What a wonderful bunch of people to work with. We had a lot of fun in those days!
‘several things dovetailed in my mind and at once it struck me, what quality went to form . . . Achievement especially in Literature & which Shakespeare possessed so enormously – I mean Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.’
I was privileged to read some of my favourite love poems, and thankful that I was placed first so by the end of the evening everybody had forgotten me. On stage I took my glasses off so I couldn’t see anyone, but forgot to raise the microphone stand to suit my height. This means that the only photo of me reading shows me as a hunchback with toothache. Thanks to Shu Hoong for that photo.
I should also thank Shu Hoong for giving me me my very first reading in Singapore at the Book Cafe near Mohd Sultan Road in 2003 where I read my story We Rose Up Slowly. Prof. Kirpal Singh spoke on that evening a long time ago too about creativity.
Back at Speakeasy, you can see by these images that Shu Hoong has done well to retain his youthful, calm thoughtfulness - to be contrasted with Ashley50 whose up front good looks and virulent utilitarian pragmatism remain as erotic and enticing as ever.
The set list, courtesy of Pooja, was as follows:
1. Jon Gresham
- Moonage Daydream - David Bowie
- Topography - Sharon Olds
- You're Beautiful - Simon Armitage
- Lick My Butt - Justin Chin
- Pluto. 3 - C.A. Conrad
- Energy Eulogy - Aaron Freeman
3. Balli Kaur Jaswal
- Our Union - Hafiz
- You fit into me - Margaret Atwood
- What the Living Do - Marie Howe
- Good Bones - Maggi Smith
4. Darryl Whetter.
- Keeping things whole - Mark Strand
- Somewhere I have never travelled - e e cummings
- Ghazal IV - John Thompson
5. Paul Tan
- Rings - Carol Ann Duffy
- Soup -Boey Kim Cheng
- Extract from Atlantis - Marc Doty
6. Yong Shu Hoong
- A blade of grass - Brian Patten,
- The innocence of any flesh sleeping - Brian Patten
- Someone's coming back - Brian Patten
7. Ruth Tang
- Meditations at Lagunitas - Robert Hass
- The Glass Essay - Anne Carson
- Your Goodness - Arthur Yap
8. Daryl Yam
- For Love - Robert Creeley
- Poems by Saif
9. Will Beale
- Short & Tall by Sam Ferrante (book: Pick Me Up)
- Train to Rosanna by Arielle Cottingham (book: The Tarantist's Soapbox)
- Forgiveness & Forgetfulness by John Englezos (book: If The World Were Upside Down)
10. Ian Chung
- Thoughts on Unpacking by Thom Gunn
- They tell us the first time we make love it should be with someone special - Cheryl Julia Lee
11. Barrie Sherwood
- Sonnet to Guido Cavalcanti - Dante Alighieri
12. Samuel Lee
- A day in the life of your suitcase - Selima Hill
- The visitations of prejudiced angels - Selima Hill
- Married people going to work - Jenny Joseph
13. Renee Ting
- Stay Still - Pooja Nansi
- Without You - Tania De Rozario
- Boats- Cyril Wong
14. Ashley 50
- He Who Buildeth - Edwin Thumboo
- Like Making Love, it is always easier the second time - Ng Yi Sheng
15. Cyril Wong
- Dancing on my own - Robyn
A larger version of the images is here. Please in all cases ask me for permission if you wish to use any image.
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“Precisely because the problem is one of temperament and character, it will not get better. It will get worse, as power intoxicates Trump and those around him. It will probably end in calamity—substantial domestic protest and violence, a breakdown of international economic relationships, the collapse of major alliances, or perhaps one or more new wars (even with China) on top of the ones we already have. It will not be surprising in the slightest if his term ends not in four or in eight years, but sooner, with impeachment or removal under the 25th Amendment. The sooner Americans get used to these likelihoods, the better.”
“This is one of those clarifying moments in American history, and like most such, it came upon us unawares, although historians in later years will be able to trace the deep and the contingent causes that brought us to this day. There is nothing to fear in this fact; rather, patriots should embrace it. The story of the United States is, as Lincoln put it, a perpetual story of “a rebirth of freedom” and not just its inheritance from the founding generation.”
We were wandering around aimlessly looking for photo opportunities when we walked through a decaying, stone gate into a peaceful courtyard. We were greeted with warmth and kindness by the nuns.
They thought we were young priests from Australia visiting their convent.
Even when we told them we were in fact corporate restructuring advisors they laughed and made us feel welcome.