It’s been a long time since I’ve written anything (for this website, anyway), so I figured I might as well switch it up a little with some blogging.
Finally got something accepted somewhere! I’ve gotten a piece in Food Republic, the first (to my knowledge, anyway) food-themed anthology in Singapore, as well as two fun little experiments into Caveat Lector, UCD’s lit mag. Somewhere along the process I started to realise how little I was submitting outside as opposed to how much I thought I was doing. Making a spreadsheet really reveals how much you’re actually doing with your work – I guess I’m now in the “100 rejections per year” gang.
Also! Finished and submitted for Manuscript Bootcamp. While I have little confidence about making it to the end, I do hope that the judges enjoy the work. Working on it was really exhausting and made me hate my own work for a while.
Speaking of hating myself – SingPoWriMo has officially descended! Essentially Singapore’s National Poetry Writing Month, we have to write a poem each day for a month. The pressure so far has been pretty high – I’ve had a good thing going the past few days but the Day 5 prompt threatens to ruin that streak.
Fingers crossed! I’m full of hope and optimism and back pain right now.
If two sameselves make a paradox, then so is my birth; one roll of the die with infinite sides. I oscillate between possibilities like a speck of dust caught in vision. A child of coincidence, one branch of Yggdrasil, born to yearn for fruit. I’d like to reconfirm my own existence, ensure that I was some other unknown in an equation. I need to verify that there is a purpose to this permanence. I’d like to see the snip of the tether between this poem and the next. To be free under a maiden blade. To be named again and again.
Time lies, useless as a sword in the lake. For one, there’s time, and then, there is passage, as in come, squeeze the cheeks of this little tragedy. Who will offer the world their breast? I’m sat, couched deep in tomorrow, hands on the pulse. Tomorrow I will flip onto the pavement and pound it Into confession. Tomorrow I will flip on the tele and watch nothing, I will ride down to a cliff and say nothing. Time waits there, watching over us all like an empty house.
Truth be told, I still find most of my writing to be horrid or gross somehow. Posting them online is one way for me to try and curb this mentality. I need to be comfortable with the things I write.
The taste of dish soap lingers on the rim of the teacup. You and I sit at crossroads, legs dangling over cliffs. This is an exercise in communication by proxy, messages hidden in the fold of an arm.Coltrane murmurs in the background like a roommate, and the television is switched off. This is timeless, this is the way we freeze-frame our lives, this is how it’s always been. Quiet slips into the tea. Outside, the world loiters on to the beat of its own heart, clouds passing strangers, averting gazes onto the street. Your irises cross the street too, leaving without goodbyes. I get up and walk into another room, empty, but I don’t come back. The teacups are left in the sink, soaking everything in.
Written for UCD LitSoc’s Writer’s Bloc! It’s a fun workshop where we get to do short writing prompts within a limited time span. Really encourages stream of consciousness-based writing as well! Also, I realise the tea cup in the featured image isn’t exactly the type of tea cup that would fit here but I couldn’t find an image I wanted. Sorry!
it’s not like they gave birth to me, it’s more like walking through a forest covered in cobwebs in the deep of night, it’s when the village elders check your body for remnants and find nothing. this is when you must be broken and affixed, flaws masked with growth, and there is the fire of inspiration cowing, and there is the hand that moves without guidance, like bullets into the sea, like one’s first knife into an artery, like the first cry of a man being born.
Blog time: I have this thing where I’ve always been struggling to think of people who have influenced my writing. Being more a writer than a reader when I started, I guess I didn’t have proper influence during my ‘formative years’ as a writer. While later on, I did find plenty of poets who I drew inspiration from, Siken being a big one, my internal dilemma was that it wasn’t as though all my poetry were inspired by them, and neither was the influence that apparent: I learned to play with spacing from Siken, but I could have done the same from someone else, etc. I feel a bit guilty because if you asked me right now what influences my writing, I feel like I can only say music and I know that should be ok but somehow I’m not happy with it. Perhaps part of the dilemma in finding the influences behind my writing is that it would also help identify my writing style, and allow me to describe it, and that too may be a fight worth fighting.
Another year, another me. It’s a bit strange – I started this blog as a legitimate blog with some poems from time to time but over time it quickly became a place for me to publish pieces which I could not find homes for, or pieces I just wanted to let loose onto the world instead of being tethered to my notebook.
I can’t say that I’ve changed too much in the past 4 years – I feel like I’m still, at my core, the same kind of person I was, albeit somewhat happier. I do have my demons from time to time, but I’ve learned to invite them in for tea. I’ve learned to find a support network, to be able to rely on others, to be vulnerable and be soft. I’ve learned to relax (somewhat) although the stress of knowing the end to this path weighs heavy.
New Year’s Resolutions – I made some actual ones for once this year! We made resolutions while passing (and downing) a bottle of red wine – so we had to think of resolutions on the spot. I think I made 3 (but I can only remember 2):
To see more, do more, experience more. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone really soon and I want to expand it even further. I want to be comfortable as who I am – I want to grow and grow.
To be comfortable with showing affection to others. I keep thinking of myself as some kind of observer, lone wolf / background character kind of guy and I can’t help but make fun of people and generally avoid my feelings (if any) but this year I’m going to work on that. Last year I had some breakthroughs, even if short-lived, but I’m confident that I can make it this year. I want to be able to tell people I love them without having to go in such a roundabout fashion, I want to be close to people, I want to connect, I want to cross their paths once in a while on purpose, etc.
Writing wise – I’ve been in a slump for some time. I keep reverting back to familiar topics of writing and I have little inspiration to write beyond that. Everything I’ve thought of feels very contrived – especially when I’ve been trying to actively submit my work to journals and competitions. Granted, winning the Arts House competition was great (as it forced me to write 10 ekphrastic poems! wow!) but I feel like my peers were so much better. All of these make me want to write even more – my end-goal is still the manuscript, but can I get it done by April?
As such, here are my writing goals:
To develop something I can comfortably call my ‘writing style’;
To broaden my topics and themes;
To finalise a satisfactory manuscript halfway through April.
One might wonder – who the fuck cares what your resolutions are? You might be a friend, or a random stranger who stumbled upon this blog. In either case, I hope that in the act of posting these publicly, that I can find the courage in my heart not to run away from these goals. I want fulfillment, I want success, I want so much and I know I have to work hard to get those.
outside it is pouring, dark spilling over the sidewalk like a glass filled with the blood of something fragile. you and I are somewhere in this flood of warmth. the rain continues to knock on the roof, a witness to all of this nothing. time drips slow. quiet. you and I will part so soon.