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

Thursday, September 25, 2008
little moment
i just had my road test. i am now the proud owner of a new york state driving license, and thus no longer an illegal car driver and owner and co-insurance owner. :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008
fannie and freddie
this week is the last week of summer, i feel as though i have to write about it. my town marks it with an annual apple festival, when street performers and hippies and farmers come out and display the fall harvest--30 different types of apples, apple cider, caramelized apples, apple pie, apple bread, apple paintings, apple everything. outside, a squirrel is singing. last week, tree around the corner was shedding apples, the pavement was blotted with sweet, red, rotting dye. outside a squirrel is singing. have you ever heard a squirrel sing? rats laugh, sounds like chirping. i think i am hearing squirrels' songs now. american tv and books would translate them industrious mexican fruit pickers' tunes. he's looking for acorns on our lawn, darting about in the setting sun, sounding like a broken record and a rusty spray can. he has a partner. i call them fannie and freddie. they live in the tree outside our house. they have a humorous aptitude for disaster that manifests in the form of extremely violent play, a hybrid of hide and seek, which involves the seeker jumping on the hider's back--all done while they're dangling vertically on a tree, causing a pretty frightening fall, after which they pick themselves up, and repeat the whole game and everything again.

Monday, September 22, 2008
ithaca is how the sun sets and i see the lights of trumansberg come on, while the sky is streaked with pink. ithaca is walking home past apple trees, playing with maxmus as he frisks his tail around and pretends to bite me. ithaca is the asian frat house overflowing with garbage. ithaca is how i run home, to a fridge filled with rajma, and pots bubbling with carrots, scallions and tomato puree and cumin seeds, an oven filled with mussels in white wine and tomatoes. ithaca is me holding victoria, and this is the best sushi and avocado we have eaten in our whole lives, ithaca is me finding secret places, me on a phone, 2 am, aching from having slept on his too-high shoulders through the night, somehow praying that the boy caught on interstate 81 in a broken car, waiting for the tow truck, will get home soon.

Monday, September 15, 2008
consumed by the details of my life now. it mostly involves money, work, cooking, volunteering, and much reading. i'm busy and happy and tired. i'm trying to find a good way to say, i'm sorry i no longer have the lyricism, or desire to be heard, and i want to keep in touch with people in a more personal, less public way. i will be writing less, because the immediate life that demands me, demands me.

i might still update sometimes, but less. i love you all, and thank you for everything.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008
i have been stressed out. only just secured my schedule, had to talk to advisors, talk to the dean, about acceleration, then i find out my car registration messed up, which means i am driving an illegal car. the highpoint is discovering that i am able to graduate early, and that my transfer credits transferred over smoothly. the low point was getting mad on the phone with the car dealer. i hate that putting life in shape is so difficult, and things like electricity bills, and that all that stupid jazz. i am glad that i have discovered all these problems, i am mad that i got mad with justin over the phone. i am glad that nothing terrible has happened, and that everything is ok. living--and getting everything right, a legal car, working through systems--is so difficult. i am going to clean my room, run, have dinner and start on my reading. declutter, declutter.

Saturday, September 06, 2008
so i relented, and i am coming home this december for a week. justin's coming too, perhaps it might be quite lovely for him, and for all of us. my skype session with my sister turned into half an hour of us holding up random objects in our rooms that both of us remember. remember the bear, he's 9 years old? remember this pillow? remember this cup? much reading this weekend, much exhaustion from this week, including a long day that began at 7 in the morning for class, and ending with me getting off work at the university press at 5, on friday. had dinner with jm, i bet you will not want to come back to singapore when you no longer need to, he says. yeah right, i totally will, i say. ok, i'll call you in 40 years, and you tell me, he says. in 40 years, you won't be able to talk to me because you will have no teeth, i hiss, and we collapse in laughter. at night, we drive to a dark field to light up these dubious 1-buck fireworks because i need to let off some steam. the last time i lit them in jersey with yim, tom and justin, we did it in some small suburbia high school parking lot, and the fireworks seemed so big then, and i almost pissed in my pants in alarm and joy when they rose while yim exclaimed, in his usual vulgar way, "man, that's tight." this time, the vastness and darkness of the field dwarfed each set of fireworks and occasional traffic caused the pine trees to glimmer with ghosts. today i wake up to greyness, leaves scattering around me, and i can smell hurricane air from the coast.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008
ithaca is gorges
just met up with philip, my professor last semester, who just had an emergency brain surgery, which involved drilling 3 holes in his head, and sucking out the blood in his brain--yes, like the bloodletting of the renaissance modelled along the greek idea of catharsis. "i was reading derrida's the double side, and i started seeing double, and i called my doctor, and my family and wife is in new york, but i had to do an operation in ithaca, in 10 hours. ithaca is a great place to get sick--if you are a dog." (this is a reference to the fact that i live in the country, and the only great hospital is a veterinarian hospital) we might go out for drinks, which is ridiculous when you think about it, but thoroughly great. "coffee, or a beer," he suggests, testing the waters. sounds good to me, i say. justin came over this weekend, and it was crazy too. we jumped from gorges 40-50 feet high, into pools of rocks, encouraged by some hippie guy in front of us. we made an herb chicken, went to the farmers' market, and bought these crazy sunflowers without middles--they're called sungolds! it was actually really scary because his car broke down 15 times along the way from baltimore and when he finally arrived at night, he was a complete bundle of nerves. now his car has been left with me--along with the 2 sacks of rice and a huge wok which he got in a tizzy at an asian supermarket here--and he took the greyhound back up, on a bus which overheated and then subsequently broke down. and last week was dinner (2 times in a row) with the parents of my ex--sans the ex--which was terribly awkward but wonderful. then out of the blue while i was queuing up at the farmers' market for squash stew and roasted walnuts, sam calls. "i'm sorry," he says. "i'm sorry too," i reply. it was a long overdue end. last night i cooked dinner with my room mate, and she was trying to teach me how to parallel park. on my russian speaking room mate who went to russia on a cia-sponsored language program, on't piss your room mate off, justin tells me, or you'll get the cia at your back. in his awful handwriting that he leaves on a post-it, he writes, "ithaca wasn't as gorges without you." we talk about houses, i owe him money (4 digit figures), his car is to be parked on my street, and he is theoretically the owner of my car, because of his credit history, and i am a co-owner. i keep thinking about the future, he says, daring me to answer. live in the now, i say, because the future will happen if you don't live in the now. he leaves for baltimore. he makes me feel more youthful, and older, than i have ever felt before. the afternoon he leaves, i cook, clean, buy books, sweep the smell of his body out of my room. but the promises have been made, and i realise, almost with shock, that i have gotten myself deeper into this than i ever have been. our names co-signed in various car and insurance documents are just the tip of the iceberg, of an unspoken promise that we indelibly, almost too innocently, made.

[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

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