Saturday, April 18, 2015

I REMEMBER (experiment based on Joe Brainard's biography)

I remember how I didn’t know how to smile when the adults says “cheese!”, so I opened my mouth really wide, into a huge little “O”. Though very unglam, it seemed to delight them then. I was never really photogenic anyway.

I remember the first Christmas I had in my grandparents’ house- I remember that I kept touching and plucking on the fake Christmas tree. Everyone loved me and I was the center of everyone’s attention, because I was the only child in the family then. We had the best KFC meal that day. I remember clearly how smelly uncle’s fart was on that day. Once you smelt it, you cannot unsmell it.

I remember having a very bossy and bitchy childcare playmate. His boogers are forever hanging from his nose. Everyday there, I wished that he would remember to wipe it.

I remember having a birthday celebration at the childcare centre; the cake was a big as the sea! I remember being so embarrassed when everyone sang “Happy Birthday” to me.

I remember another cake. It wasn’t chocolate flavored. I was so sad when I realized that the cake wasn’t mine; everybody told me it was grandpa’s. I cried so hard, then grandpa cut the cake with me. I just wanted to blow the candles.

I remember going up the Merlion. On the way, there was a skeleton on the ceiling. My dad was tall and he was carrying me, so I was so terrified of touching the skeleton- I thought they might bite me with their bony teeth. Then we reached the Merlion’s mouth. I didn’t care about anything else; I just wanted to touch the Merlion’s gigantic teeth.

I remember being the “lightbulb” during my youngest aunt’s dates with her future husband. I got everything I asked for, and they even told me stories about Daniel and the Lions. I remember how beautiful the picture book was. I remember throwing it away when I was old enough to understand it.

I remember a dear neighbor of mine. Everyone said we looked like twins (because of our Chinese eyes). So we became the best of friends. We had the same pink Pikachu dress and same handheld Pikachu. It was all so funny; we could have become the next “Four Little Golden Princesses”, except half.

I remember how another neighbor had loved me; he and his wife doted on me because they had no daughter. They brought me to many places with their sons; like the Singapore army exhibition. I cried because I wasn’t tall enough to reach the army telescope, but the boys could (and I was supposed to be older than them!).

I remember my first National Day with my Kindergarten friends; all of us wore the Singapore air steward and stewardess uniform. I felt really pretty in the dress because it was a gorgeous shade of purple. Purple like our Vanda Miss Joaquim. I remember how prettily radiant my form teacher was on that day. I remember how all the parents were talking about how she disappeared with the childcare’s money, months later. I didn’t know why she would do that then.

I remember visiting my youngest aunt’s future husband’s house. I loved going there because he had a dog, named “Kouki”. The dog was so lovable, but I was scared it would bite me. So I always stayed on the second floor to talk to it, because I knew that it didn’t dare to go down the stairs from the third floor. I had an obsession with all dogs then.

I remember my first Chinese Orchestra performance at school; and how mum missed the whole performance because she was late. She brought my brother along though, and I remember how he ran all around the school on his fat little legs.

I remember my first relay race- I loved running and the way the wind blows past my face; I imagined having superpowers and riding with the wind. I remember how intimidating all the older prefect were, and how tall they were, standing behind our relay team. I remember my team got the fourth place-the last. All the girls in my team held hands and walked out the field, pouting.

I remember my primary one friends and my form teacher; and how she loved us. She gave me a Toy Story bookmark for my birthday and I cried when I got home; because I remember everyone else got the Bug’s Life bookmark and I really wanted that same bookmark as well.

I remember being so scared of all my dolls and soft toys after I dreamed that my doll bit me like a vampire. The stories about haunted Teletubbies were the last straw; I kept them all in the storeroom after that.

I remember mum being pregnant with brother and how strange it all was for me, watching her belly grow into a mountain and move and kick, like a soft, fleshy football.

I remember drawing pokemon and digimon for my newborn baby brother on the day of the hospital visit.

I remember seeing my baby brother for the first time-he was so small, so wrinkled. I don’t know what I felt, but I just stood beside the container, and I couldn’t look away.

I remembered playing Hide-and-seek and Three blind mice with my cousins in my grandparents’ huge bedroom. It was always fun then. I still wish that they would still want to play these games with me, but the room is now too small for all of us.

I remember always asking dad and mum for Macdonald’s vanilla ice cream cone. I couldn’t understand why they were satisfied after having just one bite of the ice cream then; but I was glad I had the rest of the delicious, sweet ice cream all to myself.

I remembered that horrid tutor during my PSLE days- she made every single one of us children cry with her grating loud voice and harsh words. But she turned out to be my biggest motivation for PSLE, and in the end I really liked my results.

I remember that boy I had a crush on since kindergarten- I had to leave the crush behind after getting my PSLE score and move on to secondary school. I remember having one last glance at him- dark, tanned skin, very good looking face (but my best friend then told me he looked ugly. I totally freaked out at her comment), dashing mushroom hairstyle…

I remember those kindergarten days when I had the crush on that boy. His name was Kenneth. It was a very bizarre name to me then, because I had known only Chinese names. I told him it sounds like “camel”. He laughed awkwardly. I didn’t know what a crush was then, but I was very, very happy because he kept blowing flying kisses at me during class (it disturbs me a little now I think of it) and called me his best friend. I also felt quite angry whenever he kept hanging out with another girl in class. I guess love and jealousy is an inborn thing.

I remember my second crush in secondary school. The boy sat beside me for two semesters, and we became fast friends. I don’t know when, but I started to get very fond of him, especially his face. I thought he was very, very handsome. He also had very tanned skin. I think I have a thing for tanned skins.

I remember watching Sailormoon and that masked guy kissing and wondered how a kiss is like. Is it like, biting each other’s lips?

I remember pouting in front of the kitchen mirror, just to see how I would look when kissing. I was horrified at what I saw. I guess “no one likes a duckface” is true.

I remember playing playdough in front of the kitchen. I accidentally chocked on and swallowed a chunk of it when I dangled it over my open mouth. It was so painful trying to puke it back out.

I remember falling asleep on the sofa as my parents watch TV.

I always remember how dad and mum always carry me to my bed whenever I was half asleep.


I remembered how awesome my childhood was.

But somewhere along my growing up, everyone fucked me over.

Spill them all.

My mother had depression ever since I was born.


She tried to suffocate and kill me when I was four, but then I cried so hard, she stopped.


When I grew up, she never did really cared about my life; she wanted to end hers multiple times.


My family had always been very poor. It was good that none of the acquaintances knew that we all had to live on $10 when we ran out of money halfway through the month.


I thought dad was the pillar of strength in the family. I was wrong.


Giving all the little earnings I made to the family during long school holidays, I had very little time to spend with friends, "friends". Shopping, going out, hanging out...? I've never had a single cent that I could claim to be truly mine.

I remember how dad screamed at me for buying 5 pieces of clothing for RM60. I could never forget how he punished me in front of all my wealthier and younger cousins for my lack of fashion sense and my frivolity in spending HIS money.

I remember how he whipped me till my thigh skin broke open; I had spent the Sunday morning in Church.

I remember how, when I was 6, he shut me out of home when I couldn't remember the mathematical timetable from 1 to 14. He threw all my clothes out of the door along with me. I guess that is why I've always hated mathematics.

I remember how he slammed the door in my face for offending him. I didn't have food for a day, and I was flat out broke.

I'm really tired. Having loved my family and tolerating it all, I'm really, very tired.

There are much, much more instances whereby my family had loved me and cared for me, more than anyone else would. And I know, nobody could ever love me like they do.

But I guess no family is ever perfect.

People are selfish after all, and I've always been magnet for such.

They're sick.


I'm sick.


My God listens, My God sees.


But I just wonder, why are all these happening to me?


And I guess, the real pillar of strength had always been my poor, poor, brother, who has seen it all, and tolerated it all; even my madness.

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Lunch with the poet (in me)



“Today is mine!”
I declared,
And snatched the hot, toasted paragraph
From your hands.

I chewed contentedly,
Feeling the crunch of enjambments
And the sweet, juicy taste of metaphors
Then washed them down with refreshing adjectives.

You tapped the table impatiently,
As if to make some onomatopoeias out of it.
 I nearly forgot- You were waiting for my final verdict:
“Your sonnet soup is too dry” I declared, drunkenly.

Incensed, you lunged across the table and
 Knocked down my plate of spicy exclamations
With extra question mark drumlets
and grabbed my chin!?

Forcing a hand down my throat,
You dug around my contents and pulled out
That slab of blank verse I had overwrote-
Remains of yesterday’s dinner, no doubt.

Outraged, I grabbed a handful of ellipses…
And threw them into your eyes!
You yelled and screamed, trying to make sense of images…
While I nibbled on an epic-flavored pie!

“Well, may the odds be ever in your flavor” I apologized,
And held up a plate of haiku to compromise.
It was then that I realized,
I am super hungry for I, My, Me and Mine-

But I think
You

 Will do just fine.




PS: "这能吃的吗???"