A coin and a clock

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Image courtesy of: JR Korpa

It’s opposite day,
and I hate those piercing eyes –
all sharpened storm clouds
soaking up soft lighting rods
as if rules did not matter here,
only you and I. Roofed under
rewinding time, spooling moments
tangle but do not tame our desire to
pull a little more breath out of each
other, we, are the disobedient children
of the night. Forgetting what was yours
and what will be mine, listen, as water
breaks outside. We are safe here,
I assure you, before I look to the skies,
send my silent prayer for this phantom
pain in chest to subside.

Continue reading “A coin and a clock”

Wanderland

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Image credit: fnafmangl

HELP.

I have fallen down
the rabbit hole.
Lost who I am in
INFP alphabet soup, wish
upon Gemini that I’ll find
my way to Ravenclaw.
But as furry foot of luck
hops up and down of reach,
I am left wondering who
the cleaver was for.

In this food chain I have
four decades to climb, first I learn
the sizzle of rock bottom as
branded prey. Sit and riddle
for 8 hours of the day, pray
that when I led soul to slaughter
block,  I did not become both
butcher and brittle breaking
bitterness.

Bit by bit I remember being the most
myself in a town with no history
or future to my name. No bigger smile
than when the rest of me blended into
the Cheshire light. Feast my eyes
on dazzling new sights, at night
I cocoon myself in glittering lucid lines
or in a mad hatter moment, find a new
best friend for the night.

Continue reading “Wanderland”

Dish 22 – $29.50

She is broken promises
piled up like plastic takeaway
containers. The bins stink
like hypocrisy and a million
dead fish screaming silently.

Excuses stain apologetic teeth in
shades of lost crimson, I suppose
sometimes the daysblendintonight
followed by another #094183 sunrise.

As green-eyed monster sinks deeper
into orange-pink sulci, she ferments
gram after gram of misdirected
resentment in saliva before swallowing
self whole. Become this dark,
bottomless hole – name it stomach
rather than mind or soul, convince herself
she can quantify abstract problems on
scale and in mirror, feed herself lie on top of lie until it hurts to swallow.

Forget how to hunger, watch young skin stretch
from feigned indifference to
burdensome vanity as weighed
heart learns to falter faster
than it flutters. At least that is
the sous-chef’s choice of the day.

On the cusp of 22, serve up
seasoned afflictions, boiled-down
contradictions, superiority
spiked with low self-esteem,
no guarantee who tomorrow will be.
…………………………………………………    $29.50/piece

 

yes.

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Image courtesy of: Frida Aguilar Estrada

don’t remember the taste
of stars so we fill ourselves
on vodka and rum. dilute
the night with bright, fizzling
expectations so we can
shoot down disappointment
in familiar tumbler glass.

watch the hours drip-tick by
as all these soft sticky souls
search for more than sallow
shadows of self in fellow
stranger’s gaze. alas, it is in
the peripheries that I remain.
how can one win without
being told how to play the game,
nothing to blame beyond birth
and poor choices after
that have led to what I became.

as drinks tip and lips slip,
I find myself floating amongst
the sea of people, sway in
humid-breathed wind and breathe
the sweatied salt-spray. hold onto the
rainbows reflected in buoyant
disco balls to remind myself that the
spectrum of colours in my veins
spills an infinite greater than the
circumference of circumstance,

Continue reading “yes.”

“The world is a scary place.”

mother says, worry etched into
the crevices of every syllable.
She tucks a soft prayer
behind my ear before I leave
home with an 11kg backpack
stuffed to the brim with rigid
fears and unwieldy trepidations
that dig into (but do not break)
obstinate back bone.

Head held high, my tongue weaves
fake bravado into truth-coated lies,
squeezes big talk past smiling
teeth as they chatter but do not chit
chat, keep wandering eyes on well-lit
road and itchy feet on beaten track,
never walk beyond the safety of the light.
After all, aren’t all little girls taught
they must fear the night?

Continue reading ““The world is a scary place.””

Buried Terracotta Dreams

Image courtesy of: HEandRO

I lost my heart in Xi’an,
slipped it into the suitcase
of a boy I’d met three days ago
before kissing him goodbye.

Strange, how stray words tangle
and lives shaken off trajectory,
suddenly align.

My youth was spent by simple
seaside. Every day, watching the
gentle rise and fall of predictable
tides. Whilst he grew up on the
other side of a different shore line.

I wonder if the same waves would
remind him of when he saw crimson
flow, breathed in the stench of fragile
bodies broken by the warm earth
they were buried under, all the
nameless numbers surrounded by
plaques of rubble and dust while
the sun rose behind him as if
it was just any other day.

Continue reading “Buried Terracotta Dreams”

Autobiographical Alphabet: Part 1

Hi friends,

For those of you who have been following me on Instagram for the last little while, you may know that I’ve recently released a series of micro-poems there.

If not, the collection is called Autobiographical Alphabet: Life After Nineteen.

The poems were written in 2017, after I turned twenty. In New Zealand & Australia where I’m from, 18 and 21 are considered ceremonious years. Personally, I feel like the transition between 19 to 20 is, linguistically at least, just as important because it marks one’s departure from the ‘-teen’ years (13-19).

With the set structure of the alphabet and the challenge of keeping to only a sentence or two per poem, I wanted to use this series to explore more broadly who I am and what I observe & feel in this awkward phase when I am no longer a child but don’t quite feel like a proper adult.

I’ll be delving into some of the circumstances and intentions surrounding the pieces below. In all honesty, I think that to a large degree, an author’s intent is irrelevant to a reading and it’s important for you to take away what you will from the standalone poems. With that being said, I selfishly wanted to explain them a bit more so I can pour over these memories & experiences yet again. I’m sure there are some people who are curious about it too, so this is for me & you :—)


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I wrote this poem for a friend who I’ve known since intermediate (middle school). She is an absolute angel – beautiful, kind, perfect. I don’t think I’ve met more than a handful of other people who are genuinely as soft and pure.

Though sometimes in private I’d wonder if she was a bit too perfect. Maybe it makes me a bad person (I’d never argue to the contrary) but I kept waiting for the day when the image would crack and something mean or unreasonable will spill out…but it never did. When a boy broke her heart, she mourned so gently and with so much poise that it left me unsettled.

I didn’t put my finger on it until recently. Perhaps it’s just me overthinking but it was almost like she couldn’t allow herself to hold onto an ounce of bitterness, even when she had every right to, in case it stained her with something that was too dark and too real. Ugly.

This poem is for her and women in general who were taught that they had to hide their pain. For women who are expected to shirk their own needs forever and always so they can be so good and generous to everyone else with their seemingly endless love and comfort.

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What are your thoughts on nature vs nurture? Either way, I was a shy and introverted child. Mum always pushed me to speak to strangers and make new friends. A word she always wanted me to strive for was “bubbly”.

Bright, light, fun, harmless, palpable. Her friend’s child was like this, why couldn’t I be? Over a decade later, I would say that I feel like a carefully pruned bonsai tree who has gotten closer and closer to her ideal. I would say “bubbly” is one of the top 5 words most of my friends would use to describe me.

I still don’t like that word. I think it’s because it feels like an act, even now. It’s so tiring to be friendly and happy, it doesn’t really leave room for much of a personality. I don’t know if it’s who I am or who I’ve been taught I should be and being around strangers acting “bubbly” leaves me so flat and empty. Scariest of all though is that the formative years are over, the shape is set, I truly don’t know how else I can present to and exist in this world.

Continue reading “Autobiographical Alphabet: Part 1”

Studio Apartment of 2017

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Instagram: MXQQY

I keep the curtains shut
at my tiny box of a home,
as if that makes it oblivious
to the laws of time and space.

Responsibilities are crumpled
at the bottom of the laundry pile,
aspirations, stacked with dirty
dishes in the sink. It has been a
while since I’ve vacuumed the floor,
I may have spilt motivation on it
a couple of weeks ago.

I wonder how long I can stay here
before I unlearn the existence of a
world filled with abstractions, beyond
the lazy grope of tired fingertips?

Continue reading “Studio Apartment of 2017”

dead bees.

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@mxqqy

Sunshine swallowed
by cloud.

Precious words, pilling
behind pursed lips.

Feel the warm autumn wind
on your cheek until he turns
and brushes your knee.

Then you blossom and
fall, simultaneously.

Learn to gift your auburn
to the sky, only for it to be
washed away by the very
last bouts of summer rain.

At least today is no longer
stained by the shades of
a repetitive same.

Seeds of hope, they grow
in the cracks left by past hurt,
and you find yourself surrounded
by the familiar buzz of may-bees,
could-bees and potentialities.

But then you blink and remember
how to breathe and suddenly
you can see the way his kindness
comes in spades but cuts deep
into the soft soils of vulnerability.

He uproots importance
like untamed (we)eds, and these
unplanted questions swallow
like a liquidated naivety and
sinking self-esteem.

Tonight,
forget-me-knots in stomach tangles
into throat and a thristled heart
quietly bleeds.

I have never broken a bone.

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Image courtesy of: toinjoints

nor skinny-dipped in the dark.
I have never been stung by a bee,
nor gambled on bite or bark.

Sometimes though, I fall –
(asleep, in love, for you)
But I much prefer the ever-green,
and sinking into swirls of white
on bleu.

But I was always told
it is far too dangerous to climb
too high and it is not my place
to touch the skies, so for all my life,
I have been unfamiliar with the pain
of scraping my knees on the sidewalk,
never have I ever bloodied my fingers
picking up pride shattered by some
uncontrolled big talk.

Though I’d much prefer to be someone
who climbs the tallest tree to
kiss the sun, thank her for her warm
embrace, hang off of a gnarly branch,
to see the world down-side up,
give chase for no one’s sake,
untamed by wild mistakes, say,
can I be the next one you make?

Some nights I lie wide awake, wondering
if in darkness we are more difference
or same, like how the evening always
breaks into day, I wish upon the fading stars
that before now bleeds into then
we can be enveloped in each other’s crimson
even for the briefest moment.

Imagine if we never realised
that we are but two sides of the
same coin and all I needed was to
let courage course through my veins
and choose, for once, to fall with
reckless abandon into the embrace of fate.