Moments in Time

Recently, I started to entertain myself into being a slop-shop of a photographer. I commented the other night to my mother how in our family drawers’ of secrets, there’s probably collectively a 7 foot stack of photo albums, the ones still here and the ones that have laid unopened for half a decade back in our home country. I realized at some point when I used to flip through those photos that there was almost always one person missing. Not absent, no, because surely enough he held the camera steady. He was generous in picking the scenery and making the woman, my mother, in the photos look great. If only amateurishly in her young uncertainty in life, evident in the strictness of her smooth face, the black pearled, almost-vacant eyes. Just a young couple.

“He never did like taking pictures himself.”

I suppose never again will there be such a person in our life today that would not have some form of photographic autobiography throughout their life – even downright to their day to day most likely. When I think too deeply into the issue, it seems too solemn to comment that the age-old scarcity of these old photographs will never be reproduced in any shape or form. I can print out a hundred stacks of album and still not resurrect the same sweetness of something belonging only to a past generation.

My father has been gone for 7 years now, and I do believe there is a certain bittersweetness of someone who does not have much of a visual past. Beguiling at most, but somehow I’d much prefer to hear from my mother’s memory of those days.

How did people before us capture their life? Or did they understand the universal law of nature’s evasiveness and simply learned to adore a natural beauty when they could come upon it and imprint in their minds something they can only try to explain to the next generation. Somehow, late nights were the time when my father would tell me stories of his past. All the unbelievable, lousy pranks him and his young friends had pulled. Throwing ink into their professor’s dorm room and blaming no one but the wind. Driving down a fresh highway at 210km/hr in a rickety old car. Their shared Golden Retriever that made his own run everyday and came back to permanently mark their apartment door to be let in. Sporadically in those stories, there may be a rare old photograph of rebellious young youths to put a face to the characters. As much as I thought I would naturally marvel at their environment first, you find you only need to look at their faces and it spoke to you more of any detail in their life than their clothing or to the backdrop of the photo. Man, they were alive.

So when I thought of all this, I thought of the reason why I would cry looking at those photos. The rarity of them seems so confounding. I’ll capture moments in time today, in which they will only ever exist in the loading memories of my phone, and I’ll never come to think about it. That is, until the day I switch to a new one. It isn’t even so much as taking photos of everywhere you go and what you do. My father had a certain touch in which though he hardly ever showed his face, you knew his presence. Subtle. As if he had charmed those days to be something worthwhile 50 years from now. Those are some moments that when I tell my future children, they may come up with their own imagination of the man he was. And when we pass along those same awkward faces, we all try to seam up our previous accord of them to the actual record. They then take on a humorous turn into a sort of dreamscape, being so easy to manipulate in our minds. Certainly, we will never be able to tap into each others mental images as we do to photography and just show you exactly how it was. It is precisely those fickle moments in time that never repeat quite the same.


“I have seized the light. I have arrested its flight.” – Louis Daguerre 1839

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Getting Lost in the City

IMG_20141109_173111I don’t believe we ever walk in the same city twice. Though I only qualify through my poorly realized directional sense, I still feel in this very city I have lived in for almost 10 years of my life, I have never encountered the same wash of reminisce you get that very first time.

I simply fall in love each and every time.

The other night while simply strolling and partially wandering around, I think all dreamers tend to subconsciously look for that loophole coffee shop, in which after your very first and last departure, chances are you will never find it again. How coy. But maybe you are alright with that; it was simply meant to be. A ghost story you can tell to all your disbelieving friends, but you know that the atmosphere of it was very real indeed.

On these occasions, I tend to snap cheap shots with my one handy camera on hand – my phone. I never figure if those images are to convince you or myself. Of what you might ask? Perhaps the translucent imagery of the city – your’s and mine – the way the streets are entangled at this particular intersection and somehow you had never noticed its very quaintness until today; and the way a few curious steps too far can lead you much astray from the nice scenery you had only moments ago been enjoying. Welcome to the city, some say.

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If it were up to me, I would say our city is much lacking of singular souls that should be as content as aimless in its strides. Local people who will step into the crisp fall evening to take a stroll for themselves. Then maybe a nod. Upgrade to a smile. After all, every friend you have today was once a stranger. So, let’s meet strangers.

Tonight, I thought of the way the fall wind really pinches your face and catches your breath. If I didn’t know any better, I might even venture to say it was the closest I’ve come to feeling model-esque. The stranger to whom my face was actually directed to though, is of course entitled to his own opinions.

I find that it seems the fall weather itself has a way to turn up the saturation level on all our rose-colored glasses. Everything is turning frighteningly real. The lightning silver clashing of the rustic colored leaves – silver blades in the sunlight, why can I see them all so clearly? Driving across town with my sister in the car, there is simply no heave of sigh large enough to encompass such relief at the natural beauty of our world. I, myself, wouldn’t bet twice against a sizable leaf blown by the wind to whip down and actually leaf-cut you in the face. It has happened.

Despite the capriciousness of this temperate season, the city has certainly not failed to deliver tonight.

To Shoulder the Essence of Life

There is a certain visceral liberation in being spent. And tonight, I feel spent.

I realized while walking out of the gym, sweaty and sore, that though it was a Friday evening where there are bound to be questionable people all around; smokers, drunkards, young, lost people on the skytrain, an impatient bus driver – a million and one things that could go wrong – that if I were to feel to give my life, as I had felt so pathetically sympathetic to in particular during these last few days, why not forfeit it entirely to life itself.

Not life in the blue-collar lane. Not life just paying the bills and forever more paying my dues. Life as in the incomparable freedom you feel when you stare across the station platform with the backdrop of a small stretch of man monitored lake, sandwiched between two pieces of light-dotted residencies, juxtaposed against the glaring silver fluorescence of the station. When I breath my breathe solidifies into a mere-second existence, but it is not wasted, because I can feel the sharp air in my lungs so balloon up my abdomen as if you had never breathed so much before; and exhale. You feel so in tune.

Across the street before the station entrance, three young gals bid one another goodnight. They hug, and the blonde with the messy bun and short work out shorts has her back against the car. Her ride, I suppose. Somehow I thought they probably came from some uniform sport. I walk past and take note of all this in a strange and perturbing habit, I fancy it will be something I would write about. Thinking an hour prior, while all my muscles were still intact and speed walking towards my work out, I had thought of certain articles I read of ancient, forgotten civilizations. I note all this because somebody had walked on the same spot thousands of years ago, and somebody else will keep walking after I’ve left. I’ll take note of everything. As to try and captivate all this – a myriad, a jungle book – a longing to learn more; I simply don’t believe you can, and that is precisely the point. How to even begin imagining a civilization that existed in periods they marked between AC and BC, and then ET something. Quoted wrongly to be sure, but I am wise enough to at least know it was a long, long, long time ago. At least that much. Yet those fortunes, the stone/mud/brick buildings, their architecture, plain and extravagantly fanciful artifacts – I’ll bet you anything they’ll last much longer than the chair you and I are sitting on. Even the 1933 forced-shut down of the abandoned ruins of a shanty miniature city outside of Hong Kong holds a certain grotesque galore. What with their skinny maze employment of cramped tall buildings, perfectly suitable for an infestation of vile human behavior in the eyes of public authority. It seems the world is so full of things to be unheard of. Things just tend to happen and come to be that way. I wonder if those people millenniums ago were as in awe with their creation, their cities and stories as we perceive them today. Surely, they must have been proud. Was it as well horrid with the scarcity of so many vital engines in life; was the divide between the rich and even richer a terribly proud curse? What were you like indeed.

When I think of all this, I tend to forget why I write.

So I’m choosing to give my life over to life itself. If I was to be placed here, then there is simply too much to be taken, rather than some worthless selfish hole of pity; it’s a self-pronounced exhaustion. All those abandoned cities, I would like to step on the very places where markets and pioneers bustled. It is the same concept in all the various grand dilapidated ruins across the world, despite their distance. Perhaps we were all connected to begin with. I imagine I can almost feel them. Amorphous blobs. They once existed and walked before us. They, like all of us, wrote and craved images to leave a landmark. They tell stories to strangers they will never meet. To transfix a population centuries of outgrown milieus from now, just for your mere existence, I think that’s simply the greatest works in life. Certainly deserving to be the cause for due celebration on the each night we may feel a tad crabby about ourselves. So go ahead and give your life to the essence of life itself, it won’t deny you to say it’s too much.


“When we stop fighting the inevitable, we release energy which enables us to create a richer life.” -Elise MacCormick

For the Love of Language

It is to my belief that the evolution of language has ultimately damned us all. From the day we were capable of speech we had been under the conformist attitude to explain ourselves. Why did you do this? Didn’t you know that vase was a gift ? That it had meant a lot to Mommy?

At the end of the day, you resort to crying or lashing out because there is just nothing to say. What do they want you to say anyway ?

I feel that way sometimes. Actually, right now, while people around me are trying to get me to speak, just through those electronic messages, patronizing pats; I don’t like it. It’s like constant tapping into a semi-opaque glass you’re in, and they keep saying “I can’t see you, but I know you’re there.” Same as last night at dinner, when I had deliberately ignored my aunt’s efforts to speak to me at any level further than pretentious dinner talk. I wonder if they understand, or maybe they know it’s out of my own making that it only drives me further, recline into the illiterate backbone of my words. From Sunday to Thursday today, my week has been a blur. Monday is when I went to the gym with my sister and that’s all I can recall.  I’ve slept 10 hours plus on three of those night – this morning I woke up twice and saw a standing figure at the end of my bed, the second time it was a gunslinger, and then it was my coat rack –  and I figured out finally that when there’s nothing to do you simply ask your body to shut down and hibernate. It is questionable to ask me at the moment what I feel, if I feel at all from time to time, because when I sit at home alone I am very clarified, almost ignorant to a degree. I think the greatest irony is the prominent language that allows us to speculate our sanity. A whole other ball game seems to be thrown out in the field when I step outside. All of a sudden, my words, those very things that are my companion, my explanation, my reality to the world become tools. They hurt the people I love unless I reign them in, in which case, my silence hurts them the same.

Grandmama, please don’t grasp ever so weakly on my arms and say you miss me – while all I can think about is how you would feel if I were to actually die – I will break your heart.

How to explain this, a perfectly normal looking girl if nothing else unprepossessing, sitting rather rude and stoic at dinner, while in her head is that deciding moment imagined too many times, it becomes real. Death. But I am too afraid, and I’ll admit that. So I think about how it felt to carve myself. Every damn time the images come back so fresh, so anew that salt water irrevocably springs from my eyes. I can’t be kind to these people. I have no words for it.

In the same breath, I am just as nauseated as the next person when a blessed North American talks about death, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy, does it? As my steps approach the pavements leading to my new home, the grim resolve to cut dissolves, no, it dissipates into something I can’t name. Home brings a calmness in which I sat listlessly on the couch and watched Girl, Interrupted until 12:30am and felt much more refined. My current co-worker’s 13 year old daughter told her school counselor two days ago that she is suicidal and I guess nowadays the school boards have transported back to medieval days because they had her immediately placed in a psychiatric ward. It’s like nothing has changed from the 1960′s, those remarkable stigma against the crazed. I think about Winona Ryder reading her favorite sentence from the book-gone-movie: “People ask you what you have done to get here. What they really want to know is whether they are likely to end up there as well. I can’t answer the real question, but all I can say is this, that it’s easy.” The movie is comforting though; my situation put into perspective. Am I truly throwing everything away? Just driving myself crazy? No, I think all I’ve ever wanted was to uphold the enigma of a first impression. The elusive dream of a fantasy character, and I need you to believe it in me before I can. After all, an illusionist will always need an audience.

…I think the truth is, I am very disappointed in myself. And I cannot withstand the conscience of disappointment from you as well, who had believed in me and thought me so brave. You have exposed me, and in my despicable cowardice, If I cannot have your praise, then God help me to be selfish enough to desire only spite, soaked through with the work of my own hands.

I will never forget Winona Ryder commenting at 28 years old post-movie that she did not want to be self-indulgent. I hardly ate dinner last night, under the watchful eyes of my family. I never answered my calls or messages either. A true class-A asshole. Of all the narcissistic adaptations, I choose this.

There is however, a distinct tangent between these two incredibly lucid thoughts. I don’t really think I want to die – but just thoughts that I don’t want to be here anymore. There’s no real explanation for it and I’ve come to the conclusion alas that I don’t owe the world a damn thing.

At times, I wish I at least had the indecency to simply give up on myself and throw it away in casual sex and other meaningless obscenities. Like drugs and cigarettes – things I’ve never done before nor could allow myself to do, but being perfectly aware of how stupid this all is, still feeling entirely entitled to the forefather of all stupidity, like why the fuck not? If I completely shame myself, will you ultimately give up? Is that what I want? At other times, I feel like a needle on fine point, just poking at the thread and people try to wobble it all about to go through, but the more they do, the more frayed the ends get, and at one point I will simply tip over and stab into the unknowing finger of some unexpected stranger. Someone I probably care about.

When I lift my fingers from the keyboard, they shiver lightly. I don’t understand this at all. I am afraid and incapable of crying when I am alone. Words swarm together when you try to express yourself and no amount of anger will change the ambivalent character of language. It is not here to serve you, this once magnificent medium you used to tell elaborate tales and stories. For words that do matter, you are cascaded with a heavy dose of irrelevant catch phrases instead. I am pissed and angry. And scared, watching the phone light go off. I will hurt you, so please go away. It is to my belief that suicidal death is the last exhale of the bravest and of utmost cowardice. I can’t explain it, this fanatical vexation of being prideful and confessing my sins. But I’m a single minded fool, so between those two contradicting emotions I will probably pick the more theatrical one and hurt you indefinitely.


“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because the words diminish them – words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worse, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.” – Stephen King 

A Red & White Production

Broken enunciation teeters off
To menial fortunes, as once upon a time, a time ago
Wandering esquires will wonder
The outcome of a suicide child’s fate
Will serve for two purposes and only one renowned.
Mothers tends to say: “Damned child.”
A fruit too fresh, I can smell the earth off your tongue.
When alas someone pays their due respect, solemnly, at first
Human cherub, who pays you to smile ?

These are the questions we ponder
With my hands in your men’s trousers.
1981.

Dirty Love

I pick up your limp wrist,
Fingers cut,
This is the beginning.
Fresh bud, I want to mend you
Tucked, sacred
Yet also so carelessly discard your trust
With this hand,
Cruel child, locked in the dark of my closet
Who did this? Are you disowned? Come,
I want to heal you, your awkward disposition, honest to God -
Skinny love, I haven’t forgotten…

Your worn cotton T-shirt atop your lean muscles
Not yet developed. Kid, you’re too young
Truly, playing russian roulette
Tuning into the voicemail right before it hits play
Quick, quickly, before it goes off – turn it off !
I realize the headphone’s been plugged in, dangling off the precipice,
Of course, our voices have been plugged, in
This intermediate silence,
Cum-stained sheets
I adore your cracked and bruised skin
Cherished chess piece,
I would fold you up like the tinfoil of a sandwich wrap,
Gently, as to not disturb the silhouette
Though ultimately the held breath expires, in due time
You exist only in my imagination, a consuming conundrum
Imprinted forevermore
In a sick, sick patronizing fashion
I’d wish you to galvanize me , as I to you.
But you would fight me every step of the way
Defiant soldier
Daring tempest
The human spirit in true aggravating juxtapose,
It is you who have taken me.

Occurences During the Day

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The tool box comes dissembled,
Those very things that mind the traditions of our ways
Are screwed on too tight. Too loose.
I fling myself back,

in disgust,

     wanting,

abandonment

In wake
I am a heavy thud
Upon your swollen lips.
Your quiet, dismissive fingers,
Somehow I’d imagine them to tap and rightfully shatter
The accusing bones betwix my breasts.
Suspended , spellbound, rapturous – I suppose I’d like you to
Touch me. Hu-mi-li-ate me.
Prideful beast
Aren’t we all,
Penned for the better,
In honest affairs,
I am but a dangerous method,
An innocent, harmless, descent…your eyes trail
Discover atop my hollow loins
Bushed,
A fresh kill.
Thrash,
In the liquid of life.
My hand grips the chair’s spine, a hold of my only truth,
I present you
Prostrating such mad, mad bliss.
Upon which eyes
Do you cast upon my sight?