The Culling

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I skinned off your hide

And tossed away the entrails

After which I drained the blood

And all the stains the leftover entails.

*

You, living art, like a sanitized indemnity

By the making of my own verity;

I pick what I love, discard the rest —

What I pack onto myself, my soul won’t attest.

*

The language that you speak,

Your beady gaze so bleak;

The clothes that you wear,

A spiffy countenance so dear.

*

Hair that hides your horrors,

Your jawline quite intent;

I lie to myself to myself to endlessly

I wonder, then, to what extent?

Time to Dream Again

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I like visiting my friends’ houses. In fact, I always liked visiting houses, any kind of houses. Homely, lively houses scented with human warmth. Maybe because it’s easier to pretend that I’m anticipating my crush, muse, or imaginary soulmate behind the walls. The indoors smell more distinct in the winter and it gives my imagination some leverage.

Or maybe I’m just projecting the smell of the eucalyptus wood from the living room into other people’s residence.

It’s that time of the year…

Why do you love me so?

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*

*

*

Do I really have to explain to you?

*

It’s like…

*

when I see that,

that human, so human and so much…deity

just deity,

it’s like a fuse that engrained my mind before conception had burst so that

I just feel all of my nerve threads down to my finger tippy tips.

No,

I’m not awake or alert but

dreaming

in a cacophony of color schemes more saturated

than my camera in a poorly orchestrated setting while it’s in aperture mode.

The emotions that orbit my mind

spin, debating

whether the newest schema they hold

is oxytocin or a reenactment of the saber-toothed tiger, out for my skin.

*

But not even they can hold up their expectations to the reality of being, which is

you.

After you exposed yourself to me,

I simpered like a little girl

whose cuddle toy, shreds of imaginary hopes she vested in self-preservation, was

dumped when hands cursed of Fates threw them out.

And that’s when the world morphed into gradients of white and black,

though I don’t pity you.

*

Don’t come close.

Lest I burn you.


Author’s note: No, I’m not tripping on acid.

Evanesce

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Vanished! she did

assimilating into depths of time

leaving nary a reminder of her presence

except shards of memories as ambiguous

and muddled as my assumptions.

How do I regain a livelihood that was

already lived for me?

I needed that closure, you see,

so I can fail myself more…gracefully

while summershine’s powder puffs

stay their season’s stay.

*

Poof, she did,

like how the goddess of spring

dissipates into the air leaving none but

a few wafting cherry blossom petals

adorning the warm wind.

Ruminations of you — wonder no more! —

came to a halt in your sudden absence

and fueled instead the song of a crying piano

while the powder puffs arrived

to prolong their stay.

*

Anon, I am,

falling in love with myself so that

I despair again, because I vested into a

cheap mimicry of myself, yet so

enshrined in stars that ne’er held

a light to their original inspriation.

Meanwhile, the powder puffs,

whispy whirlwind powderpuffs,

suspended like time itself,

came to stay their leave…

Manifest Secret

woman s index finger on her lips
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As I tell us my story of you,

The tension of your omnipresence spills

All over the tangible world

Like a child splattering its wholesome glory

Over a ripe canvas.

Everywhere I am,

You are —

For the trees to breathe in,

For my father to hear my giddy delight,

To guffaw with my friends,

For you to oust my secret stories

Out of the woodworks.

For the mountain-tops

To rejuvenate the air

And draw a portrait

Of you.

The ripple has ceased,

Longing has eased —

One of those dilly-dallying days

If I think of you again,

I need only spread my tendrils

And grin.

The Truth About “Artists”

I’ll try to make this quick because I have homework to get to, but first I thought I’d let you know something. Also because it’s coffee hour for me after attending college in the city all day.

“Poetic.” “Aesthete.” “Artistic.” These are the terms others have dubbed me. I get it — I am working for a degree in the humanitarian sector of the workforce. When I’m doing homework, my mind is trying to cobble up a tap dance choreography to an invigorating jig that I can perform in front of an awestruck crowd. I stare at beautiful pictures of models and actors like they’re paintings from the Louvre. I will literally stop in the middle of a walkway to observe the cherry blossoms fall above me, and I stand like that for hours. Any heartbreak takes me months to get over. And if I’m not actually writing poetry, I wax poetic to my exasperated sister on the way home from college on how my crush looked at me the wrong way today or how I’m surrounded by idiot NPCs every day who should really go to Safeway to buy ingredients for a better life, or how I sobbed my way out of my latest existential crisis or how no one likes me, or if they do, they aren’t substantial enough, or…

No, I get it. Labels are superficial, and while I don’t take them seriously, I realize this much about myself. I can’t live life without observing it through aesthetic lenses.

But what I also previously assumed about myself…is totally wrong. I used to think that aestheticism enables me to find beauty in  everything.  That means finding beauty inside of people, not just in obscure models whom I don’t even know personally. I thought being an aesthete would make me a good judge of personality.

Wrong.

I’ve noticed a pattern every time I fall in love, whether on real live people or whether it’s on models. All my objects of affection…they’re all physically beautiful in some way. Otherwise they have a tendency to look a lot like me. Ask my friends — they’ll tell you that the pictures of them stashed on my phone have the same haircut as me, same facial as me, same fashion statement etc.

That’s right — I’m a narcissistic bastard. Mum wasn’t wrong when she said she noticed a high percentage a poets she knew in her life based much of their craft on themselves.

Isn’t it ironic, then, that as much as I bemoan guys for calling me beautiful when they express their interest in me, appearance is the #1 factor for me that piques the most significant amount of interest towards someone?

And look, I’m not saying that appearance shouldn’t be an important factor in choosing your friends or life partner. It is. But when I examine my own judgements of people, I realize that I overestimate the quality of people when they’re beautiful just for being beautiful while I vastly underestimate their inner qualities. Of course, I do my best to find out who people really are inside.

But let’s be real: I have a wayyy higher favorability bias towards beautiful people at first sight than if they weren’t. Don’t even get me started on last year when I had multiple nervous breakdowns because I saw someone absolutely gorgeous on campus when I haven’t even met that person. Really wreaked havoc on my mental health. If that’s not an extreme case of bias, I don’t know what is.

Bottom line? I glorify beauty, but how much is too much? At what point does glorifying appearance became superficial, especially when my object of affection looks a lot like me?

I don’t have the answer to all these questions since I’m still figuring myself out. I just thought I’d let you know that artistry comes with a darker side. Trust me, I know. I’ve been heartbroken many more times than I could count because “aesthetically beautiful” didn’t live up to my standards. It’s common sense to not judge anyone by their looks, but why I still can’t stop lusting after physical appearances, I don’t know.

I’m not saying all aesthetes have such tendencies, or non-aesthetes aren’t going to go gaga over the next sexy lady in their frat circle. But I know who I am, and I can attest this lived experience to you.

As I like to say: want to know whether someone is a narcissist? Ask them if they’re a poet.

 

 

 

 

Flux

pink petaled flowers closeup photo
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I caught the glorying gaze of a cherry blossom tree;

Its fortune told me the future of my hearting flame.

I inhale its preening scent of beautiliciousness

And throw it to the sky,

Sky,

Sky…

 

I saw you. Then.

You didn’t even spare me a sympathetical glance.

Please don’t hate me now. Hate me later.

All I need is an understanding while I cry,

Cry,

Cry…

 

Pipe Dream

orange petaled flower
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The air weans in partings of a summer breeze

But nay if it hasn’t swept in a lovelorn fear, or some,

At which I gaze in disconcerted ease.

*

It’s cold here. It’s cold here. I keel, then I’m numb;

That only you’d lie your love onto me — that I’d fain

In a frenzied season’s past, a past my pain is from.

*

One flitting thought, a thousand strolls purged in vain;

‘Tis the consequence of your haunting face,

So sweet my perfume smells like pain.

*

What now? No fear, no sense, no rush, no pace,

My game carried on in unlimited breadth;

I can’t wait forever, but I can’t win time’s race.

*

And so, my eyes faded in recurring death,

I pass you my final requiem on the fog of my breath…

Breathe Me Alive

affection american asian woman beautiful
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One glimpse

and I want to

stroke your face

up and out,

round and about,

like the masseur at the spa.

Cup your face against my palm

and I’ll trace your veins as they

lead to your heart —

but maybe I’ll contend with

ticking you on the underarms

instead.

*

Is it wrong that I want to

entwine my body around yours

till you’re close

close

close

to my core,

to the soul hidden beneath my soul

and our pulses beat as one

and I can just maybe,

perhaps…

breathe you in?

*

Please cradle me

so I can snuggle my ear to your chest

and hear an lively ocean

surging inside,

and I’ll know you’re real

when I fall asleep

and all my realities become a dream

as your body beside me fills my lungs

with your scent.

Remember butterfly kisses? The ones where

we’re so close our eyelashes

are touching?

They’re now goldfish nips

because now I’ll cover your face

with sloppy, open-mouthed kisses.

*

Maybe one night

under the covenant of

a balmy evening

I’ll introduce you to the star-struck sky

because it’s always watching.

I’ll kiss your nose

so that my blessing will extend

down to the tips of your toes.

And while your breath is still fresh on mine

I’ll trace your lips

so that with mine, I’ll imprint onto you

my fiercest declaration:

you belong to me,

and I

to you.