nyc transplant, canadian soul. sporadic brushstrokes, occasional penmanship, continuous wandering.
serious asian problems: trying to figure out what to feed your sister’s non-asian friends when they stay for dinner
tl;dr the US makes consumerism easy and material convenience is addictive.
solid slabs of concrete don’t amount to
a city of coldness; tight spaces and
slivers of sky can’t block out the air.
(I breathed freely here.)
on foreign words like foreign roads
I stumbled over jagged edges
(it let the breeze into my veins, but it was me
that kept it in.)
isn’t it ironic that the shortest things
carve the deepest
I heard that from a dusty grey crow
perched on a linden tree.
so let’s lick the foam off our coffees, I’ll drink
the foam off my beer (and raise a glass
to the man with the guitar on the Pankow train.)
we were painted like the walls, reckless.
(cut me now, I think I’d still bleed prussian blue.)
Tu étais formidable, j’étais fort minable
Nous étions formidables
Here among the stone and shale
I missed the sharp salt of the sea
but you are rain, and you are spring
I drank you in; and you drowned me.
For I was raised in cedar bark
in salmon streams, on eagle wings
leaves may curl, but not pine, not I
drenched deep to my soul in green.
Pinks and reds are fleeting dreams
whispered the wind between the trees
but trust the ground beneath your feet.
In this earth let your roots run deep
and wrap me up in mist; you’ll keep
these trails to home forever green.
Under a deep indigo sky the beast bares its belly in slumber; for a moment, the city rests its claws, lowers its spines, slows its breath.
A filigree tension hangs in the eerie quiet, suspended between the exhaustion in my lungs and the solemn stares of a few strangers. A span of only a few hours stretches miles of distance between us and the hordes of faceless masses, and I wonder if they too are spinning stories about the people who take buses before daybreak, if maybe he is going home and she is only leaving, if she has only gotten up, if he saw the last sunrise too.
The pigeons— long awake, not bound by paint lines and pen lines— seem to fly a little faster, or is it that I’ve found myself moving in slow motion? Without the drowning inundation of noise and movement and light my words are heavier. I fall silent instead, as if a wrong step would crack the brittle-cold air and pour dawn into the streets.
I raise my eyes to the sky, where already night is in retreat against pink-stained clouds. It is always the city that catches you unawares, never the reverse.
In which I also discover that I seem to be a terribly uninteresting person:
1. I have a particular order of how I do things in the morning and if it doesn’t happen I get a little antsy. I also like sweet things for breakfast, and it makes me sad if I have to eat something savoury.
2. I detest celery and carrots with more passion than I have for most of my schoolwork.
3. There are six post-it notes on the wall behind my desk right now, and four of them are recipes (in case you’re interested, they’re for cinnamon sugar scones, crepes, granola, and pumpkin mug cake…)
4. I am extremely particular about my use of stationery, and also rather proud of my handwriting. It’s an expensive preference, unfortunately.
5. I still have the same eraser from high school. I’m determined to finish it.