Too many

Author Pooja Nansi.
Author Pooja Nansi.PHOTO: POOJA NANSI

A woman on television speaks. Says
there are too many dark men
on the streets, too much land
they seem to have taken on loan
too many bones in their bodies
waiting to explode. They are dense with
missing the sweetness of their children's' voice,
There is too little money to hear them
across telephone lines.

A woman on television speaks. Says
there is too much danger. Too little light
on their skin makes us feel uneasy. So
we do what the water that is unable to
wash them would have us do, we step to the side,
we let it flow. We have too many
problems of our own too little time to
solve them and nobody needs to worry
about shadows.


  • Pooja Nansi is the author of two collections of poetry. She curates Speakeasy, a monthly spoken word and poetry showcase which plays to packed audiences. She mentors the Singapore chapter of Burn After Reading, a collective started for young emerging poets. Her one-woman show You Are Here was showcased as part of the Esplanade's Studios season for 2016. She is currently the NAC-NTU Writer in Residence for 2015-2016.


    Love Is An Empty Barstool (Math Paper Press 2013)

    "Pooja Nansi's intense collection of love poems has slowly become something of a must read among hyper-literate young people across the island." - The Business Times

    Local Anaesthetic: A Painless Approach To Singaporean Poetry (A Lower Secondary Teaching Guide For Teachers By Teachers), (Ethos Books, 2014)

    This is the book for every teacher who has ever wanted to introduce Singaporean poetry in his literature classroom but didn't feel confident enough about doing it.

    You Are Here (first commissioned for the Singapore Writers Festival 2015, as part of Checkpoint Theatre's What I Love About You Is Your Attitude Problem).

    You Are Here is a memoir as performance, a family history told in a mix poetry of and storytelling. The writer examines how the past informs the present and what it means to navigate a complex cultural identity within Singapore's idiosyncratic ethnic rubric

    •For more information, visit

    •The poem in the Rhyme And Reason series is brought to you in partnership with the National Arts Council.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 23, 2016, with the headline 'Too many'. Print Edition | Subscribe