This is what Hauntology does: the endless consumption of remakes and reboots even after your biological death. In ‘BR: 2049’, we see holographic renditions of Elvis Presley – who’s to say in 30 years you won’t be presented the option to consume commercial facades of David Bowie, Mariya Takeuchi, or Keanu Reeves. Every generation had, has, and will have an ‘Aladdin’, a ‘Frozen’, a ‘Lion King’, in exploitative tradition. The next generation will internalize the same media as personality, have collective memories of a magical past, where all there was were similar conditions of wage-labor and replicative production. In this, the nostalgia economy runs efficient, haunting each generation for their productive energies; a ghostly Soma that distracts from the rise of collective class consciousness, alike how a B-grade Horror flick uses jumpscares to evade a shell of a plot.
(with apologies to Iain Lim’s ‘There’s A Fire In Bangkit’)
Afternoon there was rain,
but without a space for grammar.
Does grammar require space?
The kind between fonts,
an interstellar whiteness.
Ser-ifs and sans are the same.
Like how rain is a tick-er, the trans-it-ions of
a puddle sentence, into a puddle stanza.
Who writes Gangsa without a name?
Who writes without a space?
(after N. Wang’s ‘She Never Drinks Her Tea’)
Her house is personal in a way her Father
freeloads upon, paying rent by accusations.
She cannot hear her own footsteps over the
din, being unwelcome in her own house is
a swelling of feet, lights that refuse to work,
lao hua* glasses on a 20/20 past, one where
the tidiest living room has a worn-out tile
with edges that she cannot vacuum out,
where her calloused feet steps on blame
where a divorce must be a woman’s fault.
A headache upon trigger-happy migranes,
triggered by happy things from chocolate to ice.
For which, she was always brewing drinks
that were never her cup of tea. Drinks scalding
like a hot shower routine where she boils soap.
He was the pot that called her a black kettle;
The only black she sees is when sleeping it off,
dozing in bed with a Korean soap on an iPad
that distracts a scalding mouth, since tea
keeps her calm and awake in a nightmare.
*lao hua (“老花” in mandarin Chinese): Presbyopia
January 64th. The stubble on my chin has been growing for T minus one
decade. February still has 45 days in a month where strangers want my hair
shortened to compensate for the long days; Every second given is a hormonal pill
losing effectiveness. Every day a wedding dress tears if I wore it in my head. Every
day marriage to me is eating fast food and passing it out without gaining nutrients. Every
day love becomes a beer that hammers me into blacking out from all that pain. One day
I might wash my skin out once I am done with clearing my makeup. On the 89th
I stare at this laptop screen. By the 93rd day of the week I am bingeing on illusions of
myself dragging my limp figure from the shore, squeezing every acupoint with salvaged warmth.