Paul is also an award-winning poet. I've just finished reading his third book, entitled first meeting of hands, which was published in September last year. A review is available on Quarterly Literary Review Singapore.
In his usual style, first meeting of hands has a generous dose of "social commentary" poems. Paul likes to make poetry out of the everyday stuff of life in Singapore, injecting little insights and ironies. Here's one that I enjoyed:
Mr Tan, you have written here that I'm not
task-oriented or adequately equipped
for the high-performance organisation,
not creative or committed enough to
identify problems, plug gaps, form alliances
to meet all your KPIs. You observe that
I am not aligned to your corporate values,
unable to see the helicopter vision,
myopically clinging on
some stubborn sense of self.
I am, as you say, slow track, low band,
grade E, non-scholar, with no CEP to speak of.
It's all true. That's why
I lost - again - that train seat in
the standing-room-only carriage today,
sidling aside like a languorous sloth,
as more focused, purposeful
commuters elbowed their way,
eyes trained, like caged predators,
on those few elusive seats.
At least I gave them a standing ovation.