the gossamer of a traveler’s dreams

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Before I left for my birthday trip in Thailand, everyone was offering their opinions—warnings, reminders and precautions, really—that because I’m a young woman, I shouldn’t travel there by myself. It was funny, because I am a backpack kind of traveler who goes with the flow wherever I am, I have no qualms on exploring new spaces, new places. I can adapt with and fit in pretty much anywhere. It wasn’t like I was planning to walk around in short shorts and/or miniskirt, wearing red lipstick and stilettos, popping my gum, and screaming swear words at people in my fluent English.

It was an incredible experience. Because I was there alone, I got to slip away to wherever I wanted to go. I traipsed through the local markets, rode a yacht and hop from one island to the next, snorkeled and swam with the fishes, visited caves that were home to monkeys and sacred buddha statues, wandered around the busy streets where women sold delicacies and faux leather goods, and checked on stalls where people sell durian chips and banana pancakes. I visited a lot of Buddhist and Chinese temples, prayed with strangers, fell in love with the vibrant colors of the Old Phuket Town.

I met someone from another foreign country and we exchanged stories about our travels, about his diving and underwater caves, about how our birthday trips are going, about my mountain climbing, about Europe, about the islands back home. We canoed in Phang Nga Bay, entered a secluded cave where you can’t hear anything but the sound of nature. He asked me to lie down with him, I asked him reluctantly why and he answered, “You’ll love it,” and when we looked up the blue sky peeking through the canopies, it felt amazing. It was beautiful. It felt like paradise.

I haggled with a guy over the cost of something and, though we couldn’t agree to a price, we sat down and had coffee together. That’s what’s important in traveling and in life: acknowledging where you are and enjoying it and being grateful for what it is. 💛💙💚❤️

the frequency of distance

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I’m not quite sure
how many gospels it takes
to keep me fooled, in belief

that they all mean differently
and keep us overhanging
by different inches

there are cities in our tears
it’s a geography of thoughts,
of love, and I am wandering.

the pacific


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The present is being lingered
between your ruins
and your shortfalls.
I want neither.

I want a coastline
with you on it.
I want my heart
cruising and veering

within a cell of its own
like old times, back when
I thought loving solved
the heaviest of thoughts.

Words don’t speak anymore.
Neither do fleeting glances.
I want futures with you in it.
I want love and nothing more.

missed connection; 4th avenue

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I conceal myself behind simple things so you’ll find me; if you don’t find me, you’ll find the words, you’ll feel what my hand has felt, our hand-prints will become one. The February moon glitters in the kitchen like a steel-coated pot, (it grows that way because of what I’m saying to you), it illuminates the empty house and the house’s passing silence–always the silence remains passing. Every word is a gateway to a meeting, one often abandoned, and that’s when you’ll know that a word is true: when it persists on the meeting.

a shipwreck of words

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I have tried to read the world—

&

A fragment takes a shape, caught in the throat:
distance we have set ourselves against.

&

All drifts away and collapses: the echo of the verse.

&

Yet this vocabulary has no use – I knew that.

&

To try and meet you in these lines.
The trace and not the marker.

&

Ce n’est pas un poème.
This is not a poem.

&

Thread for the interpretation of twenty-six letters.

&

I am in an argument with myself—
I cannot speak of I.

&

Elsewhere, the poems are writing,
and they are writing about us.

listening in 2013

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I know – yet another Top 10 album list for 2013 isn’t really necessary, but I always like an excuse to share musical loves. So in no particular order:

The National trouble will find me;
Fall Out Boy save rock and roll;
Arctic Monkeys am;
The Strokes comedown machine;
Baths obsidian;
Kilo Kish k+;
Phoenix bankrupt!;
Lorde pure heroine;
Deafheaven sunbather;
Daft Punk random access memories

What did you have on repeat in 2013?

keep the lights on

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Ira Sachs’ Keep the Lights On is not an excessively brilliant film; however, it is one that leaves a solid impression. In beaucoup ways it feels like a filmic portraiture (of the lucidity) of Nan Goldin’s still narrative photography. In this rationality, the film engages with similar subjects to her work – love, sex, addiction, pathos – while also possessing the plucky patina and New York sensibility that traces Goldin’s photographs. What makes both so strong and so convincing is their flaws, their presentation of awkward and unrefined intimacy.

This is similarly what makes the film heartbreaking to see. I realised when watching Keep the Lights On how emotionally attached I am in happy endings and how much I am willing to forgive offenses and wrongdoings. The film laid upon me with what is essentially an unattainable relationship, and yet I yearned for it to succeed despite these contrasts, these diversities.

The story (film) was apparently based on one of Sachs’ romantic relationships and the sincerity of its onscreen portrayal is rough in its representation of the lengths to which we will go for the person we love and we long for. Indeed, Zachary Booth, one of the lead actors, beautifully described the disposition of this film when he mentioned, “This movie is accessible to anyone who is loved, wanted to love or ever had a relationship.”

dear ex-lover,

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I hold my breath
thinking of you every night

the front door swings open
and closes at my touch,
praying that somehow
you sleep through the shrieks

its metal core
makes as it scrapes
against the concrete floor;
each turn shrilling
of its rust

how these noises
juxtapose the morning’s:
your giggles against
the sunlight passing
through the skylines

as I open the glass door
on the way to work
again, I carry your voices
with me and run them
in my head

as I watch Christopher Columbus
move by outside the window
because 9-6 shift
is the slowest, I’m alone
for the most part

drinking coke, taking
too many smoke breaks
and all the chairs are mine
to take–I miss you
all along.

fiat lux

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I dreamt of you again and
you had become a Language.
Light that leaves. Light that
returns. I woke robbed again.

I miss you like a motherland for
which there is no desire of return.
A space scorched unimaginably.
I miss you in a million little moments,

unreprised, like the light
that leaves and the light that
visits. I miss you like the ghost.
I hold my hands into the ocean,

in a quest for you, even as
I watch your body in flames, drift away. I wish I could come back
to you as one returns to a home.

But there is no “you” to return to,
no space of familiarity. Only
the voices of absence in the
heavy draw of morning light.

And the promise of a thousand morning-lights to come, knowing I
must wander all alone. In my
sleep you blamed me for never

having loved. But you do
not know the weight of my
baggage. The way an orange
leaf can make me cry.

How all these seconds sound
without you. Every season is
too cold. Every light too hazy. Perhaps I have never really

loved and it’s just the concavity
of this world, the emptiness of
desiring itself, which inspires such
fits of despair and solitude.

The exodus of words even
on the cusp of the end, the
lust for an end — the light
that leaves and wanders.

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