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Poems
The Pretender
(January 29,1985 / Kuala Lumpur)

The Pretender

I have a lot to say
What I’m keeping inside
Isn’t just a 100 years of agony
I bleed too, like the rest of you do
But I bleed just a little bit more.
I’m vulnerable
I’m fragile
I’m a piece of cloth you can easily shred.

Hopes – they’re long forgotten
And the empathy I once felt
Has bidded me goodbye.
I’m a lonely night,
You need to hear that.
You need to know
I feel like a living corpse
I feel like a fungus,
A dirt,
A scumbag,
And anything tiny and bad.

I want to tell you many things
But I know you wouldn’t respond
The way I wish you would.
You would sit and listen
Attentively, or maybe not
But I know you wouldn’t say a thing
You would wait till I lose my voice,
Till I find it’s hard to go on,
Then you’d cleverly change the subject.
You’d talk about your job,
Your sons,
Or anything else that doesn’t relate,
Anything at all that doesn’t concern my private emotions.

So here we are
I know this scene by heart
This is a re-run theatre.
We're sitting near the wall
In a coffee shop
Playing with our mocha.
I feel like I’m watching Spongebob Squarepants,
Earth’s citizens must have gone mad
They move like cartoons,
They talk like cartoons;
In chasing after material wealth
They think they need.
But if this is Neverland or Wonderland,
Then why is my expression still blank?
Where are the balloons, lollipops and cotton candy?

And I’m thinking hard
Should I or should I not
Pour out the stillness that’s been choking me for too long.
My life’s off track,
The least you can do is to say ‘it’s okay’
But here I am
Fooling myself
Denying my need to confess.
I'm choosing the easy way out
I’m telling you about today’s weather forecast instead.
“It’s going to rain at 5”
There,
And I die again
I die with a smirk on my face.

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Rudyard Kipling

If

Comments (1)

I think you'd find it difficult to write a bad poem even on a hackneyed subject :)