My Father

My father. Chinese. Middle-aged. A white-collar man. He kept his library in the basement of the big house we used to live in. There, on wood worn by years of care, stood books like giants whose titles revealed nothing to the younger me. Below them were drawers filled almost to the brim with miniature army soldiers in army green. Even now, I can feel the painted texture of their plastic on my fingers. Continue reading “My Father”

Even if you’re broken tomorrow (I’ll be there for you)

First attempt of a mini-project where I translate Japanese/Chinese songs and write them into poetry, while remaining loyal to the original rhythm:

You called my name
it was your voice inside my head
in the dark depths of the ocean
of my own despair

The sight of you
in your gown of silver white
was the light that reached me
down at the deepest point

Lost in a limbo
not knowing black from white
Stuck in the silence
Is this love too old for the times?

The two of us just living the days
waiting for the knock of the dawn
upon the gate of the night

Even if I were to find you
broken tomorrow
the last thing I’d do
is run away and hide

Evern if I were to find you
shattered through
I’ll heal what’s left
and stay by your side

Context:
‘A’ is a man in his late twenties, diagnosed with early onset of severe dementia. In effect, he loses memories, knowledge and skills everyday, and could potentially wake up as a vegetable any morning. In the midst of his depression, woman ‘B’ with the same disease is transferred to his ward.

Five Doors

There are five doors. The first requires you to read 10,000 books. The second requires you to write 10,000 stories. The third opens once you’ve met 10,000 people. The fourth opens after you’ve seen 10,000 things. And the fifth… no one really knows how the fifth one opens.

“All boys leave home someday.”

“All boys leave home someday.” The first time I read those words was 18 years ago on 1999, when I plugged Pokemon Yellow into my Gameboy Colour and flicked the power switch on. And, like all boys, I started dreaming of that ‘someday’. It’s a shame that now I think that that ‘someday’ will be the day that I die.

I don’t remember asking to be born into a world where human beings are raised as livestock, force-fed the all-in-one formula known as ‘education’, then forced to run as the cogs of some pretentious, ungraspable concept known as ‘society’. You know, it would be fine if ‘society’ only required a specific number of people to function. I would gladly sacrifice my humanity if that meant somebody else would be free to roam the world. But it’s not like that. ‘Society’ is an immortal carnivorous plant, constantly consuming, constantly harbouring and indulging in the desire to grow. We are chained the moment we leave our mothers’ stomachs, and the skies are fixed as our cages. Transparent and blue as they are, we see nothing. We know nothing. We suspect nothing.

When did holidays become a ritual of forgetting about the chains at our feet? Try as we might, we can never truly ignore them, for we know all too well that they will eventually drag us back to where we have to be. No, not ‘have’. Where they want us to be. But who are they? The gods? Corporate overlords? Secret masters of ‘society’?

Or maybe… it’s people. People like you and me. I wonder: at the beginning, were we given the keys when we were chained at our feet? Honestly, I don’t remember. I don’t think anyone does. But I have a feeling… that if any one of us just reached deep enough into our pockets, we would find our keys, buried beneath all that rubbish accumulated over the years called ‘life’.

…But we can’t.