“where is the room?” – a musical poem

lyrics:

where is the room where i used to play in
i cannot find it at all

where is the truth when i need it
no one will tell me at all

how is it that i am so young but
just want to crawl

dig me a little hole
to curl inside
to curl into a ball

where is my youth
i used to want it all

all that it took for it
to perish
was one nasty fall

how is it that i nothing strikes my fancy
nothing strikes me awe

plant me a wallflower to watch and
just withdraw

who did i used to be
supposedly
when i was small

i still feel like a scared little child
though i’m tall

where is the room where i used to play in
i cannot find it at all

where is the truth when i need it
no one will tell me at all

where is my youth
is it depleted
i do not feel it at all

where is the room?

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(小)

a short story

They approached her apprehensively, handling her fingers like a newborn fledgling. Her hands felt agreeable to their touch. It was the first time they held each other like this. They had worried for a while about the compatibility. No, not the personality one. That was a given. How could anyone bother being around someone whose presence did not provoke a sense of joy? Well, Xiao had thought that people have been married for less. Financial stability and alimony was incentive enough for some. The existence of prenups were indicative of that. Hell, the couples they grew up around seemed empty of romance. Perhaps that was why they had craved for it so desperately. The movie-kind of love, with an official soundtrack and montages, with grand gestures and a perpetual honeymoon period. I could do it, they thought.

No, the compatibility they were worried about had been the hand-holding kind. Whether her height and arm-length could comfortably fit theirs, rather than have someone’s elbows sag or cramp up due to physical dimensions. If they could easily saunter about the wet damp streets on a moonlit evening for hours, still clasping.

It had only been the first week since they had finally acknowledged their mutual attraction to each other. While it had appeared for her very recently, it had always been on their mind. There was an inkling of the idea when they had first seen her.

It had come with the thought: “I want to know what cereal you eat in the morning.” That was always how they knew when someone would become special to them.

Xiao had always thought of the idea of “friend-zones”- they imagined it was the best place to be! Doesn’t the purest of love surpass that of romantic approval? They would often hear male friends complain of this wretched area- their efforts to befriend a lady thwarted by their inevitable lack of interest in being “more than friends’. They would scold them, saying how communication isn’t so difficult. It is not impossible to convey a message, especially to someone you’re supposed to care about. If the whole objective was to doink, why couldn’t they just go on Tinder? Of course not! I want my sex to have feelings, they would claim. But what is making love without actual love? Who in the right mind would want to kiss someone who did not want to kiss them back? It seemed to simple. Love confessions were never easy, and depending on the delivery, could be seen as rather creepy…but at least it makes things honest. And honesty was important for any dynamic.

Rejection was recurrent in their life, but never once had it affected the way they felt for their beloveds. Great crushes usually turned into life-long friendships, sprinkled with inspiration inducing moments, enough to make even the most obvious and painful truths bearable. They just wanted whatever love they could find to be meaningful.

Wasn’t it already?

They strolled around the park for the first time as a couple- she was shy for having dated someone like them for the first time. What kind of person that was, they would never exactly find out, but they didn’t dare question it. All that matter was that they were there, for the time being, keeping each other warm.

There was nothing better than this, they had thought. A superior definition of togetherness. The knowledge of a prolonged and passionate companionship, whose participants would decide what to eat for dinner, brush teeth, go to bed, and wake up from dreams, still facing each other. Xiao had never understood why the ultimate achievement was “sex”. Why that was what a “home run” meant. They had tried it and then proceeded to avoid it. It was just an anxiety inducing mess.

It was such a suggestive word. An activity that society and advertisements had focused so much attention on. They knew it meant “seven” in Swedish, and that it was necessary for procreation. That it was what their parents were doing that one late night when they were 7 years old and couldn’t sleep. It was the topic of their fellow peers at school whenever anyone did anything remotely raunchy, despite everyone’s prepubescent awkwardness. It was a badge of honour, you know. Bumping uglies. They would wonder what their new lover’s opinion would be. They were slightly afraid. Would they leave me for another, more willing partner? Did they, themselves. crave it as much as everyone else seemed to?

Only time would tell. But for now, they would enjoy the company of their dear one. The smoothness of their fingertips. Their hands felt as if they were about to develop frostbite, but it was worth it, getting to know the texture of her palms.

self-care

with each rotation of a padded hula hoop
the bumps digs into your stomach

the pain almost mimics
what the forging of abs might feel like

after a while,
the belly is numb,
and there might actually be some internal bruising

for the next few days
like a constant reminder,
your tummy screams agony
and you smile quietly-

a secret that should bring results.
and these results will make you happy.

if i’ve learned anything from hurting yourself,
it’s that the addictiveness of hiding shit like this
will eventually turn into madness
that has you unable to hug you tiny baby cousin
because you’re covered in self-inflicted scars.

my entire body is a rejected peeled plum skin
the thigh of a dedicated roller-derby lass
a spit out aubergine from a repulsed mouth
the colour of your favourite jumper of mine

my chest is a beat up baseball that has unraveled
all over the floor
all in pieces
smashed m&ms and broken mirrors
crashed cars and mangled knuckle bones
irreparable and a FUCKING mess

i love it
i love it
i love it

because at least it’s better
than feeling a pain
caused by someone else.

 

 

inadequacy stinks

galumphing through a bookshop in my home city
i attempt to read some Taiwanese poetry

understanding every other word,
my mind screams
“TEDIOUS”
barely piecing together
a fragment of someone else soul
preaching about the transient quality of attraction
…                                                                           (i think)

feeling a phoney,
i scramble back to the “Foreign Language“ section
where I am strong again-
and think myself
“real clever”

in a place,
according to my passport,
I supposedly
belong.

green/blue

 – inspired by a pair of gorgeous eyes –

Infatuated by vermilion
Charmed to death by emerald
They say beauty pertains particular
To each eye, to stare and behold

These colours so beguile me
Confused, whether “either/or”.
It is them that provokes wise smiling
On my face and in my core

I sought your gaze across the room
And filled with sudden panic,
Swept away by an alluring bloom
Of a desire rather static

Is it the green of your irises
That draws me to your looks?
I’m aware of my own biases
Which I often have mistook

Is it the teal of your cardigan?
I approach with pretense, and try again
To ascertain curiosity-
Contemplate attraction’s philosophy

I suppose it matters not.
What matters is, “I’m got”.
For weeks have passed- it is your guise!
The only stranger
I’ve not forgot.

 

 

Poem of the Day: Two Loves (1894) by Lord Alfred Douglas

Reprinted from The Chameleon, December 1894. See highlighted lines.

I dreamed I stood upon a little hill,
And at my feet there lay a ground, that seemed
Like a waste garden, flowering at its will
With buds and blossoms. There were pools that dreamed
Black and unruffled; there were white lilies
A few, and crocuses, and violets
Purple or pale, snake-like fritillaries
Scarce seen for the rank grass, and through green nets
Blue eyes of shy peryenche winked in the sun.
And there were curious flowers, before unknown,
Flowers that were stained with moonlight, or with shades
Of Nature’s willful moods; and here a one
That had drunk in the transitory tone
Of one brief moment in a sunset; blades
Of grass that in an hundred springs had been
Slowly but exquisitely nurtured by the stars,
And watered with the scented dew long cupped
In lilies, that for rays of sun had seen
Only God’s glory, for never a sunrise mars
The luminous air of Heaven. Beyond, abrupt,
A grey stone wall. o’ergrown with velvet moss
Uprose; and gazing I stood long, all mazed
To see a place so strange, so sweet, so fair.
And as I stood and marvelled, lo! across
The garden came a youth; one hand he raised
To shield him from the sun, his wind-tossed hair
Was twined with flowers, and in his hand he bore
A purple bunch of bursting grapes, his eyes
Were clear as crystal, naked all was he,
White as the snow on pathless mountains frore,
Red were his lips as red wine-spilith that dyes
A marble floor, his brow chalcedony.
And he came near me, with his lips uncurled
And kind, and caught my hand and kissed my mouth,
And gave me grapes to eat, and said, ‘Sweet friend,
Come I will show thee shadows of the world
And images of life. See from the South
Comes the pale pageant that hath never an end.’
And lo! within the garden of my dream
I saw two walking on a shining plain
Of golden light. The one did joyous seem
And fair and blooming, and a sweet refrain
Came from his lips; he sang of pretty maids
And joyous love of comely girl and boy,
His eyes were bright, and ‘mid the dancing blades
Of golden grass his feet did trip for joy;
And in his hand he held an ivory lute
With strings of gold that were as maidens’ hair,
And sang with voice as tuneful as a flute,
And round his neck three chains of roses were.
But he that was his comrade walked aside;
He was full sad and sweet, and his large eyes
Were strange with wondrous brightness, staring wide
With gazing; and he sighed with many sighs
That moved me, and his cheeks were wan and white
Like pallid lilies, and his lips were red
Like poppies, and his hands he clenched tight,
And yet again unclenched, and his head
Was wreathed with moon-flowers pale as lips of death.
A purple robe he wore, o’erwrought in gold
With the device of a great snake, whose breath
Was fiery flame: which when I did behold
I fell a-weeping, and I cried, ‘Sweet youth,
Tell me why, sad and sighing, thou dost rove
These pleasent realms? I pray thee speak me sooth
What is thy name?’ He said, ‘My name is Love.’
Then straight the first did turn himself to me
And cried, ‘He lieth, for his name is Shame,
But I am Love, and I was wont to be
Alone in this fair garden, till he came
Unasked by night; I am true Love, I fill
The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.’
Then sighing, said the other, ‘Have thy will,
I am the love that dare not speak its name.’

you fucked me good

like a read receipt that creeps
on the corner of every virtual textual transaction,

you cannot erase this relationship.
you cannot evade the effects of correspondence.

if you try,
it sinks its teeth deeper
on the repressed side of your heart
like an anti-rape condom.

well,
you fucked me.

you fucked me good.

but not even a doctor
can help you now.