Pennies and Stickers for Eyes

… Voici le temps Où l'on connaîtra l'avenir sans mourir de connaissance.

That

That I cost

That I linger

That I masticate

That I cardamon

That I yellow

That I ponytail

That I vanish

That I tempt

That I sycamore

That I Shakespeare

That I Vermillion

That I isosceles

That I revolution

That I careless

That I pidgeon

That I epiphany

That I queen

That I age

That I empty

That I fidget

That I lie

That I operate

That I receive

That I die

The Broken Kitchen

Beneath this poem there lies an ocean.

Where time slows to a pulsating tick

And every word I speak

is slowed

half

time.

Wake me up before I drown

in this hot bath.

A thousand gruesome ways to die

and I have found the simplest one.

I beat the fear out of myself

And I place a single narcissus into my laurel.

My victory

is your victory

Someone called me Rosa Parks

and for a while I thought everyone

was the police.

Above this poem there lies a museum.

A kettle. Shades of lipstick. A smashed violin.

I pluck the strings passing by

for all we ever really do is pass by

and in between the dissonance,

I hear the voice of Dante,

the father of all lost souls.

I regain consciousness among the bodies

Massed among the poppies and white tulips

I cry to the silent reminder that every Pharaoh’s tomb

will one day be invaded.

For a second, Paris becomes the saddest city in the world

Lights beam into my pupils.

Am I under arrest – for being too beautiful?

Yes officer, thank you officer.

Again these dreams weave with no coherent binding.

Yeast?

Baking soda?

No – I make a cake

with a dash of melancholy and suffering,

a glimpse of hope

and a lot of disappointment.

Last year, a tsunami flooded my mind

and I couldn’t breathe for six months

I tried to strangle you

but instead we fucked

and I still couldn’t breathe.

We saw an art exhibit.

Gauguin was ruined.

After this poem is written a silence.

I took it in.

Finally, my blood spoke

Finally, food.

I lived off of that for a bit

Pills only go so far when you have nothing to say.

So I swallowed them dry.

My mind left my body –

not in the spiritual sense,

my nerves just went on vacation.

Back to the ocean.

A giant squid swims into my beckoning arms

throws up a ghost I thought I had slain

So the ghost slithers inside of me

and performs surgery

gluing the nerves back together

But now I am in the museum.

Like all things pretty to look at

And I’m gathering dust

And they look at me through glass,

priceless,

but only fifteen dollars for a peek.

Rant

I am so sick of feeling this confusion this

lifeless beast that nibbles on my bones.

Like the fact that I am so afraid

of being like everyone else

that I do everything to be myself

and in so doing

become

It’s such a shame

no one wants

To be Charlie anymore.

Because conformity is a crime.

But it’s the crime that makes me feel fine

or like slime

yesterday I joked “I’m an Asian gone wrong,

a Jew with no talent.” Well, I can’t handle money

I’m no genius

But at least I’m an individual, right?

I’ve escaped the irreproachable stereotypes

of being smart

of having good work ethic

and I’m just throwing myself a pity party.

I mean, I’m so proud of being able to say I come

from all these places

having seen all these faces different

from all these peasants who have lived

one place their whole lives

Now, I know this makes no sense,

my thesis is all wrong,

but I guess, what I’m trying to say

Is that we all came from Adam and Eve

And I hate that we always say “Adam”

before “Eve” because religion isn’t part of the problem –

we are the problem, it’s just part of the equation.

“I get it you’re a feminist!”

when it’s convenient,

“Women can be serial killers too.

They can be rapists, and even bankers”

And this all sounds cruel.

Maybe I’m changing my mind, even as I write this.

But I really just meant to say

I’m confused about life

and that’s fine, because

I’m a teenager

And even saying that

makes me upset because all teenagers are

confused and maybe if I had my life

together people would look at me differently

but then again, look at you.

I think this all just came out,

because of social media

I’m not trying to bash social media

(now I’m realizing all my comments have disclaimers

attached to them) but the social experiments

little boys being asked to slap little girls

fat girl goes on Tinder date

it’s all just brainwashing trying

to pretend and to make sure

we’re not insane

it’s a sick cathartic experience

we just need confirmation

we’re GOOD PEOPLE

But when my cousins are being accused of

genocide! When my country is under constant threat.

Because the fear that I had this week

Walking in the metro, being evacuated

afraid to be shot

is the fear my cousins have every day

afraid of their children taking the bus.

Afraid, and confused.

And I’ll tell you why we commit these

“acts of genocide” it’s because this fear

has been passed down, epigenetically.

this fear has a name and I’m not writing

it down because this isn’t a poem about

the Holocaust, this poem isn’t about anything

really substantial at all. (There I am, putting myself

down again.) GENOCIDE is the deliberate

killing of a large group of people, especially

those of a particular ethnic group or nation.

We would not send our children

like lambs to the slaughter

if we weren’t trying to prevent

the last time we went

like lambs to the slaughter

have we forgotten? Have we forgotten that just

the other day we marched for the freedom of speech

but were we also marching for the Jews?

Would 1.5 million people demonstrate against

the murder of the Jews?

They certainly didn’t last time.

What about

2,000 slaughtered this week in Nigeria?

Who walks for them?

The UN says that most of the Palestinian dead were civilians. Israel says the high civilian death toll was because of Hamas fighters launching attacks from residential areas, including schools and mosques, drawing return fire. Earlier this month Israel ordered a criminal investigation into five incidents in which civilians are believed to have died, and is investigating over 100 incidents in total.

So take us to court, Abbas!

Or don’t, you know we happen to have the best lawyers in the world.

I’m not trying to offend anyone in this room,

I know being offensive is now

something we can die for.

Gosh, I really didn’t mean to get carried away

My teachers say I have to organize my thoughts

but this week really got me thinking

and I won’t stay quiet anymore

I won’t stop myself from expressing my views

for fear of being called an “Apartheid endorser”.

I won’t conform. I won’t be the doormat anymore

I’m sick of thinking I don’t have the right to express

myself because I’m young. I’m done.

Sweet n’ Sour

Sour. That year everything turned sour. The apples. Sour. The chocolate. Sour. The lips. Sour.

And green. Green eyes. Green sky. Green voices. Simple forms, sordid features, solid foundation. They built from top to bottom. I saw the penthouse floating for three weeks before the glassy apartments climbed into view. A fat man takes a bath. Mmmmhhh. Oh yeah, he says, stuffing a bloody swedish fish into his mouth. A woman enters. Sugar woman, searching for some soap. She enters the living room. The 18 month year old is playing with an iPad.  EXT. A park. GOLDIE is playing with her uncle.

La lai la lai la lai, la lai la lai la lai.

Sweet. That year everything turned sweet. The mud. Sweet. The grass. Sweet. The lips. Sweet.

And gold. Gold eyes. Gold sky. Gold voices. Baby’s epitaph, broke empty, busking entitled.

Fire hydrants explode into existence. A hundred stars collide. Sixty seconds tick until the end of time. A skinny woman enters the bedroom. Naked, she wears purple lipstick. She stuffs a bloody swedish fish into her mouth. A man enters. Sugar man, searching for some lovin’. They enter the bed. The 18 month year old is playing with an iPad. INT. A baseball stadium. TOM is playing with his father.

La lai la lai la lai, la lai la lai la lai.

The Devil

Just stretch your arms out

                                                Yeah like that, naked.

On the couch.

I like it when you’re

                                               vulnerable.

Appealed to the devil

Twice. I told him

I don’t deserve this.

I’m a LADY.

One time in court

He shook me

                                        You’re mine

He said.

And I believed it, too.

The court ruled in my favor

No one is born evil, they said.

                                                  You’re wrong

The court ruled in my favor.

They are made evil. 

                                               Yeah, I like that color on you

I must be aesthetic.

For who?

                                       For me.

All My Boys Have Pretty Eyes

pretty faces in the pretty darkness

They dance for me in their pretty clothes

and talk to me in their pretty voices

All my boys are in love

they are in love with the way

the sun strokes the monuments

a mother strokes a child.

They are in love with my curves

The way my body slides from side

to side the way my eyes

trickle to the side like almonds.

All my boys are rich.

They bathe themselves in gold,

wreath their heads in jewels

They walk with swagger

and when I talk they stagger

All my boys have pretty eyes.

They listen with their pretty ears

to my honey voice

whispering sexy things.

They pretty hearts leap out

of their pretty cheeks

And Oh, how I am ruthless

with my pretty boys

All my boys play,

They play with my hair

and the curve of my lobes

All my boys like to play,

with toys and dolls –

even dress up!

All my boys are jealous.

They are jealous of my red lips

and the hands stuck to my body

They look at me with dilated pupils

For I am their idol, their crusade.

All my boys taste like blood

and smell like flesh

All my boys have pretty eyes.

To my slightly younger self:

I

Darling, it’s been too long since I sought the solace of our company.

Your heart is filled with radioactive waste.

I look into the mirror and you dash by only to disappear, reappear, disappear.

II

We’re both novices to this unkind world, look to your elders for advice.

People will hurt you, but try not to hurt yourself.

Do not be, quote, a servant of sadness.

III

In our dreams, our flight will sink into the Atlantic – this very July.

18 years of torment, will leave behind a pathetic symphony.

IV

That you exist

That you cease

That the grove of orange trees turn grey, their citric sound into the dust.

V

We wander through the orchard, through the labyrinth in Transylvania

Let’s lucid dream together

My past and your present are merging; a still of a zygote

VI

That you masticate

That you epiphany

Is a desert of knowledge, fine red sand, oozing through the sips of wind

VII

Your vices are thrice. I would list them, but you know them already.

Our flaws weigh upon us, elephants skinned, Atlas, dropped

Sigh. Relief. When will there be relief?

Tall hand, titanic shoes. Glimpses of the world seep through our pupils.

VIII

Darling,

I fear I am exacerbating the issue.

Stop writing so much poetry.

I will be back again soon.

I fear I am exacerbating the issue.Stop writing so much poetry.

I will be back again soon.

Inferno

If I could stick rocks in your eyes
and dirt in your mouth
so that you would not have to see
would not have to speak
Of what they did, I would.
This, they know. This, they know.

Bent with sleepless nights, I see the cracks
in your ribcage the way
I see cracks on the streets where you once
played with light dancing on your cheeks
once so fat, once so full.
to the brim they stuffed you with sadness
so that the pores on your nose blackened

And yet you prayed. I could have paid
you to stop it made me red with anger
and any shade but black and white
was no where in sight.
Yes, I was afraid.

There stands a void on the streets where
you once held my hand giggling at a joke
you just remembered.
When you were a baby, you laughed
to hear the sounds of a dog’s bark.
Now we live a linear, laughless life.

My darling,
Can you remember that one Kippur
when you asked me for water
I gave it to you,
you looked twice at the glass and shook your head
No, you said. I have changed my mind.
I was proud of my creation.
For in that moment, I was Adam
but the water was the apple
and I’m not saying it’s your fault
it’s not,
but you drank the water.
You drank the dirty, filthy, water.
We all did.

Now I turn on the television.
9/11 churns; a hot cauldron.
A perpetual motion
of positive discrimination.
“Terrorist” is a complicated term.
And I don’t have the answers
to all my questions
I know now I was not one
And yet was punished so
That Dante’s Inferno seemed
as Milton’s Paradise.

Paris

From the weak dawn we wake together
take the metro en masse,
Recollect our dreams in unison
A single chant across the river Seine

Synethesia is a fact of life
As we bathe in the morning gloom
simmer in sweet sweet lonesomeness
The land of milk and honey
is not this land.

On Love

She’s fine now

But she was depressed with him

Maybe she loved him too much.

Bring People

He was boring, but he knew he was boring.
“Boring people have the right to live too”, he said.

Panic

You’re a figure crouching on my chest at night
You haunt my house and during the day
you won’t go away like a moth
to the light I’m pulled
Breathless veins
I’m on an empty stage
and everything is too loud
RINGING
ringing
ringing

Fear

To she who’s fear is being alone
and to the dapple eyed lawyer
who wants nothing more
than to win his first case

and to a sample of people
to whom the placebo is more
than a pill
that goes down the spine

We are all vertebrates.

Moist and Guttural

When something dark and wet
moves within me,
sometimes I think I’ve lived before.

I wonder why people hate
the word “moist” and “guttural”

These musing
lurk
deep inside the canyons of my mind

And when the feeling passes
I am left
feeling like
a mango with no seed
empty.

Expectations and a Flow of thoughts

Built up on a midnight 

fantasy or was it real?

I don’t know anymore these 

things are all confused 

in my head and in my chest

its swelling like something 

infected and maybe I am 

infected but the word 

infected sounds like I’m dying

And maybe I am dying because 

while my sleeves are drying 

I’ve been in bed crying 

And I know you’re not supposed 

to say that I know you’re supposed to

Shhhh I hear something 

Was it my phone ringing?

Was it real? 

I keep asking myself 

as if my brain

washed it all out in one night. 

Let me keep those memories! 

I want to scream. 

Let me keep the memory of us

walking 

and the words we used

talking 

and the faces you pulled

gawking at the beauty of 

the landscape, of our eyes 

locking like the locks on the bridge 

the pillars are bending beneath their weight. 

It is now May. 

I was Told

Two strangers met

in a haze and threw in

      a pinch of their bodies.

Out it came from a big C –

its body was covered in stains

Thank God

momma always said,

It’s normal 

she said

  won’t drip won’t stall

till it grew and carried

its unborn child’s vest to work 

and thought of its

tight eyes 

jarred in the slamming

doors, skin stretched so tight it let 

the light in like gravid bellies –

a slim gauze in the winter

like some delicate animal 

like a puzzle almost

solved, hunched over, waiting.

MEMORY

A sip of wine is left 

about your mouth

 

Softly I can open my lips

like a chest inhaling

we float.

 

The cherry trees stretch

The white sea

catches

me takes

me someplace far

in my memory

we float

 

Sometimes I think 

I’ve lived before. 

 

When You Finally Understand Religion

 

“It’s funny. I don’t believe in god, I don’t want to go to synagogue, but I go. And once I’m there I start crying like an idiot.”

 

any thoughts?

Poem on the Pont Alexandre III

Vertical sky

when they walk south, or down what’s the difference

My head pressed down

into the cement, the river is my bed

 

The waves are softer 

than I last recall

like the ridges on your grandmother’s round face

the bank divorces the city and water with no faith

 

Beyond the bridge is another bridge

and it’s darker than it was three hours ago

and there are streaks of salmon sky.

BLINK.

I swear my eyes were only shut for a second. I swear it was September just a minute ago.

As you may have guessed from the sudden eerie silence that emanates from your local school, the Northern hemisphere’s school year is over. For two months (three if you’re in the States or at College), us hooligans are free to do nothing…well not nothing, but certainly free from spending our days in the classroom, watching every hour of daylight drip away as we sigh in confinement.

Of course, I exaggerate. I’ll be the first to confess I LOVE school (most of the time)… I know I probably won’t feel the same way in a few years, but I sometimes feel sad that one day I will no longer be a student. I will no longer spend my days filling my mind with new horizons and exposing myself to new things each day. I will most likely spending my entire energy focused on some mundane, uninteresting task in order to pay rent…keep food on the table…taxes…tutors for the kids…you get the point: being a student is hard but also extremely uplifting, if taken with gratitude. 

As many others from my generation are doing, I am reflecting on my previous years, contemplating my change in the past in the future. Before the following, I would like to include the disclaimer that I am not one (usually) to toot her horn, but I just wanted to include a personal example from my life to illustrate my new found belief that hard work yields great long term results.

Two years ago I ended the school year with sad C+. Coming from a home with Jewish and Japanese blood… well to say the least bringing home a C+ average was not an option. The next year, instead of ignoring the fact of the matter, making my situation worse, I changed my attitude, sat closer to the teacher as to be more involved in class discussion and invested myself. (Warning: doing so may result in crushing on one of your teachers)

Over the course of the next year, I went from B- to B to B+ then this year (despite a few difficulties) I ended up with B+, B+ and finally, FINALLY A-.

And I could make A MILLION excuses as to put myself down one more. Oh, a lot more people this term got A grades that the last, oh, it’s only because the Bio teacher didn’t take in that piece of homework I did terribly in, oh it doesn’t really reflect how average I am… But I won’t. When I decided to stop making excuses for myself being a “bad student” or “irresponsible” I also decided to stop making silly excuses and being humble when I did succeed.

All in all, there are many students who have always been on top. Academics come more easily to them (I’m not saying they don’t work as hard, but still..) but I’m glad I learned the hard way, and I’m glad I proved to myself that I could do it – that I could set my mind to achieving a goal and work on it long term – one long day of studying to another. 

“Long term” is not a sentence favored by the youth. We tend not to see the long run, we usually don’t work “regularity” and in turn are slaves to the impulsive characteristics of teenage hood. Unfortunately this trait will come an bite you in the ass if you’re not proactive. When I got the first red flag that my schoolwork was slipping, I was proactive. I worked longer on my essays, organized my time better, and got more PASSIONATE with whatever I was doing. This may be a small lesson – a little moral in the realm of a lifetime – but it’s one I really value and that of course would have been impossible without the help of mommy. And to that I say if you’re reading this mom, thank you; and I hope your Jewish expectations have been fulfilled. 

TWO MINUTE POEM

I always dreamed a widow would

Someday keep me in her womb,

Teach me secrets of solitude

The road towards my tomb.

I called upon a drifting star

To heed my calls, to lift my scars

To let me live my life anew

And my eyes would see troubles few.

This wish of mine deems to be a selfish one

Lack of maturity I have yet to overcome

Yet is it so unnatural

That I crave a moral world blissfully so?

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Last Sedentary Sunday

The bus shakes with every pothole

And sometimes I think it all might fall apart

And I miss New York, NY

Not the land where my fathers died

(Who saw some provincial Japanese schoolyard)

(Or some godforsaken place in 1944)

But where in a true disgrace to the separation of holy church and state

And haven of Solitude Company

I miss a late night egg drop soup.

And this bus 52 nearing a Paris sunset

Takes me to the Arc de Triomphe

Triumph

Where the Romans and then Nazis once marched

Oh Easter.

When the greatest Jew

Arisen from nail and screw

Joined himself to God

That bastard (lucky)

And looked so fatherly,

Death reigns higher in numbers than Mt. Olive or Mt. Olympus could have dared imagining.

Now on Mt. Everest our limbs fall off

And in my near proximity, Mt. Blanc has turned its nose black.

April 1st and lovers flock to Paris

Another deadline I have missed.

I miss my sister.

I’ll see her soon,

When the coats have been put away for the season

And summer promises to be good.

Daddy, I will see you too

When tedious days of socializing “within the curriculum”

Have surpassed my physical capabilities.

And although I hate to anticipate the awkward drive “home” from JFK

And that groan that accompanies my dive into wallet and bad parenting

(Dangerous cocktail)

I prepare myself.

The route has been so ingrained into the streets

That I doubt the king 16 himself

His blood drying on the guillotine

Stinking under a hot sun unknown to my skin

Would be able to recognize

His utter bliss.

Sweet Sweet Moon

Saw this video almost two years ago! So glad I stumbled back onto it. I love that they performed this outdoors.

DAY 2: And Then Bill Clinton Shows Up…

I don’t think there’s anything more satisfactory in life than an all in all fantastic day. If it’s any consolation to those who are not on vacation, I’ve had my fair share of long days, but today was certainly not one of them.

Waking up after a fulfilling eight hours of sleep (albeit with jet lag), and feeling empty of last night’s delicious dim sum left me sitting in the kitchen, wolfing down some tasty mango yogurt. Deciding against touring colleges this trip but still stopping by the Sarah Lawrence campus, we made our way to the city. Cruising around Chelsea, “oohing” at the Hudson, “aahing” at all the stores, we arrived at our first destination point: Lenscrafters. My dad had to get some new contacts, leaving me meandering around the city. No less than half a block away, I saw it: Barnes & Noble. I could barely see where I was walking as I stared at all the titles and covers, finally purchasing The Land of Green Plums and 100 Years of Solitude. But my little book shopping spree would not be complete before buying Tina Fey’s Bossypants, of course!

Barnes & Noble, being my first store since I’ve come back to New York, provided as some sort of culture shock – in a pleasant way. Every way I turned, there were members of staff, asking me if “everything was okay” and if “I was finding everything I needed”. This contrasting deeply with the desperate hours of search in Parisian stores for help, receiving a rude remark when finally finding someone. In any case, it’s good to be back.

Passing through Madison Park provided another “pleasant” surprise. OMG BILL CLINTON IS WALKING ON THE STREET OMG. Yes. Just one of my fave dudes was casually walking with some guys in suits, and I stalked him for about a block. As I was hyperventilating, we made our way to one of the best curry and fried pork places I know. I kept fantasizing about how one day Bill and I would be best friends, and I’d have luncheons with Hilary.

Feeling well fed, we went to SOHO, where I made my debut at Topshop, buying the cutest shirt. Unfortunately, I spent a wee bit too much time in there (three floors of fashion is a lot to get through!) and by the time we got out it was starting to get dark.

The last surprise ended up being a quick stop at a supermarket large enough and well stocked up enough to feed the entire African continent, and I wandered around aimlessly, in awe of the skyscrapers of Mac n’ Cheese. After one day of being back, I feel overwhelmed with the overpowering culture of consumerism.

Dad’s making me a sweet meal of steak and saffron rice. I can smell the fried onions from here…so “à demain mes cherries”, rest well and enjoy!

DAY 1: Paris à New York.

I alarm rang up. 7:00 A.M

I opened my eyes again. 7:50 A.M.

Running to a PSAT practice test, the morning of the first Saturday of the long awaited winter vacation is no easy task. Halfway through my metro ride, it hit me: in six hours I would be hallway across the world. Tedious hours of “If 2x=8 and 4-6x=y, express y in terms of x” (I’m not so good at coming up with these question) passed by. Soon after, I ran to get a blood test. They seem to like playing emotional piano music in the testing lab, humorously enough, and for a while I was contented with watching glowing pregnant women emerge from various rooms. T-103, they called, meaning it was my turn. The nurse smiled warmly and took my arm. “Don’t worry, you’re lucky; you’ve got a nice BIG vein on your arm.” I wasn’t sure if that made me feel more comfortable or not until my mother chuckled and repeated “Lucky?” to which the nurse replied “Yes, yes, she’ll feel it less.” I now knew for sure that I was NOT comforted by her words.Nevertheless, it turns out blood tests are not too big of a deal, although I still feel sensitive in my left arm (I know I’m a bit of a baby).

A few minutes after leaving the house for CDG airport, I suddenly realized I had forgotten all my money. Yes, all those US $ I had been saving up for this occasion had been forgotten behind! I went back home to get it and the whole ordeal went by much smoother than expected, unlike those frantic trips with my mother forgetting all the passports, or accidentally mistaking the flight for 6:00, not 5:00.

I’m sitting on the plane, watching the clouds float by, or rather watching the wing soar through them. It feels as though, because of the overcast Paris skies, I haven’t seen a blue sky in a long time. Although I’m high above the Atlantic Ocean, I suppose I find some solace in the fact that maybe, somewhere out there, someone might see blinking lights flash from the sky, and maybe that someone would be a kid, and maybe that kid would wave up at me…

It puzzles me that just a few minutes before leaving, I did not grab books that I haven’t read but should, but rather books I have read and find comfort in. This means I have no new material to keep me occupied while my computer’s battery dwindles to a measly 18%. I took The Catcher in the Rye, Catch 22 and The Great Gatsby. I started re-re-reading The Catcher in the Rye as the plane was taking off, but had to put it down, so that I don’t cry. When I know what’s going to happen in a movie or a book, it makes me cry even harder. There’s just something about Holden Caulfield wandering aimlessly around New York, going into bars, talking to taxi drivers, saying “boy” and “sort of” all the time.

In any case, as I was putting the book down, I noticed some writing on the last page. I was terribly confused until I read it.

“There is a train I know of

That never stops.

And sometimes I wish I could turn back the clocks.

I think I got on the wrong train.

These tracks are worn,

There is nobody in sight

And I’m so alone.

This train won’t stop no matter what it faces

Distance it will go, for billions of paces.

This train is fast, sometimes very slow,

But my problem is that I don’t know where to go.

The directions were so confusing, I should read them again.

Because this map of life has no guarantee

That you’ll end up where you want to be.”

I thought for a few minutes… I remembered writing this…On a train…I must have been 12?

This pleasant surprise got me to think of all my old writing projects I had given up on, so I looked through all my Word docs, and found what I thought was best to re-work – I found the courage to start finishing for once.

So I challenge you today, to finish what you’ve started (Easier said than done!)

Sub Scholastic Life

Image

Image

Cello on back, school bags in arms, cold tired and tripping over badly paved cement I stumbled around Belleville.

Paint – Gold & Women

I never cease to be fascinated by his works.

In Israel last April, I saw this painting:

gustav-klimt-fredericke-maria-beer

The endlessly beautiful women I see in almost every one of the painting makes me shudder.

Gustav Klimt.

When I’m stuck and can’t think of what to write, I just like to look at or listen to amazing things. Klimt’s paintings happen to be one of them.

 

Dear sun.

Image

Dear Sun,

How I long to see your warm yellow face once more. I would like to worship you, the way the ancient Egyptians did, only I do not possess the strength to build elaborate palaces in the name of your glory. All I can say is, since your departure, all has gone wrong. Not in the sense that my life is terrible. On the contrary, I have a home, food to eat and a parent to welcome me home. What has gone wrong goes deeper and further than that. The fact is no matter how “good” you’ve got it – people have the right to be sad, to have hard times. That is why we need to have friends, why we create communities. There seems to be a stigma that we must all stand strong – stiffen up that upper lip and pretend there is no internal (or external) chaos. Whatever happened to acceptance?  Time and time again, I find myself talking to people who feel as though they have no one to talk to. As little involvement as you may have in this matter, sun, I blame you.  

Why are females expected to behave and “deal” with their problems in a certain way, while males in another? And why, in addition to this social pressure to not act “crazy”, must we keep these feelings to ourselves? There is no victim. We are all the victim of our own piggish, selfish humanity. Does that make sense at all? A little bit? 

I beg, someone please tell me. When it is dark outside and you feel your body taking control of your mind in a dark, dark, place, what do you do? We try not to be the drama queens the world deems us to be but it seems we try with no avail. Alas, where we live, my darling sun, there is no compromise or understanding. We are all too hurt for that. Those who attack the suffering are merely suffering all too greatly themselves. There is no one to blame but you, in all your inter-sexual beauty; it is only you who understands the psychological damage done by the weight of all the rocks beneath our feet.

Somewhere, there are a bunch of turtles and an elephant that are floating further and further away from us. I very nearly escape pieces of space junk flown at my face on my way to school.

I blame you, oh sun. For what else?

Firstly, oh dear, dear sun… Why make the air fares so high? Do you not want us to see our beloved? That is perhaps but one of the more frivolous crimes you have committed to make life difficult. I miss the ones I love so greatly and my chest tightens with every squeeze of my heart. Alone on an island of frogs and snails – only mother will sympathize. Or will she? Nobody can sympathize, because each and every one is on their own island. Oh the misery you cause.

Not to mention our obsession with this suffering! The human – the artist – seeks to find what makes the world suffer so (only because of your absence!) and over and over and over and over again we re-live our fears and traumas, just to discover we will die and all that pain (physical or moral) will disappear with the disintegration of our bodies.

You made us like this, beautiful sun. Your mixture of chemicals is no match for mine. Your manipulation of our misery is of course just revenge for the fact that you will die in five billion years. Does that make you sad? Worried? It worries me. Why does it worry me? It worries me because somewhere deep inside, I have become too attached to this piece of skin, bone and fat that carries my thoughts and my love. Where will my love go when you die?

I deviate. Who said I don’t have the right to cry? Until recently, my life was thrown at my face, and I had little or no say in the matter. The small pieces that constitute the “summary” of my being – race, gender, marital status of my parents, siblings, language- were not chosen by me. Did that make life easier or harder? (Or does it even matter?) In any case, now I must choose. I will be responsible for my choices and guide my life where I want it to go. This does not mean that the next tear that trickles down my face (wrinkled or tight) will be a cry of self-pity or misunderstanding that life gave me lemons and I was unable to make lemonade. It is simply a process that only you can understand, beautiful sun. Neither I nor the man can understand why we cry, yet we do. We feel

I suppose this messily constructed letter to you is (like so many artists have tried before) an exploration of why I feel the way I do. What exactly do I feel? Well, we have attached to many pointless and beautiful words to try to communicate their meanings and degrees of poignancy. But I know that you already know how I feel. You know how - not what. You also know that I am so happy to be living under your majestic shadow. 

So, in this array of uncertainty, I just blame you, and I love you – much as I would a parent, because I am indeed your child, who will vanish when you do.

Cordially,

A

The Funeral Suits- Machines

Would we be happier without machines? Would we be any less distracted from our misery?

I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! (With my books)

For some weeks now, I have found it difficult to write. Sitting in front of the computer and opening up Word for something other than homework seems to be a form of procrastination, a waste of time. With every attempt to write, my mind goes blank. I might try to jot down a few words, try to be original for a few sentences, and then press the delete button aggressively. “Why weren’t you born a genius?” goes through my head over and over again as spoiled little me is upset at not being intellectually gifted.

We are often being told in school to read more, to read read read. I completely agree and would love to do so, but time constraints seem not to comply with our wishes. Time and time again I am told by my friends “I never read. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s just I have too much work to do instead.”

Personally, I simply love to read. There’s nothing else to it. But, like everyone, in recent years that passion has been thrust aside to make place for textbooks and assignments. Whatever happened to sitting down when you got home, getting a cup of coffee and reading the next 50 pages of an intriguing novel? There is nothing that can give you more knowledge and culture than reading, so why don’t we do it?

Similar to my struggle to keep up this blog, people all around me are struggling to keep up the things they love while they go about their lives, producing the work asked of them. People giving up ballet at a high level, running, flower arrangements, instruments – you name it!

Talking to a friend of mine the other day about how to keep up practicing our instruments during the school term, she playing the flute and I the cello, we both found the common struggle of time (not to mention the fact that in an apartment building you can’t make too much noise after dark).

After being scolded once again by my teacher for not having practiced, I finally took in her advice. So went to advice: You must play as soon as you get home. Every day, or close to every day. Even if it’s 10 minutes only, you must.

The first seven times I heard this I rolled my eyes. “I simply can’t” would run in my mind over and over again. Except, this time is worked. Not only has it worked, but actively expanding my passions and hobbies has increased my productivity levels and my happiness levels.

I don’t feel this advice applies to things such as reading, however for that, one may take the opposite approach and take 20 minutes to read every night before going to sleep, no matter how heavy the fatigue, or switching to reading on the metro at all costs rather than taking out the iPod or phone.

Hopefully this advice may help some of you in your pursuit to keep up your hobbies. Or, at the very least, maybe you found some solidarity in our worldwide struggle to do what we must and what love?

Much love,

Aili

(First of many posts in 2013)

Christmas Without You

jiji christmas

Five minutes. Four. Three. Two. One.

Merry not Christmas!

Its that time of the year (actually it’s almost finished) that family and friends all gather round to exchange presents, sing, and drink late into the night. This mistletoe studded time of the year when all you friends post pics on Facebook those seemingly perfect dinners, and and although we are but a minority, not all have their family to support them through this dark time of year. So, for whatever reason you may have been somewhat lonely last night, you are not alone! And just remember that no matter what, even if physically you can’t be with your loved one, the love you share with them beats all the Christmas turkey’s in the world and beyond.

Because the holidays have so much hype, problems that occur during this period can feel all the more escalated. “Why now?” You may ask “What a shitty Christmas” you may say, aaaaaaaand it’s true. It ain’t gonna be such happy holidays, but behind all that superficial cheer and all those forced gifts, the new year is ahead, and I have a feeling it’s going to be a great one.

So let’s brace ourselves for a fabulous 2013! (I love the number 13)

I wish you all the joys and success.

A

Ps. Next year we’ll be together Mai :)

Landfill Harmonic

Landfill Harmonic

A great friend of mine sent this video to me thinking I might like it (how right she was!)

8 years of ungrateful playing and I finally realize the value of music.

“I’m officially impressed”

Hope you check it out, it really inspired me…

Much love,

A

Passion Pit – Take A Walk

Honey it’s your son I think I borrowed just too much
We had taxes we had bills
We had a lifestyle to front
And tonight I swear I’ll come home
And we’ll make love like we’re young
And tomorrow you’ll cook dinner
For the neighbors and their kids
We could rip apart those socialists
and all their damn taxes
You’ll see I am no criminal
I’m down on both bad knees
I’m just too much a coward
to admit when I’m in need

Here we Goooo

This is the beginning of a short short story I am planning to write. Warning it may be drastically altered in the future, but here it is for now. (On another note, all the fiction posted here is complete imagination, unrelated to my life…mostly)

“Ow! Owowowow! What are you doing?”

She stared straight at me with wholesome green eyes, shrouded by the cloud of smoke that was her black hair.

“Stay awake, won’t you? I can’t let you get kicked out of class again.”

“Just, keep the pinching to the minimum, okay? My mom’s going to think I’ve been beat up again.”

“Tom I think that’s the least of your problems.”

With those words she looked away from me, back to the shell of a man who was teaching us, for the millionth time the intricacies of Venn diagrams. The class stared back like a hoard of goldfish awaiting the bell to ring in signal of the beginning of freedom. Kathy started stabbing the desk with her compass.

“When. Am. I. Ever. Going. To. Need. This.”

It wasn’t a question, so I stayed silent and watched the dead flies accumulate in the corner between the wall and the door. The stench of laughter lifted through the room. Mr. X must have told a joke. I was sorry I had missed it. I had heard laughter can make you live longer, although I didn’t think much about any kind of future back then. 

I looked back across the room. Faces void of passion quizzically strained to comprehend the lesson, and other fatigued, lifeless faces failed to look back at me. Each presence in the room echoed an array of sufferings, some small and some endless, yet each at the epitome of adolescent bleakness. So, this must be it, I thought. This is what is real. The procession of nerves through chemical reactions in the brain, and the consequent reactions to those little electrical signals we like to call feelings.

At the time, I thought all would be void. I knew of the vague descriptions of happiness I was bound to feel, love being high up on that list, yet was well aware of the pointlessness, of the tired and fed up sentiment that was sure to pounce onto me in my older years. Kathy sustained me during high school. She had to – during those long sessions wherein we learned things such as “critical thinking” and write propaganda-style essays on “why the youth should not smoke” in health class. She kept me awake, she answered my calls whenever I needed to be distracted from the screams that followed the footsteps of Home, and I listened to her pain as she told me about her father, about her uncle and her bother. I guess some stuff just runs in the family. She was different though. I didn’t love her as much as needed her. Years of hatred built up in a society where the chauvinistic and ostentatious man is indeed the alpha male, created this sort of teenage monster I envisioned mostly only while I slept.

I never knew when it started, I guess. It just happened. The buildup of events seems to have conjoined in a series of messily pieced together court orders.

My mother’s teardrops dripping onto a dampening pillow.

My father leaving with a bottle of Jack in his massive left pocket, where he used to put the house key to come home.

I guess he forgot the key or something because he never came back.

My sister’s screams.

You just can’t make those little kids be quiet for a single second, can you?

The happiness disguised with dread I left the house for school.

Nights filled with questions that would only be answered when it was too late.

My own screams plumping my pillow with various levels of ache.

The school counselor telling me it is not my fault. That I must seperate myself from all this. That I must live my life without the shadow of everyone’s misery hanging over my overcast skull. That I am a drama king and my life shall never amount to anything because  I am a good for nothing boy without a dream without a father without grades without that English report that was due three weeks ago without a friend without someone to tell me I’m handsome without someone to kiss me to reassure me when the shadows from my closet look like they might attack me.

In the end I am part of a microcosm of entities, of frivolous facts and occurrences, that defines my existence, my character, my future. 

Honestly, this is all I have for now, but would love to get any feedback from you lovelies!

A

Hello to my grand total of 0 viewers.

ImageI have decided to take this (generally) negative hint that this blog is awful and turn it into a positive factor in my life. Yes, nobody is reading this. I must face the facts with gusto and dignity: this will end up on cyberspace, more sure, but will most likely be read by no one.

HELLO?

ARE YOU THERE???

………………….

OK WELL THEN I’LL GET BACK TO YOU LATER.

 

This is sort of the conversation that went on in my head the other day. Nonetheless, my love for writing does nothing but grow, as the psychological pain of the lack of validation of talent haunts me (does it not haunt us all?). Along with this hoard of negative thought and feeling came a question. Why did I start this?

Well, the way I see it, my reasons divided into three small and (maybe obvious) categories.

a) Umm…who doesn’t have a blog nowadays? I am pro-innovation, pro-social media, am I not? Why not “go with the flow” along with the rest of my generation?

b) Won’t it help me with my writing skills? Won’t it help me develop the patience for writing on a daily basis that isn’t the scribble-here-and-there of a notebook, or the abandoned first page of something on word?

c) I am so sorry but I find myself at lack of coherent words. I don’t know what this feeling is, but as soon as I started designing the blog, writing for it, understanding how it worked, it began to consume a passion that had been deeply lodged in what some may call a soul. Somehow, writing for this unknown was as I said, validation. A form of completion, or adventure…

 

Dear nobody,

I leave you most likely with the feeling of indifference and lack of understanding for any part of this text. Forgive me, for I have begun to write for only myself…and nobody.

A

 

I Think I Am A Monster.

 

*I do not own this image.*

I opened my eyes this morning, 6:10 am.

“When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.”

Final exam of the day: math. I looked up from the test.

“When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.”

I go home, having completely forgotten the memory of this line and poof!

“When Gregor Samsa woke up one morning from unsettling dreams, he found himself changed in his bed into a monstrous vermin.”

For some reason, this happens to be the third time the opening line of Franz Kafka’s The Metamorphosis conjures in my brain, and I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I happen to have this disease. I’ve had it for a number of years now, where I start the beginnings of books, like many many books, and end up not finishing them. It almost feels as though those first few lines, that opening description, the delicious moments prior to opening that cover the first time, are more pleasurable than the string of sentences that follow, and twirl to form a book. (Not to say there aren’t exceptions to this bad habit).

The metamorphosis was another one of such books, which, as I do with many others, I sheepishly turn the cover and cherish the overture. This one in particular stands out for me for several simple reasons. And although I have neither studied this novella nor completely and utterly understood the significance of Kafka’s words, I shall try my hardest to try to explain why this phrase cuts the heart so deeply.

I’m not a huge critique of society, nor of humanity, but are there not times, where one must, especially after our night of “unsettling dreams”, realize that the monster torturing this fantasy that consists of our sub consciousness is, in reality, ourselves? Ever look in the mirror and see just a (to put it kindly) a piece of vermin? Yes…a piece of useless organism, grotesque and monstrous? Of course we are not exactly “monsters”, but there are times when we see ourselves that way. Are we searching for a culprit? Someone to fill the shoes of guilt and blame we so inherently and consistently feel? And in this pursuit of finding this source of pain we finally see it to be ourselves? Perhaps that is the vermin we see ourselves changed into. It is the person we are looking to blame. We are a monster. We perceive ourselves to be a monster.

What strikes me beyond the slightly more obvious of simply observing our existence to be grotesque is the “sudden” part. Where Gregor Samsa wakes up to find he has been metamorphosed.  So why so sudden? Why did this transformation occur overnight? This is not a concept I can relate to. I have never woken up one day and perceived myself as a monster.

Maybe I have not lived long enough. Maybe that is why I find this overture so fascinating. Maybe it is because I know I must live my live slightly more to understand the true meaning of discovering myself to be vermin. A useless, unsightly piece of nothing.

***Disclaimer: IF you ever bother to read the rest of the novella, you’ll find out that it’s not about Gregor Samsa being a disgusting vermin but the people around him (his parents, etc.) who have uncompassionate and cold reactions.  The cleaning lady is the only one who still treats him like a human being.  That is the danger in your bad habit to read only the beginning…you miss the point.

 

 

Animals Roar

Petting Aliki
*meow meow*

XXYYXX – Fields

Just because music had changed, doesn’t mean it’s bad.

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