Thursday, December 20, 2012


It's hard not to feel winter like this, brittle in my hands, silent
— the northern air runs through my thinning hair.
It speaks of things I don't understand.

If I could sing right now, it would sound like the thirty thousand nearly-frozen raindrops
(still resilient, reluctant)
pitter-pattering not quite in sync with the piano strings that throttle my fingertips
cutting into them

grooves in each hammer. This is the symphony of the winter.
Not as much a symphony as a whimpering melody,

trailing off...


Dec. 21st

Autumn leaves us in cold abandon, and I sit hunched

ticking off seconds on the ancient calendar, but where is the end?
There is no fire, no warmth that slowly spreads to your numbed feet,
no storm as they promised, only that same silent

A fist on the window.
Handprints on the foggy pane.
Outside, steady drips.
And the glass is a prison
And I cannot hear


The winter solstice is more than just a tilt of the earth.

Perhaps the Mayans did know.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

When there were no words.

Reading that poem made me weep. 

I could not tell you if it was because I was tired, or perhaps because I was frustrated with myself, or if it was because I was, yet again for the umpteenth time this year, trying to shake off the feeling of being in close proximity with someone I knew yet still saw as a stranger. But those words, they were honest when I am not.

Everyone these days feels like a stranger.

Why must I do this? You lay in bed next to me sleeping, and I stack bricks between us. Cement and mortar, I mix it in the night, and by the time you wake up, you won't be able to see me. Walls to the ceiling, ceiling to the sky, silhouettes cast in dungeon light.
I awaken in robes of thunder.

Do you know?

Listen closely — such things are always hard to hear over the sound of the waves, the miles and miles of waves between where I am and the land that I love, where the hills grip me in their open arms, and then I am
Ripped ruthlessly from its arms and then I am here and
then you are not and then I am

Do you know that my heart is breaking?

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Apologies for this blog's temporary latency to those of you who still check it semi-regularly. These days, I have too much to say and none of the right words with which to say it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


I step onto the platform reluctantly this morning, heavy arms dragging a heavy suitcase, heavy feet dragging a heavy sleepless head, dragging a heavy heart into the sludge of the morning. A mixture of smoke, sweat, grime, dust.

Industrialization rolls off the gritty wheels of a rickety train car and onto dangerously uneven tracks. It hides in the folds of the women's cheap dresses, rhinestone-studded scratchy faux-chiffon material of clashing bright colors, grating on unwashed bodies. They believe themselves to be beautiful. Ribbons fray on tacky, plastic shoes. They parade around in them, tossing greasy, scraggly hair, speaking in dialects, voices coarse and loud. They know nothing of subtlety, humility. They know nothing of the grace that their ancestors once held.

Rolling mountains turn into concrete blocks, rice paddies into smokestacks. I could be watching a thousand different movies through the window, pieced together into one bizarre surrealist film. And somewhere in the space between the stars and the tops of skyscrapers, civilization is lost.
Eighteen grueling hours on a dirty train remind me of these things, the vastness of a land I call my own, the diversity of the people, the struggles of the people, their blissful unawareness of their deplorable conditions,
how misplaced I am in the midst of it all.

It is with a certain sense of helplessness that I step back onto territory that is so familiar and yet so painfully foreign. I have, once again, left the sun and the sky and the ones I love 18 hours behind me. And as I stuff myself into crowds of strange people and into a strange car, I feel as I imagine these filthy skyscrapers would,
suffocated in the smog of a city that does not yet have enough space for me.

Monday, June 4, 2012


I am not you.

The world doesn't brush against my shoulders, hitting me and rolling off like rain on the sleek fabric of a new raincoat. It does not pass me by, as big open fields would from the window of a train, a quick glimpse, a brief sigh. I do not glide through it, scales on my back, a breeze through the window, the way bees jump from flower to flower, selecting only the ones on which they wish to land.

Rather, I absorb and absorb like a sponge that tries to absorb the ocean. I soak in through the pores on my skin every detail of the sky, every angle of the sun, every conversation that I overhear, the way every smile flits across every face, and they become a part of me, a child that I nurture, a branch that I grow. I tie every word I read to a string in my chest, and I drag it with me wherever I go. And because of it, I am tired. Because of it, I am never alone.
Because of it, I am always alone.

And it is a wonderful blessing and it is
a terrible burden.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Four cups of coffee get me through the day.

Black, of course, because sugar makes me feel sick these days. Just like getting on the gritty subways underground, where grinding wheels carry the dead to white screens, and civilized men turn into half-starved animals. Wolves on the prowl. 

They leer at me, breathe down my neck, sink dirty claws on my shivering skin. I am immobilized. There's nowhere to hide

except in my own head, fists clenched, teeth clenched, wondering through which ring of hell exactly this speeding vessel transports me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Days blend into nights, and nights blend into the winds that sweep the long green beans dangling from the branches of the trees
back and forth and back and forth.

I didn't know beans could grow like that on trees, but sometimes when it's late at night, and I plod heavily back to my dungeon cell, I close my eyes and listen to them sway. They speak to the white flowers that bloom beneath them at night. Moonroses, I like to call them.

I struggle these days. I fight, not knowing what exactly I'm fighting for or against. The bottom of the mountain looks so enticing from the top. Maybe if I let myself lean into the wind, I can fly to it. A deep plunge, away from the stifling heat and the bugs that crawl out of the walls at night. And then I can sleep.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012


Fragility and love go hand in hand.
Fragility and vulnerability and, at the same time, strength to make man do the unthinkable. Love emboldens us and empowers us and makes us shatter like glass marbles on the floor.

We grovel for it, we go insane over it. Some die for it, some die without it. And it's almost ironic
that we were made by a creator to need, more than we need food or water, and not just need, but would be willing to beat ourselves to near death to search for and obtain,
something so destructive.

The economics of investments. We all risk too much.

Friday, April 13, 2012


Come back to me when you are strong,
when bark has grown over your broken stump and your branches stretch
to graze the clouds, and I

I will climb up into them, sturdy, fortified
no longer needing to fear the sky,
nor roaring winds, nor rushing tides.

Come back to me when you are whole,
when you are a darker shade of bold, and no longer turn your face
from lightning in the stormy night, or the brightest rays of a burning sun

and we will plant our roots deep in the ground
and know what it is to have climbed the tallest mountains
to have found each other at the top.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Brutal openness

"Please remember me....
....With maps, a mountain range, a piggy bank
A vision too removed to mention."


I've always wondered what it'd feel like to be sucked into the black hole.

I've always imagined it'd feel like your feet were getting sucked out from your legs that were getting sucked out from your hip socket that was getting sucked out from your spine which was getting sucked out from your ribcage. And your lungs would collapse into your brains, but not before your heart stopped beating into a gaping, hollow void.

All that in a split second before you numbed and disintegrated into nothingness, and I think that I've always thought that the sensation, if dragged out into an extended period of time, would be similar to what I feel



I exist. Barely.

The folds of my sheets protect me late at night. They protect me in the early afternoon. They stroke my hair until I fall asleep at dawn to dream about things that jolt me awake four hours later.

I have no need for food. I don't feel much of anything, certainly not hunger.
The Kalahari sits in my eyes, hazy with the heat, dry and arid, immobile, save for small stirrings of reptiles buried deep in the sand.
Those stirrings, they remind me to blink. They remind me to breathe.


I search for your words like a blind and starved man digs through garbage for food.
Not even words directed towards me, just any words from you to others. Just so I know that you're still there, maybe in polished condition, maybe in battered condition.

I drink them in, those words pouring over the cracks in my chest. I drink and I drink and
I thirst.


My love, don't cry yourself to sleep.
You're still in every word I speak.

Monday, April 2, 2012


Spring has arrived, and I, too,
am bursting into bloom. But not in the way that a tulip opens up to receive the sun,
eager, stretching, face pointed upwards,
lighting up walkways, resplendent with color

But rather in the way that grass forces itself from the impossibly tight
cracks of concrete sidewalks, bent and brown,
trampled, drying,


to catch a glimpse of something new.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


My limbs are torn off with jagged edges. Sinewy, fleshy, unlike the clean and precise cut of a surgeon's knife.
I might've done it myself, in my sleep. But I wouldn't know. I wake up, body racked in pain and wondering


why it is that I insist on being so incomplete.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


The sun paints my walls an orange-red at 5 pm, setting over mountaintops outside my window.
If I could ever find just that shade, I'd paint my house in it, just to make it last longer on the walls.

Spring is arriving once again. I no longer shiver myself to sleep, but rather stir in the middle of the night,
restless, wide-eyed, hungering for something new, somewhere new.
Perhaps, someone new.

I am unbinding, clamps gripping into my skin loosening with the lengthening of the days. I ebb and flow with the pull of the moon, wiser, impassioned, desirous.

Warm, lethargic evenings tease me into slumber.
I am awakening.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Il n'y a rien.

There's nobody left in the world tonight.

Nobody left but me, and the ever-present swishing of the washing machines in the laundry room above my head. "The perks of living on the fifth floor," they would say sarcastically, rolling their eyes. I don't mind it. It's comforting, in a way.

Comforting on nights like these when you get that feeling of something creeping up your back. Not of nerves or apprehension, really. More along the lines of decay. Decomposition? When everything goes silent at an abnormally early hour and something makes you feel the need to tiptoe when you walk, to hesitate before turning corners.

My muscles strain to peel my body from the wall. Blank eyes stare at me from reflective surfaces.

Perhaps the cold, never-ending rain is to blame, and we wilt slowly along with the trees outside the window, so slowly that we don't even notice until there are nights like these, when we fall asleep to escape the cold, and wake up to the deafening roar of silence mixed with the ticking of our internal clocks.

The small lamplights lights below my window look like a landing strip. I am the pilot of an empty flight.

Thursday, February 23, 2012


These days, I feel so plagued.
I carry the weight of a world I know nothing about.

Nina njaa, nina kiu, nisaidie

Sunday, February 12, 2012


"Estás perdiendo el tiempo
Pensando, pensando
Por lo que más tú quieras
¿Hasta cuándo? ¿Hasta cuándo?"

Thursday, February 9, 2012

st. valentine

we'll sleep with longitudinal moons,
shake the ice from our veins and the stitch from our sides, the one that makes us crave perfection
and wonder why it's not enough and if another taste
would quench our hunger for bygone eras of not so long ago.

mais non, the rain makes sand crunch under our overdressed feet,
squeaking like the sound of long legs walking, a head turned to double-take, elation.
we fight to find a way to live, fight chance,
fight our way to the finish line, which is always death.

and then it's 4 a.m. while the city's on fire and the dust people sleep, and we hang in limbo
laying on ice-cold sheets,
playing a hard game of chess with the other side of ourselves,
asking the same questions that we've asked for thousands of years.
A or B, stay or leave, where are you, what can i do, what is eternity worth, and what,

what exactly is love?

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I don't usually do things like this,

... but this time, I will. Here are my reasons for it:

1. I love Avy's blog, and I've followed it for years, both out of loyalty and out of sheer curiosity and fascination. Reading about her life is like watching a gritty yet beautiful film, like stepping into a world that in no way mirrors your own, yet somehow you feel as if you've always been a part of it. She's a beautiful writer and has the ability to make reality look like a shade of gray that you've never seen before.

2. It's freezing cold, and I have no substantial jacket. There is no indoor heat here. My hands are chapped.

3. I'm sitting here in a fairly lonesome room at 4 in the afternoon (one of the worst times of day, if you ask me), it's a gloomy day, and I know exactly how it feels to uncover an object you had forgotten about for a long time. An object with which there is such a powerful memory attached that you want to both simultaneously burn it immediately and also keep it close to you for just a little while longer.


A very, very long time ago, I wrote a post about how much I loved thrift stores. They are havens for unknown secrets, reservoirs of stories waiting to be discovered or imagined.
There's a sort of thrill that can be derived from owning something that once meant a lot to someone else.

I want to own this part of Avy's story, to wear it, to guard it, to use it for solace and warmth from the other side of the world on days like today when it's cold and rainy and optimism levels are running on empty. Maybe this is just yet another way that we can connect with people, to be there for strangers that we love.

After all, isn't that why we blog to begin with?

Friday, January 20, 2012

chapitre deux

I can't put a finger on the feel of this yet, but I know it will be different.

Different good, different bad? Maybe different in that I am calmer and I feel more a part my skin, and my thoughts are reins in my hands. 

And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;        25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;        30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
Maybe there will be enough time, though if there is, it's wrapped in discrete packaging and buried at the bottom of my lost luggage. 

Emails to write and resumes to tweak and errands to run and the drudgery of academia to attend to, and now and again, I wonder what exactly Prufrock was talking about and when I'll stop using indecipherable foreign films as means of escapism.

Gray skies are blankets over my eyes.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

âme sœur

Ah, monsieur parfait. But if only it were that way,
I wouldn't have to try to get used to staring from an overhead ledge
Or trying to make year-old velcro stick on wet sandals.

Peas and potatoes, salt and garlic, spoon and knife, peanut butter and marmalade,
and now and again, the sun in the sky is a little too bright,
and the jeans on our bodies are a little too tight.
But no matter,

forks are only needed for three-course meals
— you'd never have that anyways
and sometimes, marmalade really does taste better.

We'll wear our jeans until we grow out of them and wait for rain to
to clear disguise     to drown out lies      douse the skies.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Le moulin.

Grins as polished as the linoleum on the floor, sweaters purchased by mothers as Christmas presents, they eat dinner promptly at six in the evening.
What have you to gripe about, you animals, prancing across grounds with shiny feet, rolling dice on clean tables? Is perfection, to you, not so perfect?

White, sheltered suburbia sings you songs of home. My ears bleed.

I tread lightly, silently, through mowed lawns, through waxed cars, through hardwood houses, careful not to leave footprints in the folds of your brain, to track dirt in the foyer.
The winter wind doesn’t stay in trees for too long.

Round pegs, square holes.
I’m coated in dust, and you have no vacant rooms.