when television watched him cry



by Jeremy Fernando

It should have been an afternoon.
Perhaps it was.
She didn’t know—he didn’t need to.
In another world their eyes would have met.

Why do unless you want to?
For mere mortals, obligations abound;
with us surely not.
Maybe we just liked being tales

That night, television watched him cry.
As we looked, listened,
talked of freedom.

A scene down the river:
Not quite strange. Even familiar.
Welcoming—not entirely not.
Strangely comforting. Comfortingly strange.

“Fuck me”— “How much.”
As we looked, listened
to talk of freedom;
lying down. Television watched him cry.

Editor’s Notes:

Excerpt from the press conference announcing the separation of Singapore from Malaysia. Noon, 9 August, 1965:

Except from an interview with Charlie Rose, March 2011:

About the Author:


Jeremy Fernando is the Jean Baudrillard Fellow at the European Graduate School, where he is also a Reader in Contemporary Literature & Thought. He works in the intersections of literature, philosophy and the media; and has written six books — including Reading Blindly, and Writing Death. Exploring other media has led him to film, music and art; and his work has been exhibited in Seoul, Vienna, Hong Kong and Singapore. He is the general editor of both Delere Press, and the thematic magazine One Imperative; and a Fellow of Tembusu College at the National University of Singapore.

Comments are closed.