body as friend (or foe)

my body’s a friend tonight while i’m scarfing down heaps of korean barbecue, determined to get my money’s worth. in the bathroom, i do the math. 12 plates of food would equate to $5 per, which would certainly be worth it. i’ve barely eaten all day, feeling little appetite and suppressed hunger. so the small monster unleashes at the table. i stare seriously at the meat, assessing how quickly each types cooks, sensing the unevenness of the grill. i watch the fire, blues and yellow licking the metal.

my body’s a foe tonight on the verge of explosion. the 12 plates have come. by plate 7, boyfriend is done. he has been done. will you be ordering more? he looks at me with wide desperate eyes. my own have hardened into determination. somewhere the headache i’ve had all afternoon evaporates. in its place is now a racing heart and fueled adrenaline. we soon find out that he is a terrible sidekick. “now! wait, no.” i glare at him. “now!” we turn at the same time to a coast not-clear. i glare at him again. he laughs into his sleeve, and i dump a small plate of disturbingly authentic octopi. i think that octopi do not deserve to be eaten. they’re too intelligent.

when we skid out of the restaurant, hearts beating wild, we compare it to our summer heist of 2017. we’d roadtripped to a restaurant with a view by the mountain, a view by the sea. in lieu of the four hour wait, we slipped through an open chain-link instead. as a child, i flirted with rebellion, hard–rules were only made to be broken. these small tastes of harmless rule-breaking take me back to a time when we ran into locked rooms only because we weren’t allowed. adrenaline was always what makes it memorable.

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escapril

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we left the cold blank walls
white and bland
stripped of photos
of colors & memories
that’d be left, soon enough
i was littered with anxiety, apprehension
—excitement, above all
of not knowing the change that was
to come

since then, it’s been more of a yearning for
continuation
as i drive through the well manicured
trees that carve in like
they do in the movies
pristine and intentional
i find myself feeling like the summer before then
before that start
before we began

today i wake up to a third letter
i begin to map out schedules, requirements
and costs
this time
i yearn for stillness, not movement
practicality, not dreams
mute pastels, not lights
familiarity, not novelty
i curl into what is safe

reaching to any and all good
that came before
things are different
yet not so much
five years have passed
but it feels like nothing has
this is my new fresh start
a sturdy continuation of everything that
has come before


we used to dance in the rain
because we wanted to be like stargirl
stargirl with the long blue dress
stargirl with the whiskery pet rat
stargirl, who meditated on fields
and danced in the rain
and who lived so vivaciously
we wanted to do the same

we used to dance in the rain
because it made us feel free
as people ducked into corridors
we sprinted onto fields
we filled our oxfords with mud
laughed with our chins to the sky
we would immortalize youth forever
cold shirts plastered to our backs


remember when
you had your soul with you
honey
(resting on a) crow’s perch

(i thought)
when am i gonna lose you
(for we had) grown nothing
sin no halo (so you cried)

(go and) save me from your kindness
fill me up with (your) anthem
throwaway
my man

break free
little white
dove
one day it’s gonna break


did you know that psychopaths
do not feel much anxiety?
that they remain unnervingly calm
heart beats low and steady
the truth is
she says
I do not remember the last time I was genuinely anxious
her hands lay flat
maybe I used to be
but not much anymore
not much anymore
in what situations did you ever feel anxious?
a small nudge
I don’t know. dumb things, little things like
indecision, emotional pools
hands clasped


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there’s an outdoor smell clinging
to my hair after we sit outside on the patio
to our left are thickets of dried up bushes
to our right are seesawing heehawing burger devourers
we talk numbers, business, philosophy
finance and people
i decide i’m more interested in the personnel part

there’s an outdoor smell clinging
to my hair as i sit on a small foldable
army green chair, virgin suicides
propped open in my lap
to my right are big rubber tires
to my left is pungent smelling vinegar
filling the giant vat that used
to be my bath tub

today i sit indoors
lightly observing rain drops clinging to the window
cliched trees sway in the wind and murky
green water ripples thru the canal
this is the most intentional deja vu
the greenest of green spaces
i left and i returned–
this is the closest i get to nature


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on the last night
i very much
wanted to leave

by the stacks of
kleenex tissues
glass and dust
donatable
non-donatable
hopefully-were-donated
goods
i was very much ready to go

please come
i am making ravioli and soup
i’ll bring you tissues–just please come

so we piled into the car and talked about pharmacy
arrived at her home to
orangey butter lights
crawled the staircase to the lace
and gold living room
trailed
to the leather couch i’d watched end of the fucking world on
to the desk i’d painted “best friends at”

to the bed where we’d
watched bachelor and gossiped
and cried

over the tomato thick soup
i lament illness
(full circle) and movement and
so many little things i can’t remember–
we set the table
forks spoons plates
food atmosphere celebration and
all

embracing this time
for us all to be
together

like extended family
we bond
like fourth cousins
we cackle
we watch in amusement as family members begin
to pair off
raising their voices in enthusiasm
waving wildly

we curl up on the couch
observing quietly
and my heart feels so warm


time of day.png

morning dusk
falling dawn
blinding white

covers


a love poem

the less love there is
the more i write about it
the more love there is
the less i write about it

when i’m swimming in love requited
the last thing i want to write about is love requited


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what color is this
the woman asks
i stare at it hard
beige and grey, i decide

when the woman pats the foundation
gently on my face
she observes and so do i
it’s tinted orangey

do you think this goes well with that?
the woman says
i pause and say yes to the cream–
i thought they were the same outfit


hard edges soft smiles
skin cleaner than artificiality
musters
floral beckons pink
gasps
femininity’s clasp
and loosening fingers


must you gab on so constantly interpret my quiet for surliness you’re doing that thing where you go silent yes my life 99% of the time who’s got time to talk so much well I do I love it and my lips are pursed and my head is saying must you gab on so constantly


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dirt and grime and a cloud of dust / I promised I wouldn’t leave again


we were made of stardust
of a billion cosmos
skin of the sky
(and as we looked towards the night
I so very much wanted to believe it)

us–can you imagine?–made from the destruction of celestial bodies
only to return, full circle, to the dirt beneath weeds
i told myself that one day I’d buy you a telescope
just so we could see our mirrored selves

lighting up
a swarm of melting bodies


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there’s a quick lilt that falls on her lips
sky kissed bronze falling in wisps
she leans in forward and nonsensically quips
“red velvet red velvet draped her hips”


 

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cinnamon flecked bodies of
spice dipped milk
churning spoon and metal
glass clinks
aromatic whispers from my arms throat
and up
a full-bodied warmth
dances into my chest


 

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were dreams the actualization of
latent unsaid
content?
(as freud posited)
or were dreams of something more
meaningful–
say, synchronization?
(as jung offered)

as i lie in bed
wrapped in distorted memories
cocoon of broken lights
i piece together the nothingess of logic
knowing that my subconsciousness
has weaved itself
indelibly
incoherently
infuriatingly

back into myself

day 16 of escapril 

when we were younger

disposable film 35mm photography
“you know what i thought of the other day?
our childhoods are for our parents
they remember our first steps
they remember what we liked and what we didn’t like
they remember what we ate, what we didn’t eat
our childhoods
they’re their memories to have,
not ours
as you grow older
your life becomes yours
but when we were younger
it was once theirs.”

– april 23rd, 2015 | 4:08 pm

Something my best friend said to me a few years ago.

A Letter “On Kindness”

onkindness.jpg

Do you remember the time you were at Chipotle and you saw the lady with four children in tow and after ordering the food, four bowls total, she realized she didn’t have any money? And so you paid it for her?

And that was your kindness.

Obviously kindness, clearly kindness, without-a-doubt-kindness. As I read the poem by Aracelis Girmay titled “On Kindness”, I wondered about subtle forms of it, like when it isn’t just a hug or a peck or buying someone’s burrito bowls, but is, instead, your telling a wailing women you love her because she is yelling I want to kill myself I want to kill myself.

That love—that’s kindness too.

There are other forms of it that Aracelis Girmay writes about in her poem. The mail lady who says “hi baby” to you, and to the girl beside you, and to her cousin, and to her cousin’s best friend. The window that filters in light on a heady Sunday morning, reminding you have made it another day you’re alive you’re alive. The dog that comes panting up to you, looking overjoyed to see you, you, you—and that is kindness, too.

Lights Under My Eyes

81

two twenty. AM. 2:21. AM. Two 21. AM.
why am I so restless?
coffee. wheat thins. crumbs. caffeine. caf

–feine. feign. feigning
kindness. questions I have for
insomnia:

are you neurological? genetic? psychological?
physical? are you the thoughts churning through my head rapid-pace
without regard for gravity, space, time?

are you
the 100 grams of caffeine laced in my vanilla-creme 2-sugar-packed
coffee branching through my veins?

are you concern?
are you anticipation?
are you planning? are you planning something? are you so busy planning something

you
can’t
sleep?

the irony of sleeplessness lies in the
heaviness of my lids, of my eyes–I just
thought they’d have been lighter, with everything lit up under my eyes

lit up under my eyes lit up under my
eyes crumbs all over my keyboard
cover lit up under my eyes

bad cliffhangers

jan-15
my memories keep me
warm until I
remember they're just
memories

I wrote that in the summer
first I was defiant
then I was tired
then I was reminiscent
but mostly I
was sad

sometimes i wonder
what the sheer durability of
emotion says about humanity
and whether it says
anything at all

and i wonder whether it's a
reflection of openness
or brokenness or
the inability to fit into
social narratives

it's hard to imagine
that i used to stay up late
for the sake of it
that i'd stay up late 
to talk

to scour the internet
to find articles i'd read not
once or twice but
maybe
eight dozen trintuplion times

at night i'll want explanations
revelations
soul-retching
heart-baring
confessions

when i revisit late-night
memories, there's
an buttery hazy glow that envelops them
which i'd get lost in
during the summertime

June 2016