#joinin

So, I spent practically the whole of Christmas eve in bed and I expected that this would be the case for the rest of Christmas. When I mentioned this on Facebook, some friends thought it was a great idea. I guess it could be a restful and even luxurious way to spend the holidays, but, really, only if it’s how you choose to spend the time. I was in bed because I couldn’t quite face the world. I felt sad and lonely and isolated. Read More »

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As if my life were shaven

blackdog

It Was Not Death

It was not Death, for I stood up,
And all the Dead, lie down—
It was not Night, for all the Bells
Put out their Tongues, for Noon.

It was not Frost, for on my Flesh
I felt Siroccos—crawl—
Nor Fire—for just my Marble feet
Could keep a Chancel, cool—

And yet, it tasted, like them all,
The Figures I have seen
Set orderly, for Burial,
Reminded me, of mine—

As if my life were shaven,
And fitted to a frame,
And could not breathe without a key,
And ’twas like Midnight, some –

When everything that ticked—has stopped—
And Space stares—all around—
Or Grisly frosts—first Autumn morns,
Repeal the Beating Ground—

But, most, like Chaos—Stopless—cool—
Without a Chance, or Spar—
Or even a Report of Land—
To justify—Despair.

~ Emily Dickinson

The Present Never Ends


Song of a Manhattan Suicide Addict 

By Yayoi  Kusama
Swallow antidepressants and it will be all gone
Tear down the gate of hallucination. 

Amidst the agony of flowers, the present never ends

At the stairs of heaven my heart expires in their tenderness. 

Calling from the sky, doubtless, transparent in its shade of blue

Embraced with the shadow of illusion

Cumulonimbi arise. 

Sounds of tears

Shed upon eating the colour of cotton rose

I become a stone 

Not in time eternal

But in the present that transpires. 

(A video installation at the Yayoi Kusama exhibition, National Gallery, Singapore.)

Review: Sad Girls by Lang Leav

sadThis review was first published in The Star on 9th July, 2017

Sad Girls: A Novel

Author: Lang Leav

Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 362 pages

‘Your first love isn’t the first person you give your heart to – it’s the first one who breaks it.’

That line, on the cover flap of Lang Leav’s debut novel Sad Girls, is a quote from the book, but also a prose poem (from Leav’s collection Lullabies).Read More »

No Friends

I’ve just seen my friend Senthil. He lives in Singapore (he’s Malaysian), but is in KL for work meetings. I Miss him. If only he lived here. When we first met, back in 2007, he was here but he moved soon after. I think he’s the only friend I’ve made after turning forty whom I feel about the same as the ones I made in my teens or twenties. The sort I can take for granted and who take me for granted too, but in the best possible way.

I don’t feel like that about anyone in KL and I am no one’s go-to friend here. There isn’t a single person in this city who thinks of me as the first person to call when they are  happy or sad or angry or confused; or when they want to watch a movie or have a coffee or check out a new play. I don’t hang out doing nothing with anyone here. I am no one’s default person and no one is mine.

Is fifty too late to make that sort of friend? Maybe that’s why having a partner is important to me. Was important to me. I can’t rely on that anymore. I won’t. It’s a mistake to depend on a lover, even one supposedly bound to you legally, to safeguard your emotional well being.