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Raphael Cheong Mar 2017
the hands of the clock are spinning
with broken bars on the playground
skipping stones
when things started to get a little heavy
we paused our breathing for an aftermath of sorts
but never saw it happen
the chiming gets louder
the bad kids come out to play
stringing words through fences
hardly a crooked smile
or stare
we're not going anywhere
it's daylight
we snooze our dreams because
they might never take flight
we sit on the bleachers
we live vicariously
we tear jealousy from magazine covers
because that's how we live
we step on broken mirrors but they do not hurt
these times in twos we're forced to live
the heavy gets heavier
the heart gets harder to breathe
we begin to look for fingers to grab
fingers of grief
kisses through teeth
we make bad decisions that spin
on some nights we kneel
but Sunday morning is not for another 12 hours
we return to wallow
in a certain hollowness still unfilled
the cycle repeats; we're waiting for night to come
around like a boomerang
were these years formative?
or maybe just an excuse for destruction
regrets fizzle
but never make it pass the sheet of ice
and a little wiser
just a little
the handlebars come off
once upon a time this was a vision
and now the hurdles are broken
until new ones come along
once upon a time this was a scream in the night
now there are bells
and lights
and buzzing
the chiming gets louder
the albatross is passed
around like a boomerang
an encumbrance
it berates me
we're looking for reasons to swallow
all this guilt and all their shadow
I scramble to my feet
to put this banner together brick
by boring brick
it feels all too valorous
to exclaim that I have broken the wheel
in time to come I shall fall back
into clutches
and fingers and teeth
and bad kissing
a half-open grey goose on the mantelpiece
half-opened desires
and some squabbling in my chest
more chandeliers
and more yet to come
as I fizzle into some chasm unbeknown
surely there is more falling to come
but for now
the hands of the clock are
Raphael Cheong Aug 2016
the day is new
so let’s not break it
I tell myself to triumph
every single time I trip
and there is no one there to hold me
but it’s a fall from grace with a view
with time and space for thought
and so I spend it on you

the day is new
you hurt me last night
and it is out of my memory
you maimed my thighs again
with the flowers I bought for you
you tried strangling me this time
and I thought it could finally be true
that this is how love feels like

the day is new
and so I sit here in comfort
wearing a sweater as always so no one sees
sipping a coffee pretending to be me
I make up lists in my head
to prevent me from going insane
for fear that I might like this
for fear that I might not run

who was that from before?
the day is new
and this is me
surely my pain is sorely somatic
I’ve heard my senses call me psychotic
but there is no war inside my head
there’s just me
screaming on the television with my sockets at my cheeks
sunken within me I fade
until a new day begins

the day is new
you told me so yourself
you taught me to forgive and I did
you taught me penance and I perceived it to be
my sole purpose and the sole remedy that will save me
before I go insane

the day is new
we play darts with knives and we’re neck to neck again
winner takes all
it’s been our tradition ever since the fall
how could I possibly need somebody so much?
why am I still here?
no, you taught me to never question
the day is new but you are a staple in my life
one that I could never live without
I’m stuck with stilts on solid ground

the day is new
sometimes I wish the day will never end
the day is new
maybe it’s time we stop the play pretend
the day is new
the room is spinning
the curtains are falling
the windows apart
a distant sweet churning
the sound of your heart
maybe it’s chaotic
but maybe it calms me
the sound of wares crashing
threats thrown again
the day is new
but these habits stay the same
the day is new
so overused it’s nauseating
I double down on this disastrous misery
who am I to call you a fiend?
I’m no villian yet not quite angel again

the day is new
I dispose of yesterday’s prey
and reload
for today’s new hunting and today’s new game
Raphael Cheong Oct 2015
Lamentations and a trigger
Questions and closed walls
Loneliness is a dark place to be
When you're a riptide in the sea

We are the hunters and the terror
And we give ourselves away
To every strobe that once brought euphoria
Cascade into the darkness of the day

At gunpoint no lies survive
As they walk the weary wastelands
As you think dog days are over
Knives find peace in hollow hearts

Darts and an anchor
Death by December
Sealed with a kiss and
Promise to deliver
Roses thriving on the remains of the night
Trampled by a stampede of prides
Crags that congregate for catharsis
Fossilised into the ground

Dusk and dawn
Dust and pawns
Lust and taunts
And we give ourselves away

One December morning I found my feet in the deep water
After a storm
As I brewed and brewed trouble
In the form of marble shards
In the innards of a porcelain cup
The holy grail of languor
Skin meets teeth
Placidity greets
Habits die hard
Victims live vicariously
Through rose-tinted glasses
Waiting to be saved
Sinners can't be brave
Like broken ocean waves

The darkest days are over
So rejoice
For the worst is yet to come
But there is silence
Silence in our downfall

Even with nine suns arising
Caressing the canvas that shrouds the clouds
Even as the firmaments fade to black
Sinners can't be brave
Sinners can't be brave
And we need someone to save us all

Save me
Here I lie beneath the rubble
With my mind in a mess
And my heart in a storm
Save me
Before I become brave again
Raphael Cheong Sep 2015
If only you knew
The poems I wrote about you
Every gaze left unrequited
Every time you rustled the leaves in this garden
And I had to turn myself invisible
Because I could not let myself love you
Because I knew you'd never love me back
Not in the way I wanted you to

Fall comes and I hurt
Sights of couples stacked on benches in parks
Even the leaves collide more consciously than ever
But here I am still
Pinning for a touch

Here I am sitting in your car
Watching the windscreen wipers go left and right on this rainy Sunday afternoon
If only you knew
How oppugnant my mind was too

Even the trees dance
Even the trees dance?
Even the trees dance!
I warned myself not to get into this trance
Even on the nights you wrap your arm around my shoulder when I'm hardly myself I know
Nothing warm is gold
And it will not stay

Even when you brought me away from the fangs of the safari
Even on the dusks you've saved me I know
All you do is tie
And cut
And tie
And cut
Our strings
And how well I played the fool to all your tricks

But you will never know
You will never know
Like the tattoos on your back that you will never read
Like the airs I feign that you will never breathe
Because you will never
See the way I look at you
When you turn the other cheek
With your eyes on someone else

I wish I was different so that you could learn to love me

Just words hanging in the air now
A comical portrait of self-destruction when I look back at the words I've written
So necessary
Fringing on insanity
Harping on a monster without wings

Still I had the last laugh when I
Played the fool to play you now these
Scratch marks mar the charms of your tattoos

But you'll never see them just as how you'll never see the ink I bled for you
I decided to name this one '(Unretitled)' because it suggests that the writer tried to retitle it, but thereafter decided against it. Much like the subject matter of the poem being about a sense of unrequited/unreciprocated love and the dilemma of struggling to tear oneself away from it.
Raphael Cheong Sep 2015
I am tired of writing love songs about you

Because they do not work
Because I cannot bring myself to summarise the hurt
When it's greater than just words

I traced your lips with my fingertips
As you held my neck and drowned me

I tried to keep the bubbles in my hands
For the day you'd come drown me again
Funny how a heart so small
Could wreck such treacherous trouble

Will you hold me closer?

When you say 'sing me a song'
And I think it's because you love it

But you were right all along
You were in love with my need
A need for something more than greed
And I could not play along

So the songs sounded the same
Because all we had was a blank page
Blander than a desert tongue
Will you hold me closer?

And still I begged
Because it is all I know to do
I crashed walls through
Just to get to you
A fool a fool a fool
I played for you

I turned tipsy as the world went spinning round and round in psychedelic swabs
Liquor after liquor
Only brings out pain
I gave in
Because it is all I know to do
In a dark place full of wastrels waiting for love

Will you hold me closer?

I came here
Ready to regret
A little revelry to rock the bland away

Yet how far could I run with your clutches round my neck?

I tore up the pieces of paper
That I wasted all on you
Happier times
Haughtier lies
I tore up all the words I gave to you

No more poetry for the first time your lips touched mine
Or how you playfully pushed me by the seaside
The days before you showed your wicked side

No more circles with endless lines
Here I'm staring at the blank page right before my eyes
Ready to rewrite

What was life like
Before you?

Your eyes meet mine amd smile

One last time
Will you hold me closer?
Raphael Cheong Aug 2015

in my lungs you breed a pale disease
you are even in the air I breathe


heart in half chasing electronic dreams in technicolour screams
your claws in my teeth as I drown out my whims


and all the nights I spent lying in the freezer
and all the little lies we wasted telling each other
and even as you left I had not come around
I was the reckless wrecking havoc on wicked ground


last night I was flying around
dazed and dazed and dazed all over
awaiting my jewelled crown
adorned with the prestige of an empire

even in a new cage I could not throw you out


even as the sun rises surely troubles stay the same
even if you came back now I would gladly play your games
even after all this while all the daze you left me in

still you are imperial and my grailed heart it shakes like porcelain
Raphael Cheong Aug 2015
There were flowers
On the day she left him
Fanfare echoed
Against every corner of the room
There was silence
In a sea of sound
And for once
She felt unbound

She was free
And so was he
Two strangers
Side by side
There was silence
In a sea of sound

Minuscule we are
Yet grand we choose to be
To love with our hearts
Locked in cages
To keep it on a leash

The day we lose our lucency
For singularity
As free as Viper's ocean
Of mist and disbelief
A lighthouse breaks the silence
As loud as light can be

There were flowers
In the courtyard
There were flowers
In the breeze
There were flowers
Down the aisle the day
They swore to never leave
There were flowers
On the day one left
And none could be the same
Growing violently towards the sun
Always on the run

There were flowers on her deathbed
Petals washed back to the shore
Running back in bloom and gore
Like they'd never done before

There were flowers in his hand
On the day their love turned ten
Yet she never got to see them
And his words laid in the hang
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