11 may 2017
' impressed by your impulse purchase of a long-haul flight, the kind of off-the-cuff romantic gesture I regularly entertain but typically suppress by means of a long walk through Hampstead Heath while listening to a BBC radio programme called 'In Our Time' in which academics discuss neglected historical figures. '
6 may 2017
' when escaping to other lands, in listening to the soundtrack of the itinerant, I think I've binded Elliott smith forever to you. '
8 apr 2017
' I dreamt that we were in a race and had to climb a Rocky Mountain or something like that and take an oral test. I started first so ended first. My oral passage was an excerpt from a book set in xinjiang. I loved it and knew you would too. I was hanging out with a bunch of friends in the middle of a desert like landscape except more lush in Colour more caramel than stale khaki. U finished your race and came and you were glowing. You loved the passage and it gave you an idea. You were going to start an artist residency. I wanted to say that's something I wanna do too. Then we are both Teachers in a school and the geog teacher (asian male) has a thing for you. I finally find out what your novel is about and the three settings. We are in a kind of black studio for working on theatre pieces. Side storyline to do with an opera singer. I am working on my piece which has a feathery installation. You are enamoured with your idea and humour the tall Frankenstein like security guard (feels Moroccan) who wants to see your installation. You slide in on your installation- you're lying belly down on a Long wooden platform w wheels. You're in a mermaid kind of costume. A multi coloured (in not a cheesy technicolor way but a soft midsummer night's dream way) magical leotard. You wheel it in an arc , an oval and as you wheel it while lying on it the huge installation unfolds itself to be a white wavy thing. It keeps losing pearlescent beads , leaving a trail on the ground. we keep exclaiming for the beads are not supposed to lose themselves but in the end it is terribly beautiful. The beads scattered as a trail on the ground and the white waves in one loop. Next to my installation and they both "look like they are friends" is what I said. The security guard stands in the midst and looks at you with awe he is obviously in love with you. Then fast forward to us being in another situation. I am still sick and have seen a doctor and have to apply a special oil in my hair to be well. Tyra Banks sits behind me in this place , and she has black dots under her eyes that she painted on and looks mystical. She is enraptured by you, she's in love with you. I feel like the person who has to hold that knowledge knowing that it won't happen between you and her. '
3 mar 2017
' and we used a lot of words as we do '
5 nov 2016
' One guy who is obviously socially awkward shared that once he got out of prison and he was so so so happy he was running down the streets and then he just lay on the floor and convulsed. And then at some point he felt sad again, and longed for a moment in high school. And he was like, why is life like that? why can't we do everything? '
3 june 2016
' but my translation is not yours so if softly means more to you than gently then I'll dig yours out if you can remember the edition. '
7 may 2016
' also when scrolling down on my iphone at the end of the article, first i saw your bun of hair which made me smile then your face almost as big as the bun then then then best part of the byline pic i think is the crumbled blouse '
25 april 2016
' At the moment I'm reading Dark Pool Party by Hannah Black. I highly recommend it.
What I remember most about the first time you wrote to me is your talking about my line "Meanwhile, I am dying of loneliness." I'm thinking so much about loneliness these days, wondering what I mean by it and if there's anything to be done. Most of the people I know don't seem to struggle with it in the same way, or maybe they do and just don't talk about it.
I thought of all this again when I read you Thailand sentence: "when i spend too much time alone i become so prepared to be moved by nothing and everything and i am no longer sure what feelings mean or what you're meant to do with them." '
14 april 2016
' Oh Amanda! I thought suffering strange diseases in exotic lands is something that only white poets did. Take care. Yes it was my plan to die in Singapore (if such a thing can be planned). Its close enough for me to pop back if I feel the cold hand of death upon my head. See you soonish I hope. '
11 april 2016
' you appeared traipsing in front of me. i said to you, hey, isn't the midnight sun only in finland? we traipsed together, floating like two slightly deranged, sad girls, through streets that felt like bugis backalleys, and ended up in a park where huge tarps had been laid on the grass and a few artists were painting over the tarps, or pouring paint over. somehow we knew we were 'supposed' to just dance and run across the tarps, we would be helping them. i remember dark army green plus light baby pink next to each other. wide very shallow puddles of paint. felt like east coast. i decided to give up momentarily on finding my car, since everything was so terrible anyway. i had a little fun. after this, somehow my brother passed me the other family car and i was driving around looking for the carpark entrance of somerset plaza. i couldn't find it and there were so many people and i felt so lonely and then i realised that i couldn't drive both family cars home and it was something like 2am and that's when i really wanted to cry, and i probably started, as i drove alongside heeren on the pavement for people to walk on. that's all i remember. '
3 october 2015
today i cried from reading william gass's in the heart of the heart of the country + looking at eileen myles' instagram stream from start to end + looking at my lover's instagram stream from start to end. (what is said to be start to end could also be said to be end to start). sparrows fat as fists, and eileen thinking she doesn't know how to smile (eileen, i think your smile is perfect for you), and what you were doing two years and eleven months ago without me and what i was doing two years and eleven months without you and what everyone in the world was doing two years and eleven months ago and who you were then and who i was then, and how all of us will never know one another, what is there to know, how william gass could spend a decade on a story and every line was so beautiful, so measured, and i'd never even heard of him till not so very long ago, and how when we have worn ourselves through different people and rooms and things how instagram will last longer than life
8 may 2015
what is this thing about instantaneity that bothers me, i don't know, but 'in real time' has always felt fraught to me because if something is reported/documented 'in real time' then it means in real time you were no longer in real time but in real archival time but maybe (as with everything else) it is time i were less precious about things, if one is less precious about things life purportedly becomes easier, and then maybe you could grease the harder parts of life with what's leftover from all that ease
23 february 2015
there is a name for the way you have always felt when standing in high places or along train tracks and it is l'appel du vide
10 december 2014
and sukarno said to her, i love you longer than your hair is long
18 october 2014
the ginger fingers henry miller on the L train from brooklyn into manhattan. i see her traipse over anais nin's dead body in her seven league gladiator mandals, bang on trend, fashionably late. baby if i could take your star sign between my thighs i would ride the tropic of capricorn uptown to school and be on time to present my sorry little treatise on urban alienation. if a redhead agreed to commute in my mouth, let there be no doubt that i would swallow. the insurance ad behind her head asks: who's caring for you? she rises to alight at sixth avenue. i care. i am right behind her. red is the smell of her shampoo. stand clear of the closing doors, please. if i stuck my tongue out i might taste the autumn in her auburn. i am careful. i am the gap between the train and the platform. i am the dead time between every delay. i am the tropic between cancer and capricorn. i am the difference between the loose change the busker makes and the sacred premium he places on his craft. i am changing trains, but this is the redhead's destination. she is walking out of my life with a book under her arm. if i could be that book, i would care for you tonight. i swallow. i swallow hard. if you see any unlawful emotional conduct on public transportation, please notify new york city transit or a police officer. the digital subway display says it is three in the afternoon and it is october. i am hopelessly late. bells are ringing. i am beyond caring. anais says to henry: henry it is october but you taste like june.
10 october 2014
you can have your history but i can't have your feelings
26 september 2014
"i saw the video of the little girl you were dancing with. it looked magical, the sort of memory you hold on to for years, and also you looked really happy in it, which made me smile to see, which is so rare—partly because facebook mostly just numbs or depresses me, so thank you for living that moment and documenting it for us, but partly also because you weren't that happy when i last saw you."
20 september 2014
the bed was a square.
because the bed was a square it was hard to tell if she was coming of going.
31 august 2014
" In other news, I'm quite inspired by this emu's mating dance and may start practicing -
11 july 2014
in the motel in my head, ivor cutler has the room next door to henry darger. who has the room next door to antonin artaud.
5 july 2014
the night before you lost your voice, i dreamt that you gave me your tongue.
18 june 2014
someone said my shoes were nice today. i said thanks and he asked do i have many? i said what is many, because for example imelda marcos is many. he said twenty? i said perhaps close to twenty, but also most of them are really cheap, i don’t have a roomful of shoes or anything like that. he said when he lived in mexico, he once met a woman with a roomful of shoes. he was in this woman’s house because he was negotiating to have twenty frida kahlo paintings for a show. the woman with the roomful of shoes was the executor of frida kahlo’s estate. she was close to eighty. she had an inch of make up on her face. she hated frida kahlo. why, i wanted to know, did she hate frida kahlo. he said it was because the woman with the roomful of shoes had been one of diego riviera’s lovers. i could see how that made perfect sense. how owning the estate of frida kahlo was not just adding tinsel to her crown, but a victory most decisive. if she couldn’t have diego’s heart whole, why, she could own frida’s pain. even profit from it, but that was probably really besides the point. who’s your daddy now. how many times over can an oil painting outlast what we still have the cheek to call love. he said when the show opened, she went around declaring every other frida kahlo piece on show that wasn’t from her estate a fake. he said that she’d framed frida kahlo’s work in what they used to call taiwanese frames, which in 1989 meant they were cheap frames. in 1989, i was two, i said. he laughed and said, you’d have to be carried, and he made of his arms a cradle. i would have, i said. this might be a little perverse, i said, but don’t you think the whole thing was also very romantic? yes, it was, he said. things like that don’t happen this way anymore, do they, i said. no, he said, they probably don’t, not this way.
31 december 2013
cos you're the only one i can talk to about 白发魔女. when i tell other people that i watched it when i was nine and it was my first conscious external stimuli by way of shaping my viewpoint of so-called romantic love, they think i'm trying to be funny, but i'm not. once, when i was eighteen, we were in a dim sum restaurant and i even went so far as to act out the scene in which brigitte lin, thus spurned, shoots her white hair into leslie cheung, the way her eyes hesitate though her mouth is cruel, and that's what costs them. and my classmates tried to keep a straight face but they all burst out laughing.
but you understand about sacrifice. about masochism. about prices to pay. about protofeminism.
so i believe you completely when you say your dearest wish, still, at forty-five, is to be a pugilist.
26 december 2013
'Home in three days. Don't wash.'
for christmas, i read all of napoleon's letters to josephine and i remembered this thing my higher chinese teacher said when we were sixteen, she said in chinese, "she'll take you for a glutinous dough ball in the palm of her hand, she'll roll you up round if she wants to and then squeeze you till you're deadbeat flat." of course it doesn't sound the same in english, and of course i thought of M then. i thought i'd forgotten her but reading napoleon's letters to josephine i wasn't so sure.
26 may 2013
' it cured love. i pressed it and my lover exploded.'
3 jan 2012
"i dunno if shah rukh khan loved me or not but i surely did not love him! i wasnt even in a bride's outfit lol. i was just wearing what i wld normally be in. it's so absurd. & i knew i was supposed to help/save ppl from the explosion so i went back in & saw ppl who were damaged by e effects & then e dream ended there. yea you disappeared at the stairs."
23 august 2011
"Though I love Titian I cannot abide his take on the same subject. She looks too 'invertebrate'."
11 january 2011
"i dunno why but the winona article with those pictures made me kinda sad.
but it also made me wanna have a noni movies marathon night soon.
i think the lead singer of horowitz must've had a huge huge crush on her.
their band name is after her real surname, they have a song called feed 'em noni flicks ('til they die), & another one simply named winona.
today at tampines mrt station i saw a guy with a marilyn monroe tattoo on his calf.
i wonder if he really loves marilyn or if it's just a fashion statement.
im hoping it's the former. the tattoo is rather well-done."