What is it about an idea that withstands the noise of time? Julian Barnes posits that it is ‘only that music which is inside ourselves – the music of our being – which…over the decades, if it is strong and … Continue reading
The misanthropic city reveals itself in the weathering of architecture and pavement An erratic day of sunshine striated with clouds. Brought together in circumstances where survivalism divides us. The trees were lush, drenched with summer White tiles bleached with golden … Continue reading
Infinite blue skies
merged with your blue walls
we talked about what we would become.
At 15 you were already 27
impatient for the responsibilities of being
a mother, a wife.
Our lives were already
bound for diverging paths.
I don’t remember studying together
time together was too precious…
Soft white cotton from yesterday’s halloween costume
caught up with baby green leaves
rolling down the pavement like tumbleweed
far from home.
I am transported…
back to your room again.
There were books (weren’t there?)
Neil Gaiman (mine) and Margaret Atwood (yours).
I remember talking and dreaming.
the end of an infinity of
in a time without
There was no way of knowing
(what others thought)
and we learnt not to care.
They were tiny grey pebbles
on haphazardly-laid concrete tiles
(perhaps something worth remembering,
even more important now,
when we are not allowed to forget)
There were too many
to catch before they fell.
Each one a cradle
After the fall…
crumpled green cans
litter the asphalt
showing up dirty white cigarette butts
flayed and exposed
tumbling sideways and laughing
but you were not there anymore.
*This is part of an experiment with poetry, film and movement. Click here for the link to the film.
One of the ideas that I greatly value from Edward Soja is the concept of Thirdspace.
Soja uses ‘Thirdspace’ to describe ‘a constantly shifting and changing milieu of ideas, events, appearances, and meanings’ that provides new alternatives, opportunities and possibilities for openness and diversity (Soja 1996: 2, 99). Building on Lefebvre’s ‘lived space or social space’, Soja’s Thirdspace, is arguably more future-oriented and offers broader scope for intervention. Lefebvre’s ‘social space’ describes how social hierarchies are prescribed according to one’s age and gender, maintained through relationships of employment and transaction within the ‘space of society’ (Lefebvre  1991: 35). Soja’s Thirdspace acknowledges how the lived experience of a particular location can vary according to one’s gender, race and social status, but reaches beyond one’s lived experience to include one’s aspiration for this particular location, and one’s lived experience within it (11). This conception of Thirdspace goes further than Lefebvre’s ‘social space’ or ‘lived space’ which focussed primarily on the shifting simultaneity of present meanings created through one’s social interactions with others within a site. In the context of Singapore, Thirdspace could be conceived as all futures possible and the multiplicity of places possible within it.
Forgotten sentinels of a better world
They fought for a life they should have had
They dreamt of a life we should have
believing that even though it would take time
every little step forward
is worth fighting for.
There are no protests anymore
The streets are cleaned every day
tired and battle-weary
no one left to carry on.
The young have their own visions
and time moves on.
One day my dreams for the future
will just be another anecdote
a reminder of the past
Walking through a house of heartbreaks
littered with the corpses of failures
hanging lifeless, upside down,
displayed for all to see.
Uncanny gallery of battle wounds
the scars still hurt
after they heal.
This is not another broken-hearted poem
but it is about love
Worried about losing the now
because things could always be much worse.
Taking the slaps
because it is easier than losing a home.
Wanting less pain
but not fighting for it because somehow
we’ve learned to believe
that we get what we deserve.
And that suffering builds ruggedness of character.
And the hurt increases with each ask…
risk that heartbreak
follow that dream
(and make it real)
is no more than
the others before.
There is nothing more depressing
than wandering with the ghost of a dream
and living each day
in exactly the same way as we did
50 years before.
Keeping to the same limits
prescribed for each of us
with boundaries drawn in for us
in accordance to our merits
(determined by someone other than ourselves)
Dare we pursue the possibility of being
much much more than a cog in the machine
of one man’s dream?
This is not another broken-hearted poem
but it is about love.
Reflecting on Nothing is Something – #1 The Bench (Piemontesi 2012)…I have watched this maybe 20 or more times now…and I’ve just only recently managed to articulate why this video is so special to me.
People tell me I’m nothing
But I can make something beautiful from nothing
People give me nothing
But I can create beauty with what I am
People see nothing but what can’t be done
I see multiplicities of possibilities.
To see beauty in that which is discarded,
to create beauty from something (or someone) forgotten,
is a powerful thing.
Last night we battled our fears together.
We took turns to be each others’ fears
Standing there as my hand was put over my mouth – a silent scream
My other hand was extended
reaching for air,
my legs, crafted to display
straining, pushing forward
but never moving.
Held back by my own hand.
She stood up to her fears
She displayed absolute control
Swiping away all that stood in her way.
Word salad of papers presented
@STR NRN’s 2nd Annual Symposium
Archive, place, memory
and a methodology beyond the archive.
If I raise the ruins…is it possible to glimpse the past in the present?
Will revisiting lunar parables give me
afterliveness in distorted archives?
How does throwing it away make it appear?
Looping digital archives (looping digital/digital loops and narratives/)
pieces of memory and making sense of data.time.space.
Online media archives of protests, punches and otherwise.
Sometimes the archive is the medium is the message.
Fragments of memories
I like the idea of archives as active things, speaking…
a way of making present the absence.
Sandcastles fall and crumble with the rain.
Too many clouds to read the sky
Too murky the ocean floor
Every wave churns up
more of the past
Too much regret
gets in your eyes.
Stings and makes you cry.
You laugh because it’s easier.
you are meant to be here.
Exactly as you are.
– written in response to You Learn by Jorge Luis Borges