Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Night Fish by Kristine Ong Muslim


This cold has taught me
about the nature of souls.

Although I have known
a long time ago that the body
is meant to be a sieve for
the soul fermenting inside,

I am still surprised by the fog
of breath coming out of my mouth.
So dense. It seems that I am not the only one
who is exhaling in this frozen yard.

Night Fish by Kristine Ong Muslim

Night Fish is a 13-poem chapbook. The poems refer to water, all kinds of water bodies and watery life. Life is compared with the uncertainty of the ocean and how the human mind adapts to it.

A key poem that familiarises the reader to  the whole collection is “Heat Stroke”, a condition where moisture is non-existent and grief has triumphed. Heat Stroke is palpable. We can almost touch it----

We ultimately learn to slice impressions,
separate them according to texture.
Smooth-skinned on top. Rusty underneath.
Grit and cruelty crammed in the middle.
Heat presents itself in the form of waves
melting the world away. Squandering nothing.
In this short collection, each poem captures a universal emotion -- grief, fear of death, loneliness -- and touches us.

The poetic structures is mostly free verse, with the occasional nod to couplets and other nonce forms. There is a strong consistency of voice and hauntingly beautiful repeated imagery. The poems connect to us via doorways, bodies of water, souls, phantoms, fish, hazy dreams. Just reading one of her poems fuels our desire for more. And more!!


Anonymous said...

"Although I have known
a long time ago that the body
is meant to be a sieve for
the soul fermenting inside,"

What a clear picture of what life is all about. Such a deep thought provoking teaser; thanks for sharing!

LuAnn @ BackPorchervations said...

Funny, the last book I read also dealt with water, but it was a novel. Also philosophical. Looks like another good one!

Unknown said...

Thanks for stopping by Not Tonight im Reading .. this sounds like a good teaser!

Cleopatra Loves Books said...

Oh I do love it when you choose poems! This is great! Thanks for visiting my TT http://cleopatralovesbooks.wordpress.com/2014/05/27/tuesday-teaser-may-27/

Enbrethiliel said...


That poem lent itself beautifully to a two-sentence teaser! =)

I like the third stanza the most. It reminds me of my special brand of loneliness . . .

Kimberly @ Turning the Pages said...

I'm not much of a poetry reader but this sounds like a great read.
Here's my TTT post
-Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

fredamans said...

Lovely prose, a very strong voice indeed!

JC Jones said...

I don't read much poetry but enjoy it when you post some. Thanks for visiting.

Unknown said...

Lovely! I truly enjoy poetry.
Thanks for sharing!

Dark Franny said...

It doesn't sound like my cup of tea, but the teaser is very profound. Thanks for sharing this and for stopping by my blog!

Naomi Hop said...

Sounds like a nice book. Hope you liked it!

Thanx for visiting my TT

Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

Unknown said...

Very interesting. I enjoy poetry now and then. Food for the soul. Thanks for visiting my teaser.