Coffee and Incense ~ Sean Wai keung

My eyes burn

behind clouds of smoke

and caffeinated dreams

and desires, so rusted with placebo sleeping pills

(if there’s one thing I’m not scared of it’s narcolepsy)


I used to burn sandalwood for my ancestors, but

now I have a place in this world of

“Strawberry Sky” and “Vanilla Sunset”

and I worship nothing these days.


But still, my heart beats so quick. So

I spend all these days pacing in time,

pretending I’m a soldier

in the war against boredom.

Because boredom leads to sober thought

and sober thought leads to depression

and depression leads to…



My eyes are burning

like that Vietnamese Monk in 1963,

what’s the year now?

I can’t see the answer to the question of time

from underneath this “Patchouli Morning” duvet,

where I lie clutching my cup of cheap, nasty, instant


thinking of you fucking some other guy

to the beat of my heart, the march

of the army against boredom.


I don’t have a choice.

I light more incense.

I want to make the air of my room

so thick it would put the opium days

of the old days to shame.

I crave the heaviness, the

intense heart-attack rhythm

of “Banana Haze” and “Ocean Blue” and

Asda smartprice instant coffee.


Anything I can choke in.


As long as it keeps my eyes



currently lives in Norwich, England. Multiple winner of Farrago Poetry Slam, past Editor of Lunar Poetry magazine and Poetry Weekly magazine as well as co-founder of Unmade Bed.

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