Afternoon Thoughts

FullSizeRender

The hope for
dignity and respect
The hope for
peace and stability
The hope for
upward mobility
The hope for
safety and a safety net
The hope for
growth and maturity

The hope for
impact and legacy
The hope for
never ending learning
The hope for
reunion
The hope for
reconciliation

The hope for
rejuvenation

My Dear

Dear Vic,

You are enough.
An over achiever, you’ve done enough
You go after what you want to get it
And after 100 percent, you get it
You are surviving, but you already survived
I can’t stress enough, even through this redundant phrasing
At 25 you have made major strides
At 25 you already strive for peace of mind
Like a piece of steak sitting in brown marinade
Rare, how some people like it
Too little of it create big craves
Too much of it can bring aches for days
I know what you’ve been through
I know, I know
You did all you could have done
to add a sweet touch to an infinite daze
An unreal reality where you exist in an open vacuum
Isolation and loneliness are common household names
with a home address somewhere in between Tainan and Chicago
A cabin located between pineapple fields and a blue mailbox
A liking for authentic love that brings you struggle
I know, I know.
Dear Vic
Don’t give up
Better tomorrows are bound to come
Till then, bury your head in sand
Grind one hundred until you find
Your very own peace of mind.

Better and Better

2015-03-05 13.56.43

I grip my basketball tight, and look up to see four palm trees. Tall, swaying in the wind. Underneath my feet, gray cement reflects the shade of sky.

As usual, I don’t let the weather faze me. As usual, I’m out here practicing, on my own. Nobody to challange, nobody to trip.

The temple sits silently, staring hard at my dribbling. Gods have gathered on the rooftop to witness my routine: warm up, lay ups, mid-range, 3-point, 1-on-1 moves, speed drills… They never complain when I do the same shit over and over again. I thought they would get tired of me, but the bearded figures, tigers, and dragon-like creatures just sit. And stare.

2015-03-05 13.57.07 HDR

I am always looking to get better. I put time in, because I know I need to work harder than anybody else on the court. I don’t have the resources, competition, mentor, or physical advantage. An unsupportive family who discouraged my basketball playing every step of the way. What I do have, and pride myself in, are discipline and determination. I am determined to be good. Good at basketball. What I don’t have, I make up with time. Time is my love language, and I choose to spend it the gods and temple: driblling, shooting, whatever.

Three hours today. Two two-hour sessions tomorrow. On my own. months and months; year after year.

2015-03-05 13.56.33

Until I got in to high school, that was my life. Everyday after school, I rushed to the temple to practice moves I had seen on TV the night before. As a child, I knew what discipline was. I knew practice will pay off. I knew that because I didn’t have what other people had, I needed to work hard.

I tried out for the high school team and made varsity. Before that I had never played organized basketball. I had a lot to learn, but my practicing earned me a spot on the starting squad. We traveled far, from Korea to Japan, the Philippines back to Taiwan. It was a lot for a young mind, one from a small, mostly agrarian town where youth gathered at temples to battle.

2015-03-05 13.59.15

Those moments were unforgettable. My 40-point games were glorious. I liked being in the news. A local star. I was confident, yet I always remembered where I came from. It was beat hard in to my system.

Four years later, I traveled 8000 miles to a different country. I walked on a college basketball team where prejudice, assumptions, ignorance, religious zeal put out my fire for the game.

2015-03-05 13.56.25

For two years I wasn’t able to look at a basketball. Let alone touch one.

I play now. Regularly. I’m grateful. Sometimes I forget what fire I used to have for the game. When I look back at what I didn’t have and how I used it to my advantage, I realize how far I’ve come.

2015-03-05 13.59.22

When I remember that fire, I almost taste a youthful passion and insatiable desire. It’s like time traveling. It feels good, and I become inspired by my younger self. My fingers start to shake with excitement; my adrenaline starts to pump. I cannot wait until I’m at the gym again.

2015-03-05 13.57.40-1

Lullaby

Untitled

 

When night tucks me in
i feel a nudge on my cheek
covering comfort
whispers
gentle sleep in to my ears
and it feels like
a dance
still, with little movement
but still
a dance
where you and i hum
tunes in lullaby
language
deep and complex
folds of comfort
against tip of my chin
and i feel as if
im about to fly
from here
to home
where i deeply belong
where my heart lies
where i whistle without worry
with just the wind and trees for company
inside a lost world lies a safe haven
for my breath to stand
and claim dreams as my own
reality

Bartender

DSC00007

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The coffee is a little too cold

even on this warm summer day
but nevermind
I’m still enjoying this, minute by minute
when I sit at a big table
by myself
listen to music overhead
which reminds me of
this other job I had
when I felt like I had found haven
in an endless pit
music played overhead
while I poured drink after drink
for the new, for the regular
for the young
for the divorced father
a self-proclaimed world traveler
a couple
one sad, one lonely
my ex
her roommate

I poured drink after drink
yellow, pink, green, coconut
sake
shake for martini
then strain, don’t forget the olives

It was good time
and the music helped
with my heartache

Thunder Shower

DSC00009

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

like trees
swaying in typhoon
rain and wind
hint of sorrow
hidden as I trek
through gray clouds

we missed each other today
i feel numb to disappointment
so i open up my umbrella
step into that thunder shower

splatter down from above
drip a thousand tears for me
if only
my eyes could do what you are
tonight, sky

Growing up

So much ocean
in little me
so much ocean
waves crash in
so much water
in little planet
so much rain
in little human

so much loss
in little sea
so much gain
on the beach
so much sun
on my skin
so much light
I can see

so much burnt
in little time
so much ache
in little life
so much pain
in little body
so much hurt
in little mind

so much anger
in little chest
so much angst
in little breath
so much love
little receiving
so much giving
little returning

so much saying
little doing
so much talking
little digesting
so much ambition
in little me
so much future
in a little growing

so much loss
in little sea
so much gain
on the beach
so much sun
on my skin
so much light
I do see.