Final Words | Quick Piece

The phone rang and I reached over to grab it so fast that I nearly fell out of my chair. “Hello?” I answered, but all I heard was a loud, high-pitched tone. “Damn!” I pulled the phone away from my ear. “What the hell-“ I was cut off when a smooth female voice started to speak. “Emergency. This is a worldwide emergency. All beings are in danger due to imminent comet approaching in 6 hours.” I scoffed. This is probably a prank call from a bored 12 year old. “This is not a joke.” the voice continued. “Comet will make a direct hit in 6 hours. Please stay calm and stay with your loved ones. Further information can be found online through all news channels and keep updated through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.” My hands began to shake slightly. I could’ve imagined it, but the final words that came from my phone will always haunt me. “You have one life and it’s going to end soon. Make the most of it.” And with a final click, the voice was gone.

For the first hour, my phone continued to ring off the hook as I sat still and motionless in front of my TV with my laptop quietly heating up on my lap. Messages flooded into my inbox from bosses, old lovers and high school classmates saying that I was a great worker, apologies with reasons I don’t recall and an onslaught of memories that I had long filed away. As I watched the reporter talk about the axis and momentum of the comet, a part of me wanted to believe that it was all a hoax. The government wanted everyone to stop complaining and pay more mind to them or maybe it was a rich guy’s  sad idea of teaching everyone gratitude. For all I know, the comet could even miss. I couldn’t accept that six hours was all I was going to get. Yet, I continued to diligently answer each call, reassuring, crying and yelling with everyone. What else can I do?

For the next hour, I wandered the street and tried my best not to lose my faith in humanity. Broken glass lay strewn all over the ground, couples straight up naked in the middle of the road while cars honked endlessly at them. Discounts filled stores still with clothes still swinging, but stores with bold red letters screamed, “Take it all! It doesn’t matter anyways!” with things like novelty garbage pails gone within minutes — one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. There was no point in driving because of the amount of people wandering the streets, carefree and carelessly. It was like the illusion of safety was popped and what we were left was who were truly were. By now, my phone had generally quieted down, so I was surprised when I received a call from an unknown number. “Hello?” I answered, hoping it was the same cool voice from 3 hours ago taking everything back. “Hello?” No one responded. I tried a third time. “Hello? Is anyone there? The world is ending and I don’t want to be that jerk that hangs up on you. For all I know, you might be someone pretty important who needs company.” There was a sigh on the phone and a voice so small and fragile that I had to lean in to hear. “I love you. You were the first person I thought of when the mess of the world started to unravel because to me, you are the calamity and color of the world.” A final click ended the call. The final words comforted my soul and I walked down the street under the rapidly deteriorating and fearfully raw world, their screams lifting up to meet the incoming comet.

107.9 FM Summer Hits | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope your June is going well so far!

107.9 FM Summer Hits

I’m in love with the shape of you.
But she said, where’d you wanna go?
How much you wanna risk?
‘Cause I got issues
But you got ‘em too
So give ‘em all to me
And I’ll give mine to you
Oh na na, just be careful, na na
Love ain’t simple, na na
My sunrise on the darkest day.

Top 100 hits
YouTube views scratching the millions
Commenters loving the singer, being the faithful fan, a first discovery
Interviews with Ellen, Jimmy Fallon and Conan — the big names
What an amazing performance!
And they glow with their perfect contours, hot swag and
go back to touching the hearts of teenagers
just wanting to feel the wild side of life
through accessible lyrics.

And my heart stops and my hand pauses
as I scroll through the FM and AM trying to find a drivable tune
only to hear a love confession that could only be
whispered to me in the dark, your lips brushing my ear lobe
being filtered through glamour lips
and my heart can’t help,
but swoon.

Can you guess which songs I put in my poem? They’re pretty well known at the moment, so I’m pretty sure you can guess. Starting from the first line, it’s Shape of You by Ed Sheeran, Something Like This by Chainsmokers feat. Coldplay, Issues by Julia Michaels, No Promises by Cheat Codes feat. Demi Lovato and Despacito by Luis Fonsi feat. Daddy Yankee. Give them a listen and see if they speak to you in any way.

This poem is basically about how millions of people listen to these songs intentionally or unintentionally and one line or the entire song speaks to them despite it being so public, in-your-face, or mass produced. From the first stanza, I go from the particular lyrics that have spoken to me to the image that the singers have to the more individualist image of listening to the song and connecting it to a memory.

I think this is why there are so many “love” songs in the musical industry and why we just love talking about romance. We either lack it, so we want it. We have it, but our experience is always unique, but similar, so we want to share. Or we want to reminisce on a portion of our lives that was good. Whether or not we want to admit it or we like to proudly show it, these pop songs somehow make their way into our lives.

Which song do you like so far? Issues by Julia Michaels has been running in my mind lately.

Thanks for reading,

Alice

Grocery Run | Quick Piece Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope you enjoyed that piece!

Grocery Run

Surprise, surprise. This piece was inspired by my trip to the grocery store and it was pouring. The rain was so sudden and I was also grocery shopping when I was hungry. While I was shopping, I kept on seeing the same people, but I wasn’t intentionally following them. I would be down the toilet paper aisle and I would see that same middle aged woman and then I would be down the meat aisle and see the couple again. Maybe it was because I would hustle around the store, trying to remember if I forgot anything, so I would end up running into the same people.

Basically this story is about someone who somehow finds peace within themselves just by their routine grocery shopping. I wanted it to feel very routine and have the thoughts familiar. This story is full of little snippets of life from the random memory of the green bean to running into the couple who can’t decide on which cereal. Sometimes the wrong people hear your thoughts and you feel like a fool. You may not realize it, but each little moment as tiny as they are can influence how you are throughout the day. In this case, the protagonist eventually lets go of their unnecessary doubts after battling it.

If today was your last day, how would you live it? If you had one more week to live, how would you approach it? If you had six months to live or even five years, would every day be special to you?

Don’t take life for granted.

Thanks for reading,

Alice

Grocery Run | Quick Piece

As I drove through the storm, the swishing of the windshield wipers reverberated the rapid thoughts fluttering in my heart. “Give me a break.” I muttered as I squinted at the road as the lines slowly disappeared. “I’m just trying to buy some groceries!” The droplets pelted at the windshield, reminding me of things to do, things I haven’t done and things I’ve half-assed. I aggressively flicked on the left turn signal as a subtle F-you! to the doubts in my head. I finally pulled into the parking lot and with a rumble, the car sighed to a stop. In waves, the rain hammered at my car. The wind howled like a ghost whispering about my impending fate, yet the rain continues to pelt, Finish your work! Get out there! You’re wasting your life! And I shout back, “You ass, I don’t want to get soaking wet!”

I pushed my faithful cart down the vegetable aisle, thinking back to the time when I nearly choked and died on a long green bean. My mother told me to eat my vegetables and as a seven year old, I thought I would “rebel” against her by shoving all the green beans she made into my mouth. My logic was that the faster I ate my veggies, the less time I would have to deal with them. My plan was foiled when one strand decided to hang out in my throat. I shuddered as I headed towards the fruits, picked out a couple almost ripe apricots and picked up a couple mangos. “These would be great in a smoothie.” I said while weighing them the palm of my heads and gently squeezing them. “Or I could straight up eat them.” I wandered around the store for a little longer, passing by the many chip bags and the craft beers. “I like this brand. They put a little more granola in the cereal than that one.” the girl said, waving the cereal box in front of her boyfriend’s face. I passed by and he glanced at me and I just shrugged. “Fine. Let’s get that one.,” he said, throwing the box into the cart. I sighed and remembered when I had someone to bother. “It’s okay.” I said standing in the check out line. “I can always bug myself.” “Excuse me?” an old lady in front of me turned around and looked me up and down. “Are you okay, ma’am?” I nodded and smiled as I watch her pay and wheel her groceries away, her little grey bun bouncing up and down.

I walked out to my car and noticed that it stopped pouring. Little lakes and oceans littered the parking lot, capturing a sliver of the blooming sun in each of them. I glanced at the vibrant blue sky to see a full and beautiful rainbow. And with that, my doubts melted away and splashed into the puddles.

Unconfined Thoughts 26 – Aglaonema

I’m sorry that you’ve been reduced to a common office plant. With your colorful leaves and short stature, yet you’re low maintenance, you’ve graced the desks of office secretaries instead of where you belong. You wish you were like that oak tree outside, swaying gently to the breeze while you have to entertain yourself to the air conditioning that’s always on because the boss has a chronic sweat problem and everyone else is wearing down jackets. You wish you were like that orchid, constantly a showcase on everyone’s Instagram feed and carefully watered and maintained because “it would be such a shame if it wilted”. You wish you were like the pointy succulent squad in the front corner of the desk, next to the zen garden and faux waterfall. A little jungle over there. A little sense of peace, instead of the office vibe that the pencil skirts, striped ties and stale coffee give off. You inhale oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, straighten up a little and try to live it up a little while swaying to the imaginary breeze, facing the window where dreams once were.

Written: 6/16/17 1:06am

Unconfined Thoughts 25 – Language Barrier

I think in French, my mind rolling around repeating Je ne sais pas. Je ne sais rein. And I painfully reel back, hold myself back and go back to writing dreams in English. I head down the street for a coffee, but I don’t drink coffee, so I stop inside and inhale all the scents and memories. Memories of you and a sly and satisfied smile behind the recyclable coffee cup, your tongue stained and your breath smelling of a routine morning strike me and I pause to avoid an onslaught of tears. I order a cookie even though I already have a bunch of cookies and my mind reverberates Je t’aime. Je t’aime beaucoup. Back to work. Back home again.

I yell in Cantonese, the pitched notes, the sharp tongue and suddenly I’m reminded when I sprinted down the halls, barely missing the corners to avoid facing my punishments. Screaming and yelling, hearing only my voice in my head and feeling powerless with Stop it! I didn’t mean it! I’m sorry! And the Cantonese got closer until I grew up, but I guess I could order a heaping bowl of noodles instead of hearing how worthless I can be.

I insult myself in Mandarin, a classic, yet difficult language and demonstration of your truest skill and culture as I struggle to pronounce who I am, maintaining my goofiness without fail only to appear rude and of a child. With a singular glance and formal smile, I’m deemed as unworthy as the silence fills the spaces between us until I’m no longer close enough to understand. What a pity.

I dream in Korean, a light weighted and song-like whisper. Even the most vulgar and harshest phrases, come out as balls of marshmallow, melting your mouth and coating it with a light kiss. Yet, I’m lost and I wonder how do I find the correct recipe to success to treat your heart to newfound memories of joy.

Written: 6/16/17 12:16am

A Fragile Soul | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone!

I hope all is well with you!

A Fragile Soul

Yellow hats with a pineapple
Pink hats with a flamingo
Blue hats with a seashell
Black hats with don’t mess with me etched in neon thread
An expression of my soul.

Athletic pants worn when snacking
Red lipstick traced for a touch of boldness after a breakup
Sweatpants worn as comfort for a final exam
Undies under a sheet, watching a rerun of Friends, just because
An expression of my sorry ass.

“You don’t know my life!” she shouts holding a bowl up high
threatening glass shards exploding everywhere.
Hot tears flow down my face and a small relief mixed with guilt
explode as the bowl kisses the floor —
An expression of pain.

“You’re precious to me.,” he mutters after a long day,
sending flutters racing throughout her body and she holds him tight,
kisses him good-night before drifting into a blissful sleep —
An expression of love.

This poem is about how beautiful humans are and how multidimensional we are. I really love reading and writing poems like this especially when I’m having a harder day because these poems accentuate the simplest beauty of someone without them even having to try very hard.

I start the poem off with a simple description of hats. I’m a big fan of colorful hats with a small mundane (pretty exciting) icon on the front. It’s like a little demonstration of who you are based on the color of the hat and what the icon is, but you can never really tell who someone is based on their hat. From the simple description, I wrote an expression of my soul, something quite heavy to start off the poem.

In the next stanza, I poke fun at some ironic outfits (mostly at myself) and how we really love to get comfortable. Notice the trend? During the summer, I love to write about relaxing when in reality, I relax a bit too much to the point where my mind has melted into pudding. Moderation is key! 🙂 I’m sure most of us has found ourselves in these situations.

In the third stanza, I transition to more personal situations and this one is of anger and an impulsive decision. When I was a teenager, I would clash badly with my parents and have bursts of anger where things end up being broken. It was a bad point in my life, but I’ve risen out of it and now I know how to handle my anger better. In relation with you and the poem, everyone has had a situation similar to mine and while it’s not a pleasant time to reminisce, it has happened and shaped aspects of your life and those affected for better or for worse.

In the final stanza, I delivery my final blow — love. I’ve noticed that romance is something everyone wants to be involved in whether by being in a relationship, watching romance movies, reading romantic works or pampering yourself. It’s a definite necessity and there are two ways you can interpret this stanza.

  1. Cherishing your significant others and the small, loving moments.
  2. Remembering to love yourself, even telling yourself good-night and having a good mind set to try and have a good day.

Every one of us have a different persona, but we’re all beautiful and fragile souls, meant to be treated right and cherished. Love yourself! 🙂

Thanks for reading!

Alice