In Stress

I can’t be stressed: I give too much

of a damn for the condemned,

demand too much for a dame

whose father told her to shut her trap.

But her mother told her to build a damn

for those tears and cut the crap.

Thoughts messier than tree’s roots, sappier

than a politician’s toots. I am happier

than the rich men. Greet the day, growing greyer

with teeth borned to be gritted, brows

made to knitted.

“Daddy didn’t teach ya how to smile?” He called.

I sneered, I don’t need to smile, I smite.

I am no damsel in distress.

*******

Inspired by finals stresses and caffeine.

Advertisements

Change

I am spitting words on paper bags, they beg

For change.

I have no power but words and phrases, right now, maybe only coins, some cents.

I give, the clatter of lonely quarters against plastic containers.

She came, dropping bills by carelessness, no shame.

Itching about her problems, void of friends or senses as she see them.

“Why can’t they look for a job?”

Ah, a modern Marie Antoinette, a marionette

Of Chinese parents who berate those born without a pair of golden chopsticks shoved in between their fat lips.

“You are making us look bad.”

Some of us have to stick for ourselves, and her words will get her head chopped off from her chubby neck.

But I am no Robespierre, before I shoot myself in the jaw, I’ll write,

Capture how wrong it is to see a squirrel and smile

While deeming men deprived of dignity and home vermin, vile

Is the one who defile characters and stories,

profiles waiting for change.

Alley of College Life

You’ll be taking daily abuses.

They counting stars, but you tracing bruises.

You see how the rich kids cruises

Down their boulevard of life while you got

Your dark alley to climb

Alone

Up the valley of death, though no sin to confess

Through these words to digress, digest the pests

Of angst and thanks, collide.

You heard an accolade accumulated to last, of voices and choices you don’t regret.

So you come before Him, naked, shaken

and forsaking the notions, grammar-buried emotions to function

At this junction of life, riddled by examinations.

The only thing not examined was the time, heart, soul, the moment.

A simple panick, a crumpled nick of time, and you’re gone

Stumbling in the alley towards light.

What is this blight?

Paper Bag

ONE 

of them 

sat down 

next to me,

AGAIN.

They are forgetful of where my

eyes are, I tried to

remind them but they forgot my 

eyes so couldn’t see my

glare.

At least stop dropping your pen. Themore you reach across the floor and brushed my

legs, the further you

get from my regards. I contemplated

kicking. Contemplated.

Today is different. I am still here

early, yes, and one of them

picked the seat next to mine out of the

rows of empty seats and forgot I

can see, AGAIN. I took out a paper bag

I stole from the cafe.

No, though I am disgusted I love my gut

enough to not throw up and scald my tongue with acid.

I tore the mouth of the bag, you stopped looking below my eyes, noticed that I noticed, left.

The only puke this bag will

hold is my word vomit.

Again and again and again and again.

Traveling Note: NYC

A List of Things that Baffle Me about NYC

  1. Lack of regard for
    • Traffic lights
    • Fellow human beings
    • The concept of smiling
    • Traffic lights
    • Bathroom/trashcans
    • Other people
  2. All the awesome museums!!! (And the fact that I got to live out my inner 5-year-old at the Natural History Museum, go to MoMA for free and meet so much awesome art and Sanjana at the MET.)
  3. Dogs. All the puppers.
  4. Hella expensive everything (like Hobbit Hole apartment = 890000 like wtf)
  5. Its similarity to Taipei, especially…
    • The transit, though Taipei is newer
    • Number of people
    • Type of people (who dresses classily)
    • Weather/humidity
    • General traffic chaos
    • Obsession with Starbucks
    • Tourists
  6. Chinatown is full of white people (and good food, because oh my god that lamb cumin burger was awesome).
  7. The New Yorker stench rising from the sewers (both figuratively and literally)
  8. Biodiversity (a clusterfuck of seemingly unrelated things. Ex. Natural Museum Oceans exhibit, NYC, and seeing fireflies at Central Park)

Parched

My throat tastes sour and I can’t breathe.

My heart beats at the expense of my sanity.

What can I do but grit my teeth,

And blame myself for vanity?

 

Yet, even in self-deprecation, it seems

Cruel to neglect truest affections. Never before,

Never will be one more worthy that I beteems.

So I searched for the note, the very end, at my very core.

 

These puny thoughts plague words and mind,

‘Til the tillers tilled and crushed more than kind,

To set parched earth free from drought,

To grow anew a stubborn sprout.

 

I will live.

So he said…

So he said, “My daughters would never want to commit suicide: even if they do, then that’s just too bad since life has so many burdens harder than college decisions,” when my mother urged him to stop throwing temper tantrums this month.

Hours later, he texted her, threatening her that he would kill himself if she continue to work at the magazine company she recently joined.

So he said, “Girls should only be educated so they would be more reasonable,” when I asked him about his opinions of women’s education.

He spat those words over a bowl of rice that was meant to be shared between the four of us as it wolfed it down, slurping miso soup and drowning pork katsu that he forced us to order even though we all hated fried things.

So he said, “It’s funny because I would want my daughters to be independent, but my wife should just stay home and make sure everything is good.”

Another bite of katsu. My sister set her chopsticks too hard onto the table while my mother shushed her. A “but you are part of the problem” escaped. Days later, he demanded to see everything in my sister’s phone since she came back from interning at the most prestigious research facility in Taiwan 10:00 p.m. since she wanted to buy some desserts before heading home. He suspected that she has a life.

How dare she have a life.

So he said, “Why didn’t you tell me her college decisions earlier so I don’t have to worry?” when my mother told him about my UCLA acceptance and scholarship a few hours after it came out.

I looked at my future. It’s as cloudy as my mother’s brows as he continued to bicker and threaten divorce, suicide while she continued to hide the atrocity from me.

You know, the usual.

So he said, “Is $200,000 enough? If we sell the house you are living in right now, sell your stocks, and I give you some money, we will have that. The three of you can live off of that for a while. Would you settle with that?” when he threatened divorce, again.

How could he know? That’s the amount he didn’t pay when my sister went to UCSD full ride. That’s the amount he would have to pay had I not also secure nearly equally financially beneficial deals with my colleges. I suppose I will no choices when it comes to my college decisions.

So he said, “You guys are so cold and logical” whenever we tried to reason with him.

Cold? I wish that I am frozen, logical enough to know that it’s not my fault when mother is forced to put up with him. How can I logically convince myself that I am not a shackle, and that my absence would allow her freedom? Am I not the cage? Her fear of her daughters being fatherless, her daughters being declared the “children of divorce” kept her there.

How much would it take so he would stop? I suppose I can only experiment.