they say tomorrow might be the waves i cannot see
the sheer anticipation of what might have been
we’ve grown so old from heartbreaks so young a dream
we’re so vast a universe but no words to swarm in
this existence hurts my skin it hurts more everytime it doesn’t bleed
here in this dark place everything is shameful and unforgiven but
there’s a rabbit hole down here and there’s you and i and the world disappears we need to be somewhere else
but here we are, bloated up
and shrunk down into an instagram post
she was nine, he was on tv,
she’s fifteen, he was already on his own, then twenty
twenty one, he was old before
his time, “where did you guys meet?”
I don’t know I don’t know
walmart, maybe, at midnight, he ran out
of pop tarts, but he said
at a party in London, too much gaps in
what we’re saying. yes but I have
no sense of time
and space. I meant we. we’re just good that way. of forgetting.
of forgiving again. it’s toxic, I know, this infatuation
don’t look. don’t look where we are. we are too old now. we are stale
from same old stories. “fame tore them apart,” …not true, not true!
he wakes up then decades
sprawling across and in and out of
his bedroom walls
she grows fonder of distance, she took a step
one day and has been running
eversince. “what an unstoppable force
she is!” was. was.
he wants her to wait but never quite saying
it right. she keeps running and she lets him
watch how far how fast her steps could go
how her jaw her fist clenched. she’s got no time
to spare, “but she has no sense of time,”
he was so young, “but he was old before his time.”
you and i, we’re a hush hush
they make you walk around with
a red carpet girlfriend
i step aside, smiling away
all these secrets and hideaways
man, you’re the best of news that i can’t share…
I dream you still. And there I will be.
You don’t know my name. This is the past. And us is just a butterfly effect that didn’t happen. We are apart and at peace, just as before your eyes met mine, before our hands brushed and our words hushed. Before our secrets born into judging eyes. This is before everything.
And I am telling you this so you will search for me no more.
“I Want These Dreams Inside of Me”, When I My Own Daughter
thinking of how you light up the dead parts of me
i seem to know how to pick them
out of a bunch I picked the darkest one
who’d call up cancelling whatever whenever
just to watch me dance all night
my then insecure boyfriend asked what’s going on
i don’t know, kid
i didn’t. but i knew i was
in for trouble
you stared and stared and oh that gaze, i wanted
those eyes staring at me for the rest of my days…
When I look into your eyes, I realise I came from a long journey across time, before yours nor mine. I knew this from recurring dreams. They’re so vivid that when I wake up, my arms my feet my body’s broken, sore and tired. These dreams are more than just a realm in my subconscious, they’re real.
In my dreams, I have your eyes, your smile, and everything’s new under the sun. In my dreams I am lost looking for something, anything feels like a mother. In my dreams, I too am abandoned, unwanted. In my dreams, I am you.
When I Look Into Your Eyes, When I My Own Daughter
these stories, they come to me in dreams the first time I fell asleep since they told me you’ve fallen into flatline
I dream you
sometimes in colours, green and oranges, purples and blues, and not bleak nor dark, we are not in the shadows
in these dreams, our children they’re born. they’re not sucked to death, they’re not stillborn nor bled away
they live and we give
names to their innocent loving faces
the eldest has my eyes, her brother has your smile
in these dreams we’re not bitter
we’re not numb from pain
in these dreams you are standing tall
little daughter dances on your devoted steadfast feet
her brother clung to your arms, his head rests on your secure and sturdy shoulder.
he’s falling into another dream.
in these dreams, I dance with you under the chuppah
and you recite a long vow, a song we used to hum
before we went to sleep
On birthdays that are wiser,
I imagined Mum running wild with her ponytail, perhaps clawing her way at a concert to get closer to Dad on stage. I never picture her as a free-spirited human being (or a groupie who jumps around at a concert). In my mind she was timid and sad right after she was born. I noticed she forgot to breathe at times, she was the epitome of absence. It’s hard to imagine her being beautifully present. Even to this day I couldn’t for the love of god see the very thing that made Father fell madly in love with her that he literally gave up for her his fame, and eventually, his life.
And then I felt sad because I realized that once people are broken in certain ways, they can’t ever be fixed, and this is something nobody ever tells you when you are young and it never fails to surprise you as you grow older as you see the people in your life break one by one. You wonder when your turn is going to be, or if it’s already happened.
Life After God, Douglas Coupland
skin to skin I could feel us
-the liquid beneath our feet,
trampling into endless vacuum,
bleak and emptied I barely
recognise your bald cry, a far sea
distant and I am no more
you have arrived into
a morning song
you trample here
and there and in between
for absence is what
you do best, to make
the heart grows fonder
isn’t your strength
you’d stay in bed for days
for tiny heartbreaks
when you speak
of love you never
even in silence
loving to the end
longing to be
you’re my star, my big big shining star, I met you
one night, I met you under the limelight
your oversized shirt and my boots a number too small, they hurt my feet I’ve been limping dancing my years away
if only I knew how to tell you how I long
to hold your hand, but your fingers show me you want nothing but to slip them into mine and be vulnerable
so I held my guard down for that one. minute.
you didn’t turn the lights on and sat in the dark with me and I turned sluggish swimming an ocean of pride,
where’s my life-jacket?
still I let you
I let you love
you’re something big and I am
nothing more than forgotten dew in
a windy morning, but you,
you are sunlight
you are a new day
you have that smile, that
held back smile and a twinkle
in the eye
that says that I am
more than what I show
and I feel that I am more
than I want to be
hello hello, you said hello
I said goodbye, I love you, goodbye
-hello, goodbye, I love you
from Letters to Lovers Lost, re-published just now.
Far beneath mother’s womb rests a story of a knight who one day, in a faraway future, will speak of the truth.
The dragons in knowing this had prepared him prior to my birth for a future quest to find mother. Ali would settle me in a little basket near the river, for I was unwanted as Moses. And when the bell church rang three times, the knight would kiss me and present me to mother.
The day came and after a long challenging journey, the knight found mother. Mother and the knight finally met and shared a long kiss. Secrets were dripping out of their mouths, pearls born into the longing sea.
The knight, then, upon seeing an abundance of affection in mother’s eyes, bargained for her love. Mother stepped back, wailing.
The dragons, having the ability to hear her from far-off distance, alert and awake, realised the knight had betrayed them. They ran amok, flying in a speed of light and took me away from mother.
So much wind I feel in my heart and I cannot in the slightest remember flying back the time father was long asleep. But I vividly remember that he was. He was there but he wasn’t, it’s the only thing I am familiar with. But I remember flying across the sky with no end in sight.
In Ali’s stories, the dragons brought me back to father’s side. He was fast asleep so they put me on Ali’s lap instead.
They told Ali to never speak of mother, ever again.
everybody wants a piece of that fame
you bring to the table
so they put you on a silver plate at first
but then they feel it’s too fancy for
a hollywood roadkill like you so
they move you to
a worn out wooden cutting board
slice you up real nice into tiny bits of pieces
each to their own but
you’re there for everyone, suit yourself!
chew you up real slow
saving every flavor splattered on
the walls of their mouths their gums they lick
their teeth and lips everytime they got
that fancy exposure
they swallow you and finger the rest
of your blood
on their knives
and I sit there watching
thinking if I should get
of that fame
but I am not
made for the public eye
I spill your tea on
this fame of yours
my brain, should you
know what I want, it’s
your crimson blood
I want that lush
I want that rush
when i you and you,
“Mirrors”, Letters to Sylvia, 2019
These were the nights when gaps spotted in our time loop and father came back to us.
He’d travelled to stay for few days, playing house. Mother’s smiles reappeared and she’d dance under the moonlight.
At night I would see from a slit on the door slightly ajar, his eyes turning tender and kind, her complexion radiant.
I’d see them holding each other, her breasts upon his chest. He’d tell her places he’s afraid of, she’d tell him her dreams.
She’d say, “Wherever you are in life you’ll always have tonight.”
They’d look each other in the eyes and after a while she’d lead him but she’d be the only one who was dancing. She’d twirl to the ticking clock, she’d circle through time while he was drinking –one gulp after another, gazing intently at her –a much younger her, at their younger selves.
He’d hum her old letters he knew by heart with a voice barely heard.
Time would stop and in that second I’d know, wherever I am in life I’ll have them forever in my heart.
there was a time when
everything was everything and
we didn’t try to be anything
what do you carry around all day
besides a bucket of flowers
and heart full of promises of a new day?
here’s a tiny sting of guilt to share
there there, i’ve been there
nobody likes anybody in this town
forgive me i didn’t know better
Lately I’ve been thinking of the reason behind all of these words that I am writing (and carelessly spreading into this fucked up wounded world).
But then I remember this young girl who changed her mind about jumping out of her window, because of my words, and I thought that is enough of a reason.
Camus died of a car accident, and not of his lungs. Life is absurd. Everybody thinks they knew the answers.
These words have been kept, hidden, for almost eighteen years. She was born just to be, but never meant to be shared. But almost two years ago, her presence became urgent. She was cut in pieces and put together in a hurry but did made it in time to be read by people who needed them.
If there’s one thing I love about love, is that it expands as you grow. My love for her imperfection has never been this courageous, and I’d like to extend it to you.
Now celebrating her two years arriving into the world, she will be available to you lovely people in Asia. If you speak Bahasa and is interested in providing her a home, message me.
“…there are clouds in these dreams and i am flying hard between ashes,
did you not get burned at stakes?
there are words in these dreams but I am not one saying them,
to swallow alone is pain. to breathe, a sin.
not one word out but here are letters for when you wake up,
she said, you will tell them how to say it out loud,
even with tears in their eyes. tell them.
and so I write.”
Get this book here.
She never counted me in.
In her stories it was always her that was lost (and found), but never me. I was always here and there, existed in static equilibrium, already defined, captured.
She was the one who decides where to go with her words. She was, to me, knowledge and ignorance, forgiveness and revenge, all in one.
Pre-Order 60% off throughout April.
i’ve been carving memories on dry walls
four seasons of loneliness and you came bearing your own
stories of a little girl named Lara
her face her smile her every breath you inhale her
a picture perfect deep into your soul
she exists to you in ways that I could not
she has a smile that’s similar to mine, you said
her hair is golden like the sun,
this little ballerina and her pink tutu
and when she cries you cup her tears in your palms letting
them soak into the lines of your hands that once
a fortune teller told you, you wouldn’t make it to forty,
that you would be entangled in a story like none other
she said I would write them for you so daddy’s little girl
could forever lives in rhymes…
in bedtime stories and lullabies…