People I noticed: 2017

A:

wild curls, soft eyes
strong hands, gentle smile
like light rain on a sunny day
or childhood games and daisy chains

– for M

B:

her eyeliner could slice
through my confidence
like I was nothing but a paper
lion, gawking at the sun,
casting shadows of doubt
onto fragile mind.

and I can’t fault her
for those pretty little
knives, throwing my shredded
words up into the sky –
you scare me, but my heart,
it readily mistakes these
palpitations as twisted love.

for A

C:

clean neck and
moon shaped eyes
hollow bones and
sharp black lines
ticking, clicking midnight lights,
hazy moments frozen in white.

she strums silence into lullabies
unravels kindness from fingertips
and sends them up to the skies
fluid beauty in frozen winter nights.

– for D

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20 January

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Image courtesy of: Hideyoshi

I could hear in his voice
the conviction of youth
and I wonder if mine
was wasted on a fool
who has chewed down flesh
and bone to leave a terrined-heart
dished out, cold.

Do boys like to wear suits and
swirl wine, slice through
boundaries like butter
because they think that anything
in the world can be bought by paper,
and if not, they’ll burn it down instead.

They wear metal on wrist
and hold metal in hand,
thinking they were born protagonist,
except sometimes forests are not yours
to cut down or even explore,
who gave you permission to scale these walls
she was never yours to save.

Now, I’m not saying women
are any better at sorting through
this tangled ball of fate and quick
mistakes but I have always envied
the rain for how it melts into waterfalls
and I could always trust the ocean
to cleanse any small cut or graze,
she feels safe,
maybe soon the hesitation
will fade.

Continue reading “20 January”

absurday

 

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she,
slots symposiums in envelopes
that she never sends.

he,
has fingers that shiver with reconnaissance
but uses them to play the violin instead.

they,
make drunken contact, sharing
evaporated kisses and a temporary
osmosis of the soul. 

swimming in the lacuna
of disillusioned love
feels more like drowning than release.
they,
emerge from the dream
covered in crushed
butterfly wings.

Continue reading “absurday”

Eclipsed 心

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Photography: mxqqy (self)

I learnt my first 儿歌 over a
long-distance phone call as 妈妈
sat under the southern cross,
halfway around the world.

she sang about 一闪一闪的
小星星and I wonder if she
ever wished upon these flickering
lights to 再次 share the same sky
with the mother and daughter
she was forced to leave behind.

almost two decades later,
three generations 团聚在,
the same roof 下, but my
memories of 金色的 stars
cast across 陌生的 sunset
have become hazy, even
in slumber, my anglicised tongue
has become better at tying
knots into cherry stems than
imitating my grandmother’s songs.

Continue reading “Eclipsed 心”

Love(d)

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Photography: mxqqy (self)

I:

dandelion seeds,
crack in the sidewalk they meet,
serendipity.

II:

beach towels on car seats,
washing sand off salt-licked feet,
oh, his sun-kissed cheeks.

III:

the wind takes the leaf,
away from her favourite tree,
his roots run too deep.

IV:

earthworms are asleep,
warm hearts shiver separately,
sad eyes and cold screens.

Balcony Shisha Bar, Lygon St.

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The last time I fell
out of love was the
first time I stepped
into a shisha bar.

After the smoke cleared
and mirrors disappeared,
your silhouette stood stark
against the charred stars
and you gifted that bright
crescent smile to your tiny
light brick, as my mouth
filled with soot-stained
darkness.

I learned how vast the universe
could be through the centimeters
of infinite space between our
barely brushing shoulders.

You held the milky way
in your lungs so effortlessly
as I choked on the aftertaste
of faint, artificial strawberries,
to think I held my breath hoping,
that you or us could be real.

Briefly: Sonnets

Hey guys, how have you been?

I’m taking a poetry class this semester and it’s so much fun. I’m learning a lot about the history of various forms, reading so many great pieces I never would have found myself as well as experimenting with these new mediums. I thought I’d ‘briefly’ share what I’m learning and discovering with you guys in the hopes that you’ll learn something too 🙂

Disclaimer: I’ll always try provide the most accurate information possible but if I misinterpret something I’ve read or my lecturer has said or if my imitation of a style doesn’t actually quite work for some reason, absolutely let me know so I can try improve!


This week we learnt about the sonnet, which I’ve discovered can be absolute gems to read despite, or perhaps because of how short they are.

History:

A sonnet is a form of poetry composed of fourteen lines & usually iambic*, originating from Italy with two main subsets: the Petrarchan sonnet and the Shakespearean sonnet.

Francesco Petrach (1304-1374) brought widespread attention to the form in his book – Canzoniere, a collection of 366 poems, of which 317 were sonnets written to an idealised lover, Laura.

Believe it or not, this is where the Petrarchan Sonnet was born.

Form: 8 lines/6 lines, rhyme scheme*: ababcdcd (octave) / cdecde (sestet).

Content: one of the most distinctive markers of a sonnet is the change in tone between the two sections of the poem, whether it’s initially asking a broad question in the first stanza and then providing an answer in the second or something else, there must be some type of shift in perspective.

Interesting fact: By looking at the rhyme scheme, you can tell that Italian has much more rhyme built into its language compared to English.

Two hundred years later, Thomas Wyatt became one of the first champions of the sonnet in England both translating Petrach’s work and creating his own. His friend & contemporary, Henry Howard, the Earl of Surry also tried to do the same. Both men are known for making modifications to the structure to make it more suitable for English, creating what is now known as the Shakespearean sonnet.

Why is it called the Shakespearean sonnet? Quite simply, Shakespeare was good at it, wrote a lot of it and was the one that really popularised the form in English.

Form: 8 lines/4 lines/ 2 lines, rhyme scheme: ababcdcd / efef gg.

Content: the couplet (gg) at the end of the poem is crucial as it differs the SS (Shakespearean sonnet) from the PS (Petrarchan sonnet) in that it could introduce a crescendo to the poem or introduce a quick turn of events and go against everything else said in the poem.

One of my personal favourites, out of the very few I’ve read: (Sonnet 65, William Shakespeare)

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Continue reading “Briefly: Sonnets”

stars, space & an empty place

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image courtesy of: borda

she remembers that night,
no stars dusted the evening sky
but their residual light
flickered in his wandering eyes
and how she desperately wanted to hold –
his gaze, hand or mind
for them to share a hazy moment
in suspended time

too bad
he was on the other side
of an unfamiliar room
filled with mutual strangers
maybe with enough imagination
they could have been
the newest constellation

already tenuously connected by
some star-struck fate,
but too scared or sober
to name this new feeling or shape
much less ask if he
maybe thought the same

it’s funny how
she has learnt all about
the grand, infinite universe
but her saturday night silence
still felt like the most empty
and hopeless space
that she has ever known

 

sommelier

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I will never be
the girl who keeps
a sharp tongue
locked behind smirking red lips,
her canines ready to pierce
the throbbing hearts
of sweat drenched men.

swirl their blood
around her mouth
like cheap shiraz,
a goddess
would never swallow
a poor man’s lies.

she tastes
these complicated
and interlaced notes
of desire and desperation
like a true sommelier
of sleazy drunkards and
self purported ‘gentlemen’
different varieties
off the same vines (veins)
never quite good enough
to pair with her tannin-coated heart

Continue reading “sommelier”