chrysanthemums&ink

United States

ᴅᴏɴ'ᴛ ᴡᴏʀʀʏ 'ʙᴏᴜᴛ ᴛᴏᴍᴏʀʀᴏᴡ ᴀɴʏᴍᴏʀᴇ.

Message from Writer

i hope the next decision you make brings you happiness.

Published Work

history flows through my veins and it breaks my body in | tw for imagery


i close my eyes and pretend i can see / torsos blackened and crushed into fine powder / oil soaking into the concrete floors / your gaze still haunts me at night / and i can see nothing else as you raise your scabbed fingers to my cheeks / and painting it red / . / 

red is the ghost that stares at me from the mirror / where my mother's father curses the red sun but worships the red sea / i weep quietly in my sleep and wake up with my chest heaving / wondering what kind of corpse i would look like had i been born seventy years earlier in that alleyway / wondering where all the spirits went after being buried in the river / . /

my chest still aches for a country that isn't mine / the tragedy of an elder / but for them, a story of victory / but while the blood...

it is quiet


and for the first time, it is quiet

i brush away the dew clinging to your eyelashes, and it is sweet. nothing moves, even the air does not disturb us in this place. i can hear the distant blares of a siren, but i do not tremble to it. it smells like fresh air, like breathing the sky in and blowing it out in sheets of glass. the dirt stirs around us, the grains compressing against our skin like brown sugar. i press our temples together in the grass, and it is cold but not unbearably so. the surface of your lips ripple in the wind, the chapped sheen breaking into islands. i can no longer hear anything but your sighs, soft and intangible. i lay and i admire you from the side. it is cold. my body has grown numb, and as nature shifts around us, i remove everything in the world but you, me, and the sky. the...

plague

Her hands were cold and wrinkly when I cupped them. I knew her well, for even though she did not usually live in such close quarters as me, I had travelled to meet her and was henceforth prevented from leaving for the time being. My grandmother, who whispered me to consciousness one blue afternoon, had brought my sleeping mother to lay on an ivory countertop and bid me to stand beside her as she examined her. My heart was calm, even though I could clearly see the darkened spots of soaked color through the back of my mother’s shirt. Together, we peeled off the cloth and revealed several dapples of intense red pooling on my mother’s boiled skin. I attempted to dab away the liquid at its sides, but it kept spewing in the middle, fully opaque except for a few spots near the center where we could see several rows of holes where the blood spurted from. Neither of...

song


heavy air strokes the roof of one’s mouth,
the weight of the world balanced only on a
finger width of tired tongue, gutteral
screams translated into breathy motives,
splitting song from torn vocal cords, slicing thin
streams of sorrowful legato into
staccato heaves of murderous grief. spinning ruthlessly, the tongue flicks in
metronomic motion, breaks fingers in 3/8 and cracks knuckles in
syncopated clashes of teeth. the pendulum smashes against the
soft plank, dissonance scraped onto ascending alews,
this song bleeds into tomorrow, monochrome music sheets plugging
bullet holes and violin strings wound around taut elbows.
unhinged jaw drops into an arpeggio. lives like a whisper but
dies like tacet.


 

Chicago O'hare Airport: AA Terminal 3


In the Chicago O’hare International Airport, there is a Hall of Flags, one flag for every country American Airlines flies to. Every summer, my family would have the chance to walk through that part of the airport in order to get the the terminal for our connecting flight.

I remember it as a thing of beauty, one of the highlights of our midpoint stop. The ceiling was a large, transparent arch that let the sky's light shine though. It was cold; the flags flapped in tandem with the pulses of the aggressive air conditioning unit. The framework for a large copper-colored globe hung in the center of the hall, and the American flag waved adjacent to it while all the other flags leaned out of the sides.

When I was young, I remember walking through that hall, wrapped in layers of wool and clinging onto my mother. The airplane was almost always cold, but I daresay the hall was colder....

ni-ki | ニキ | 니키


our years add up to almost the same but
strange how yours have already bloomed so deeply. like
statice petals spilling from your long little number line
days, boneless brilliance / bending light out of your
stardust tears. so big yet so 
small in the scheme of things. you could be that simple
neighborhood boy, blowing bubble gum down the 
street, but at the same time, you could never. 
southern fish bleeds your light; you shine more than you could
ever know. there is human in all of us and 
parts that could be construed as
selfish / you did not deserve to be defined by them, no
there is a star for you, i promise, in your
chest, feel it there, feel that firm 
beat. it is there, i promise, we are here. like the universe is 
bending light in your existence, beautiful 
blazing boy. radiant dancer boy. cry until you can 
smile again. you have not lost him,...

we fake ourselves


ankle joint somehow sleeps worse than i do
eye yearns / envies / feels inferior over lambent
blues, trying to replicate
replicate a stupid something successful-er
methodology of some sort falsified uniqueness / peculiarity in
mass murders of genuine style
or thirteen year olds faking maturity
(adolescence lives in the swell of the upper chest
resurfaces in lines of bitter text)
this "progress" rendered "meaningless" in the face of "true style"
reduced to cans of beautiful garbage fires
sold by the underaged beer bottle
indulging in adult fantasies—
(adolescent's favorite crime to commit
is dreaming about breaking out of a
predetermined mold
only to start making one themselves
fret not, they'll break out of that one too)
those deities are always looking down on something
give or take a few words or
Capital Letters
no, those deities can keep looking down
you—
just keep looking forward. 




 

the car ride before morning volleyball practice


moon rings in alarm
pillbug blinks away overnight tears and 
bends itself out of bed painfully
staggers out of one reverie into another one
after-sleep stupor keeps eyes glazed
tired fingers tilting / contact lenses plopping 
softly onto wet marble sink tops 
i stretch my eyes open until it 
bulges, sheds tears inadvertently 
slippery plastic adheres sloppily and shifts
sliding sharply over and under eyelid iris folds 
i blink and i don't know if i can actually see better or not

feels like my stomach is made of rubber
sterile and blooming out of grooves, patted dry 
only to be shocked sour by sweet
cereal milk / phlegm sticking to my vocal chords
i pull my knee pads down to my ankles and 
scratch at my permanently bruised kneecaps
car headlights are another two moons to add to my 
morning solar system, scraping 
legs on car doors and velcro violin straps
we are not late yet, traffic leans until it  ...

heat settles like a blanket deep


heat lulls the lines of my shoulders into divinity
blossoms into this humanoid shell and
kisses the underbelly of my inner thighs.
and summer blows coherency away
kills deeply, sweetly, starting from the fingertip
spreads the hazy ooze of heat over my naked torso
dries, flakes off in sheets of boneless chill
the summer wrings liquid from our sweaty bodies
wet nape stretches, pierced on hell’s finger
dipped warm in a tepid glaze
heat haze folds the scenery into accordian strips
creases in searing sunlight, brilliantly bright
there will be nothing left when summer is done with us
worn away vividity bids us farewell
something blurs, leaves sunray sized footsteps on my backyard porch
vanishes into the heat


 

rainstorm lamentation


thunder ripples off the side of my house like a 
skipping stone / aloe vera gel 
smothers, sits on top of my 
skinless nose / secular gospels submerge me into a
spring-less seasonal depressions / as i rest in pools of 
tender acid, there is 
salvation hidden somewhere in the --- / 
listening to christmas carols as 
summer floods through my windows / 
my mind lives the next moment before my 
body does / so which is inferior? / i sit in the dark and draw
headstones onto the grooves of the ceiling / 
and somehow it looks familiar / like a 
destiny i subconsciously reject / i lay like a
twitching corpse, wasting time i don't have / white noise
pattering through my open window / so it is
raining like a funeral shower / and i wonder if 
this is another prophecy i will overlook / . /



 

we stay but you've gone away


arguably, you stayed the better of both of us
and i’d like to stay satisfied on simple things for once
but for me, who is always chasing an untouchable light
such things would only force me to accept that i
have fallen behind

it could be called a tragedy
but i never blamed you for being the star in this story
there could never be anyone to blame but a pitiful person like me
clinging onto preconceived notions of “equality”
i have resigned myself a fate of always trailing behind

i have nothing to hold but myself, my selfishness, and you
leaving things unsaid
being selfish again and again
wanting to stay forever by your side despite it all
why do you pretend to be satisfied?

i count your blessings, day by day
comparing, contrasting, telling myself
that even if you love me like this
even if we stay like this
i will never be able to deserve you

the...

summer is over only in name


the sun baked my body into an artifact
rays bent away by that green-less maple shade
wild salmon slick sticks to the back of my throat
from the fragments of a terse dinner—
grows fish scales in the soil of my useless tongue
so i slip outside into that liquid heat 
tracing the stone bricks of my backyard's porch armor 
i break ground with shoes a size too big and 
suck on warm tomatoes from our garden
dip my bitter cucumbers into seedy strawberry spread and
choke on the seeds
bitter lethargy sticks to the curves of my chronically slumped shoulders
the deathly aftereffects of an unintended nap
stealing sleep from the ghost i share my body with
there is no one to talk to 
i walk alone
something is not quite right
the sun sits static in the sky ocean 
it feels like everything has changed
yet nothing has changed at all







 

i ripped a child out of my body


today's one of the nights where / i unhook the first few buttons on my blouse and / stitch my eyelashes back onto my face. / check the news and it looks like / someone's lynching butterflies again / oh well oh well / pity the children who grow up under the hands of / murderers and / cicada skins in strawberry milkshakes. / 

has the child died yet? / bobble head china dolls / it's okay if you scratch off the lacquer over her painted pupils / she likes it better that way / with red marks streaking her white powder cheeks and / a raw hunger splitting down her chest. / everybody loves a woman who snarls / and knows how to spit blood like paint. / they look at girls who hate themselves and say / "yes, this one please". / 

when the crimson sun dies / we head on home / ice cream cones dripping with...

it is the night before


it is the night before / 
you turn off the lamp closest to you and 
nibble on your thickest stray hairs until
your lips look speckled with several
sharp keratin lengths
you lick them off and
taste blood / 
numbing your foot by squeezing the ankle
because if there is burn to stay still then there is 
safety in the hallways dark 
you get up and get out / 
the only thing binding
you to this world is the string of 
saliva from your bottom lip to the 
bathroom sink / 
your scent sticks
the tap water drips
you bite a canker sore and 
condemn it like a foreign name / 

it is the night before / 
but it does not feel like a revolution's cusp  
it feels like standing on a sunset
horizon slowly sharpening, digging into the soft pads of your 
toes and splitting them red
four ways to one / 
it feels like grabbing the air at...

bisexuality: the basics

i don't usually write pieces like this, but it's been digging at the back of my mind for awhile so i thought i might as well, even if i don't necessarily have the "right" to. keep the comments respectful, and please do tell me if i've said anything grievously wrong; i will immediately unpublish this piece and edit it if that is true.

if you have anything to say that could be potentially offensive, do not comment. i will not have anyone be invalidated in my comment section. please inform yourself before speaking. thank you. 

intro

nowadays, more and more people are exposed to the lgbtqia+ community from a young age. this naturally leads to questioning oneself and one's sexuality. in a heteronormative society, bisexuality is usually where a lot of teenagers start, especially for ones that have already experienced some sort of attraction to males/females depending. 

definition

bisexuality is commonly defined as "experiencing attraction to two or more genders"....

the lotus stays in limbo

nothing really changes.

your nephew is an orphan now. the power struggle that occurs after the seige on him is complicated, far to complicated to put into words, but you manage to walk away victorious with your sister’s son cradled in your arms. you walk away with him, far away from the dirty hands of his father’s family, far away from Koi Tower (1).

his name is Jin Ling (2), and you swear you will never let anyone hurt him.

Lotus Pier (1) is quiet now, only harkening to noise when Jin Ling cries or screams in joy. the disciples that grew up beside you are dead, and even though new ones have replaced them, they are far too afraid to walk around as freely as their predecessors.

you aren’t blind. they’re afraid of you.

your council nags you to get a wife. “you are nineteen after all. if your parents were alive, then they’d surely—”the conversation...

Flash Fiction Competition 2020

requiem

there is something strange about listening to a dead man's song. 

you listen to his final number first, and it feels like attending the funeral of a stranger. you mourn the man only out of obligation; you listen to his songs only out of guilt. every lyric is a tragedy no one saw until it was too late. you know you cannot save a dead man; you can only pretend his death wasn't inconsequential. so, you listen again, and you wonder how many people know it too. 

you wonder if this is what he really wanted. 


 

why i write


evolution is often painful
in order to change, the butterfly tears off its wings 
unaware, it takes the leap towards the marvelous nothingness 
and if self improvement is a myth, then it surely believes
it leaps, and hopes to come out better than before
so i strip my soul in search of beautiful things 
dead within the folds of this selfish heart 
the ugly emotions within this beast are suddenly
spat out, slapped onto lines upon lines of endless lamentation
if there is nowhere to take my resentment then
there is no world that can bear the weight of living beings
this is my world—
spinning spots of shitty poetry just to flush the dirt from my body
wielding my useless hands like that of a creators' 
a world where humans can play God without sinning 
if "fate is what we are given. destiny is what we make for ourselves"
then this composition can only be regarded as destiny, don't...

a murder of certain status quos


the edges of the butterfly’s wings fray themselves
pulls bottom eyelid towards bottom lip
strip of pinkened apathy reveals itself as
desirable, flocking towards the nearest broken branch
says that nature is its own devil
snap / bisects in minced syllables
lamants in unworthy / grace
this one weeps in the folds of reiteration
self-preservation hangs from the throes of elegance
kneecap skips and jumps to conclusions
making excuses / self righteousness
finger bends the wrong way
reunites with the half-lidded knuckle
licking an airplane runway down the side of God’s sweaty temple
mind running high off of idealized appreciations
a palm of stretched grape skin
nests itself into a shell of wet eardrum
expands until bursting / protection against
justice, disturbing the nature of things
and the way things contort
do you pretend do you pretend the disruption of the status quo
that such things are
admirable?
do you pretend do you pretend do you pretend that
you are...

wtw flash fiction practice one: vomit tastes sweeter than the last time


it tastes like bitterness and sour milk, and you should’ve known better than to expect otherwise.

you think that bravery is a learned trait. you spent the first years of your life undoing your gag reflex by drinking your own bile, and maybe that is why you’ve managed to endure everything for so long. maybe that is why it was inevitable.
your esophagus contracts. it is an ugly thing when everything spills out in a sickening squelch, gushing out in a muddy pool. again and again. 

when it ends, you are empty. strangely, you could not have been better. 



 

brother brother where have you gone?


you wish you could've killed him quickly. 

your family would be disappointed. you kneel in front of their names three times a day and bow three times a visit, and you can hear their disappointed murmurs through the fingers of incense smoke. especially your father, who has never loved you the same way he loved him, who would surely not give you any mercy if he had heard what you'd done. you mother might congratulate you, if she were as cruel as you sometimes dream she is. 

you don't like to think about what your sister might say. 

but they're not here anymore. they shouldn't have a say when you're the one they've left behind, and you're the one left all alone with a baby nephew that shouldn't be yours to raise and a sect that's too broken, too fractured to ever look like home again. 

and it's all his fault. 

you look at his face one last time before...

these footsteps leave us apart


these words cheapen under the absence of a once distinctive warmth
not ours anymore / stay this gentle, cruel memory 
i see in my dreams and expect when the 
morning dries on my face and 
it fails us /
the morning fails us. /

we breathed—always the same length of breath slowly 
weathering our chests to the same inches of rise /  
sleep took us away
we stayed this congruent expanse of /
tear-stained cheeks
spinning around God's littlest eyelash / 
staying his favorite little balancing act. /

snow stains these fragile butterfly wings
history simply unfolds 
pooling under these unworthy eyelids spilling
spilling over / 
i would've suffered for you over and over again 
this cruel curdling of our intertwined fates / if only to
cling onto these happy memories / if only 
the creases in my chest could recall you like
they used to / 
our coinciding breaths finally separate with the 
final breaths of the morning / 

see...

december 26th, 2018


winter nips at stray hairs
sneezing in the foreign village
the air smells different here
chattering teeth wards freezing fingertips off the frostbitten lip and
rests in the soil of split, bloody knuckles
green and red and white tightened to a noose
christmas tower strangled to martyrdom
sweet farmers’ market ghosts over my exposed cheeks
open air kiss, gingerbread plastic cutouts
history crushes my cheeks into a metallic flush
the peace pipe falls and i cryofreeze my hands in fredericksburg’s tears

damp car safe place, coughing and wet winter coats
limbs frozen in cruel lethargy, stumbling down
wet pavement and slipping on empty dr pepper cans
submarine raises an old arm, smiles in tarawa iwo jima nanjing
museum walls shirk and condemn, and i am glad for it
smash the rising sun out of the sky
tell them to repent for
one two three thousand seven million
koi fish swirl down the drain
i pull the plug at this
rotten...

i scrape white paint off my throat


water fountain forsakes me this
guttural mass in my throat 
scrapes, plunges, but does not extinguish either way 
this rancid phlegm burned only by the bristles of a keen 
inhale, leaves red lines in its departure and 
cuts jagged mountains into the skulls of honey sweet songs
cut it
cut another piece off

smiling, swallowing down fingers of bitter bile—only to 
scrape the ivory smother from convulsing vocal cords
collect it and leave it next to the secretion of the eye 
dry guillotine, the spittle coating has long since
peeled off in
crumbly shards of sickly cream 
there's no more time
and the paint dries in disease 
the lump persists, there is no adam's apple but
this sensation leaves me licking the innermost caverns of my mouth
inhales the poison of lactose-tinted stage lights and 
chokes on the receding glaze 
swallow again, child
swallow it all down until there is only red left


 

she sleeps like the dead


sleep— 
splits writhing body into two pieces
strangles the upper half and 
injects the bottom half with the throes of static grief. 
toothpicks skewered through the eye of the widower spider
pure souls butchered and sold at nighttime hells 
wrought from a stolen frankenstein limb.
torso jerking, flirting with the psychotic blood cell
jaw stuffed with diabolic noises—reddened lips stretched around 
stolen mourning robes, defiles the white cloth with 
wine glass nightmares.  
it rushes, paralyzes, and finally
integrates. 

condensation lingers above the eyelash 
brushes off last night's pompeii's screams and broken spines. 
you wake up like this 
neck snapped and heavy with the weight of the sun balanced on a sweaty nape
legs pulled taut like rubber bands 
plasticity burned onto strained thigh gaps and ringing ears. 
peeled, skinned, soaked with the restless of a dream—
bent body stretched into consciousness. 
torture rack bedframe does not let go of the exhausted 
shuffling phalanges—
antiseptic seeps through crinkled bedsheets and 
curses reality. 


...

Mad Libs

the third 1/6 of sestina morya


Chrys is a fairly young medium and prospective necromancer, who lives in Moryavale with the rest of Sestina Morya. Known for being nonchalant and somewhat unreadable, she wants nothing more than to understand everyone and to offer consolation or empathy to those who need it—while also being reluctantly allowed the same things for herself. She seems to be detached and uncaring of the other people's needs, when in fact, inside, she feels intensely connected to everyone's emotional wellbeing—especially those of her fellow members and the spirits she runs into. Chrys’s biggest fear is being thrown into a world that has no mercy for those who are misunderstood or vilified and being unable to help any of them. What Chrys needs is to understand that she can share her secrets with other people just as they do with her and that she can truly relax around them; the biggest thing getting in the way is her inability to trust others completely with...

it's a little quiet in paradise


muted whispers turn into silent breaths as
daylight sheds its luminescence; she sleeps with one eye open. our ghosts 
peel themselves of her dull iris molt, bursting from a
dastardly pupil, resigning themselves to a single
torn off
lip.

this city stuffs exhales into music boxes and 
steals pain from taut spines, presses
butterfly kisses to the feverish expanse of dying heartbeats and  
holds cold foreheads to her tired chest. her skin smells of
shattered lightbulbs, burned 
ivory paper crumpled into tight
spheres. this city holds a lighter to herself and you 
light it.

no funeral for memories once made, people that have left but not died
only bitter nostalgia. 

you reach towards the future but there's nothing there. 
there's nothing there.  

this city trembles in the silence of the 
daylight hours, clutching those lost conversations to her chest before they
fade away. the sunrise hums indistinctively a morning song. new angels 
fall, with no knowledge of what once was. glistening...

bastards do not fear summer or drifting diseases | tw: light mentions of death/current events


they tell you to fear summer: 

the haze of spittle glossing tinted car windows, sweaty arms hooking haphazardly through sand-stained shoulders, spearmint breaths mingling in the midair, and lip locked scoundrels drawing taut fingers across bare collarbones.

you think it is a testament to your bravery. you do not fear summer. summer fears you.

so again, you share a dirty straw with your best friend, sucking up the last bit of common sense you had left, dusty thumb painting your phone screen in silt. the numbers displayed on your screen don't register in your summer muddled brain. 

free. free. free. 

standing up for your goddamned freedom, bodily fluids dyed red white and blue, you fling them towards the crowd. spitting into the shot glasses you share with your buddies at the crowded bar, the lights blur your vision as you balter drunkenly across the dance floor. 

this is summer. this is freedom. 

the rest of the world watches in abject...

slipping on shaving cream, sweet 13s


choked in iron fishnets, we
rest in pillars of youth, threading lace
ungarments in our mouths but
not quite spitting them out yet.
like buying your first razor, leaving five cuts in shapes of
floral tattoos on your knees and
burning them closed in pool chlorine. not a sin to be the
youngest in the room of women waiting for the
tampons to restock, feeling proud? they’ve long since forgone
embarrassment contrasting to how you chew on vitamin gummies nervously, you should offer them one too
but you don’t know if they’d accept from your
small little hands, and
white chocolate still breaks sweetly, somewhat
‘not sweet enough’ coating oral cold sores with that layer of undeniable
childhood sickness, adding extra weight to bitterness when
a year later we’ll be able to cry less and drink dark roast
coffee and pretend like the cusses that spill from your mouth are
familiar—you revel in the lawlessness but not bitter yet.
not...

shampoo, water, and red tinted fingernails

 
who knew tampons could soak up red wine / here's an invitation to the nuptial of / scarlet soaked seat covers and / rust red mattresses / and you wonder why i know how to scrub blood out my clothes / the wedding bells ring in the fetal position / smashes against my ovaries / flesh wallpaper is being / forcefully stripped off its walls / no, even the tears of adolescent girls cannot compare to the horror of seeing their own body / splayed out on the sheets / 

who ever told dad what it was a good idea to not have / a trashcan / in the downstairs bathrooms? / socks slipping on mahogany floor tiles / i almost break my arm slamming into the / hallway wall / run girl run / do you cry in the middle of the night / or grit your teeth / losing sleep to scouring blood off of / undergarments? / 
...

i knelt in front of a dead butterfly and prayed


a while ago, i buried a butterfly
kowtowed in front of a temple and 
pretended like i knew how to pray
finger joints aching from the cold,
crescent moons branded into my knuckles,
i begged guanyin for a new life and
sacrificed the ashes of my family photos 
using her bitter saké as a disinfectant 
i drank bottoms-up to cleanse my throat of broken glass and
dead nymphalidae
sat on my knees and
waited for the
reset. 

i killed my past lives by felling them with 
paperweights and violin strings
strange, how
those butterfly bodies had my face
i want to bury them and
squeeze the stardust from their wings 
so they don't look pretty anymore
but they bleed red pus and
stare at me accusingly with my own eyes
disgusting
so i pray, again
kami-sama,
how do i do i forget my own face? 
choke up another repulsive pieridae, this is the peak of adolescence 
i tried to suture the infested...

dirty daughter of the middle kingdom #childofyournation


i am the child of the dirty sun / of crude oil tainted rain and the pools of petrichor soaking potholes deeper / of dragging a pale wrist across the grey-dappled skies / of walking half a block to the nearest supermarket and riding the escalator past the makeup section and to the produce floor / brushing away the plastic slab doors and / sucking the msg off of pork belly lays chips / of wrinkling our noses at the butcher's corner / stealing away dried squid and dehydrated duck's heart / chinese-branded sprite bottles / and fishnet pears / of a dozen rice cookers lined up in a row / the badly translated english signs on the emergancy exit / and the wan wan cream candy sticking to my molars / . /

i am the little girl of mad crimson mountain pagodas bellowing to the heavens / taoist shrine beats his chest against the yellow sky and offers us...

pretty boy: pretty girl


dear pretty boy, do you remember? 
when the sun stained our chubby fingers, fat with youth and sand rusting off of monkey bars. when you talked to me for the first time
your eyes, longing as they reached for a place unreachable. my eyes, lonely as i clambered for your companionship 
maybe your words sang out of your mouth and i stole the music greedily from your tongue. and maybe you minded just a little bit but i didn't mind at all. and maybe you disliked me at first, i'll never know. first encounters tasted sweeter after a few years of fermentation
we mistreated each other. laughing laughing throwing balls at my head and throwing punches at your shoulders but back then i drew laughter from your lips so easily
    i thought so at least 
yes, we definitely mistreated each other, and although i apologized two years later for something that didn't need to be forgiven, you didn't...

i talk abt myself and it gets a little out of hand


i want to commit a sin / wash it down with white wine / bitter water / kindness forsaken by a / broken violin / i want to break my violin so bach can't kill me no longer / can you tell me what dissonance is? / stupid / i want to forget myself in pink leopard print and / dimly lit bedrooms / towel blankets scratch my / cleanly shaven legs / caked with rice lotion and the / remnants of pomegranate shaving cream / do i mourn the lost morning? / dried tears at 11:12 / who knew i cried in my sleep / once again gravity tugs the cherry blossoms down / the movement of my body is / negative tropism / though the budding blossoms are braver than i / i don't think they choose to bloom though / i never chose to be alive / but that's a discussion for another day / so rn it's...

inside this bright red square | TW: triggering historical events/violence


you find out a decade later, sticky fingered and flipping through the pages of search browsers halfway across the world from your hometown. time ticks down, internet cafe giant computer lagging and you, frozen in the limelight. 
the biggest public secret, kept by thousands of bloody monolids. there is no chinese wikipedia page on what happened ten years ago but there are british reporters and american footage. 
    but they all forgot. 
of course, woven though spider webs and little red books, your homeland s̶m̶o̶t̶h̶e̶r̶e̶d̶  protected you like a parent would to their child. "no, he isn't dead, just sleeping for a long time" 
you can't speak, no, even the western in you creeps away and you can only babble in your first language. the timer rings and the next in line jostles your shoulder because you can't
speak. 

you think through the bright brown eyes of ten years earlier, 1976 zhou enlai and 'gang of four' downfall 'counter' revolutionary...

an anthology of being caged


you are an old bird who has been caged far too many times. 

do you remember, when a white-faced man offered you his pipe? you were old, yes, but not senile.
    years ago, you let them in, locusts. they sit upon your throne of gold and dare to call themselves 'emperor' 
you take the pipe and puff. 
and puff. 
     they build dens in your body, black smoke curling and breaking skin. 
        you beg for them to stop, but your teeth have yellowed. they ask you to name their gun. you cannot. 
"you are too old" the man 
    snarls and 
kicks you down your own palace. 
it ends twice, that is what you remember—trading away your dignity and water at the whim of those westerners. 
a man breathes out a cloud of coal, and you 
choke. 

your hands are no longer pale. you have learned over many years to ignore the red ink stains...

a hypocrite's guide to self-deprecation


'hurtling towards the deadline' yeah right, peace in the end? are you happy with this kind of self-destructive content? 
think that if you lived a worse life you'd at least have something to work towards but 
you feed on a faux 'i know how you feel's, thrown at you by orchestrated audience members, what's the difference between your paper tears and a reality show laugh track? 
feel bad for the man who holds onto hope these days, tug his arm towards nihilism, a whole new way of life and tell him to let go of a happy ending. 
drink venom from wine glasses, hmm delicious. push away the image of 'joy' and declare it a mere 
magic trick. 
 
hypocritical individuals use their coronary arteries as pencils, because its funny to watch the skin of your tongues peel red, suck dry the jolly rancher of apathetic sympathy and write a great tragedy about the color of your mouth. 
unflattering, psychological...

Food Writing Competition 2020

Dumplings in Reverse

6:31pm

"It's too easy to eat too many jiaozi​. We should stop," My dad says as he leans back into his chair, eyes closed in a combined state of food-induced stupor and exhaustion. It's understandable; he started prepping ingredients with my grandparents in early afternoon, running celery through the food processor and mincing the mushrooms into tiny bits—hard work. 
My brother, whom this statement was directed at, simply lets out a groan and reaches for "one more" dumpling.
"You need to lose weight!" My grandpa snaps, and my brother pointedly ignores him. With that, my grandma snarls, "Mind your own business." at her spouse from the other side of the table, eyes wrinkled but still sharp. Soon, an entire argument erupts—over jiaozi, no less—and I'm left to my own devices as I chew away at a cold dumpling and my own self control. It seems that even cold jiaozi are delicious, and I reach for another one. 

6:23pm

My brother...

The Unseen

murder of the mind


gruesome sufferings hidden cleverly beneath fingernail grit, you chew on your cuticles and spit out pieces of jagged rock.
imagine what a supernova must look like up close, dip your hand into a black hole and wash your face with interdimensional alcohol. 
if man could tame a flame, could you let it free? the fragrance of burning, does your heart leap from such a thing? 
if you could toss away morality, could humankind be regarded as a sort of poultry? the earth seems to be a cage, chicken coup d'etat. 
shiver from the intensity, perhaps you could tend to disaster the way you tease a child? raise it up, spill the sin from your skull and drink it, forbidden. 
the sculpture of all human souls, spilling crimson silt, could you reveal the true nature of humanity? of the man who longs for calamity?
tip the hourglass off the table, sticky sand splayed across life-span woven carpet. you can't scrub...

*insert bad pickup line here | #askthewriter answers because i'm yours ;)


thank you for all your lovely questions! y'all are like candy, so sweet! if you come to a question and find a "answered above :)" in the answers, just use ctrl-f and type in your name to see that question answered! since this is so long, please use that to navigate if you're only interested in your answers :). 
i have to warn you: these answers are very unfocused and wander around a lot. i obfuscate a lot, wow. just get to the point already, chrys. *coughs*. also wrote most of this after midnight so—
in no particular order: 

MuslimQueen06

1. Favorite color? 
blue probably, but anything that's not orange is fine by me. elaborated on in batman_is_a_cracker's answers. 
2. Favorite Book? (also asked by inanutshell and batman_is_a_cracker
i honestly can't pick. right now i'll say... A Spark of Light or Lone Wolf, both by Jodie Picoult. i believe with the former, there are ways she could've fleshed...

effigy of a lover | #rollthedice_4 | TW: graphic imagery



bought you at a rundown convenience store, decaying neon lights luring me in, moth to a flame. 
i notice the tinge of pink on your plastic cheeks, tug you home by your cold hand, past the yellow cut-out imitation of the moon, past the diabolical eyes of Mona Lisa, and past the demons on the street. 
i hold you to my chest—your scent, of rose petal ashes and gasoline tempts me in further. let's stay like this for a while, an effigy and a poor excuse of a human being can love, right? 

you pull me into your arms, thumbing at my cracked lips, canyons of bloody erosion. lick at my tears, the hell enveloping my body feels strangely comfortable. with your teeth, grind my brittle bones into powder blush and flaunt my heart to the society that broke it. 
your paper lips taste anything but soft, but i press my mouth to your collarbone anyways, your fingernails scraping the...

set the table for two


someone is crying in the room below / can see your shadow in the darkness of my rotting bathroom wall / your lips part, auditing a voice that is not yours / perhaps when i stare into your eyes, i am gazing at a demon / there is a ten year old stain on my shirt / ketchup / or / ---- / 

salt corrosion on my fingernails / gnawed away, parasitic patience eats through my lungs / do not know if i am breathing in air or dust / fairy wallpaper decays into sandy shades / color dyed from dried blood and decomposing tears / run my fingers through the canyons in the mirror / lick my hands clean / 

it's been a long time since you paid me a visit / sunken eye sockets, cracked lips / weathering: your teeth break skin / erosion: you run your tongue over your bleeding lip / deposition: you swallow the metal...

untouchable idol


funny, how you dip your fingers into the stratosphere daily
an azure ink calligraphy, experienced cloud climber
using your weathered hands—
you scale the sky 

yet here i am—not quite groveling at your feet 
hoping that sometime, a flash of my muddy fingertips might graze your holy gaze
and appear as
gold

the dirty water tugs me down because although you've caught a glance of me
golden 
merely a fleeting moment of adoration that i hold tight to my silt-ridden chest 
"i am aware that this a product of your endless kindness. even still— "

i've stretched out these rubber limbs to their limits, i'm a simple
replication, mushroom mouth copy machine
while my mirror eater laughs at me in shards of glass
disappointment chews away at my torso 

respect is a pill i take unknowingly every day
pills are drugs, in most ways
we are bugs, undeniably roasting 
on the grill known as 'life' 

you are my idol, you...

50 follower special | #favlines>faveworks+announcement


(in no particular order) my favorite lines from my favorite pieces+the stories behind them (please bear with me as i revisit my old pieces): 

"i am blind, pupil-less platinum eyeballs / i will stand, your legend speaks"
'a legend's lifespan' (came out of the simple urge to just 'write'. listened to 'sleeping at last' to get into the mood)

"Even if you're not as 'brilliant' as him doesn't mean you don't have something he doesn't."
—'senior year: a short story' (#PrompyCompy5. spent a few nights on this and i'm pretty proud of the results. first comp i ever entered)

"the shadow of your hand could be used as an umbrella. we grin under it like right fools, blowing bubbles through your long fingers and falling into the cracks of your bitten nails."
'where traces of you still remain, soft against the stars' (first attempt at 'descriptive' poetry after my angry vent phase)

"we coexist in different realities, but thank...

the moon has your eyes


watch the pastel sun float from east to west, i coat my fingers in clouds and smear it in a violet line
i wonder, if i paint my feelings into the sky, could i see you one more time?
donut glaze flaking off our lips, once upon a time we sat on this very bench, admiring the endless welkin 
but you're no longer here, and the cold crawls up my chest 

stand still under the shelter of the bus station, watching wheels roll by like days without you 
crowds of people pass and wave with a smile, gift a grin back but here i stay, waiting. 
the firmament glitters above me and i snap out of my reverie as the last bus of the day screeches to a halt. 
ah, it seems i was waiting for someone who couldn't come. i turn away and walk home by myself, the box of donuts stale in my hands. 

maybe with you beside...

let fire engulf this magic island of ours

 
we were one, separate lives same hearts, secrets spilling like gasoline over hands
leave your fingerprints over my eyes so that i may never forget your name 
    'run away with me' 
you offered your hand to me a long time ago, lips streaked with a translucent grey
blindly, i reached for your embrace but
you weren't there, my oily palms grabbing a ghost 

where have you gone? i can't see you
please take me back to that 'magic island' where we laughed together 
before it burns to the ground, recall our rose colored past with vigor so that i can still see 'us' 
   'friends don't understand me anymore' 

your crown in flames, guilty as charged as i pour petrol over it 
please love me again so that i don't deflagrate in this desperate hatred 
please hold my hand so that i can still remember when we were once happy 
    'who's a liar?'

    beg...

poor burning boy


poor burning boy, you're
stuck in the cold embrace of yesterday, a 
burning coal implanted into your shortsighted pupils 

don't you know the ones with fire in their blood—
    die young? 

poor burning boy, you
never wanted to hurt anyone at all, didn't you? 
all you wanted was a happy ending? 
a snapshot memory? 

fear the boy that welcomes you into his heart 
kiss the pain that inflicts your every wound, that violet necklace
is slowly strangling you, isn't it? 

    delusions of a ghost 
    that scooped out some of the tears crowding your lungs?  
    he is no longer here 
    HE IS NO LONGER ALIVE BECAUSE OF YOU 


stupid dreaming boy, clinging 
to past dreams—
    irrelevant
don't you know that the universe decided already—
that you would never be happy? 

turn this useless quest for a sick sense of comfort 
your family home? 
    please
you never had a family to begin...

presumptuous epiphany: maybe i'm not that special after all


maybe i had been a little bit presumptuous before—
obsessed with imagery and descriptions and auditory feedback, i try to live up to the mere shadow of someone above me. although i don't think my whole life up to this point was lived in vain, i think something was wrong with me all this time. 
all the praise i've garnered, all the respect i've paid and been paid, perhaps it meant nothing after all. screw my 'God-given' talent, screw my 'natural intelligence', screw my 'uniqueness', screw all of the special traits that make me different from anyone else, screw my self image, maybe—

those are all secondary to the choice i make right now.

 

mushroom mouth and mirror eater #champion

 
my vanity, stained with blush puffs and lipstick lines 
cheeks, fleshy meat material, smeared a mainstream brand of sophistication
play rock-paper-scissors with my reflection
crunch goes a button of saccharine fruit flavored joy 
my cheeks are crawling with cavities
bloodshot teeth, gummy smile
i have eight different eyes on my forehead and all of them can agree
    "to be unique is the greatest glory" 

blink in my blackened stardust contact lenses 
    "for poetic effect" 
play hopscotch on a couple of neon toadstools, they explode under my toes
    "nope nope nope not this one-"  
but-
aha! 
pluck a special mushroom by its stem, my fingernails dig into rubbery flesh 
open my mouth to 3cm, stretching my sloppy makeup to its limits
    "cracks of skin extend past your lips"  
and tilt my head back, like those old paintings where
eve is holding an apple with two fingers and the fungi  ...

it goes both ways: mutualism

  
*please check the message box before reading 

    (you)
you flick my bottom lip with those 
porcupine nails of yours 
i open my mouth wider
as you shove your words in 

even my bed smells like nosebleed now
with your cold breath moistening my nape 
your limbs splayed across the sheets, asleep 
i long to pick you apart, sweetheart  

tuck a few bills into your collarbone 
roll out of the bed 
i turn the temperature a few degrees down 
just the way you hate it

bored with my lover 
all that's in my brain is you 
with your wilted rose perfume
and sinful smile

    (me) 
your teeth graze my ear and bite
you never know when to take it easy
i lick the scratches you left behind 
on my heart 

your candy lips purse as i hand you the money again 
thank you for your time 
never goes farther than that
and that's how i like it 

yesterday...

a legend's lifespan


sandy dust sun has cried liquid from my cuts 
trumpets' horn and bloodshot eyes
gladiator has fallen but
i still live 

simply my name is 
whatever you have given to me 
the fragrance of blood and scent of hardship
glorified through my dying bones

a casket made of dirt but buried in gold
my ghost inspires, not haunts
barefoot on a tower of script
i repeat

draw ichor from my nonexistent heart 
and paint it on my papery skin  
i am blind, pupil-less platinum eyeballs 
i will stand, your legend speaks

light streaming down from the sky
if i draw strength i am happy
if i am worshiped i am not 
a meteor house built in my name

hands clasped in a prayer line
i am glad to live for humankind 
my spirit flutters over the deathlike eyelids
of a last breath's final greeting to oxygen 

though the world has changed, morphed, melted
my fingers are still rough with callouses 
enough...

the end is near: the point past adulthood


(firstly) 
curl my fingers into a peace sign and raise it to tomorrow. 
maybe we'll live a few years longer 
if we're together

we're two little birdies floating in space
our twin orbits, without a sun, supernova 
you are my star

steal a little bit of oxygen from each other everyday 
your cherry flavored lips against mine 
your bottom lip is so soft, i want to eat it

(secondly) 
our insignificant lives against the universe
a dystopian needle in our dimples 
against the cruel wind, we tremble like leaves. 

if i hold your hand tightly
will you not fly away? 
your seafoam-scented hair flaps in the wind 

wondering what makes us special to keep alive in a earth colored cage
just tomorrow you could be struck by lightning
and we wouldn't be special anymore 

(thirdly)
there's a hole in the sky 
our apathetic eyes scan over it, pathetic
what does darkness have on us?  

autumn leaves us like an old...

Open Prompt

Shipping real people

When you're participating in a fandom, shipping is a given, homosexual and heterosexual both. When it comes to fandoms concerning pieces of fiction, it's often less that the nonshippers and the shippers come into conflict with each other. In fact, it's actually the shippers that are fighting with each other more than the other. However, if you delve into fandoms revolving around real life people, like K-pop or Youtubers, it's a different story. 

If you're a shipper in one of those fandoms, then you must have a certain moral code. As opposed to the people that say they hate shipping and that 'it shouldn't exist at all', I'll say that there are just some rules.
One, keep all kinds of shipping out of the mainstream. Shipping is a niche community, and most of the time, the shipping section and the nonshipping section (one does not need to be exclusively one) is pretty separate. It shouldn't be a problem for a...