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Ren Wong is a bit nervous about all this.

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Three Poems  

Ren Wong


Soon our guests will be arriving. As was politely asked of me, I must now take the time to rub the floors with great attention upon my knees and will next, per your instructions, dip my hands into the suds of a nearby bucket, sloshing about the mixture whilst singing merrily in-tune. Each speck of dirt gives way to an immense feeling of urgency—yes, yes; let us pick up the pace now, my hands venture to contribute. Over the sound of running water, I take flight as an albatross and wing momentarily to the sink for an unadulterated sip. A lovely droplet forms upon my nose, to which I dedicate an aria before returning to the earth for further reprimanding. Faithfully, I haven’t to wait very long. A lone fingernail rapping upon the window announces itself to me in code before giving way to layman’s terms. WHAT IS THIS INCONSIDERATE SPOT, I hear you spurt, your voice shimmering like a flaccid dirigible. Merely it is a tiny spectating stain upon the wall, though I shall eradicate it presently. Noon arrives whilst I am still preoccupied with the wainscoting, desperately in need of a good polish. As estimated, the guests enter our house in frequent waves, carrying with them precious objects, I can only assume, wrapped in foil. Are any of these gifts destined to be opened by my gruesome little paws, desirous for material goods and indigo textiles? I should think not. An unpleasant thought, though quickly removed, as promised—! Your voice comes to me like a flute from the attic: WHAT IS THIS INCONTEMPESTUOUS SCUFF. The residue of a flea, you have serendipitously discovered, has suctioned itself to the back porch by way of general relativity. Momentarily, I shall have it positively deleted from the universe, I say. A burst of cheers, hoots, and beeps erupts from the crowd. Inspired by their ensuing celebration, I make note to later create a masterpiece combining my propensity for both labor and artistic expression, namely, the act of cleaning and tidying simultaneously. The party blimbers on in good taste. Yet am I alone, left to my devices? No, I am not. A young man bending his lips to the ground declares my work ‘impeccable.’ His chin sags like an elderly cat. ‘Certainly you are mistaken,’ I inform him, for I am entirely inexperienced, an amateur, in fact, at circumventing praise. Responding with a leopardine shriek, he removes his spectacles and begins to inspect me, nodule by nodule, through enormous, lolling eyeballs. ‘Go ahead,’ I say, fighting back tears, ‘look at me all you want. I have nothing to hide.’ ‘Is that so?’ he mewls. From the safety of my back pocket, a secret vial of sawdust coughs, as if wishing to disguise itself as nothing more than a small, perfectly ill titmouse. From the hazards of my front pocket, a half-eaten lollipop expertly evades detection. Ah, but my fingerprint—! Betraying all my hidden crimes, my imbecile fingerprint leaps to the forefront, shattering pots and pans, spraying soot upon the countertops, writhing and pounding against the furniture like a demonic cytostome. Disastrously, you can imagine, the festivities come to an end. An ambulance having already been summoned, even the desert far, far off into the distance appears ruined to my eyes—and here I was so looking forward to it.


It is high time that we shake this unseemly vessel from its highest shelf, preparing instead for an altercation. You there, in the orange frock—! Silence the alarm. Anatomically speaking, you have nothing better to contribute, though your stocky silver frame shall be put to use most excellently as a ballast once we have set sail into the night. Indeed, we are never to return. The wind playing mockingly against your vertices seems to me a kind of instrument, from which I should gather a melody or two—am I correct in thinking so? Hm. Did I tell you once before, yes or no, to silence that dreadful screaming? Just as well, the ocean must not be allowed to attach itself to my feet, lest I become soppy and dissatisfied with life. Go on paddling, my dear. Allow me to say, I read you first, as all inhuman articles are read, in tremulous inches, though I can return within a matter of moments to your cambrian roots without having spoiled the ending for myself. I saw granted, for instance, your personality, a gesture which strikes me now as underdeveloped and raw—amniotic, even. Such creatures were before your time, I’m afraid. What remains? A ripe undersea organism bursting forth from the abyss, crusted to the brim with barnacles and broodings, skeleton-eyed and smiling as an elderly fool—? I am aware of all that bile, in fact, soiled blue with phosphorescence, seething under a guillotine of stars. These are not our spoils, and we shall be neither deterred nor devoured by the ailing elements. Ah, but the waters churn with some degree of amplification, you mean to tell me. The frothing compass appears unrecognizable to your eyes. Is that so? Be not anxious, for in the atmosphere a piercing shriek has begun to inflate the looming animal, soon we are together adrift amid a multitude of species stark and natural as can be. Witness there the nebulae up above cresting their astral wavelengths in fits of residual hunger, coiling about the horizon as an eclipse turned upon its side. Below the heavens fuse, ill at ease. Indeed, you and I are trapped unspeakably, there is no use in splashing around any longer, this much I recognize—yet, why fret? A handsome particle addresses us with a distinguished nod, murmuring soft in that ridiculous frequency you so adore. My dear, think not of home, for you and I were made for greater things. In your eyes, I see the pull of a terrible adventure mounts while, mirroring nothing new, my hand nearly silently now entrusts you with a kiss.


Enough about my shameless daimonion lying reprehensibly in a heap upon the floor, scheduling and hissing in apoplectic fits. I am tired of distractions. Grasping his hand not ungently, I draw his attention now to the open window where, with pressing urgency, the fallen leaves maintain their secret opportunity, speaking now and again of our disappearing act which threatens to overtake the entire countryside. The trees seem prepared to lock arms with one another. A fountain, poised to mimic them, balances upon its toes. Even the moon, grinning coquettishly, our dearest moon rubs together her icy talons, afflicted with the fever of conspiratorial yearning. Eternal sleep! What could be more devastating? There is a prophecy to it, he thinks to warn me, or perhaps a history. Or else, despairing thusly into his sleeves, he lets out an aching sob. How can our methods have been copied, we who so diligently kept to ourselves in plotting such an escape? Certainly, it was him who betrayed our intentions. Foolishly I trusted him, and now—? I observe him transforming into something not at all worth describing, a dipolpoda or some such creature. He seems delighted to be free of earthly concerns, prodding the dirt whilst searching for mitochondrial fluids, or else lipids in the form of breadcrumbs, stale and beginning to turn hairy, no doubt. Into a minuscule cave, I watch his appendages withdraw introspectively. The air churns with a sickly crisis. Am I to sit and watch while chaos descends—alone? It would seem to be the case. No use in fleeing. Allow me, dear reader, to continue while you dial me from afar, safe within the confines of your private bunker. A curtain of transparency lacklusterly announces itself, alighting upon the town, calling forth strange images and importunities which, tied umbilically to those semilunar demonstrations above, cast alien tides upon the streets, unfeeling reflections that hinder and maim our attempts at resistance. The result: something akin to congestion infects our once flowering aspirations for technological advancement. Can you see from such a distance? Skyscrapers returning to the womb. Here, biology would seem but a silly pastime; a vegetative syndrome appears to have taken hold. Nothing terribly cataclysmic, but certainly far from ideal. Part two will soon be upon us, consisting of still more unpleasant manifestations of shame and static interference, but until then, in the first place, I wish to say that none of this was ever my intention. Please, write this down. It was not a possibility in my mind that we should have succeeded. Eternal sleep—indeed, who can have desired anything like it? In plotting our retreat from a world rife with responsibilities, thoughtlessly, it would seem, I contributed only in the smallest of ways, cheering on this or that discovery in the hands of my companion, providing but a dollop of funding to aid his dabbling pursuits. I was merely an accomplice.

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