a eulogy for a dreamy sunday afternoon

i. sunlight seeping in borrows a rosy hue from tinted window glass, dancing off your tousled hair.

ii. the stereo murmurs a dull synth-pop tune to colour the silence, inside the lines.

iii. buildings we pass melt into a nondescript blur, like abstractions of ink on a drenched book.

iv. the weight of my baggage surrenders to the one tugging at my chest. i know i am not half-dreaming.

v. there’s only so much i can read from the back of your neck, like newspapers shrouded by the dark of morning.

iv. you mean so many things to me, things no tongue could explain. not even to myself.

iii. this silence amidst noise is killing me. i would rather burst into a rhapsodic wail, out of tune.

ii. this moment will not yield to captivity. like a firefly in a jar, the only glow i see is put out by the last breath of a dying dream.

i. heart and soul, mind and soul, maybe it’s time to let this firefly go?

friends on film

I loaned a camera for a week and I made some pretty good memories 🙂
disclaimer: I didn’t take these shots on an actual film camera! I used a normal DSLR camera and tweaked each photo with VSCO to achieve faded, grainy and vintage effects. I think there is a certain aged beauty to film photography, even if I didn’t exist in the time when they were the most popular mode of photography.

here are some of my own personal tips about how I achieved these effects on these pictures below:

  • VSCO filters: AU5, AV8, F1, Q5, A6, P5, FN16, FS4, K2, Q8 (of course, there are more! the final effect you achieve depends on how you choose to play around with the settings)
  • apply vignette (around 50-70%)
  • the grain effect may help to achieve a dusty/mid-quality effect to the pictures but don’t overdo it. I suggest using RNI film for overlays.
  • try removing shadows
  • try the fade option
  • I personally used the tint effect (either end of the spectrum may work) but this is really contingent on how the original photo looks like and the effect you want to achieve. in reality, different brands of film will produce different tones so you can emulate them accordingly. for example, fuji films tend to have a greenish tint)
  • lower the contrast
  • in some cases, I increased the brightness for a slightly overexposed effect

when you said no

discord sown in the fields of my own mind
grow to be weeds, strangling the little seedlings
that cry for renewal, for a fresh breath,
gulping down the last yolk of sunshine for supper.

they tell me that it’s all in my own head:
a mass of tissue and neurons entangled with
the steady beat of my soul, stretching and contracting
like train couplers reconciling cabins that will never touch

all the time, I think about your typicality,
yet having to think implies mystery.
how is it that you never look at yourself in mirrors,
given how you’re so god damn beautiful?
why have I never tasted pretence in your voice,
but have only heard the purest thoughts, organic and
yours alone?

some questions will always be questions.
thus I, deciding whether these are tears or raindrops,
stagger back into eden, crawling
back into the soil of late winter,
retracting my roots in the wait for rebirth next spring.

shanghai & nanjing

Last November, I travelled solo to Shanghai to meet my dad there. He wanted to expose me to the F&B franchises in China at an exhibition as well as to show me around Nanjing, where he spent a lot of time working in the past. It was a really great experience to once again revel in the upbeat city of Shanghai and to take a walk back in time on the historic grounds of Nanjing.

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SIT DOWN, PAIR UP

two white dresses at a wedding will command stares. 
a change of outfit is not granted; 
there are so many skeletons in my closet
that i can’t tell my backbones from belts. 

i can choose to smile and wave like i 
have always,
a rag doll pinned onto a cork board to be 
sliced, diced, and everything nice. 

to iron out my incompatibilities,
a creaseless palm clutching the smallest of 
infinities that persuade me to let go of
cards that no longer serve purpose

for i am a temporary tattoo,
the last page of a calendar, 
counting down to when i won’t fit the 
occasion anymore 

feliz navidad

Christmas has always been my favourite time of the year but I never understood why. I can’t say that I do now, but I think that it has a lot to do with the communal spirit of excitement in the air regardless of one’s profile. The occasion also has a lot of sentimental value to me because, well, it’s been one of the only constants in my life, even if the way I experience it changes as I age.

Merry Christmas wherever you are from wherever I am, and all the best for the year ahead.

Continue reading “feliz navidad”

circus caravan, always on the go

words taste bitter in december when
urns are emptied, filled, lost, doubled till
small talk becomes no talk.

this year, the gap on the shelf
of a borrowed book reminds:
keep the moment when the acrobat
freezes on the trapeze, statuesque
marbled eyes locked in the space between
one second and the next,
feasting on the contradiction of being motionless
yet on top of the world.

this year, the gap on the shelf
of a borrowed book reminds me just that.

only a time too vulnerable to be measured in minutes
prevents seizures of lunacy when
young things trickle in rivulets, engulfing the space
only you and i knew.
they could never learn of
a time too vulnerable to be measured in minutes.
foolish, whimsical young things don’t speak in sepia
like we did.

deep breaths.
smiles in january will be sweeter,
the kinds that are followed by birdsongs.
i know this in threes, twos,

ones.