1. Why is it that Ariana Grande and Billie Eilish and the likes always put their song titles in lowercase? This was also a trend on Fanfiction.net in 2006 for writer wannabes who wanted to fool readers into thinking they were reading quality.
2. Why do we think that being dismissive with our emotions rather than embracing them is the cool thing to do? If you’re bored, then why does that entail and subsequently justify encouraging cheating? Feminism seems to now put pressure on us to deny our emotions. Yet we need more pop songs like “The Louvre” by Lorde where the singer, in an interview, openly proclaimed how cool it is to wear your heart on your sleeve. I prefer Ari in “thank you, next” where she fully confesses her past attachments but also implies that she embraces it by wholeheartedly loving herself.
3. On that note, I am ready to admit that when I am interested in someone, I get attached way too easily. But right now, I am 100% not interested in anyone, and I have never felt better about being alone by myself. Yet why do I find myself caught in not one but TWO separate crossfires?? I am friends with two males both obviously on the verge of breakups who seem to be relying on me for emotional support and proclaiming things to me they almost certainly shouldn’t. Is it because modern pop culture like via the titular song is painting harmful pictures of us women to men? Is it implying that women are becoming more flippant and willing to engage in adulterous behavior?
I feel especially disappointed because these two individuals helped me pick myself back up when I was down because of a lingering attachment. They were the ones who helped me reflect more on who I am, and through that, I’ve set my priorities straight. Yet I fear they are doing exactly the opposite – using me as a proxy to cushion their fall when the breakups occur. Thinking that I am available as a single woman to pillow them, re-channeling whatever emotional attachments with their girlfriends they had into me. I only want friendship, and for me, friendship entails emotional support and positive affirmation. That should never be mistaken for romantic or sexual intent.
I am far from bored, and even if I were, I would not form a disingenuous relation of any kind on the basis of my ennui and would certainly not condone breaking up with your girlfriend for entertainment, selfishness, or otherwise. If you are suffering, then you need to find ways that are healthy to individualize yourself again. Someone else loving you can only fool you into thinking you love yourself for so long.
I know I am in love, for on rainy days
When the world is wrapped in sizzling gray
And flowers bow their heads to the thunder,
I still hum along to the sparrow’s song in the silence.
Written March 25th, 2019.
Hastily jotted down since I haven’t written anything in a while. Disclaimer: I don’t do this right now so I’m probably not in love.
Don’t mistake me. I’m more than a strong advocate for honest, open communication, sharing of emotions, and facility of disclosure. But just like the media ruined “mindfulness” and “feminism” such that they now sport almost smarmy connotations, I fear that “vulnerability” is quickly becoming the next trendy phrase in 2019.
I would hate to see this because vulnerability, of all things, is probably one if not the most important keys to having fulfilling relationships and a good support network. But we must remind ourselves that being willing to share your deepest fears and secrets does not automatically swing open the doors for friendships to develop. Yes, be vulnerable. But don’t prioritize spilling your own secrets over your responsibility to be considerate of the other person.
Vulnerability is important, certainly. But to really develop a good, healthy relationship, we need to recognize that it’s two-sided. We should defend our own boundaries, needs, and self-worth, but we also must pride ourselves on our abilities to be understanding of others. We need to genuinely want to get to know others. It’s more than one-sided vulnerability – it’s two-way empathy.
Even when I thrust my ear to the seashell
I did not hear your voice —
But the ocean’s yawn,
The seagull’s elegy,
And the cackling of the lapping waves upon the sand.
Written February 19, 2019.
Parameters: freeform, Emily Dickinson. Inspired by Barceloneta Beach.
They say you can hear the ocean when you stick a shell to your ear, but in reality you just hear empty space.
We all know Valentine’s Day is commercialized. We should be celebrating our loved ones every day, singles get the short end of the stick, most of us only care about the chocolate, etc. etc. Instead of drowning in despair over capitalistic hedonism, why not drown in the despair of Pablo Neruda’s “Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair?” Ideal if you’re a secret hopeless romantic who is mad at your partner, you’re a pining single, and/or you’ve run out of quality fanfiction with your OTP.
These poems are beautiful, striking, and heart-wrenching. Neruda twists surreal imagery with truths of human connection. The result is a powerful narrative encapsulating the experience of being romantically involved. When I read these poems, I too almost felt like I was going through the motions – falling in love, futilely hoping, having my heart broken.
Read it in Spanish if you can, otherwise I recommend the version I linked above.
Some memorable lines:
Here I love you and the horizon hides you in vain. / I love you still among these cold things.
– “Aquí te amo”
Love is so short, forgetting is so long.
– “Puedo escribir”
The birds of night peck at the first stars / That flash like my soul when I love you.
– “Inclinado en las tardes”
Pablo Neruda and Edna St. Vincent Millay are my favorite poets and are big inspirations to my writing.
Check out more of Pablo’s work and maybe look up some of Millay’s poems to top off a perfect anti-capitalistic hedonism version of Valentine’s Day.
Even falling stars, too, can’t help but smile.
Written January 18, 2019.
Continue reading “俳句: 拈華微笑”
I saw you yesterday across the road, walking
Up the staircase, under the architraves, towards Minerva
And her temple of turning cogs. All I could discern
Was the curve of your shoulders, but though the rain was falling,
The fog thick, I knew it was you by the way the air
Parted for your stride. My friend dropped her ice cream and asked why
We mourn what we never really had. I could not reply,
Thinking how there were surely gems of raindrops in your hair,
Wondering if you might hear my voice above the traffic roar,
If you’d know the shape of my mouth, the cadence of my shout,
Or if to you I’d be a silent, nameless face in the crowd.
The strawberry ice cream, like crossed paths on the shore,
Washed away with the water. You, I’ll have to do without.
The cars and rain are clamoring anyway, and my voice is not that loud.
Written April 28, 2018.
Parameters: loose Petrarchan sonnet
Continue reading ““I saw you yesterday across the road””
It’s a hard truth when your heart is made of satin ribbons
to be wrapped around another like a present,
But do not keep your ear to the ground,
Because he isn’t calling your name across the shore
And certainly isn’t whispering that he loves you.
Don’t keep your eyes peeled either, because he’s not
In the crowds or standing on the mountains,
And you don’t have to wear contact lenses today
Or tomorrow or any day to see him,
Because even though he was right when he said you can see the stars in your irises
And you’re worth more than gold,
If only you could untangle your stretching heart from him,
Take a moment to see beyond
And remember that today’s gold standard is 1285.60 per ounce
And yesterday it was 1283.80 per ounce –
But that you are priceless everyday.
I know it’s hard to see when you’ve got the entire sky in your eyes,
But it’s just like in those cheesy campfire love songs from your 14th birthday party,
If only you could see what I can see, you’d understand that looking in a mirror
Doesn’t reflect just how beautiful you really are,
Because beauty is on the outside,
not inside your head or his head or anyone else’s –
It’s the way you walk, the octave of your laugh, and the nod of your head;
It’s your satin ribbon heart not wound tightly around another
But tied up in a rosette in the palms of your hands –
And you don’t need to wear contact lenses to see that.
Written January 9, 2019.
Parameters: Lyrical poem, fragment, theme of moving on
Continue reading ““It’s a hard truth when your heart””
Pretty city, won’t you tell me
Why when the river sighs on rainy nights,
I think of singing 燕 (tsubame) perched to the right
Of couples embracing on the benches by the sea?
Why, oh pretty city, as I flâne beside the plane trees
I think of 杉木 (sugiki) and 蝶 (chou)’s spiral flight,
And columns conjure skyscrapers and the sight
Of tangled iron, wood, and glass that brought the passioned to their knees?
Dear pretty city, when your bells toll and chime,
I hear the branches whisper on the maple leaf and sakura hill
Where on a cool Monday moonrise I belonged
In the arms of one I loved, who loved me. How time
Pounds like taiko drums, fate blades like moulin windmills.
Do I wait on the bridge, or follow the swallow song?
Written January 7, 2019.
Continue reading ““Pretty city, won’t you tell me””
This winter night you become the ghost that seizes the bouquet
Of tulips and dreams I hold crossed against my chest
And drops it in the ocean, at least until May
When snow’s all melted and the doves awoken, but I don’t suggest
That I am Sleeping Beauty in her satin gown
For the waking kiss, for the truth is I’m dressed
All ready for the beach, and weighty things like love might drown
But I am light as a cloudless dawn and won’t let you halt
Me or any swimmer from plucking out the flower crowns
And wreaths of dreams from waters deep, and the salt
Of the stubborn, pounding shore when I walk along the quay
Will not stop me from loving the rolling cobalt sea I so exalt.
Besides – tonight too will pass with you away into the day,
And I never believed in ghosts all that much anyway.
Written January 5, 2019 (at 2:58am).
Parameters: terza rima, ocean themed
Continue reading ““This winter night you become the ghost””