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by Janice Sim

“Two souls, alas, are

dwelling in my breast,

And one is striving to

forsake its brother.”

Goethe’s Faust, Part 1

Demonic possession

is nine-tenths of the law,

is not, any, incidental flaw.

Pirouette, possessions are

everywhere! Things, bodies, spaces

even nature possess legal

statuses, belonging to

and belongings of,

as commodities for appetites –

yours and mine. It is not

unimaginable that the road to Hell

is overlaid with well-meaning plans.

After all, we live, walk and eat

as if possessed, by our smart phones,

sushi and our hard-earned cash,

bent eyes glazed, hunched like

Tolkien’s Gollum

ravenous for gold, handling pride

with venom filling up from inside,

scratch marks on the outside, long

quivering wails into the night,


with the demons that dress Prada,

sprout Gucci, own a mortgage or

several, buy mountains, forests

and even oceans – as if, dying

to save this world from hunger,

greed and excess consumption.

As if to save ourselves, we seek

to own, satiate, to create, we write

possession in the law, to house

our texts, mark our bodies, to worship,

metamorphosise as unhealthy obsessions,

transfixation – breathe life into

matter, oh fine darkness as I adorn

white and rose gold, stand jealously

on guard, like a woman, mad,

haunted in all the rooms of

her memories filled with a love

for the dead – by title, by name

and by deed. I no longer wonder

if all we think about are our things

and people left behind, or

the way Judgment takes up

a-tenth of, while our possessives

make up the rest…

am I not also one of them, hungry, here

clawing, at the doors to stake claim, on

some semblance of living,

after death.


About the poem

The poem explores the ways hunger as a theme is understood in layered ways through the law and its conceptualisations around the meaning of ownership, property and sovereignty in ways that are intricately tied to an imperial thirst for, and embodying Christian allegories, as well as the ways in which our possessives and possessions seek to possess us.

- Janice Sim


About the Writer

Janice Sim am a sessional academic and emerging writer living on the Gold Coast in Australia with h husband and three boisterous children. She writes in the spaces between work, cooking and children. She has been published in the Fahmidan Journal, Lavender Lime Literary, Spellbinder A Quarterly Literary and Art Magazine and Native Skin Literary Magazine.

Twitter: @lishen_sim

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