Friday, January 30, 2004

the need gotta be
so deep words can't
answer simple questions
all night long notes
stumble off the tongue
& color the air indigo
so deep fragments of gut
& flesh cling to the song
you gotta get into it
so deep salt crystalizes on eyelashes
the need gotta be
so deep you can vomit up ghosts
& not feel broken
till you are no more
than a half ounce of gold
in painful brightness
you gotta get into it
blow that saxophone
so deep all the sex & dope in this world
can't erase your need
to howl against the sky
the need gotta be
so deep you can't
just wiggle your hips
& rise up out of it
chaos in the cosmos
modern man in the pepperpot
you gotta get hooked
into every hungry groove
so deep the bomb locked
in rust opens like a fist
into it into it so deep
rhythm is pre-memory
the need gotta be basic
animal need to see
& know the terror
we are made of honey
cause if you wanna dance
this boogie be ready
to let the devil use your head
for a drum

- yusef komunyakaa
blue light lounge sutra for the performance poets at harold park hotel
dancing off the gin and weekend in hell, the starry lies of poets through cigarette smoke, major jackson brags breakdancing and denounces dope but i'll believe his stories like i believe an's in a corner vietnamese restaurant in the middle of nowhere ok i lied in the middle of the dfc but one thing's for sure major's one helluva poet he can read his poetry like 3rd grader for all i care his words will always give our hips hickeys like hey ya in college bars IF YOU GO I WILL SURELY DIE i can't read other people's love poems without feeling jealous or regretful or awwww shit that was dope jose did a fine job at that last slam andinh too the way he gnarfed down that last piece of dim sum what's with the way we're all losing our credit cards atm cards but the worst thing to lose is your self esteem sorry that was cheesy like bad chair designs naw i'm kidding jean did a nice job sorry i couldn't go drinking with yall or watch the cure that sickass japanese film oh man i must have a japanese film festish happy 9 months you beautiful person you i have nothing else to say except that i bought a painting for 2500 dollars and i am damn happy with it

Monday, January 26, 2004

i've been procrastinating like crazy. all my new poems suck, at least 2 rewrites away from coherent thought. lazy la is not good for the wordplay. got a poetry slam tomorrow. might have to grab from my bag of old poems. would a joint poem with jimmy work without jimmy? we'll find out soon.

tonight was a delight of saltless pea sprouts and half-man-half-pigeons at ben and jerry's.

with only a few minutes before i rush out the door to get to my 12:30 city planning at wurster, now would be a good time to announce that i love my classes.

monday and wednesdays: city planning 118 (the urban community) and african american studies 156 (poetry for the people), both prompt a slight regret in me for not exploring city planning as a major. the construction of our community, our urban fabric, the policies and economic factors that shape them, i find it all so fascinating and vital.
tuesdays and thursdays: architecture 160 (construction) and environmental design 100 (the city), this day brings me face to face with with two professors i admire and respect: prof buntrock and prof roy, both are passionate teachers with so much knowledge to drop. i am privileged to share the same room as them. the reader for ed 100 is a mindfucking joy to read (i am a nerd.)
friday: architecture 139x, if i get into it. a study of the multimedia tools of documenting architecture and the environment (photography, video, etc...) so very exciting. this might be the first class where my aspirations in architecture, filmmaking, and multi-media arts finally benefit each other.

yes. if i decided to graduate this semester, i imagine that this would be a good way to end my undergraduate career, leaving berkeley with a desperate appetite for more.

spent this sunday evening writing, thinking about love, forcing my heart to break so that i could write down what it sounded like. it sounded something like duh duh duh duh duh sthint tsintk srrrrrrrrumurm.

Sunday, January 25, 2004

i was whining to s the other day that i had no concert to look forward to. damn boy, was i wrong. i was just dissapointed that smokey and miho weren't coming back to the bay this year, that's all.

crazy short list of the things i wanna hit up:

1/31 - the skyflakes, cast of thousands, artists hellen jo + derek kim - stork club
2/04 - the shins - fillmore
2/07 - atmosphere, blueprint, eyedea & abilities - fillmore
2/14 - hollertronix - milk bar
2/16 - the notwist/themselves - slim's
2/21 - aceyalone/visionaries/bus driver - slim's
2/28 - sage francis - slim's
3/12 - phenomenauts, rock n' roll adventure kids - gilman
3/16 - yeah yeah yeahs - fillmore
3/29 - get up kids - slim's

the skyflakes groundhogfest will be damn fun and full of friends (check out jericho in 3d over at dino's website), the shins will be quite pleasant, atmosphere's dvd "sad clown dub" was horrible and really turned me off to them but heartbroken hip hop is too much to pass up, hollertronix are going to turn valentine's night into one of those nights where you dance and don't stop til the break of dawn, notwist with themselves will be unbelievably way way over our heads, aceyalone, visionaries, and bus driver will throw us a powerful night of hip hop and spoken word, sage francis should satiate the rage in all of us who think too much, phenomenauts and rock n' roll kids are gonna make for one of the funnest and happiest nights ever, the yeah yeah yeahs has a hot exotic hapa lead singer, and the get up kids are kind of whiney but i still have a soft spot for em.

i can't afford the time or cash to go to half of these concerts but who's down for some fun?

Saturday, January 24, 2004

what's with ronnie always wanting to murder everyone in the room, or cyrus' exceptional fondness for pizza and beer, or jimmy's sweeping desire to see movies about mutilation, or chong's rounders luck with cards, or diane's obsession with wacking the balrog, or denise's cheating to get a full house, or an's wanting to always be everybody's maid of honor, or andinh's secret ability to save people as a doctor, or brian's love of throwing dick eating parties? and why did sara call me "jesus"?

Friday, January 23, 2004

the democratic primaries jolts with excitement, it's the same old shit every four years but it makes real good television. the surprise win by kerry and edwards in iowa wows me (how did the edwards do it?) and dissapoints me (kerry bugs), but it just goes to show how unpredictable it all is. if anything, it how fluid the bases of all the candidates are and how the pigskin could still fall into anyone's hands. i scoff at anyone who thinks dean is over just because he came in third. don't let the dissapointment drown you. new hampshire's next and i think it's kerry's for the taking (he's riding real high from the iowa win.) the more interesting (and perhaps vital for some) question is, who will come in second? edwards keeps on surprising and surprising (and woos people with his southern belle looks), clark has found a way to raise hella money (i heard he was raising 150k a day) and has that cool michael moore endorsement, but dean still has that revolution thing going for him.

what revolution thing?

i'm not sure, but how would you explain these startling numbers from monday's iowa caucus:

- 55% of those who voted in iowa said that it was their FIRST TIME they had ever voted in a caucus. 55%! the electorate has woken the fuck up!
- the overall turnout in iowa has DOUBLED since four years ago. that not only means more democrates are voting, but also more republicans, greens, and independents are switching over with the sole goal of getting bush out of office.
- the youth turnout has DOUBLED since four years ago too. our generation has been rejected time and time again as a generation of apathy. the tide is turning, our generation is becoming something we've always wanted.
- 75% of those who voted in iowa said that they were ANTI-WAR.

wait until the primaries get to california.

[by-the-by, apparently bush went A.W.O.L. in 1972-1973, something that you and i would do hard time for. ain't it cute that our beloved war monger is also a war deserter? ... michael moore has some interesting articles documented online on his website.]

Thursday, January 22, 2004

"During this year's Super Bowl, you'll see ads sponsored by beer
companies, tobacco companies, and the Bush White House. But you
won't see the winning ad in Voter Fund's Bush in 30
Seconds ad contest. CBS refuses to air it.

Meanwhile, the White House is on the verge of signing into law a deal which Senator John McCain (R-AZ) says is custom-tailored for CBS and Fox,3 allowing the two networks to grow much bigger. CBS lobbied hard for this rule change; members across the country lobbied against it; and now our ad has been rejected while the White House ad will be played. It looks an awful lot like CBS is playing politics with the right to free speech.

This is not a partisan issue. It's critical that our media institutions be fair and open to all speakers. CBS is setting a dangerous precedent, and unless we speak up, the pattern may continue.

To check out the ad and ask CBS to air ads like this one, go to:"

- from

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

tonight is the last night i will allow myself to mourn for my family. home is too heavy. we sit uncomfortable and i bet we'd all rather be screaming.

Sunday, January 18, 2004

triplets of belleville, llamas, salvador dali, banana splits, cocoa creme, baby picture, ex-girlfriend in the asylum, nose jobs, burying children, and cozy french apartments.

must do creative projects for the next two weeks:

#1: make a final cut of the rosemary animation project. must make a special thank you present for all who helped out. been lagging on that. perhaps send it out to some film festivals and scholarships. some look quite nice.
#2: prepare poetry and short story collection for upcoming literature competitions and scholarships.
#3: loudmouth asian project 2: the groundworks

time to get crackin'.

Saturday, January 17, 2004

i got the back to school blues.

must go to the apasd office and re-organize all the paperwork for the war on 54 concert. must prepare a mini-lecture and powerpoint presentation to show at a retreat. must sort out work hours for my jobs. must upload a lot of pictures, set up a message board, and reconfigure the poetry 4 the people website.

sigh. and school hasn't even started yet!

note to self: fake own death.

but then, there's a wonderful side to the back to school blues: getting to see s again.

intriguing cd review, courtesy of our friends over at

Yes, the "Gorey" in the title refers to the
late beloved genius Mr. Edward Gorey whose
artwork both graces and inspires this release.
And yes, this album has been nominated for a
Grammy. According to the liner notes, Edward
Gorey took such a liking to one of the Tiger
Lillies' songs that he was spurred to send them a
bunch of his unpublished stories. In turn, they
spun a number of them into song for this album,
and hooked up with the Kronos Quartet to make for
quite an impressive and suitably tweaked cast of
players. The results are thirteen songs
characteristically (for all involved) very high
on twisted theatrics and eccentricities. Vocalist
Martyn Jaques possesses a highly affected,
oft-operatic voice which he unleashes with a
commanding flair on the audience, squawking,
cackling and howling out his adaptations of the
stories which stay quite faithfully in spirit and
tone to that of Gorey (lyrics are included in the
booklet). All the while a piano is prodded and
tickled, an accordion huffs and wheezes, the
Kronos strings weigh heavily on the heartstrings,
and a toybox is plundered for more sonic
embellishments. Together they weave a delirious
cabaret atmosphere that's at once unsettling,
macabre, and surreal.

aquarius records is a neat cd store in the mission area on valencia street. right around the taquiera cancun. a nice lil stop for all us music nerds.

Friday, January 16, 2004

birds fly out of my father's mouth. i'm not used to this, i'm used to a swarm of shrapnel leaping out of his throat. his voice is so quiet so light his words must be like sparrows... so small, with a frail body of but feathers and bones, weighed down by lice. those birds cling to me, scrape my skin, claw at my eyeballs. i want to cry but i can't, i'm not used crying in front of my father.

i cradled in my arms my father like a broken bird. he's singing a song that i can only hear with more than ears. and me whispering, please fly please fly.

Wednesday, January 14, 2004

i held my father in my arms, and he was crying, crying for the father he lost

Tuesday, January 13, 2004

best movie of the year: kill bill vol I
best director of the year: danny boyle, 28 days later
best actor of the year: johnny depp, pirates of the caribbean
best actress of the year: samantha morton, in america
best supporting actor: tim robbins, mystic river
best supporting actress: scartless johansson, lost in translation

favorite films:
1. kill bill vol 1 2. in america 3. lost in translation 4. finding nemo 5. 28 days later 6. man on a train 7. big fish 8. return of the king 9. dirty pretty things 10. pirates of the caribbean

i still need to see:
triplets of belleville, capturing the friedmans, 21 grams, american splendor, elephant, thirteen, dogville, greg pak's robot stories

least favorite movie:

last samurai: lame. totally panders to the "white man's ego" (only a white man can save the non-whites from the evil whites!) the movie preaches "respect and observance" for japanese culture but then it throws us a tom cruise hollywood ending? "tell me how he died" "no, i'll tell you how he lived." please. (on a bright note: the ninja vs. samurai was pretty fun!)

best rental:

ichi the killer: an opera of cum and decapitations. i almost chickened out and turned the tv off while watching it. i hated it right after watching it... but now i kinda love it and all its senselessness. great potential party movie. take a shot every time someone screams in pain. we'll be drunk in 15 minutes.

oh, and props to those wonderful best works of chris cunningham, spike jonze, and michel gondry.

Monday, January 12, 2004

some more bad news.

(what? more bad news? in addition to the fact that we're at war, people are dying, the war was sold with lies, millions lack basic health insurance, the entire country created a tiny 1000 jobs last month, blue and white collar jobs are exported to other countries at a rapid rate, the dollar is sinking, and civil liberties are slipping away?)


arnold's budget plan:

Spending cuts: $6.8 billion
* $2.7 billion in health and welfare, including Medi-Cal provider cuts and capped enrollment in health care for the poor
* $2 billion reduction in Proposition 98 guarantees to K-14 public education
* $1 billion from transportation projects funded by Prop. 42's sales tax on gasoline
* $729 million from higher education to be partially offset by income from higher student fees
* $438 million from adult and youth corrections

Borrowing: $4 billion
* $3 billion from the $15-billion economic recovery bond issue that the Legislature placed on the March ballot
* $950 million from pension obligation bonds similar to ones a Sacramento Superior Court ruled unconstitutional last year

Tax shifts: $1.3 billion
* $1.3 billion diverted from local property taxes of cities, counties, schools and special districts

Fee increases: $238 million
* $22 million from state-funded child care programs
* $109 million from University of California students (increases of 10% for undergraduates, 40% for graduates and 20% for out-of-state)
* $78 million from California State University students (hikes of 10% for undergraduates, 40% for graduates and 20% for out-of-state)
* $18 million in park fees
* $11 million other, including community care licensing, air resources and board of corrections fees

$2.7 billion cut to community health clinics that serve low-income families? $2 billion cut from k-14 public education? about $200 million fee hike for child care programs and higher education?

so the poor, the sick, the elderly, the students, and the children are all paying for the budget deficit?

and arnold proposed it all with a broad smile too ("did you get a good shot of me holding the graph?" he jokingly asked the reporters after his presentation.)

Sunday, January 11, 2004

i graduate from college the fall of 2004. i move back into my father's house in sherman oaks, los angeles, and i start a small but exciting internship at a big architecture firm. i spend my days making photocopies and my nights playing playstation 2. i live rent free and i put all my income into savings for my own house in the suburbs. i have nothing to worry about so i gain weight. one night i try to finally start working on my book and i realize that i had forgotten how to write. i learn that safety inhibits creativity and that the most daring things only come out of a fear of dying. i pack my bags to travel the world for a year and i learn all sorts of amzing things that i forget within 2 months of returning home. i decide to go to an architecture graduate school that no one has ever heard of. i graduate. i become an architect at 30. i'm bored so i get married. my wife and i move into our own house in san diego. we have a daughter. i forget all my worries and i become all my daughter's worries. i live my life renovating homes and designing parks. i die at 56 by a heart attack.

i graduate from college the fall of 2004 and i move into an apartment in the east bay with two college friends. we're all unemployed. we spend the day looking for jobs and the night painting, writing, and reading poetry. our apartment is an artistic mess. we complete a short film every two months. one of my roommates finishes his play and spends his time to directing it in san francisco. we get invovled in the asian american artistic movement in the bay area. i find a job as a high school teacher. i also volunteer at a city planner's office. i go to film school in new york. i use the resources to make a feature film and i shop it around film festivals. it doesn't work out. i decide to risk it all to make another film. i break even when a distributor buys the rights to release the film. i make more movies but the love becomes a job and i lose the passion for it. i live in a vineyard in the south of france. i marry once but she leaves me. we have no children. when i retire i spend my days swimming in the mediterranean sea, hiding my tears below sea level. i drown at the age of 72.

i graduate from college the fall of 2004. i marry early and we settle in san francisco, where we struggle financially together. my internship at an architecture firm doesn't pay enough so i take a night shift as a security guard at the mall. i have no time for writing. i have no time on my own. i hate my job. she gets pregnant. i leave her one night and i move somewhere far away. she has a daughter named emily who never meets her daddy. i move to hong kong and i feel more lost than ever. i teach english at a chinese school. i visit all the places of my childhood. i write to my ex-wife often, begging forgiveness, but she won't see me. i return to america but i can't stand to write anymore. it hurts too much to pick up a pen. i decide that i want to be a doctor. i work the night shift as a volunteer at the local hospital. i go to med school at the age of thirty three. i become a doctor at thirty eight. i open a practice in chicago. i adopt a daughter. i raise her to be a poet and an activist because i didn't dare be one. i am dreaming of emily when i die in my sleep at the age of 64.

Friday, January 09, 2004

vegas gives excessive jolts to our senses, but still stirs little for the imagination. not a place for romantics: kept on betting on 14 red (happy valentine's day, everyday's the 14th) and kept on losing. partied like rock stars though. god damn beautiful time with the ricers. how many pounds of prime rib did we consume?

on the drive home, i held the moon in both my rear view mirrors (that makes two moons crouching at my feet) and caught clouds dancing on mountain tops, celebrating the sun before me. i was stuck somewhere between night and day.

hey jacob.

Sunday, January 04, 2004

new year's resolutions
- read more
- howl at the full moon more
- make fun of luca less

Saturday, January 03, 2004

it's these odd moments, these quiet ones, that really stay with me. these moments where nothing seems to move because there's there's too much uncertainty left in the air. my shadow dances in the corner and asks me:

"what did you fight for, and was it worth your tears?"

and i answer, "was it?"

... when i really wish i could bravely reply:

"yes, and for something worthwhile too. something with a little bit more permanence than the tenderness of my own skin."

over a year ago, i call jimmy because i almost felt like crying. i'm crouched on my apartment rooftop, it's nightfall and it barely rains (what a cliche) and all i can mutter out is: "i don't know what to do." and all that he says in reply is: "just do it." (and then he repeats it once more, "just do it," just to make sure i did.)

months later, hot milk and honey. she's nervous. i walk her home and we're delirious. a fire alarm goes off somewhere. the days pass. i return home. in the elevator i feel like crying and i'm not sure why. i'm sorry and i'm thankful and i'm broken and i'm healed and i'm touched and i'm lost and i'm found and i'm unbelievably lucky.

and it was all dream to me in january. i'm a lost soul. an takes care of me, so i let her sleep in my mother's bed. i paint to ease myself. portraits of fictional family members from the movie "the royal tenenbaums." the taste of date-banana shakes keep me warm for the rest of the winter.

luca, jimmy and i sip ice cream by the bus stop, under a low city light at midnight. i become good friends with andinh by trying to throw him off a wall. brian and i draw pictures on desks during cog sci lecture (and gain street cred amongst the cognitive science populace.) i gain great respect for jason when he all of sudden jumps into my room, madly yelling "bodies! we'll have bodies floating in the sky!" jerry plays kind psychiatrist from his swivel chair. kathy bach grounds me with her dreams. jean says one of the nicest things, a comment about a comet. ronnie is apparently one of my top ten guys of berkeley. jamie likes people food. jade beats me with my shoe. denise dances the here we go.

the smokey and miho concert bumrushes me to sing samba in the shower. sigur ros opens my eyes wider than the whole sky.

on valentine's day i run into her by VLSB, and all i could muster out was a shy "hi." (things don't change much between the ages of 9 and 21.)

"love in the time of diarrhea." my mom and my brother later watch me perform and i feel like i can leave the stage forever without any regrets.

scott, kenny, and i fail to get our "yellow pages project" off the grouds. so idealistic we were, thinking art could change the world. well, we still do.

"regret." wake up at dawn to watch evelyn run, force ourselves to (unsuccessfully) cry, smoke cigarettes, and throw a lot of paper into the air. oh, and toss fake bodies from a building and escape angry soccer players. swallow plenty of pho. steal stuff from stanford. celebrate by jumping up and down.

the war on 54 concert. i find a group of people i trust wholeheartedly and i am blessed to work by their side.

times of good friendships, of thai temple, of crab on the carpet, of writing poetry at 2 am, of singing weezer in the car, of futurama with the futon, of drawing comics of our lives. times of creativity leaping out of throats, of the loudmouth asians, of reading poetry with vietnamese artists (and making someone cry in the corner), of painting hats and shoes, of watercoloring the night into day, of all-nighters desperately doing what we love, despearely begging dawn to hold on for just another minute.

chris chen says that we're both dreamers. i used to think that i was living my dream, doing what i loved and being incredibly happy for it. i should know that rest doesn't come so easy. we are dreamers, and our pursuit always begins and never ends.

maybe these things are meant to be remembered, but to remain as is. still, it's hard not to look back and wonder. i suspect that as we grow older, we will spend more time looking back and less time looking forward.

it's almost dawn and my shadow has already gone to bed. i open my window and i let Life in with the shy sunlight. Life says hello with the sound of a sparrow. i give Life a kiss on the lips, and Life pulls away, as if i did something wrong. she wants to know what i see in her. i can't answer. i'm not sure if it's whether i don't know where to begin or i just don't know.