Poetry / March 2015 (Issue 27)

What's Wrong

by Lian-Hee Wee

From a poster “KEEP CALM & STAY TOGETHER” seen in Mong Kok. Photo by Jason S Polley.

Righteous words are loudest and so I lied loudlyi
Commandeering all the cable, cyber, airwaves
Which I also eavesdrop citing security
Invoking equity and justice and service

Swapping education with indoctrination
Adorned in classy dress produced by lust for blood and cash
Police police themselvesii by their own protocol
Please do trust the police trained to so distrust youiii

Believe me, order comes, but through threats of violence
Why fix people’s problems, fix the people insteadiv
Find an excuse and blame the poor,v voiceless,vi dead
Then tax them cleverly sans representationvii

Can’t give freedomviii because, my friend you aren’t ready
To grant democracy,ix rechristen tyranny
Protect me with helmets, guns, cuffs, gas, spray, batons
Ban colours and flowers, umbrellas, and ribbonsx

Monger fear,xi write history, demonise the victim
Aging population,xii Economy, Finance
Hoodwink the populace, disguise real suffering
Then eat the babies tooxiii

Glorious monstrosities justified honourablyxiv


(a) I’m just a simple person, ok?

(b) I don’t want to know

(c) What can you do?

(d) Please respect my way of life

(e) Don’t be an idealist, face reality! Be practical!

(f) If you’re so into this, why don’t you do that, that and that first?

(g) C’mon, I am a good person too, it’s a livelihood

(h) It’s tradition.

20 Nov 2014, modified 26 Jan 2015


For note(iv)https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1WhJKsYb50 and


i 氣壯顯得理直, 用外語泡妞秘訣,色頭刀久懸未落。

ii 2012A.D., at an invited lecture in Peking University, yogi JZen asked his audience, “Who watches the watchmen?” ***2014A.D., not far from police officers, the yogi scribbled on the streets in five non-Chinese languages for a Chinese passerby.

iii Teacher of a police officer reading on Facebook, wondering if his student was destined to be a tool of the regime, like Nazi youths.

iv The Singapore Prime Minister encouraging people to vote for his party in 2011 said, “I will be spending all my time to fix the opposition.” 習近平要中共學習新加坡,因此香港旺角出現了標語:不想解決人民提出的問題,老想解決提出問題的人民。

v The evidence is everywhere. Whistle-blowers are liars because someone pulled an Orwell on the world.

vi On the sixth day, God marveled at the wings, fur, slender lines of his creations, and was nonplussed that mere voice allowed the Homo Insipient, ugliest of all, to justify indulgence in ungodly abuses. Medical leave on the seventh day.

vii An accountant carrying a piece of borrowed chalk carved with initials JSP wrote, “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” Tagging with a conscience, Harcourt Road, Admiralty, 13 November 2014.

viii After the abdication, a team of 689 politicians went to Bhutan famous for using the Gross Domestic Happiness rather than the GDP. Upon return, they explained that Democracy and Happiness are bad because every country needs politicians. Too busy trying to survive, none in the masses objected.

ix “May we have democracy please?” “Sure, how many? We only lease them ok, and you must obey the fine print on the contract.”

x These smashed with other paraphernalia in the cloud chamber to unravel the Utopian particle Time Magazine (November 24 issue, table of contents, essay in page 10) reported sighting in various parts of Hong Kong.

xi Terri sells fear, dispensed as a virus b.s. danjer avoiduns injected to the mind, with the option of franchising. No known cure, but awareness can relieve effects.

xii Government finance policy: Boost population growth (birth or import) then tax them. Objective: Get away with stealing the savings of generations before and after and Gaia too. Max. sustainability span: next election term.

xiii “Chris, you’re an antitheist. You don’t have a soul?” “And even I recognize the suffering of the animals whose babies you eat. Seems you can’t.”

xiv This is the only note that is not a flash narrative. It is in fact an acknowledgement. I wish to list the names of those who provided these gems but it won’t fit the page/canvass, even if I have a scroll as long as all the roads in Singapore (which is 481km per 100sq. km of land in 2011). With only 640sq km of land, that’s roughly 3078.4km of road with a population of now 5 million. Wanna do some Math? Oh, I’m saying Singapore only because I’m writing in Hong Kong, which I shall leave you to unearth. To be sure, we need “development” by deterioration of the environment and all that jazz, see note xi.

Website © Cha: An Asian Literary Journal 2007-2018
ISSN 1999-5032
All poems, stories and other contributions copyright to their respective authors unless otherwise noted.