Tuesday, December 29, 2009


existence has no
meaning on its own
all is largely entropy

in this calm eye of chaos
i dream of fireflies
flickering and fickle

singing truth to me in lullabies
their light brings sense

(where confusion
once triumphed)
beauty appears

and i am surrounded


i have you on repeat. every other lyric leaves.

i'm not sure if you know your definition. part of me hopes you do, but part of me is terrified of that ever happening.

which side of the coin speaks truth?

i just don't know
    so i search you silently
             and whisper you
                    when i'm alone


short-lived muses, long-term dreams, late nights, beautiful mornings.

that is my composition.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

おつげ Otsuge (oracle)

we exist nowhere
wise oracles unknown, we
sing atop the stars.

Friday, November 6, 2009

the artist formerly known as "poet"

nothing worth saying, so i'll just say this

thoughts are fragmented
i guess because there's no time
to think them
complete them
to make them sound right.

...it doesn't feel right.

i'd rehearse this over but the big day looms closer and i've gotten no better. don't know whether i should give up now or just keep keeping on.

inspiration's running on fumes; satisfaction is something that haiku can't do.

the muse hasn't paid what she owes, but i can't let you know. so...

"the screen is still blank, but i swear something's there; i just typed it in white." i hope you believe me.

and you leave me,
to argue with myself over a good place to hang my


though there are no hooks in sight...

only fragments for miles.

should i keep walking?

Friday, October 30, 2009

kai xing shu (happy tree)

autumn here is nothing short of beautiful.  the weather can't decide its mood, but the trees never seem to notice.

i still remember senior year, when anna, lauren, and i named the sapling outside our latin class window.  we named it  kai xing shu (happy tree) because looking at it cheered everyone up.

it's been a while since i thought about it, but just recently i found kai xing shu again.

there's a huge tree not too far from winthrop house, whose leaves have all turned a splendid gold.  i walk under it almost every morning on my way to my hectic life.  but i always have to stop (rather, slow my pace) and look up.

because looking at those branches stretch to the sky, looking at the showers of richly colored leaves...is like looking up at pure happiness.

i'm yours--segway into a daydream

when "i'm yours" came on my ipod earlier, i started thinking about him.  i had the perfect daydream, and a couple that were hazy.

it's been said that we'd make a great couple.  as much as i try to push the possible false hope out of my mind, i find...that i really don't want to do that at all.

what i want to do is walk with him, hands tangled together in a lazy, carefree way. humming a two-part harmony on jason mraz in harvard square.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dryspell--Writer's Block Revisited

so i wrote this back in April, but since this morning was the first time in a month that i finished a good poem, i thought i'd share how that process begins...
i'm sitting here, poised for poetry. i have a song on repeat as usual. this time, it's "merry christmas, mr. lawrence--fyi" from utada's new album (shameless plug). i've listened to this song so much i think the other songs on my playlists are getting jealous. that's the first sign of a visit from the usual muse. i can't focus. that's the second sign. i feel strangely full but unsatisfied, as if the only metaphorical food that will fill me is poetry and the only way to get that food is to empty my soul of all emotion that i feel. that's the third sign, arguably the most important.

somehow...although all of the pieces are in place, the puzzle isn't together. i haven't written a poem in a month, but it feels like even longer than that. and it's not like i have nothing to write about. i'm surrounded by things to say, words to combine, secrets to convey in vague and cryptic ways, people to immortalize in verse. i'm having trouble figuring out what to say even here.

the well has run dry. no ink spills from my pen. my heart prays for the sky to change, for rain to release everything that i feel. but so far...there's not a cloud in the sky.

Ars Gratia


you notice
beautiful shadows
in the dark

you feel
compelled to
capture them

although every stroke
of the pencil

what was once

can’t stop
the paper cries
for more attention.

you give

it’s enough.

but it never is.

you realize
this as
the phantoms
form shapes
on the page.

and now
there are
tear stains
on your masterpiece

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

そせい Sosei (resurrection)

i seek a savior
for my poor poetic soul;
it's become quite still.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Notes from Toah Nipi, #3

October 4, 2009

Ephesians 3:14-15: "For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named."

God is our Father. He knows us, cares about us, and wants to provide for us and help us.

No matter what happens, no matter who decides that I don't belong with them, I have a place in the universe. I am defined by God, no longer just a number or a pointless construction of molecules. I have definition, meaning, significance, value. 

Notes from Toah Nipi, #2

October 3, 2009

~Interpreting Psalm 46~

there is no reason to be pessimistic about anything life throws out. we don't even have to be on the offensive, trying so hard to take matters into our own hands.

God is our refuge.

not to say that we should hide from our problems, but to say that it isn't our job to fight this battle. while we are safe in the city of God, our battles are being taken care of. the war may last our entire lives, but we know what the end is going to be, so there is no need to worry.

soon, God will take care of all of the elements of spiritual and physical warfare. all we have to do is wait behind the gates of the city, knowing that He will come through.

Notes from Toah Nipi, #1

October 2, 2009

The first thing I noticed on the way here was color. On the left, shocks of gold distract me from my reading, and reds call to me from the right. The leaves are changing.

This place looks so easygoing. Like if it weren't cold outside, people would stand on their porches and admire the foliage.

The changing of the seasons is not a hectic process. The trees don't consult calendars, looking for the deadline to shed their leaves. They just do. And all their work gets done.

It's all the more beautiful that way.

Friday, September 18, 2009


nothing good 
can come of this hour, 
this no man's land, 
a morning that 
mimics night. my 
thoughts in this 
tense present time 
are not made for 
sunshine. my stamina 
argues with my obligations, 
but i've no sense 
of who's won, no sense 
of what i speak. i desire 
nothing more than 
senseless sleep.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


i notice
traces of
on every highway
echoes inside when
surroundings are silent
my mind holds
fragments of
that were never made
reality wills me into
its presence my
reason is pulled
forward but my
heart won't

Saturday, August 8, 2009


i often find myself
lost in contemplation,
wandering through
the piles of participles stored
in the attic of my mind.
i keep every
ancient alliteration,
can't toss the ideas
that have lost their luster
because one day
they'll be worth something
i know it i just know it.
one man's trash is
some girl's sanctuary
they say and i am
blessed to find
self in this calm
complexity that spring
cleaning never touches.
cozy between
enjambment and
metaphors for comfort, i
close my eyes and
whisper, it's cluttered
but it's home.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

me, myself, and Christ

alone is so very warm.

i am transported to
a great place, to a wonderful
state of being where
You have always been.

serenity is all around me; i

lift my hands to receive its
invisible Presence.

here in the midst of
Your endless Glory,
i see for myself

that Your Love
surpasses any other.

Friday, July 24, 2009


you said I was the best you ever had,
that I could stand next to all those others and shine.
it was a lie.
you didn’t love me for what was inside
you gave me the time of day
so I would give you some good nights,
Now I’m largely disillusioned
questioning the official definition
of true beauty
and I’m mad because
the fire you spit was toxic,
poisoning my spirit something serious,
I want to ask you this:
why can’t you be different
instead of degrading the women
and hurting their feelings?
I know you’re trying to stay fly,
so why not rap about the music drive
that keeps you alive?
why is it that hip-hop equals
money, cars, and heartache?
all the girls who watch the videos
suddenly think they should be vixens.
you hold more power over some of us
than the White House and Congress.
we disregard subliminal messages
shouting your lyrics with no shame
but now that we know the truth
we have something important to say:
stop the music,
hold the mike,
let me get this right
I won’t get a shout out
if I don’t give it up?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

i've been home from louisville for about a week and a half now. and part of me still can't believe i made it. the program was one heck of an experience. class each day from 9 to 5, pages of notes, a plethora of new things to learn and apply to life outside the classroom. my first taste of what medical school will probably be like a few years down the road.

but i almost messed up.

i was so caught up in wondering how much i lacked compared to others in the program, so worried that my brain couldn't retain all of the facts i had to commit to memory over the six weeks...that i almost missed out on the beauty of the experience. i am so glad i put those qualms aside. i met so many people, took so many pictures, learned so many things, made so many memories. worrying about the program would have made the 6 weeks completely unenjoyable. God allowed me to see past that uncertainty. and i must say that i'm the better for it.

Monday, June 29, 2009

just be real

(not my best, but it's real talk)

i hate it when the song that plays on the radio is not the same version as the one on the CD. i'm the type of person who likes to listen to a song so much that i can attempt to imitate every ornamentation. i like to hear the song on my iPod and then hear it in the car on the way somewhere without longing for the exact way the harmonies came together in the album version. if there's a discrepancy between versions, there's some degree of unpredictability. i'll eventually learn the notes over, but i'll always prefer one version to another instead of just enjoying the song.

let me explain.

we all have our own song, our own unique personality. let me stress that your song belongs to you, and only you. i may be able to sing your song, but my cover will be nothing compared to the original; i can appreciate you, i can even act like you, but i can't be you. so it's your song. you can do whatever you want with it, but how you choose to sing it in different capacities will not go unnoticed by others.

consider the radio to be a public outlet, where anyone you meet can hear something of your song and decide for him/herself whether he/she likes it. conversely, consider a CD or something of that nature to be a private outlet, something reserved for those who truly know and appreciate you. these people have heard you on the radio, and they know what you're about.

but if your song changes from radio to CD, if you buy into this whole "album version" thing for your close group of fans and come out with another version for the general public, there's a problem. remember, this song is your personality. it's what makes you who you are. if you have two different versions of your personality, people may not know how to respond. they knew you so well in one capacity, but now it's hard to tell if they're talking to the same person when you're all in a different venue. why is there a discrepancy between what you want everyone to see and what only your closest friends see?

i guess what i'm trying to say is..."twofacedness" is an issue that rears its ugly, chimeric head throughout our everyday lives. it's one thing to put a guard up to protect your feelings, but quite another to act so different around different individuals that no one knows who you are. when people express how they feel about your shifting personality, don't say that everyone you know acts "fake." turn your sights inward for just a second. listen to your song again. think about who you might have shut out as a result of your unpredictability.

we all are guilty of putting up facades; yes, some of us sing our songs at least a little bit differently every day. but ideally there is no difference between the album version and the hit that plays on the radio.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

semi-rant about the news

Michael Jackson has passed away.

as of 6:30 or so everyone but CNN had confirmed it (which is in retrospect pretty fishy in itself).

notice though, that stations were saying he died when he was only in a coma.

circumstances in my life have told me to look before i leap. the news will do anything to get a rating, even if they have to break someone's spirit, humiliate someone on camera, or kill somebody before they actually die. they'll do anything to win your eyes. so you have to make sure that what you're seeing is reputable before you put the people who want to wait for confirmation on blast.

in closing, don't cry unless you knew him, don't make a scene, and just keep moving on...that's all i have.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


your voice is familiar to my mind
though i haven't met you even one time
the sound tingles from my ears to my spine
like the cloud-nine feeling that came with this rhyme
everything is a perfect pitch
and every lovely lyric
makes meaning; my
soul is stirred; mixed emotions
arise as i continue to listen
your music is by far my favorite addiction
our lives are in something more beautiful than unison.

Friday, June 12, 2009

brAiN StoRM

Brain Storm (writer’s block revisited)

(in theory, ink is spilling priceless thoughts on the page)

the boundary barrier between inside
and outside is uncomfortable
reality. a wall of nothing (that
can be felt) inhibits the
transition of my this my
declaration contemplation from the

to the masses (the this
wall is made of a looking glass;
i and my words mind
see you with 20/20 clarity
but neither of us can
reach you). the words we
shatter against this

tangibility; possibility
never stood had a chance. i
know realize that
it’s only supposed to happen on my
side of things but

i still attempt to send slip send little
scraps pieces slips of poetic declaration a-
cross the border barrier
(maybe this time
they’ll reach you get there);

only scraps of
a masterpiece make
any sense.

(in theory, this will never be complete finished perfect).

mIsFiT B-side

Why are you trying to classify it? This is music for all humanity, from me. ~Utada, “Animato”

I know the answer now.

Someone told me once: the reason why I am not a part of that “beautiful whole” I mentioned before is because that life wasn’t meant for me. I’m not supposed to fit into that puzzle.

I’m supposed to be that kid who runs down the up escalator—just because she feels like it.

I am not my hair, my height, my clothes, my words, my college, or my shoe size. You try to put me together based on your faulty vision and superficial tendencies. But you can’t see inside of my soul.

I’m like Solange, not Beyonce. Mainstream is not what I strive for. You wouldn’t find my album in the Pop section. That just makes it more special, a gem waiting to reward those who are diligent enough and brave enough to look.

So don’t label me. You don’t know my genre. I am Lupe Fiasco, Daft Punk, Tye Tribbett, Utada, Panjabi MC and Buraka Som Sistema—the world’s most diverse mixtape.

You see, my name’s uncanny similarity to Ebonics is only a coincidence. I may have brown skin but my mind is colorblind. I’m fluid motion, gliding between cultures with the greatest of ease.

I answer to an Authority higher than that of humans. And if He tells me to, I don’t mind subtracting myself from you who run with the crowd. After all, mine is a difference that is not deleterious. And I’m trying to impress him, not anyone else.

At the end of the round, I am living proof that there’s more than one way to kill the game.

I hope that you come to celebrate your difference, that you realize your potential as an outlier. I refuse to say “outsider” or “outcast” because the others are outside of what makes you who you are, and because God would never cast you out.

(this is probably not my best piece, but I wanted to get it out there anyway).

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Bedtime Stories

once upon a
time, you were my
favorite dream, a story both
beautiful and brief.

in the night,
the circle of
your arms lulled
me comfortably,
and your touch
spoke safety.

the next morning
told a different tale.

separated indefinitely
from your warmth, i
have turned to
an unsatisfying sun.

time will never
turn back to retrieve
the fantasy i left behind.

i still have to hope
that waking up
was a happier
way to end.

Monday, June 1, 2009

thus begins summer 09

the thing i wanted to post (an answer to "misfit") is still currently under construction, i.e. i have a serious case of writer's block. even still, it's time to post something new.

it's the end of my first day at the Summer Medical and Dental Education Program at University of Louisville (SMDEP). and i'm really excited about the program. i'm surrounded by people who want to go into the healthcare profession, surrounded by science, surrounded by beautiful weather and beautiful smiling people.

and yet, my fears begin to kick in. this program defines a future that is not too far off: i apply for medical school in just a few years. it's no longer a hazy goal on the horizon. it's getting closer to me.

i've always been a little bit scared of what will happen next. you could say that i don't want to turn the page and start the next chapter of this book that is my life. this chapter features a level of independence that i have yet to reach, talk of money that i've yet to obtain, newness that i can't yet wrap my brain around.

with that in mind (or, in spite of having all that in mind), i guess it's good that i'm here. maybe being here can help me better brace myself for this next phase. maybe this program will help to allay some of my fears. i have a feeling that i'll learn more than science during this six weeks. so even though i'm nervous, i'm hopeful, ready to apply myself, ready to commit to memory as much organic chemistry as humanly possible. i won't let fear immobilize me.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

mIsFiT (posted to Facebook on 5/17/09)

remember those small jigsaw puzzles that had the extra pieces? you know, the ones where at the end you'd have this beautiful picture and two or three pieces that didn't fit into the puzzle?

you'd play around with those pieces, thinking they contributed somehow to the whole picture--they just seemed so similar to the rest of the group, like they belonged in the puzzle, right? at the end, though, you'd be so happy with the completed picture, and, if you didn't throw the other few pieces away, you'd put them back in the box or the bag; you'd forget them. and each time you'd bring that puzzle out again, you'd know exactly what went where, know exactly which pieces didn't belong from the very beginning.

i've realized something...no matter how similar i seem...i am forever one of those unnecessary pieces that lies apart from the beautiful whole.

can someone tell me why this is?

reading/finals period (posted to Facebook on 5/16/09)

these are the times that try men's souls...

Times when the names of the days have no meaning. Your brain is exhausted enough to make "moNEesDaY" and "thEdNesDay" make some sort of linear sense. And when the weekend comes, you have no recollection of Friday's existence.

You're sitting in a dark cell, surrounded by the knowledge They told you to make a part of you (Who are They, you may ask, as if you've forgotten? The Man,The Woman, The Power, The Friend, The Roman, The Countryman, The Philosopher, The Poet, The Scholar, The Force). You sit at your desk, wishing--praying--that when you lay your head down on top of your book, something--anything--from inside its covers will enter your mind.

Spring has come forward, but all you want to do is fall back into bed. You can't feel the sunshine anyway. The bare beige curtain is blocking any light from coming into your window. Perpetual nighttime as you pore over words you were supposed to have read weeks ago. Dark, unsettling solitude as you attempt to try.

The digits on the clock look like that foreign language you'll be tested in on Saturday (or was it Tuesday?). AM and PM look the same from this vantage point anyway.

All you can think of is dread. The horrible task lies before you, an intellectual dragon of sorts. They are expecting you to survive at most twelve hours of this perennial beast (of course, They tell you the time is divided into three hour blocks) when all you have is a pencil--a calculator, maybe, a couple of pages of notes, if you're extremely lucky.

As you work your way through mountains of practice problems, you catch word of the freedom of others. For those, the heavens have opened, time is restored, and life in the sun can continue. Your heart fills with envy (or perhaps more dread), for once again, you will be the last to emerge from this inevitable dungeon. How many days, or weeks, or years, will it be before that happens, again? The question is practically pointless; your brain can't wrap around time.

On your first, second, third, or even fourth day of reckoning, you walk slowly, as if to the tune of a dirge, to the place where your wit will be tested. You have donned the metaphorical warpaint, sharpened your metaphorical weapon, and said a very literal prayer. You may be prepared, you may not be. All you really know, other than the information you coaxed into your mind only a few hours before, is that your fate now lies largely in the hands of a group of people whom you've seen all semester but who may or may not know your name.

You sit down, making sure to leave space between you and the others who are subject to Their rules. Soon, your beast is revealed to you. And come what may, you're ready to attack it the first chance you get.

And so it begins. This battle is a quiet one, at least to any who might observe it from a distance. For you, the silence is loud...but the blankness of the piece of paper where your essay is supposed to be...that's even louder.

[poetry] homework should never get in the way of procrastination (posted to Facebook on 5/9/09)

the rain behooves me to internalize, to make use of singular silence and finish my assignments. this one asks me boldly about "the image of the self" in poems that belong to you. frankly, i myself have no words to impart. everything begins and ends in a yawn.

an inevitable realization: i don't know how to translate your thoughts. i may never know your mind like i know mine.

your rhymes, your repetitions, your synesthetic tendencies are beauties imported into the realm of my existence. they hold foreign appeal, the exoticism of a quest to find meaning. but i'm looking for the familiarity of elements that i understand best.

an inescapable truth: i am interested in the music of your words. but i'd rather spend time making my own.

Perpetual Emotion (posted to Facebook on 5/3/09)

i am perpetually
taken by the
decadence of
my dreams
(starring you
as the only chocolate i
will ever crave).

perpetually taken by
you, who carries a
fulfilling fire inside;
i can see it
in your hands,
feel it in your eyes.

perpetually taken by
the potential energy
that makes my body
sing sweetly,
stirring up the
dying embers of my spirit.

perpetually taken by
the fact that you and i
could start a wildfire
and when the blaze dies
the world will be
black like me,
black as we--

i dream of a dark day
and a beautiful night...
and the credits roll
as i turn off the lights.

みていぎ Miteigi [undefined] (posted to Facebook on 4/25/09)

i feel lost in this;
define you in terms of me
so i'll know my place.

Sleeptalk (posted to Facebook on 4/14/09)

i see a peaceful face,
not fazed by the
fearful questions of
future understanding.

here, there is nothing
to suggest anything
but contentment.

a peaceful face…

this is what i see as
i watch you sleep,
contemplating the
language of your dreams.

The Tango (posted to Facebook on 4/4/09)

—a dance of passion.
fire colors my existence
heat igniting surrealist tendencies

(yet somehow you’re still here
when i wake) that are just shy
of the highest nonsense.

what i’d wish to be our
favorite song fills the air
sickly saccharine.

i long to join
you in this fantasy ball
but all i can do is

watch from
a distance.

the lights dim, the fiasco begins—

i dream of a date with disaster.

サイレンス Sairensu [silence] (posted to Facebook on 4/4/09)

my heart is heavy:
the pen in my hand won’t speak
but i’ve much to say.

Immortal (posted to Facebook on 3/3/09)


In you I see
a beautiful story
and I want to write
a song to bring you fame

Darling I know,
darling I know,
they’ll always remember your name
I’ve got your soul
I’ve got your soul
and I can make you immortal

I’ve got your soul…I’ve got your soul
You have my heart
I want to make you immortal

The words on this page
will never be erased
They’re written on my heart
and I’ll shout them to the world

That way we’ll know
darling, we’ll know
they’ll always remember your name
‘Cause I’ve got your soul
I’ve got your soul
and I can make you immortal

(you’ve got my heart)
I have your soul
You’ve captured my heart
I have you here
They’ll always remember your name
because I can make you immortal

Darling I know
darling I know
they’ll always remember your name
I’ve got your soul
I’ve got your soul
Darling I’ll make you immortal

The words on this page
will never be erased
They’re written on my heart
and I’ll shout them to the world.

Kaminsky (posted to Facebook on 3/2/09)

*thanks to Ilya Kaminsky for inspiring this poem. based on a true story.*

are you a Poet?

as You asked,
Your memories
of Odessa danced
vividly in my ears.


You saw me
utter a secret i've
since exiled
myself from.

that day
You saw my
soul speaking
and answered
with Your
hastily-scrawled hand.

Untitled (posted to Facebook on 2/17/09)

After an aimless time
searching for an ambiguous truth,
I behold the idea incarnate.
It takes the shape my mind always dreamed--
a fantasy realized and released--
one pale lily among rough reeds.
Without reaching out to its beauty, I
fall back into tangibility, leave
all untouched in silence, with
nothing to show for sight.

if my [love] life were a cArD gAME...(posted to Facebook on 2/14/09)

i wouldn’t want it to be Poker because you’d gamble with my emotions.

i wouldn't want it to be ERS because you'd always be hurting me.

i wouldn’t want it to be BS…

i wouldn't want it to be Speed or Spoons because you'd put me down as quickly as you picked me up.

i wouldn’t want it to be Old Maid because that’s just an insult.

i wouldn’t want it to be Mao because i’d always be playing by YOUR rules.

i wouldn’t want it to be Kemps because you have to be sneaky to win.

i wouldn’t want it to be War because it shouldn’t have to be a competition.

i wouldn’t want it to be Freecell because i don’t like to be moved around for anyone’s convenience.

i wouldn’t want it to be Hearts because hearts have to be broken before things get interesting.

i wouldn't want it to be Solitaire because i'm a little bit scared of lonely.

i’d want it to be Uno. because you’re pretty close to winning when you’re only holding one in your hand. and you’d really have to take it slow, think things through, and learn the rules.

fragments (posted to Facebook on 2/11/09)

I lead a fragmented existence.

It's...a terrible feeling.

My parents never really sat me down and told me about my ancestors. I can't have any pride in them, the people they were a part of, or the land they walked upon. Because all of that was stolen from them and cruelly witheld from me.

My name was taken,
without the consent of those who came before me.

They say that the unknown is a source of fear. In this case it's a source of almost insatiable curiosity.

My identity...is composed of

It was not broken by my hand, nor do I currently have the power to gather the pieces.

But I want so intensely to gather them.

I...need to.

I want to possess knowledge of my past.

To bind those fragments together for good.

Checkmate (posted to Facebook on 1/29/09)

sorry if I don’t play
the same game,
if instead I roll my tokens
and move my dice
three spaces forward,
ever passing go,
never making a bad move.
maybe I don’t
play my cards right
in your eyes,
but I do have a clue
about this game called life,
and at the end of the round
you’re all just pawns.

distance (posted to Facebook on 1/13/09)

something about the
you i wanted beside me
refuses to leave
my mind, and i don’t
know what to do…
it’s a conundrum that i
created, that i never quite
knew how to solve.
i want to move closer
but something tells me that
away holds the answer
i am destined to seek
in singular silence.

さとり Satori (posted to Facebook on 1/12/09)

*satori: "understanding" or "realization" (also Buddhist enlightenment, but not what i was going for)*

I finally learned
what should matter most to me;
I see it clearly.

My soul’s better than
even the sweetest nothings,
and I don’t need you.

I have peace of mind
instead of the dark despair
that came with longing.

darkest hour (posted to Facebook on 1/4/09)

a part of me
still wonders about
what could have been.
i think of your smile
shining through shades
of gray, your laughter
vivid and bright.
in your eyes, i see
the calm and cloudless sky
of a day that may never dawn.

reminiscing...i can't help it (posted to Facebook on 1/4/09)

…“you had me at hello”

…it somehow just says it all.

you had me…and you knew it…

but for some reason you decided to ignore what you knew I felt. you raised me up so ridiculously high that I almost stopped breathing the air of mundane existence, only to let me crash down to a lower low than I might have ever felt, gulping the dirty air of disappointment because there was nothing else to breathe.

really, you didn’t just let me fall….you PUSHED me.

I remember the day that you wrote:

"she has me tripping over myself…if only you knew what you are doing to me."

I was stupid.

because I was so sure you were talking about me.

everyone thought that you were perfect—that WE were perfect. I was sitting there with my horribly naïve but undeniably cheerful expectations…dreaming about the idea of you, knowing that you were so close to reality, with your politeness, your charm…

you obviously were not that close to reality. all of us who thought I had a solid foundation on cloud nine…were disappointed in the worst way possible. your silence became my reality. I had to move back to cloud 8.5 once again. and I learned the truth…that you held another girl the way I wished to one day hold you.

and my smile slowly started to fade with the passing days.

once again, I was stupid. for letting myself get so attached to you when there was no basis for such attachment. it’s my curse. it’s what I always do without fail.

you knew this…and you let it remain the painful truth.

you had me at hello…and faded away without a goodbye.

had to get this out of my system (posted to Facebook on 12/16/08)

so...i was sitting here, waiting for tomorrow to wake me and take me home...listening to floetry and musiq soulchild...

and i started to think about you.

i'm not sure if i ever really wrote down what i felt. so here it is. "teachme" by musiq soulchild is on repeat right now, almost as a tribute to the us that never was.


from the start, everyone thought it would be perfect. i mean, we have so much in common, down to days and years and almost hours. everyone joked about it, including us...it was so funny that two people who were already so close together in a way wanted to come even closer by starting a relationship. the poetry i wrote you, the things that i said...all of that was with the hope that one day i could hold your hand and thank God i had a hand to hold...

but to no avail...

it wasn't quite worth that after all.

because...i don't see how we were "working toward a relationship" when it didn't seem like we were moving in any direction. i don't understand how you could get so uptight when people asked "are you two going together?" when you were the reason we weren't together.

i told you multiple times how i felt about you. i was willing to show it in any way possible...but somehow, i didn't quite get those same feelings back. you told me that you "put me on a pedestal." if that's true...then why did i start to feel so low?

words have never been enough in this world. even the poetry that flows from my fingers when my heart can't hold the feelings in...even that does not really mean much. i will admit, the little things that you did for me were sweet...but even friends do little things for each other. at first i felt like we were more than friends, but after a while, even that feeling faded.

i still remember that fateful night. the night i called and told you i couldn't wait anymore. i'm not sure if i told you how hard that night was for me. i remember crying as i spoke to you. i may have cried myself to sleep that night. i don't remember. all i remember was hearing the slamming of a door. the door to a wonderful opportunity. the door to closeness. the door to a universe where it was only us.

you said that we would still talk. but after a generic "congratulations on graduating" call...there was nothing. the silence was loud, the emptiness full, and for a while, all of it was surprising.

and now...i'm listening to "hey you" by floetry. and this song makes some semblance of sense when i think about you as it plays...

i wouldn't have thought about what didn't happen. i could have gotten over the fact that i would have given you everything. but i began to realize that maybe...that maybe it was false hope. perhaps that pedestal you placed me on was a pillar of shaky sand.

you seemed to move on so quickly. this is kind of funny, but it was surprising how quickly "married to" showed up on your profile. of course, maybe it didn't mean a thing but still...even though i had moved on...i saw that and my mind took me back. back to when i thought my name would show up next to "in a relationship with" somewhere on your profile, back to when my poetry said i didn't deserve such an angel...back to before i wrote:

to believe that i once wished
to kiss lying lips
is a burden borne
beyond the grave.

i wrote that...because there was somthing false about that deadzone of two month's time. something wasn't right about the wait.

yes, i've moved on. it's not like i'm sitting here like this every day. that would be a little bit tragic on my part.

...it's just, there are days when loneliness takes me, days when i start to think about past times and friends who have sort of...fallen away. believe me, you're not the only one.

you're not the only dream that's been deferred.

but perhaps...cloud nine was closest to me...when that door with you on the other side was still open.

なさけ Nasake (posted to Facebook 11/16/08)

*nasake: "warmth" or "compassion"*

here, my weary heart,
blanketed by tired dreams,
barely safe from cold,

cries: darling, to be
in the halo of your arms
would be perfect bliss,

your warm embrace would
melt the ice of wintry fate,
causing joyous spring.

Chemistry (posted to Facebook on 11/1/08)

i’m on fire and i feel like
i’m melting in your presence,
your arms gentle around my
waist, caressing me as we dance,
head resting on my shoulder,
close enough to kiss me,
smile playing at my lips
because you’re so near; we’re
connected as if we were meant to be
and as we rock to the rhythm
i realize that everything is
fluid motion, making me feel
beautifully alive.

きたるあめ Kitaru Ame (posted to Facebook on 10/19/08)

kitaru ame: "approaching rain"

Tonight, my darling,
your eyes were clouds of sorrow.
Now I fear the storm.

Yesterday, I dreamed
That you walked away from me
And said not a word.

Now I am awake
And I see my dream was real--
The tempest is here.

Aftermath (posted to Facebook on 9/16/08)

I want to be
A number again
So I can pretend
That I don’t exist
Retreat into
My internal world
Alone in the biggest crowd

When I emerged
Took leave of my mind
I started to love
The music outside
I was crazy for
Believing in yes
When the loudest notes were no.

And now I roam like a ghost in a graveyard
Never aware of anything else
Always seeming to see you there
Even when I close my eyes.

The finality
Of only an hour
Haunts my head
The entire night
Tossing and turning
Wishing to reverse
The day that I held your hand.

And now I roam like a ghost in a graveyard
Never aware of anything else
Always seeming to see you there
Even when I close my eyes.

I find it hard
To go my own way
Forgetting your face
When impersonal fate
Decides to be cruel
And lead me back to you

Darling I miss
The way that it seemed
Like it was so right
Until the light
Of truth began
To show me the wrong

And now I roam like a ghost in a graveyard
Never aware of anything else
Always seeming to see you there
Even when I close my eyes.

And now I roam like a ghost in a graveyard
Never aware of anything else
Wishing I could just go to sleep
And wake up to another day.

double vision (posted to Facebook on 9/15/08)

the eyes are the windows to the soul.

right now
i don’t see
except a fleeting
glance at possibility failed.
(holding hands
in the dark--
united yet
divided) i realize

reality drumming on
the surface of my
existence like a

i have you
burned on
the inside of
my eyelids.
i shiver in my soul
as the fire fades.

Dilemma (posted to Facebook on 9/14/08)

"be careful what you wish for..."

I looked in your eyes
And noticed much of the same.
I gazed into your heart
And knew a bond was there.
I stared into your soul
And found commonality torn.

And yet, I find myself
Grasping for your hand.
I shouldn’t but I want to,
I can’t but I need to;
Perfection is never perfect,
Bliss is truly ignorant.

A problem always remains
With the convergence of twain.

a poem in latin (posted to Facebook on 9/4/08)

*i wrote this one for a foreign language fair...and it won first place! i never got my trophy...but that's ok! so i have the original latin and the translation (which may or may not be all the way right...it's been a while since i've looked at this). enjoy*

Pectus, Cupido calide, agit gratias tuo munere sagittae.
adventus veris me suadet citharam colligere gaudentem
postquam olim Boreas equique carmen fecerunt frigidi silentium.
tenera pruinam dissolvit Paphia prohibentem palma.
flamma facem illuminet in perpetuum pectus.

My heart, sultry Cupid, gives thanks for your gift of an arrow.
The coming of spring urges me to pick up the rejoicing lyre
After once Boreas and his frigid horses made my song silent.
The tender Paphian hand has thawed the prohibiting frost.
May the flame forever illuminate the torch in my heart.

centennial (posted to Facebook on 9/3/08)

so...it's my 100th facebook note, and i wanted to write something special. something witty and yet somehow relevant to at least one person. you know, some drawn out ranting about penguins, RPGs, the stock market, crushes, happy trees, and everything in between.

well, i have only one thing to say: if you were expecting something along those lines, i apologize. i'm only human. i'd like to satisfy you. but at the moment, the lysol my mom sprayed in this hotel room i'm staying in for the night is dancing the tango with my cerebrum. all i can think about is how slow the internet is here, how i'm mad that i left Wizard and Glass in the van (stephen king rocks my $11 socks, nuff said), how awesome Lupe Fiasco really is (i knew it but i didn't really), how i'm going to college (HARVARD) in just a few days.

i think i cited in my facebook status not too long ago that i don't feel 17 anymore. it's funny...every birthday, my dad would ask me, "so, how does (insert new age here) feel?" and i would reply, "it doesn't feel any different."

but now that i've wrapped up one of the most eventful and most independent summers i've ever had, now that i've gone without my parents to another country, now that i've participated in my first ever competition a scant three weeks or so after that back in the States, now that i've written out my first check and paid for my own laptop, and (on a lighter note) now that i've been on facebook long enough to have a centennial note--a birthday in itself, in a sense--this does feel different. you're probably thinking, 'well, of course, einstein, you ARE going to college, and in a whole different region of the United States at that!' but that's not exactly where i was going with this, thank you very much. you see, a lot of people get into college thinking about all the parties they're going to go to, all the liberties they'll get to take now that parents are miles away and the professors don't call roll, all the things they couldn't do while they were confined to the high school code of starched collared shirts and daily metal detector checks. and i'll admit to you, i'm thinking the same things. but i've also been doing a lot of thinking about my future career path, my concentration, my long term goals. those can't be acheived at 1 am when you're dancing to "pop, lock, and drop it" in front of some dude you don't know (more on that never). the fact that i'm not thinking about being away from anyone, that i haven't argued with my parents about joining KeyChange, taking tae kwon do, or finding a boyfriend, that i'm no longer complaining as much about writing essays...all of those things show me that deep inside, 17 isn't all that i am. i've been looked at as the runt and the youngin for a long time now, but it's no longer something that annoys me. because i don't feel it anymore.

i guess i've said all that to say this: life is starting to change. change is a word that's been thrown around by the democrats and republicans for all of a long time now, a word that's used by self-help books and self-proclaimed dr. phils from sea to shining sea. to me, it's more than just a word. a lot more. it's an open door, the key to success, the holy grail, the meaning of life, a blessing, a curse, a destiny, it's everything.

i know i'm not the only one who feels the wind blowing in a different direction of late. it's more than just fall coming; it's our cue to move forward, despite whatever mystery lies ahead. only then can we come into our purpose. i think i may finally be ready to do that.

Sweet Home (posted to Facebook on 8/28/08)

i want to
return to down home
a world of
"babe" and "hon"
and easy smilin,
food for the soul.
dreams envelop me
like aromas from
the kitchen:
us, walking in Memphis
together, hands in
harmony, feet in time
with the Beale Street Blues.
loving the endless summer,
days dragging on
like cicada songs,
knowing that i'm
where i need to be.

Holding Hands with an Angel (posted to Facebook on 8/26/08)

i still dream about it...
reaching across the chasm
to grasp your hand.
i didn't make it there,
but i did catch a glimpse
of your angelic face
and the smile that graced it;
a light piercing through,
compassionate and pure--
it caused tears to flow down
from my eyes.
a whole world separates
us now...an entire destiny
graced by another
more capable goddess than i.
i am vexed, yet consoled for the moment
by this bittersweet phantasm--
the vision of you...
reaching out for my hand.

this is not drug-induced rambling, i assure you (posted to Facebook on 8/22/08)

so i'm sitting here, day 2 after my surgery, and i'm trying to figure out why in the world they call them wisdom teeth. they don't make you any wiser, they just hurt. imagine coming home from the oral surgeon's office in pain so intense it consumes you. it's all you can think about. in fact, it's the only proof you have that the surgery actually happened.

there's a reason why i say that. i remember being led into an austere room on wednesday afternoon, being hooked up to monitors, having my blood pressure taken, getting an IV hooked up to me. i was nervous as all get-out. i had no idea how much the process itself was going to hurt; i have a low pain tolerance. so i closed my eyes and tried to relax. the beeping of the machines drowned out the crappy "waiting room music" i had been aimlessly tapping my foot to. the doctor told me, "it may take a few minutes for the medicine to kick in."

the next thing i knew, i was sitting in a completely different room with a wheelchair next to me and gauze in my mouth. it was like one of those movies where the doctors drug you and do unauthorized experiments and things, and you wake up having no idea what just went on...except i wasn't bound and gagged, and the room was well-lit. and i got to go home. i don't think that happens in horror movies.

everyone says the meds they put you on are pretty amazing. but i have to disagree. "amazing meds" would knock me and my pain straight out and have me sweet-dreaming. it didn't exactly happen that way. one of the medicines made me feel pukey, if such a word exists. and take right now for example. my teeth are throbbing out the rhythm of "nichinichiso" by bonnie pink, and i definitely just took some ibuprofen.

but i will admit...i have had a lot of ice cream. getting your wisdom teeth taken out leads to what may be one of the best diet plans ever. think about it: eat as much apple sauce and oatmeal as you want, and eat loads of ice cream. what health plan that you know of lets you eat all kinds of ice cream? i mean, i've probably consumed only like 2,000 calories in 3 days. and your stomach doesn't growl, and you don't really feel hungry...because you've got other problems on your mind.

i do have to say that i still have to count my blessings. there are people out there who don't even have teeth. at least i have some, even if they hurt, right? i mean...it's true. i'm learning not to take things for granted. just last week i could chew. now i eat like i'm on a gerber commercial.so in the end, maybe wisdom teeth do make you wise in some respects. we may never know for sure...

Consequence (posted to Facebook on 8/7/08)

i'm crying out for a hand to hold and a
soul to ode. the desired muse is near but far;
i feel it, feel it blessing me
with this curse, burning an image onto
my vision that will never become real.

i knew it all along...yet i chose not to avert my eyes.

fantasia (posted to Facebook on 8/7/08)

you have called me outside
of myself, and now
i fly into life
harmonious, hopelessly
and willingly possessed.
i am merely a vessel,
a canvas for the
performance of a phenomenon.
allow me to follow
in the steps of your
sweet sonata,
make love to my ears
with magnificent melody.
i am your instrument,
patiently waiting to be played.

20/20 (posted to Facebook on 7/24/08)

i see no
limits, no
clouds, no
straight shot
vision, so
perfect, so
inviting. i'm

lost in its
warmth, a
hot chocolate sea.

a gaze clear and vibrant
finds me, bids me
come closer from every
corner. and i
start to move,
a puppet of
entranced by

trembling in the wake
of that ecstasy feeling,
fighting to stay sane
when it tempts me, eventually

i succumb to the
silent summons.
i never want to leave;
the look has frozen me. i'm

lost in its
warmth, a
hot chocolate sea.

sUrrealisM Ever (posted to Facebook on 7/21/08)

i can only
what it
would be like
for our fingers
to intertwine and
your eyes to find me
as one to be Cherished
kissed gently
loved fully.
as the moon
gives way to
sunlight, the beating of
your heart next to mine
wanes. in Reality
it is a tale
never to be told
a song
never to be sung
a beautifully Unwritten
me and YOU.

Ebony (posted to Facebook on 7/18/08)

the color of creation
in its simplest form,
there when
it was not
and now that
it is.
deepest black,
darkest chocolate,
the tip of a pencil,
the steps of a people.
holding power in his hand,
he conquers a void
blank and virgin
and his masterpiece
chants its praise
for beauty bestowed
and genius granted.
he listens to
the shouts rise
to the midnight sky,
with a content smile
and a gleam in his eyes,
knowing what he's done is right,
saying this is
love, this is
life, this is

Recluse (posted to Facebook on 7/17/08)

Sitting in a box
Watching my sanity sink beneath rocks
While breathing in toxic air
With a crystalline stare
At everything lost--
Thoughts of how much it cost.

I told them to go,
To leave me dead to the world in the snow
Of this winter unending
For their laughter was rending
My heart to the grave
With no pieces to save.

And now I rue
All the things that I said to them and to you
Because nothing's here
But my imperfect fear...
It's my fault I'm alone;
I need saving...and home.

anatomy of the creative process (posted to Facebook on 7/14/08)

it's funny when you've got the world at your feet but your mind is the blankest of blank slates. i should know. i hate it when people tell me to write a poem about something totally random, like penguins or the stock market. on one hand, i get this insane (inane?) feeling of intense obligation. i envision myself staying up until 3:27 in the morning, the light still on in the office, my mom rousing herself from sleep to tell me that it's WAY past my bedtime (and to give me a facebook curfew instead of just a chat one this time--at least until i get my own laptop)...and it's not a pretty sight. i've got bags the likes of a Louis Vuitton suitcase set under my eyes, i can barely move my hands anymore, and my bed is calling my name, but dang it i still have to write this darn ode to Wal-mart for my good friend _______ whom i just met yesterday (that's why the blank's there: i can't remember the dude's name) and i can't stop until it's as awesome as something robert frost or e.e. cummings could have come up with...and that's where i pass out cold with visions of rollback smileys bouncing around in my head.

on the other hand, and possibly BECAUSE of anticipation of the first, i find myself giving the needy party a "you must be on crack" sort of look as i decline their fruitless offer...i mean, what do i look like, a poetic Santa Claus that delivers your desired verse the next morning, eating from a plate of Oreo cookies you set out for me last night for inspiration? i mean, come on, people...i don't even like chocolate.

don't get me wrong...i wish it were that easy for me to cater to everyone's literary needs. but it's just not possible. you see, from the first moment the writing bug bit me at the tender age of...uh...whenever the heck that was, i've experienced a problem typical among writers, a problem i like to call a poetic stuh-stuh-stuh-stutter, what most normal people call writer's block. but this isn't just your garden variety oh-my-gosh-i-so-totally-lost-my-train-of-thought hindrance of the creative process...for me, it's more like oh-my-gosh-my-train-of-thought-so-totally-just-CRASHED. subtle differences, very subtle.

picture this: you've just had this wonderfully inspiring day, and you even got to watch the sun set over a most picturesque horizon--so breath-taking you cried when it was over like you were a really emotional person at your 3rd viewing of "the notebook." you really want to capture that moment forever, whether by computer, pencil and paper, chalkboard, or stone tablet. you sit down a scant 3 minutes later to create your awe-inspiring masterpiece...and the whole experience flees from your mind's eye like a bug from a stiletto heel.

or how about this one: you find yourself in emotional ecstacy; the guy (or girl) of your dreams is becoming more of a reality each day. you want to find some way to shout how you feel to the heavens without waking the neighbors (don't worry, you'll get the joke in a few days...). so you pull up facebook notes, poemhunter.com, microsoft word, or a good old stack of college ruled paper, prepared to write until that God-forsaken 3:27 in the morning if you have to, ready to send your work to all your friends via email, usps, pony express, pigeon, or brick through a window (that's only if you're just so hood you and your friends don't have mailboxes). you have so many overwhelming emotions to express, so much rapture in your mind that if you don't get it out you're likely to implode...but your pen hasn't moved. it's 3:29 and 15 seconds and the screen is still blank. and you feel an uncomfortable pressure in the cranial area...

so now you understand the poetic stuttering process. it's funny how i call it the poetic stutter...and i just finished reading a book where the main character has a really bad stutter of the verbal persuasion. but anyway, that's beside the point. when you're at the mercy of a stutter of the creative persuasion, you find yourself with creative-side headaches, psychosomatic or otherwise, for days on end because that one profound topic just never sounds right on paper. the pen's frozen in your hand, the blank word document's staring back into your pitifully blank eyes, the cursor blinking back and forth in some sort of horribly silent cyberspace derision...but you're helpless to stop it, unless of course you shut off the computer, pick up your playstation 2 controller, and begin to play an RPG to take the pain of the failure away by beating the living poopy-doopy out of those zombie looking things.

"wait!" you're probably saying. "but how do you get any writing done if that darn stutter is such a problem for you?" well, returning to my hypothetical situation...let's just say that one day, you're eating some lucky charms, or sitting in church, or taking a shower, or something random. you haven't thought about that darn PS for quite some time. and all of a sudden, you have an epiphany. it's like the muse of poetry just came within six inches of your face and slapped you upside the head...you'll have to excuse her, she's probably having one of those days. you drop your spoon, or your Bible, or your loofah sponge, whatever, in this great moment of realization. you scrounge around for a pencil and a napkin or an offering envelope or something, ANYTHING to write on. and before you know it, you've just finished what might be one of your best works ever in the short, long, or otherwise described history of your works. alliteration, end rhyme, metaphor, synesthesia...it's all there, perfect--your miracle rained down from the heavens. just don't lose that church bulletin, and you'll finally be able to tell the world of the blessing of verse you've just received. thus proving that it's true what they say...what you're searching for will only want to be found when you're not actually searching for it...the ultimate catch-22.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Violin (posted to Facebook on 7/12/08)

My hands are shaking with an epileptic consistency. I'm waiting for the judges to call my name, so I can rise, play, bow, sit down, leave. It's that simple, a seemingly ancient ritual that I've known since I was in elementary school.

But why be so nervous then?

Three Overton High School students, teenagers who attend the Memphis City School known for its prowess in the arts, sit stiffly in front of me, their tuxedos straight, their demeanors focused. And here I am, a Cordova High School kid, slightly slumped in my chair, my violin casually placed in the open case next to me, eyes darting this way and that in my nervousness. My mom is sitting near me in Hamilton High's auditorium. She puts a warm, slightly comforting hand on my shoulder. I turn around, and she reads the look on my face before it even settles in. "Don't worry about them," she says, "focus on the music."

The music...the music. I close my eyes, trying to wipe my sweaty hands on my skirt, chanting this mantra to myself, willing my mind to stop its pinball progress from thought to thought.

And that's when they call my name. It's show time, I think to myself, not exactly soothed, but not as skittish as I was before. As long as I get through, it'll be fine. As I climb the stairs to the stage, I say a quick prayer to God, asking for a serene spirit no matter what happens.

As I place my bow on the strings, my breathing slows. There's a huge shift at the beginning, and I have to focus or I'll miss it completely. I know that the audience is staring at me intently; as the only violinist in a sea of singers and pianists, it's expected. The dead zone silence between the end of their applause and the beginning of my first note seems infinite. So I take deep breath and start at last.

The essential shift from A to A calls me into a world where nothing else matters. This song, Czardas, has become an escape for me. My existence has of late been plagued by the hustle and bustle of senior year deadlines and drama. But when I place the violin under my chin, when I feel that familiar weight on my shoulder and proceed to play those first five notes...all that troubles me melts away like the last of dreary winter snow in the face of spring.

The solemn melody casts a spell on me, willing me to forget, telling me to rest in the otherworld of Monti's creation. As I play this time, at the competition, the same is true; the voice calls, I answer. And rapture rises from the strings. There is a deep relationship between the music and me. It's one of understanding, of love. Each passage in the song awakens a different emotion for me. It's as if Monti and I are discussing facets of existence over dinner--and understanding each other, beyond barriers of language and time. Though I miss notes in places where I've practiced countless times, that doesn't change how the piece affects me; as in any intimate relationship, the good and the not-so-good must be taken together.

My fingers caress the strings, my bow coaxing out their tones. I sway with the emotional windstorm that Czardas summons. Nothing else matters to me, not the few sour notes here and there, not the tuxedoed Overton High pianists...no one but me and my violin. My hands still shake some, but that's not what I'm focused on. Nervousness doesn't quite hold much importance.

A warmth fills my body as I reach the end of the piece. The notes come together, faster, faster still, and my fingers fly. Eighth notes, accidentals, dynamics...it's as if I hold the power of creation in my fingers.

The final chord brings the crowd to its feet in a generous ovation. The noise snaps me back into the reality of competition and everything else Id previously left behind. Until the next time I answer the call of the music, I have the memories of the experience past to hold on to.

I'm Not Ready for the End (posted to Facebook on 7/10/08)

Verse 1:
Kinda knew it
Kinda felt it when I met you
That it would be the nature
Of this moment to end.
Now it's here
You can tell that I'm not ready
To break apart from my baby
But you want to fade away
& I gotta say

Baby, don't tell me that it's over
Baby no, it can't be over
I'm not ready for the end

Verse 2:
Clock is ticking
And I'm trying to convince you
That I'll feel empty without you
But you aren't listening (oh no, no)
Boy, it's killing me
This is way too much for me to take
I don't know if I made mistakes
And I'm sorry if I did...is this still the end?

(repeat C)

Please, I'm begging you, you gotta stay with me
It's not time to turn this to a memory
Give me just another minute, one more second
Just to tell you that I love you, boy I really really love you
You and me can't let it end this way
Why you saying that you're packing up today?
I'm on hands and knees, just give it one more day
I promise I'll right all my wrongs don't let me hear you say

(repeat C)

Kinda knew it
Kinda felt it when I met you
That it would be the nature
Of this moment to end...

All My Heart Can Give (posted to Facebook on 7/9/08)

*the lyrics are mine, the melody is from a Chinese song whose title and performers i don't know the name of...*

If I had just a little bit to last us for a while
If I had just a little bit enough to make you smile,
It may be all I have to give, but that doesn't matter much;
For I know with it our love has to survive.

When the world brings me down, there is nothing more I wanna do
Than cuddle near the fire next to you.
And when the hard times, they come, there is nothing more I wanna do
Than lay there in your arms until they're over.

Cuz I know that I cannot live without you
And when I feel your touch, your kiss, my life gets better.
And when you smile, your light is the sun through all my clouds,
And all my heart can give is all my love.

(repeat C)

Though I realize one day we will fade away
I still want your heart, your soul, your mind to stay with me.

(repeat C, 2nd section, C 2x)

If I had just a little bit to last us for a while
If I had just a little bit, enough to make you smile I'd give it all.

Night (posted to Facebook on 7/8/08)

*Originally a poem for a project on the book Night by Elie Wiesel that I did in 9th grade. We were to underline phrases from the book and make a poem out of them. So this is dedicated to Elie Wiesel himself for the phrases themselves.*

An endless night.

Refusing to be apart,
We walked to our doom,
The same smoke over all our heads.

The assassin's face told us,
'Tomorrow's another day;
Hell's not for eternity.'

Our eyes shone with hope
Though we were but ashes,
Our eyes pits of terror.

We cried in one grave voice,
'Yitgadal veyitkadach shme' raba:
May His Name be blessed and magnified.'

But then we saw Him--
God, hanging on the gallows
Within the corpse of a sad-eyed angel.

In the anteroom of Hell,
He left like a wind-swept shadow,
And hope followed soon after.

Then, I touched Death
And argued with Death;
It filled me with a great void.

I won't forget
That hopeless darkness
Or the silence that murdered my dreams.

It deprived me of the desire,
That longing for life
And turned my life into one long night...

An endless night

Saturday, May 23, 2009

My Testimony (posted to Facebook on 7/8/08)

i come from a family of preachers and choir members. yes. that's probably where the tendencies to sing out loud and to talk a lot probably come from. i mean, most of my relatives on my mom's side can carry a tune a long way, and my dad's a preacher, my granddad pastors a church in new york...and those are the ones i know about. so i was immersed in the Bible and the concepts of church and fellowship at an early age. i got baptized at about 7 or 9 or so. joined the angel choir, was a junior usher, went to Sunday school, the works. we used to have devotion on saturday nights, and we woke up early on Sunday mornings to get to Sunday school and everything on time.

but once i got out of Sunday school and sat down for the service, my attention went elsewhere. the singing was great...i mean, i've always loved music. but when the sermon came around...i was nodding off. or reading. or something. and this went on throughout middle school and part of high school too.

the thing of it is, though, i would sit there and call myself "witnessing" to other people, but i was no better than a sinner. i claimed to love God, but i didn't really care so much about Christianity. so i was like, "whatever. i got baptized. i should be good." and i went on cussing, and lashing out at people, and not really leading by example.

the summer of 2006, we started going to a new church, right down the street from our old one. at first, nothing changed too much. i just didn't really fall asleep on the sermons anymore. but church was still just something to do before Sunday dinner. a week or so later, i left for andover, and let's just say the Bible was one of the last things on my mind. all i knew was, i was away from my parents and the stuffy traditionalism that seemed to squeeze the life out of EVERYTHING.

but some stuff went down that left me feeling pretty low (there's a pun in there somewhere...way to ruin a serious part, right?). and these aren't the sort of what-did-you-do-at-camp-today things that you can tell your parents about and still be truthful at least 80% of the time. so i basically had no real help with my situations. and of course i couldn't help myself. so i just sat there, holding the trauma, the drama, and the stupid mistakes in my heart, because even though they were burning me pretty badly, there was no safe place to put them away. it got to the point where i was telling myself off, blaming myself for letting things get bad, belittling myself to a pretty dangerous extent. many of my friends at school became afraid of me because i always had a volatile state of mind. just ask any of them. as nice as they are, they will probably break down and tell you about that.

i trudged through my existence junior year as if it were mud. academically, everything was peachy. but inside me was a tangled mess of emotions and secrets that didn't need to be kept, but couldn't be told. but one day, things started to clear up.

a guy in one of my classes often talked about how happy believing in Jesus made him. he told me that he genuinely loved God in spite of his situations. something in me could tell that he tried to live by the Word. we started passing notes to each other in class (still trying to listen to the teacher, of course). and when i needed encouragement, or a laugh, or a prayer, he sent it to me in a not-so-neatly folded sheet of notebook paper. we were talking about Christianity one day, and the subject came up of baptism not saving a person. Romans 10:9-10. right there in everyday conversation. i realized that i had been baptized because i knew of Jesus and my parents accepted that because i was young. but i didn't know Jesus. i could quote some scriptures, sure. i could pray, you bet. but there was no conviction behind the words. there was no meaning. it was like water that couldn't quench thirst: present, but not effective in the least. it was then that i knew what i had to do.

that night, i got down on my knees and said a sincere prayer to God. and i remember actually feeling something within me. like part of me was being made new. it was simply the most beautiful feeling i'd ever felt. forgiveness of sins. true adoption into the family of God. a second chance. it was all there. i felt tears roll down my cheeks as i climbed into bed, having written another poem and started a new life in the hope of one eternal.

now i know that i can go to God with anything...my past, my present, my future, my fears, my desires, my sins, my questions, my tears, my praise. He is the only one who will always accept what you lay at His feet. and it's glorious to know that there is Someone who loves unconditionally, no matter what you did, almost did, thought about doing, said you were going to do, or still do. a love that is all-encompassing is the most sought-after thing in this world. it seems so elusive, but it can be found. the Holder of such a love is standing before you with open arms...waiting for you to believe He is there, waiting for you to love Him that much in return.

Family Reunions (posted to Facebook on 7/7/08)

I love them so,
with the egg & spoon races
(grass stains all over),
the air thick with the smell of
barbeque ribs on the grills
and heavy with the shouts of the young'uns;
the old ladies (cackling with laughter)
the girls (singing, dancing).
Grandpa (telling about'When I was your age')
And the young boys around him
soaking it all in (or nodding off).
Then Cousin Junebug strolls up
In the bright red suit
and the smile showing bright white teeth.
As I watch the action, I must ask
With wide-opened eyes:
Mom, who are these people?

Revival (The Great Awakening) {posted to Facebook on 7/7/08}

I'm a clean sheet,
a blank expanse
where You may
write words of Love.
I am an Unblemished soul,
sacrificed for Your Glory,
Baptized in Light.
In this lucid Newness
I will write Your Word
and hide it in my heart;
I will make as Joyful a Noise
to You as David did.
I am refreshed, renewed,
and once again saved.

Psalm 51:10 "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me."

~Written 12/7/06~

Autobiography (posted to Facebook on 7/2/08)

they used to
laugh at her lisp,
but now she's talking pretty.
after suffering a few stings
by beloved queen bees
and wondering why
her own people pointed
and laughed...she said
"one day i'll fight these battles."
for now, she's sitting
behind her books,
report card sunny-side-up
on her desk. but she said
she'd get there sometime.
and sometime came.
because she found fight
in her fingers one day,
saw red and showed them all
just how bright and bloody it was...
but it still didn't feel right.
so she let herself be buried
under the rubble of harsh words,
the sticks and the stones,
voice choked in by cries.
one night, bleary-eyed, those fingers
poked out from those ashes
and grasped the power of a pen.
she pulled herself out--
never mind the damage done--
and began to find
peace in poetry.
no stuttering this time,
they're hearing it ring carillon-clear:
every line in place,
the anger erased,
imperfections replaced,
she's starting to taste
victory now, now that
pressure's met praise.
fingers have stopped pointing;
instead hands are clapping--
does it sound like she's still lisping?

Confessions on a Dance Floor (posted to Facebook on 7/2/08)

your hands met my body
in powerful acquaintance
and we swayed together,
driven closer by the music.

anything could have happened:
i was young,
you were restless...
the night was full of a pleasant heat.

i reminisce from the calm days of now,
remembering back then's fire,
wondering if a spark
still sleeps within me.

Dido (posted to Facebook on 7/1/08)

they weigh me down:
stones of a funeral pyre
cut to bear a sacrifice.
the air stagnant,
still as my eyes
staring straight ahead into
sweet oblivion,
saccharine slaughter.
a smile played at my lips
even when i knew
the nature of these stones--
not a monument to a
deathless love
but an altar for a
hapless wretch
blinded by possibility,
dazzled by supposed fortune.
as gentle hands
bind me to the truth
and bear me to
the peak of shameful deception,
a horrific epiphany strikes my soul:
to believe that i once wished
to kiss lying lips
is a burden borne
beyond the grave.

Lesson Learned (posted to Facebook on 7/1/08)

they told me to wait.

and i sat
twiddling my fingers,
rolling my eyes,
resisting their voices
ringing true in my head.

i couldn't take anymore, so
i stood and fought,
forced the tides to turn
for me, myself, and my
restless mind.

but my soul was never
satisfied...i kept fighting,
sacrificing sense to appease it.
soon, there stood a hole
at the bottom of my heart.

as i collapsed, weak from
a war but weary of warnings,
that incessant voice from
above and inside
whispered one word:


unclenching my fists,
willing myself to be still,
i succumbed to the word
that has never left,
but always waited for me--
the one i ignored in the beginning.

now i feel my strength returning,
i see a warm horizon that i
never thought i'd see.

fate has forgiven my
failure to follow
the faithful voice.

i shall wait
for the sun to rise...
instead of forcing it to myself.

Uncertainty (posted to Facebook on 7/1/08)

the hope of tomorrow
has a fear of the dawn.
we find ourselves
wishing that night's safety
would never cease;
we realize that
we'll wake up
another day older
just to tread through
unfamiliar times
and places. we're afraid
to turn the pages
because we don't
know what's on the paper.
ignorance of the next note
makes it hard to face the music.
but if we don't begin
to dance...who will move?

Wash Me Clean (posted to Facebook on 6/29/08)

1)The rain outside falls like me
Like the man who ate the Serpent Fruit that day
his face is muddied with his sin
and I remember how I felt
when I first experienced redemption long ago

Wash me clean
so I'm pardoned not convicted
so that the falling guilt shatters on the floor
I need to be baptized in nostalgic feeling
so the tempter's hand can't rot me anymore

2)The water washes over me
Lord, I feel Your wings protecting me from harm
as if I'd never strayed away
and now I'm feeling so renewed
like a child reunited with his father once again

(repeat Chorus)

I never thought you'd ever cleanse my soul again
after I had dirtied myself with the carnal things

(repeat Chorus 2x)

Sultry Red Beauty (posted to Facebook on 6/27/08)

I'm nervous on the sidewalk,
pacing back and forth
in my ruby red stilletos.

(I hope I look beautiful.)

I'm waiting under a full moon,
in front of your apartment,
eyes on my red-strapped watch.

(You're taking your time, beautiful.)

I'm growing impatient now;
and I look like a streetwalker
in my siren red strapless.

(The men say, 'Hello, Beautiful.')

I see you parking now, late as ever.
You're on the driver's side
of a blood-red Ferrari.

(I always thought that car was beautiful.)

You're stepping out of the car,
And walking to the other side
To hold open the red door.

(A gentleman...how beautiful.)

A woman steps out of the car:
A vixen if I ever saw one,
White smile parting shiny red lips.

(Now I don't feel so beautiful.)

You walk to your apartment door,
your hands, your lips all over her...
At last, you're caught red handed.

(You'd told ME I was beautiful...)

If this is how you treat the comely,
I'd rather be the repulsive Medusa
and stone you for your red deception.

(Revenge is sweet, beautiful.)

God's Speaking to You (posted to Facebook on 6/27/08)

Let My Love be the gentle breeze that whispers and wakes you at dawn
or the sun that smiles its bright warmth upon you.
Let It shade you like the oak you lay underneath
or cushion you like the grass you rest on.
Let It be like the mountains that guard the dells
or the air you breathe that shields you from death.
Let It be a river flowing into the ocean--
joining you to Me and stretching endlessly.
Let My Love be like the stars
that you question yet admire at the same time.
Let It be the full moon, a hole of light
that guides you even in the darkest sky.
If anything, always remember this:
I and My Love will be with you all day.

Thoughts at Twilight (posted to Facebook on 6/2/08)

when dark falls, i
make a starry wish
to soon see in your eyes
what you feel in your soul.

my bedside prayers
envelop us both
in the wonderful warmth
of a destiny shared.

sleep sings to me;
i dream in the night
of finally finding
that elusive cloud nine...

because thus far,
all i've discovered
in the dew of the day
is cloud eight and a half.

love and Shakespeare (posted to Facebook on 5/30/08)

now i know
exactly why
romeo ached to be
the glove on juliets hand
as she rested her cheek upon it
or why their kiss
was the purest sacrilege,
a ritual made bya hypocritic priest.

it's the same
reason that petruchio
tamed the unruly
shrew, the reason
seeing you causes
the tempest to
arise in me
again and again.

i am not caesar's coward
that dies a thousand deaths. for
i am rejoicing in this
sweet sorrow no matter what

it brings. this is the
reason why i will
always compare you
to a summers day
even in the dead of

Fall From Grace (Angel No More) {posted to Facebook on 5/30/08)

Verse 1:
Life is like a broken dream
And I can't even feel you out there anymore
(No I can't, and it kills me)
Baby, yes I'm still your angel
But my wings fell out so long ago
And now flying o'er horizon's just a wistful stare

My Nirvana's shot to Hell
And I do not think that there
Will ever be a sanctuary here
A demon rages in my soul
My body longs for desecration
Though I know there's no light beyond the tunnel there
And Twilight calls to me
Bids me sleep endlessly
The halo from my hair
Falls to the floor.

Verse 2:
If you see my broken heart
Could you tell it where I am and where I'm gonna be
(It I've lost, and I'd like it back)
I'm consumed by flames of darkness
And my mind is cursed with fantasies
That I know will never be more than forgotten dreams
My Nirvana's shot to Hell
And I know for sure that there
Will never be a sanctuary here (in me)
That demon rages in my soul
A beast that I still yearn to vanquish
But I've no strength to lift my hand and crush it there
The darkness calls to me
And now I cannot sleep
I'm begging baby save
Me from myself
(repeat section)

And sunlight blinds my eyes
Catches me by surprise
I know I'll never see
That dawn again

1st Kiss (posted to Facebook on 5/30/08)

That's the only word
that fits that
Now I ache
for just another taste
of that decadent kiss,
long for that tempting
sensation across my lips.
It was sickly surreal
(I MUST have been dreaming).
And the only word worthy is

So Maybe I'm Still Sprung (posted to Facebook on 5/29/08)

So maybe I'm still sprung
because I still keep his smile to keep me warm
And under his sunshine is still where I belong,

Still sprung,
because his arms are still that gentle blanket
that calls to me in the midst of this rough place,

Still sprung,
because his voice is still that perpetual song
that makes love to my ears and sticks in my memory,

Still sprung,
because that dream I once had of us
still tugs at my eyelids and laughs.

Yes, maybe I'm still sprung...
because some habits take time to break
(and maybe that's time I don't want to take) .

Memories, Stormclouds, and Floodwaters (posted to Facebook on 5/29/08)

Verse 1:
Now our love is like
I'm a wanderer and you're my sacred homeland
Surrounded by an ocean
I can tell you now
Baby, I would walk that water just to reach you
But still I'd keep on drowning

All I see is broken dreams
of you and me together
Life would be much better
Without those floods of memories
I know you're not my destiny
And my heart can't keep from breaking
Life would be much better
If I didn't have those memories now.

Verse 2:
A new day has dawned
But the sky is vexed with unfamiliar stormclouds
What happened to our sunlight?
I mean it when I say
Baby I would walk on water just to reach you
But I'm so sick of drowning

(repeat C)

As I'm watching it rain out my window
I cannot help thinking of you
Though I know it be the nature
of good things to end
My mind won't let those memories rest
Though the album's closed and dusty
And it's all that I can do to wake
My sanity again

(repeat C 2x)

If I didn't have those memories now
Baby I would walk on water just to reach you...

City Beat Poetess (posted to Facebook on 5/29/08)

I wake up to my
loud alarm clock numbers.
Thus begins another
day when the pavement
I touch becomes
a moment I feel, when
hailing a cab
bends my will
more than my wallet.
Every day I frown at
construction workers scraping
the sky with steel; their feats
are accomplished and
I can't even build a
loft of words.
Casual coffeehouse
encounters become
caresses in a penthouse suite.
Another day, another
poem in motion
sounds a siren in my head.

Innocence (posted to Facebook on 5/29/08)

I see them strolling, engaged in their
chatter: with full
faces untouched by
the OmyGods of years,
smiles sincere and
filled with the hope of
allowances and new Christmas presents.
They have minds that know no clutter,
not distracted by thoughts of the
forbidden fruit the
Serpent sells, not aching to make
furtive love in a bed deemed invisible
by shadows. Their laughter causes dark
tears to slide from my weary
eyes; I miss the times when my only worry
was who would play with me at recess.

Phantasm (posted to Facebook on 5/29/08)

A forbidden dream of
a forbidden dream...

It never ceases to
seduce me.

Drunk on an erotic scent
and ringing with
symphonic speech,
I can't seem to ponder any
reason but together.

Pondering proximity,
your hands, my skin...

a midnight menagerie of emotion...

It's only reality
that redeems,
telling my reluctance
to rise and shine.

Enigma (posted to Facebook on 5/28/08)


Verse 1:
It's like trying to conquer demons
in a deathly place,
trying to fight the feelings I get
when I see you.
I know we can never be
but I cannot erase
all my fantasies,
thoughts of you being close to me.

I love you 'cause I don't have a choice;
and all I can think about is your voice;
and all I can think about is your smile;
and it's driving me crazy

Verse 2:
Don't know why it hurts me so;
I still can't get enough,
and I can't help thinking 'bout
all the ways I love you.
I know I have to move on
but it's near impossible.
Yes, I long to see the light...
but the clouds are so beautiful.

(repeat C)

You tore my heart out
and killed a destiny,
but still I'm running
back to love you.
All I know is
everything hurts me
but still I'm running back to the storm

(repeat C)

It's like trying to conquer demons
in a deathly place,
trying to fight the feelings I get
when I see you

The Entertainer (posted to Facebook on 5/28/08)

Verse 1:
What are my lyrics to you?
Now they don't make you smile
and they don't make you feel good.
I can't seem to find a way to your heart.
But now I realize
that's not the melody we made;
It's another song
by another someone
that you'll sing just the same.

Every page
that you wrote my story on
now curls up in the fire
that you watch with blazing eyes.
I knew that this would happen.
You don't care about the music;
you just care about the audience
that listens to it played.

Verse 2:
There you go again:
performing in front of all of them.
They cheer, they clap for an encore
and I remain forgotten.
All I am is notes to you,
that you can play when you want to,
and when you're tired of me
you'll just pick up another song.


Just another song
with a rhythm and a melody,
just another song...but you can't see the meaning
(repeat 2x)
just another song
but I'm stronger than you think
I'll pick myself from the ashes
and I'll sing me loud and clear


I don't need youto sing my song for me
(repeat 2x)

Late Night Write (trying to make you <3 me) {posted to Facebook on 5/24/08}

The clock
on my dresser
tells me that it's
late as hell, and
the batteries in
my CD player
announce that they're
not long for
this world. My eyes
are heavy, hands
are shaking from
lack of sleep, I'm
running out of paper
too if that's important,
but my pen is going
still. I'm writing you
that I hope is
good enough to
make you think,
to remind you
of that pathetic little
girl who kept
trying to catch your eye.
I'm sitting here
that you will never
want me, never
want to
touch me, look
in my eyes, or
speak words of
love to me, if
you only see
me. But maybe
my words are
beautiful enough
to make up
for all that I
lack. I only
wish that you
would love me,
and all I have
to make that happen
are the lines that my
pen's spitting on the
page right now;
right now, while
the clock
on my dresser
tells me that it's
late as hell, and
the batteries in
my CD player
are dead.

Alicia Keys (posted to Facebook on 5/24/08)

One day,
You told me
that i remind You of Her
and assured me
that that was good thing.

And i was graced
with the deliciously sweet
feeling of reflecting
Her eternal grandeur,
the look in Her eyes
as She poses for
photographers at the Grammys,
Her face flawless and dynamic,
Her body a series
of perfectly alluring curves.

i basked in the light
of Her fingers gracing the
slick black-and-white keys
that She named Herself after;
i erupted in joy at the thought
of my song and Hers in
total harmony.

i rejoiced thoroughly
at the prospect of being
beautiful to myself
inside and out,
for the very first time...

and then i found out
that You were a compulsive liar.

One Hit Wonder (posted to Facebook on 5/22/08)

it's a simple melody that
lives in my ears,whispers into my mind,
compelling me to sing
over and over
and over again,

vocal chords caressing each note;
crescendo, decrescendo,
eighth note, quarter.
rising in octaves,
falling in fifths--
a major minor undertaking.

lyrics flowing easily,
verse by verse,
line by line,
each syllable speaking sentiment.

i snap my fingers,
pat my feet,
so in love
with this little tune.

every day i wake
to my wonderful melody.
i hum it through noon.
sometimes the key changes,
but the story stays the same.

soon what was once
wonderful won't let me sleep.

the sweet refrains
have begun to sour,
whispering unrest now,
not the beauty of before.

to mute this melody,
to forever stifle the sound,
would cause me great joy.

still, i can't stop listening.

Diving (posted to Facebook on 5/18/08)

I take a breath.
My heart flutters as it begins.
I'm sinking headfirst
into this soul-stirring ocean,
but I feel you guiding me,
your arms around me
as we enter this new land below.
The phenomenon of your love
finds me there
like light finds darkness.
All I see in this new world
is beauty; the glow that descends
from the distant sky
shines through the depths
of this full nothingness
like an exotic memory of joy,
a Nirvana under the surface.
I shudder from the chill
in this Atlantis we've found,
and yet I've never felt so warm.
As much as I want to stay
in this place forever,
I must still breathe--
I must return to Earth.
I rise, release this sensation.
But I still know, as reality returns
and I come out of the water,
that I must dive with you again

Synesthesia (posted to Facebook on 5/18/08)

if insanely beautiful were a color,
i know you'd consume it,
enjoying every bite...

but i can't make beautiful exactly.
and the thought makes my own stomach bitter.

so i'm still here:
forever listening to
the ambiguous sound
my emotions make
when splashed on a canvas

smelling of a three
o' clock morning
(yes, i'm still Awake
fervently contemplating
To Be or Not To Be).

i think i'd rather Be.
if my answer is Wrong,
then how will my fingers
still finish this work
you will soon quickly gobble
with your bright eyes?

i know i'm right
for once...i feel it
coursing through my hands
as i hear the concerto
the hues make on the canvas,
the easel trembling
and booming like a timpani.

this is my solo,
my fantasia of sight,
and it will look
as if Vivaldi
and Michelangelo themselves
blessed it with their talents.

the colors crescendo
as they blend (blues with greens,
reds with purples...),
now new and exotic
ambrosia to your vision.

the sonata of color
is finally complete.
(i taste success from a distance).
i find my work is sanely attractive,
and that is good enough.

Breathe (posted to Facebook on 5/18/08)

us Together.
The only thing Between us now
is the love we could never share.
My Tears are your Sorrow;
your Silence, my Symphony.

I felt when I met you
that we were closely Intertwined,
Fates Woven together
with intricate, Divine care.

But a dark feeling Gripped me:
a thought that you
would never see that truth.

That doesn't matter now,
because I'm finally Close to you,
just like I'd always desired to be.

I've only Told you before
how much I care,
but you thought to Show me
by this gentle Embrace,
this gift you've bestowed upon me.

You've unlocked me completely,
made me your Home,
warmed me to the core.

And I know that I wish
Your Arms to be
my Resting Place forever,
just like they are now;
Now, as we
Breathe as One.