Strong Verse
Bookmark and Share

Home Page
About Strong Verse
How to Submit Poetry
Contact Strong Verse
List of Poets

Dead Poets

Author Biography
Poetry By
  Jerrold Yam

Published on: 1/17/2014

Between the humming receptionist and bodies
impatiently shifting on chairs, I am cocooning
its plastic shell with my palms, as if to protect
warmth from surrendering to air. Its character
is strangely at peace, lingering in citrus gold
or blazing the elegant heat of topaz, its stream
shyly tilting in the bottle on my lap. I marvel
at my accelerating fears, how they appear not
to intrude the sanctuary from which they stem,
the bottle just another object on which we can
impose, blame, and justify our insecurities. In
a week there will be conclusions. As the nurse
invites me in, a valued guest in this roadhouse
of too many rooms, I take a moment to regret,
quietly convincing myself that there is a price
for everything. There is a price for everything.

Published on: 1/15/2014

Sending me to my door, our clothes vapored
in gin and tequila, then polite offers to sneak
beyond my flatmates for hard-earned privacy,
how delicate our attempts at bartering means
to an end, words hovering between our faces
in foreplay. When you peel away the layers
which outline my timid hesitations, cardigan
over sock, ankle over pelvis, I am all ribbon
and cardboard, unravelling with the ferocity
of a lover's tongue. What can anyone desire
from this? Before light overcomes the room
like an accident, your shoes will be claimed,
coat clumsily buttoned without my help, my
limbs fallen apart in slumber. If I am lucky,
a pool of warmth eddying where your torso
once rests. If not, only creases to remember
the chase when conquering has long proven
inadequate. We know this. Use me however.

Published on: 1/13/2014

Too late for cooking when I finally accept
that we have not spoken for a week, silence
like dust pilfering the refrigerator's crown,
milk to curdle leisurely as if embracing its
expiration date. In the sushi bar at the brim
of my street, pockmarked with conversation,
the waiter is the waiter I remember telling
you about, the same Yiruma arrangement
unravelling as he passes my table. This is
one place I have chosen to distract myself
from the furniture, or what is possibly the
beginning of everything we have promised
not to encourage, your body sound asleep
half an ocean away as I struggle to blame
the time difference. As if on purpose, I am
almost the only one left, slivers of rice and
pickled ginger forsaken on the mahogany
like incoherent thoughts. When the waiter
invites me back, grinning, his neck gently
bowed, I do not wonder if you are awake.
He does not know of you. The hush does.

Published on: 1/13/2014

Here we are, reeling from the audacity
of occupying a room together, our bodies
abandoned at my bedframe as if
waiting to be noticed or collected,
tongues toiling assiduously
at ice cream and conversation. I am not
permitted this clemency, even as you
begin to conquer the rift
echoing between us. Your arm
is not warming my shoulder,
our noses not understanding odours
for the first time. When your face takes mine
in like walls to silence, it is not an excuse
to crave. How long can proximity
deny dependence? This is a room of
too many omens: tap water idling
in a mug, sun locked away by curtains,
your shirt collapsed on the carpet
like a means to an end. Yet if familiarity
is what it takes for you to be here,
your lips persevering in
its gentle craft, its whispers
roaring across the infinite dormant
caves of my body, so be it. There will
be fresh sheets when you call.

New Poems

The Internet


Strong Verse
Copyright © Hatrack River Enterprises Web Site Hosted and Designed by