International poetry reading : from a fighter in a dress


Taken from

This is the third part of a longer story. Read page one to get the context.

The MC called my name during the Ubud Poetry Slam and I stood at the front holding my notepad. I could barely read the crossed out lines – the ink in red incomprehensible in the glare of the spotlight.

I recognised many members of the audience.They were shop owners. The tourists. The interns who helped paint the ticket box.

Yes, I still have the poem somewhere. It is a symbol of how Bali changed my life – long before I was declared the Monkey King. I keep it folded in my baggy golden pants. I had hoped to record my voice and share the poem, but I was going through technical difficulties.

So here is a few lines of the performance based poetry.

I wish I was a fighter in a dress, who combats with a sword. A priest as well. A warrior reverend who would defend the good and push the bad to a terrible end, cause priest and warrior believe in extremity of white and black. Of light and red. And the living live a while and the dead lie. No compromise, for truth is yours, once taken, dies.

Afterward I stuttered my way through the poem, some of the other poets (mostly girls) would tell me they liked it. I sat by the bar and had a coke with a friend I had met. She left for the bathroom as a monkey jumped on the bar.

He gave me a nod of respect. “Dude, nice poem.”

“Thanks,” I said as the bartender chased him off with a broom.

I did not place in the top three in the competition results. Did not win the newcomer award. I cared about that at first.

But a beautiful, wonderful girl watched me perform the poem. We met the next day and she told me she enjoyed it.  We might not have been romantically involved if I did not perform on that night.

I’ll give you something to leave on. Her name is Luce.
We meet in the next post.

Categories: How I Met a Woman, Ubud Writers Festival | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “International poetry reading : from a fighter in a dress

  1. thanks for sharing a part of your poem. 🙂 this is a nice change of pace for you (i love all monkey king stories but this is nice).

  2. Is Luce always gonna be elusive?……..
    (fascinating blog!!)

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