Smoke and Vapor

Wrote this poem while listening to this ethereal mix on Youtube…

Tear down those walls of my room
the frame of my bed, my chair, my desk
Tear down those concrete
those sidewalk and benches

Strip this civilized world bare 
bare and naked and wild and free
Strip away my pretense, my confines,
my name

Until I am nothing
nothing but my desire



prayer (1)

reality hangs loose

while words hang heavy

the air is filled with eyes

and no man is free

Who I used to be.

Her world revolved around perfection,

balanced on top of her surreptitious efforts

to avoid annihilation. Too many mouths to feed, too many

demands, too many dead-ends, too many what-if’s,

too many if-only’s—she was burdened by a meta-awareness

that reverberated through the sully caves

of her battered soul. She lied to herself to survive,

questioned every little detail of her life,

examined everything with fanatical care

and predicted, enacted every possible predicament

in her pretty little head for she was scared

by the things she thought she knew.


Should she fail,

the universe would shatter, a glass castle besieged

by an army of ghosts, and people’s faces

would darken, a darkness that she gravely feared,

would fall. There would be no redemption, only perdition.

Her very heart, held wholesome and beating

by this pitiful fragility, pumped wearily against

her mellow ribcage, in the shadows. To not care

meant to tread on thorny roads, to move mountains

with her bare hands, to drink a river dry with spoon.


Yet she heard it; she heard it constantly: step into

the light. Embrace the sun. She yearned for it. Yearned

for that light that would set her free—and one day she was saved—

saved her from the claws that were

etched in her flesh and she watched the chains around her

feet come undone and joy come pouring through the chasm of

darkness, a shower of golden energies, an ever-shining

rain that cleansed her anew, and made her see

the beauty, the perfection of imperfections and herself.

A world where nothing mattered and everything mattered and

she doesn’t give a damn because she is who she is. She

doesn’t care if she fails or if she makes a fool of herself,

because aren’t we all fools when we think we look like fools,

because aren’t we all human when we try to be above and beyond,

because aren’t we already the best of who we are

if we simply just be.

I was a perfectionist, and perhaps I still am. You have no idea how difficult life is when you’re a perfectionist. But recently, I’ve changed. Why should I care? Why do I care? There are too many things I can’t control in life and I don’t want to be just merely surviving, I want to be living. I’m not scared anymore. I’m free.

The Canary

(Image retrieved from

My scarf is stained with the canary’s blood.

Its wings flutter directly above.

A deafening song about melancholy.

I begin to run.

My heart tangles, the muscles contract,

I am breathless with pain.

I’m angry at myself.

My eyes, so pathetically shallow, limited, one-dimensional

Can only see half of the world.

I hate myself because

I have forgotten to turn around.

I have remained


On the ground.


The beautiful canary bird

Its deranged joy dancing off its open cage

A door it sees.

The silence around, surrounds,

Is a deep sin.

Watching its departure

The shining feathers, shine and shine

Flashing a deafening song of



The beautiful canary bird will not return.

Its master’s cold hands, the careless release

A life of imprisonment and its

Blind surrender to the greedy eagle’s claw.

Falling, falling towards

The point where light meets darkness

A tear in its eyes

Falling, falling a bloody fall

Slowly, and slowly

It falls.


By Kim T. (translated from a Chinese poem I’ve written earlier today)

Shut up, me.

I sit on the couch, tired and spent

Like a shrivelled potato

My skin peeling off

Getting mushy

Tiny cannibal sprouts spurt out between my toes

Kind of itchy, but don’t really hurt

Not yet, anyway


My eyes sink deep into my sockets

The darkening shade renders me a panda goddess

I raise my hand to speak

And on the other end of the living room

Another me

Me Number Two

Throws the chalk at me and screams



She then throws my midterm papers at me

They are all due this month

Flinging those annoying deadlines at my face

Using a deadly slingshot

She slaps my face and tells me

How many things I haven’t done


She says there’s something wrong with me.


Why can’t I get things done?


“I think I will take a break now.”


“NO!!!!!!” she screams again and

Pulls out her crystal ball

Her secret weapon

The future

She points towards the foggy centre

And asks me what I see


“A foggy centre,” I say.


“NO!” she screams. “You are failing your exams,

And you are handing in things late

You’re disappointing your parents,

Who paid all your tuition and housing fees

Because you suck so much at life

And you lie on your bed

Tossing and turning

Flapping like a slowly dying fish

Unable to sleep

Because you are SUCH A FAILURE.”


Frustrated, I say to Me Number Two,

“No, I’m not.”



She picks up those exam paper, essay outlines

And all that matters

Shoves them up my mouth

Making me eat them

I hear her malicious laugh.



This time, I am the one screaming.


She staggers backwards, and stares at me in horror.




I pick up the things that matter

Exams and outlines and homework assignments

All those stress and disappointments and anger

Shape them into a paper sword

And stab the other me in the stomach.




The paper sword touches her stomach

But does not penetrate

She winces in pain

But it’s a paper sword

What harm does it do? 


“Shut up, me.”


Me Number Two collapses onto the floor

And looks up at me

Into my eyes.


“It’s okay. It’s no big deal.”


She stares at me and weeps.


“It’ll be okay la! You silly perfectionist.”

She sighs. I smile.

And then, she says,

“Shut up, me.”


And both me and the Other Me

Are at last, at peace.


Pieces of future, like seeds

Of a dandelion

Caught in the wind that has once

Been the air beneath a butterfly’s wing


At night, I dream of cocoons

Of feathers fighting to wield a storm

Of grey-furred bears waking up in snow

Of dazzling fireworks melting into the blinking stars

Of car honks wrapped in a horse’s gallop

Of children growing old, their bodies curling up

Turning into wrinkled babies


I dream of time, intertwined

With our heartbeats

Severed at the sound of life ceasing

The infinite ticking, disappears when we

No longer hear


Only listen

To the immense, beautiful silence of

This universe shifting, slowly

The sound of our bodies changing form

The moment when we are everything

When we no longer have to become

But are.

By K.T.

Incapable (Second Draft)

As I awake in a dream I see

silence, calmly sedated into a

wordless rhythm. Perhaps

none of this is happening.

The very muscle of my eyes hums

With an impulse; to open, to fathom,

but the world is tampered by fools.

Therefore my left eyelid fossilizes,

As my smile crystallizes.


While I stay awake, I stumble

into the woods. My toes submerge

into a society of poisoned mushrooms.

They shine with a kind of darkness

that makes the tree bark rot

with elegance. Dying, just like my skin

that’s been prickling to shed.

Forever tempted, to become part of

A non-existent wonderland;

a place where the air I breathe

is no longer mechanical,

but you never know.


I fall back into the nightmares. As of

now, the disturbing sun sizzles

on my withered lips, forcing them to part,

forcing out broken syllables

from my broken heart. Plumbing

dignity out of my stomach—

but never my pain. I

am too greedy to be satisfied.


So as I sleep, soundly and bewilderingly,

I wish I was never born.