the2ndrule.comNov 2001

0. Editorial
1. Liposuction
2. Crossings at the Green Man
3. Summer Vanguard (forefront)
4. Anticlimax
5. Postcard: Singapore River and Skyline
6. Casting My Devotion
7. Chongrak 'Chucky' Predomdilok on the way home
8. A familiar place
9. His fascination with numbers
10. The Dance


Postcards wear their hearts on the outside. The pictures may be cheesy, but the message is all love. Letters get filed away, emails are deleted, but even when the sun has bleached those postcards violet they stay blu-tacked on the wall.

Your friend says she never stops feeling like a tourist. Every week she home-makes the nicest postcards, using pictures of exotic plants, bearded men. Every evening she opens her mailbox and hopes for something other than bills and direct marketing, something to distract her from her so-called real life.

Why don't you write back?


We've got the latest in winter fashion for you! Shock your friends, make ironic comments about them being fat!

Grey cotton t-shirt with the words "LIPOSUCTION CREW. sucking em' fattys." "This way to tighten." "insert tube here."

Order now! Contact :: jaye@starhub.net.sg ::
Jason Tong

no one here gets out alive
Jim Morrison
Crossings at the Green Man

Whenever I think of you
I see (not the prefect, netballer
nor the other titles falling so easily
into everyone's conversation)
you walking alone. I can't see
which road or where you are going
but it is green and tree-shaded
like your way to school
do you remember when we
waited for the green man at
the junction together? I found out
years later that John Clare,
a mad English poet (labelled
the "poor man's Wordsworth")
was the real Green Man and I thought you
would have been one of those laughing
at this bumpkin's rustic song,
the gauche green of his coat,
his dogged survival in an asylum
twenty years after the craze for his poems
died, still saying I am. After all,
a green man is only a feature of this road;
you will not always be walking to school
and we have passed the junction
a long time since. You do not know
the story behind a green coat
so I shall end this
with cool green mornings
and us silent together at the junction
waiting for the green man
waiting to cross the road.
Teng Qian Xi

vision without action is hallucination.
Summer Vanguard (forefront)

{Summer skies --
Dreams are percolating
Rain is ruminating
things are not what they seem to be --}

So we would like to -eat
the bread of idleness -poke,
Fritter away our sun shadows -loll,
These languorous days of tree-leafed azure

Otherwise silvered second slots
Trusted for the rush of winds
Quarter this day birds allude to
All sun. All blue. Grey. Rain.

Spinning the world to oblivion
Tethering on silver Adonis drawn
Skates. Trailing across gold handed waves of
Blue robes.
The day is gone-- But Night
Spins River Nile diamonds
Mirror of fire cities or Elysian memories?
No bother-- we are dissipating
this world in stupored pilled dreams.
Sherlyn Xie

competence may be substituted with attitude.

The army of ants has staged an invasion of my
precious little pack of Malaysian
chewing gum!
Mobilise the forces! Smoke 'em out!

The Chiclets are a symbol
of my economic might!
(the democracy to buy anything
if you have the money)
and these midgets
most certainly do not - stealthy thieves!!

We must defend ourselves
against another attack (on ...
heaven forbid! The Chocolates...?)

the Justice Crusade begins!

P s s s s s s s s sssssssstt...!

Watch the scurrying dust motes!
This helpless variety
does not even bite!
Watch the little brown smears, and
scattered body segments!


...and in the midst of the little decapitated dots,
the sanctity of chewing gum

Judith H

With IRC, it's a short step from idle chat to teen sex.
Chua Mui Hoong, 4 Mar 2001
Postcard: Singapore River and Skyline

The bumboat's wake is frozen on the waters.
Sunlight polishes the sheen of the skyline's towers.

It's impossible: the bumboats were retired
long before river gleamed and city sparkled

the ones remaining touted by smooth operators
offering picturesque rides for a nice price
to the sunscorched tourists who will purchase this postcard
after getting off a repainted vessel that once
ferried sweat-skinned coolies and carried dirt-brown gunny sacks,
charmed by our virtuous recycling of quaintness.

This is how we frame ourselves, clean up our traditions
and pinnacle our perfections. And the bumboat is floating
in an impossible moment, in the wake of our innovations.
Gui Wei Hsin

"There was no US helicopter shot down in Pakistan. There were not four or any other number of US servicemen killed in that non-shootdown."
Vice Chairman of Pentagon Joint Chiefs of Staff General Peter Pace, 7 Nov 2001
Casting My Devotion

(on witnessing Singapore's 2001 General Election from Middletown, Connecticut)


because I am too far from home
alien in a nation where democracy is shouted
from the mountain tops of Twin Tower rubble
thus I am devoted


for a devout balance
we must amass majority
we must overwhelm our odds
we must declaim our name as fame
to master tides of recession
as we thwarted the sea's erosion


in the wake of thunder
even iron will rust
steel lose its lines
as time washes us
with an evening rain of dust
Gui Wei Hsin

"When we have a helicopter that goes down, no matter what purpose, we would tell you."
US Secretary of Defence Donald Rumsfeld
Chongrak 'Chucky' Predomdilok on the way home

Working the wet-slicked,
slime encrusted streets.
(Three blocks ahead, Two to the right... the key home)

Assailment is unavoidable...
And the lost,

(Two blocks ahead, two to the right... square)

Who fancy that they know,

where in this tangle of
they are.

(Grand Central Station, Madison Avenue)

familiarity jumps up from the shadows
and nips.

And one cannot help but think
that the end is in sight.

(One block ahead, two to the right... natural order)

The street lights,
turn up a sheen on the wet ground,
which even in the hardest of cities
is unreal.

(No blocks ahead, two to the right... speed same, vector off)

Turning a corner,
a world is lost.

"Chucky? No, I'm really Chongr... Chucky's fine."

Immigrants, still alien to the land
after three generations of assimilation.

(My skin is brownish beige... commonly called yellow... two blocks to go)

People tip hats and smile their greetings,
they bear a lilting tongue
that my skin must implicitly understand
even if I fail to.

(No blocks ahead, one blo... no, I have turned... one block ahead)

Security builds
as even the unreality latent in the ground
becomes recognisable.

Wall, knob turns.
Spills into the living room.
Where generations later,
I in my yellow skinned exterior
Am no more at home,
than if my white core were in the land of a thousand smiles.

So the Zeitgeist is lost,
in a hard, familiar city,
where even a name must turn a corner.
Felix Lee

She definitely could be a model
but she had better things to do.

The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons.
Fyodor Dostoevsky
His fascination with numbers

He put his Toyota Corona into gear. While still in the multistory carpark he listed out the places we had to go, things we had to do. People to see, groceries to buy. But first all of, as it always has been, the first of alls of all, we had to go to buy 4D and Toto.

The view of Toa Payoh Lorong 4 came. Long wooden poles supporting wooden bars to hold birdcages. Rows of shops lined up obediently against sidewalks bordering neat pavemented patches of cut grass. They grew long every day just like in life's habit and once in a while men in thick goggles came to cut them, slicing off your oxygen with the pieces of cut grass.

Walking, not running. The anticipatory joy of claiming money that might be yours with just the right numbers at the right time. Unhurriedly, patiently, past beer bellied uncles in white tees holding golden-foamed beer. Guinness. Or something like that.

But on the other side was a Chinese clinic advertising all sorts of Chinese medicines guaranteed to cure all sorts of diseases. A fat woman stared intently at the words 'Weight-loss medicine sold'. At least obesity has a medical cure.

They shaded on the papers with their little eyelets of numbers in black hula loops. Bored man stood in starched white tee. They lined up quietly, formed a line at the counter. Plumpish, middle-aged woman with her curly permed hair. Four darkened eyelets for $10, he bought the numbers.

If the telly screen tuned to the teletext has twins of all the numbers printed on that thin white slippery paper, then tomorrow we'd be richer by millions.

But it is evening now. Evening and the TV is switched on. The teletext races through other three digit numbers, in search of a page with more numbers. In search of a page with numbers under the headings 1st prize, 2nd prize, 3rd prize, Consolation prizes... it races on... and we look. And look. And consult the slippery thin paper. Only to realize that the numbers don't match.

But it is okay. Everyone sits back dismayed but it is okay. Because this is just a matter of luck, someone gets to pick the numbers and forms them in a quadruple band, and its only luck if your hand happens to shade the same band. Addiction to coincidental luck is nothing like obesity. There is no cure except maybe to lose all before winning and to continue in the spiral.

His fascination with numbers, he dreams of winning 4D and he will do anything, buy the idol of a God and place it at home or in his car. Maybe put the thin slippery paper underneath the resting place of the figure and pray that it is blessed. Superstitions like no quarrels are obeyed. In a way, it is also a discipline albeit one gotten in an undisciplined way.

love is like a cherry, love is like a plum
love is like candy, and we all want some
silent poets, "love runs faster"
The Dance

Strange shuffling that should have been a dance
To an invisible strain no one heard
Misshapen China doll in her own way

Dancing with twirling-stale dust in streetlights
Closed eyes seeking vivid out-of-reach dreams
Sealed ebony set in a sanguine mask

Fingertips ache to brush a careless void
Torturous stretch, unable muscles
To satiate this dumb yearning for you

Impossible movements, an expression
Although still seeing nothing, still the dance
In the harsh glare with the dust mites goes on
Jane Huang

National Admit You're Lying Day - Aug 9

Liposuction © 2001 Jason Tong
Crossings at the Green Man © 2001 Teng Qian Xi
Summer Vanguard (forefront) © 2001 Sherlyn Xie
Anticlimax © 2001 Judith H
Postcard: Singapore River and Skyline © 2001 Gui Wei Hsin
Casting My Devotion © 2001 Gui Wei Hsin
Chongrak 'Chucky' Predomdilok on the way home © 2001 Felix Lee
His fascination with numbers © 2001 juliet.h
The Dance © 2001 Jane Huang

All Web graphics, Web animations, Javascript and other Scripting code used on this site are the original work of Russell Chan and the2ndrule, unless otherwise stated.