the humble watermelon

words, music, and the greater art

Coconut Corner, a poem

Coconuts are plentiful at coconut corner,
A sharp knife and a tree-long hook
Brimming coconut water, coconut flesh
Mild, lukewarm, afternoon’s aroma.

Souls are plentiful at coconut corner
Clear eyes and pearl-wide grin
Fingers’ prick on tip and straight slant on flower of age
Vibrant, tangible, afternoon’s aroma.

Humbleness is plentiful at coconut corner
Wooden bench and stump of tree
Shy grass greets pavement sand and worn skin
Simple, unassuming, afternoon’s aroma.

Months; Here and There

These past few months I’ve been absent and present, but mostly I’ve been living between the transitions.

It’s hard writing in between the transitions. Some things feel to personal, others feel too brief. All feel lightly fleeting. Poems are easier. I open up my notebook on nights when art surges in me, and the pen guides my way. Videos are even easier. Here, people are walking, there, is a painted alley. I click record on both.

But writing, you need to showcase a triumph or a defeat. To connect with the reader, you need to express your ideas, whether abstract or concrete, and then render them meaningful and substantial. There have been true and honest moments in my life these past few months, but they do not feel concrete in my memory. The only difference between them and all my other memories is that I’ve tried to hold on to them more. They might not even be pulling away, but I keep a tight grip on them because I worry about their loyalty. Read the rest of this entry »

Two Nights, One Summer

There are two nights this summer that I remember fondly, and deeply, and boldly.

The first night, I realized with a crying force that dreaded responsibilities are written in the laws of the universe. The second night, I experienced a dizzying happiness that resulted from tears and recent strangers whom I now shared a piece of my life with.

The first night should have made me a happier person. And it did, but only for that one night. Hereafter, I slid into a slump that I wish could be explained in a simple syllogism. You see, I’m the kind of person that worries about upcoming deadlines and tasks constantly. And I used to comfort myself by telling my mind that all would be better once I am able to complete my check-list. That night, on my bed, I smiled and laughed because I realized that I should give up on dreading because life will never stop giving me a reason to dread. It was a soft, incandescent lightbulb moment. So why did I disintegrate after the sun rose? I think sometimes when the mind suddenly knows it realizes that it knows so scarcely the voids of existing. Read the rest of this entry »

Once

I laughed because Dad grew frustrated over the constant reappearance of a ceramic bowl filled with water in the washroom on the main floor. And there was always a metal spoon, sitting idly in the water, always. He brought it out once more to the kitchen sink to clean it. I didn’t tell him it was because of the honey of my honey mask that stuck to the bottom of the bowl.

I went into the living room and threw myself on the couch. I rested my right hand on the armrest, and examined my stubby fingers. How funny that they were there, and I could feel them. Feelings about fingers evaporate rather quickly however. Read the rest of this entry »

Time & Excess

8:24 P.M.
She reaches for the bag that houses the shorts and the sweater. Her mom protests a little but hands her the bag soon after setting her eyes on a plate abused with many red tags. She shuffles the bag to her left hand, and uses her right to touch a fleece blanket. Her hand feels dirty. The air is a cruel sterile. The music wafting from the speakers reminds her of failed dreams. As they make their way down the escalator, she stares at the substantial tube of lipstick flattened on an oversized, wrinkled paper. They make their way to the doors, but not before they take a peak at the clearance shoes rack. She grips the handle, and notices the reflection of her resigned fingers on the dirty glass. She lets her mom walk out first. She follows, bag in left hand, right hand rubbing her shirt. Read the rest of this entry »

Small Damages, a book review

by Beth Kephart
published in 2012
a sweeping 5/5 stars
Goodreads Kephart’s Website

“You aren’t happy,” Estela says.
“I can’t be happy,” I say.
“Look at me, Kenzie.”
“I’m looking at you, Estela.”
“Do you know your own heart?”
“I don’t know anything.”
“Go,” she says, “and think. And don’t come back until you know.

 

Books are worth nothing without a reader. But, that doesn’t mean a book should feel obligated to give away its whole essence as soon as the reader has turned to the first page. A true book invites the reader to discover its potential and its nuances, while maintaining the enigma and allurement of its conception. And one of the books that does just that, without a doubt, is Small Damages.

Kenzie is spending the summer after her senior year in Spain, bringing with her a growing belly and an undetermined future. Her mom has sent her to avoid dealing with the public embarrassment that will come with her pregnancy, and Kenzie’s boyfriend, Kevin, is failing to understand her choice and has his eyes set more on Yale than her chocking situation. Kenzie spends her days in an old cortijo, surrounded by an eclectic array of personalities spanning from the boisterous cook, Estela, the free-spirited gypsies, and the reticent young man who spends most of his time with animals, Esteban. Here, Kenzie finds herself thinking, and observing, and discovering the parts of herself she didn’t even know existed, and the parts of her herself that are becoming to be.

Small Damages has a lusciously intimate quality to it. Kephart’s prose is divine: the words never speak too little or too much. The sentences never meet an edge; they are continuously weaving itself into the next, creating delicate cycles of imagery and rhythm. The prose speaks for Kenzie with honesty and heart, free from any misguided ambiguity that sometimes leaves the reader to dig for more information that doesn’t exist. Read the rest of this entry »

City & Culture

There is something miraculous about discovering the personality of your city. Suddenly, everything seems more lively, more vivid, more dark, more close. A breath is suddenly divided into its hopeful inspiration, and its nostalgic exhalation. People seem happier, people seem sadder. The tire skids resonate more, the sun glares more intensely. The city is alive, and suddenly you are too.

Public Transit
I started taking the public transit this past school year. Here’s the thing about buses in Winnipeg (and I’m sure in many other cities): they put the different levels of social-economic status into actual perspective. Taking a bus heading to the University of Manitoba is whole different experience than taking a bus heading northbound through Downtown. The latter’s dynamic is messy and crude, while the former’s dynamic is coordinated and sensible.
Maybe it’s the awfully designed sticky velvet seats, or the slight smell of chocked, dirty sweat, but people in buses are much easier to pity. They file in one by one, a few dressed impeccably well, a few a little delusional, and plop down in their respective seats. There are a lot of eyes focused on phone screens, some lost in their own dream, but all reflect on their life beyond the vicinity of the murky air that surrounds the rumbling vehicle.

The Exchange District
The Exchange District does not cover a lot of area, but it has big character. There’s a used book store that is so stuffed with books and cartoons and rotting paper that a tiny little flame would set the whole place in blazing flames in a matter of seconds. There’s a beautiful vinyl and CD store that screams “cultured hipster” (but that surprisingly does not have any classical music… shame). There is an absolutely brilliant craft shop that sells the most delicate and exquisite journals and notepads. There is poutine, shawarma, and an eccentric hot dog stand. It is an undisturbed little corner of a loud and hazy downtown that incites fresh perspectives and encourages you to just lay on the grass, breathe, and listen to the sky’s music. Read the rest of this entry »

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