Sunday, August 28, 2011

#100/100 Window

This photo was originally published on YB Poetry blog in June 2011. All other photos--the ones taken by me--I've posted here were created for this blog, or images from my personal albums that had not been published or posted in any lit zine or my other blogs prior to their appearance in this space. All prose pieces and poems posted here are original materials, though some parts have or will find their way in my other writing.

I'm using this image for my #100 post because it was one of the first photos I shot after moving into my current apartment. I took it on my second night of living here, a few days before I started the 100 Days 2011 project. I didn't have a proper desk yet, and my piano was still at my old place. For those who know me in real life, on Facebook or from my personal blog, you know that my recent life has been a little 'rocky' in practical terms. Which means I've spent a lot of time alone, in my solitary space, not knowing what the days would have in store for me.

I still don't know what happens next. Things always turn, sometimes at a frustratingly slow pace; unless, of course, you're one of those folks bound up in unfortunate constraints which you have little chance of breaking. That is the truth for many people. For all the not-so-good times I've lived in this life, I'm not fucked. I write, take some pictures, and write.

Pace is an illusion I'm learning to live with. This blog for the 100 Days project was my focus for much of the last three months. Instead of pulling my hair out at the edge of an imaginary abyss, on most days I sat down to create something. It reminded me what I'm here for: to be an artist. Without such conviction, I could have drowned.

So, here's a big and heartfelt Thank You to those who've been following this blog and left kind comments on my work. Really, thank you.

#099/100 Exit (III)

...and I'll find my way out.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

#098/100 Ancestors

My grandmother and me browsing through some old family photos. From four and a half years ago.

After I wrote about my ancestors calling me through my genie in this post, they gave me a couple definite kicks. First the Fok Luk Sau statues got knocked over and, after I put them back in their places as if nothing unusual had happened (after all, it was hard to tell and I'm not a 'suspicious' person), my phone slipped out of my tight jeans pocket during a 5-minute taxi ride. 

Excerpts from my phone conversation with Grandma the next day:

Me: Grandma, do you believe in getting messages from the other side?

Grandma: I believed in dreams.

Me: A friend of's hard to explain but let's say she can see things...She told me my ancestors are looking for me. I've also got signs in my daily life. 

Grandma: You mean your friend is a nun at a temple or something?

Me: She's a spiritual medium...Last time I said I needed those photos of your parents to write stories...The truth is I need their photos to communicate with them.

Grandma: That is really...strange. Did your friend tell you what your ancestors are trying to tell you? Have you got any ideas?

Me: No, that's something I have to find out...I guess it's just that they're looking out for me but I haven't paid any attention to them. Now they want me to get to know them. 

Grandma: Ancestors...Shouldn't it mean your grandfather's parents? 

Me: That's the Chinese way of thinking...In the West, and in the other world too, things aren't defined that way. I'm guessing it's your mother coz my friend said she saw a woman. 

Grandma: What if it's your grandfather's mother?

Me: I don't think so...Grandpa and I don't get along so great! Plus there're no photos of them that we can get hold of...What do you think we should tell your family? That I need the photos for writing or to communicate with Ancestors? Are they superstitious? 

Grandma: They're more superstitious than me, but still...


Five days later:

Grandma: We don't have to visit my family home anymore. My niece brought me the photos already! She took some shots of the portraits in their living room and made some copies.

Me: What? How did you do that?

Grandma: I said I wanted the photos for myself.

Me: I never knew you'd be so cunning...Okay, maybe I did. You stole those photos of Grandpa and his girlfriends from when he sailed around the world.

Grandma: He went to take a shower and I snatched them...


I'm getting those photos on Monday, which means I won't have a chance to post them on this blog before our 100 Days are over. And who knows if they want to show their faces to strangers? It's probably bad enough that I'm telling on them here already!

#097/100 House

we left each other in backwater to forget
the staircases you can never climb to my
room where i put on an armor so rusted in
your faulty vision that you hide from those
you come across for shame & fear of the
losing side of music & flame i run toward
the tunnels you speed through at dawn to
the blocks of sleepers born of your hatred
at the world your house it doesn't love you

#096/100 Nightmare (III)

we speak between spasms & the train compartments' throbbing 
past fragmented visions of each other. if you're not sorry about
the silence, at least say you're sorry about how i moved into &
through it because of you, i say, standing underneath an ironed
cry that arches across the ceiling. but you're weighed down by
hair uncut from not loving for years & the wool scarf spiraling
around your neck. i walked through too many icicles along the
way to the train station & now i can no longer move, you say.
then you turn into green stone, tall & slender in a pool of water
running down the crack. & i see that the only thing left to do is
to push you down the railroad tracks & to walk into the cold...

Thursday, August 25, 2011

#095/100 Sleep

 inspired by Kevin Calisto's Day 67

never let me brace
     the vicissitude of grey
i'm a tumber amidst
     a vanishing waterfall
paint me yellow to
     your calls my cradle
sleep blinding light

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

#094/100 Proposition

image: Dorothee Lang's 'Shifts'

better than Ezra you read my proposition at 5 a.m.
rained bike by your fence, fallen glove on ice &
broken doorbell to the fine prints of my fingers.
you expect a gust of warm air into your room
if i fall through frames to die. to die at dawn
& to circle your steps in black streams till
you open the gate to leave home & enter
the future. everyday. without me.