triptych #3 (imprints)

1.

Blinking fast to imitate
watching an old film reel.
As if to capture you
I watch you burn de-li-be-rate-ly
into the spaces behind my eyelids:
a silent protest, against a vague sense
of mono no aware¹. All come to pass.
This is my personal Hiroshima.
Before you crash and burn,
leave your shadows on my wall.

2.

I wait at intersections and stations
for a trace of you.
Sometimes the sight of you is nothing
but an afterimage. You’re moving
too fast for anyone and everyone.
Motion motion motion, motion.
You are Time and Tide.
Linger longer,
for I am the man who cannot be moved.

3.

I pass on your memory.
A picture-frame of a snapshot of time.
A slice of a life prepared a long time ago.
Anyway,
unconsciously, you’ve dented my skull.

(Left fingerprints all over my cranium.)
(Wasn’t hard to tell.)

Now, I find myself repeating
repeating
re-peat-ing
reenacting another mannerism
of another you
from another time.
Re-establishing yet another scene,
I seek to take revenge on you.

TL;DR:
unconsciously, I’ve been impressed by you;
unconsciously, I’ve sought to imitate you.
I hold on to your memory.

—————————-

1. the pathos of things. the awareness of impermanence. (definition taken from wikipedia.)

Imprints. 

Wrote this in camp.

Except for the third part. I’ve had multiple drafts, chunks of poetry that could have fit that but I wasn’t really satisfied with most of them. I expect to come back and edit the third part sooner or later.

And another admission: Japan really gives me inspiration for poetry…

 

 

Our Love

Our love
Is like the coffee mugs
Left unwashed in the sink
After a night of warm conversation.

Our love: it’s like a corner,
Folded in a book;
Jutting out, of a stack of old newspapers.
No, our love is a corner, gathering dust.

No, our love is the cul-de-sac
In the lives we had decided
To simply, be dead ends,
Like complex knots.

Our love is sea foam,
Breaking on the shore,
But, with the waves,
Appearing in brief moments.

Our love is not alive.

—————————————————————

Touched up an old piece. I’ll get around to touching up and posting the poems I wrote in camp the past two weeks, sooner or later.

 

Most likely later.

transmitted messages to orphaned pagers litter the landscape, sullying the soil with words which follow others , phrasing phrases such as “I’ll call you sometime”, “I’ll see you tomorrow”, et cetera et cetera ad infinitum. we lie facing up, like numbers on a tattered phonebook – seeking reception – but we operate face down; plugged out, zoned out, ruled out. our batteries seek chargers and the chargers seek us, yet out in the dark, the lukewarm glow of a mobile phone still illuminates a face. in its eyes lie the answers to everything you wanted to know, but never dared to ask in person, for fear of interference, of eyes peeking over your shoulder. the world continues to turn, and so we orbit in turn. There is nothing to stop this connection. I call you. Ring.

———————

Another attempt to emulate Harvey…I have some time these two weeks. Might as well try writing more.

What lies ahead after these two weeks?

regret is your favourite waltz

delusional writing on an online page
stimulates the memory of having done
something one’s not. sitting in others’
shoes shows a lack of logic and restraint
when it comes to remembering one’s place.
do not just dance to forget it all.
this is advice. this is instruction.
suck it up. stick out your paw.
go on: force yourself into the habit.
it welcomes you, a suit oft-worn:
or is it just a collar? wear it still;
keep still there.

The stones by the river-
where we once sat,
and dipped our feet,
in the cooling stream-
have been dry for a while.
It makes me wonder
if you were a dream.


Wrote a lot of poems during training. No access to a computer yet, so I’ll post them when I finally return home. Found this one on my phone.

I’m also joining ficlatte because why not, but that’ll take a while.

Farewell to Ficly

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I joined the site back in 2012 when I finally started posting my writing, no matter how good or bad online, and now, about 2 years exactly later, the website is shutting down. This website has been inextricably linked to many of my memories, both the good and the bad ones, over the past two years. It’s almost unreal to hear that the website would shut down in just a few weeks. 

Over two years I’d written over a hundred poems, and this website both gave me motivation and ideas to play with. However, everything comes to an end. 

In an act of perhaps, vanity, or simply to remember the website, I took some of the poems I wrote on the website and compiled it into this gaudy pretentious-looking booklet, so I can place it on my shelf. I picked only the ones I either had fun writing, or reading afterwards. It’s titled, “The Ficly Poems: An Archive, A Memory, A Time.” I like to think of it as just a collection of internet poetry, because it is. What makes it different? It’s mine.

If you want to read it, you can always find the link here, but I don’t guarantee any form of quality. I hope you like the poems nonetheless.

You can find the book here at http://bit.ly/1lh2Het. To reassure your fears, the link doesn’t lead to some virus-infested website, it brings you here

In any case, farewell, Ficly, thanks for two years of writing, memories and experiences.

P.S. I already found a typo in the foreword.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years Of Pilgrimage: An Afterthought

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“You can hide memories, suppress them, but you can’t erase the history that produced them… … if nothing else, you need to remember that. You can’t erase history, or change it. It would be like destroying yourself.”

It’s been about 3 years since Murakami’s previous work, 1Q84, was published, and compared to its predecessor, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki And His Years Of Pilgrimage is almost a 180° change in what most, I guess, have come to expect from Murakami’s works – the usual suspects are there, of course: weird sex, bottles of Cutty Sark, musings at night, and the constant sense of ennui the protagonists face – but there is undoubtedly much less emphasis on the supernatural and the paranormal in this work compared to the tale of the Little People.

What we have here is, undoubtedly, a novel written in the traditional Murakami style, as some like to call it – a focus on everything but the story! – without much of what makes a Murakami book uniquely his. Sure, there were cryptic dreams yet again, and there was discussion of a man who could see auras, but ultimately, that ended up being nothing more than an anecdote. Even the symbols, the metaphors were much more human: dreams of sex, sixth fingers… this time there is no well. There is no chrysalis, there is nothing that disappears. What we receive is something intensely human at the core.

It’s also been quite a while since Murakami started writing in the third-person perspective rather than from a first-person perspective, which worked magnificently in his novels, especially Hard-Boiled Wonderland And The End Of The World, and it, in a way, disassociates Murakami from his own text: while in previous novels the image of Murakami could be projected onto their male protagonists, and the protagonists onto Murakami,  this new writing style invites us to join him in examining what happens, observing our characters face their problems, live their lives, with Murakami not as the artist of the exhibition, but as its curator.

Along with the shift in narrative style comes a demystifying effect: what 1Q84 and Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki excelled in, in my opinion, was a more honest depiction – and dare I say, a better depiction? – of the character’s emotional responses, thoughts, feelings. Emotions aren’t something triggered by the supernatural, by the surreal. Emotions aren’t special dramatic events. Emotions are what defines humanity – it is emotion that drives us forward into tomorrow. Tsukuru’s reaction to his being exiled from his close-knit community of colorful friends may strike some as strange, defeatist, or cowardly, but to me it was something instinctive, natural: what else could one have done in that situation? Faced with such an unbelievable order, can someone really find the power within himself to be angry?

While Aomame’s yearning for Tengo in 1Q84 and vice versa had a surreal, almost magic overtone, the characters of Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki have none of that: as such, they strike me as much more real, and all the more believable. The book is carried not by the magical and the mystical, but facilitated along with Tsukuru’s conversations with people – people which we may never know more about- it immersed me in its color-splattered world. Not all primary, not all happy, but colorful, its world was.

But with the book becoming much more realistic, of course some parts of the book left me unsatisfied: Murakami’s knack for leaving stories unresolved. True, it’s what he does: “The Little People came suddenly,” he said. “I don’t know who they are. I don’t know what it means. I was a prisoner of the story. I had no choice. They came, and I described it. That is my work.” At the risk of sounding apologist, I don’t blame him for having no end in mind: it tends to leave the mystic, mystic. It’s yet another Murakami trait.

Still, we never know what happened to Haida aside from conjecture, and we’ll never know how Sara would reply. In fact, we don’t even know Sara’s motivations all that well: she puts in so much effort for Tsukuru to recover, so it’s almost inexplicable for her to have done what she did. The feeling…. is much like you’re packing away the book into your mind, placing it in the corners, packing it in and filling up the space, and having this big empty space left over. You want to see more, but you know you can’t. Is that a good thing then? Perhaps, since the book’s strengths were after all, realism: not everything ends like 1Q84, not everything ends like a novel. I would be lying if I said I didn’t care about Haida and Sara, but it’s something I guess I just have to live with.

Speaking of having to live with unfortunate truths, perhaps the reason why the book had a great impact on me was that I could relate very well to Tsukuru’s situation, having being placed in a similar situation once myself, in my youth, and watching someone else being put in the spot as well. Granted our pilgrimages weren’t as long (hopefully) as Tsukuru’s, but having gone through a similar experience myself, only made me appreciate the book even more. Tsukuru’s reactions, emotions, thoughts: at times, I felt as though the book was written for me. That was how much I realised I had immersed myself into his railroad world. The book wasn’t bombastic. It certainly was not as loud as his previous works. It was subdued, quiet, like sitting in a balcony at night, just watching the city sleep. Even without all the Murakami mysticism, its world would have been the same – just as touching, and just as engaging.

To end off, I quote the book again.

“In the deepest recesses of his mind, Tsukuru Tazaki understood. Our heart is not connected to another through harmony alone. They are instead, linked deeply through our wounds. Pain linked to pain, fragility to fragility.”

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Sticker from the book, “Community”.