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SCRIBBLES

the ninth issue


printed on 100% recycled paper // made possible by the CIS Art and English deparments


•9• the winter issue 12 / 14


0 4 3 2 2 {Lending an Ear by Cordelia Lam

TABLE OF CO 1 {Flow Velocity by Evelyn Choi

5 {Culmination by Katherine Yang

6 {Vejez (Old Age) by Jimin Kang

8 {A Small Dream That Fits Just Right In The Hand by Sophie Li

9 {Reading in the Rain by May Huang


0 1 2 1 {Editor’s Letter

2 {The Scribblers

3 {Featured Writer: Rachel Lee

5 {Featured Artist: Jessica Eu

1 {Cheat by Charlene Phua

2 {27 by Boris But

3 {親愛的月亮 by May Huang

CONTENTS

8 {Who We Are by Angela Yang

9 {Astapovo Station by Vanessa Cheok

1 {Saltwater Dreaming by Charlene Phua

3 {Limbo by Diana Siu

7 {The Invitation by Nicole Choi

8 {Straight On ‘Til Morning by Katherine Yang

9 {The State of Not Existing by Jimin Kang


‘How sad and bad and mad it was - but then, how it was sweet!’ - Robert Browning As we entered the academic year of 2014-2015, we subconsciously made a transition from the boundless, sunshine-lapped days of summer to the re-emergence of routine. And with all great transitions comes an existential limbo: in the great, hectic scheme of life, oftentimes we find ourselves holding the remnants of moments we can yet cannot reach when we need them the most. This is why we have the arts: they allow us to return. For the ninth issue of Scribbles, we invited our artists to tell us what it means to feel nostalgic, pensive, melancholy, perhaps hooked on the past; what it means to miss something now forever gone, and what it means to produce something raw, void of ornamentation and full of feeling. I would like to extend my thanks to all our talented contributors, as well as the most jovial, delightful group of fellow editors anyone could ever want. Without the dedication of the Scribbles team, we wouldn’t be sharing our journey in the way we are today. As you read this issue of Scribbles, I hope you, too, will be able to trace your own journey along the contours of our pages. Before we approach the yawn of another fresh-faced year, think about what you have - or haven’t - left behind, and what it meant to you. Happy reading! Jimin

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the scribblers HEAD EDITOR Jimin Kang LAYOUT DIRECTOR Nicole Choi

layout

Crystal Leung Letitia Ho Katherine Yang Miki Chiu Rachel Lee

WRITING DIRECTOR Sophie Li

OPERATIONS DIRECTOR Cynthia Huang

writers

photographers

Rachel Lee Vanessa Cheok Angela Yang Nicole Choi Charlene Phua Diana Siu Evelyn Choi Jimin Kang Boris But Katherine Yang May Huang Sophie Li Cordelia Lam

Jessica Eu Emma Kent Abigail Yee Nicole Choi Doroty Sanussi Jacob Wong Lucia Kim

ART DIRECTOR Chloe Barreau

artists

Sheila Zhang Anne Lau Chloe Barreau Wilhemina Shih Sophie Li Kristen Wong Anny Teng

from left to right: Sophie, Nicole, Jimin, Chloe and Cynthia

cover photo taken by: Nicole Choi postcard quote by: William Faulkner, The Sound and the Fury

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FEATURED WRITER rachel lee

revolutions Sometimes I watch the sun make revolutions on the back of my eyelids while the earth breathes lullabies into the night sky. Sleep falls in heavy crests along the coastline and I lie 50 heartbeats from the shore. Nobody ever taught me how to waltz with shadows in the middle of a thunderstorm... Google tells me insomnia is a disorder characterized by one’s difficulty to fall asleep: But how can I let time kiss my brow when I know so many people who are at its mercy?

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the hummingbird orchestra is a summer anthem. Today I came home and found sunflowers floating face up in the bathtub. This is how my mother holds onto summer. Two months from now, this basin will be dry. And these flowers will be nothing but exoskeletons; fossils whose slender necks will forever remain craned for a last graze of sunlight. There are swingsets frozen in my popsicles and jugs of lemonade stirred into the cotton candy clouds. They’ve been playing bumper cars in my mind all afternoon-- I feel them collide with my ribcage every time the day begins to sew itself shut. My body clock has adjusted to the opening sequence of the hummingbird orchestra. And even when sunset has picked up its skirts and left the concert hall, I always stay to listen until the last note ripples against the northern breeze... until the buzzing in my ears has stopped, until silence ribbons its fingers through mine. We sit there, in perfect stillness, watching pomegranates droop from branches like an afternoon dream, until darkness comes and presses onto our shoulders.

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FEATURED ARTIST jessica eu


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a few thoughts What would you title this image? The series is currently titled Growing Pains, to accompany a short film. Why the horse? Truthfully, I was sick of taking photos of my sisters all summer. But I was particularly drawn to the mythical figure of the unicorn, the out-of-this-world quality. It romanticized the image, and the surreal feel distanced myself from the subject. Who inspires you? For art, Petra Collins and Wes Anderson. For life, Tavi Gevinson. What inspired this? The series is a collection of highly conceptualized images that are a reflection of my personal, emotional experiences as a teen (previously and currently). If you could associate the picture with any quote/song, what would it be? I listened to a lot of HAIM when conceptualizing this series. What does black and white mean to you? I used to hate black and white photography, however I have grown to appreciate it. The mood evoked by the lack of color emphasizes the subject, emotion, lines, framing (and other intentional technicalities) in a way color cannot. What are your favorite subjects for photography and why? Something I know well. That way the photographs have an intimate feeling, as I am able to consciously document aspects of the subject that have a personal significance. What does photography mean to you? Apart from being an effective way to document life’s transition into adulthood, photography has always been my medium of self expression. It’s like visualizing your feelings. What sort of creative process do you undergo when planning/taking/editing your photos? Most of my favorite images happen when I plan a specific concept, because there is another dimension of meaning. However, a lot of the magic comes from the spontaneity needed when faced with different challenges on set (e.g. having to move locations to follow the light, and ending up finding a better, more beautiful place than originally intended).


cheat Charlene Phua, 13P1 There in the door framed: pajamas, hang too big on a slenderer body, with wrists easier to grasp, shoulders pointed, tongue blunted, eyes sharper.

Sheila Zhang, 11G1

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Boris But, 13Y2 These are feverish days

of midnight pedicures and daylight snoozing. dipping blades turning, throats burning, stomach churning, she steals a glance and turns on the TV.

stilted air. did you know that I’ve counted the number of freckles on your face all night long?

the answer is 27. tomorrow I will blur the blushing portraits of you with the yellowed reels of the past, and dear...emma...emmy...anny everything ‘you ’

will be buried deep down there where everything else is,

but I’ll always remember 27.

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Nicole Choi 12G2


親愛的月亮 May Huang, 13B2 我這次回來 只是為了看你一眼, 拿中秋節當藉口 來拜訪童年的 邊界 一邊等著你,一邊剝柚子, 將記憶的厚皮 也 一層 一層 地削掉。 我在夜空下回味, 怎無意地把每一片都吃掉了呢? 突然,你從烏雲的棉被中 銀色的小燈魚 也游到黑浪的舞台上 搖擺,舞動。

露出臉,

而我, 就像收藏家一樣, 只想把你銅板似的臉蛋 存入我腦海的錢筒中, 即是破產 也不願花掉。 夜半時分,你還懸在那裡, 越高, 越圓。 可是,車中的我已鑽進隧道 越走, 越


Anne Lau 11R2

Chloe Barreau 11P1

Chloe Barreau 11P1

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Christina Shen 10G1

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Nicole Choi 12G2


who we are Angela Yang, 13G2

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astapovo station Vanessa Cheok, 11B1 The train staggers slowly into a station glistening with moonlight As the icicles on the depot glow silver like wind chimes. Tonight Tolstoy’s memorial is littered with train tickets, and his ghost’s Gnarled fingers reach for the passes while schedules and seat numbers Seep into his irises. His translucent skin burning With nightmares of distances, the ghost’s frail frame tries to rip the doors From their hinges as he struggles through the snow, Both hands outstretched and feverish with longing. Clutching our tickets and with matches to our throats, We let this vision consume us as we file across the platform, Our fingertips burning until we are nothing but a spark in motion, Drifting slowly to the ground As the December wind lights lanterns along the railroad. In the distance, passengers grip their suitcases with white knuckles, And the train turns its longing into a whistle. On the snow-covered platform a man raises his violin, His head dipping into the instrument like a dark rose into the cedar. The snowflakes swirl around him, petals of magnolia, And every note that he plays Is an echo, a memory, a slight tremor through our bones.

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Nicole Choi 12G2

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saltwater dreaming (of a Place in Heaven) Charlene Phua, 13P1

Dawn breaks over the horizon and it’s beautiful. The sun, not yet a merciless source of heat and fatigue, simmers gently at the edge of the world, casting colored shadows across the vast, endless ocean. Waves, red and orange, lap gently at the boat. Even the vessel has dried up, the once lustrous wooden frame now cracked and salt-crusted, rickety and barely afloat. “We’re too heavy.” The uncomfortable truth breaks the silence with a raspy tone, just barely pushing its way out from cracked lips. His tongue grates like sandpaper against the inside of his mouth when it moves and he’s too tired to even raise his head. But if he did, he would see four others just like him. Sun-dried and shriveled, with the same crusty, glazed look that being out in open waters for twenty-four days in a life raft does to you. He would see that their fresh water, rationed, is enough for no more than two days. He would see empty food tins floating about their ankles, drifting this way and that with the gentle rocking of the boat. “We’re too heavy,” he says again, the three words taking effort he cannot expend. “Something has to go.” And those words are even harder to say, because they all know immediately what the ‘something’ he refers to is. The man… the boy across from him stirs, his head rising. The boy must have been desirable before all of this, with his tall, broad frame and a healthy complexion that faded alarmingly quickly within the first few days of his stay on the lifeboat. He is a contrast to

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the figure propped up against him; a frail, skeletal thing that was more bones than meat even before this nightmare began. Now the bones protrude grotesquely; sickly tanned skin stretched over them like animal hides over a whalebone frame. A thin hand comes to rest upon the bicep of the first, the healthier one. The skeletal creature tilts her face upwards and in the warm rays of the morning sun, she looks whole again. Red cheeks properly fleshed out and eyes alight with fire. Both of them are so painfully young it hurts to look at them. Neither is out of their late teens. Best friends, headed on one last youthful splurge before they head for college in the fall, they’d said, before the conversation had spluttered and died like the hope that they would be rescued before the food ran out. The hand on bicep curls slightly. “It’s ok.” Her voice is surprisingly strong; soft, but unwavering. “Its ok,” the weaker of the two coos. And this time no one mistakes to whom her words are directed. “Hydrotherapy, right?” the frail girl smiles, broken words from a broken twist of her lips that doesn’t come out right. “After all, at this rate...” I won’t last long. The scratchy words are gone as quick as they come, like the soft breeze that pushes gently at the boat. The dawn’s glow plays tricks across their faces. What a cruel joke it is that she looks her healthiest, beautiful even, right before they throw her

overboard. Someone makes a move towards the girl – no more than a shift into an upright position, but a monumental shift given their shared state of limpness – and her guardian’s head snaps up, expression murderous. Their boat mate beats a hasty retreat. The hand on his bicep prods in reprimand. “Let’s not be difficult about this-” “No,” the best friend bites. “You all keep your hands off her.” The hand squeezes again and the boy turns to glare in turn at the owner of the hand. “Are you that eager to die?” he accuses, his parched voice a demanding growl. Large, tired eyes blink calmly back at him. “Oh yes.” There’s a moment of silence. Then, just like that, they exhale, the boy in despair and the girl in relief. There is another pause, then– “Ok,” the boy acquiesces in a voice more papery than autumn leaves. “Ok,” he says with a voice that seems to resonate and bounce around an empty cavity in his chest. “Ok,” they agree, because they both


Jessica Eu, 13R2

know that is really the only way to find rest now. Sleep without a nightmare is a luxury of the distant past. Even simply lying still is cause for agony. “Hey.” He remembers a time before this haze of despair, in a classroom that’s now blurred in his memory. “Hey.” It’s his friend, her eyes curious and bright – healthily bright, not this glazed over shine – as she elbows him. “Oi, Tom, are you listening?” “No.” His own voice, Tom’s, sounds muffled and sleepy. This girl is persistent though. She prods him in the ribs and Tom gives a strangled yelp and jerks to the

side. “If you had to die, how would you want to die?” “Feeling morbid today are we?” asks Tom. He remembers yawning and her expression, stern. “Fine, fine,” he relents with a hum. “In my sleep. Next to my wife, who wrinkly and old will hopefully still look beautiful to me with my cataracts and hyperopia. I hope I’m not hugging her though. Rigor mortis would be a bit of an issue then, wouldn’t it?” He snickers at his own wit. “I think I want to die in the water,” she says dreamily. “When I’m near death, I think I’ll want someone to lay me down slowly. In a swimming pool or something. A body of water, not like fountains or waterfalls.

Somewhere peaceful.” Tom shoots his best friend a look. “That. Is so morbid.” “No, that sounds like a plan,” she replies. “Is this your subtle way of communicating that you don’t want to go on the grad trip?” “No. I’m looking forward to the cruise. I just think dying while floating in water would be a really nice, peaceful way to go. Just… drifting off…” Like a water lily bobbing gently on the swell and fall of the waves.

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limbo

Diana Siu, 13R2 Half Awake, Dreaming still… let me endure here, For an endless ceaseless seamless eternity. Let me stay here, when the shadow of midnight gently lingers in the air, calming burning stars with her misty breath, turning flame

to flare,

to flicker,

to almost,

dust. Almost, because the sweet smell of morning’s sweat is near. Dew drops, beads of perspiration and tears from racing. Racing, to rekindle a dying, fading hope of an old fire, in a limbo right now, in the limbo between saying, “I remember you used to think that we had… infinity.” And me not having to talk but you telling me, and you, believing it. All before dawn, before unknown winds should decide to either command that light shy golden links, from wave tip, to wave tip, into a chain that binds me to the fronts of no return.

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Or, demand that sea-foam weave long silk threads from wave trough to wave trough into a tightrope, leading me back, to Christina Shen you.

10G1


Wilhemina Shih 12Y2

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Abigail Yee 11G2

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Chloe Barreau 11P1

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the invitation

Nicole Choi, 12G2

“Come to Death” it said, the note engraved in gold, breathing of wealth unknown envelope sealed in rich wax “We’ll dine on silver plates” it said, the menu a monologue of exotic dishes a nine course feast “Dress in white” it said, candle burning by my bed weaving through the stormy winds “3 years, 6 months, 1 day, 8 hours” it said, with an air of morbid punctuality I could not shake “Come alone” it said, dread reading over my shoulder, quietly taking hope’s reservation.

Sophie Li 11R2 27


straight on ‘til morning Katherine Yang, 10R1

We packed up our house yesterday, disassembling the tables and sofas, stripping away the lights and power bars, wrapping up the paintings and plants. Not everything would fit. Brightly coloured shirts and jackets that barely reached past the elbow were labelled ‘discard’ and put into a black bag. Shoes, too, which lit up cheerily and spun its wheels as it was fumbled out of sight. The procession carrying the boxes out the door was efficient, straightforward, understated. The door was shut, then, and the dust inside settled a short moment after.

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the state of not existing Jimin Kang, 12P1

0.

The Zhuang people in China believe that the sun and the moon are a couple and the stars their children; whenever the moon is full and round, she is pregnant, and whenever she is crescent, she has given birth. This is why many women tend to worship the moon during the night of the Mid-Autumn festival, held on the fifteenth day of the eighth lunar month, when the moon is at her fullest.

1.

When I was ten my mother used to take me to the rooftop of our tenement building to watch the stars. I remember climbing the narrow staircase that smelt like incense and wet dust and clinging onto my mother’s hand, cold from dishwashing, holding tight so I wouldn’t fall down. We would make our way up, taking each narrow step in strides like we were conquering continents, counting tiles along the floors and walls and hoping we’d see the same sum of stars in our Hong Kong sky. When we reached the top, my mother would lead me through the mess and tangle of our rooftop neighbours: they lived in little metal houses and spaces all fixed together with rusting rods, crammed together in their little aerial version of the alleyways ten stories below. I remember seeing withered plants sitting in chipped porcelain, the soil bathing upon dusty windowsills, broken umbrellas perched like pets against aluminium walls, watching the night as it extinguished all forms of swearing, cane-wielding, daytime kinds of life.

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All I ever saw was the moon, thick and full and white like an egg on nights when Freddy the weatherman would smile at the sky, or thin and frail-looking when it seemed shriveled like ancient metal. But I never saw any stars.

2.

When I was twenty, I watched TV for a long time until I fell asleep. When I woke again there was an orange light entering through the grills of our window and I could see the dust particles suspended in the air. Mother was buying groceries or medicine and so I turned back to the TV to see if there was anything interesting to watch while I waited for dinner. I felt like my life had condensed into a series of moments that didn’t really matter anymore,. The weather was too hot and people were too busy anyways. Mother said it was unhealthy for a twenty year old to be doing what I was doing but I couldn’t really see why; it wasn’t as if any other twenty year olds out working were happier than me. anyhow.

My mother would take me to the very edge of the building and sometimes she let me stand on the ledge. She would hold my body in the way they do in the movies and tilt my head up to see the sky, which seemed to stretch so infinite if you blocked out the apartment buildings with your hands.

And so I stayed where I was, at home. I flipped through the different channels, zap zap zap, making my way through 5PM soaps and disjointed news reports until I came across a grainy TV special or something about a bunch of kids speaking into microphones about their life, or homework, or sex, and the audience would clap and clap and clap and people would cry and there were interviews to ask the kids about why people cried at stuff like that. That was what the sneak peek commercial had put forward all week and so I thought I could give it a try, because there was nothing else to do.

I had always wanted to grow up seeing stars, all kinds of stars. My grandmother once told me that when she was ten there were so many stars in the sky, sometimes she would lie out in the New Territories somewhere and try to count how many stars she could catch before they flickered out so another one could shine brighter, and she would play this game until she gradually fell asleep and my great-grandfather would come out of the house and pick her up gently to take her home. A sky full of stars is a gift, she always said to me, cherish it. It was kind of sad because I don’t remember seeing many stars. I remember the buzzing and humming of the nighttime sky and the humidity mingled with the rare breeze and my mother holding me and whispering look, leng zai, look at the sky into my ten-year-old ears and I used to look hard, until tears welled into my eyes because I’d open them for so long, I used to look hard at the sky and tell my mother I can’t see, I can’t see.

So I watched it. I wasn’t sure why, but I couldn’t make myself change channels. I sat on my couch for two hours watching this program about these kids talking about their lives and for the longest time, I listened. I watched each kid as he or she stepped onto the stage with their eyes filled with this quivering fire, you know, as if they were ready to push the earth out of orbit but didn’t know if their hands were big enough to do so. I watched as they then opened their mouth and let forth a current of words that were strong enough to push entire planets out of orbit into a mad-rush game of bumper cars, bam bam bam, and I felt my head going bam bam bam as I listened to what they had to say and I wish I had the same number of words in my head to tell the world how I felt, and then I realized that even if I did have the same number of words with the same impact, message and diction, I wouldn’t know what I would want to talk about anyways. Which made me sad. But


I kept sitting there on my couch until all the kids had taken their turn to speak. I kept watching the way their mouths moved and their eyes flickered and their hands shook. I kept watching until they moved into the postshow section, where the kids talked about why they spoke, why they wrote, why they did what they did and I thought to myself maybe I should listen, maybe this is the part that will change my life. The first kid they talked to was called Jonni, spelt J-ON-N-I, not like J-O-H-N-N-Y like I thought it was. But then again, these kids were different. Jonni said that what they did was called poetry, and that poetry was the axis upon which my Earth revolves. Before I first discovered poetry, I didn’t have much, said Jonni. I was working shifts at this fast-food chain, trying to stay away from home as much as possible so I didn’t have to run into my dad. I couldn’t really see any purpose to life and letting anyone know what crap I was in. But then I started to write. I secretly wrote sometimes at the counter when it was off-peak, before the manager would come by. I started to write more at home, too, and sometimes I’d forget about my dad. I only remembered him when he leant over my shoulder one day and told me he was sorry. I feel like finding writing was my rebirth; I was never really born until I learnt to write. When my mom finally came home I was still sitting on the couch, and although the program had finished an hour before and the TV was playing the daily news at seven-thirty she said I just sat there, looking into the screen. She didn’t know something, though. She didn’t know that I was making plans, making plans about what I wanted to do, and what I wanted to do was write, write maybe about the stars.

3.

Now I am thirty and I am still sad, because as I look to the sky there is nothing to see. All I see is the sickly glow from the LED insurance ad coughing and oozing into the sky. I am sad when I see the shriveled moon wrapping the illness into her thick, rich bosom, and I think of what a shame it is, that in the absence of her own flesh she is forced to take in the neon phlegm of our ills, because no matter how she tries to force it into her womb with her phosphorescent cries she

will never birth the precious, crystalline baubles of hope that she so desires, and when the sun is gone, she will always be alone. And I am also sad because I look to the sky with a notebook in hand but all I have are perforated edges beginning to peel themselves away from my insipidity. Or maybe the little rings in the yellow paper want to fly and join the moon. Or maybe (the most probable of the maybes) I am shooing the paper away, because the blankness reminds me of my inability to create and when I think of creation I think of all those young people in that TV program who kept saying finding writing was my rebirth. I sit here, trying to write, but no words come into my head and my hand feels like a paperweight only serving to keep the weaker thoughts from floating away. I think of all the times in my life I’ve tried to do something but couldn’t in the end, I think of my mother, who is now pale and shriveled and cannot climb roofs anymore, the mother who looks at me and asks leng zai, what are you going to do now. I was never born until I learnt to write. Maybe this is what insignificance feels like. This is what being a single speck on an entire globe filled with tectonic plates and lands and massive bodies of water and volcanoes and fast-food chains feels like. It is the state of not existing. I was never born until I put into words the way the moon sheds her nimbus upon her myriad children, the way she leaves fragile strokes of love across the dark canvas of the night, the way she protects each and every one of her offspring as they glow, heaving and somersaulting, or as they race each other across the infinity of the racetrack of space. Maybe the moon had a miscarriage. I look away as the perforated page finally rips off and flutters angrily into the night, and as I watch the empty page leave me I think of all the times I couldn’t see the stars, I think of Jonni, I think of my mother, and I begin to believe that maybe my mother, like the moon, has lost a child too.

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flow velocity

Evelyn Choi, 11B2

There’s a crease in the papers, a curve to the cursive, and as the ink spills up and down the folds I dream of the crisp lines saying all the things I never dared to hope. Pushpins frame the expanse between us, frame the cartographic lines criss-crossing over an ocean of ink plotting out paths and meridians that we’ll never take. In my sleep I hear you running across the water. I hear you over the rushing of ink, over all we said and all we didn’t, over both our humming hemispheres. Sometimes I lie in bed and it overtakes me, like a wave crashing over my body in the sand. I wonder if there’s a point to swimming in an empty ocean. I’ve swallowed too many heavy pauses and now I’m sinking, drowning, submerged in the sea of words. We are not islands but seamounts, children of volcanoes, anonymous mountains rising beneath the surface, so unaware of the currents pushing us apart– and the ink spills over the page and the ink renders the horizon black and the ink swells into tides–

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Here there is nothing but our lost mariner lights.


Emma Kent, 12B2


Jacob Wong 11B1

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Jacob Wong 11B1

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culmination

Katherine Yang, 10R1

Emptiness is heavy, I find. It hugs me tight and I breathe it in with every inhale— the suspension that inevitably comes with missing something that never was. Sometimes, when the white walls have no answers for me and the old ache tugs at me again, it slams into me— the fact of you. Those serendipities and accidents brought into this world— out of so many— it brought you. The thoughts and charm and nuances that add up to you are held together in a frame of bones and skin and abnormalities like the rest of us. You have to go, but that’s okay. I’ll see you later, when I dream of the curve of your hands, the angles of your smile, the crinkles of your eyes. Go, then; take with you the way your fingers fiddle when you’re bored, the way your quiet hum permeates the room, but leave this nothing so I don’t forget the something.

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vejez

Jimin Kang, 12P1 La vejez es gris como el cielo afuera de la misma ventana él ve todos los días de su vida. La vejez huele a frío - el sentido que susurrar cuando sus hijos han salido través del jardín vacio, dejando el sonido de silencio y el sabor de amargura en el cuerpo del viejo. Es tiempo para regresar al cuarto con los paredes ásperos; no hay mucho más.

Lucia Kim 7G2

old age (translation) Jimin Kang, 12P1

Old age is grey like the sky outside the unchanging window he sees every day of his life. It smells of coldness - the sensation that whispers when his children have left across the empty garden, leaving the sound of silence and the taste of bitterness in the body of the aged. It is time to return to the room with the rugged walls; there is not much else.

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reading in the rain May Huang, 13B2

At first, we hear only a dim crackling. It could have come from the broken television set or the spindly heater left beside my father’s working deskbut the sound crescendos, sputtering. So, my father unhooks his reading glasses, heads to the door to check, and then exclaims: 下雨了! And it is indeed the winter rain spitting on our windows and crackling like electricity in quick, cold drops, unmuted by the night’s late-bus sounds but masked in its swallowing darkness. We spend the evening reading in time to nature’s irregular metronome, listening to the tinkling music of rain, and forgetting what page we are on.

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Doroty Sanussi, 13B2

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Christina Shen 10G1


a small dream that fits just right in the hand Sophie Li, 11R2

Indeed, it is often hard to walk this road as ourselves, such graceless animals. We are like sea-birds, like petrels, like meat in the teeth of a gale. Yes, there are times when we are still lifes of dust. Watch the sun put a coat on. What is there, sometimes, waiting for us in our empty rooms when our tongues feel greyer than the dust on them? We are breathing the past, we are watching our friends trade lion for listlessness. So we do this: In the arms of the night we are tasting shades of light we didn’t even know existed. Outside, the air is searching for more air. The sea is like us, a thing in perpetual movement. There’s a growling to bury with the hatchet. You are leaning into a wind like candy floss, it is a spun thing that would be sweet when you picked it from your teeth. We can never outrun the dark, but we can light matches. And your hands were kind even you were tired. This is what I’ll remember: the shape of rain, a feathery winter, and a small tree blown over that only grew gentler. There was thunder, that orchestral boat, and the moon shook hands with the ocean. We’ll tell them that the sky was the softest shades of air that night, that everything improved in the proximity of our affection. The theory is: that great things can exist even for lesser beings. Yes. There were flowers nodding to sleep along the windowsill, and a round moon blushing its way through the darkness. Company is the warmest shelter in from the cold… When I turned the moon had laid her kind fingers across the ground, and there were you, enough for myth and legend, looking as if you glowed.

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Jessica Eu 13R2

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lending an ear

Cordelia Lam, 12P2

Consider the A chord. I wonder if you’ve done so before. For I have not heard anything more golden in my life. Its tingling notes spread before me like a tapestry, like a magic carpet with the sultry fibers of a swallowed sun intertwined in its gossamer threads. Listen to the A chord. It’s alive with the shimmering seams of midnight, with fleets of meteors racing across the sky. Its sweet harmonies gather around my feet like warm candle wax. Focus on the A chord. Examine its peaks and pitfalls, the way it cascades but suspends above drop. It waits with bated breath for a great perhaps. It teaches me patience. Maybe I, too, can afford to wait. Internalize the A chord. Its magic fingers melt through my steely walls and gently caress my heartstrings the way one would a harp. It traces circles across my tired skin; a healing balm for my sores. Breathe the A chord. I inhale its release like a bottled autumn breeze reminding me of love lost and love forgot; bathing in the ochre haze of nostalgia, dancing in a spotlight of mystical wonder, waltzing beneath a resplendent moon, with the mirth and zest of a soul renewed. Do you hear it like I do?

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Scribbles: Issue 9  

Issue 9 - Winter 2014

Scribbles: Issue 9  

Issue 9 - Winter 2014

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