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john tiong chunghoo

(Jan 21,1960 / NEW YORK)

A haunted house


it stands on multiple wooden poles
and right between them a flight of stairs
that goes up straight to the back or kitchen
so that when somebody walks down you see
his feet, shins and thighs before you see the person

the house faces a huge raintree
that divides two roads
car lamps therefore shine directly onto
the poles of the house and cast shadows
that flash and lift themselves up over the
compound

the house they say is haunted
at night bus uses to stop just outside
to let passengers down
their shadows invariably running all
over the house when a car comes
in the opposite direction
everything then seems to be moving
except its unrelenting quietness
and forboding menacing atmosphere

i once was let down here
one last passenger in the dead of night
all the nooks and corners of the
abandoned house all of a sudden
became eyes that stared at me
like eager and lonely ghosts
longing for friends
my heart beat faster than my legs
could carry me
the house stood solemnly quiet
like an old, cold, lonely woman in despair

Submitted: Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Edited: Thursday, November 13, 2008
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