"I don't think that being a strong person is about ignoring your emotions and fighting your feelings. Putting on a brave face doesn't mean you're a brave person. That's why everybody in my life knows everything that I'm going through. I can't hide anything from them. People need to realise that being open isn't the same as being weak."

- Taylor Swift

Thursday, November 20, 2014

서리

I cannot fix our problems
On my own

My faults are my own burden to bear
And I am sorry that they have hurt you

But I think I can say with a little certainty,
A little honesty,

That you have not sobbed a lullaby
And let your tears rock you to sleep

For me.

I have survived horrors that you have never known
And I hope you will never know

I live with demons in my head
And war wounds on my flesh

But this cold, cruel indifference
Shall be the death of me

Some say the world will end in fire,
But I say ice.

I can already feel the chill of your icy contempt,
Your frozen neglect.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Waves.

I know it will hit me
Like the waves I never quite learned to dive under

But what a thing it must be
To lay down your head and sleep

I am more afraid of pain
Than drowning

I wish more than anything
That you can lay down your head and sleep

But I cannot remember you as you were, my friend
I cannot even remember what colour your eyes are.

And I cannot pray for you, my friend
I don't quite know how

But I will let it hit me
Like the waves I never quite learned how to dive under

And sink, or swim
For you.

For a dear friend. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Running Circles

Let us be kindred sinners
Rather than warring saints

Why do you always have me running circles like this?
Why do you always have me running circles for you?

And if I saw any kind of hurt, or pain, or contempt
Perhaps I could understand

But there is nothing at all and I
I cannot bear indifference 

You keep asking about him
As if he and I are a puzzle for you to unravel 

We stand on shaky ground 
With our hands clasped tight

And for us, that will always be enough 

I don't know if that is something you can understand. 

But don't think about him, my friend
Don't think about our bodies entwined or our childish games 

He and I build sandcastles that do not survive the tide

But you and I, my friend
Will we survive the hour? 

Why do you always have me running circles like this?
Why do you always have me running circles for you? 

Sunday, November 09, 2014

My Boys.

Now Playing: How to Save a Life by The Fray (where did I go wrong, I lost a friend somewhere alone in the bitterness)

Have you heard 1D's new song?

Damn, is it catchy.

It's also super problematic, mostly because the lyrics revolve around the premise that 'everybody wanna steal my girl', but they have to 'find another one because she belongs to me' because 'I don't exist if I don't have her'.

*shudder*

I learned a lot about the ways of the world from men, partly because they're all I have much experience with and because most of the people who are genuinely comfortable with their own sexuality and sexual appetites are men (yay, patriarchy!) So I've probably inherited a couple of unhealthy attitudes that will, I'm sure, be corrected by my fierce dedication to feminism. But some of the criticism I get is pure double standards and misunderstandings.

It's been a running joke for most of this year that there are a few boys who I refer to - and who my friends started referring to - as 'my boys'. The joke was that I'm part of a charity thing and we were running short on boys, so I happened to recruit a good friend plus a couple boys I met at parties, but most of the joke is that they are not, by any stretch of the imagination, *my* boys. Firstly, anyone owning anyone else is...slavery...and also because these boys are my friends, and it's always been abundantly clear that there's nothing more between any of us; and regardless of anything romantic/sexual that happened between any of us, we've all led our own separate lives with other people, and we've all been cool with that. Because friends.

The men I referred to earlier often had girls they referred to as 'their girls'. Part of it was a joke, part of it was misogyny, part of it was that we were all so drunk everything suddenly became ludicrously funny. The thing is, though, is that a queer woman of colour doing something, especially in jest, can sometimes be fundamentally different to when a white man who has stacks of privilege baggage does something. I don't have that baggage. White men have never been institutionally enslaved, raped and oppressed by Asian women. When I refer to someone, or some people, as 'mine', I cannot mean it as any more than a joke, even if I wanted to.

But people weren't uncomfortable with me calling them 'my boys' because it was an untrue statement and they couldn't see the (admittedly very subtle and ill-conceived) irony/humour/sarcasm involved. They flinched at the idea that a woman of colour could be in a position of respect in relation to white men, and that I felt comfortable using an endearment rather than an honorific. That for once, in a passing comment, I was not subservient or subordinate to white men; they were my friends, my boys, just as much as I was their friend. Egalitarianism, or even a system of hierarchy that does not conform to systems of privilege, confuses people. We see oppression where there isn't any when white men are not given the automatic deference that I have been taught, since I was a little girl, that they deserved.

'My boys' was an endearment; a well meant one, and most people saw that. I had a great deal of love and affection for the boys who were considered 'my boys', But why does nobody bat an eyelid when some skeezy white guy drawls about 'his girls', but an Asian woman can't affectionately, sarcastically, refer to her friends as 'my boys'? I never saw it as a possessive statement. And clearly, as is evident in the popularity of One Direction's 'Steal My Girl', despite a history of female oppression and patriarchal dominance nobody sees a man calling a woman 'my girl' as a possessive statement.

It turns out someone was offended by my arrogance and presumption in calling them 'my boys', and perhaps they have a valid point. But instead of talking about it logically and working out the kinks in our relationship, they let it fester. When you have virtually no privilege aside from cis, and perhaps arguably wealth, you get in the constant habit of updating your friends and tactfully - but firmly - discussing things that aren't okay, or that are triggering. They're not fun conversations. Sometimes friendships break over silly arguments like that. But healthy relationships demand solid communication, and strong friendships endure even the most awkward, uncomfortable conversations.

People in positions of privilege are, as I've found out, not so used to having to talk about feelings. Apparently it is my burden to constantly read minds and decode feelings they refuse to talk about, and I've lost a lot of friends this way. As a friend, or as a partner - even as an acquaintance - you have the right to object to anything I do or any aspect of how I treat or care for you. BUT I HAVE TO FUCKING KNOW ABOUT IT OR I WILL OBLIVIOUSLY CARRY ON, IN THE SAME WAY THAT YOU OBLIVIOUSLY CARRY ON IF I DON'T CONSTANTLY PULL THE #CHECKYOURPRIVILEGE CARD.

I will inevitably end up doing and saying things that are problematic, or that rub people the wrong way. But we have gotten into the habit of monitoring and censoring the words and behaviours people who exist outside of hegemonic masculinity, we forget that those with the most privilege can get away with things that I apparently cannot, even though they carry all the baggage that makes something problematic, offensive, or uncomfortable.

I'm sorry if I have hurt or offended anyone, but I urge you to take a step back and consider what you were offended by and why, and think about the onslaught of microaggressions those who lack privilege deal with day in, day out, simply because we live in identities that do not have normalized power, and we do not enjoy normalized deference.

Saturday, November 08, 2014

I am tired of people who meet me, and then tell my friends that they like me because I'm quirky, or sharp, or smart, or bright, or the multitude of sweet nothings people throw at me.

I'm tired of being objectified and reduced into something I'm not.

Yes, I'm smart. I'm funny. I love making people laugh. I've always been childish and cheeky and I think eighteen's too young to change that. I have a weird way of looking at things and I have a wicked sense of humour.

It's an act. Of course it's an act. It's the most genuine, sincere, fulfilling performance of my life, but I can't keep it up, all the time. Do you have any idea how I feel when you stop talking because I stop cracking jokes, for a heartbeat, just to catch my breath? I'm glad you enjoy the things I can do, but I'm not here for your entertainment.

There are times when I am in so much pain that I lash out blindly, and the people closest to me will get hurt. I'm rude and selfish and dumb in the way that most eighteen year olds are. I'm the girl in the pretty dresses and red lipstick but sometimes I am in bloodstained sweatpants on a hospital trolley.

I love my friends and I always try to do my best by them. But sometimes I fuck up. I make mistakes. Sometimes I need space, and sometimes I need people to be there for me. I feel like people only like one side of me, and when I can't be that person I am all alone.

There are parts of me, there are things I can do, that shine like stars. But with those stars comes an endless darkness, a vast expanse of night sky, and you have to be okay with that. If I'm not worth your time, you're not worth mine.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Like Meteors

Once upon a time
I told you that I remember things in flashes

And all I can remember is seeing you from backstage
And I know that you knew that I was there

But not there 

As if the fake armour was real 
And even if you should see me 

You would not recognise me
Without my harlot's lips 

At any rate, my fickle friend
I know that on stage,
Backstage,
In your arms

To you, I am never really there.

And I was absently following advice
A voice from another time once told me 

Before I felt myself freeze over 
Felt my blood turn to ice

Because that voice drips with poison honey 
And I tried, I tried to tell you

I TRIED TO TELL YOU THAT THIS ISN'T RIGHT 

This is my ugliness

I TRIED TO TELL YOU THAT I AM NOT

THAT I 
COULDN'T 

I WON'T EVER HURT YOU 

BUT YOU DIDN'T LISTEN

So there you are, my friend.

These are my thoughts that soar
Like meteors
In my lonely, empty heart tonight. 

Saturday, November 01, 2014

a letter to a hypocritical lover, with great affection.

And in regards to all the things you detest in me
She is no better

I say this with compliments to her;
Not you. 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

let it be known.

I will have 'I'm sorry' carved into my skin tonight
I hardly know if they are your words or mine

I won't follow you into the rabbit hole
I said I would, but then I saw your shriveled bones
They didn't want me to

But let it be known that it was not my promise to break
Let it be known it was not my oath to keep

Let it be known that my love endured
Until it consumed me.

I can't follow you into the rabbit hole
I said I would, but then I saw your hollow eyes
You didn't want me to

I will have 'Forgive me' carved into my skin tonight
And I know they are not your words, but mine.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Yes, I think you're naive.
I see you, hulking
Towering over me

And all I see is a silly little boy.

I am crass, and rude, and loud
I know.

I sit with my legs spread and teeth bared

And I talk.

Don't look at me like that
When I laugh at my tears

What else can I do?

Do you think I don't know
That they're laughing at me?

The only thing I can do is laugh back
Bite back.

Yes, I know you think I'm naive.
I know you see me, small
A head and more shorter than you

And all you see is a silly little girl.

This is how I survive
This is what girls do

We grow up, quickly,
Faster than our bodies do

Because there are things out there
Things that go bump in the dark
Things that claw at my flesh
And pull my hair

So I must bare my teeth,
And smile.

Because you, my hulking, towering friend
You are too naive to fight for me.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Grandfather, I know
I know I am the blood of kings
I know I am ice and fire
I know I have a heart of stone
I know I have the strength of steel

But, Grandfather, you see
They have drained me dry
I don't feel your indomitable will
Coursing through my veins
The music of my pulse is fading

Grandfather, teach me how to breathe
Grandfather, teach me how to be