Monday Currently + book haul

Reading way too many books all at once again. Such is the life of a haphazard reader; I cannot ever just stick to one book throughout. Right now I am reading When Nietzsche Wept by Irvin Yalom, Women in love by D.H. Lawrence, It Must’ve Been Something I Ate by Jeffrey Steingarten, and Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov. Just finished Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke three days ago and I keep forgetting how cruel and unsparing it is. What a fucking writer, Alan Moore.

Writing this blog post. I haven’t written anything to completion these past couple of weeks and I’m still trying my best not to hate myself for that.

Listening to Alice by Cocteau Twins. I’ve been listening to Cocteau Twins for the entire week and my favorites so far: Cherry-Colored Funk, Pandora, Blue Bell Knoll, Ivo, Donimo, Alice, Carolyn’s Fingers, All Flowers In Time (DUH!!!!!!! I know it’s not Cocteau Twins but it’s still Elizabeth Fraser! And Jeff Buckley is just LOVE)

Thinking about how this Monday is going to be. I woke up relatively early, around 6:00 am but got up around 6:45.

Hoping to figure things out soon. My graduation is this Saturday. I canceled my attendance, so I wont be marching. I don’t have the patience for rituals and ceremonial bullshit; of course finishing university means a lot to me, but the marching I just cannot fucking understand. Well, now I am trying to figure out what I want to do and I find myself lost.

Wanting to speak to and see this certain person more… Ahhhh why am I so meek! Why am I so afraid of coming clean with my feelings! Why! Why! Why!

Feeling a jambalaya of feelings!!! So I’m enjoying Irvin Yalom the most right now, I would totally recommend him. I haven’t read anyone like him; secretly I want to be like Lou Salome in the book.

I’ve pared down my duties to only one—to perpetuate my freedom. Marriage and its entourage of possession and jealousy enslave the spirit. They will never have dominion over me. I hope, Doctor Breuer, the time will come when neither men nor women are tyrannized by each other’s frailties.

and

I hope too, you and I will become friends. I have many faults, as you’ve seen: I am impulsive, I shock you, I am unconventional. But I also have strengths. I have an excellent eye for nobility of spirit in a man. And when I have found such a man I prefer not to lose him. 

I mean?!?!?! God, if I were as brave as Lou Salome then I’d never have to feel anxious around this man I have feelings for! I could just go up to him and say, HEY, I DONT NEED ANYTHING FROM YOU, BUT I LIKE YOU. A LOT…… Ahha sometimes i gross myself out ngeuhhh

I am also past the first 100 pages of Lolita and I don’t know how much of Vladimir’s beautiful prose I can take to excuse the content. Truth be told, I am getting squirmy and squeamish reading about Humbert Humbert’s affairs with little Lo and now I am just angry at Humbert and don’t find the book that enjoyable anymore, but I am adamant about finishing it. I am still on the first pages of Women in Love and I’m still trying to get into the swing of Lawrence’s writing. As for Steingarten, I adore his food essays thus far. He’s the food critic of Vogue if I’m not mistaken? And happening upon his book was mere chance. I dropped a coin and when I picked it up, my eyes landed on his book, which was hiding beneath the shelves of the book thrift store. The pea cover attracted me and, well, I bought it. I’m really into food literature right now and have a couple of others lined up for my next purchase. There’s just something about food in literature! Reading about food, it always feels like home, even though I do not really have a home in the physical sense because this house does not feel like home, there is always that warmth in reading about food.

Eating nothing. I don’t eat breakfast because I get lethargic when I’m full. I’ll probably drink white tea later though.

Loving these perfect pair of trousers. I’ve been thrifting a lot of clothes lately and I found THE perfect pair of pants. I’m still debating with myself whether its color is burgundy, shiraz, maroon, or dark cherry red but who fucking cares, they fit perfectly and elongate my legs and it was such a steal. It’s very very difficult for me to find a good pair of pants, so finding this pair is like finding a best friend. Lol.

I also thrifted a lot of books and magazines. Sometimes I feel guilty for buying so many books and the occasional clothes, but I tell myself most of what I buy is thrifted anyway, and that’s the cheapest I can get them so I try not to feel too bad…. Everything is thrifted except for The Dispossessed and The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which I got from a commercial bookstore.  Here’s what I bought these past two weeks:

Skeleton Crew by Stephen King- bought this the same week I watched It. Feels good to be reunited with my favorite childhood writer. I was never brought up on the classics, but read a lot of Stephen King and Gaiman in grade school and high school.

Wired magazine’s one and only scifi issue

Conde Nast Muhammad Ali special commemorative edition

It Must’ve Been Something I Ate by Jeffrey Steingarten

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery- I’ve read this in my second year in university as a PDF version and loved it so much. I cried when Renee died and I cried when Palome promised she’d never try to kill herself or try to ever burn a thing again because from now on, she will look for moments of always within never–Beauty in this life, and I cried when the book ended so there you go. I love this book so much. :((

Volume 1 of John Betjeman’s letters

The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin- I figured I needed another scifi gem to satiate me while I wait for my Bradbury short story collection

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman- Bought another Gaiman. Just because.

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard Morais- the movie was just alright so I thought to read the book, because books are always better…… ahha you didn’t hear that from me though!

Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence

Two New Yorkers from the past two years

The Simple Things magazine

Regeneration by Pat Barker

Gould’s Book of Fish by Richard Flanagan- I regret putting this book down because the first paragraph reeled me in. His prose is such a joy to read, but since I am reading so many books right now, I told myself I’d just read him once I finish Lolita.

Will start soon with: 

John Betjeman’s letters

On the Genealogy of Morals by Friedrich Nietzsche

Some other things I am grateful for: 

My brother. He’s my rock. Last night we stayed up until midnight just talking. Of course, we talked about his emotions. We need to do this constantly, because I hate the idea of him keeping everything to himself and not knowing who to run to when he’s fed up with everything about life. He is doing well with his affairs; his ex is being crazy and is spreading rumors about him in class to ruin him, so he’s been avoiding everyone… Why do people do this? When you break up with someone, how can you be so cruel and ruin them to other people as an act of punishment? Why cant you just let them live? Why can’t you just move on? His ex supposedly still loves him and wants him back, but my brother is soooo done with her manipulative narcissistic bullshit. Rightly so because he doesn’t deserve swine like that. Sigh sigh. Anyway, I also taught my brother how to play Dungeons & Dragons last night and he is floored. He’s jealous, obviously, because I didn’t teach him sooner. I’ve yet to teach him how to create a character, but at least I’d have someone to play with now!!!! Life doesn’t have to be so lonely

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common things 2

I woke up around 7:30 in the morning yesterday and I was upset about it because I wanted to wake up at 6 am. Still, I found myself awake half an hour past seven, and I didn’t get out of bed until ten minutes later. By then I only had 15 minutes to make lunch for work, but my cooking took longer than I estimated, and was only able to step in the bath at 8:15. Not that I intended for that to be, I did spend a good deal crying before showering. It went like this. I’ve been meaning to get up early in the morning since the month started; I’m not an early riser, I’ve never been, and I’ve tried so many times in the past to get out of bed earlier, but I always oversleep through my alarms and/or do not have the discipline enough to heave myself up from bed the moment I open my eyes. Either way, 7:30 for me was already a good sign, and I tried so hard to make it a good morning, I tried so so hard. I cooked my quinoa and my tofu and vegetables, and was extra careful I didn’t burn anything. My dad was having breakfast that time, though, and I don’t know, I guess his morning remarks got to me. This was around 8:00 and I was almost done, when he said something along the lines of, “You always take too long when cooking your food. You just don’t want to share because you’re selfish.” He says things like that a lot on a daily basis just to mess with my head, and I don’t know what it was that triggered the dam, but I found myself so furious. I finished my cooking, placed my food in my tupperware, and marched to my room, my heart beating fast. When I got to my room, I reminded myself I had the choice to be angry or to let it go, and while I was telling myself that I shouldn’t be angry, I suddenly started crying angry tears. I’m trying. I’m trying so, so hard. I’m trying so hard to get up early in the morning when I’d rather sleep my life away and be effaced from this earth, I’m trying so hard to cook food when I’d rather starve myself, I’m trying so so hard, and all my dad did was make me feel worse about myself. I was so angry I bawled my eyes out and by the time I got to my bath, it was already 8:15 and I was running late, yet still I spent a few more minutes crying unstoppably in there. I am honestly trying my best to make this life livable for me, and most days I cannot even find a reason to get up and care for myself. I am trying so hard. To try to calm myself down, I found myself watering my plants after taking my bath. I saw that some of their stems are not upright; I don’t know why. I took a closer look and saw a few holes on the tiny leaves, and a small grey feather on the soil in one of the pots. I think the birds are eating my plants. I am frustrated over this because I want to see my plants grow, from seed to fruit, but I know birds have to eat as well. I’m honestly considering making maybe a tiny scarecrow to shoo them away. Now I am worrying that perhaps my plants are dying, perhaps thats why they are not upright. I’d say they are about 3-5 inches tall now, but some of their soft stems are flaccid. I don’t understand. Should I buy/make fertilizer? Install a tiny scarecrow? Water them more?! I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, and honestly, I found myself crying again because I couldn’t even care for my own plants. It’s pathetic. It was a hard morning for me, as you can see.

Today, however, was relatively better. I woke up at 6 am, but spent a good deal daydreaming. I hate my maladaptive dreaming. I still haven’t found panacea for it, and I don’t think I ever will. I’ve been doing it since I was a child and I can go on daydreaming for hours without stopping. I can’t seem to control it. Anyway, I got out of bed at 6:40 and was supposed to run at 7 am, but I saw my preserved dragonfly on my desk being devoured by ants. Somehow, the ants were able to puncture the plastic pouch and was swarming all over my dragonfly. I had to save it, I haven’t mounted it yet and it would be such a waste if it disintegrated. I swatted the ants away and saw the tail of the dragonfly almost falling apart, dangling from its hinges. I immediately made a relaxing jar for the dragonfly, using a tupperware and moist tissues. In a few days it will be soft and pliable enough to mount, and I will mount it this time for real. It is my fault, too. The dragonfly has been dead for three weeks and I should’ve mounted it on the styrofoam and framed it as soon as I found it, but I kept putting it off. I finished around 7:30 am by then, and forced myself to do cardio for 25 minutes on the treadmill. I also arrived at work ten minutes earlier than yesterday. I wanted to prove to myself that I can do so much better than yesterday, that my day and my state of mind can be better if I willed it. I have to keep my emotions in check, and everything else.

I also read George Orwell’s Shooting an Elephant last night before going to sleep. I forced myself to read, even if it was just a short essay, because I haven’t had the time to read novels lately and I am angry at myself for that. I know I should be making time for reading and writing, and I honestly have no excuse for this. I guess I just don’t have the heart to do it these days.

I also just finished touring about a hundred and fifty 4th graders here at the MET museum and my god, I feel so drained right now. I always get scared of kids in museums; a lively, rambunctious kid is the last thing you want right beside a classical painting that costs millions and millions in this day. Multiply that by 150. Nope. And the noise! Que horror! They really sounded like bees, a huge swarm of bees! My ears still feel a bit fuzzy and me a bit dizzy, but they’ve since left and I can finally have my headspace.

Did I mention it’s raining outside? I want to walk under the rain, but I am still trapped here in the museum for another hour and a half.

common things

I’d like to remember things. One day, when I’m old, I’d want to remember things, so I’ve resigned myself to writing diary entries every now and then (not as often as I’d like, to be honest, but I’m working on that) to remember ordinary happenings and common things in my life. While most would write about their most memorable experiences, I would like to remember some of the most mundane things in my life. Sometimes, really, it is the quotidian that is sublime.

Nothing much has been happening in my life lately, but I don’t sit around waiting and wringing my hands for an adventure. As trite as it sounds, I’d like to think everyday is an adventure as long as I decide that it will be. Personally, nothing major has happened, but I’ve been talking to my brother a lot these days. He is recuperating from his heartbreak and he’s been so resilient throughout, but there are small moments when the gravity of it all weighs on him and I can see the weariness in his eyes. He talks about his emotions with me, something I find very special because it is so rare, I’d like to believe, for men to open up their emotions to someone. I think men are conditioned to keep everything in and not talk about feelings and as a result, a lot of things are repressed, but I think that’s quite dangerous. It hurts me, though, when I see him so hurt. How he hurts so silently, my younger brother, and so as his sister, I find that this is a special role I must play, in filling that void, his emotional suppression. I’ve never been lucky enough to fall in love yet, but I am learning so much from his own heartbreak. Yes, perhaps there was love, perhaps it didn’t work out because they are young and confused and have a lot of things to figure out for themselves, but the primal emotions are there. The girl has since moved on and is going out with a new prospect. My brother, on the other hand, has resigned himself to solitude. It’s funny, this thing we have in common. We have this affinity with writing long letters, and when he told me he wrote his ex a long letter, I had flashbacks of times when I wrote long winding letters for people. Some were for friends, some for ex-friends, rare were for special friends, and some were letters that I will just never send because I am far too meek. It’s definitely uncommon these days, but letter writing is something so special I cherish it and only give it to people who mean to me. For my brother, it was cathartic more than a thinking-through or a mulling-over, but he needed the release all the same. I know he is not the kind of person to throw a pity party for himself and I can see he is trying his best to gain back his sense of power and confidence. A couple of days ago he asked me for help; he plans to write and illustrate an illustrated dystopian book for his thesis on his final year and asked me if I had any book recommendations for him. Being the only bibliophile in this house, of course I had a couple up my sleeve. I lent him my copy of Fahrenheit 451, The Martian Chronicles, and the classics, 1984, Animal Farm, The Handmaid’s Tale, and some Stephen Kings such as The Long Walk and The Running Man. For illustrated books, I showed him a copy of my Alice in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass, and The Little Prince. I plan to make him read a couple of graphic novels in the next few weeks too. As you can tell, I am excited for my brother’s reading journey! I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember, and writing just as long, and to see him, a non reader, explore this world is so special for me. I mean, what is life without books? You tell me. It’s nothing.

I also started my internship at the MET museum a few weeks ago. It’s been alright so far, but I cannot help but be affected by ennui every now and then, and it’s something I’m having a hard time with. Regardless, I am learning so much and I cannot complain about that. There is wisdom in everything, yes, and in this listlessness there is something to learn too. Something curious happened a week ago though, while I was in the museum. This dragonfly, somehow, managed to find its way inside the museum and it freaked everyone out. They were screaming and swatting at it, but of course the dragonfly kept flying higher and higher above our heads and settled on the ceilings, but it stayed in the office the entire day. Around lunch time it started to flutter towards me and perched on the lower part of the wall behind me and it stayed there for the remainder of the afternoon. And here’s when it gets curious: Around 5pm, while I was preparing to go home, I hear something clatter to the floor (the office is very quiet by the way) that sounded like a bunch of metal paper clips. So I turn and saw the dragonfly on the floor, stiff. I take it in my palms and its wings flutter a bit before finally dying. I thought there was something so huge and overwhelming with this little dragonfly’s death and it affected me so much that I started tearing up. I’ve since brought the dragonfly home and am planning to preserve and mount it soon on a frame. Did I mention that this entire thing happened while I was making an Instagram account so I can document my foray into vernacular entomology? Because I’ve been wanting to collect bugs again as a hobby and at that time, I was googling how to preserve different types of insects, and it was so uncanny that the dragonfly just died there, next to me, while I was doing that. So is this synchronicity? Is it also synchronicity, I must digress, when I was choosing a random poem by Louise Gluck to read and found one about spring, and when I chose another random poem to read, this time by Robert Hass, it was also a poem about spring? What is it about spring? But going back to the dearly departed dragonfly: I thought it so strange, so curious, and so meaningful. There was something so eerie about it, too, and at the same time, something poignant. Personally, I found its death momentous. I am still affected by it. God knows why I do not cry at people’s funerals but this dragonfly’s death touched me beyond comprehensibility.

Another curious thing that happened to me last week. I dreamt about Umberto Eco, but I find it uncanny because I’ve never read Umberto Eco, ever! But in my dream, I knew it was him. I was sitting on a monoblock chair outside the Student Media Office in school when Umberto passed me. He smiles at me and walks on; I don’t know how I knew him as Umberto Eco, but I identified him as him in my dream. Somehow, I just knew and named him. After a while he went out of the office and started talking to the people and students around us. He was writing something on a blank sheet of paper and teaching something to the people, god knows what, but it was in a different language that I cannot understand, but I know that Umberto Eco is Italian (I googled it after I woke up). However, when I looked at his paper, I saw that his spelling was off. Among other words, he misspelled the word “cognitive” as “cvgnitive” with a letter V. (So he cant have been writing Italian here, right? Because I recognized the misspelled words, but I only remember cvgnitive) So, I showed him how to spell cognitive in English and wrote it down on his paper. He smiled at me and then… that’s it, I don’t remember the rest. I think I woke up. Again, prior to this dream, I have never read Umberto Eco in my life, but I just suddenly knew in my dream that it was him. It’s so weird, but perhaps I ought to read him. He is known for his difficult and dense postmodern works, but perhaps my unconscious is trying to tell me something. I’ve since gotten a copy of The Name of the Rose and planning to have a go at it soon. By the way, this isn’t the first time I’ve dreamt of a writer. I dreamt of Nick Joaquin once, and we were talking while walking in the rain at night (no umbrellas) and he was telling me something, but I couldnt hear him because of the rain, but his face looked serious and grave. I was struggling to hear him, but I really couldnt make out anything and it was so frustrating when I woke up because I wished so badly to know what he was telling me, what if it was an important message? And I remember, everything was black and white in that dream and the end of it was he brought me home in a dark car, I stepped out to my gate and then… that’s it. I find all this so peculiar, dreaming of revered writers. I don’t know what my unconscious is trying to tell me or show me, but I also know that I have to write. A lot. And be serious with my writing, otherwise I would be sacrificing it. I can’t seem to bring anything to completion these days, preferring to bank on the unsteady influx of fickle inspiration and motivation, but I know I have to put more worth and value and seriousness in pursuing writing. There’s no other way.

What other common things? Well, I am graduating from university this October (I am seriously considering not marching since I’m not proud of myself at all. I am not graduating with honors, I must painfully admit, and I have no patience at all for rituals and ceremonies); my lettuce, chili, mustard and tomato seeds have since germinated and they are looking great; I am contemplating if I should submit my application letter for the daily newspaper. It’s pretty huge, among the top 3 in the country, but I don’t know if I want to be a content strategist, I mean, is it taking me further away from writing fiction and creative nonfiction? Although I don’t think it’s bad for my first job, I guess. Oh, and I started sitting-in at my professor’s Philosophy of the Unconscious grad school class for this term, so it’s something I’m looking forward to. I wanted to sit-in because I also want to see what a master’s class is like and if it works out, maybe I can take my master’s degree sooner or later. It’s a mature class and I’m loving it thus far; the students are much, much older than me! Perhaps around their late twenties, thirties to fifties! And I’m only 21 and do not know much at all, and I like the atmosphere, being in a class with people who are much much smarter than me, people who know so much more, and have more experience in life than I’ve ever had! And even more, I am taking the class with a really special friend! If everything were right in the world, I would choose among an MA in Philosophy, Anthropology, or Literature, but not much is right with my life right now to be honest, and I’d hate to give up on my dreams for practicality’s sake, but I guess we’ll just have to see. I’d like to have some kind of balance some day; I am not thinking about the money, but the “life”. What kind of life do I want to live? It’s so hard trying to live a meaningful life doing meaningful work. And in terms of my future, I’m honestly not so sure where to go from here. I really have no idea at all. I am grasping at straws, though it isn’t as scary as I once thought. I’ve since accepted that life is just a bunch of “I don’t knows.” It’s small, but it flies on mighty wings. (Szymborska, 1996). And it is in uncertainty and unknowingness wherein I will truly learn. I know only that I know nothing (Socrates, Of Yore lol).

Lastly, I’ve been struggling with a couple of reads lately. The problem with being a haphazard reader is I read books all at the same time. Right now I am reading Pablo Neruda’s posthumous poetry collection, Michael Shaara’s The Killer Angels, Salman Rushdie’s The Moor’s Last Sigh, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, Thomas Pynchon’s The Crying of Lot 49, and Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cuisine recipe book. So help me.

wishful thinking: book wishlist

some books and graphic novels i am yearning to have. hopefully sooner than soon ahhhhh

Graphic Novels

From Hell-Alan Moore

Sleepwalk and Other Stories- Adrian Tomine

Killing and Dying-Adrian Tomine

Shortcomings-Adrian Tomine

Sandman slipcase set-Neil Gaiman

Here by Richard McGuire

Creepshow by Stephen King

The Complete Persepolis-Marjane Satrapi

The Complete Maus-Art Spiegelman

Swamp Thing (Book 1-6)-Alan Moore

V for Vendetta-Alan Moore

Black Hole-Charles Burns

Habibi-Craig Thompson

Frankenstein-Bernie Wrightson

Through the Woods-Emily Carroll

Wytches- Scott Snyder

Nimona-Noelle Stevenson

Books

In Search of Duende- Federico Lorca

Kitchen-Banana Yoshimoto

Devil on the Cross-Ngugi Wa Thiong’o

Nervous Conditions-Tsitsi Dangarembga

Human Wishes-Robert Hass

The Stories v.1- Ray Bradbury

Essays (Everyman’s Library Contemporary Classics Series)-George Orwell

Diaries by George Orwell

The Letters of Ernest Hemingway-Ernest Hemingway

Welcome to the Monkey House-Kurt Vonnegut

The Collected Poems-Federico Lorca

Interpreter of Maladies-Jhumpa Lahiri

Book of Mercy-Leonard Cohen

Poems 1962-2012-Louise Gluck

Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body-Roxane Gay

Tarantula-Bob Dylan

Complete Poems, 1904-1962-e.e. cummings

Love is a Dog From Hell-Charles Bukowski

Letters of Marcel Proust-Marcel Proust

Night Sky with Exit Wounds-Ocean Vuong

Bright Dead Things: Poems-Ada Limon

Prisons We Choose to Live Inside-Doris Lessing

Visions of Cody-Jack Kerouac

On Cats-Doris Lessing

On Cats-Charles Bukowski

The Cat Inside-William S. Burroughs

I Am A Cat-Natsume Sosteki

Catwings-Ursula Le Guin

Millions of Cats-Wanda Gag

(i may or may not have recently caught the cat obsession)

a dirty room

Please be forgiving I am writing in a haze and I am not thinking. I hate it when I do this I hate me I am so tired of me I don’t recognize me I cant live with me. Overwhelmed and ashamed by the mess in my room, I do not know where to start. I’ve been trying to clean it for more than a week now, and still no success. I remember Anne Lamott and how I should take things bird by bird. So I start with one soiled shirt. A dress, turned inside out. And then, a skirt that no longer fits upon inspection and bodily trial; the skirt hitches on my fleshy thighs and stays there, unwilling to go on further. My body wont stop expanding and expanding, I am ashamed to say. My book towers are everywhere, precarious and teetering. I have far too many shirts and dresses. I don’t know anymore which is clean and dirty and what can still pass off as clean. A long plaid dress that looked perfect from the thrift rack lies balled up on the corner of my bed; it makes me look like a milkmaid. I’ve never worn it, but i wish i could. I want to see myself in it walking down the street; but i cannot carry it, i think i look wrong in it, funny in it. I contemplate if I should get it tailored to fit better or I should starve myself to lose all this excess. Perhaps the latter. it is always the latter. empty water bottles. Old readings that I’ve since unearthed from my drawer whose contents haven’t seen the light of day since my freshman year. I am graduating college in two months. It has been that long. Slowly making their acquaintance once more. I find a copy of Hemingway’s A Clean Well-lighted Place and feel overcome with shame because my room is not a clean well-lighted place at all. Joyce’s Araby, Ryunosuke Akutagawa’s In a Grove, and Doris Lessing’s A Sunrise on the Veld. There are various papers and index cards (i remember Anne Lamott again) and post it notes with scribbles of my own that I cannot read. Ideas. Some workable, some have potential, some are just futile in its rushed existence. My book towers are in various heights. there is a book tower on the left side of my desk, and two smaller ones on the right side. Another book tower on top of my shoe cabinet, a smaller book tower on the right side of my turntable, an even smaller one beside it, and just a heap—not even tower—of books on top of the turntable itself. they resemble jengga blocks on the brink of crumbling more than book towers. a plastic bag full of trash. hangers everywhere. my bathroom. notebooks and journals scattered, more paper asunder. drawers left gaping, my closet doors flung open, i can see the sleeves of my jackets peeking at me, jackets of yore, jackets I’ve failed to warm with my body. it is a reciprocal service for jackets to warm me and i to warm them in return. it is a damn shame that i am making them useless by rejecting their purpose. there is an empty mug on top of my desk, lined with the remains of my coffee from two hours ago. my eye drops and sleeping pills that I’ve been abusing. a sharpener. my jar of paper clips. fallen hair. i have so many things and waste. my book tower from the left side of my desk gives a little wobble as i type. I’m afraid of its collapse, the thick Les Miserables book the first to make contact with my screen if ever. i do not move to fix it. i should be cleaning my mess, but instead i am writing about my mess. I’ve been bitten by two small red ants on my forearm. i’ve created so much mess of things and of myself i do not have the heart to clean anymore. i remember my philosophy professor saying cleaning my room is like cleaning my psyche. perhaps this is why I’ve been so out of it this the past few weeks. my room is the chaos in my mind. I’m trying so hard, but i do not have the strength inside me to look after myself. i think of Socrates and what wisdom requires: gnothi sueaton (know thyself) and epimeleia heautou (self-care). I think of how i will never, ever be wise, because the latter has always been absent in me. the care of the self. i have never known it, i think. I am drowning. i feel crippled. cut at the knees. i want to lie down and sleep away, but there is no place in my bed for me. It wont make way for me, it hurts me. my lights are too bright, they blind me. my mess is pigheaded in its manifestation. i am pigheaded in my refusal to clean after myself. how much of myself have i compromised? my box of seeds lies on the floor. i think of my tomato plant, my lettuce plant, my chili plant and my mustard plant that have since germinated. i think of the world and how kind it is to my plants. i think of the world and how it cares for my pottery. why is it not kind to me, me specifically and respectively? it shines and rains for my plants, it upholds the laws of chemistry for the glazing and baking and bisquing of my works, but it cannot get me up from my chair, out of this snare. i cannot do the most simple thing. i feel tired to wash myself, to wash my soiled feet and my greasy hair and it’s 3 pm in the afternoon and i am disappointed in myself. and i think of my bathroom that i have to clean. and the many other things that i have to clean. my tub that needs scrubbing, my sink that needs washing. empty bottles to be thrown away. tiles to be mopped. towels to be replaced. my pregnant laundry basket. i do not have the strength to heave it out of my room for washing. i think even if i scrubbed myself red and raw i would still be dirty, and i will still be filled to the brim with all this mess. i try not to be angry at myself. when i said I should write for catharsis less, and write more to think things through and mull things over, i am doing the opposite. i am not thinking much about what i am writing. when i said i should write more formally, instead i am failing to pull myself together again, i am failing to be wise by being all over the place with all this stuff and lacking discipline. i am being ridiculous, it is laughable, that i cannot exert control on my own self. i feel insane writing this way. i feel like i should go back to every sentence, every word, and capitalize what should be capitalized, fix what should be fixed, and think things through. but a small part of me whispers let me, there is wisdom in this chaos and havoc. but it is making me hate myself, writing this way, unstoppered, ungraspable, incomprehensible. i am not making any sense. fragments of sentences. i cannot even string one that is complete and logical. feeling this jambalaya of feelings all at once. i would still hate myself, i think, still fail to recognize myself, even if i scrub myself and weigh myself and skin myself and devein myself and flay myself. perhaps if i lie on my floor and forget everything else (except my grammar), mold would manifest on my sundries and eventually, manifest on me, pull me under, and allow me to be quietly effaced from the face of the earth. this body, this body, perhaps cold, insentient, someday, one day, this body, lifeless, one day.

me and more of me

I am afraid to learn myself, afraid to find what’s in it. Perhaps it is a universal struggle, loving ourselves. This bigness, this thickness, all this excess! I do not know what to do with it. To have so much of me taking up more space than necessary, limbs longer than anyone else’s, I keep expanding and growing and invading, trespassing—my body—trespassing other people’s spaces. And I limit movement, constrain and hold back all of this, this muchness, as a futile attempt at daintiness, a pitiful attempt at grace. Clunky and awkward, my feet and hands too large, bumping my head and stabbing my elbows into somebody else;s flesh was a quotidian thing. Perhaps my only purpose was to reach things from high places and crane my neck to look for who is lost because I do not ball, do not pose, do not wave like a lush pageant girl: half white and unknowing of her own father’s identity. I’ve been filling up voids with my size, as if the world were afraid of being empty, of empty spaces, and in this fear I was created, to soothe this horror vacui and take up the corners and spaces and invade, manifest. But this is all a waste. Anything more than necessary is a waste.