A beautiful talk about the power of poetry and how the act of creating poetry is blind to any sort of formal qualification. The need to express, negotiate, question, work through issues (with some grasp of words) is all you need.
Last year, I applied to be a social media intern with Asymptote which is a literary journal that focuses on world literature and its translations. As part of the application process, I was asked to pick a few pieces and explain my choices. Having read through them, I found it a waste to leave it in the recesses of my sent mail. As such, here are some of my thoughts about some of the works featured.
As a new ‘writer’, I am always happy whenever I am published – be it online or some obscure indie journal. But to be featured in an exhibition is really quite another experience altogether. To see people walking about and looking at your work with some concentration (I would like to think) is really exhilarating and frightening at the same time. You start to get defensive just in case people do not like your work.
Nonetheless, I do embrace this experience as it is all part of creating something. One’s work does not have a life if it stays in the bottom drawer.
Even if I fail, I would often tell myself, “fail often and faster – that way success will just be around the corner.”
Looking at the other works on display, I must say that there really are a lot of creative talents here and most of these artists/writers are younger than me! I am glad that my work sits together with them.
I do hope that the works by these artists will soon be framed with a little card at the bottom right corner stating the dimensions, material, and price.
I am pleased to announce that my poem, Quarter-life Crisis, has been published in Malaise’s inaugural issue. I was quite surprised that it was accepted as this was dashed off quite quickly. Do let me know what you think of the poem!
For those who are residing in Singapore, Malaise Journal can be purchased at Books Actually and Cat Socrates. Do hurry as this is a limited print run.
For those who have followed my blog, I apologise for the lack of updates. There will be a couple of posts coming up so stay tuned.
After what seemed like an eternity, my fifth semester as an undergraduate is finally over and the holidays are here! Regrettably, my plan to be consistent in writing a journal failed miserably – I did not write a single word more after my first entry. It is easy to say that I was too busy to keep a journal but a more accurate description would be that I was too distracted and my occasional inability to keep it brief often deters me from even starting.
However, something great happened in the middle of my semester! Two of my poems are published in Eastlit which came as a wonderful birthday surprise for me. One of them is written in a voice of a gypsy while the other talks about unfulfilled meetings. You can read them here if you are interested. I appreciate any feedback and comments that you may have! Incidentally, I did have a slightly different version of the poem, Meetings Unmet. You can read the edited version at the bottom of this post. Do tell me which version you prefer.
So what lies ahead during this ridiculously short holiday? In terms of writing, I shall edit a couple of my poems. I also plan to write an article about teamwork on Medium and I will blog my experiences here about trying to write on this new-ish platform and see how it compares with maintaining a blog. I hope to blog more often on my personal blog too! So here’s wishing my readers Happy Holidays and hopefully my next post won’t merely be just wishing you all a Merry Christmas.
“Let’s meet up soon!” So you say
with a smile framed by a
colon and bracket closing.
That smile shining with optimism
like a camera’s flash –
illuminating shadows of fond pasts.
But with all flashes,
the promise lingers only an instant.
An instance of politeness?
Of pity? Of custom?
Those four words – a stock phrase,
finalising all conversations, are
steel frames of a pendulum.
And I, the steel ball, thrashes from
euphoria to dejection in an
unspoken hope of it coming true.
Words are feeble straws I
grasp to feed the petering
flame of our conversations –
fleeting and customary greetings
on certain occasions. With a
reactionary crackle, the flame
lives an instance;
enjoys a moment’s brilliance…
Only to be broken by remnants of
those four words. In a jar, I collect
the ashes and wish that an urn
it is not .
The following is a portion of my first diary entry. The parts that are not included in this entry are personal and has nothing to do with writing.
After what seemed like a permanent hiatus, I’ve finally decided to start a diary again. The last time I kept a diary was in my primary school days. I probably had a rather romantic notion about diary keeping which was why I started it then. None of the pages from my childhood still exists. I probably threw it out the last time I cleared my room. Then again, my childish musings could hardly be of any use save for nostalgic amusement. I certainly was no Anne Frank.
This time, I was inspired to restart this habit by two articles that I read today – both of them from The Art of Manliness. The first article was an excerpt from Arnold Bennett about existence and the act of writing a diary. The second article is a more straightforward article about how and why one should start a diary. After giving much thought about it, I realise that both articles have a kernel of truth in it. Besides, now that I’m turning 23 and have been blessed with a decent education, perhaps my thoughts and secrets would be of use to someone – be it my future self or otherwise. The challenge ahead is to be consistent about it.
Those who know me personally will be surprised that I’ve chosen an electronic medium to write my diary since I’m mostly averse to technology. It would be a beautiful thing if I could spend a couple of hours writing into a leather bound diary with a fountain pen. Alas, I don’t have the luxury of time nor – considering that this is a long term activity – the physical space to keep the diaries. I’ve thought of starting a private blog but that means I’ll not write my most intimate thoughts in it for the fear of someone hacking it or accidentally making the post public. As such, the current arrangement – whatever that is – is the best compromise.