Thursday, September 3, 2015

Dear Singapore

It's one of those days again:

I'm on my way out the country to a destination frequented by Singaporean folk. We're still in the country and we were just having a discussion on multi-culturalism versus interculturalism. What also came up was the attacking and general resentment of foreign immigrants- whether blue collared or white collared. The family and I were just relating our own tales of being subject to behaviour of this sort. (Of course not leaving out moments when a Singaporean HAS come to our defensive and such)

The table next door seems to have overheard us and has proceeded to switch to mandarin and begin speaking horribly of us- presumably because they figure we can't understand.
"她们la-那个angmoh 的"
They have also proceeded to (in a failed attempt) discreetly take pictures of us.

I guess I'm really sad. Just really, really sad.
Despite never having felt at home in this country, there is still so much I have grown to appreciate and love immensely. And there are so many people who I've met here, spent most of my life with, people who have Contributed to making me more of a person than I could've ever hoped to become.
There are so many good people here, so many genuine and friendly and loving Singaporeans I could never imagine doing life without.

But then things like this happen and I realize:
It doesn't matter how much I love what I have here or how sincerely grateful and blessed I feel to have gotten to live and and spent time in Singapore. Sure she's got her shortcomings- but name me a place that doesn't?
Yet despite that, it doesn't seem enough.
Never mind that I contribute to the society (I'd like to think), and the economy. Never mind that I teach in local schools and Strive towards igniting a love for the English language and literature and the arts. Never mind that I am burdened with continuous want to remind teenagers here that they are enough, that they are talented in their own ways and that I want to be a source of encouragement where they often feel like they only ever do things wrong. Never mind that some part of me (I have come to realize) truly does care about this society and the people who've been ostracized...
Moments like these, or incidences where even now, in the year 2015 I still have been told to my face,
"Stupid foreigner go back to your own country"-
It just makes me realize
I'm not welcome here, am i?
We aren't welcome.

And so,
When my kids ask me
"Ms C but why? Why Singapore..? Why would you want to live here?"
And I smile and say,
"Now isn't that the million dollar question, hey?"
I'm not saying it with resentment or any amount of snark. I'm saying it with a very special level of sadness and heartache that was formed and only belongs here.

Having said all this though, I refuse for my posts to sound so bloody tragic. So I'd like instead to take time here to say thank you to all the amazing Singaporeans I have come to know and love here. So many of you are my go-to people and I cannot begin to tell you how grateful I am for you. And even when I go off on rants like these, please know that whenever I am asked why I'm still living here,
I think of you.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Once upon an August 26th-

You would've been just a little over six now,
And life would've been unfathomable without you.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Do not stand at my grave and weep 
I am not there. I do not sleep. 
I am a thousand winds that blow. 
I am the diamond glints on snow. 
I am the sunlight on ripened grain. 
I am the gentle autumn rain. 
When you awaken in the morning's hush 
I am the swift uplifting rush 
Of quiet birds in circled flight. 
I am the soft stars that shine at night. 
Do not stand at my grave and cry; 
I am not there. I did not die.

Mary Elizabeth Frye

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Bonne chance

Choosing to leave plasters on for as long as I need to so that I may heal.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Ça va très bien, merci

i haven't felt this settled for a while.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Left the lights on

It was a long way back,
but there's nowhere else I'd rather be than

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Hey stranger

Because you remind of the person I was, and everything I'm supposed to be. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Breaking point

Ledge. Air. Wind.
I am so afraid of heights and yet, when I think of ways out I think of

Parapets, corners, bridges, too many levels up and the way I cannot hear my tears fall against the concrete floor.
If my body falls, will it make a sound?
And if it doesn't, does it mean it's actually fallen at all?

Did you know,
You can fall in love in so many ways.
And did you know? Even after, you can keep falling in love...
Over and over and over again.
But did you also know that you can keep Falling and you tell yourself it doesn't hurt but Jesus Christ it does and you wish you wouldn't hurt, wish you could outrun this bullshit
But then you're numb numb numb
And sitting on the couch with your coffee wishing for the first time that you had your tears and your sadness-
Do you know why?
Because it's all that's left of her.
And that matters.
It's almost like, all that sadness caused by that absence..
That absence of her...
That's all you have left.

That's all you've got left darling.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pink Dot 2015

Today, I was part of the 28,000 people gathered at this amazing event. I've received looks of alarm when I admit I haven't been before. Perhaps because I've never been the sort to shove my flag in people's faces, and I kinda wondered if this would be doing that. But then today I realized it's really just a big happy party of families and children and grass and dogs and balloons and picnics and wine and love. Just an outpouring of so much love- it's so heartening to see heterosexual couples come, to see families and their children be there. Because their being there screams "you deserve all this love as much as we do". 

Also having chilled out picnics, good conversation, listening to good writers and speakers- that's really what we do. There isn't any gay agenda. If there was, that would probably be it: chill out, have awesome picnics and good conversations with people you love. And just, be. 

Friday, June 12, 2015


And then,
I can feel all these things
Such that if
You ask me if I feel sorry,
The answer is
No. I don't.

Because finally,
I can feel again.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


So really, in relation to the big big bigggggggger picture of all of it-
What? What is this really?

I know you don't know. It's not fair. But okay, I've done my part in shielding you from things and today...
Today, this hurts. 
So much I can feel it. 

And baby,
That's really saying something. 


Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Wish you were here.
Wish it was you.
Wish I made more sense


Friday, June 5, 2015

Grams and milligrams

Fact of the day: they don't tell you it won't fix the pain.

Pick it up, pick it all up. And start again.

You've got a warm heart,
you've got a beautiful brain.
But it's disintegrating,
from all the medicine.
from all the medicine.
from all the medicine.

You could still be,
what you want to be,
What you said you were,
when you met me.

When I met you. 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

That's a fine looking high horse

It's not so much about the cards you have as much as it is how you play them

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Beginnings of endings and endings of

How do you even begin to say goodbye,
When it feels like you haven't even finished your hellos yet?

This heaviness.
In the pit of my stomach. Weighing me down

Weighing me down.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

I believe

You hold my world
In the palm of Your hand

Monday, May 25, 2015

Tell me

Where I went wrong
and how do I fix it?

Off days

Wish you were here
Wish we were honest
Wish we were okay
Wish there was more to us
Than this

Step 01

I am learning to get better,
To find balances, to breathe easier,
To drink my morning coffee without crying for half an hour
To sit on the empty couch without doing a double take realizing you're not there.

I am trying to get to know myself again;
Trying to listen to my body and what it needs and wants
Learning to respect it
Giving myself time to understand it better.

I am trying to learn to not be so sad.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

"I'm gone"

But ma chérie,
What if I'm not?

Friday, May 15, 2015


Old songs on repeat,
Staring glassy-eyed, over the rim of my sixth glass, no, seventh,
And losing track of the beginning of my thoughts when I get to the end. 

There is hope, however little,
Of finding my footing
And happier days
And glimpses of light at the end if the tunnel

Lots of writing, dreaming
But mostly getting from one day to the next without accidentally tripping into oncoming traffic. 
Bouncing around between bad days and not-so-bad,
Somewhere between tragically sad and numb,
Looking for the next foothold to grab on to. 

But of course, in the meantime,
Before those glimpses of light come,
We find ourselves staring at the bottom of our sixth, no, seventh glass


Now playing: happy music 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Spinning in a teacup

And we're just going in circles aren't we?
Around and around and around and around
Sometimes it doesn't feel like we're going anywhere
We're just going around and around and around
Until you've spun away, I've lost your teacup
I'm in my own, alone,
Just going in circles.

Around and around and around and around

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Here's a joke:

So one day you come to the conclusion that you've officially reached the maximum amount of hurt you can feel.
And that kinda sucks but it's also like,
No really, it can't get anymore painful than this.

And then
Something else comes around and you're like.
Oh wait, hey,
It can actually get more painful.

you're the joke.
I've stood on rooftops looking down,
Not of what happens if I jump
But what will happen if I don't.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

I'm only gonna

Break break
Break break
Your heart
But don't let me forget
All the songs I will write

Words from an ex lover

"I will not ask you to stay

If you must go, go
I don't need you
I will breathe (carefully) without you
I will smile (slowly) without you
I will go on (eventually) without you

I'd be much happier
If you chose to not leave,
But if you must let go, let go
And I will too

And hopefully one day
I will teach my heart to not break
Whenever everyday thoughts
Lead to you

I'm afraid I'm much too weak,
I'm afraid we'll always be
A book with the end pages ripped out,
I'm afraid I'll always wonder,
Always ache,
Always place everyone second to you

I'm afraid I'll always love you 

But I will not ask you to stay."

Fucking wreck

Driving away from the wreck of the day
And the light's always red in the rearview

Desperately close to a coffin of hope
I'd cheat destiny
Just to be near you

Far, far away

This girl,
She doesn't know where she's at anymore.

"It would've been illegal not to come over and talk to you"

Monday, April 20, 2015

But there is promise in the way he holds me.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

I'm All Left Turns

So this is what I've been up to at work-
It's our final show tonight and tickets are still available. 

It has also been quite an experience teaching and working with the participants of  Miss C's Little Blackbox - with it all leading up to this!

In our devised piece

I'm All Left Turns (and I don't know which is right).

We explore how our parents got to being the people they are today, and summon the courage to tell them all the things we wish they knew.


Stefi Ooi

Gopi Arivalakan

Ambry Nurhayati

Seah Bei Ying

Emil Ong

Directed by Charis Vera

Written & Conceptualised by Charis Vera & Marvin Wong, together with the actors of Ms C's Little Blackbox.

Tickets available on:

We'd love to see you there(:

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Writing letters that I know won't reach you

My ghost

Where'd you go?

I can't find you in the body sleeping next to me

My ghost

Where'd you go?

What happened to the soul, that you used, to be?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Sitting with your demons and choosing not to fight

"Are you alright?"

However much time you've spent running away,
You'll never outrun yourself.

And when it feels like most of your time is spent fighting off everything else,
really, the last person you want to fight is yourself.

And then,
There is calm.
Just like you used to know.

I'm alright.
I thought I used to know how to get myself there
It's relief that I never forgot.

"Yes, yes I am."

Friday, March 13, 2015


I find shelter, in this way
Under cover, hide away
Can you hear, when I say?
I have never felt this way

Maybe I had said, something that was wrong
Can I make it better, with the lights turned on
Maybe I had said, something that was wrong
Can I make it better, with the lights turned on

Could I be, was I there?
It felt so crystal in the air
I still want to drown, whenever you leave
Please teach me gently, how to breathe

And I'll cross oceans, like never before
So you can feel the way I feel it too
And I'll mirror images back at you
So you can see the way I feel it too

Maybe I had said, something that was wrong
Can I make it better, with the lights turned on
Maybe I had said, something that was wrong
Can I make it better, with the lights turned on

Maybe I had said, something that was wrong
Can I make it better, with the lights turned on

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


Adventure is out there, it's heading our way
So grab your scarf and goggles, let's fly!
I've mapped out our journey, we're up here to stay.
A sunset is our home
A moonbeam we will own

My Spirit of Adventure is you!

And then this pain comes, searing into flesh and cutting through bone like it's cloth.

Unsteady and shaking, it is all she can do to hang on to these words.
But all she knows is this unfathomable, ineffable pain that's burning the inside of her veins, eating away at all the things that keep her together.

Forces a smile she knows you cannot see, managing a
Because that, that's kinda what it is. It isn't anything until you make it something. And it isn't supposed to be anything to begin with anyway.

It's nothing,
It's nothing, it's nothing.

And if she says it enough,
maybe it'll dull all the razor sharp blades that feel like they're running patterns on the inside of her skin,
Maybe it'll stop the way she hates herself for feeling all the things she does,
Maybe it'll make her feel less like an idiot,
Like she is the biggest fool in a game she didn't ask to play.

It's nothing.
It's nothing.
It's nothing.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sleeping with the lights on

On the days I miss you most,
I watch an endless stream of cooking shows, teary eyed and nursing too many glasses of gin and tonic.

And I wait.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Just because.

For you,
The answer will always be yes.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Waking to absence

And I hang on to whatever I have left,
Even as it falls to pieces in my hands.

Undercover, Under covers

Weave me into the threads of your stories, stitch me into your patchwork of adventures. Let me hold you together in the ways you unravel me.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

If you want me

Are you really here?
Or am I dreaming
I can't tell dreams from truth
For it's been so long
Since I have seen you
I can hardly remember your face anymore 


While I powder my nose,
He will powder his gums,
And if I try to get close,
He is already gone,
Don't know where he's going,
I don't know where he's been.
But he is restless at night,
Cause he has horrible dreams.

So we lay in the dark,
Cause we've got nothing to say.
Just the beating of hearts,
Like two drums in the grey.
I don't know what we're doing,
I don't know what we've done.
But the fire is coming,
So I think we should run.

I think we should 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


You will never say all the right things, at just the right time.
Or sit beside me and breathe and tell me, just by being here, that it will be okay.
You cannot reach for me and have me lean into your touch,
Feeling for the one right thing in a world going wrong.

And that's not your fault.
It's not your fault that you cannot fit in all the ways another has before,
Or that you don't make my breath catch at the thought of you.
It's not your fault
That someone can be all the things you need them to be, for you,
But you can't be that for them.

And I'm sorry,
That as much as you want to be,
You can't.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Dull throb

The rope slipped from my hands so quick I was left with burns
And when they blistered I started to cry
Because that meant in time, it would hurt less, and eventually go away.
And I cannot say I'd know who I am without the pain.

Most days,
This ache is all I have left of you
And I don't want to lose that too.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

The unclaimed

I wonder if you can spend so much time looking for something that's lost, that you forget what it was to begin with.

And then I wonder,
When you do find it, will you even recognize it?

Will that even matter by then?

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Looking for a way out,
Or a way back in.
Depending on how you look at it.

And some boxes,
They're never meant for being opened. Ever.

Lying on the Moon

It's a dark and stormy place
But with you, my dear,
I'm safe and we're a million miles away.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

If we just went with what felt nice all the time,
That would fuck things up for some people.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

She always knew my name.

Her voice is cold, familiar, snaking itself around and pulling me to her. 

She was the echo off comforting bathroom floors, the constant gentle murmur that would find me when the flush of toilets drowned out all thought. 

There are so many days you have fooled yourself into thinking you've run far enough away,

Until she finds you. 

And oh, she always knows where to find you. 

Sunday, January 11, 2015

All the girls wanna

One button at a time
Boy, don't you have fine designs 

You're working overtime 

Thursday, January 8, 2015


Couldn't hide it if I tried

Monday, January 5, 2015

And I start back at One

She's all commas and semi-colons, ellipses and periods
Tripping up on all the questions that play on the edge of her tongue and
Finding spaces between sentences for doubt to paint ugly pictures
She wanders, eyes closed, back into places of safety.
Back to a place where she can find proper footing,
Back to where it is okay to take a breath
Start. again.

Friday, January 2, 2015

If you can't actually see the pain you're feeling,
Are you really feeling it at all?