
I must have been one of them.
In the morning, the hotel room was turning white.
After the long night, hands were slipping
and unslipping, moving over the flattened pillows
as if in hopes something small could still satisfy us.
Someone turned and looked at someone else;
we all heard it. Legs
shifted, sheets slid themselves down waists
or shoulders, tightened again at the necks
of those pretending to sleep as the unblinking sun
crawled in our window.
From another room, coughing,
We all heard it.
Someone looked at someone else.
The room turned white. The air began clearing.
Sometimes you just have to admire the bravery of writers like him.
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.
Jedd Ong Oct 2014
remember marjorie,
and how her footsteps

pattered quietly
after the rain,

how she rarely smiled
with her lips

but always let you know
what she was up to
with her eyes.

with her, came the day.

in this darkest of nights,
i remember

the sweetness
of her laughter,

the bold redness of
her moon-like cheeks.

her sweetest
smiles come not

off wide-eared grins but
rather the slightest

of an ear,

the gentlest slant
of her lips.
oh maggie and milly and molly and may...
Jedd Ong Dec 2013
Sometimes you strike me as a
Paper airplane:

Somewhat flimsy,
Somewhat crumpled up
And tired,

Stumbling on and swaying-

A product of all those
Late nights

In night-oil'd

And of all those sleepless nights
Preparing for them

Unsure how to open and close
Your mouth properly.

Cracked labi,
From lack
Of saliva.

And sometimes you strike me as alive.
Like you wanted it this way.

You trained your body to be

To allow your spirit
More room to
Dance with the beams of light

That lap at your heels
As you
Approach the

Cheap ***** playground from youth.
Even the freckles couldn't hide it...
Jedd Ong Nov 2014
An envelop of darkness
Draws in quiet.

There is a sweetness
To the silence,

To the chorus
Of sleeping children

Humming away
Hymns of brighter tomorrows

And far-away dreams
That shield them from aged lines

That once-upon-a-time
Plagued their fathers and mothers.

And oh, there will be
A time for them too to grow old,

But I will take solace
In the fact that even

As we grasp for words and songs
To grip our smiling pasts,

There will still be nights like this:
Full of silence and God and poetry,

And swinging songs of self and serendipity,
And quiet mornings wrought just

Light enough by street lamps
Which hit pavements like bits of gold,

Waking the dew and painting our grounds
Smooth and bold.
As requested by Sofia: no approval. I can't sleep.
Jedd Ong Jan 2015
A swallow
Only ***** its wings
As it falls
To earth.
Well, I need some practice with brevity.
Jedd Ong Jan 2014
They sing songs
Of desert gypsies
And chain smoking bulls,

Of mirages that kiss
Your throat
And linger quietly

While you quickly catch
Your crumpling breaths,

Drunken wisps
Of sandpaper snow
Flickering and coarse—

Palms warm to the touch.
Jedd Ong Sep 2013
This is the first thing I've been proud of in days:
The imperfection of worship-
Cracking voices and out of tune guitars,
Heartbeats that overtake the
Tempo by a timid half-step

And that sole audience member
That is shameless in singing,

His arms outstretched and his feet,
Dancing for You
And the Whatever Remains of this broken church
Following suit,
Singing and singing and singing
With timbres soft, loud, high, low,
Shattering glass and
Letting go,

Still vastly outnumbered by
The skipped beats and fumbled notes
But ****** if they aren't gonna try to keep up!

This is the first thing I've been proud of in days:

Brothers and sisters that do not yield
To the emptiness and the void
That comes with worshipping You!

Who would too, alone sing for the return
Of your own children,
Who would close your eyes
And weep in silence with a resounding "Yes!"
At the sight of your sons returning,
Your daughters returning,

Your chosen ones responding,
"I'm coming home tonight!"

Weeping for joy with a resounding, "Yes!

"I'm finally coming Home."
Jedd Ong Aug 2014
Somehow, despite all the flowing music
Streaming from the tape recorder,
It’s as if someone’s knocked out all the light
In the night sky, and left only these wispy notes.

They run deep through my veins,
Traversing darkness—you could call it “Growing Pains,”
Though it feels more like a chilly field—each note
Like a wayward crow

Stripping away slowly each song, chord by chord,
Till they begin to distort
The words themselves, turn hail to howl
And carve into the fields, their scowls.

Already the field fills with their breathy chirps,
Chipping away at the rhythm that
Gives each song its cadence—
Stripping the whistle from each hum of the wind.
Jedd Ong Sep 2014
I will go.
And I will know.

The comeliness of night,
The futility of fight,
The fickleness of might—

I will go.

O vainglorious combat,

I will go.

Go gracefully, I hope so.
Go brightly, I don't know.

Go gently, I will go.
I hope it will be so.

Well, no.
Jedd Ong Mar 2014
I still think
Heaven is a small
Town with bright
Blue eyes and the
Sound of a child's

That it unknots
The brows of even
The most weary of

I still think
Heaven is a small
Garden encrusted with
White feathers and
The west-wound winds
Coming from the Atlantic.

An old harbor—Vladivostok—
Spelled perfectly,
Abandoned by
Knaves and all the carnage they left,
Or Ceasaria:

Dry bed of luminous ruins.

I imagine You beckoning us:
"Don't be afraid, come!"—
Revealing pockets of
Nature only you would have
The courage to call

Jedd Ong Dec 2013
The trot of kalesas,
Temple shack stores and
Hastily scrawled calligraphy—

Fruit cartons
And rice sacks
That litter
The clay streets
Itching to emerge from
Asphalt skin—

Browbeaten Angkongs shivering
In the December chill,
Decked in hawaiian shirts
And worn sandals—

Dirt-tinged air
Which goes down my throat
About as smooth as grandpa's beer—

Bitter but clean,
Swelling my chest with pride—

It tastes like home.
I've been meaning to write about Sto. Cristo for a while. It's where I grew up, see. It isn't perfect, but home has always been one of those places that's hardest to really capture. It's the farthest I've gone so far.
Jedd Ong Nov 2013
Your eyes
Drew me in:

Large pingpong *****
With brown diamonds
Embedded in the center.

When you smiled,
I remembered not how your mouth curved,
But how your eyes

Even then I could tell you were a little delicate-

Okay a lot more delicate
Than you would let on, and

That your soul always forced its way out of you.
I will not write a love poem...I will not write a love poem...I will not write a love poem...
Jedd Ong May 2014
I'd ask
"How much for the little girl,"

But then I'd be overvaluing
Their worth to you.

Hidden away in some forest,
Wearing black scarves
To cover
The soft contours of
Their diamond shells.

Gun-toting madness
Their temples.

You demand that women respect themselves.

Swallow your Pride.
To the Boko Haram
Jedd Ong Jun 2014
I come clean about the night,
How the moon sets
In the morning and parts
To reveal the light,
And with it
My scars—below the eyes,
On my lips,
My perfection all but blighted.
Jedd Ong Sep 2013
Sing praises!

Outside your bedroom window
the caged bird sings along.

Outside your bedroom window
even the moon butchers a song

So Croak!
even when your voice cracks

even when you're out of tune

even when your words

at the bottom of your throat.

is not only for the weak

is not only for the primal.

Throw up your hands
and let your grinning,
limbs scream

Jedd Ong Feb 2014
The morning
Rays filter in:

The hands of a broken

Which is to say
My time was up
A long time ago;
Today's a new day.

Though I'm not quite there yet,

I know I'll get by.
Morning. -_-
Jedd Ong Aug 2014
I’ve been hauling a lot of baggage lately,
And they strike me as quite useless.

It’s like how Patrick brought a suitcase full of rocks
To the Krusty Tower just so that he’d have
Something to bring to the hotel
With a useless employee elevator.

The things we carry around with us
Are a lot like that—unnecessary
Backbreakers that threaten to unhinge us.

And days like this make me feel like Squidward:
Stuffy nose, heavy suction cups for feet.

Days like this make me want
To sit down.

Days like this make my food taste like they’ve
All been covered in cheese, toenail clippings,
And nose hair, which by the way reminds me—

“We shall never deny a guest,
“Even the most ridiculous request.”

(Days like this only lasts an episode.)
(Which is like, thirty minutes.)
(So keep going.)
Jedd Ong Sep 2013
I find myself staring
At this little girl in the aisle,
Tottering through
A city of sweets.

With small, outstretched fingers
She waddles hastily
Towards this huge pack
Of chocolates
Giggling silently,
Eyes a bright ruddy brown.

Her mother catches her and laughs,
Puts the chocolates just out her of reach.
Her chubby hands strain
To reach it but to no avail.
Instead they find her mother's long,
Graceful fingers and
Her knowing smile:
Deep brown eyes lit up like one of those
Chocolate bars,
Even sweeter.
Jedd Ong Feb 2014
Raindrops on
My windowsill
Race down
Paths that
Light trace for it,

Faint slants
Which carve
Niches for
The innocent—

Mornings which
Cough faintly,
Smoke lingering

On her throat
But still singing.
Jedd Ong Apr 2014
The burnt patches on your
Index finger have quietly been
Snuffing out the cigarettes you've
Been inhaling ever since
The start of this
****** conversation—
All too deep, I suppose.

Your cigarettes remind
Me of my shriveled up crayons:
Wayward patches of yellow and
amber in between
Countless granules of
Gaudy amalgamation
Of mirthless colors.

As you leave the downtrodden
Sods of my mind,
I can't help but pick up
The stubs you've been grounding
Out all night.
Light a match.

You'll be delighted to know
My bedroom walls now
Come in different
Shades of gray.
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.
Jedd Ong Oct 2013
For you

I lie restless in limbo,

Floating aimlessly among wracked bodies
And deadened eyes.

I wake unconsciously,
Able to view my own body as it stumbles over itself
And again.

These repeated loops segue
Into habits,
Dark ruts borne into shadows—

This is my Lion's Den.
Jedd Ong Oct 2014
With night,

Somehow manages
To touch the other's hand
Even if
One is allergic
To the heat
And the other,
A fear of the dark.

There's a striking
Balance in the
Muted gray
Of the groggy sky—
A scenery
Not very much unlike
Of a slumbering owl
And a waking wren,

One creature
In cahoots
With the darkness
And the other
Perhaps too
With light.

Sing very
Different songs—yet
Seem to arrive
At the same purpose:

Which is to see
What the other
Really is made of
Beyond the light
And shroud—

Touch maybe even
Forbidden wings and
Sing some more;

In this habitat
Of shadows
They—we—will not be bothered.

So sing, wren,
Your truest of songs:

"Good morning,
"Good morning,
"The day is
"But coming,"

So sing, owl,
Your truest of songs:

"Good evening,
"Good evening,
"The night is
"But leaving."

And so now kiss, night,
The plodding day.
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.
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.
Jedd Ong Dec 2014
We will
Our fingers
Around these gifts
Like ribbons,
And unknot them
And unclasp the
That hide beneath them,
And find the joy
That comes with
Jedd Ong Oct 2013
At 5
45 my eyes
Have just begun
To slowly
Into their sockets.

My body
Screams at me
To go back to sleep,

But can I help it
If dawn  
Was the only

I've been able to muster
In a long time?
Jedd Ong Nov 2014
Each date line
Is a future stained
In pencil marks,

Each grand crease
Of the palm
Another corrupted

Cuts upon cuts upon
Beautiful, minuscule cuts.

Each intersection,
Each fine line

Telling a story.

Skinned pavement,
Pencil callouses,
Oven burns, or perhaps

Bruised thumbs,
Stray rebounds,
Sharp-edged comic books

Candle wax,
Rose thorns,

A tightly clutched hand...

I think I'll trace
The origins of that
Last one.
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 Aug 2014
Fight, fight! Through these hallowed halls,
The chalkboards that seem to scream,
"Rah, rah! You're trapped within these walls,
And all is not as they seem!

'Brilliant!' You may say, and 'Brilliant!' you may be,
But the cramping hands, begrudge,
And no match are you for these cackling C's,
And a brain that just won't budge—

Oh hark! Hear! Oh the scribbles far and near!
Watch your own blank page!
And know why white is the color of fear,
My dear, where is your sage?"

" 'Tis here!" Cry I, and gnash with my teeth,
The grit that lies wherein,
For what shall be, my God will bequeath:
The writ that lies within.
Jedd Ong Sep 2014
dustv  eils
swi   ftly
ayo  uthful
lens;  legions
of serra  atesight
scarcely  tempered
Again, idea from  The prompt was "introduce yourself."
Jedd Ong Dec 2014
Eat your

Pack the wheelchair.
You don’t need it
Jedd Ong Sep 2013
I have never woken up to a sunrise

I have watched the walls turn
From gray to orange, and
From orange to white,

Seen the shadows of trees
That never knew the sight of my face,
Refracted light creeping into my bedroom through
The windowsill

Forcing their way through the darkness,
The cracks,
And the creases of my eyelids.

To this day,
The closest I have gotten to sunrise
Wass the musky gray of

But I have woken up to a moonset.
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 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.
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.
Jedd Ong Nov 2014
Might move the deadline
For our Chinese script
But I'm still mad at him
For keeping me up
At the grand hour of 11

In the evening graphing
Over (and over)
Again business charts that
Have crooked smiles almost
As blank and bleak

As their returns on investment.

And speaking of which,
This extra eighty grand I spent
At this school, ogling at textbooks I could
Never work up the courage to read,
Is finally starting to break my back.

Weakly, I'll tell you
How much I hate school—
How her consonants sound synonymous
To "scoliosis,"
And peel off my shirt and prove it to you

But that would be careless.

And careless is something in me hand-bound
By iron clad futures and
Graying dreams,
Perhaps that of a dead stock broker
Feet dangling off the roof of
The Philippine Stock Exchange,

And even then that's
Straying too far from home:
A cardboard box business
Resting by a
Tuberculosis-riddled sea.
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