Only on Camera

Down in the backstreets of the City’s blood vessels and nerves,
she and I used to talk for hours about our worries and wait for the rain-showers.
She always cried when it never came.
I wanted to believe for months that we’d eventually feel the same.
Hopes of a better view than dreary bus-stops and homeless fiends,
we both eventually grew apathetic to the damage though
from all the fist-fights in the streets, crooked people and the police, empty cans, cigarettes and Red Wine-flow;
it only spelled the concluding complacency from our anger, the neglect we threw on our weekend-friends, and it ultimately predicted our ends.
Time really passes by like the people from the other side
and raindrops didn’t make it easier for us to let it slide,
but resentment stays forever if we’d never make amends.
We drove circles around each other for most nights,
Took a shot of this and that, hoping something blends
“Tear me apart already, what are you still waiting for?”
“Nothing. This isn’t a fight”
We’d sit still in a smoking room for hours, watching people come in and out of the door
“A change is gonna come sooner or later”
“I guess breaking you will be the hardest thing I’ve ever enjoyed”

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Greyish Blues

On the borderline of my pride, we connected our humility again
after a year of messy progressions and cleaning myself.
The ravenous tides have stopped crashing along my living room’s couch
in the early hours of Saturday and Sunday mornings, with the stench of cheap sex.
It took us too long to acknowledge the importance of closure for our separation.
As we stumbled for months along the streets we strolled on teenage-feverish nights,
with people who were merely chess-pieces we strategically used to replace each other
and we’d alternate in taking turns at chipping away our fortitude and stronghold.
Arrogant, weren’t we?
Perhaps I was the heart-breaker my mother warned me about, but it was really you
who set my uninspired soul on fire, for a summer which seemed to last for years
and just to keep you satisfied, I hurt myself like a child running with scissors
and irrationally, I resented you for not advising me with some common sense,
but now we’re at peace again; I can’t hate you anymore,
even if I didn’t tell you everything I really wanted to…
even if you knew you were once my Moon and Sun.

Jivin’ the Voodoo Down

Moments of truth,
as we sat in your car on a hot Saturday afternoon,
I told you
“A year ago, I faced a calm before my storm…”
the calmest peace before the hungriest storm…
You look at me with an honesty in your eyes
I’ve seen it many times before in fact,
You tell me I’ve matured since then,
you’re happy for me,
and you’re proud of me.
I didn’t need your confirmation about that though.

I see clearly now,
more than ever,
how peoples’s moves create ripple effects,
like a game of chess.
I used to play so hastily.
Those rainy afternoons I spent being restless;
Those quiet nights I spent listening to music;
Those long mornings I spent without you.
Some of my fondest memories were quick moments
yet their personal significance stay timeless to me
No wonder you’re always on my mind.
Intuitive and impulsive moves make more sense
only after you’ve made them.
(My avatars exemplify that)


Here’s a personal Top-10 to let you feel and/or understand the narrative of my past few months, (and through that, perhaps you could form a narrative of my year so far too.) Let’s call this one “The Chaser’s 2nd Finale, Part III” for now, it’s to pay homage to a lot of things I’ve kept close to me, and will hopefully continue to, years and years down the line as part of my ethos, pathos and logos. (My avatars also exemplify that)

joey

Swaying, Everywhere

Laying on my bed on a scorching Saturday; I don’t wanna waste my money this afternoon on something I could get from my friends with ease. These Bluetooth headphones better do me good though. I spent $25 on it this morning and saved the rest for tonight or perhaps the next week. Last night I saw one of your friends at a function though, we smoked a couple cigarettes and talked about how our years went. Your name came up again as usual; I keep giving her signals that we’re not exactly on good terms, nor have we been for almost half a year now, yet she carried on talking about you and she showed me this one picture of you and her in the front seat of a vintage car in Europe; I remembered how you always told me you loved those types of cars.

I asked more and more about the trip you both went to in Europe, and your friend went started narrating her personal travels there rather than your collective’s one instead. You were occasionally brought up though, she said something about a man you had a fling with in your time there.
“Ah yeah, that’s cool…” I reply to everything she said.

We went off on our separate ways for awhile that night, I saw her again an hour before my bus back home came. She saw me at a smoking room, laying my lips on a woman unknown to her; unknown to me too. I think her name was either Therese or Clarice? I couldn’t really tell the difference between the two at the time. I think it was either an accent or an intoxicated-slur? Your friend teased me shortly after I walked the unknown woman out of the Bar’s door
“Man, I didn’t think you were out here like that” She said.

I caught a few hours of sleep back home before Mum woke me up in the morning to visit a doctor concerning my illness. I was stubborn for the whole week about visiting one, but after last night’s many adventures and circles, I decided I have to be concerned about my well-being too. We went, got some prescription antibiotics, payed a few albums’ worth for them, bought my headphones from a nearby Gas Station, payed an album’s worth for it, and drove our way back home.

I jumped into the warm embrace of my bed, and let the cool wind of summertime through my window. I connected the new headphones and instinctively listened to some Bossa-Nova because I felt as though it just fit the ambiance of my bedroom and the day so far. I tried to let those Tenor Saxophones, melodic Piano keys and light Classical Guitars put me to sleep. I thought about you once more before that though; even on the car ride to the doctor, and the car ride back home too.

I thought about that picture of you in that vintage car in Europe which your friend showed me the night before; you looked so positive in that picture, with a radiant glow in your smile which I hadn’t seen in awhile. You were happy, and it took me awhile to recognize it for myself but I was happy for you too. I remembered only a fraction of what she told me about your fling with that man in Europe, but it didn’t linger on my mind much this time. You were happy, and as your friend, or someone who was your friend, that’s something I would’ve wanted for you too.

I took off the headphones to save its battery and charge it for later. I turned over to my vinyl player beside my bed to try play something else instead, but it was unplugged so I either had to disconnect my phone’s charger or my electric-fan to get it working. I couldn’t choose which one had to go from the two, nor did I have enough energy to plug and unplug cords from the power-socket, so I thought to myself some things are better off left unsaid and not done,; I made my peace and quietly slept myself away for the afternoon with the wind and the heat.

“When she walks she’s like a samba that
Swings so cool and sways so gently…”

 

 

Lacuna, Onwards

South of the border of my fingertips, there I made peace with you; not because you mean anything to me anymore, but more so because it’d mean something to me now. Digging through wooden crates before Saturday, it’s not liquor that I’m looking for; I’m looking for some memorabilia for this year instead, I seem to have forgotten a lot recently. I just need a reconnect before my sickness turns terminal.

Making friends with the gatekeepers who used to kick me out and deny me entry. Making new friendships with women I thought I’d never see again. Making relations with my city and its artists. Breathing underwater, hoping my lungs don’t mess up now. The beach’s sand in my hair or the shampoo burning my eyes; this afternoon’s rain reminds me of my innocence more than my sorrows.

I always hated how my brothers rolled their windows down as we would drive down the waterfront on a cold, rainy, late night. I’d always be in the backseat, attacked by the continuous gushes of icy winds. I hope my children experience that with their brothers though, it’ll be a good character building exercise. They don’t have to be inherently related through blood either. It wasn’t exactly like that for me anyways.

I sound like I’m dying with each passing day, and a dry-cough which won’t die down despite the weeks worth of medication I’ve taken. I haven’t gone senile though. I’m not celebrating my life nor am I foreshadowing my eventual death; if anything, I’m celebrating my arrival, and foreshadowing my arrivals after that.

 

 

I Can Sleep Better Now

5:50AM in mid-November; When the sky is just the right shade of light and dark blue, the lack and movement of clouds become noticeable, and the music feels so much more sombre and eerie.

Somewhere in the South of Auckland City, a reluctant golden-child can’t get out of bed because of a depressing nostalgia of his formative years in the East; talented but also under his neighbourhood blues.

Sleeping alone with a large duvet-blanket, way too many pillows, a closed window, slightly open curtains, and a heater on full blast; it wasn’t always like this for him. He recites Radiohead lyrics to himself to remind him about certain times. He couldn’t catch much sleep last night at all.

He wrote a heartfelt apology all night to a friend of his yet he never sent it.

He wrote this stupid, meaningless text in mere minutes yet he posted it anyways.

Why am I like this?

Instant Classics In 2017?

I saw this video tonight which claimed Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN. is already a classic”. Crazy. I was really baffled that at only 7 months since the album’s release, it’s already hailed as a classic by the well-known music-journalism website: Pitchfork.

DAMN. in 2017 wasn’t culturally digested by Hip Hop and mainstream audiences the same way Good Kid MAAD City (2012) and To Pimp A Butterfly (2015) were.

Neither was Joey Bada$$’ All Amerikkkan Badass to his debuts; 1999 and/or B4.Da.$$

Neither was Drake’s More Life to his fan favourites; Take Care and If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late.

Even Big KRIT and The Migos’ critically acclaimed albums from this year feel like they just came and went in the eyes of people’s interest. Who’s even listening to Slippery in November of 2017?

It’s a shame because although not many of those albums could be argued as any of those artists’ best works, they definitely made and had strong statements in their legacies and careers as artists, which was sort of overlooked because of how our culture collectively consumes art.

Rap in today’s mainstream has become infected by a strong sense of hyper-consumerism, where product-cycles and the relevance of an artist’s work have become vastly reduced. It’s come to the point where we can’t even let a record breathe without asking the artists for a new album, song or search for a new artist that’ll feed into our mainstream-tastes.

Typically, a “classic” is simply defined by the quality of an artist’s work lasting a certain period of time. A period of time is subjective, especially to context, but 7 months is quite a reach from Pitchfork to call DAMN. a classic. Think about it this way: are people fondly remembering, or will they fondly remember GOD. or LOVE. from this album in the same way they remember Poetic Justice or Alright?

November Sides

Dreaming of a Malibu summertime
in the dreary urban rain.
I don’t know how I felt about you last night
but I have to keep it moving on in the morning
Always.

Lately I’ve seen through the canvas of your eyes,
the mirror in your lies,
the distance between our lives.
You don’t have to wait.
Your lips don’t make high
Anymore.

Scorpio List // Burning One

You are the luckiest girl alive.
We had our innocence then.
Conquered the world every time I smiled,
Now I don’t smile as often.

I don’t see you at all anymore.
I rarely pray but I just pray that you’re well.
What if you cried every night?
Below the moon and the sky,
I’ll burn one for you.

You are the luckiest girl alive.
I’m glad to have called you my friend.
One life to live,
So just be true to you.


Spring solitude has been a blessing to me.
Scorpio season is upon us now,
So let’s celebrate with more life and more music.

Here are my selections for my seasonal top 10…

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I know I said I’d stop making these types of lists, but I stumbled across something last week and it reminded me that I had to make something like this…

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My will to be the greatest is getting outrageous.
GOAT campaign resumes tomorrow.