Tanka #2

Not geography-

Emotionally, we’re at

The ends of the earth

The silence carries over

Despite distance or hour.



Suffocating nights;

The past stumbles through my dreams

And sits on my chest1.

Pray for relief that is rain,

And sleep like a handkerchief.


1Fun fact: the ‘mare’ in ‘nightmare’ refers to an evil spirit that, well, sits on people’s chests while they are sleeping.

Filling the Silence: How I Learned Chinese from a Stranger on the Train to Penzance (reblog)

We’ve been sat in silence for around an hour. Not actual silence, obviously – we’re on a train – but that specific breed of not talking that loiters aggressively on public transport, enabled by digital cocooning, fear of rejection, and an overzealous adherence to that childhood motto, ‘don’t talk to strangers’.

However, my own cocoon has seen better days. I’ve forgotten my headphones, grown bored of my e-reader and consumed more coffee than food, and frankly I’m struggling. It’s time to break the rules and TALK TO A STRANGER.

Source: Filling the Silence: How I Learned Chinese from a Stranger on the Train to Penzance

Deleted, rewritten

Used to not seeing you for so long,

Why do you suddenly reappear,

Lounging back in your chair, sprawled

Like a Greek god, head thrown back in laughter;

Arm outstretched, fingertips carelessly brushing

the sleeves of those who come like adoring subjects.

Sudden anger. Who are they to you, could they know more about you

than me?

1st Aug ’16


你四月离去,还以为再也不会见到你,你却就在几个星期内回国,相信这次连你会同意玩笑开得有点残忍。五个月的时间,我没改变什么。 连手机中的简讯,照片,你吃饭时样子又有点蠢又可爱,视频中录下我的笑声,都保存着,显然,我始终没变聪明,学会了什么。原本希望我们在此相见时,我能以沉静的一副面对你,现在反而害怕会露出我依然还没彻底解除的情绪。




Chapter 1

Tried writing a short story, it kinda turned out like this. Tell me what you think! Should I continue this?

Suppressed noise. Sounds wired into headphones and eardrums, couples hold hands, some tensely. White noise humming from those minds temporarily blank as the wall they stare at.

Plastic handles sway like ominous pendulums. There’s a couple just above my head, millimeters from my face, which floats, reflected in the black glass within a metal door. I never noticed this blouse was the same color as the walls of a train compartment, white, dubiously sterile-looking. Opposite me, the girl leans her head on his arm. Their faces get closer, almost touch. I lapse into mock sleep, it gets harder to breathe-

Relief comes with the slowing slide of the train floor. The crowd comes murmuring back to life, awakens at the dead-sounding, doorbell-ring. That familiar, detached voice, ignored. “Please do not lean against the train doors.”  Body heat. Someone’s sweat stained shirt. Someone shoves me from behind, and I almost fall in my high heels. Sweat drops. The tide swells and bursts as the train doors open, and I rush like a bat out of hell.

Passengers from reverse direction approaches. I blink and realise, It’s August.

Jostling,  a quickening of breath. Thoughts like muddy footsteps-

Fingertips brush against a soft, flowery sleeve. “Hey!”

I was the one who stopped her. Once again, I reached out into the rippling sea of people and snatched a slippery, golden fish.  Here she is, clothes trapped in my fingers again. I’m hoping she can’t feel how hot they are, blood burning under my skin like her vivid blush.