Issue 31: Jee Leong Koh

from “Ungovernable Bodies” 




J., June 20, 2007 (Wed), Splash, then West Side Club. White, dancer, 47 yo but very fit and smooth skin. He brought me to the West Side Club. He fucked me, and then fucked me while another guy fucked him. Three other guys came in, one after another. The first two fucked him while finger-fucking me. Finally I jerked off while fucking J. with my big toe.



For everything requires coordination,

the train, the station master, and the train station


or, better still, a metal ion and a ligand,

to form a stable covalence are quickened


and thickened to the utmost rigidity

that you and I feel inside you and me,


nor are we alone in this thistle tube,

named so gently as the West Side Club,


but other necessary atoms, donors

and receptors, sporting the biggest boners,


yet spelling at the kindergarten grade,

attempt the phonemes of a “cavalcade,”


so, studying how to receive and donate,

we may with numbers vast coordinate.








H., July 14, 2007 (Sat), The Cock, then his place. 35 yo. Father is Spanish, mother is Columbian. Nightclub business. Came to The Cock to forget about his ex-girlfriend who was provoking him by (maybe) having sex with someone else. Smooth and muscular body. Gray hair made him look distinguished. He penetrated me with little foreplay. Long and thin cock. He moved his cock in me in different directions. Good but did not hit the spot. I lay on my front, then sat on him, and he also took me with my legs up, lying on my back. Morning, I sucked him for a while but was too sore to let him fuck me again though he tried hard. Gave me his name card.



Cocked and loaded, the cocks

floated and goaded. Thick cocks


talked with thin cocks. Cocks

of the walk with virgin cocks.


What did they jaw, white cocks

and sore black cocks? Cocks


are cocks are cocks are cocks?

What crock of shit, the cocks


brown and yellow, the cocks

racial bedfellows, spat. Cocks


are still ranked in this cocks-

ucking cock-tank. But cocks


with smackeroonies and cocks

get to fly to the moon.


after Ms Brooks








M., January 24, 2009 (Sat), The Cock. 23 yo African American. Went back to his place in Bushwick. I sucked him & he fucked me. Then we jerked ourselves off.



A bird in hand is worth two in the bush,

they said and fled the violent neighborhood

to burbs, who knew zilch of the miracle

of the bush burning and not burning up.


It took me nearly 40 years to learn

the end of all my wanderings would be

to arrive where I started and to know

the fleshpot of sin for the Promised Land.


On the way, seas parted, manna dropped,

a bronze serpent was raised up on a stick,

and rumors of the shattering of stone tablets.


Astonished by Egyptian luxuries,

I report my analysis to you,

but Moses, Moses, why are you crying?

Jee Leong Koh is the author of Steep Tea (Carcanet), named a Best Book of the Year by the Financial Times in the UK, and a Finalist by Lambda Literary in the US. His hybrid work Snow at 5 PM: Translations of an insignificant Japanese poet won the Singapore Literature Prize in English fiction in the same year as his collection Connor & Seal was shortlisted in English poetry. His latest book from Carcanet is Inspector Inspector. Originally from Singapore, Koh lives in New York City, where he heads the literary organization Singapore Unbound, the indie press Gaudy Boy, and the journal SUSPECT. 

Copyright © 2023 by Jee Leong Koh, all rights reserved. This text may be used and shared in accordance with the fair-use provisions of Copyright law. Archiving, redistribution, or republication of this text on other terms, in any medium, requires the notification of the journal and consent of the author