Friday, November 18, 2011

11.19.11 | Library of Babel

It is interesting how literature is but permutations of the twenty-six letters of the English language, and punctuation. The meaning that arises from works of literature are thus not in the letters, which all pieces have in common. Each permutation is linked with at least one idea—often even an association of multiple ideas—and it is the interactions of these that gives rise to meaning in literature. Therefore each person’s experience of a work of literature would be different, as no two people associate everything in the same way. For the same reason, a book has always “changed” by the second reading, as the reader’s experience and mental processes would have been modified by the first reading.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

11.18.11 | Circular Ruins

Did Borges dream us up? In a sense, yes. Our roles as readers and critics of his works cannot possibly have been neglected by him—no writer could create without dreaming his audience into existence.

Monday, November 14, 2011

11.14.11 | Verbatim

People often imitate to mock. But if one is adopting the identity of the mocked subject, is he not just mocking himself?

Monday, October 24, 2011

10.25.11 | Rainbows in Greyscale

Nothing can be truly colourless, for the word “colourless” itself already contains its negation. It is all relative. In order for an idea to be truly “colourless”, it cannot take such a name—the word “colour” shouldn’t be in the language in the first place: the mere concept of “colour” should be abolished. Therefore, if a culture did not acknowledge or distinguish colours, everything would be “colourless” because it lacks the concept of colour to begin with.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

10.05.11 | Sincerely, Your Reflection


Dear Writer,

You seldom smile, but when you do, your grin is noticeably crooked. Your chin is off-centre, too, and you blame it on the vacuum contraption that pulled your oversized head out of your mother’s womb. Your eyes were once bright and full of life, but now they are just dark voids, forced to swallow all those study notes at night and all throughout the day. They scarcely rest. Your nose is small and flatter than you’d wish. Your eyebrows are like brushstrokes but your raven hair and your glasses are always in the way. You cover your forehead in attempt to conceal your acne problem, but because of that you are simultaneously worsening it.

You are not the skinniest in your circle of friends, and nor are you fashionable. You fidget excessively and incessantly, pulling your shirt, adjusting your jacket, playing with your hands. You have spoken your native tongue for all your life but your lack of confidence often causes you to stutter.

But you do not manipulate your appearance to please others. You do not destroy your identity to disappear into the crowd. You have your own individual opinions—which somehow never fail to surprise people—and you pay attention to details that many tend to overlook. Although you have never watched a single episode of American Idol and neither do you bother finding out what Gossip Girl is about, you have your passions. You love to write, you love to read, you love to think. You take nature walks and pay the trees and birds the attention you believe they deserve but do not receive. You have longed all your life to become a polymath—despite your penchant for science and the English language—and you work hard to fulfill that dream, always questioning and looking for answers.

You are individual. You are yourself, and no one else can be you, no matter how hard they try. And trust me, there most certainly are many qualities in you that others want too.

Sincerely,
Your reflection

Saturday, October 1, 2011

10.01.11 | Your God is Not My God

Why is the word "religion" now so often interchangeable with "Christianity"? It irks me when people keep saying things like, "Oh, religion is so flawed, I can't believe you guys don't believe in evolution and natural selection but believe that we were made of clay by some oh-so-powerful dude." Hey, first of all, not all Christians reject the theory of evolution—some believe in science too. Secondly, Christianity may be a religion, but religion is not Christianity. Thirdly, not all religions contradict with the theory of evolution. Fourthly (but not necessarily "lastly"), why can't people believe in whatever they want to believe in? After all, science and religion aren't so different from one another.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

09.25.11 | My Tribute to Shakespeare

To love, or not to love?
That is the question—
Whether ‘tis nobler for the soul to suffer
The golden arrows of mischievous Cupid,
Or to take arms against a sea of passions,
And by opposing, quell them?

Saturday, September 17, 2011

09.17.11 | Metamorphosis?

I remember one of my homework assignments in first or second grade was to write a two-page essay on what we wanted to be when we grew up. I wanted to be an architect. A classmate said he wanted to be a box turtle because it has a lifespan of 150 years old.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

09.08.11 | Brain Fart

Before I could properly identify and escort the thought to my tongue, it dashed behind a door in the back of my mind and slammed it shut and locked it, refusing to come out no matter how hard I tried breaking in. The thought eventually suffocated and died.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

09.01.11 | In Your Blazing Light

No matter how brightly the sun will shine, half of me will always be in darkness. Even if you've got artificial lights shining all around me, my inside will still remain dark. And, even if you chop me into the tiniest atoms, the centres of those will never be exposed to light. But you could just simply throw me in a blender and consume me whole.

Friday, August 26, 2011

08.26.11 | A Spot of Sky

I saw a little spot of blue sky right before the sun set.
“Hello, blue sky,” I said. “What brings you here to Shanghai on this rainy day?”
It smiled and replied, “To inspire you, of course!”

Thursday, August 4, 2011

08.04.11 | The Old Me

I tend to fall asleep when I study SAT vocabulary. That is how I came across the piece of paper. (There are too many drawers around me, filled with too much old junk.) It is a page of black notepaper, something that was once very popular (around a decade ago, I believe), like gel pens. On this piece of paper is what seems to be a journal entry by the person who lived in my body five years ago. It goes as follows:
Hi! I can't believe it, but the summer of 2006 is nearly over! Eleven different guests have lived in our house THIS SUMMER! Right now, I am cleaning up my book shelf by messing up my room. Well, the only places that are messy are the doorways. It's such HARD WORK!! I also found the diary of me when I was only about 3 or 4 years old. I was SO cute! My mom wrote it for me.

Oh well, I going to JUNIOR HIGH in two weeks! Time flies as fast as a cheetah can run! Whew! I think my hands are getting tired... I think I'd better stop writing and get back to work...

By the way, we got LOTS of new Lego stuff this summer. AND I got lots more T-shirts.

Okay... That was rather embarrassing. (I had a thing for cheetahs, and I didn't always proofread my work.) But hey, I had only just finished elementary school then. Still, it's always awkward reading things from so long ago—I never remember I wrote it. In a way it's kind of like meeting a young cousin you never knew you had. After reading it so many years later, I think to my(current)self, "Goodness, what a kid I was! I was so immature, and my writing was so awful!" My eyes narrow at the piece of paper as an idea surfaces in my mind. "Perhaps I should respond to my twelve-year-old self and see how my future self will react to my reaction."

So I flip to the back of the notepaper and begin writing (with a chalky pen, the only writing utensil I could find that could write on black). I write:
SUMMER, 2011

Cheetahs aren't as fast as sound, light, and many other things. (They obviously can't travel the distance between San Fran and L.A. — without a plane — in 52 minutes, either.) Also, time can't

Here my pen has become a nuisance. The ink now refuses to cooperate and chooses to stay packed inside its comfy little shaft. I set the pen down in frustration. I type out what I have written and continue my response on my computer:
Also, time can't fly (not even figuratively, unless you somehow distort the spacetime fabric, which I still haven't managed to do): it just continues flowing, at its ever-constant rate. The seconds tick by, and with each tick, you realise that another tiny unit of this thing called "time" has disappeared. Forever. Never to come back again. But funny, isn't it, how this piece of paper captured the instances of me, while I was writing it? Was it the time that was captured, or just my thoughts during that time? Thoughts and time are irrelevant. You could spend an hour doing nothing, thinking nothing, but you could also spend a few minutes enlightening yourself with books or intellectual discourses with your philosophical friends (if you have any — I'm glad I do). Ah, how productive that would be. I could even change someone, too, in just a few minutes, just by introducing him or her to the art of thinking.

It's also funny how people say that time can change people. Oh, how wrong they are. Time itself cannot change anyone. It is, as I mentioned earlier, just a concept that continues flowing at its ever-constant rate. What truly changes someone is what the person does with that time: whom one meets, whom one comes to love, and what one consumes and thus becomes. I myself have changed oh-so-much over the course of this half-decade. So many people and things and events have had such an impact on me. So many inspirations, so many realisations. My clay is slowly hardening, but it is still wet. Unfortunately I'm still not sure what shape my clay shall be in the future. It seems as though most others my age are still more malleable than I am. Perhaps I should try to soften my own clay too.

Oh. College in a year. Good luck to me.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

07.30.11 | we play our cards

Cometh.
Don't tell me
someone
taps
on the porch.
I don't want to hear
sudden touch
crosses slowly.
Don't ask questions.
The Cardinal's.
I see you,
we met before.
His name and
settled first
smiling for the photo.
We play our cards.
I may change,
I was doing wrong.
There was a mad dog.
We've been waiting.

(By the way, this poem was "written" using the cut-up method. In other words, it's kind of like flarf.)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

07.17.11 | Bird of Prey

No, I mustn't
beat my wings;
they mustn't see me
falter.
Is my plumage
straight?
In line?
How else would I be able to
block
their orb of light?

Idiots.
I don't have to
preen
to shine
beneath my skin.
I don't have to
waste my time.
Even though they fix
their hide,
they still are foul
deep inside.

With the sharpest
pair of eyes—
the brightest part
of me,
mind you—
I gaze upon the world
below
and gaze until
my throat is sore
from screeching
curses at the horde.

Greedy, superficial,
mean,
beastly, mindless, gross…
not me!
What lowly creatures
tread the earth,
hauling dense trunks
on their feet.

The stupid men—
they think they're
smart
but what good
does all that paper do
when I could simply
steal it
and gain their power, too?

Yes, I have a sizeable,
pleasant treetop nest,
made from all those
twigs and leaves
that other fowl
could have used,
but how else would one
expect me to
survive
and live my life?

Those lowly beings—
powerless
without their guns
and planes.
False prowess!
It is not fair
at all
that I should not
be able to
wield a sword
nor fire a gun.

But lo!
What is that
searing pain
that rips through
my comely chest?
It felt like lead,
but does it matter,
now that I
will soon be dead?

Now my pinion
have to beat,
but now it is too late.
Too high I'd flown
and now it is
a great fall I must take.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

07.03.11 | Starry Eyed

Why do people always find babies adorable? Not just human babies, but baby animals as well, such as puppies, kittens, baby chimps, etc. Perhaps it is because these animals' eyes can never grow in size, so the babies would have larger eyes in proportion to their (smaller) bodies. Perhaps this attraction toward larger eyes is also the reason people wear make-up on their eyes to make them more prominent, and why certain races are often mocked for their smaller eyes.
But why is eye-size so important? Is it simply biological, physical reasons, or is it... symbolic? Eyes are often seen as one's "windows to the soul": perhaps larger eyes also suggest that more of the soul is revealed, that less of it is concealed from the viewers. (Also relates to the idea of babies being innocent...) Perhaps larger eyes also show a greater willingness to see into other people's souls as well.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

06.16.11 | While Studying...

And all of a sudden, I was jolted awake, and alert, I felt the venomous talons of Fatigue slowly releasing its death grip on my soul, returning it to my body.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

06.09.11 | Smoke and Mirrors

Sometimes I find myself staring into the mirror, scrutinising my reflection and waiting for it to make some mistake. I've always imagined it to live its own life in a parallel universe and only meet me in the presence of a mirror. What if I am the reflection? Is my "reflection" imitating me, or am I reflecting that?

Monday, June 6, 2011

06.06.11 | Words of Water Evanesce? Why Yes, Just Like Everything Else.

.


.
Right outside some Bingo Mall in Hongqiao on Sunday. At that moment I thought that I could just stand there, ruminating the transience of art and... well, everything.
.
.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

06.02.11 | What I Should Have Done (But Didn't)

I saw what you did
with that unripe Persimmon.
It had fallen off its Tree,
wanted to be free,
but it shriveled up
and died.

You picked it up,
just as you always did
with all the other little things
that caught your eye—
but you didn't put this one
in your pocket,
to my surprise.

You cupped it in your hands
and walked to the side of the road.
You placed it there
in the fertile soil,
to return it to the Cycle,
fulfilling its dream
betimes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

05.20.11 | Image of Imago: The Cabbage White

From afar it looks complete—head, thorax, abdomen. The antennae protrude from the head proudly but limp, and the four fragile ivory wings look more elegant than ever, as they are motionless. The feathery scales are silky as my fingers skim over them.
What delicate creatures, butterflies are.
But this one's dead.

05.19.11 | Look and Listen.

Ack!! Huh? W-what? S-s-socially awkward? Who, ME? Oh, um, okay. SO WHAT? I'm still a person. I still have ideas. Just give me time. Just let me get to know you. Better yet, let yourself get to know me. So please don't judge me by your glances that merely bounce off my shell no more than once. I may be socially awkward, but I still hope you hear what I have to say.

Monday, May 16, 2011

05.16.11 | Marionette

Why do puppets fascinate us so? Numerous stories have been based upon them, but what is it that makes them so magical and captivating?
Perhaps it is their mimetic appearance.
Made to look like us and act like us, puppets are imitations of man. They “live” the lives we write for them, in our fantasies of playing God. Puppets “feel” what we make them feel, “suffer” what we make them suffer, “die” when we cut their threads.
Though these puppets are thus manifestations of our cathartic nature, there still is that inherent compassion, that empathetic part of us that makes us feel a sorrow for them. The helplessness and the lack of freedom of these puppets touch that part of our souls and make us question our fates. Are we, too, perhaps the puppets of some greater power?

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

04.06.11 | Those Voices...

You see… the thing is—you know that voice inside your head that awakens and starts talking when it thinks you’re doing something wrong? Well, I’ve got multiple voices in my head. And they all conflict with one another. And they’re absurdist.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

04.05.11 | Message in a Bottle

What am I? I’m a glass bottle with a message inside of it. I’m bobbing about on the surface of the sea, on this sempiternal dividing line between the waters and the air, between reality and fantasy. Sometimes I see more sky, sometimes I see more fish. I’m being washed around, pushed by wind, by current, by all sorts of creatures, to do this, do that, not this, not that, but water never leaks in through my head—the cap’s screwed on too tight.

But what’s the message in the bottle, the heart of my existence? I don’t know yet. It’s still waiting to be found, read, and appreciated.

04.05.11 | Just the Two of Us

I dreamed we were geese. We were sitting there in the grass, just the two of us, neither of us talking, but both fully understanding the other, without words. The sea breeze smelled of tears that day.

Monday, April 4, 2011

04.04.11 | Just Shoot

She loved taking photos. Just for the fun of it. She didn’t care about how artistic her photographs would turn out or what she could do to make them “prettier”: they captured the teensiest points of time that would have otherwise slipped away, forgotten, abandoned, thrown into the realm of all the other things—whether joyous or tragic—consigned to oblivion, because she knew that behind every point lived a story.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

03.27.11 | Like Sand through my Fingers

Isn't it just so damn annoying when you wake up in the morning and think that you did not dream, only to be proven wrong later during the day when something you do triggers a sudden memory of what you dreamed of the previous night, after which you, just as suddenly as the familiarity came, forget what triggered the memory as well as the memory itself?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

03.26.11 | Blogs? Togs.

The character that people read about in your blog posts—is he/she really… you? How accurately do these pixels of text represent your true self? Are your portrayals your idealised self, or your inner child, or a sequestered demon waking in your mind?

And what if I’ve fallen in love… with the character in your blog?

Friday, March 18, 2011

03.18.11 | Internet

When all the people in the world die out, all the cities and the villages would be abandoned and become barren wasteland, but what will become of the Internet? Would there still be "activity" in the cloud? Would it be a "wasteland" too? Or would it even be any different than what it is now? What if all the power runs out? Would the Internet still "exist" then, with neither observers nor an entrance?
Also, will future civilisations be able to access our cloud, and would they use it the same way we treat fossils and historical artifacts we find nowadays? What if there have been such inventions in the past, but we just have not unearthed or discovered them yet?
Also, how much of our "false information" will the future civilisations take as true? Heck, how much false information are we already—wrongly—taking as true?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

02.10.11 | Build Me a Time Machine

If I were to go back in time and tell my younger self just one thing, I'd say, "Smile more!"