The first flash story I wrote for 52/250 A Year of Flash, 'The Cyclical Night', is now up at LITSNACK. Very happy to have something published in this zine!
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
To this day I do not understand how or why you disappeared. Before your passing I had had to cope with the sudden deaths of more than a few friends, but none of them was a writer--like you and I were back in the days when we talked about art and your poetry.
The moment still pierces me: I walked into broad daylight with a few others, on our way to get coffee, and I tried to hide the shock and grief that were permeating my being. What happened to the poems and essays you spent so much of your heart and life working on--how did you leave them all behind, just like that? To me you lived in those words, and I owed you a response to what you had shown me.
For the last few days you filled my mind--I think of you every now and then, but this spell has caught me off guard. You must have stopped by when I was vulnerable, when I started chasing the kind of dream that would only trap us in endless solitude. Or did you swing by because you knew it was the moment when I could truly touch your pain, that I would understand?
Tonight I wept and fell asleep. Time had lapsed and I faced your grief. Since you have been gone, I have made more efforts in keeping up with people, in showing what I hold in my heart to those I wish to keep. Because things pass when we do not hold onto them, just like you did.
Monday, February 21, 2011
Len Kuntz is everywhere--almost everyday as we log onto our Facebook pages, this man has a new story or poem out in an online literary journal. Last time I looked he was in PANK and lo & behold! Len was proclaimed the James Brown of flash fiction in this interview at Housefire. Riley Michael Parker says it all: Len Kuntz writes more than we sleep; he writes more than a man has the right to! I know Len waited for all his life until a couple years ago to start writing, but what do the rest of us do with ourselves when this man can churn out stories in the bathtub?! (part two of the interview is here)
And here's a conversation between Brad Green and Court Merrigan. Court is someone I've read for a long while though we haven't talked much, so it's nice for me to read about his views on writing and his work. Court touches on a question that I used to struggle with: How do settings affect characters? Having lived in Hong Kong for most of my life and writing in a second language, settings were a difficult issue for me: How would I capture my hometown in a foreign language that carries a totally different sensibility than that of my native language/culture?
Anyway, here's Court telling us that as writers, we are paid in hope. That should be my consolation for the day, though sometimes it's not even about hope. It's just about, well, not totally falling over to the dark side...
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Julia Davies, a fellow writer who just falls short of being perfect while juggling her split personalities, sent this blog post by Sheldon Lee Compton to me before I caught up with my blog roll.
I had just woken up on another gloomy morning and it took me a minute or two to find my bearing. Later on I sent the post to a young friend of mine, a neurotic girl who loves literature; I told her Sheldon is a terrific writer who lives in a country where cigarettes are way too expensive.
She read it and said, 'oh, another runaway soul.'
I suppose it describes some of us.
Friday, February 18, 2011
New writing up at 52/250. I say writing because I don't know if this is a flash story or a prose poem.
For those who like post-rock music, I wrote this piece to this song by Jesu.
And I wrote it when my poet friend was sleeping. On a cold night in Brooklyn.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
In August 2011 I posted this short poem by Polish poet Anna Kamienska (translated by Tomasz P. Krzeszowski and Desmond Graham on my blog. Now and then--like the last couple days--I'd come back to this space and wait for silence to prevail.
Every silence must be carried through towards death
so that it is immortal
And every smile and tear and glance
must be detached from what is fragile and finite
Even an oak leaf cannot for ever be happy on a branch
even a dove is not for ever on a window sill
What flies away will come back
what stays will sing
Silence is the memento after everything
faithful as it were not silence after love
Saturday, February 12, 2011
I walked on snow and tainted thoughts about the future. Another self, dwelling away from home. Sometimes the lock was frozen and it took a hair dryer for me to go outside. Other times I fumbled in my pocket for a lost ticket--to the art museum that left me in a daze; for the train ride that fleeted past like a ghost retrieved from an old film.
I lost things in the foreign cities. It did not matter to me. I hold a strange superstition: what's lost is no longer meant to be mine.
The cold blazed; I zipped up my coat, voice lost in a mystery just born from the night. Night: hopes dashed; hopes unformed; hopes on hold between echoes of a distant drum.
People who know me must know one thing: I am full of love.
I would reach you if I have to. Only it comes through in a language we cannot catch. The language of loss. Consoled, then abandoned.
We walked to the end of Manhattan. I can see your face, still.