4-Room Flat

Four variations of lights on
four fingers to type
four stanzas by
four a.m.

Three found sentences
Three syllables in a row
Three unfound haikus

Two; Walls; A ceiling; A door; A window; A floor;
Two walls: Third’s a partition. Fourth’s being read:

“A pair of flats, removed from my doorstep.”

This Passage Spans 13.7 Billion Light-Years

In the grand schemata, you are words in this stanza. In your grand scheme, there is nothing so cosmic like the flings on your strings. If I were flung carelessly like a star across light-years it would be the pinnacle of a civilization. Most don’t go this far however, although you did. You went beyond the end of this piece. Outside the observable universe. Leaving the interior dark. I still shine, casting shadows over what you did.

Gangsa Is Raining

(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.

“Isthisanongrammar,
isthisanonstanza.”

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?

“Torrentingrain,
torrentofrefrain,
torrentwithoutsiderestrain.”

I just finished reading ‘Sugarbread’ and was left deeply impressed by acute depictions of religious corruption, and casual racism on this sunny island since its independence. This book also centers on the struggles of the Protagonist’s mother in dealing with her traumatic past. It brings to mind of my own.

A friend tonight mentioned that, overhearing a conversation I had with my Mother, about the frustration I had my voice. I seldom talk like that to Mom – It was more of how she purchased financial products (super low-risk ones like the Savings Bonds) for quite a while now but still didn’t understand it fully. But it always hurts when she claims that she’s too stupid to understand anything. It’s a complex she had for years, paralyzing her in times of immense stress. I should have been more patient, in hindsight.

It brought to mind about how Dad was elitist when he was still with us. Before he left he argued with my Mom over rather trivial matters but insulted her intelligence. I don’t understand how someone can take so much pride in their own intelligence just to put down others. Just because she was a diploma holder while he held a degree. I’ve seen him talk down service staff and lower-income job holders, too.

Mom doesn’t want anything to do with her own family, especially Dad’s. Dad’s side consists of people who are mostly Christian, and upper-middle class. She was acutely aware of how my aunts were subservient to their husbands, and unconditionally accepted their gaping personality flaws. In some way, Dad and his brothers were either sexually promiscuous, had terrible tempers, or were condescending in general. She disapproved of my aunts, degree holders and professionals in their own capacity, of putting up with the antics of my uncles for the sake of a religiously-fueled vision of a family.

I’m glad I write poems about her occasionally. Her mother, my Grandmother was a domestic helper who had to deal with her cheating husband’s and drug-addled son’s shit. Great-grandmother fled her home in Hong Kong during WWII just to endure 3 years of occupation by Imperial Japan in Singapore. She sold bee hoon in the north back then, raising five children singlehandedly. Both matriarchs in their own right. Mother is the next in line in generations of incredibly resilient women, all who unfortunately had to suffer due to the men in their lives being poor excuses of people.

At least by writing , I can count the mistakes of the men in my family, while celebrating the women who have made worldly things possible.

 

 

No Sleep

My deck is hinting that I require someone as reliable as the King of Pentacles. Or maybe that I should aspire to be like him. Or perhaps all I really need is some form of immense stability – Something sorely lacking this month, and the next. My current deck tends to be a rather harsh Mother that understands me better than I understand her.

I have been trying to keep my infatuation in check. Friends who know me know how I describe it nowadays as a pie I cut for many wonderful individuals, the intensity of it reduced in this manner. Except that by this point I am now cutting more pieces for a singular person, and alarms are ringing alongside with allure. She is incredibly talented and precise, not that I can understand any of her nuances.

Maybe I should write something about illusions. My namesake is filled with exactly that.

Something like infatuation is riddled with ideals, even the idealization of flaws. I know this, and I will have to restrain myself until the day I am able to drown in work and distractions.

A great thing to note would be that I remain grateful to have found my current group of friends since the past year. I cannot say how lucky I feel to belong during these years of limbo.

The Four of Pentacles have come up. It seems like I really need to unwind my grip on things.

 

 

Crossroads/Stasis

I spent six years in High School. 

Lately, I’ve been having recurring dreams where the setting is more or less the campus proper. It used to be an eldritch combination of my alma maters (i.e. my Primary School and High School), but that has been shifted in focus to represent my high school in a more detailed fashion (excluding the extra-dimensional frameworks dreams usually manifest themselves in).

These dreams tend to depict an implied time period set approximately in my fourth/fifth year, with a strong foreboding emotion of an end-of-year major, major examination. This part is uncanny, since my High School, unlike most other tertiary educational institutions in Singapore, do not offer the Singapore-Cambridge GCE ‘A’ levels. We spend six years studying for in-school examinations conducted each semester, the results of which contribute to our final GPA for our graduation diploma (our school follows the modular system that Universities/Colleges apply). There is no one, ultimate examination.

And yet, there is a sickening feeling permeating in these dreams that I have yet to accomplish something of a massive scale in the past – The reality is that I have obtained my lackluster diploma since two years ago (I recently finished my conscription cycle), and I’m currently interning while waiting to enter college.

I see the hazy faces of seniors, paired with an afterthought of moving on with life after High School, after University. I climb the stairs and walk the extra-dimensional, larger, more complex-than-life corridors in a haphazard, aimless manner. Struck with anxiety about not graduating. Despite already being an alumni of two years. Dreams tend to be visually unclear, but can be extremely stark in emotional nuance. Many objects or landmarks however warped is tagged with an emotive quality. My friends, juniors, seniors have moved on in life and I’m somehow wandering around, being constantly late or worried about preparing for a national examination that does not exist. Unable to envisage the sixth year or the future, plagued by a momentary amnesia where I forget that I’m already living in the future.

Somehow, these dreams have occurred before my decision to join Instagram. Perhaps they have been amplified, after seeing everyone I knew in High School having the time of their lives – The other girls previously from my batch on their summer breaks before their third year of College, seniors with their graduation pictures.

The stagnation is stifling, anxiety-inducing. I’m doing things, participating in art-related events, submitting my writings. However none of it feels like it is amounting to anything.

In time, I’ll matriculate. It for the best if I can leave these insecurities behind by then to make my time in College worthwhile.