Spring 2006

Cyril Wong


Cyril Wong Cyril Wong is the author of four books of poetry in Singapore. His most recent collection was Unmarked Treasure (Firstfruits, 2004). His poems have appeared in Atlanta Review, Poetry International, Fulcrum, Asheville Poetry Review, Cimarron Review and Cider Press Review.
Practical Aim    Click to hear in real audio

After great pain, what would the body
learn that it does not already know

of relief? When that fire-truck has raged
past, what do I rediscover about silence

except that I would always miss it?
Do trees mind if it is the same wind

that passes through their heads everyday?
After the mall is completed, must we

remember the field it now inhabits
where we raced each other as children?

If my lover forgets to wake me with a kiss
a second time this week, should I worry?

Does solitude offer strength over time, or
is denial of it the only practical aim?

After the earthquake, would it matter
if no one saw two dogs from different

families approaching each other
without suspicion, then moving apart?

As the workers wash their faces hidden
by helmets that beam back the sun,

should they care about the new building
behind them beyond a fear of it falling?

If my mother cannot see how else to be
happy, is it enough that she may lie

in bed, convinced God watches her sleep?
After deep loss, what does the heart

learn that it has not already understood
about regret? When all light finally

forsakes a room, do we take the time
to interrogate the dark, and to what end?



Dissatisfaction    Click to hear in real audio

A construction worker wishes there was less
sun. I read in a magazine that some actor
is pissed because he did not win a prize.
I would like this poem to gather more levels
of meaning, more of what I feel about you
in it. Another bird believes it can go higher,
and does. "Is that a crow?" you ask.
I wish I could say Yes, so you would smile,
knowing you have been right.



Cyril Wong: Poetry
Copyright © 2006 The Cortland Review Issue 31The Cortland Review