印月

我過我要的生活, 不是生活過我就好.

come clean

we sit back to back, your breath
always a step slow, rising over the young sunset

and mizzling down in gold blades,
spiralling in the interstices between our toes

chasing each other’s tails, you
taunting me with the pad of your thumbs

spiralling in a slow orbit to come clean,
and get some rest in the middle of the bed;

a pair of folded hands pressed
into one line stretched across the platform gap.

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눈싸움 (blinking game)

i think i liked you more when there was less
of you to learn, before the seasons changed

and you fell along with the sun over the candlelight
into a slow boat on the west lake, sieved through
bronze gauze onto rice paper blotted with blurred
projections of the moon.

before you forgot how to tell which reflection was
real, even after struggling to keep your eyes open
against the glare of the shadows cast by
empty space.

before you pasted silver flakes over your dull skin,
and lowered your gaze because it was unthinkable

that it would have been easier to recognise
not what’s there but
what’s not there.  

as you can tell, clearly haven’t been able to walk out of some things. once again drew reference to hangzhou’s west lake, in specific – 三潭印月.

勿忘我

you are more: when i am awake and restless
and cannot stop thinking about how the bruised sunset faded
before i could remember the soft edges of your voice
rising and getting caught
between the blurred pleats of grasping waves,
and the thousands of miles stretched between our
lost names.

 

遇見

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Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset
Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

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三潭印月

these are all the things you are: careful, mild-mannered, careless, hands aligned neatly together such that the uneven beads lining your angular wrists make soft indents on your scarred skin. uncertain eyes raised towards the spring dawn from beneath the pale red umbrella, a small breath lost as you curl yourself into the damp palm of the bronze buddha and stretch a thin sheet of rice paper over yourself – lighting the match where your heart lies quietly.

yet stepping backwards into the dark exhibit in the corner of the street on the last day, this is all we have left: thirty-three pale reflections of the moon dotting the curl of your spine, overexposed photos of a thousand altar candles and symmetrical sketches of museum corridors – ground over two hundred and sixteen hours and packed into small teabags to be dropped into the insides of a handmade doll, sealed and preserved with blunt pieces of loose jade:

animate stories, significant names, beautiful writings and shared glances buried beneath sleepy grins, wide lensed portraits and the loud voices of women behind counters hard-selling displaced language and history.


A/N: 三潭印月 (san-tan-yin-yue, Three Pools Mirroring the Moon): Refers to three approximately 2m-high stone Qing Dynasty Pagodas which were erected in West Lake (西湖,杭州) which are often lit at night with a thin veil over it. When this happens, the holes in the pagoda will project an illusion of several moons on the water surface, effectively creating 33 moons on the water surface – out of which it is really difficult to tell which is the real moon and which isn’t. These stones are also printed on the backside of the 1 Yuan RMB note. This was written after spending 9 days in Jiangnan – Visting Shanghai, Suzhou, Wuxi, Nanjing, Haining and Hangzhou – part reflecting on the people and events, part reflecting on how i barely know anything about chinese culture and perhaps should begin to actively try to get to know chinese culture better. 

do not misunderstand

a/n: rework of an old piece.

 

sometimes we all like to pretend that we are infallible:
blessed with the ability to mould ourselves to concrete walls,
palms closing in on flimsy plastic and transparent sheets,
where cleavage furrows would form where our knees ended
when in fact we’re flawed, contemplative,
rusting cylinders of water,
illusory embraces,
dripping so that

sometimes when
we realise that we’re
no longer infallible, we’d re-
call ourselves strung over bus railings,
knees clicking halfway through the parking lot where it all
started, palms clammy and open, clambering for the small gaps
between the freshly painted wall and the old stairwell with cold
cement: long dried, tangible, clean and mostly, un-blessed.

now, it’s been

five days since i began recognising
his double eyelids in the faces of
strangers, damp towels dripping
floors and

every plane and shadow beneath

the rim of my umbrella as i rub
the pads of my thumbs over its

contour and, soundlessly, erase.