Quote #Coelacanth

“Coelacanth, yes, God!
Although I had come prepared,
that first sight hit me like a white-hot blast.
It made me feel shaky and queer, my body tingled.
I stood if stricken to stone.
Yes, there was not a shadow of doubt:
scale by scale,
bone by bone,
fin by fin,
it was a true coelacanth.”

-J. L. B. Smith, Ichthyologist, on identifying the specimen of Coelacanth the first time in human history

It’s not clear whether J. L. B. Smith had an interest in literature and poetry, but this account is quiet poetic to me, in a sense that the sound of the words and the structure of the sentences captured the excitement in a very rich and delightful way. I’ll take it as a poem.

*Rhodes University ichthyologist Professor JLB Smith with a coelacanth in 1953.

* Read Tulips *

“To lie with my hands turned up and be utterly empty.
How free it is, you have no idea how free –“
You said.

Whispering into my wicked bones, like fairy slips through lichen and moss.
Lie on the floor awaiting to be taken,
I smiled as if this corps would be still for ever.

How free it is, I know exactly.
Yet I miss the excitement of the spring earth,
That chill of a summer refrigerator,

Calling me is the voice of a country singer.
Now that I think, 
Even the odor from the back alley of Parc Avenue is somehow familiar. Not only that,

I wonder what it feels like when my son pees on my arm,
How painful it would be, to see my daughter falling on the ground,
How wonderful it is, to see an enfant growing into an adult.

And I want especially,
To hear you read Tulips to me,
So much,

So much joy awaiting,
So many miracles pounding.
That I have to wake up, into this dreamy reality.

* One Day *

One Day,
Gabriel García Márquez might teeter on the tip of your tongue,
Your legs might become too stiff that walking together in a quite forest would be luxury,
Your wrinkles would proliferate as the memories carve into your beautiful body,
Your illed body would be too clumsy that I have to grab and lay it down on bed every night when I’m at home,
Life will demand us to pay the due and the obstacles would sabotage our happiness.
Or that might be me,
But still,
I will look at you and all the memories will come up and I will smile deeply so intensively recalling all the moments the reasons we fall in love the aroma of your hair the texture of your skin your body hair your existence and I would feel that love is always there and I just can’t stop loving you and I’m still deeply in love with you and all the dreams the fantasies the desire and the hope

If you stay

* Cemetery *

I imagined, 
With sincerity,
Decomposing quietly under the fine-grained slate.

On which
The letters
That spell melodiously you indelible name were carved with delicacy.

Or maybe
You prefer 
Simply the delightful silence of an aging pine tree;

Remember
Vividly 
The one which charmingly witnessed our memorable first treat.

Your withdraw,
However,
Compels me to fill the empty space you left with my flimsy breath.

Somehow if you 
Miss me,
Find me in that graveyard we know near which Cohen was laid carefully.

Journal Entry #2

I somehow have this unease sentiment of not being able to put my feelings of the past few months into words (at the very moment they occurred) as I went through the emotional turmoil. In a sense they became this monolith of sadness and I failed to register the delicate aspects of all the sorrow that possessed me at the time. Failing to solidify and purify the presence of the lowest point of my life. In terms of literature.

And it brings me back to my obsession of capturing the moments, the detailed yet miscellaneous parts of a living life. 

Instead of creating images or movements, poetry and prose, much like photography, provide me with a sense of recording what occurs in that specific fleeting space-time, a rather confessional form that is, documenting not just the events, but the reflection of it. In a much precise and thorough manner, the mental work creates a documentation of all the fragile elements once existed, and that to me, is an epitaph.

I’m constantly mourning the past; so nostalgic and melancholic, that it seems I’m pessimistic about the future and fixate on the wonderful past I’ve ever experienced. But deep down in my yearning heart I found, is my tremendous adoration of life in the current moment, that by looking at the entirety of our immense life experience, I realized that every single moment (those which are happening or happened), even the most heart-breaking ones, deserve to be preserved by virtue of truthfulness and beauty. Ukiyo, the floating world as it is poetically called in Japanese, offers us this image of world being intangible and impermanent, and I truly believe it captures the essence of the existence, and remind us that all, every slice of time, are/is valuable.

We are not omnipresent; I couldn’t experience that moisture on my lips ever again, so I write about it. Being honest to all the thrilling experiences and thoughts I ever had, I choose to turn them into something, and mindfully telling myself that at this moment, no matter how painful it is, it’s a treasure to the completion of my life story.

Because I have no choice, I love them, I love all the moments I ever had.