Information Services Office   4.2.2013

412

 
Newsletter No. 412 > Arts and Leisure > Our Appetites

Our Appetites

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Evenings flicker, a million times

on a million television screens

with Jackie Chan.

I am learning to walk

through unwashed streets

with memories of flu in the neighbourhood.

我不会, 我不会忘记。1

Our lives are different under a strange democracy

of rats, for street protests are possible

when politicians cough over the latest crisis.

Is this my city?

我不会, 我不会离开。2

Is an economy of rats possible

or do we need casinos?

Those metal domes

phallic in the skyline, those shiny aspiring skyscrapers

in Hong Kong, Singapore, Macau.

These are cities I cherish:

the new blueprints with old drafts of buildings,

that spurt of concrete of twelve storeys, a spit of land

for trees, shrubs and barbecue pits.

We have imagined ourselves:

we live like rats, our appetites bite and bite.

1 I will not, I will not forget.

2 I will not, I will not depart.

A poem from The Mental Life of Cities, a poetry collection by Prof. Eddie Tay of the Department of English, which recently won the biennial 2012 Singapore Literature Prize (English Category)

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