Flowers for Soon Chung Park, 74; Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63; Hyun Jung Grant, 51; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 44; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; Paul Andre Michels, 54
Peace: 9″ x 6″ Watercolor on Cold Press
Power: 8.5″ x 8″ Watercolor on Cold Press
Love: 9″ x 6.5″ Watercolor on Cold Press
Rest in peace and
the power we are taking back
the immense afterglow of love
you ignited in all of us
and these flowers—
they are for you,
with bittersweet tears and gentle light;
that will not be forgotten
(I’ll make sure of it).
I lost my language when
a thousand whispers told me it wasn’t worth keeping
The early Saturday mornings in class
were interfering with my weekends.
Now don’t get me wrong:
I am thankful for the priviledges I hold
my communication skills
my writing abilities
But something still makes me feel raw
when I could not describe to my grandpa
the great depths to which I loved him
on those heavy days preceding his passing.
And years earlier
when I could never assure him
I was eager to listen when he wanted to talk
about grandma after she had also gone—
maybe then could his tears flow a little more easily.
And it still doesn’t sit right with me
when I could not explain to my grandma
how much ill health it perpetuated inside me
when she’d criticized my body;
A stolen chance
to make amends
Instead lay a silent chasm between us
until she died and
I was on the other side of the country.
Great regrets hurricane through me
as I desperately grasp ruptured threads of
my ancestor’s resonances
All that remains is
an immense lump in my throat
words that got lost in transit or
arrived too late to be received
bereaved messengers that never fullfilled their purpose.
Yet I know my language isn’t too late to find again
because even though all my of grandparents have left
I could at least pray to them
in a way they’d want me to.
The Birth and Death of Memories: 800 x 524 px
Golgi Stain of the Hippocampus by The Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth
peel away the layers
Take time to
nooks and crannies
Hold your wounds
with a quality of
Listen to your heart and
every beat it echoes as you
its raw exposure.
divine mass and
Love and be loved.
that mushy goo
out of every cell in your
Connect with other
and allow them to
beat beside you
all that is
across the sky.
Sunburst: 24″ x 24″ Acrylic on Canvas Print
The plants that
inside my mother’s house are
all year long
She hasn’t read a single book on
used a special fertilizer but I think
they trust her.
Although they haven’t been around her whole life
I have a feeling they Know
all the meals she cooked for us
all the messes she cleaned up after us
all the dreams she made real for us and
all the nuturance she channeled to us
when we had fallen to the ground and could not get up
on our own—
I have a good feeling they Know
that she risked her life escaping war for us
that she worked day and night to build a better life for us
that she breathed patiently throughout our reckless years for us and
that she loved us to the moon no matter what.
I’m fairly certain they’ve always Known
that their life was sown
more than enough
they needed to g r o w.
You are not allowed to be an asshole
I don’t care if you’re running for local office or president of the United States
You’re just not allowed to be an asshole!
Even if you are a back up dancer for Beyonce or
look like Jennifer Lawrence or
Orlando Bloom or
any other gorgeous celebrity who can shoot arrows like a boss.
Even if you won sixteen trophies from wrestling, football, rugby, and squash
I don’t care if you ran nine marathons or can successfully stick your ankles behind your head…
Oh and by the way, namaste to you too, betches
Thanks for turning a beautiful Indian practice into an expensive ego trip.
Every human being has a story and a struggle
Your fancy schmancy shit does not put you above that
or person with addictions
You are not allowed to be an asshole to them
Even if you own a 1000 leather bound books or your apartment smells like rich mahogany
Even if you can tell me precisely how old this wine is or know the entire history of Pablo Picasso’s paintings.
You are not allowed to be an asshole
Even if you can regurgitate social justice rhetoric while juggling knives on a unicycle or work for the U.N.
In that case, you need to stop being a hypocritical asshole
And to be frank, I don’t care if you single handedly prevented a pandemic or discovered a cure for premenstrual cramps…
I guess if you found a cure for premenstrual cramps,
you might be allowed to be an asshole…
Though until then,
STOP BEING AN ASSHOLE.
Gold Stars: 7″ x 14″ Ink on Cold Press Watercolor Paper
Click image to enlarge
I swayed with them amidst the Armageddon.
– between meteors –
we held each other and
Moved our hips
in smooth synchrony.
For some reason,
the Lowly Blues
were the only thing that could move me;
Not walking to the grocery store or
to my own kitchen to say the least.
It was either
in a dissociative haze.
But I don’t think they knew how much our dances meant to me.
I don’t think they knew how important they were to me in that moment in time.
As we drifted in slow rhythms, our bodies so close
sung me calm.
as meteors stormed my head.
My head that retaliated,
and rightfully so.
My head that longed for these round, orange pills
my doctor used to give me.
I didn’t have a lot of friends around back then, but a
Community of blues dancers came
to my 26th birthday.
I made them a big chocolate cake as of to say:
Thank you for getting me out of bed last year.
I don’t think they knew this though.
I don’t think they knew how much our dances meant to me.
I don’t think they knew how important they were in that moment in time.
Yoga Nidra: 20″ x 24″ Acrylic on Canvas
Year after year,
living blindly in loopy chains,
‘till Life pinned me so eloquently to a corner where from myself,
I could not escape.
She told me, “The architecture of your brain needs to change—
you can no longer run, skip, and jump far, far away,
from your internal pains.”
Meditate to medicate.
Day after day now,
my Heart leads the way.
Yoga nidra is a relaxation practice that allows the practitioner to gain deep insight and awareness into unconscious areas of the brain. It subsequently cultivates an ability to rewire samskaras (ingrained patterns of thought, emotions, and behaviours) in a willful manner which in turn assists a way of intentional living. This piece represents the process of yoga nidra: In the center lies deep, dark, unconscious samskaras—that is, outside of our awareness. As we practice, these patterns gradually flow into the light… such like training a skillful eye with acute abilities. The process is slow moving and not always pleasant; painful samskaras present themselves vividly. However, when awareness is established, change is possible. Positive intentions called sankalpas are planted and cultivated—such ones that bring liberation.
Love for Fools: 10″ x 11″ Ink on Cold Press Watercolor Paper
Floral design referenced by an American Apparel print
Click image to enlarge