And when we were children, staying at the archduke's,
My cousin's, he took me out on a sled,
And I was frightened. He said, Marie,
Marie, hold on tight. And down we went.
In the mountains, there you feel free.
I read, much of the night, and go south in the winter.

~ The Waste Land, "The Burial of The Dead", Eliot

Saturday, May 26, 2007
reminder from rich
Either you will
go through this door
or you will not go through.

If you go through
there is always the risk
of reminding your name.


The door itself
makes no promises.
It is only a door.

Selected poems, "Prospective Immigrants Please Note", Rich.

Saturday, May 19, 2007
this has been one of the happiest weeks of my life. ive met old friends, talked to people, sent out one certain email, received a very heartfelt email (you write beautifully too), read two (lovely, clever) poems, wrote a song, talked to a teacher i never talked to because i always thought he looked down on me, attended the beautiful launch of math paper press, seen two crazy and passionate people sit in a shop and sew 300 books, cooked for a table of 8, had breakfast with someone wheelchair bound, learnt so much from everyone in different ways. it's wonderful, for once in a long time, i'm by myself, but not alone. my thoughts are mine, and i like myself. i'm super annoyed with the way i used to live - the triviality of all that angst, the way my world was small and claustrophobic, how my writing suffered because i had stopped looking outwards. today i went swimming with my dad, i got scared cos there were a lot of obnoxious australians in the pool and asked my dad to swim with me. last night cyril was talking about his encounter with the (old, short) derrida (here is deconstruction for you: "the old, short, derrida"), before he and eric began talking about their st pat's days, before they became excited and nostalgic. me and wilson were listening, slightly envious. the past binds us, as well as shuts others out, it functions the same way as a secret, the relation between the yesterday, you, and me. and time is what bars others from entering into our secret, it is the gatekeeper of the house. i could tell someone else, "oh yes, we did this, we did that". but he will always be an other, sitting and watching, one skinny poet conjuring young boys and magic out of the air, another poet laughing in unison. the reader stands outside the periphery of that shared imagination, trying to enter.

Friday, May 18, 2007
When Tracy cut my hair, she would stand very straight. Her hands would move through my hair, her charm bracelets laughing in rhythm. I am nineteen, about to fly off for a summer trip in Beijing. He is behind me, watching, his own hair, cropped and boyish. I ask for layers, layers curt and disorganised, soon they will grow out and I will look like an untamed garden, boyish myself and savage. I look like a lion, I would say. I like lions, he would say. Behind me is the murmur of women at facials and the sound of sleek pages being turned. The air smells like shampoo, astringent and floral. The evening strolls by, tanned, on holiday. Tracy doesn’t pronounce her consonants, her words are soft, wavy, like her lilting hair, a mixture of Chinese and English. Tracy asks if he's my boyfriend, I say he’s my brother, just for the sake of having a secret.

I went back a year later, on returning from New York. I’m on my own this time. I find secrets tiresome and a waste of time. “Tracy在吗?” I ask. “不在。” Instead, a skinny, blonde-haired man with stale, yellow teeth is making a wig. He and the manikin smile at me lopsided, cracked smiles.“她去了哪里呀?”“不懂呀。你要不要剪头发? ”I think, what the heck? A haircut’s a haircut. I get into the chair, and the moment he puts a bright yellow and purple-sequinned barber’s cloth on me, I think I’ve made a mistake. He rolls his sleeves, two tattoos bulge out. Come to think of it, they all have the same tattoo. The other guy, of dyed hair, punk earrings, glazed eyes, continues fixing the wig. The manikin is still looking at me. I detect a hint of laughter. My hair falls around me, is that where my hair is going to. The 老板comes out, an old crooked man, he smiles at me and revealing nicotine-stained teeth, walks past the red and glowering altar.

“可以吗?” It is finished. As an afterthought, he haphazardly flashes the mirror around. “我给你discount好不好?”It is done. I get out my wallet. The cashier register isn’t working, it hasn’t been plugged all day, though its 3 in the afternoon, neither are there namecards. There isn’t anyone there, and there hasn’t been all morning. The edges of my hair are jagged as the yellow teeth of a triad member.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007
i would look at all of you
with a wonder and an awe, because i would have loved to have been there, shared there, when you stood at the edge of the world, wondering, waiting, pondering your next move which would have been irrevocable. perhaps then, my world would have been a little enlarged, and then i could have been more than what i am, because for a moment, i was standing there with you while you stood at the edge of the world and i was a little more than myself. perhaps there was a third person, he watched by the side, smiling, and suddenly the vision of us three merged and widened like a sudden appearance of field.

++cooked, bought groceries for the house, it was a good day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007
The adventures of Julie and a bright blue button
i wrote these lyrics for shawn poon! ooh so exciting!

Julie found a bright blue button
Julie kept it in a pocket close to her heart
Julie nursed it every night to sleep
Julie gave the button a name.

Julie found a bright blue button
The button rolled out of her reach.
Julie searched the city months and days
Julie’s friends told her to forget.

Julie remembers the bright blue button
Julie’s sky is the colour of one blue button.
Julie’s sea is the colour of one blue button.
Julie’s city is the colour of one blue button.

Julie is in the city where we sleep
Julie is you and me (you and me)
I’m looking for you Julie
I’ll find you in the mirror waiting for me tonight.

Julie is in love with a bright blue button that doesn’t exist
Julie is in love with a bright blue button that doesn’t exist
Julie is in love with a bright blue button that doesn’t exist

Saturday, May 12, 2007
They move amongst the sleepers, their cool, long hands fluttering. Their sarong kebayas dip at their backs, accentuating the nape of their necks, necks that appear as long and pronounced as those of birds.
The hair, like smiles, takes months to perfect. Those who have learnt to smile, smile gracefully; their lips turn upwards like the limbs of a dancer executing a jete - light, air-borne, suspended, without wings. In other words, a miracle. Those who are learning, are still learning how to be the bearers of a miracle. Yet a smile is a heavy and fragile object, adopting the wrong method of lifting it will cause it to break and smash.
One lifts a new born infant and blows fish kisses at it. “Why? Why are you crying?” she asks, dragging the consonants like an opera singer, hurling the vowels like a professional mourner, “Why? Why do you cry?” She is surprised each time she lifts a child. The weight of a child is light; yet it is eternally heavy. She straightens out its blanket and wraps it tight. Then she disappears behind the cabin curtains to answer the call of duty, leaving behind the child, calling and calling. She walks down the isles till his cries become lost to the faint hum of the engines.
The blue is blue, and eternally blue. One presses his nose to the window, sees nothing, only the eternal blue of sky, uninterrupted, unbroken. Her gaze fills up the sky, in all entirety, owning and possessing the sky. In the distance, sunlight spreads, a faint red dye. One who is perpetually in the air, could boast of having witnessed a thousand sunsets and sunrises. The thousand of sunset and sunrises, all leading to this, and then this, and this. The sky is valuable in itself. As for whether it could be valuable with regards to anything else, it is uncertain.

Afterhours, they wheel their luggage across the corridors. They laugh amongst one another, talking about the children on the flight, the bad state of the toilets, the men who asked to sleep with them. One takes a long drag at her cigarette. “It’s bad for the skin, you know,” one tells her. She listens, and laughs. The smoke rises with her laughter, thins out, in forgetfulness. In the distance, a burst of birds fills up the sky like fireworks.

ps: im home. :) yes i took that flight home, along other strange biopolis people and many young children.

Friday, May 04, 2007
someone is playing a jazz trumpet in the quadrangle outside. he's very good, whoever he is. the courtyard outside, it's affectionately called the ashtray, because people are incessantly smoking.
so many people are moving out. bloody manhattan. i will miss a certain part of you.
i have choreographed a dance. (in little starts and little spurts when i was in the dance studio in the basement of my building. i've added little bits with every other day, so now it's been almost consolidated. the movements all take place to the rhythm of breathing, so you don't need music. you just need to listen to your own heart. yes, very cheesy, no?) i watched tv with madi tonight, there was a law&order episode about angsty russian prostitutes and angry old men who ranted and railed like dostoevsky, then committed suicide (i hate american tv, it's retarded). madi and i were laughing half the time. oh, but i was very blue today. my friend, he was depressed. all he wanted to talk about was sex, to which i have nothing much to say. thank goodness, the call dropped, because i cannot talk about sex without feeling hysteria anymore. so i tried some quiet. recipe for quiet: broccoli, portabello, tomatoes, chicken, garlic, mozzarella, parsley and dill, salt, balsamic vinegar, sugar. then my friend, he called, he said, you have to build your life where you are of course, he's right, (he's always right, and i was always in the wrong) you build your life where you are - you can't have one foot in chicago, one hand in singapore, one ear in new york, your heart in beijing (the heart in beijing) it doesn't work that way. a person only has one age, you're either 20, or not. you're not 20, or 5, or 40 at the same time. (it must be hard to be an octopus. how does it multitask with so many limbs?) oh i'm so ridiculous. (mourning: the process by which love for one is withdrawn, attached onto another; melancholia: the failure to transpose love and longing. perhaps one would rather be in a state of melancholia, with your vodka and russian prostitutes, at least there is a certain nobility there.........) i don't even want to go back to singapore, suddenly. i was looking forward so much, and now, i don't know (it has, afterall been almost a year), i don't know if my grandfather will recognise me, i don't know if i can face the country with all its sweat and memories, and i've become so used to cooking for myself everyday (i really like my food, as a matter of fact, oh... it's a dream cooking in the heart of greenwich village) and then i'll have to go back to the office, the office, with all its unloved and repressed chain smokers. (only fools rush in where angels fear to thread, i tell myself). i love the freedom in new york, i would want to be weighed down by someone else's heart, i hate the loneliness of the big city, i love being alone.

Thursday, May 03, 2007
michael corleoni and king edward (the prelude to the adventures of the immortal fish)
thank you god for everything, the little things and the big things, and the things i can't even begin to categorise as big or little, because it's beyond my knowledge or comprehension. i ask to be really strong, to face the uncertainty of what lies ahead, and to have the courage to create certainty for myself and make decisions without regrets. i have one more exam next week. i promise to focus, live right the next few days (with my runs and chamomile tea and constant supply of rice), end this the best i can, and make a dignified exit. this afternoon, suddenly an entirely new pathway was carved out for me. i was glad, sam was glad, my room mate belted it out on the phone to her mom, leon was ambivalent. but i'm going to try to sleep now, after laughing too much on the phone while trying to get him to find takers for my fish, edward and michael. i could sell them back to petco (they were 25 c), but sam gave them to me for my 20th, at a time when my life was finely balanced, and so they mean something to me. and when i give them away, they will come to mean something else, and if the caretaker gives them to someone else, they will assume a different meaning. i will give them to irma, irma who is going to washington in fall. she will give them to someone then. maybe i will write a children's storybook about the fish who had many homes. mr lucky (the fish i looked after in dec) he went through 7 pairs of hands, and is living with a girl called jennifer. zengkun was exasperated, after asking continuously about the whereabouts of mr lucky, he said, forget it, we can leave the fish with jennifer, i will find another mr lucky . and mr lucky, he will become immortal. maybe one day mr lucky will be back in my hands again, like an old textbook one has sold, and finds again. i have been through many spaces, and i am moving again, just like mr lucky. i used to be afraid of belonging to no one, it is a silly fear, one must always belong to someone. even when one is most lonely, he will always belong to someone. last night, the moon fell on the face of the tank where edward and michael sleep. i noticed she had changed position from the night before. there is much unease and movement in this city, in this life, but there is stillness at its axis, and its axis is the heart, this heart

Tuesday, May 01, 2007
when one has lived alone for a long time, the quiet begins to talk to you.
the quiet is sometimes unkind, when you are unkind to yourself.
an incongruous memory came back to me of me in the boat heading from obs.

[publishing] Publishers Weekly . Dystel & Goderich . New York Center for Independent Publishing . Association of American University Presses . Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators

[people] clarisse . nurul . aunty zarina (ummi's bakery) . jeremy . pak . cyril . softblow . karen & kenny (booksactually) . eric . joel .

[other loves] digitaljournalist . ballet dictionary . poetshouse . urbanwordnyc

[me] dawn, singapore, new york city, ithaca.

[yesterday] holding on tight -- vol ii
death and new york city
ever get afraid of sounding stupid, boring, uninfo...
sleep activism
things im excited about
thinking about flight
accents and attractions
i got an on-campus job--production assistant at th...

[archives] January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?