Hello, please may I speak to Ko Thu Way? Sorry, wrong number.
Hello, is that the Ministry of …? Sorry, wrong number.
Hello, this is Jade and Gems warehouse. Could you please tell Big Brother that we have what he ordered in stock? Sorry, wrong number.
Hello, is that Party Headquarters? Sorry, you have reached a roadside food stall.
Yes, the phone number is correct, but the recipient is wrong.
Hello, darling. Which ‘darling’ are you calling, please?
Don’t kid me, darling. This is your sweet juicy pears. Don’t say you’ve forgotten me so soon.
Please don’t make me cry, darling. Why are you breaking my heart? Was it just a one night stand?
Sorry, wrong number. Oh, isn’t that you, darling? But it’s your voice. I’d know it anytime.
(God!) Wrong number, wrong number.
Hello, is the Venerable Chief Abbot available for a phone message, please?
I’m sorry the Venerable Chief abbot has passed away.
How could that be? It was only just now that he returned to his monastery.
Yeah, er, sorry. Wrong number. Yes, the number’s correct, but it’s my phone.
Where has this phone been before it came into my hand? Was it a carpetbagger before it came to me?
Has it just come to me for bed and breakfast? Its history trailing like a faithful dog.
How many hands has it passed through? How many exchanges?
What sort of business was it involved in? In which government department did it serve loyally?
In which clandestine deals did it take part in whispers?
If only it could talk, would it divulge all its secrets? Keep mum? Lie?
Keep lips sealed till executed?
In which networks did it have intercourse with other lines?
Did it have any infatuation with the communication media of some office’s private line?
With what did it fool around, have an affair, fall deeply in love, or behave wantonly?
How deep has language infiltrated into its innocent memory of the heart?
Poetry is not like a phone call
The poet sends his message from one end and the reader receives it intact from the other end
Hears it word for word, understands every syllable, and shares the same emotion.
Poetry is not made with language
Not through the language of language
Not outside of language unmediated by language
But within language written, composed, constructed, made, read,
Understood, felt, moved
Perhaps or perhaps not
Will this poem too reach the wrong person through the wrong line and the wrong number?
Please forgive it if it does for it is not its fault
It’s only that it is certain of its own self-knowledge
How has this little poem too traversed not just political, economic, social,
Cultural, literary, and means of living but through a complex web of interrelationships?
How is it still being? How is it still relating?
If a phone line is tapped, one will hear a stream of language
Poetry is related to language, but it’s not a phone
Hello, hello (Here it comes again)
Hello, yes, please hold
Tee tee tee tee tee tee tee tee ………..