lady lazarus!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

To my utter shock, I actually qualified for the next round of our poetry recital competition. I'd decided to change my poem for the final round, so I recited another one of Sylvia Plath's works - this one a little more famous - Lady Lazarus. And surprisingly, I won the recital. This is the poem, which I have come to really like. It's quite long, and took me over 3 minutes to recite it.

Lady Lazarus by Sylvia Plath

I have done it again.
One year in every ten
I manage it----

A sort of walking miracle, my skin
Bright as a Nazi lampshade,
My right foot

A paperweight,
My face a featureless, fine
Jew linen.

Peel off the napkin
0 my enemy.
Do I terrify?----

The nose, the eye pits, the full set of teeth?
The sour breath
Will vanish in a day.

Soon, soon the flesh
The grave cave ate will be
At home on me

And I a smiling woman.
I am only thirty.
And like the cat I have nine times to die.

This is Number Three.
What a trash
To annihilate each decade.

What a million filaments.
The peanut-crunching crowd
Shoves in to see

Them unwrap me hand and foot
The big strip tease.
Gentlemen, ladies

These are my hands
My knees.
I may be skin and bone,

Nevertheless, I am the same, identical woman.
The first time it happened I was ten.
It was an accident.

The second time I meant
To last it out and not come back at all.
I rocked shut

As a seashell.
They had to call and call
And pick the worms off me like sticky pearls.

Dying
Is an art, like everything else,
I do it exceptionally well.

I do it so it feels like hell.
I do it so it feels real.
I guess you could say I've a call.

It's easy enough to do it in a cell.
It's easy enough to do it and stay put.
It's the theatrical

Comeback in broad day
To the same place, the same face, the same brute
Amused shout:

'A miracle!'
That knocks me out.
There is a charge

For the eyeing of my scars, there is a charge
For the hearing of my heart----
It really goes.

And there is a charge, a very large charge
For a word or a touch
Or a bit of blood

Or a piece of my hair or my clothes.
So, so, Herr Doktor.
So, Herr Enemy.

I am your opus,
I am your valuable,
The pure gold baby

That melts to a shriek.
I turn and burn.
Do not think I underestimate your great concern.

Ash, ash ---
You poke and stir.
Flesh, bone, there is nothing there----

A cake of soap,
A wedding ring,
A gold filling.

Herr God, Herr Lucifer
Beware
Beware.

Out of the ash
I rise with my red hair
And I eat men like air.

---

Thanks John for letting me in on that one. Considering my ignorance about literature in general, I probably wouldn't have known about the poem in the first place.

Meanwhile, I've decided to go ahead with my idea of starting an art/business project with my penguin cartoons. The money's not that much (I sell it at 5 bucks each) and I've only had two people asking for it so far, but really, the main reason why I'm doing this is to distract me and keep my mind of things that will otherwise drive me to the same end as Plath, perhaps not involving an oven, though. :P

I've posted up a couple of new ones at my DA. Here's one that I sold to my Maths teacher; she wanted a "Thank You" card to give to goodness-knows-who:

It's quite simple, really. I figured since I enjoy drawing these little guys, might as well make a few bucks while I'm at it, right?

So, anyone want one? Lol.

noose.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Today, I participated in a poetry recital. Involuntarily, truth to be told. My GP teacher Miss Carol gave me an offer I couldn't refuse: participation in exchange for cancelled class. :P I don't think any right-minded student could say no to that (though, I'm not particularly right-minded at the moment).

This was the poem I chose:

Suicide Off Egg Rock by Sylvia Plath

Behind him the hotdogs split and drizzled
On the public grills, and the ochreous salt flats,
Gas tanks, factory stacks- that landscape
Of imperfections his bowels were part of-
Rippled and pulsed in the glassy updraught.
Sun struck the water like a damnation.
No pit of shadow to crawl into,
And his blood beating the old tattoo
I am, I am, I am. Children
Were squealing where combers broke and the spindrift
Raveled wind-ripped from the crest of the wave.
A mongrel working his legs to a gallop
Hustled a gull flock to flap off the sandspit.

He smoldered, as if stone-deaf, blindfold,
His body beached with the sea's garbage,
A machine to breathe and beat forever.
Flies filing in through a dead skate's eyehole
Buzzed and assailed the vaulted brainchamber.
The words in his book wormed off the pages.
Everything glittered like blank paper.

Everything shrank in the sun's corrosive
Ray but Egg Rock on the blue wastage.
He heard when he walked into the water

The forgetful surf creaming on those ledges.

---

Initially, I wanted to go for something more cheery, but given my recent mood, it would have been quite impossible for me to pull it off, I think.

New penguin cartoons are up on my DA. Here's another one, "Noose":

an update, i hope.

Monday, May 26, 2008

I was initially thinking of putting this blog on a hiatus, but then I changed my mind. Things haven't been going too well lately, which explains my recent dearth of ideas to post in this blog. And also, I have my AS exams going on at the moment. I feel quite unprepared, frankly. But I guess I can draw some consolation from my trial results which were --surprisingly-- quite encouraging. I'll be happy enough to get the same results for my actual exam.

Anyway, I stayed up last night and ended up drawing several more penguin cartoons, which cheered me up a bit. Since I don't have a scanner, I've resorted to using my digital camera so that I can upload them into my computer.

Here are two of them, there are a few more at my DA; it'd be nice if you took a minute to check them out. And leave a comment or something. :)

"Ouch"
This one's pretty self-explanatory.

"The Evolution of Penguin"
I've always wanted to put this on a T-Shirt. It'd be quite funny, I think. (Doesn't this look very familiar, Leslie?)

go play cards.

Friday, May 16, 2008

WARNING: This may be what you people call a self-absorbed 'emo' post. I just need to get it out of my system.

Today, I felt enlightened for a short while after going for a run.

...no, not in the religious sense. That sort of enlightenment isn't going to come about anytime soon.


It was the most refreshing experience I've had in quite some time. It was a moment of clarity. Like I knew what I wanted, even though it was just a small goal, but I knew what I was working towards, where I was going and best of all, that I'm going the right way.

I think that lately, I've devoted too little of my thoughts, time and efforts to myself - my own life, my own satisfaction, my happiness... simple things that I just need to do for myself. I've been too busy spending almost every second thinking about other people and how to please them, make their day, make them feel loved.

And I know I'm doing the wrong things because none of it has really resulted in anything, except in me feeling disappointed, depressed and alone at the end of every day.

I go to bed feeling sick and tired of life, wondering if anything has been really worth it. You can't help but question yourself when the things you live for don't turn out the way you want them to, and the people you live for don't seem to be even there. And there you are calling out for some attention, and the words you say don't get into anyone's heads, let alone their hearts. In return, all you get are the his-and-goodbyes, stale and unfeeling as the same ceiling that you stare at every night because you couldn't get any sleep.

And then I realise that it's probably me being a complete idiot, because what's worse than ignorance is knowing that you're wrong and still doing the wrong thing anyway. You live on hope, and a lot of what you live for exists only in denial.

Perspective's hard for me to get nowadays; it's difficult to make a sound judgement when you're not even sure what's there and what isn't.

Life would have been a lot simpler if it was like a debate resolution. I'd know exactly what there was to say - the arguments, the structure, the alternatives, the premises. I'd have some perspective. I'd know what exists on each side of the spectrum. I'd know what roads there were available, and what was the road not taken. There won't be any sighs "somewhere ages and ages hence". And when I didn't know what to do, I could always call up my reliable ex-teammates.

But today, for a fleeting moment, I felt like I could change that. That perhaps I was getting some perspective at last. That maybe, I could make some things happen, that I was capable of growing out of the little world that you've created for me, that I was meant for greater things. That, really, all said and done, I was only turning 19 this year.

But I will not let myself be the same boy that you associate with weakness. I'm probably not good enough for you or anyone else now. So have your laughs while they last, ignore me, put me on the bottom of your list. I won't get everything I want, but one day things will change. I will win my personal battle and emerge as a person no less than what I've aimed for.

And then when we meet again, you would want more than just a hi-and-goodbye from me.

Maybe it's blind ambition. Senseless and ridiculous. ...Or maybe it's just ambition. Period.

batteries not included.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

She needs a new teddy bear
The season's here
for a mechanical miracle
a walking, talking wonder
It sits on the shelves
the sparkle and scent of
all things brand spanking new

No real reason for the purchase
An impulsive decision
dipped in dollars and good fortune

Batteries not included
only a biodegradable human heart
vulnerable and mistake-prone
Yes, that will be the excuse when it's getting boring
An addition to her collection
Not much to someone who has everything.

What trash.

She needs a new teddy bear
The toy store can't be far away.

three words.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I really need to say it somewhere.

FUCK THIS SHIT.

bad song.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

Brandon wants me to help me out with performing Liquid Tension Experiment's Hourglass and a jazzed-up version of Sinatra's Fly Me To The Moon for prom. I was very reluctant at first (actually I still am) but I'm starting to think the fellow isn't really giving me much of a choice. :P Ah well. Just hope I don't spoil the songs.

Anyway. New cartoon today! :D

This one's called "Bad Song". I feel sorry for just creating the poor guy. Say something cheery to it, eh?

Support my Penguin Project at my DA! :D

penguin revival!

Saturday, May 03, 2008

I have decided to revive my DeviantART account. And what better way to do so than with my penguin cartoons! Hopefully, I will be able to consistently come up with more cartoons whenever I have the time and post them up online. Support my penguins! :D

Here's today's cartoon. It's called "Hugs".


Wouldn't it be lovely if we could package our hugs into fat penguins like these and deliver them to our loved ones in its tangible form? The world would be a less depressing place, I would think. Let's hope the poor guy doesn't lose his balance. :)

this has no title.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Glossy angels
grace the pages of her bible
What grandeur
a classy collapse
a bursting bubble.

Catch her!

soul by the sink
Hungry for inspiration
an appetite for beauty
She treads on thread so thin
Light but
heavy-headed, drowsy and then she


gags.

Spilling insides is

...breathtaking.

---

Written on impulse! I have no life! Now for three random words! Bigfoot! Bottle! Pepper!

Thank you.

Edit: By the way, if anyone is wondering what the poem is about, it's a bulimic throwing up in the sink. I have very random thoughts.

a mini-tribute to calvin and hobbes.

I want to get this collection someday. No, I'm going to.

All hail Bill Watterson, because Calvin and Hobbes is the greatest comic strip ever created. Well, I guess that is a very ill-informed and biased statement, given how few comic strips I actually know and read. The more regular readers of this blog would notice that my penchant for Calvin and Hobbes makes a shameless appearance every few posts or so.

Although I find it bewildering and almost a blasphemy not to know what Calvin and Hobbes is, for the benefit of those who are in not-so-blissful ignorance (shame on you!), the comic strip is generally about Calvin, a six year old, with both an imagination and a vocabulary that most probably exceeds yours. Well, maybe not the vocabulary part. The strip has several themes - his friendship with Hobbes (Calvin sees Hobbes as a live tiger, while other characters see him as a stuffed tiger), his fantastical alter egos, his interactions with his friends, parents and educators, his views (subtly expressed at times) of political and social issues.

Now that might sound like heavy stuff, but really, if you can't take all that, just read it for its humour. It's great enough on that level alone.

I've been urged by some for an update. And frankly, there's nothing too interesting about my life right now to update about (most of it would just make it a pathetically depressing update, literally, which I'm sure none of you are interested in). So I've decided to dedicate a post to Calvin and Hobbes by sharing with you guys some of the great quotes from the strip. :)

---

Calvin: I go to school, but I never learn what I want to know.

Calvin: I used to hate writing assignments, but now I enjoy them. I realised that the purpose of writing is to inflate weak ideas, obscure poor reasoning, and inhibit clarity. With a little practice, writing can be an intimidating and impenetrable fog! Want to see my book report?

Calvin: It's hard to be religious when certain people are never incinerated by bolts of lightning.

Calvin: Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us.

Calvin: What assurance do I have that your parenting isn’t screwing me up?

Calvin: You know how people are. They only recognize greatness when some authority confirms it.

Calvin: Mom and Dad say I should make my life an example of the principles I believe in…But everytime I do, they tell me to stop it.

Hobbes: I don’t know which is worse…that everyone has his price, or that the price is always so low.

Hobbes: So the secret to good self-esteem is to lower your expectations to the point where they’re already met?

Calvin’s Mom: How can kids know so much and still be so dumb?

Susie: Uh oh… here comes Calvin - the Incurable Weirdness poster child.

Calvin: This piece of pie is awfully darn small!
Calvin’s Mom: Life could be a lot worse, Calvin.
Calvin: Life could be a lot better too! … But worse is more likely.

Hobbes: How come we play war and not peace?
Calvin: Too few role models.

Calvin: If ignorance is bliss, this lesson would appear to be a deliberate attempt to deprive me of happiness, the pursuit of which is my unalienable right according to the Declaration of Independence. I therefore assert my patriotic prerogative to not know this material. I’ll be out in the playground.

Hobbes: Shouldn’t you be doing your homework?
Calvin: I’m pretty sure the assignment was optional.
Hobbes: Denial springs eternal.
Calvin: It’s not denial. I’m just very selective about the reality I accept.

Ms. Wormwood: Calvin! Pay attention! We’re studying GEOGRAPHY! Now what state do you live in?
Calvin: Denial.

Denial. I seem to relate very well to that these days. I wonder what I was thinking. Or if I was thinking. I still don't know what I'm thinking. Where does all of this go? I ask too many questions.

Once again, a quote from Calvin and Hobbes comes to mind: Reality continues to ruin my life.

I need a break. :(