Sunday, December 30, 2012


 At times solitariness edges towards narcissistic solipsism, cornering oneself to escape the gaze of the other, the gaze that is always looking elsewhere.

I came across this eloquent, and helpful quotation by Paul Auster:

"Solitary. But not in the sense of being alone. Not solitary in the way Thoreau was, for example, exiling himself in order to find out where he was; not solitary in the way Jonah was, praying for deliverance in the belly of the whale. Solitary in the sense of retreat. In the sense of not having to see himself, of not having to see himself being seen by anyone else."

Though retreat, for me, is at times only wishful.

Monday, December 3, 2012


amidst dark lashes and lilac shades the thought re-emerges like a firing-squad; the wooden fences i`ve built are as kind as unrequited love.

Monday, November 19, 2012

survival tip # 1

on the slippery scroll, inch toward the gap right below the musky moon, fill it with madness, horror, and profanities, then tiptoe away

Sunday, October 21, 2012

what is the poetry of existence?

a construction of temples for and without the 'other'.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

this day

the day announces itself over and over and over again, a nauseous turn spiraling and sinking, but i cannot hear it, feel it,  maybe, but for me it has yet to begin

Monday, October 1, 2012

just write

i can't "just write" when the sun is weeping at my fingertips.  i must first handle the carcass of words melting at my touch.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

in the middle

all the lights are out. while we know that the life we construct is partly a grand fictional race between life and death that inevitably leaves sun-stained skid marks ; yet, it is guided by real people and events that provide some sort of stability, comfort, and meaning. with that said, i just had a monumental revelation--monument in ruins is more accurate--that i must disparage, diminish, decry, and desert my illusions that are not only empty, hollow, saccharine, but pathetic. i find myself an unwanted, hypersensitive beetle mangled in a spider's web in a bottle thrown off-track in the middle of self-otherness.

Friday, September 21, 2012


it's not my place to comment or insist that your silence has left a mark, figuratively, of course, at first, but it has, somehow, climbed its way to the exterior flesh. you can stand there innocently with your hands in your shallow pockets and a half smile creaking, slowly, creepily, momentarily. you must know that you got me all wrong, i think. now, your blade-like silence is intoxicating, itinerant, illuminating, and irritating. i look around at the debris, notably the spectre of an echo in a torn note and unanswered letters, and hear the shrieking of moving chairs above and the melodic sound of a distant bird, realizing c'est mon histoire that needs some darning. you interlace your slim fingers and glance at the camera. charming. there must be an epistemological distance between us forcefully instituted by my incapacity to weigh my words, or, more accurately, to tame my cascading, ambulatory imagination. i'm certainly lying and untying a sinner's spinning story. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


worried, agitated, anxious, forlorn, empty. this specious waiting is enervating. but, i must forget, move on, begin anew. i'm now on my own, completely alone. i must produce work to gain some self-respect and meet approaching deadlines. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

nothing to lose

when it's past midnight, fearful sorrows rust and tongues sharply halt with nothing, nothing at all at the sleeves of darkness

Friday, August 3, 2012

on writing

i'm not sure what i'm waiting for: perhaps some ancient writing recipe that will quench my lisping letters; for some shadows to disentangle and awaken a deep and sleek silvery dance across the screen; for a sober wind to lift me up and out of these limping, listless nights; for the lonely lights to catch the running stranger who cannot remember my name; whatever it may be, i need to write.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

the impluse to push

melting words leave behind only an outline of a vague figure that i saw for the first and last time moving away as he followed my hands.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

human error

i heard their testimonies: how their lives were carved by ancient darkness, that they slept on stones shrouded by tales of deceit and dishonour, that they bathed in the hum of tear drops. then their whispers came to an end, and we found foreign sounds escaping temporarily--laughter.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

white space

despite the trail of gray leaves, i sometimes wonder what it takes to write a letter--to turn to aging ghosts...

Sunday, July 29, 2012


how many times have i stood underneath the blooming moonbeams and exploding stars, walked down the long sinuous meadows, listened to the crawling wind, sealed broken hearts with flour and history, opened my window at the crackling dusk, watched a few forgotten images emerge from the splitting sky, invited the timid rain to run across the field, clutched the edge of darkness in my palms, clung obsessively to lost nouns, only to be reminded that yesterday was my birthday.
and, what of it?

Friday, July 27, 2012

absence and thingness

I'm up at 5:00 a.m. and lay awake struggling for some shut eye. Around 8:30 a.m., I begin to fall  asleep, and in-between the grooves of wakefulness and sleep lies absence. I felt my consciousness being assaulted as a falling took place--not of my body, but of my consciousness or spirit, if you will. I experienced a silent, yet extreme and unshakeable weight on my head. I began to sink, moving in a downward spiral as anxiety and perplexity fermented in me. The notion of uncertainty flowed through me aggressively as I was uncertain whether I was falling asleep or moving into utter absence. A formless pressing pressure invaded my night. I wondered if this is what it means to die in one's sleep. There was a heavy force pressing upon me, moving me into nothingness: a sudden deadness and lack of signification. A rusting of the will took place. Pure absence and thingness were alternating, partaking in a strange dance. This opposition was magnified by the realization of my own alterity from myself, where the I became a dislocated material. Is absence a phantom-strangulation? Is it a tightening of the tongue rendering one wordless? Is it an intimacy of interiority? Is it the result of unearthing layers upon layers of self? is it a movement toward death?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

rootlessness vs. nomadicism

frequency of buzzards
unanswered questions
falling, falling, leaves

flattening of surfaces
faithless phantoms
boiling poetry in sand

soiled maps
covered with solid curses
of a burning paradise

walls made of dried figs
a mirrored doubling
of knotted tapestries

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

half of a skip of an eyelid,

and i am in a volcanic cloak
moving against the sprawling sky

Sunday, July 8, 2012

on the inside

as if a stranger could involuntarily reveal a fundamental truth; a truth that exposes my insides--a vacuous space. as though this stranger has clear sight--violet-like, temporarily blossoming like fireworks. then, night drifts by and there's something, like tolerance, toward the unknown and the decay of words. the terror becomes a brush stroke, cradling me. i cling to the luminous stars: roadless and halting. i'm on the inside, a vanishing temple. 

Sunday, June 17, 2012


when silence is agreeable, i can hear my thoughts falling slowly to sleep. my sight feels like stars falling in a spiral into my failing imagination. the scenery changes as the ticking overlooking the city seeps into this silence; it is sunshine lingering on my bed. my sight grows silent again, on a sunday night.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


When I think of invisibility, Ralph Ellison comes to mind. To be invisible is to be marked, scarred, and highly visible. It is to exude a visibility that is conscientiously blinding. It is to be encoded in ideological masks uneasily worn. It is a winding cry, an inventive laugh, a plotting demeanor. Sometimes, it is marked by panic, and other times relief. It is a desire to forget but be unforgotten. It threatens to transform into a brilliantly inward narcissism.

To quote from Invisible Man: "Instead of the swift imperceptible flowing of time, you are aware of its notes, those points where time stands still or from which it leaps ahead." (6)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

solving a puzzle

diving in for a something else. uncertainties burst. all i seem to remember are coffins. this is misleading: we don't use coffins. cotton balls stuffed in the mouths of the dead. this dividing line between the past, the present, the future, the dead, the living, the self, the other, must be dashed. i crumple at thoughts not my own. this memory is perfect, pristine, and palpable. this is not a metaphor, not a myth, not even a mystery, but my mind.  i yearn for a different cortical imprint. my desire is blocked, my affections ignored. this is not a puzzle, but a melodrama. diving obstructed.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


solitude is a sinking best left to the graves
a slight shrug, unnoticed
a tipping over in the night
a noiseless, glaring flash

Sunday, June 3, 2012


 it's a black night and curious circumstances, or maybe feelings, circulate without strings attached or suitcases packed; i am alone with my mind at unease bellowing against the tender wind. uninformed ideas and such formed out of promises, more like assumptions regarding another, turn into weeping falsehoods. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

at the end of the day

Despite my insane levels of anxiety, unpredictable insomnia, and chronically stupid decision making, at the end of the day or night (there's no beginning or end for me), I'm grateful for so many things.

I'll end with a quotation from one of my favourite novels, Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio:

"It was his notion that the moment one of the people took one of the truths to himself, called it his truth, and tried to live by it, he became a grotesque and the truth he embraced became a falsehood."

It's a beautiful novel that intricately captures the depth and complexity of human emotion, frailty, and strength.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

quotation from Lose your Mother

Quotation from Saidiya Hartman's moving journey in Lose your Mother:

"'STRANGER' IS THE X that stands in for a proper name. It is the placeholder for the missing, the mark of the passage, the scar between native and citizen. It is both an end and a beginning. It announces the disappearance of the known world and the antipathy of the new one. And the longing and the loss redolent in the label were as much my inheritance as they were that of the enslaved" (8).

In this book, Hartman journeys to Ghana to trace the history of the Black Atlantic slave trade, only to discover that tracing does not always result in a recovery, but, at times, a forgetting.

Sunday, May 20, 2012


“Memory is not an instrument for surveying the past but its theater. It is the medium of past experience, just as the earth is the medium in which dead cities lie buried. He who seeks to approach his own buried past must conduct himself like a man digging.”
Walter Benjamin, Berlin Childhood Around 1900

Our memories reside alongside the perpetually evolving past, being filtered, constructed, and forgotten. To return to past moments, events, objects, or people, as Benjamin asserts, is to dig. That is, there is no return without sweat, labour, and dirt. Above all, memory is performative.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


at one point, i thought i had a rebellious soul, but acquiescent demeanour. 
at one point, i trusted and believed in others.
at one point,  hope fermented within me.
at one point, i  intuitively buried the pain of others.
at one point, i predicted a future, the background a pedestal.
at one point, i offered guidance and moved between multiple spheres.
at one point, i gazed at madness from the outside.
at one point, i projected responses.
now i'm haunted by loss.

Thursday, May 10, 2012


insomnia i must make of you a friend
instead of erasure, you shall become my constant shadow
lurking deep beneath my eyes
because of you, i have sacrificed alertness for perpetual lullness--
dullness of the mind
i am reduced to inanimate thoughts limping
flailing, agitated, warring

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Holiday's "Strange Fruit"

When I think of protest songs, Billie Holiday's "Strange Fruit" comes to mind. This protest song par excellence, articulates the horrors of lynching in particular and racism in general. She translates her bitterness, abhorrenc , and pain with such depth that we can't but read them faithfully and share her sentiments. I wanted to share Holiday's powerful performance of Abel Meeropol's equally powerful protest poem "Strange Fruit."

Thursday, April 26, 2012

"no sleep for the wicked"

 muttering notes easing to the edge of my bed
genuflecting in submission to memories I do not own
i'm that which is absent
walking endlessly in silence
and when i do call, no response
still, i can't sleep

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


facing decaying brick walls and i remain fixated with the I/you binary:

i, an abbreviated thought
you, a run-on sentence
we, a fragmented phase
no, not a phase, but a phrase
no, even that is too giving
perhaps we are a feathered hat floating on the moon
or a whisper heard when eavesdropping on the sun
probably an obscure gesture breathing in the summer air

but, there's no wisdom in this ageless and one-sided emotion
that twists, turns, and twirls--a talented dancer--
into a sinuous silence that breeds
painful privacy

this is neither calculated nor edited.
it remains a vague, if not empty, signifier.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

the walls

i've been able to preserve my sanity because of the liliac coloured walls. monstrous intimacy gets lost in their monotone warmth with a hint of closure. it turns me low and slows my machinic thoughts into warped phrases, upside down commas, and then a string of silence. we merge, finally.

Monday, March 19, 2012


My thoughts scintillate below the raging summer sun—they are minuscule, a flash disappearing in jagged lines. They are of you and to you they are nothing. A longing, I confess, an accidental longing, a mere coincidence of the flesh, a fragile presence. Directionless. I sit and converse with absence.

Friday, January 27, 2012

the absence of feeling

desultory neurons bellowing
names names names
empty raindrops sinking
corpses corpses corpses
wooden bench wasting
shadows shadows shadows

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The American Jeremiad of the Disenfranchised (?)

Well, it's 2012 and i have a few things on my mind, mainly, American literature. I've recently been thinking about the American Jeremiad and how, I believe at least, it has been reinscribed by minority writers as a space of productive melancholia. So, what is the American Jeremiad? The Jeremiad is a sermon that accounts for the calamities of the present time as justifiable due to the sins of a community or a nation, but also imagines the possibilities of change. Jeremiad is named after the Biblical prophet, Jeremiah, who was also known as the weeping prophet. The jeremiad is often used as a rhetorical figure to perpetuate the American myth of progress. Yet, the jeremiad, which is inextricably linked to the ideology of American exceptionalism, is based on a paradox that constitutes America as a nation. That is, the paradox of community and the individual, oscillating between the two, but also constructing an exclusionary community based on the auspices of democracy. I will suggest that the American Jeremiad of the minority is characterized by failed mourning that maintains the possible return of the object of loss. The spectre, or the ghost, represents this American Jeremiad of the minority. Spectre, as Derrida defines it in Spectres of Marx, "is some "thing" that remains difficult to name." Toni Morrison's Beloved attempts to name the unnameable, which is paradoxically named Beloved, by either returning to or finding oneself faced with the irrevocable past. But, I would like to argue, that this space can be productive, a means by which to reinscribe spaces of oppression as sites of subversion and resistance. Beloved is about the traumas of African American slavery, and the healing power of "rememory" as the protagonist, Sethe calls it. However, this return, as Sethe discovers can be life-threatening as Beloved attempts to strangle her. Sethe who had attempted to kill her children, and successfully killed her youngest daughter, Beloved, in order to safe them from slavery is haunted by the return of her daughter. The return both seals and opens wounds. It returns without warning, yet can only be removed, in the novel at least, by a community. The imaginary reconstruction of the past is never total; it reveals gaps and fissures that remain unbridgeable.
The American Jeremiad of the minority, perhaps minority isn't the proper term to use, maybe disenfranchised in more encompassing, evokes another type of lamentation that threatens our present, but asks of us to give it voice, even if it remains at times inaudible.