you didn't know
that when you grabbed him
by the scruff of HIS neck
1, 2, 9, 25 years old
you reached into the present day
and left your red hand marks
you didn't know
that your one-time abuse
your temper thrown tone
(scraping in my ears
like heavy metal screams)
would be the
angry echoed yell
banging on walls
adorned with family photos,
printed monet paintings,
good luck fortune scrolls
your legacy dangles
like vertical paper diaries
a porcelain bowl's glaze
dripping and crackling,
the artist has died..
you didn't know
your scolding, frustrated strikes
the things on the dresser
my dad pushed to
burning holes in the carpet
like a coal left on wax:
you didn't know that
the pain in my girlfriend's smile
the shaken ground upon which i walk
long days of occasional parent fights
going to sleep
with a twisted stomach
4 generations ago,
one carried abuse
from father to son to son to son
into my present
the history that speaks
until it is heard
and for all.
In Ancient China, potters adorned their ceramics with glazes that were meant to reach crackled “perfection” generations after they had died, achieving the desirable glassy blue-greens and “robin’s egg” hue. Lined with intentional cracks, this style of artwork entailed the use of a specific glaze that would gradually drip from the rims of clay bowls and settle at the bottom.
i believe in the quiet revolution
the hum of the garden at tea time,
the dance of rain on the rim of a pond,
the fingers that pluck to the beat of the heart,
the soul that bathes in the glow of a flicker of flame,
the pen dipped in hot stroking ink bleeding trails on the page
(two leaves of a book that forget their separation),
pastel haystacks coloured fuzzy outside the lines,
bristled lips on bristled lips after a tour at sea,
salty-sweet flakes of the forbidden fruit
a smudge on the cheek of Mona Lisa,
the man in the moon in the mirror.
"My soul has grown deep like the rivers.
I bathed in the Euphrates when dawns were young.
I danced in the Nile when I was old
I built my hut near the Congo and it lulled me to sleep.
I looked upon the Nile and raised the pyramids above it.
I heard the singing of the Mississippi when Abe Lincoln
went down to New Orleans, and I've seen its muddy
bosom turn all golden in the sunset."
from "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" (1920),
in The Weary Blues (1926)
when i am near you
the numbers on streets and clocks
the sound of rain
upon the sidewalk
is a complete refrain
to a childhood melody
the stars burn like candles, when
when i hold you in my mind
the expanse of heavens
forlorn ancient texts
like a vast, turning sky
like desert canyon walls,
are a fountain
waiting for rain.
This year was incredibly lucky for me. I am deeply grateful for the opportunities and experiences I had:
– met Priscilla Ahn (twice, once on my birthday)
– met Clara Chung (twice), got loveprinted (twice)
– saw Ray LaMontagne in concert
– saw Prince in concert
– completed my last driver’s exam ever
– wrote a few good poems I’m proud of
– read the following books: Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, Life Itself by Roger Ebert, The 500 Years of Resistance Comic Book by Gord Hill, Trauma Farm by Brian Brett, Medium Raw by Anthony Bourdain, Know What I Mean? by Michael Eric Dyson, Not Yet by Wayson Choy
– saw the Muppet Movie, which was much awaited ever since hearing Jason Segel was one of the writers. It lives up to the hype.
– saw Hugo, Martin Scorcese’s big 3-D children’s fantasy dream project. I don’t think he’d describe the movie that way, but it’s clear when you watch it that it was his childhood pet.
– made a damn good pasta in red sauce
– ate said pasta
– signed onto a workshop series for youth violence prevention which encompasses a skype meeting with the Byron Hurt (the person who made me realize feminism was cool, real, and possible in me)
– learned these songs on guitar: 1234 by Feist, For the Summer by Ray LaMontagne, Jolene by Ray LaMontagne, Dear Daphne by Clara C, Are We Different by Priscilla Ahn, My Stupid Mouth by John Mayer, If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys
– completed Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time
– hiked the Chief (peaks 1 and 2) twice
– saw my cousin in LA get married!
– won the Vancouver-LA dance-off (Part 1) alongside my cousins and dad
– became a TIER B CHAMPION in the Coquitlam Dodgeball League with my lovely team
– co-facilitated an anti-oppression workshop
– ate King crab, Peking duck, and lots of pork belly
– drank the best Merlot ever
Here’s to the hope of another wonderful year. Wish you the best!