Conscience of Art

July 1, 2001

This poem was first published in the East Meets West: Poets from Singapore and U.S. Northwest issue of Map of Austin Poetry, Numbers 70-71 (2001).

Conscience of Art

Are you here again
under these words,
my country’s boredom,
contentment’s failure?

Unable to rouse
yourself, disbelieving
of all ideologues
(and so of words),

you assume poetry
is lazy politics.
You sleep on sheets of
distractive metaphors

laid out by everything
that makes you happy
and a hypocrite
for you can’t stop writing.

Gwee Li Sui

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