Friday, February 19, 2010

Back in Auckland

It is always painful leaving family, friends, the tropics, the madness, and all the love and goodwill that comes with Home.

Every time I visit my home country, I feel replenished and equipped with more life skills. This is because my 'cultural elders' - older family members, mentors, spiritual partners - are always giving me 'one last piece of advice', like thrusting gold nuggets into my palm before I return to my life in ang-moh country, New Zealand. I truly am held up by a whole village of people who love and care about me.

How I deserved to be so fortunate, I don't know.

Ten thousand miles between us but I carry you within me wherever I go.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

More gems from Latif Kamaluddin

In the wake of Anwar's sacking in 1998, I found solace in a book of poetry by Latif K called Bad Breath and Fireproof Drag Queens, Otherwise Known As Khepa's Dilemma Being A Concretoceptual Celebration of Irrelevant Research (2002). I had discovered it in my favourite bookstore, Silverfish Books, and was probably drawn to the striking cover depicting (presumably) the poet himself sporting a long beard and sunnies.

It is a weird and lively collection of word art; a mix of political satire, horny verse and philosophical meanderings. Take this piece, for instance:

Ya lor.

Now that the Anwar saga has reared its ugly head around again, I am refreshed by Encik Kamaluddin's frankness in saying what is on all our minds: that the sodomy charges against him are absurd and that this is a show trial.

His cheekiness reminds me of Antares. His tired sarcasm (or is it feigned resignation? I can't decide) reminds me of Patrick Teoh.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010