Monday, April 24, 2017

Sunday, April 23, 2017

I am Not Who You Think I Am

I Am, Unfortunately, Exactly Who You Think I Am.

I am outwardly friendly and happy.
Am inwardly, afraid and insecure.
Unfortunately juxtaposed,
Exactly what you expect.
You want me to be.
Think twice.
am nothing more than meets the eye. Or 
Am I?

Saturday, April 22, 2017

In the Defense of the Dark Arts

It's charming, in fact, that a class made to Protect Against
has brought so many together.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Recipe for Joy

The chill of a night air.
The overcast sky hiding the soft shimmering moon.
The solo string of outdoor lights that somehow, dimly yet barely, illuminate the whole back yard.
The top half of a lawn ornament flamingo teetering, nose-first, on said string.
The aftermath of two hastily drunk Moscow Mules.
The cool beer in my right hand.
The faint murmur of ambient conversation with the compliment of loud, live music -- 
   The talent. 
     The energy.
The fairy being handing me a beverage promising me, "It tastes good.
  Like juice."
The silhouettes of the two giant palms in the yard next door -- 
  The trunks so large it would take two of me to wrap my arms around them.
The company of friends and Phamily.
The hugs.
The soft blur resulting from the mixture of the vodka, Tecate and that fruity beverage.
The laughter.
The subtle tug of fatigue and a perfectly timed
  "What are your thoughts about heading home?"
The late night raiding of the refrigerator.
The purr of the fuzzy ball of fur.
The gentle slide from consciousness to slumber.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

All the Things I Have Ever Loved

I am all the things I have ever loved:
Being warm. Being dry. Blankets. Hugs.
Family. Friends.
Spaghetti. Red sauce. Long noodles twirled around my fork.
My Little Ponies. Inspector Gadget. She-Ra. Rainbow Brite.
Kitties. Hide and Seek. Memory Games. Scavenger Hunts.
Outside and playing Lost Girls. 
The soothing sound of the water. Warm sand between my toes.
The tall thin boy a year older than me whose gaze I could never meet.
Emo. Scream-o. Basement shows.
Goodwill. Messenger bags. Home-made patches. Safety pins.
Eyeliner. Ball-chain necklaces. Cuffed jeans.
Adam. Pot. House parties.
Summers in Door County. Beach days. Sue's magnificent breakfasts.
Driving around in cars.
Adam. Walks in the woods. Fractals.
Late night omelets. Roommates evolving into friends.
Freedom. My black Honda Civic. Quick drives to Madison.
The Irishman with a quick temper but an unparalleled generosity.
Travel. New experiences. The thin line between strangers and friends.
White rice. Steamed. With soy sauce.
The brief summer with a tall skinny representation of wanderlust.
That infectious laugh.
Beers and food television. Video games. Late nights at bars.
Grilling a tenderloin on a Madison rooftop.
Getting kicked out of training for playing Minesweeper too loudly and giggling too much.
My car again. Road trips. Couch surfing.
The Playa. The West Coast.
The week with a boy who blew glass and brought home organic juice.
Philz. The Golden Gate. Carousel rides with a boy from the Midwest.
Huelo feet. Tiki Hut. Sundays on Little Beach.
That same boy and camping roadside. Walking up a volcano.
Selling everything and island hopping in Asia.
Being warm again. Being lost.
San Francisco. Diversity. Culture.
Josh. Then Goober. Then Logan.
Creating a home. Neighbors. Neighborhood.
23rd Produce. Duc Loi. Sun Fat Seafood.
Basa. Radish. Yamo.
Support. Family. Phamily.
Netflix. Rainy day excuses to do nothing.
Still Goober.
A rack full of wine. Cooking while listening to my favorite songs.
Lazy Saturdays reserved for writing.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

We Wear the Mask..

We wear the mask of self-consciousness
Of pretending not to care but caring
Of being outwardly what we want to be inwardly

We wear the mask 
Of wearing the mask
For someone else
For everyone else

We wear the mask.

Monday, April 17, 2017


[Made up of lyrics to songs I loved when I was 15 years old]

Be blindfolded. Be obsolete. Be the closest thing. Be hit or miss. 

Stay fucking beautiful. Stay standing on your soapbox. 

Be that winter of '95. Be 7:30 Friday evening. Be between one June and September. Be all I remember.

Stay plugged in and ready to fall. Stay dreaming of waking up. 

Be pictures, apologies. Be the butcher's knife. Be starry configurations.

Stay definitely shaking.

Be a right turn gone wrong. Be just tired enough. Be never quite the same. 

Drown yourself in bread and coffee.
Drive straight off the edge.

Be a beautiful sky tonight. 
Be ten feet tall.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Saturday, April 15, 2017

12 Excuses For Why Food Is My Significant Other

1. When I'm angry, it fills my belly and soul.
2. I'm a sucker for the smell.
3. That first bite of fresh pasta twirled around the tines of my fork.
4. It cannot hurt me.
5. It will not let me down.
6. I'm a sucker for the meld of savory and sweet.
7. While it can be a mess in bed, I get to kick it out afterward with no hard feelings.
8. Pasta makes me happy.
9. I'm a sucker for cheese.
10. I look forward to the foreplay.
11. It is always better with wine.
12. I like to replace feelings with calories.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Interview Someone Who Is Gone

Today this is hard.

I'm missing too many things that are gone.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

What Haunts You

It hides in the corners of my every day.
It sneaks in under the radar.
It lives in the subtlety of the underlining plainness.

I don't notice it because I don't have to.

I grew up with this Filipino nose
And these almond shaped eyes.
This sun-kissed skin and short slight frame.
And the privilege of Privilege.

My heart doesn't carry with it the strength of my ancestors
The history of my bloodline.
I am a blank slate with the fortune of being embraced
Into a home with love and laughter
And the advantages of my parents.

I didn't want for food.
I didn't want for shelter.
I didn't want for an education.

I never feared for my safety.
I never questioned authority.
I never worried about making it another day.

[Insert here the hardships]
[The struggle]
[The fight]
[I never had to stand up for]

My parents worked hard.
I've worked hard.
Our hardships were significant.
But different.

And yet --
Are still afforded the luxuries of pale skin
And light features.

It haunts me
And yet it has protected me.

The White Privilege of a Brown Girl 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Let's Make a Movie

Let's make a movie called 'Alternate Realities'
Where everything's a little like 'Sliding Doors' but we don't all have to be
Gwenyth Paltrow.
And hopefully it doesn't turn out
As another vehicle for a love story.

We can all slip In and Out of our various Selves as we
Wander from Timeline to Timeline
Discovering which Parallel Universe pans out the best.
Tracing it Back to that
That a mundane happenstance alters our lives forever.

We can switch swatch through other people's Realities trying to get it

Making sure the Relationships and Camaraderies
That seem meaningful and consequential
Continue to Intertwine with our own.

Censoring Tragedies and Missteps until
We're satisfied with our Ultimate Design.

Time will push back, of course,
And each Existence and Actuality
Will fight with our self-appointed 
Utopia of a Universe.

Until right as we settle on the final touch,
We swirl.
Us, Our Chosen Companions,
  Our Accomplishments,
    Our Failures,
       Our Perfect Little Lives,
Twirl with the rest of the Alternate Realities.
And leave us tired, wet, and broken.
Shattered memories and 
Splintered recollections.
A mess.
On the floor.

Roll Credits.
Curtains Down.

House Lights Up.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

They Said I Wasn't Bold Enough

They Said I Wasn't Bold Enough
To be an individual that was
Memorable, and 
Worth Anyone's Time.

That I was meek
That I was small
That I wasn't Brave enough
  to make a Difference.

So I leapt in.
I jumped into the deep-end with only a slight knowledge
  of how to barely keep my head above water.

With friends for support
With a partner just a phone-call away
But still with the distance of thousands of miles
To keep me feeling alone.

I failed -- 
I failed a number of times.
But each taught me something new.

Be more assertive.
Be more of a leader.
Take action.
Be strong.

Cry sometimes.
Admit defeat.
But learn.
Continue to always learn.
To feel the sting of the biting sidewalk
And remember to trip differently next time.

I may not be interesting.
I may not be memorable.
But I might be worth at least a few people's time.

And Bold isn't merely a font face anymore.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Sometimes the name..

Sometimes the name that sits at tip of your tongue tastes like ashes.

And as it slides down the slippery slope across the tops of your tastebuds
It takes on new flavors as you continue to struggle to grasp its true form.

A bite of bitter as you curse your memory.
A smack of sour as you recall the recoil.
A slight of sweet as you savor that one Summer that made sense.
An indescribable umami that tickles your throat when you can't help but salivate for just a little
A smack of salt to sting the wounds, still soft and smarting. Still strange and sore.

And as it swims toward the throat, the build of the hot hot heat.
That hint of spiciness compounding quite covertly until
You wondered if it was even possible that you thought this might be tolerable.

To spit it up and out.
That name -- that elusive name
To rid yourself of that fear and fire as it burns still hot.

Then ashes, soft and slate.

You cast it off your tongue
And reach for another bite.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Dear Insecurity

Dear Me,

I know you won't heed my advice.
I know you want to learn you own lessons.
Make your own mistakes.
Live your own life.

And, by all means, you are welcome to.

But believe me, I've been there.
I've done that.
And I'm sure I'll do it again.


Heartache is temporary.
But real. 
Oh, so real. 

Feel it to its fullest.
Don't let anyone talk you out of being hurt. Being lost. Being devastated.
But know that it will fade in time.
Sometimes you will wish it faded faster.
But a part of you will always miss the things you left behind.
The things you forgot to help yourself heal.
And part of you will always hurt because of it.

Each heartache is different.
A snowflake of intricate, sharp and biting pangs.

It will melt in time.
Spring will always follow Winter.


You are smart and strong and beautiful.

You do not feel this.
You will never feel this.

But wake up some days in the mirror and tell yourself these things.
Maybe some days you will believe it.
Maybe some day you'll be me with more confidence.
More love for yourself.

Try it.
For us.


Care about something.

It's easy not to..
And I'm honestly not sure how to advise you to do this.

I guess I'm just selfishly hoping you figure this out.


You Do You.

There's a lot of things I would stop myself from doing as a younger me.
There's a lot of things I would encourage myself to do more.
But the past is all part of me. Of you. Of us.

Hurt yourself.
Hide yourself.
Love the wrong ones.
Take the risky chances.

Learn you own lessons.
Make your own mistakes.
Live your own life.

I'll see you soon.

Friday, April 7, 2017

What Do You Need To Say?

I'm fine.
You're sometimes on my mind.

I'm tired.
I'm worried.
I'm trying to get by.

I hate him.
I love her.
I want to say I'm sorry.

You're great.
You're strong.
You'll make it through this fine.

We're here.
We're always here.
We'll try our best to make this work.

Good bye.
Good night.
I'll see you in the morning light.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

An Ode to My Shoes

An Ode to My Shoes:

It's impossible to say whether or not you still loved me or not when you gave me them two Christmases ago.

The thought hadn't even crossed my mind.. until a misplaced, 
    poorly put-together joke fell flat on the sidewalk as we strolled
-- fast-paced and sure-footed --
down the steep street that led us away from my home.

My mind traced through the memories.. 
Slithering snakes through a maze of thick-thatched, barred and barricaded half-remembered truths.

Your gifts -- masquerades attempting to pass off as some sort of affection.
Guilt-laden apologies for the lack thereof.

It was my fault for not noticing sooner.
For taking gifts at face value.
For not understanding that the hugs were hollow.
Words were wanting.

Kisses like corpses --

Waiting for a breath of fresh air to stimulate the skin,
  reanimate the soul,
    and remind you of that feeling you thought you felt so long ago.

An Ode to My Two Feet:

Carrying me swiftly, sweetly from one universe to another.


Clad in these two solid shoes.
A gift of a ghost of loves past
and the promise of a destination to come.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

I Pledge Allegiance..

I Pledge Allegiance to the Swag
Of the Pseudo Good Samaritan.

And to the Republic --
For Which We've Damned --
One Nation,
Tired and Robbed,
With Stupidity and Numbness For All.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

I Want to Go Home..

I want to go Home.

But Home is one of those undefined, 
entities that I can't quite wrap my head around.

Home is a mess of unresolved altercations that I should have let go of years ago.
But that I still hold close to my chest
And shield my heart with them..
To keep anyone and everyone out.

Home is a wandering target.
Elusively changing location and slipping from
         To State.
            To Country.

Home is full of strangers that I let fill my place when I refuse to take responsibility for my own emotional shortcomings.

I keep her at Plane's Distance.

Home is a current GPS coordinate.
And I've kept myself at 37 N/122 W for a long eight years.

Home is a swirl of feeling like I belong and feeling like I can lose myself in the crowd.
The friendly balance of being seen and unseen simultaneously.

I Want to go Home
But I also want to just 

So here I'll stay.
Until Home makes sense again.
If I ever let it.

Monday, April 3, 2017

What Questions Does Your Art Ask?

Are You There God? It's Me, Lily.

My art is asking for an ear.
My art is asking mundane questions for the easy-listening audience.
It is not bold.
It is not life-changing.

It merely exists.

My art is a journal asking if anybody's out there.
My art is a way to put pen to paper
      and ask if maybe you feel the way I do sometimes.

My art is simple.
Asking for nothing.
But open to anything.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

What Does Your Body Remember?

The touch of your skin, for one.
The humidity of the night.
The sweat caught between the fold in the back of my knee and warmth of your thigh.
The tangle of arms and legs and miscellaneous us.

When we woke, we could feel the change in the air.
The breeze.
The promise of cool and the sweet smell of moisture.

As I motioned to grab something to cover up with, your hand stopped mine.
Our fingers intertwined and you motioned toward the ladder.
We scrambled down from the loft.

The wind was stronger outside.

The sky swirled black and grey.
A rumble of thunder shook the bare souls of our feet.
The tickle of grass between my toes.
A flicker of lightning in the distance.

We could feel the storm coming.

The warmth of your arms wrapped around me from behind.
Your head laid atop my own.
The clouds, the rains, the storm. ..

The first soft droplets of precipitation on my arms.
Thin sporadic tears.
On my legs. My bare belly.

Then harder, faster, fatter.
The wet, the warm and the cool all at the same time.
My hair clinging to my face.
Your laugh ringing in my ears.
Your laugh shaking my body with yours.

And we waited in the rain.
Until it felt as if our skin was soaked through and through.
Until we ran laughing for the shelter of the shed.

My Body Remembers.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

I Look at Myself in the Mirror and See..

I look at myself in the mirror and I see someone that needs sleep.
Someone that's tired and defeated and lost.
Someone that's searching and trying and reaching and hoping.. 
.. but coming up short and feeling the ache of consistent rejection.

Looking for a job is hard. Moving is hard. Being let down by someone you thought was your life partner is hard.

Life is hard.

Reinventing yourself is hard. Finding your voice is hard. Rebuilding your confidence is hard. Rediscovering your personality as a Single Being is hard. 

Cultivating new skills, reconnecting with friends, trying new things.. all are hard.

I'm not gonna sugar coat this with a life lesson.
Or turn it around with a "But life is also rewarding" clause.

Things can just be hard for now. Tomorrow may (and probably will) be better. 
Things will change. This will get harder and easier in turn.

But for now things are hard.
And that's okay.

April is National Poetry Month

Inspired by YouthSpeaks.