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Sunday, October 23, 2011

Freshman Vignette Ish

I'm an insecure lil bitchhh when it comes to my writing, no bullshit. Slashhh I'm insecure about almost all of the things I create. :( 

I keeeel myself with comparisons all the fucking time. From sisters to friends to coworkers, I'm always seeing all these degrees of success that I can't imagine accomplishing... and that's my issue. I shouldn't be making these comparisons and prematurely ruling out the things I've yet to even attempt. My work is about me, and that is in no way to be determined by anyone else. So comparisons shouldn't mean shit, but I'm still weak enough to let em corrode my determination... I know that some of my work is good, based off of how I eventually feel about it and off of public opinion (I know, bad source of confidence...). Forreal though, to hear honest praise from people i respect to heaven n back is humbling as hell, even if I myself don't see what they do. It gives me faith in what I do, knowing that it has some effect on somebody, whether that be emotion triggering or awe inspiring, cos that's a big part of what I aim for through my art n writing. 

So talking to you for hours about where we wanna be some day and sharing our writing was... nice. :) I forreal got scared when you called me out n told me to show you what I'd wrote, since everything you send me is always maaaaad tight. It's funny though... your writing's always deeeeep, powerful shit, but our chats are bout the stupidest things! I'm forreal so surprised with every essay you send me, cos the contrast is just tooooo ridiculous. You're a fucking softie ashamed of your truth. Still, I respect you more than you know, so to have you rave the way you did bout some of the things I sent you, was def support I needed to hear. Trust, I'm on my way to valuing myself more, but it's no over night thing.

I sent 2 vignettes from freshman year, n a gallery statement I did recently. I'm more confident in my older stuff cos next to the things I write now, they look better than they did when I first wrote them. 

You: 
holy fucking
shit 
the grandfather 
one 
made me cum in my pants

Yeah, I kinda like it too. :)


Ông Nôi

The house phone rings, its tune a perky, mechanical melody. In four strides, my father is up and across the kitchen, there at the phone, as if he’d been waiting for this one call his whole life. But this waiting is different. This waiting isn’t an option that makes the happy ending sweeter, but a moment of time stretched endlessly that forces my father into submission, into sitting in the present to hear the knowledge of the future.

My grandfather has passed away. Vietnamese and static travels the ocean and enters my father’s ears, the words lacerating his hope. Sitting at the table, I decipher what escapes the phone receiver, catching weeping, squealing. There are silences on the other line for intakes of evasive breaths, and I bend over to finger the sponge-like holes in my socks. In my head, comprehension has yet to catch up to shock, so I chew over a single word: phổi, Vietnamese for lungs. My father puts down the phone.

My father turns to sit in a wooden chair two seats away from me. He looks up at me, seeing me again, and I am shocked that his face has aged. Gray strands seemed to spring out of their dark hiding places. The gentle folds stemming from the corners of his eyes droop severely. He knows I was listening, I can see it, and I feel guilty for not having waited to be told.

Ông nôi, your grandfather, has been sick for a long time. He said without cigarettes, he couldn’t breathe, and he passed in his sleep,” he tells me quietly, sighing shakily. In his voice, I can hear his internal struggle to maintain his slipping composure. Then, suddenly and with silent speed, my father stands, turning away from me, and emotionlessly says, “I’m sorry, con,” before swiftly leaving the kitchen, his heavy footsteps tired.

Minutes later, I rise to look for my father. I’m lost. I need him to guide me, to show me the exit of this unreal daydream. In my mind, however, flutter doubts. How can he find me when trapped within a haze of his own, a nightmare? 

Upstairs on the second floor, I walk past a slanted window on the attic ceiling, searching. Something catches my attention, something on the roof, so I step back to peer through the cloudy panes. Fearing what I will discover, relief comes with the sight of my father. He’s staring at the sun, its dimmed vibrancy barely visible above the darkening skyline, and an alarm clock on a stand reads 8:23. One minute until sundown, the end of another day. It would be the end of the final day of my grandfather’s legendary life. Like a stone turned over, I recover an old memory, the words of my father: “Time cannot be categorized or frozen. When something happens on the other side of the world, it will not affect us 12 hours later because of time zones. It affects us in present time, and nature decides where the sun will be at that moment.”

The restless sun eased into the foliage to rise another day in another place. I saw the flowing tears then, my father’s face wet and shining in the twilight, and only then did I cry for myself.

My God, it was dusk.

Right Now #4

im damn exhausted, but happy :) i always leave work happy, even when im missing people, even though the studios changing. i walked into a room full of mostly new kids i didnt really know, n the place was silent minus the speakers...weird as hell! n most of the kids were all spread out, not interacting wit each other while they painted or cleaned up. i miss the lovey dovey-ness of summer friendships. its always interesting to have eyes be on me when i walk around, hug/wrestle people, n have convos, cos i always wonder what it is thas peakin their curiosity. was it tha it was obvious i was familiar wit mad people, tha my pants were bright red, something i said, something said to me? wish it was easier for me to be a good stranger. n by tha i mean i wish i was more social, more comfy wit approaching people i dont know n saying all the right words tha would make them open up.


one asian id never seen before was maddd steezy, like damnnnn! bigass gray beanie, white tee, light jeans, white kicks. flawless skin. nice eyes. he walked by my easle a few times, n i saw his head turn back around to peep my piece. wonder what he thought. maddd cute face! s       group, so maybe well start talking sometime, but im not around much. no hopes are up, he was jus the finest id seen in a while


a few guys tha walked around were a lil awkward wit me lol. like theyd walk by me in slow motion as i was painting so id look up, wed make full on eye contact, id smile, n then theyd keep walking... is it damn hard to acknowledge back with some kinda facial contortion? im not asking u to smile for me. jus fuckin twitch your face or some shit so tha i know you had some reaction to me. dont gimme them stony faces, please!


fuckin laaaaahve t     n j     ! too damn silly workin next to em, eating bananas n chips n listening to their crazyass stories n dude talk. mad funny how they talk bout errrrrrthing n know tha im listening but dont mind. they always check up on me  like every few minutes between convos, theyll jus scream my name or poke me or say somethin bout my painting. theyre gonna make me their graff apprentice too, but not havin skypes an issue/idk if i got time to take anythin on. :(


t: yoooo im bouta go see paranormal activity 3!
j n me: WAAAAT!!
j: take me witchuuu!
t: naaahhh! im meeting up wit a girl...
j: oh. den ima third-wheel on you...
me: uhhhh j     ....dont do it...
t: yeah...NO! 
j: fuck you! yo kim, come wit meeee!
me: yeah...NO!





s      , t    , j     , s   , r  , n m     were all digging my painting, saying tha im damn close to done, but they gotta be shittinnn me! t     even went as far as sayin mine was better than his, tha he didnt even like his...yeah, fuck tha! i know they all dont lie when it comes to criticism, n everythin else they said was helpful, but its always hard for me to take kind words. im mad critical, but ill always see the goodness in all works except my own. takes a lot for me to be happy wit a piece, n a lot more for me to believe compliments before i am. its much needed support though, n i always appreciate it. i jus cant help but feel so undeserving of it all. 


when t     talks about his dreams of being an art teacher, i love the way he gets all sentimental 


i know im blessed, every minute. but its hard to always remember. thas why days like these keep me grounded.


but noballs mostly makes me miserable.


problems:
1) i make myself unapproachable, not always intentionally
2) im judgemental n unfriendly n terrible as fuck some days. i want to love people, but those days i feel incapable of it
3) i get lonely a lot, but i dont know if being with more people i dont honestly care for n vice versa is right 
4) making friends at noballs is hard
5) miss seniors '10 much more than i ever imagined i would, especially j    !
6) everyday, i feel guilty for being there cos the truth is tha a thousand individuals desire n deserve my spot a thousand times more than i do. 
7) after 5 years, im still not happy to be there. if anything, i feel even less happy. then i feel guilty again. i dont deserve this, in both senses: i am unworthy of the resources n i am worthy of a better suited environment n more stable happiness. 


were so cozy wit each other, even though its nothing more than the two of us being accepting of our mutually affectionate nature. when you were lying on top of me n crushing my hips in a kinda comfy way, i wondered if ms. w       was uncomfortable hahahah! n its funny cos m    asked me today if anything was going on...i said nope, so she was like, "yeah i didn't think so but it was questionable! then again, i cant even talk cos thas basically the same thing as me n blah blah! jus wanted to confirm tha cos blah blah blah asked the same thing when we walked by n saw you two!" made me realize afh forreal shapes so much of me, of everyone. cos there, no one assumes people are a couple jus cos of pda...its jus how friends work! we dont keep any love inside :) at most other places, like noballs, those lil interactions get people jumping to conclusions real quick, when wed all be much happier people if we jus broke the social norms of platonic relationships.


still, i wish he would play wit my hands wit the intent of commitment. i truly appreciate the warmth of bodies on mine, but the feeling never lingers long in my mind if the emotions arent there. 


i miss late night phone calls from across the country, n hearing tha you were happier talking to me than clubbing wit your biddies. goddamn your sweet nothings tha run through my head from time to time. 


got thai iced tea n banh mi, n remembered how your favorite is beef.


i wish you were happier with your relationship. its like some new shit comes up every week; a miscommunication this time, an accusation later. moments of doubt tha get you wondering why youre still dealing wit this all. never leaving cos you love him too much, too much to stop subjecting yourself to his ingratitude. i wonder if you love him more than yourself. i think you do, even though you answer tha you dont know. i wish i hadnt cancelled our dinner plans, so you wouldnt be alone all night. i was feelin too tired to say i was down for it. sorry but i jus hadda be selfish for the night.


im really happy tha you had a good time tonight, cos i worry tha youve been feelin slump-y lately. keep ya head up n get someeeee girlie!


the mothers so damn proud of her nails, as ashamed as she is of her wrinkly hands. ive always thought they were lovely though. reminds me of tha really nice short story tha was on the psat.


d    keeps wishing she could go back to st. marys. i keep wishing i could afford her tuition for her n her lil bro.


worried as fuck cos the deadline you first told me was friday, but in actuality, its fucking tuesday. fucking damn.


my grades are bouta be shit, n they legit matter this year. maybe seeing em forreal will make me care about academics more. its hard to have values but lack focus and emotional commitment to to them. youre being a fucktard, k  .


c   h   s too patient  needa appreciate tha more.


i remember being in your very shoes, n still feel the influences of those days. i remember being so eager to get out, to get to "there" simply cos it would always be better than "here". our hopes exist only to paint expectations in dim light. reality aside, we invest ourselves in the unproven n things not promised for the relief tha no one can give or take from us. nothing around matters, jus tha fleeting sense of invincibility... jus dont grow up too fast, babe. i know its hard though, caught up in the situations tha you are. it was sweet to read your personal essays


falling in love wit arnold schwarzenneger  kindergarten cop is the shizzzz


last night was nice, forreal :) im happy tha i went, n tha the people were good even if we werent close. it was mad fun jus chillin! m    n his band made me damn jealous too, made me wish i had tha type of tightass friend group tha bonds over shared talent!


m     is soooo fuckin hilarious! i was standing outside alone drinking water from a cup n texting cos i didnt have reception inside. then he jus comes up from behind me n asks, "k  , are you okay???" n i turn around n im like, oh, yeah, im fine, wassup? n he goes, "oh, i jus got worried bout you cos i saw you from inside n all i could tell was tha you were drinking something from a weird little cup! its jus water, not alcohol or anything right?? sorry i jus wanted to make sure you were okay!" LOL! we started dyingggg for a few minutes! but forreal, hes too fuckin adorable, the way he openly cares for everyone whether hes tight wit them or not! tooooo funny n sweet! he forreal could notttt be any nicer. i jus wish he could get tha girl of his dreams! he deserves her :) it always sucks to watch such good-hearted people struggle with loving so easily n then bearing rejection. he jus hasnt chosen the right person for him, happens to all of us all the time. but like they say, there are no mistakes, only lessons. 


im amped bout my concentration ideas :)


i love you again. all it took was remembering tha your last mistake doesnt define who you are, its who youve been all along tha does. n tha was always more than enough for me.


dont you dare make me a friend of convenience. then again, maybe thas all im worth if its exactly what im aiming to do to some around me... this is high school. fuck over-thinking n sensibility. 


i see now why i cant love who you are... but tha doesnt seem to matter to you anyway, so its whatever. 


"it aint right to write a bad love song..."
"hearts up for breaking is some way to say, i love you..."
blood of my heart - power struggle x denizen kane x big drew


"be deeply in love, but that is still not enough." - xuan dieu


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

13 Ways of Feeling Heat

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteen_Ways_of_Looking_at_a_Blackbird


a lil poem from sophomore english, modeled after a famous steven wallace piece. no edits. i turned it in just like this, n i dont remember loving my grade...fuck proper punctuation n shiettt...


still, i kinda like it cos of the nostalgia n how personal parts of it are. take what you will :)



i

in the midst of dim chilly morning rays
the only thing you know coming
is the promise of heat

ii

i've the memory of sensations
buried in my bones
like heat nestled in deserts

iii

heat swirled in the shadow and whir of ceiling fans
we stood still

iv

the skin and the damp air 
are one
but the skin and air and heat
compete

i do not know which to prefer
the caressing sultriness of summer
or the fervency found within ourselves
the enveloping happiness the heat brings
or what happens in between

vi

dreamers fill the streets
without plans
the heat of reality
beating them
abusing their hope
they return to insatiable jobs
demeanors indecipherable

vii

young artist
why do you dream of summery nights
sleepwalk through reality
if the heat was always here?
don't you feel the warmth
of your pulsing aspirations?

viii

i know the intangible foundation
they embody for me
and heavy oppression
but i know too
that heat is involved
in what i feel

ix

when you first leaned in to hear my words
i felt your warmth
which taught me everything

x

at the rise of temperature
marking the renewed presence of heat
even you with sweat glistening on your cheeks
smiled wildly

xi

we rode beneath the city
in packed metal bullets
always, someone's tired damp flesh
on yours
would make you mistake heat 
as only sluggish weather

xii

the heat is reaching cores
the world must be changing

xiii

it was summer only two months
heat was building
and it was going to build
all laid bellies up
on cement floors

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Mother

Until you experience something similar on a personal level, you forreal cant understand the struggles people go through and the emotions that result from em. And in the cases where you havent, theres just not much you can say or do but give them the blankest part of you, theirs to mold into whatever solace they seek. 


Your inexperience isnt your fault; its just circumstance. 


I was young. Time hadnt yet given me a very broad range of emotions and empathy. So when tha dampening phase of the mother and the fathers marriage began, i could not for the childish life of me feel the oppression she went through. It took me my whole life to gain this heart, this brain, n without the two i wouldnt be able to trace back my memories and know how hard those years were for my family. Cant decide if hindsight or insight is the greatest gift of our presence in the present. It took the past to build sharp perception for the future, but the future to build clarity and acceptance of the past. 


To anyone, the father is the nicest man youll ever meet in your lifetime. The kind of nice tha makes you wonder how his unchanging, friendly temperament is possible. The kind of man you believed without a doubt didnt have one mean bone in his body. 


But as a man, as a product of his society, as a human, his greatest flaw is sexism.


Dominance exerted at home relieves it of unwanted exposure later. So no one beyond the women of his house see his capacity to put down n degrade. He tore her self-esteem apart, asserted himself in ways that had her choking on her words. He had her backed up against a wall. He made her believe her voice was ignorance. Every move towards reconciliation on her part was perceived as an accusation, bringing out denial, screamed retorts, n low blows in which he spelled out to her all the ways she was imperfect. Forgot appreciation for her, ignored all the ways she had made him what he was. Every word said became a fight. Every silence, hateful tension. Every bottle, an anxious night. I used to collect the bottle caps, rinse the green glass clean. The next night, repeat. After a while, he moved to the couch or an extra bed. I used to ask him why hed sleep there, n he fed me bullshit like, this is better for my back... Never believed tha i had the slightest understanding of events, refused to accept tha i always saw what happened, tha i saw the faces n heard the voices, tha i was always there. This was him coping with shame. But before tha, i cant imagine how disturbingly heartbreaking it mustve been to fall asleep beside the man you loved, immediately after he abused you each night. Emotionally, verbally. Only once in this period did he physically hurt you, n its fucking chilling to think about now tha im older. I remember just tha one bruise on your forearm, how it came to be. I was so young.


I wanted no part of any of the matters i did not know, but my sisters pushed me to keep asking questions, to keep making my presence known. They wanted me to play mediator when they themselves failed to do so. That man would never in hell talk to them about what was happening. This was a mans business, the way he treats his wife, n he refused to let any young girl, let alone his daughter, tell him what was right n wrong. All he needed was the justification in his head, the fucked up mentality that circumstance implanted in him. He was a man, who needed an outlet, n here was his wife. Overcoming her into submission became a dark comfort.


N when the mother cried to me, a regular routine, id be shocked n helpless. Then i got used to it, went numb n blank in my head every time i saw her face, every time she grabbed me up. But now, i overflow with fucking sympathy n love for her. I cry for her when i never couldve before. She spent so many days in her room, crying in bed and facing the wall. Shed cry the hardest not on the days hed rage at her, but on the days he didnt say anything at all.


Those experiences are still very much so with us, n always will be. I see it so clearly in the mother, in the way shes so damn careful about ever upsetting the father. She shuts up as soon as something she says gets his verbal disapproval. He can do as he pleases, at home n away, wearing dirtyass shoes through the house n coming home at late hours with no explanations. When we talk, some conversations are cut short as soon as he walks into the room. When we talk, she addresses his every tyrannical habit, vents about it, n finishes with, but hell never change. When we talk, she warns me about bad men, the signs of em, why i should avoid them. More often than not i think of little details about the father. 



We, the women of his home, hide so much of ourselves from him.  


My trust issues are such a shitty matter. I didnt always get why the idea of speaking up n revealing my thoughts made me mentally n physically distressed, but some things make sense now. Only some. Cos i could never attribute one part of who i am to one aspect of my life. So much more has happened thas led to my insecurity with myself n with my relationships.


Stupid to say so, but through my own experiences, as insignificant as they are in comparison to what my mother has endured, have taught me just how crippling our emotions can be. How we can feel negativity n depression take root in in our muscles, our joints, the crevices between our bones. How they distort our perspective, convince us into believing we are our own destruction. 


And when these events passed, n he slept in the bed again, n she was happy again, the mother was awake. N we all accepted everything as one big mistake, hoping to forgive, forget, n keep trooping. 


I will not always agree with where the mother stands, but i will always respect what she went through to get there. I will always respect her.


My mother loves my father, more than he could ever love any woman. Women like my mother, who know how to love so selflessly after their hope was crushed, are soldiers humbly beautiful in their compassionate triumphs.


As Gandhi told the world, "Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."