Kleptomaniac

you snuck in through the windows I hadn’t barred, stealing all the pen and paper in my house.
Next, you came for my dreams.
a talisman filtering my thoughts,
every waking moment I only see you.
I kept warning myself that alarms should be set up before you steal something important, like my heart.
But I can’t help but feel each night a terrified longing,
waiting to see what you steal next.
And before I knew it
you’ve committed arson
and this fire you’ve set a flame inside me won’t stop burning.
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The Roads We Have Taken

two paths diverged from a road
you took one and I, the other
when we look back at the roads we traveled
both of us will be sorry for what we had
But I will be the sorrier for not being the friend you wished you had

two paths diverged from a road
I had to find my own way
because you had already been long gone
when my eyes opened to see it was only a ghost of you that I had been loving all along

two paths diverged from a road
I left you unwillingly while you gaily alighted away
and it cleaved my heart in two to see we no longer had common ground

two paths diverged from a road
I hope it has made me braver in choosing my own

a response to Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken

Golden Record: The Ultimate Mixtape

3500 miles per hour
spinning out beyond the known limits of our galaxy
is a recording
of the electrical impulses of a mind and body in love
and while I’m listening to this podcast
I can’t help but make a metaphor out of this
this is how you stole my heart
every time I look at you
you send my heart
shooting off into the dangerous, beautiful cosmos
stealing all of the breath out of my lungs
there is no oxygen in this perfect vacuum
nothing but gas and dust particles
and distant lights from suns that shone 13 eons ago
maybe nothing will become of this golden record
it will be lost in the dark expanse of time and space
or maybe
someone or something
will decipher the static of brainwaves
the sound of flowing air whooshing in and out of lungs
the thudding of a yearning heart
Perhaps they may listen
And have a tiny glimpse into the passion that defines mankind
-inspired by Radiolab

F***boy

she pushes you against the wall
after school in a hidden hallway
pushing her lips to yours like you are the air she breathes
her kisses are innocent like forget-me-nots
warm like breezy summer nights at the beach before a crackling fire
she pushes you against the wall
after passing period
and instead of passion you taste possession
her lips trail the boundaries on your skin that mark you for her own
you wonder when did your kisses become a show for the people watching
she pushes you up against the wall
After your football game
she is too sweet like candy you have gorged yourself on
All you feel is guilt when she finally leaves
Despite your efforts, she caramel sticks to parts of you
Refusing to let go
she pushes you up against the wall
After she finds you kissing someone else
her lips have become the mouth of a roaring dragon
her words sear across your skin like fire
and when she leaves you forever
all you feel is a cold relief
You used to watch her from afar
a trophy wife, you wanted to claim her
but when you finally had what you wanted
there was nothing left to make you stay
P.S. Sorry guys I know I shared this 4 months ago, but I added the last paragraph and I hope you guys can still enjoy it. Please comment what you thought. I want to perform this for slam poetry in the future.

LA Adventures

I.
There is a tree in Little Tokyo where passersby have tied their wishes on scraps of paper.
Maybe it’s the thought that the rain will wash away the evidence of naked longing that people allow themselves to be vulnerable and share their fervent desires.

“I want to make it into UCLA ‘22”

“I want to find love.”

But even if the ink washes away the memory of pen on paper,
Ink filled raindrops soak into the drought-parched soil
Where I have faith our dreams are planted and take root to blossom into being.

II.
I remember standing at the top of Griffith Observatory.
Staring at the city below instead of the planets above,
How depressing this sight is
That they call Los Angeles the City of Stars
Because we are cold and apart from each light shining below
Many are fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, documented, undocumented persons
Whom we forget are toiling at night for people who can enjoy fine dining on nights such as these
These luminous point map out those who are not resting with their loved ones
My heart is aching for these incandescent bodies devoid of warmth

thoughts from a girl who’s never been kissed.

I think the title of this post explains the premise of this post pretty well. I never kissed, never held hands, never done anything remotely romantic. I think that is mainly because I scare away everyone, and also because I’m a low maintenance type of person. I wouldn’t say I’m ugly, but I wouldn’t say I am beautiful because that would be an inaccurate representation of my self. There are days where I will wake up in the morning for school (like today) where I realize lamentably that I have again, forgotten to brush my hair. NO WORRIES! I used the magic power of finger brushing! I’m Asian, my hair is straight so it’s easy :D. But yeah, the closest I have ever even gotten close to anything even looking suspiciously romantic was getting someone’s number, and it was because I lent them a book as an excuse to keep in touch. That’s how I roll. 😉 Another reason I have never date is for religious reasons, I’m a Christian and I definitely think there are A LOT of benefits of not having premarital sex! Also, high school relationships are messy, and I’m not a huge fan of them…

But… (oh yes there’s a but…)

I’ve been thinking recently about how I want to be a writer/poet/english major. I really believe that in order to be a good creative writer, you need to have experienced life. The more that a writer experiences, the more that he/she has the ability to relate to his/her audience. Everyone talks or reads about summer flings while I just stand in a corner by myself just smiling because I have no experience. And I don’t know how I am supposed to relate to the 99% of the world that has more experience than me in relationships. I have to operate in the tiny 1% that makes up me, myself, and I. Maybe this long rant is just because I’m looking for an excuse to confess to the person I liked I mentioned above. It’s so hard because I really like this person, but I have so much religious guilt over whether my desires are holy. It’s obviously not holy, but I am sometimes crazy for this person, and desperately want them to like me.

Or… (oh yes this goes on…)

Or maybe, one day, I’ll be grateful to my high school prudent self in 10 or so years when I find the right person and when I feel like God has defined the parameters that which he wants me to be in concerning a relationship.

Either way… I’m just ranting and procrastinating. I have so much work to do. I just really needed to get this off my chest because I never talk about my crushes with friends or family. I keep it on the down low and there’s a reason why. Maybe more on that later.

Baiii, I hope you can relate if you are in the 1% ❤

love,

Ji

{Book Review} Caraval by Stephanie Garber

This review was first posted on The Last Bookstore’s blog thedwarfandgiant.com. Click on link to see the original review!! <33


Details
Title: Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
Publisher: Flatiron Books (January 31st 2017)
Age Range: 13-17 year olds
Pages: 416 pages (hardcover)
Buy at: Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Book Depository | Google Play | iBooks


We all love to play games, maybe sometimes games with a dash of danger and daring mixed in. If you are a thrill seeker, adrenaline junkie, or just a big YA nerd like me, here are reasons why you should be reading Stephanie Garber’s newest novel and start fangirling.

WARNING: This book is highly addictive, and it is likely that you may suffer from lack of sleep, just like the author of this review, who read this book into the early morning when  she had school the next day.

With YA, we’ve heard it all right? Teenager lives normal/repressed life, finds renewed purpose, finds someone who sees their unique qualities, main character falls in love with soul mate, and the end. Nope, that’s not Stephanie Garber. She will mess you up so bad the whole time you are reading this book, you honestly will be lost on where the plot will lead you next. Seriously. I can promise you it does NOT slow down even in the last 50 pages.

Now let’s get started on a basic summary. So there’s Scarlett Dragna (what a cool last name) and her sister Tella Dragna. They live on an island with their abusive father who is the definition of a control freak. You find out in the beginning of the novel that their father enjoys punishing the other sister when one sister misbehaves. Now that is flippin’ messed up. Worse, the girls don’t have a mother figure in their lives, and they mostly rely on each other for guidance. The girls make the best dynamic duo, though I think I’m biased because I have a younger sister. Our friendship reminds me a lot of Scarlett and Tella’s relationship. I digress. Scarlett daydreams a lot about leaving the island, specifically to Caraval, a mysterious island where audience members are encouraged to participate in a game to win a wish. The book opens with a series of letters that Scarlett has written to Legend, the master of Caraval. The letters are mostly cathartic, as Scarlett doesn’t expect to receive an invitation, until she does. (SUPRISE SUPRISE!) Scarlett, being the older sister, is worried about accepting the invitation with her sister. Her sister, rebellious and fiery, “convinces” Scarlett to sail off with a morally ambiguous sailor to Caraval. Only, when Scarlett gets to the island, the game is not as simple as she thought. Her sister Tella has been kidnapped by Legend himself, and the winner has to find her first. (DUN DUN DUN!) All along the way, while Scarlett is desperately trying to find her sister, she is told that the game of Caraval isn’t real. Or is it? The deeper she goes, lines between magic and reality blur where Scarlett is suddenly in very real danger of losing her own heart and her beloved sister.

Whooohooo heavy stuff. I rate this book an 11/10 because this plot, like I said earlier, is the best worst emotional roller coaster ever. If you also have a sister share this book with them and read it together. Sisters will go far places for each other. #sistapower. Also, I haven’t mentioned yet how Garber has the most beautiful writing style. The plot can be magical, but it takes a true writer to spin magic with every word on the page. She does that and so much more. I snuggled into the pages like a warm blanket. It feels like home. A scary magical emotional home. I don’t know if that makes sense. It made sense in my head.

Anywho! I hope that you all loved reading my review, and now after reading my rambling, GO READ THE BOOK. #staylit Don’t forget to comment how you liked the book!


Ji

Book Haul: Vancouver June 2017 (and reasons to buy from local bookstores)

I’m Canadian! I was just in Canada last week during Canada Day. 😀 I love being Canadian, and right now more so than being American. For one thing, they don’t have a crazy President, and most importantly THEY HAVE BOOKSTORES. Ok, well we do have bookstores in America… they are dying out though. Anyways. Bookstores are alive and kicking in Vancouver. I have warm and fuzzy thoughts thinking about bookstores and how inviting they look all packed with fresh new books waiting to be discovered. But you don’t want to hear my warm and fuzzy thoughts. Let’s get on to the book haul!

So I bought two of Julie Murphy’s books Ramona Blue and Dumplin. I thought these two books were fantastic. They cover hard topics about teenagers trying to cope with poverty, sexuality, and body shaming. Murphy’s style of writing didn’t hook me as well as some other authors, but I think she does a wonderful job diving into issues and drawing in her readers into the shoes of her characters. I think the reason why I didn’t enjoy them as much was that they almost felt like popcorn reads. Popcorn, as in you munch on them really fast because they are salty and crunchy, but you don’t take the time to savor them. Don’t get me wrong. These books are delicious, but for me, it wasn’t a seasoned steak to chew on. I think it’s also because I’ve read so much YA over the years that when I read new books, I have very jaded views because there are so many fantastic books in this genre. It makes me sad because the more I read, I feel like the harder it will be for me to find a book that really shakes me. Anybody else?

Okay, so the next book I bought for myself was actually a collection of poems. I love reading poetry and I have Sarah Kay’s No Matter the Wreckage and also, of course, Rupi Kaur‘s Milk and Honey. I think Sarah Kay has mastered the art of living through her poems if that makes sense. With Milk and Honey, it’s different because it’s sort of a cathartic way for Kaur to channel her ups and downs in life. For that reason, I think that some people don’t like reading her poems because they can be a jarring and emotional exhausting to read all together. I haven’t read this poetry book yet. I feel like poetry needs to have a special time in my day where I can really devote myself into dissecting it’s prose. I’m not busy, but I don’t think I’m mentally available to start reading it yet. (Also I’m so excited about the typewriter in the background of this photo! We had to go check in baggage just to bring it back to LA)

Now, I know that all these books that I bought in Canada are available online on Book Depository or Amazon for a much cheaper price, but it’s nice to walk into a bookstore once and awhile and meander in the smell of crisp pages. Buying books at your local bookstore ensure that the people who work there can keep doing what they love and it makes sure that you can keep perusing through their shelves. Because public libraries are great, but we all have to admit that old and used books that have been shared can sometimes get a little crusty…

Here’s a picture I took of my sister reading in a used bookstore in northern cali

I’ll try to be back soon. I love you all so much. Tell me what you think about Sarah Kay and Rupi Kaur! Do you guys agree or disagree?

Trailblazer 

You must think that I am like the others before
Who coat hung themselves to you yearning to not be forgotten and left trampled on the ground

I am of a different sort.

Before reaching to you, I am grounded in myself

You are not a raft boat that I am searching for in this sea because I am not drowning

I learned how to swim for myself long before you reached out benevolently

Do not think you are saving a damsel in distress because I am the hero in my own story 

This road to self love was not easy so dismiss any notion that I will just hand over my individuality.