Thursday, December 30, 2004


maybe the moon has us on a leash, that's why we stay out so late, giggling at mechanical cow rodeos and shit-talking the holidays (fuck christmas, give me a guiness.) i saw the sun set twice yesterday, once in the rain, along the 405, the sun looking like a shy goosebumped peach rolling side-by-side my car, quietly singing can't-touch-this-nyah-nuh-nuh-nyaaah at me, and another time, in the rain, on a plastic couch, her cigarette butt dying out as she leans in close, her chin fitting in the 3-inch space where my neck meets my right shoulder. whenchoo start smoking!, a friend says me. i think when i stopped sleeping, i sheepishly reply, with a goofy etch-a-sketch-grin. lung cancer, what i want for christmas is lung cancer.

i drag another one, and watch the smoke turn into elephants and jellyfish. a circus, it's a circus under my skin, a square dance to squarepusher set to a beat marked by the fibonacci sequence (square one, biotch.) what i'm saying is: i have no words, just pauses and breaks, a "..." and a "um" walking hand in hand out of my mouth.

sonic youth's "dripping dream."

i think the stars are singing que sera sera. and me, i just wanna shut em up with a sunrise. (ouch, cheesy.)

Sunday, December 26, 2004

an 8.9 earthquake, the largest in 40 years, hit this morning. 10,000+ feared dead...

architecture for humanity

Saturday, December 25, 2004

drown out that caroling

love (a tribute to natalie portman)
the kleptones' a night at the hip hopera

dope. it's like having shelly duval, dr. octagon, and vanilla ice home for the holidays.

Thursday, December 23, 2004


grew up here

now live here

one day end up here?

movement. not quite sure where, or how. but i'd like to go somewhere, soon, leave with nothing on me, except a toothbrush in my backpocket. ok ok, a toothbrush and a discman, but just one record though (digable planets - blow out comb) nothing else. ok ok ok, a toothbrush, a discman, a cd, and a book (of poems, mohja kahf's "e-mails from scheherazad," i want some voyagers dust on me shoulders.) that's it. no, some cans of soy milk too. but that's it.

strap a balloon onto my backpack, i need to go somewhere.

(aren't subway maps somethin? the colors are dope. the blushing red line are full of would-be lovers who don't dare introduce themselves to each other on train rides, the blue line are for the tired coming home late who like to sit by the window and look at the stars, the pink lines are defiant and show off tattoos of graffiti, the green lines got an identity crisis and wish they were a horse and carriage through the park, and the yellow lines... the yellow lines are for the asian americans who should ride the train for free, they built them railroads. word, jin, word.)


a parent telling stories over tea and sugar:

"my colleague was in a restaurant in china with a client who made a fortune selling condoms to the chinese. he priced them at half the normal price and wanted to show my colleague that his products weren't the cheap stuff (no holes and all.) so he pulled out his condoms at the dinner table, opened them, and poured hot water in them. and he did it several times, with all sorts of condoms. soon everyone at the restaurants started looking at them, and my colleague started feeling embarassed. 'please put them away,' he asked, 'everyone's looking at us.' and the client goes, 'so what, we're at a dinner table! i'm just showing you food, see, here's the chocolate one, here's the strawberry one...'"

welcome home.


nursing a typhus in me nerves, kids, i got elastic bones, jumper cables in my blood stream. what can i say - i'm tired, been jogging my chest, trying to dodge the cracks above my heart, tiny holes carved by your departure. goin round and round, round and round.

i think, pavement is memory, this concrete's got grey matter, how its cracks are wrinkles, how every street corner must cry when people part on them. this street misses you when you're gone, it sings your name, through every electrical current beneath this city.

Friday, December 03, 2004

who says the right to love doesn't deserve a movement?

was something i needed to hear, just in time, a kiss against my ears like a car crash, something that left me drifting away with red wings. a night of poems that left me leaping out of my seat, nudging waiching next to me, yapping "say what??!! say that again!! BOK BOK BOK!!!"

poetry for the people, i miss em.

(but damn: the right to love needs a movement. desperately. from atrios, here's why: here and here ...)

Thursday, December 02, 2004

i anchored my lips to a red balloon and off they went, perhaps to vietnam, to hue, where my mother is right now, clutching my grandfather body of dust close to her heart. she's bringing him home. i have a message in my cell phone inbox all the way from the home where my grandfather - papi - grew up, each word a little lost, its shadow long and thin. how did these words find me, all across the pacific ocean? did they wait until night and used the stars as a map? or perhaps they just caught a flight (a stop in hong kong), and arrived here, shaggy haired, grumpy and a lil jet lag. somewhere, she is throwing words at the ocean to me, skipping like stones under the night sky.

in other news: i got 40+ pages i need to trim down into a thesis. see yall in three weeks.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

in san pedro, car dealerships always hang in groups - like a posse of silver haired fellows kicking it in xxl tees along the pacific coast highways. sweet oranges are hard to find, especially when you've decided that you will no longer support supermarkets and walmarts (fuggem, don't needem.) los angeles makes it hard to maintain a liberal lifestyle - you have to continuously reload your gas gussler (sorry tommy corn) wherever you go. i think, i don't want to live here after college (one month to go, yikes.) but maybe i won't have a choice. odb is singing i let it out like diarrhea off my brother's radio as we try to drive home, the 405 barely moving, and all those red brake lights staring back at us. there should be more dance parties on the freeway. what i wouldn't give to do the electric slide on top of that truck.

Sunday, November 21, 2004

the mexican cabdriver's poem for his wife, who has left him

We were sitting in traffic
on the Brooklyn Bridge,
so I asked the poets
in the backseat of my cab
to write a poem for you.

They asked
if you are like the moon
or the trees.

I said no,
she is like the bridge
when there is so much traffic
I have time
to watch the boats
on the river.

by martin espada

30+ pages or research due tuesday, plus a short film and some physics. i'm livingoff tea and honey, super sugared donuts, string beans and mushrooms, cheeseboard pizza, and stacks and stacks of new books (martin espadas and stolen murakami books.) my lomograph is neglected.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

tom wiscombe's lecture: dude showed pictures of b-boys breaking to his buildings, "i wanted to make an urban beach," he said, "you know, a place with shade where people wanna get naked." those cats from coop himmelb(l)au are crazy.

Monday, November 15, 2004

more gorgeous at kathy's.

eddy zheng got recommended for parole!

summer snuck back in, with a tri tip grin and a dash of chicken salad by her lip, on saturday. she said "FUCK OFF!" to fall, who sat around in a member's only jacket and some black lebron james 2 (why is fall so effin trendy?) winter wasn't invited, she smelled too much like cigarettes. and spring, spring's studying abroad.

the sun was out, and cyrus found a secret beach, he did. the montara down by pacifica, just a breeze past the animal style fries of daly city. we hauled the air in like it was made of fire, and some light had gone out behind our eyes. we dared the ocean to extinguish us, and screamed at it, garden state style supposedly, i wouldn't know, i don't want to watch the movie (how hype can kill something beautiful.)

buttteeerrr fish and green tea ice cream, i heart huckabees for the 2nd time, korean bbq in oakland, food coma at home, jose's birthday in northside, and video games at the alex choi playground. this weekend was about escape. last night i couldn't stand my bed so i brought my blankets to my roof and slept there. couldn't see the stars, but from my roof you can see all the dim lights of the berkeley southside.

Friday, November 12, 2004

good night, iris chang. peace, david miyasato.

tonight at 2:58 am, there is nothing in the sky. no stars to be counted, no goodbye letters, just an empty mess left behind in a hurry.

Sunday, November 07, 2004

something blue for rental car

a product of pizza crusts, photographs in the rain, getting lost on the 280 west, a gay porn star, too much paint on the sidewalk, bad e-mail manners, cell phone complaints to s ("damn i hate this job"), old vinyl records, 3d studio max, and a friendly pair of power drills...

Thursday, November 04, 2004

you know what, i posted a bitter "fuck the youth who didn't vote" entry... but i just re-read it and felt that it was all bullshit. not bullshit in the i don't mean "fuck the youth who didn't vote" (i do) but bullshit in the "i am so full of despair and self-pity" sorta way.

none of that shit. i went to an open mic today and felt incredibly lifted. community events do good. poetry slams do good. benefit concerts do good. block parties do good. we do good.

fuggit, let's bring it. no pity. word to camilo: vacation's over, time for the takeover.

mike: dude throw a party at your place
bruce: if i did it would be a forget everything that happened in the last 3 days party
bruce: a shoot yourself in the face with a shot of vodka party
mike: ok fine have whatever theme you want
mike: but, a party nonetheless
bruce: a dance til your feet break and can't kick your own ass anymore party
bruce: a fuck anyone and pretend their bush party
bruce: not a cocktail party but a molotov cocktail party
mike: hah shut up man
mike: i get it i get it
bruce: a let's burn all our fucking kerry buttons and dance and revel in decadence party

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

did i cry? with the wildest throat. i cried so hard my heart is half-gone, snatched up like a red balloon in some awful wind. tonight was like a pitch black ford explorer mowing me over, again and again. what can i say, i just feel ill all over.

i am devastated and defeated and unbelievably worried and utterly lost.

Friday, October 29, 2004

david choe's slow jams.

two days ago ariel sharon won the vote to withdraw israeli settlements out of the gaza strip. tonight yasser arafat is in critical condition in a hospital somewhere in paris.

i don't know what to make of either headline. there's so much to unpack under each word. if arafat dies what happens to the palestinian people? what will the israeli conservative backlash bring?


a girl and i sat in the dark of a car wondering about the situation in palestine, how it's mysteriously absent from our everyday lives, how it seems like we're all afraid to talk or even think about it, like what's going on in the middle east unfolds a thousand and one years away.

i can't decide whether the sky's made out of barbed wire, blind folds, or just too many satellite signals. i don't know if i'm the bomb's son or the bomb's father. i'm not sure if i'm missing imagination or just some guts when i can't even dream of a free palestine anymore. there's a blackout in my chest, in my lungs heavy with charcoal.

this is just a message in passing as i try to empty myself out.


some thought provoking numbers about the conflict between israel and palestine on if americans knew.

and here's a video of edward said's final lecture on campus, early last year. it's a beauty.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

tuesday nights and the world is a defiant cloud of laundry, an ever-stretching sky of boxers, argyle socks, and inside-out tees (yellow rat bastards and educated students of color.) if i look at the pile long enough, i start to make out faces and things: che’s beard on the wrinkles of that black sock, snufflelaphocus gliding down that brown sweater. i’m down to my last pair of underwear, and if i wait any longer i’ll be harvesting leaves off these october sidewalks as pants padding.

moe said something somewhat poetic on the simpsons today: the stars are lazy, they do nothing good for nobody. i thought for a second, aren’t my socks lazier, one day of work in a snug pair of vans and then they get to lie around for the rest for the week.

my dad called me and told me i should adopt a new style, “you’re wearing the same things you wore in high school, you’re not 16 anymore….”

i think, yeah, you’re right. wednesday night, maybe i should take my cloud of dirty laundry, take em to the roof, lie em out like a fatty cushion, and lay in it, whistling with nothing on but an underwear made out of stars.

on another note: hey, who wants to have a bbq in costume this weekend.

Monday, October 25, 2004

(designed by bernard khoury)

B 018 resembles a slit carved into the earth, as if the ground’s throat had been cut and shoved open.

100 years ago, this site was the city harbor's former quarantine station, a prison for the sick and the weak, 60 years ago, it was a caged refugee camp for armenians fleeing turkish persecution, 25 years ago, it was a deathbed, a massacre of palestinians at the hands of lebanese militias.

and now, it is the trendiest bar in beirut.

the bar is designed to look like a military bunker. you enter through tight stairs at the south end of the structure and are pulled through a thick and dense underground “airlock” space manned by scowling bouncers. a gunner’s slit gives an eye-level glimpse of what lies beyond: a 60-by-40-foot room adorned with scarlet velvet drapes. inside are locked-in-place tables and benches that feature portraits of dead musicians and singers. the roof of the bar opens up to the world above, so the sky can be seen by all those dancing below.

at B 018, you gotta dance on tables, decadence is a necessity.

""The danger in architecture here (in Lebanon) is that everyone acts as if nothing happened. History is simplified." - bernard khoury

Sunday, October 24, 2004

theatre rice skits i like best
(no rankings)

- better luck tomorrow: the musical
- bizarre love pentagon (i CRAPPED my pants!)
- the mr. chong show
- aim
- berkeley royale

most delightful skit characters

- henry as the watcher (azn gangster)
- reggie as a vagina (the vagina dialogues)
- jamie as the virgin aunt (pilipino american wedding)
- dominique as pregnant teen (pregnancy skit)
- sheng and joyce as themselves (people watching on sproul)

you were

epic like the e to the x power, you’re ineffable like imaginary numbers, halo 2 got nothing on you, dopeness defined, i can’t take my eyes off you like you the new york times, you’re royalty, battle royale-ty, you're in my mind like machetes... PI~!

Friday, October 22, 2004

it's like a bbq in your earlobes. no, it's like sugar canes banging on your ear drums. no, no, it's a sound so fertile it'll make your hair grow knotty knottier than baobabs. this is an album that'll propel you to drop their weekends, fly out to chi-town, and breakdance all through Illinois.

one of the dopest asian am hip hop (well, one asian am mc) albums dropped this week, and it wasn't the jin ruff riders joint (which i do wanna get.) it's the typicaaaaaaaaaaaaaal cats' civil service, their follow up to their jaaaaazzy 2000 self-titled joint, a gift from the galapagos 4, holding it down in ol' chicago. growing roses from concrete, this album is blooming... dj natural, denizen kane and the double qs (qwel and qwazaar), and the kid knish.

if my thesis has any lyrical muscle it's only because i've been listening to this all week.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

tonight the moon is using my body like a punching bag. heartbeats halved and quartered, backbone nose-broken but still smirking like a buffoon, and my brain, on all fours, chasing its tail, yapping and yapping "wheezaagaaagaaae!" i'm on the concrete, and somehow the moon is leaning over me, lips almost touching my ears, whispering: "didn’t you tell me once that you decided never to die?" and i think, waitaminute. this is my life: i'm lying down, i'm getting enough sleep, i'm eating healthy, and i'm feeling older than i've ever felt in my life. but maybe i can peel off this dead skin and roll it into gum, chew it, and blow out a yellow brown bubble that'll lift me a few feet off this ground.

in short: FLY OR DIE.

Monday, October 18, 2004

(courteezee, nay, stolen, from poeticdreaaam)

all you sf heads: jane kim for school board. you can't touch a woman who can get matt gonzalez's band to come out and jam and fundraise for her (this saturday, folks!) jane kim's on fiyah - no metaphors here, her hair caught on fire next to a candle light after a denizen kane, sheng wang, and beau sia set last week.

which reminds me: thank you lakshmi and annalyn for holding it down on the senate floor.

and havjoo seen jon stewart on crossfire yet?!

so again, baobab boy b endorses jane kim, he also pushes YESSSSSSSS on PROP 66 (limitations on three strikes law), he believes in BARBARA LEE for SENATE, he likes PROP 72 (health care), he will relunctantly vote for the johns, he would like a FUCK NAW for PROP 64 (a yes vote means we can no longer sue businesses for polluting the environment, gentrifying communities, misleading consumers...), and he doesn't know what yall are talking about, mos def's new danger is tighter than brian nguyen's underwear.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

nous ne retournerons jamais

the sky tonight is a lunging concrete dome, an ever stretching, never ending arc of grey. my soul is a fluorescent pink tin spray can, and i think "fuggit" and tip it up towards the blank sky. but lately, i've been at a loss for words. call it disillusionment, call it heartsickness, call it a manhole in my skull through which all my linguistic skills escaped from (they swung down my neck on a rope made out of knotted dendrites.)

my father sits in the dark, his only light a television - a fuzzy television program showcasing a news broadcast from china via satellite. he makes a face, as if his eyelids are crumpled paper tossed down onto the dusty carpet. nothing is said, just the words he tries to say.

i am now sitting at my desk, staring at a blue scissor.

my asian am professor leans on his leather chair and somehow our conversation goes from the politics of culture to his daughter in middle school enrolling in a French class. He sighs, and then hesitates. he pauses his story and casually asks, "don’t you speak French?"

and I look at him and say, "I do... and it hurts very much."

my tongue is a blemish, an evolving scar that marked in my mouth. each word i speak is a reminder of what i can't say, the way my parents used to talk about water, earth, love. i speak english and french, not vietnamese and chinese.

after "discovering" the angkor wat, many frenchmen believed that france should be the legitimate heir of the khmer civilization. "indochina for the Indochinese means the slaughter or enslavement of all Cambodians, Laotians, Mois, Hmongs, and others… we, the French from Asia, we, the Western peacemakers of the Far-East, are the legitimate heirs of the ancient Khmer civilization, we are better than anything that succeeded it until our arrival on those distant and sacred shores" piped many french in the 1960s.

my mouth opens and closes, opens and closes, on and on, on and on, and for a second, I look back at the blue scissors.

je veux decouper ma langue et la transformer en oiseau. L'oiseau volerait dans le ciel et picoterait tous les yeux des ├ętoiles qui n'ont rien fait pendant la meutre de notre language. je veux que son coeur se transforme en fruit mur qui, une fois que mange, donnera tous les muets une voix.

(i want to cut off my tongue and turn it into a bird that would fly into the sky and peck out the eyes of the stars that did nothing but watch as our language die. and when the bird dies, i want its heart to turn into a sweet fruit that, once eaten, will give all us mutes a voice.)

but, of course, there are no stars, no birds, no fruits. there is only a tongue, a muscle, a boat that knows no shores.

(il y a seulement cette langue, ce muscle, ce bateau qui connait aucun abri.)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

"This nation of ours has got a solemn duty to defeat this ideology of hate. And that's what they are. This is a group of killers who will not only kill here, but kill children in Russia, that'll attack unmercifully in Iraq, hoping to shake our will. We have a duty to defeat this enemy.

We have a duty to protect our children and grandchildren."
- george w. bush, presidential debate, 9/30/2004

"I believe in being strong and resolute and determined. And I will hunt down and kill the terrorists, wherever they are."
- john f. kerry, presidential debate, 9/30/2004


these are just numbers, i think. imaginary things that i'll forget like receipts for groceries or dvd rentals. 1.7 million iraqi dead thanks to US sanctions. over 14,000 iraqi dead in our war. no split open faces, no organ trails, no faded pictures of children tucked in jacket pockets, no goodbye songs of baghdad, no smell of maggots. just numbers, digits half-blurred on a thin slip of paper with a space for our signature at the bottom.

casualty is too casual a word, it's a polished little bowtie that should be ripped out of the dictionary and tossed into a furnace. and while we're at it: get rid of the word "revolution" too. it's a carcass out of word now that should cut open with a blade, chewed on it ferociously, and buried it in the pit of our gut.

jean baudrillard told us that the gulf war never happened... he has a point: how can we know the war is true if the means that inform us are filtered and spun. all we have are little televisions with face-lifts, blips and bloops that claim to be live, transmissions scripted and rehearsed, satellites that let us imagine ourselves there at the spot, the world as our bedrooms.

i feast on salt and fat, shiny thick chunks of white, while the rest of the world nibbles on hair and bone, and i didn't bother to wonder why, i skipped on the check and walked on home.

a beirut ghazal
haas h. mroue

a night. a man. a city.
they slashed the eggplant vendor's throat.

a little city by the sea dragged to insanity.
a mutilated arm lies on the beach.

her streets are eyes, her sea a grave.
her moon guides the dead to their destiny.

in the land of black smoke there is no room for self pity.
no one will rise from the ashes of your dead children.

in the sweltering heat what do they drink?
a cool pitcher of blood and sweat and honey.

and in the end what is left? the woman with no
arm running down deserted streets.

preparing for occupation
by elmaz abi-nader

buy only short books, ones that read quickly with plots
you can keep track of when the pounding starts on the door.
drive no nails into the wall, no pictures, no pencil sharpener
or mirror. your face doesn't matter any way. you are no one.

teach your children at home. or leave them idle to wander
the streets to find a funeral parade; a crowd to join.
use only votive candles so they can burn out before morning.
stash your cigarettes in your pocket. leave nothing
in the cupboards to remind them but a child's toy.

adopt no pets. hook up no phones. print no cards, address
labels or stationery. test your batteries daily.

all your clothes must be light, in similar colors and never need
ironing. your only family heirlooms are habit, memory, name and song. believe that placing your daughter upon your shoulders will be home enough for her as she feels
for something familiar.

avoid meeting the neighbors unless you've known them
since birth. be careful of the bird flirting with you in the yard;
one of you may soon fly away.
one of you has migratory patterns.

you've been here thousands of years. but aren't your people
nomadic anyway? can't you pitch your tent in a grove
on the outskirts? move in with relatives? cross into another
country, clogging the border with shanty towns, waiting
to return? i've seen you together; you prefer to be together.

because this house bears the prints of your children
upon the wall, because the kitchen is furrowed
from your journeys made to the table from the stove,
the stove to the table, because the floor is pocked
from the weight of your davenport, doesn't mean
you can't move on.

the walls have echoed your voices, your sighs floated
up to the ceiling and gathered like clouds in a refugee sky. remember the time your son opened the door so quickly
the bulghur flew off the table and around the room?
grains are in the corners still.

you will miss nothing: the window that refuses to open,
the sputtering light of the refrigerator, the leaking pipe
in the girls' room; the cat that crosses the fence in the morning.
he is not your family although your recognize him.
this is not your town, although you walked its streets
on your wedding day. local water mixes with your blood.
this is not your country despite its dust covering
your shoes, the songs you have memorized; the poets
you claim as your own. don't look down.
look up. when the geese are passing in their vee formation, join them, tuck your treasures under your wings.
from the refugee sky, you can count the bodies below you,
examine the shipwreck of your home while others pick
through the remains.

a lesson in drawing
by nizar qabbani

My son places his paint box in front of me
and asks me to draw a bird for him.
Into the color gray I dip the brush
and draw a square with locks and bars.
Astonishment fills his eyes:
"... But this is a prison, Father,
Don't you know, how to draw a bird?"
And I tell him: "Son, forgive me.
I've forgotten the shapes of birds."

My son puts the drawing book in front of me
and asks me to draw a wheatstalk.
I hold the pen
and draw a gun.
My son mocks my ignorance,
"Don't you know, Father, the difference between a
wheatstalk and a gun?"
I tell him, "Son,
once I used to know the shapes of wheatstalks
the shape of the loaf
the shape of the rose
But in this hardened time
the trees of the forest have joined
the militia men
and the rose wears dull fatigues
In this time of armed wheatstalks
armed birds
armed culture
and armed religion
you can't buy a loaf
without finding a gun inside
you can't pluck a rose in the field
without its raising its thorns in your face
you can't buy a book
that doesn't explode between your fingers."

My son sits at the edge of my bed
and asks me to recite a poem,
A tear falls from my eyes onto the pillow.
My son licks it up, astonished, saying:
"But this is a tear, father, not a poem!"
And I tell him:
"When you grow up, my son,
and read the diwan of Arabic poetry
you'll discover that the word and the tear are twins
and the Arabic poem
is no more than a tear wept by writing fingers."

My son lays down his pens, his crayon box in
front of me
and asks me to draw a homeland for him.
The brush trembles in my hands
and I sink, weeping.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

''The way the film looks is its reality. 'Based on a true story' is such a lie. 'Based on a true color' or 'based on a strange dream' is what films cry out to be.''

a pair of dope wong kar wai stories, here and there.

Tuesday, September 28, 2004

we gotta gotta gotta fix the three strikes law so bad so bad so bad, a nation of millions can't hold us back, all the sex in the land could never keep us in our rooms, we animals, wild boars and centaurs, oink it, bark it, neigh it, growl it, snarl it, scream it, howwwwwwwwwwwwwwwl it: YES YES YES! YES ON PROP 66! YES ON SOMETHING AT LAST!

ps: 3 reasons why we gotta reform the 3 strikes law:

Steven Davis and his girfriend killed themselves after Davis was notified by the Sacramento District Attorney that he had two strikes, which would force him to serve 25 years to life for possessing marijuana and methamphetamine.

Robert Blasi received a 31-year sentence for stealing a pair of AA batteries.

Nathan Thomas, a young man with a history of homelessness, shoplifted three packs of T-shirts from J.C. Penny and was sentenced to 25 years in prison. In fact, our Three Strikes law is so broad that it treats stealing t-shirts as equal to rape or murder. People who have stolen cookies or forged a check are now locked up for twenty-five years to life, just like murderers and rapists. Californians never intended this.

say thank you to the aclu for more information.

Monday, September 27, 2004

(photos from archinect.)

man, wish i filmed a punk concert in here! i used to pass by this everyday last semester but now it's gone. it was a temporary installation that used to kick it on the second floor of the studios (some grad kids made it under lisa iwamoto's guidance.) it reminds me of a peeled mango, after it's been sliced and folded open. or maybe a heart, also after the same treatment.

how i will now introduce myself to all the new freshmen on campus:

"my father was a moustached trapeze artist and my mother was a woman who sawed herself in half, they made love on the back of a two headed tiger and gave birth to me on a tight rope, i was raised on pink poodles leaping through through fiery hoops, i am 1/4 clown, 1/4 daredevil, and a whole half bearded woman. my head is wigged cannonball with a hat, my eyes are throwing knives, and i backflip operas with a korean acrobat. welcome to the carnival, i am i am i am i am i am nothing but your your opening act."

spotlight's on you, you wanna tapdance or do something new?

Saturday, September 25, 2004

headached, and struck by library delirium, i'm on a book-a-day diet and i got two dozen things checked out (and need to read by next weekend!), this is karma calling me out after 4 years of school slackerdom, the bastard. tonight i gotta drink to get over this academic hangover.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

dropped today. daaaaaamn. gotta see it! quick!

one of the most influential city plans to have ever been designed was proposed for algiers in the 1930s - le corbusier's obus. peep em, goliath freeways hovering over the city, they connected the central business districts directly to the affluent burbs so commuters, capitalists, and colonialists could travel to work in peace, above and away from the filthy algierians and their dirty streets. the freeway plows through numerous neighborhoods and, with its concrete support beams, frames a view for the ground people of an ocean that no longer belongs to them. peep that sketch with all the blank space, that's how the designers saw the people living there: as nothing.

if le corbusier had his way the earth would be a star wars death star. and while his plans for algiers were never built, they influenced a whole generation of designers and planners who worshipped it as the blueprints of an ideal city.

(and now, look, it's our backyards.)

Sunday, September 19, 2004

danke lili

heartached and ashamed because of lili's post, she said it, she said it. i gotta get something off my chest too, soon, soon, after a shower and a good 88 minutes of free time...

Based on my possibly flawed and not well researched observations. The allegations I am about to make may be unwarranted, but in the case that I am right, it too am guilty. When the world trade buildings collapsed three years ago, people all over the world were mourning the attacks and grieving with America. But just last month when a school in Russia was seized by militants who wired the entire school full of children and teachers with bombs, as the news kept increasing the death toll, as stories emerged of the militants forcing the children to eat flower petals and drink their own urine, and as the media captured the scenes of naked children being carried out of the building and parents watching helplessly on, I wonder if many people in America stopped their lives even for a moment to grieve the atrociousness of it all. [continue]

Saturday, September 18, 2004

we sip maria full of grace like it scalds our tongue, a harsh medicine like the one our mother made for us when we were sick - something that seeps through our throat directly into our spines. i think we all have stories of escape, the ones no one likes to talk about, how we got out while others couldn't. this movie is medicine, and the sickness is forgetfulness, something we caught between here and that home we know as nowhere.


ghaflah - the sin of forgetfulness
(by dima hilal)

born by the mediterranean
our mothers bathe us in orange-blossom water
olive trees and cedars
strain to give us shade
we come to america where they call our land
the East meaning different/dark/dirty
we soon forget
our grandmothers combed hair like ours
we wish our hair blonde our eyes and skin light
we know barbie
looks better than scheherazade
we think french makes us sophisticated so
we greet each other with bonjour instead of salaam
proud of our colonizer's tongue
we forget the Qur'an sings in arabic

when we arrived
our fingernails pierced the palms of our hands
we stared at pictures of our children

eyes sockets carved out by rubber bullets
on the 10 o'clock news
our brothers and sisters spit up blood and teeth
and CBS declares them "terrorists"

now we turn away from bruises and broken bones
body counts and funerals
we know we cannot help anyway
we forget we once stood on the same ground
they die on
we look for arabia packaged by the west
we escape into clubs to watch
blonde belly
dancers named jasmine
sasahy almost naked
we eat pasty hummous at eight dollars a plate
and tell each other
how much we miss our home

how easy it used to be, a cool walk down a dozen blocks from here to there, now it's a a gas tank or two or a few thousand frequent flyer miles.

we rock sky colored baseball caps embroidered with the temperature of home, we wear it on our forehead, in our sweat beads, the places we miss, cheggit, there's a wrinkle on our skin (right above the eyebrows) that got cut open in our sleep when we learned that (like ol italo calvino used to say) the places we love know only take-offs, never landings.

a lot of y'all are moving away: peace to diane with the constantly cool shoes (dont stop moving to wherever your feet are possessed to go.) wasssssup to noogie mike, who's selling his soul for the cash flow (and existentially ponders pursuing that CPA), hey-hey to an, who did the bravest thing and moved back to take care of home, yo to j-guo, setting foot in shanghai, the splintered city that'll (hopefully) crack her head open like a ripe fruit. what is it to kathy bach, digging deep in hanoi for the things no one else sees.

this post is lame, like high school yearbook lame, but i couldn't care less. there's no need for me to say it but... you'll be missed.

see you in fifty years, four months, nine days, and 2 hours. (or hopefully sooner!)

Saturday, September 11, 2004

sleep is the enemy, gotta wage war on the sandman.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

thoughts at the michelle malkin (you know, the gal who's advocating for racial profiling, arguing that the opening of japanese internment camps during WW2 was something necessary, and suggesting that we intern arab americans NOW...) protest:

1. wear a suit and you can get in anywhere: that and a cocky strut.

2. cool tees: props to those who protest in style. my friend mohammed and some other students rocked black tees that read "i am arab" in both english and in farsi. nice.

3. gotta reimagine the protest: cause right now, we're playing right into their hands and giving them what they want.

4. i got my fix: all those pictures of protest during the rnc reaaaaally made me thirsty.

5. sexist protestors: why you gotta call her "bitch?" reminds me of what kiwi said... "there's no such thing as a down brown man because even the 'down' brown man keeps a brown woman down."

6. damn, we need to be quicker with the wit: jimmy, jason bayani, and made eye contact with michelle malkin and we COULDN'T THINK OF A THING TO SAY. what? and we're supposed to be "poets?"

7. time to find a new hobby: signs of blog going out of fashion. a republican brags to his friends that "michelle malkin wrote 'keep on blogging!'" in his book.

8. pilipino news station: got jacked and couldn't get press passes.

9. protests are pretty cool social events: nice time to catch up on each other's summers in between "when do we want it"s and "NOW!"s.

10. a nice end, i think: following michelle malkin all the way out of dwinelle with the pilipino american students singing, chanting, belting songs in tagalog to her about the shame of forgetting a revolution.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

settling into my new apartment, but i know it's time to move.

denizen kane :: patriot act
(galapagos 4, 2004)

yooooooo, new mp3 from the dude with tongues made out of butterflies and knives.

Friday, August 27, 2004

strange old stories: osaka

junior year of high school, my friend pia and i took a flight to osaka, japan, with a pair of nissei community college gals we met randomly at the mall (the daughters of a way cool kendo master.) it was impulsive: we decided to go at one of those haughty fast food stands independent from the food court. a strange decision, and i never really understood why we made it. in fact, i didn't tell most of my high school friends about it. i wasn't trying to keep it a secret, i just wasn't sure if they would believe me... and the opportunity to talk about it never causually opened during our conversations ("oh, have you seen High Fidelity? good movie. and, hey, i partied with some girls i met at the glendale galleria over the weekend. where at? in osaka, japan... it was cool... oh, and i was on television too.") i was a quiet high school kid, headphones and sketchbook routine, and i wasn't big on storytelling, so i let this one dissapear into my desk drawers as polaroids that i never really looked at after i shook them.

the story is a blur of half-conversations, communal showers, jive talking under blue street lights, coffee and cigarettes vending machines, war memorials, lucky trees, deer poo, toilet squats, long bus rides, and fish every meal of the day.

i carried a sketchbook and i went drawing with a blind high school girl i just met. i traced a mandala on a piece of paper with the blunt edge of a pen and pulled her finger to the page and guided her hand along these tiny circular canyons. draw yourself in the center circle, i asked her, and where you hope to be in the outer ones.

15 miliseconds of fame came when we were kicking it during a tour of a major television station. we were a big group - us and some japanese high school students on summer break. i was staring at a domu-kun poster on a wall when i overhead one of my new japanese friends hustling(?) a television producer. he convinved him that we were an international singing troupe for peace. i guess the producer was short of an act for his variety show so he pushed us backstage and told us that we'd be filmed in a few minutes. the only song that we all knew was lionel ritchie and michael jackson's legendary hit, "we are the world." a few minutes later we were directed on stage, in front of a studio audience. we smirked and just belted the chorus at the top of our lungs... WE ARE THE WORLD WE ARE THE CHILDREN WE ARE THE ONES WHO MAKE A BRIGHTER DAY SO LET'S START GIIIVVIIIIING.

apparently they played us during the variety show's end credits.

sometimes i think about going back, and looking for those few friends i made during that chance weekend in osaka. we were delirious kids and we stuck together well.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

quick announcement: DAMN, cal heads, take this while you still can:

Race, Racism and the Constitution

Course Title:
Advanced Seminar in African Diaspora Studies
TuTh 12-2P, 130 WHEELER
Course Control Number:
Final Exam Group:
Restrictions: NONE

why? because he's teaching it.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

LAST LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE (pen-ek ratanaruang)! there's a muscle inside me that's stopped, i shhh'd it 20 minutes into the film and it hasn't moved sinced. what can i say, this movie puts that "lost in translation" to shame. welcome to thailand, meet kenji, a friendless neatfreak with a fetish for failed suicides, and noi, a thai hooker(?) with a rusty volkswagen and a constant cigarette. christopher doyle's camerawork swaaaays. the flick lingers, lingers, as if it's got a monday morning flight to catch but it just can't get itself off that couch.

shiiit, how many times did i sigh during that thing?

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

manhattan beach and half-moon two-steps, quarter dollar arcades, and dirty car stereos: the end of summer is a fine time to go nuts. tick, tick, boom, sings the bedrooms - each one torn apart by our dog (the punk rufio, i swear, we took a velociraptor dressed up in fur back from the pound.) every night is poker night in our corner of the suburbs... until the dog leaps up (he's got hops) and trots all over our hearts (the suit, i mean... sorry, corny metaphor.)

at night, though, it gets lonely: i get caught up watching the television's blue-static skinned shadows sumersault through my room. and it's so lazy - not even enough energy to blog.

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

lame blog shoutout

she's on the top 5 dopest gals in berkeley list (is that a sexist/arrogant compliment? probably.) hot fiyah in five and a half feet. she single handedly slapped me outta shyness. coming to a computer screen near you: kathy bach finally has a blog (a photoblog of hanoi.) fiiiiinaaaaally.

by-the-by, since she's no longer in town, she's forcing carina and i to update her insanely (and obsessively) thicky thick calendar of bay area events. all things hollerable, we'll put up. drops us an e-mail and we'll blow it up.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

oppression olympics - beijing's 2008 olympic stadium (designed by herzog and de meuron.)

fuck that shit, the other side of china's architecture boom: peasants and workers are displaced by the millions as their homes are plowed down for hordes of developers thirsty to "beautify" and "clean up" the country. the displaced are now turning to suicide. (sfgate tells the story.)

news like this always reminds me of that scene from chasing amy...

Hooper: Now Vader, he's a spiritual brother, with the force and all that shit. Then this cracker Skywalker gets his hands on a light- saber, and the boy decides he's gonna run the fucking universe - gets a whole Klan of whites together, and they're gonna bust up Vader's hood the Death Star. Now what the fuck do you call that!

Banky: Intergalactic Civil War?

Hooper: GENTRIFICATION! They're gonna drive our the black element, to make the galaxy quote, unquote safe for white folks.

Holden: But Vader turns, out to be Luke's father. And in Jedi, they become friends.

Hooper: Don't make me bust a cap in your ass! Jedi's the most insulting installment, because Vader's beautiful, black visage is sullied when he pulls off his mask to reveal a feeble, crusty white man! They're trying to tell us that deep inside, we all want to be white!

Friday, August 13, 2004

Thursday, August 12, 2004

handsome boys modeling schooled

jean: boxing match. gainsbourg vs. nakamura. who would win?

bruce: serge'd kill the automator in a slugfest, frenchman'll fight dirtier than a wedgie laced with gravy. nakamura's got a mean ol posse to back him up, del and damon and mike patton and shiiiit, but let's face it: when it comes to baaaaaadasses, serge's is up there, budding heads next to richard roundtree and charles bronson from death wish 3.

jean: no, wait, actually ...which fella would you let your lady spend one night with ... (and say you HAD to choose) gainsbourg or nakamura???

bruce: the automator. why we always gotta emasculate the asian male? and who would you choose? SERGE OR DAN?

jean: dan.

*sigh* when is the sequel to handsome boy modeling school coming out?
cop this if you can

orgiastic: david ellis and the barnstormers's uber painting/short film letter to the president. two dozen arteests from new york and japan square dance with spray cans. this shit is crazy: the half-life of each piece is about a second and half, and it goes on again and again for what feels like a hundred times over. painting won't change the world, but it could mindfuck it a few times over.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

we call it architorture.

architecture studio x-actos our hearts up, slices them into tiny models of mismatched homes, and fucking slams on em like godzilla rocking the electric slide. life as an architecture major leaves you perpetually lost, struggling to solidify dreams into cubic inches of cardboard and concrete (but always left with toy models too tiny to inhabit.)

we don't sleep so we forget how our eyelids work.

nightlives are spent with a hand saw and a glue gun (how sexy is that?) no one uses x-acto knives because they just can't cut things quick enough. superglue is for suckers, epoxy is the poison of choice. the gnaw of hand saws becomes the soundtrack to our lives. we brag at parties about how we can bend steel bar with our bear hands.

home for me used to be a studio desk lit by a dusty fluorescent light bulb, souls of mischief gently dangling out of a low-tuned radio.

you get crazy when you're tied down to one place for too long:

a gsi once told me to "SHUT UP" when I busted a spoken word poem during an architecture presentation (stuffy shindigs... but free cheese!) but someone yelled "KEEP GOING!" so I did (afterwards, someone came up to me and said "i never seen an asian rap before." i replied "you gotta get out more.")

one night, shaheen dared me to breakdance on an architecture desk so I said "sure" and got up and spun around like a dradle made out of a bell pepper (almost kick flipping my neighbor's model into a thousand bits.)

once, a hummingbird got caught on our floor and couldn't get out for four days, dan and i looked at each other and just nodded - "poor fucker," we thought. we made a bird's net out of failed sketch drawings, baited it, and chased it into the day (these studios are unfit for any bird or beast.)

but last year, i left studio with the sort of frustration that sour your bones yellow, my throat choked with curse words and i picked up a habit of punching walls. i screamed so loud one night the sun must have risen early to tell me to STFU!!! (when was the last time you let out a REALLY good scream?)

it was heartbreak, man, and i didn't want to go through it again.

but today, strolling through a corridor full of tiny models of buildings, the strangest thing: i missed it. sauder my lips shut, i really did.

(architecture grad school? ... naaaaaaah.)
jimmy diggin this, jimmy diggin that

he flipped the world a bird and taught the rest of us how to fly, jimmy tran: world's greatest breakdancer, you're the backbone we never knew we had. props to your moms for raising you like a martian. soul is a vietnamese american man rocking his nerves inside out. he's motherfucking beautiful, and we'd throw ourselves against a bullet train for him in a heartbeat.

happy birthday, jackass.

Monday, August 09, 2004

high on coffee and chocolate, serge and lovage, music to spend your whole night writing your paper to.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

from Park Jin-pyo's "Tongue Tie" - a boy is forced by his parents to undergo surgery on his tongue so that he can pronounce his "R"s correctly. it's premiering at the sf asian film festival (August 12 - 23, sponsored by giant robot, damn they're invading everywhere!)

i'm a weeee bit tongue tied myself, 28 pages to write and i'm idle on page 2.
love like you've been hurt, says jaylee.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

bummed - new york looks impossible now. partially it's the school's fault, partially it's my own for not saying "fuck y'all!" kids: quit thinking and keep moving. this is a lame post: i just wanted to vent.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004


(damn, what should i do this weekend: nyc? sasc retreat in lake tahoe? or shoot a short film in sf?)

Saturday, July 31, 2004

nerdy: i've got days summer days folded and nudged in my back pockets, tattered jeans and inside out tees, my tan is an endangered specie in wurster computer labs, inhale some sunlight before diving in, spend bathroom breaks flexing guns in the mirror (muscles tighter than staplers, i'll bruise you bluer than blue books), my hair is lazy so my head's gotta pick up the slack.

bah, i'm tired.

weekends are no longer spent at parties, bars, or bar mitzvahs, but in strangely cozy apartments stacked with cards, board games, (poisonous?) pizza, and horror movies. texas hold em poker is the pogs of the collegiate and risk is the only game where you can colonize Europe (and talk smack while doing it.) cards, board games, horror movies, it's our excuse to see each other a little longer.

Friday, July 30, 2004

s tells me her band is sharing the bill with a south korean film called "save the green planet" and i (guiltily) think "oh, an enviromentalist flick. i might go grab a burrito when it hits." solder the alphabits a-s-s-h-o-l-e onto my lips, after some googlin the movie looks cool, as in looney tunes on speed cool (you know, on the takeshi miike tip.)


Scrabbel, Goh Nakamura, and screening of "Save The Green Planet"
sunday August 1st - ICAN Gallery @ 7pm
1310 Mission @ 9thFREE
directed by Jun-hwan JeongKorean w/ english subtitles
winner of the Grand Prize - Moscow Film Festival

a night of violins, love songs, and absurdist science fiction (chris chen, you hear?)

come through! we'll roll by bart, and grab some tacquiera cancun afterwards.


yuri kochiyama's memoirs come out this friday, in the mean time, cheggout this interview with her.


dude, didn't kerry sound dean-like? (i got a feeling: obama/richardson in 2012... and if you missed the speeches, you can catch em on video here.)


man, i like beau sia's new website.

- - grab some coffee, but don't forget your green sharpie.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

fresh upcoming events

kid beyond (tourettes without regrets) 7/29/04 - oakland @ oakland metro
lyrics born (and CROWN CITY ROCKERS) 7/30/04 - sf @ the independent
scrabble show 8/1/04 - location?
ratatat 8/6/04 - oakland @ mile high club
battle of the bay 8/8/04 - sf @ the independent
golda supanova and odessa chen 8/14/04 - sf @ club lamia

callin out to you, which one we wanna go to?

ok back to my paper now.

Monday, July 26, 2004

john jacob dopenheimersmith, quadruple your mp3 collection, check out these audioblogs...

o-dub's soulsides
music for robots
said the gramophone
suburbs are killing us
cocaine blunts
larged hearted boy, a boy, a girl, and his radio


(also, two must read blogs are junichi's pnuthouse and andinh's saigon express.)

oh, and stephen pointed me to, if you're looking for a non-profit job, cheggit!

(you know you need to do laundry when you have nothing to wear except your theatre rice costumes...)