Monday, September 22, 2008

"Monologue 1.01.001", "Puisi Buat Abang" by Sheena Baharuddin

Monologue 1.01.001

Peace be upon you Men.
Nice to meet you
yes dear I do know you but do you know me?
I am me. Woman. Perempuan. Wanita.
The trustee of births.
The owner of vagina and uterus.
The cradle of creation. Sacred feminine.
I am your mother, daughter, sister and wife.
And yet I have all seven pits of Hell in me.
I am Al-Rajam, Al-Maksiat and An-Nar.
Yes, that is me.
I am the woman whom you took to bed,
made sweet love to,
eyes wide shut and called me slut,
spit me with stones, fill me with insults,
decorate me with blood,
turned me into earth with your feet pressed on me.
I became Al-Rajam.
Makhluk ditelan Bumi.
I am the woman whom you made sweet promises to.
Tell me you love me you do me,
cherish me,
take care of me,
hide me from the ruins of my self-esteem.
Told me pretty, beauty,
made me slather shades of rouge
on my cheeks, lips, eyes and body,
enter me before leaving me.
I became Al-Maksiat,
Makhluk terpinggir sepi
I am the woman whom carried you a baby.
Took it away under blinding lights because
you told me to,
you broke your promises,
forgot about me and with that
confirmed me my spot
rests on the shoulders of Angels ready to devour me
my tongue melted with black coals,
scalding heat on me
I became An-Nar with a pole stuck deep in me,
eyes stones sapphire and ruby
that's what you made me,
made you
made me become angry,
and I am fiery.
So Hello
Nice to meet you,
Peace upon you Men
yes dear I do know you but do you know me?
Do you really know

© 2008 Sheena Baharudin

Listen to this poem:

Sheena Baharuddin: I don't plan to overgeneralise but it's still interesting how women, in many cultures, are regarded as the ultimate worldly temptation, aside from money. It's as if we were created only to please the opposite sex or influence them to sin, when obviously we have better things to do than that! I wrote the first few lines in solitude and saved them in my phone when I didn't know how to end it. When Daphne Lee invited me to perform for KL's slam poetry (at Urbanscapes), I decided to explore the potential of these few lines. What came out 15 minutes later was a dark, highly complex and open-ended poem that can still be explored, redrafted and reedited up until now. Maybe one day it'll sound less angry, or the entire opposite. Who knows?


Puisi Buat Abang 
(Dedicated to Ee Tiang Hong)

I watch
as Mother awaits the return
of her prodigal son
(Abang. Pulang lah)
Her son who stood proud in Her vision
when others condemned such contradiction
in their fictative diction
how could. two colours. mixed. and create. what is he. he is? - .
are skin colours supposed to match
and fit in concrete boxes?
(they themselves tiny replicas of imprisonment)
I watch
as Mother is recreated,
rememorised and
reminisced by her prodigal son
(Abang pulang, lah)
How could he when in each dream
that grew from moments of sleep and awake
He sees Mother sitting quietly, lonely,
with her back painfully arched
betraying her youthful heart?
Her son whom She understood why
had to leave Her
for love knows no suffering
as great as love loss
and didn't he say that without her
his heart is left islanded -
If I could,
I would have told him
that Mother still waits for him
and has forgiven him
to come back to her.
(Abang pulang lah.)

© 2008 Sheena Baharudin

Listen to this poem:

Sheena Baharuddin: It's sad that Ee Tiang Hong remains unknown in Malaysia when he wrote most of his poems about this country and about what makes it a nation we could be proud of. Sometimes, I wonder if he knew that there's still a bit of that ideal Malaysian Malaysia in all of us. And if he didn't know, I would have done anything in my power to tell him so. This poem was written and read at IIUM's poetry reading session featuring Prof. Tanure Ojaide.

Sheena Baharudin is a poet, quiz addict, practising spoken-word artist, rusty classical guitarist, ravenous reader and educator of literature at a local university. At a very young age she realised that her hearthrobs consist of Rumi, Khayyam, Milton, A. Samad Said and other gorgeous lover of words. She has performed (and will perform) her poetry alongside established poets, including Edwin Thumboo, Wong Phui Nam, Tanure Ojaide and others, at various events in Kuala Lumpur. Read more of her poems at her website

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