note to self –

you are not allowed to die by your own hand.
not like this.
no way.
it may be talking to you, but the raspy inner voice you have is full of shit.
they may not be talking to you at the moment, but your family would be devastated.
your brother may say he hates you and doesn’t care if he sees you again, but that’s what brothers do sometimes, right?
you miss him, don’t you…
you do. because you’re certain that he understands how this feels.
and you swore you ran out of tears, but they’re here again.
you don’t care what has happened and how much time has passed,
you just want to see him again.
even if he tells you what a waste of space you are.
you already know!
you just want him to hold you for a bit and tell you it’s going to be ok and that you are worthwhile and that your past doesn’t have to define you.
in that lovely, sardonic way of his.
you miss your little brother desperately and you want him back.

Ilene, you chased him away.
and he has no time for your shit anymore.

you’re feeling something for the first time in days.
and it’s horrible,
but the anguish wouldn’t end with your heartbeat.
no, it would only be transmitted to those who knew you.
liked you.
loved you.
cared for you.
and you’d become yet another unanswered question.
another face frozen in a contrived smile.
another prickly pile of what-ifs.

so, don’t do it.
even if the voices say you should.
even if it seems like a fitting end for you.
even if it may offer relief.



If I Was A Robot

If I was a robot,
I would have a directive.
I would not be truly free,
but I would always know what to do.
Arbeit macht frei.

Ein zwei drei.
There would be no self-destructive voices
to hush by keeping busy.
There would be no impulses
apart from electricity.
A sense of dread replaced by momentum.
A visceral sinking replaced by hydraulics.
I would have a maker and not a mother.
I would have a system rather than a soul.
I would have three laws to operate by
and no arbitrary obligations.

No more dreams of leaving my station,
no more urges to transcend my current state.
I only hope
for someone
to dismantle me
when I’m done being beneficial to the world at large.

Is that really so strange?

Formes Frustes – Weenie Wants To Be A Machine (2015)

On How It’s Over Now

Maybe I should wait a day or two, not just fifteen minutes after a dispassionate conversation, but I’m throwing my toys because it’s over now. It’s over, and I was the one who decided it should be so.

I spent last night thinking about how people stay with people because they’re convinced that nobody else will accept their flaws & whatnot.
Oh, what a terrible waste of joie de vivre! What a way to treat yourself and someone else! How confining!

What a situation I was in.

Of course, things were very lovely in the beginning. The giggling and the cute stuff. The way he’d let me trace words on his back for him to guess. The way he’d pretend the end of my braid was a paintbrush on my face. The squealing and tickle-fights. Arms over shoulders and around the small of my back. So much time and energy for each other; where did I keep all of that when I was alone?

There’s nothing I can really blame him for and there’s no definitive point from where everything went downhill, so this might just be me throwing out the baby with the bathwater. Maybe I killed another thing just because it was imperfect. Am I a murderer of fledgling hopes? Or did I just want something different, something fairer and more conducive to growth and understanding?

Either way, I’m back at square one, cross-legged, tracing lines in the dust. Not sad, just unsettled. Not annoyed, just resolute. Spurred to action by an ever-widening emptiness and loneliness in viscera, but bolted to the spot by fear and apprehension and goodness knows what else. There’s nothing anyone can do with that. I am solitary. Solitaire.

Ughhh. Fuck’s sake.

I’m going to go eat something. An empty stomach can’t help a broken brain try and make sense of itself, after all.

You’re very articulate for a Tongan, did you know that?

This kind of thing used to make me indiscriminately angry, despite the half-melted nuggets of a compliment being present in this god-damned biscuit of a sentence.

My “white” half gets pretty insulted too, seeing as it’s invisible most of the time. And no, this isn’t some sort of veiled complaint about how my feet are dead-person pale because I don’t go barefoot in the sun often enough. No, that’s not it, home-skeez. The fact is, according to a lot of people, if you’re a little bit coloured, then you’re a whole lot coloured.
My favourite example of this is Barack Obama. I mean, most of us know he has a so-called white parent, but that gets in the way when one wants to emphasise how progressive the world now is for having a black president all up in its guts.
Of course I understand how momentous that is, due to caring about Civil Rights problems and believing that everyone deserves a fair go in life. But I don’t like score-keeping and vague definitions of character.

OK, so I still get all pissy about it. I thought I grew out of it, but… …nah. This means I have to go deeper. Screw it, I’m game.

I’ve had something of a larger-than-average vocabulary for as long as I can remember, so, a while ago, I decided to ask who was responsible: my mother. And she ended up telling me what I thought she would, something like, “I imagined my two brown babies having nothing to say in a room full of smart whites, and it made me cry.” That kind of fear is very real, even though it may seem a bit melodramatic. That fear will drive a woman to teach her kids to read before kindergarten. It’ll make her massively angry when her brown babies are made to feel blue. It’ll make her beg them to make sunshine of her struggle.

And, sadly, it’ll hang a yoke around my neck that I don’t deserve.

As up-myself as it may sound, I generally feel like I’m representing something that’s marginalised, and I think that’s because I inhabit a lot of grey (or beige?) areas. I’m a tiny ambassador, I guess. If I’m not taking the left-hand path (HELLO SATAN), then I’m trying to wend my way through the middle. It’s kinda difficult when I get a lot of, “What… are you doing here?!”, but at least that gives me an opportunity to tell someone exactly why.

And god damn it if it doesn’t feel good to drop some knowledge on some motherfuckers.


they are not all motherfuckers. If I’m all about both halves of myself, then I have to admit that it’s nobody’s actual fault that stereotypes exist and get fulfilled more often than they perhaps should, and I also need to remind myself that there are other races far more marginalised than the ones my body contains. It’s no good to snap at someone because you hand-picked a few words to focus on, and it sure is silly to be the person who invites the US VERSUS THEM vibe into the room (guilty as charged), so it’s good to try my favourite thing instead: disarming, simplistic honesty.

“You’re kinda smart for an Islander.”
“Thank you! I’m clever and brown. I’m also female and prone to fainting spells. This is a conversation; you’re having one with me! Discuss.”

P.S.: Tongans call me white/palangi/hinehina all the time too, so, yeah, it cuts both ways. But I don’t usually get angry when there’s food involved, no matter who you are. You can call me whatever you want when I’m eating your chicken.
; )

the Morning of Doom

Ah, fucks. Fuckity-fuck-fucks.

Ah, outside world. We meet again. Who’s that bright fucker in the sky? Shhh, I’ma stare him out real quick.

this state
makes itself
hard to explain

Formes Frustes – Untitled (2015)

Once, when I was about ten or so, there was the Morning of Doom.

I’ll never remember the date or even the season, but I remember waking up and seeing the pre-dawn glow through my curtains, and it made me cry uncontrollably.

I had time to fall asleep again before I had to get up for school, but things didn’t work out that way.
I clenched my teeth and scrunched my eyes shut as tight as I could. I sang to myself. I wrote “YOU’RE OK” on my arm and stared at it. I knelt down and prayed to anything that’d listen.
However, the crying didn’t stop until my mother came to check in.

At first, I tried to hide that I’d been so distressed, in case I got in trouble somehow. As if my mother would threaten to give me something ‘real’ to cry about, or accuse me of faking sickness, something like that. But I was just so tired that no usual pretense would hold up. My chirpy little grin kept folding in on itself and my nutty little chuckles were dissolved in my closing throat, just to fall back inside and eat away at my dwindling resolve.
Amidst these feelings, I managed to get a few words out. I don’t know what I said, but it was enough for my mother to admit that I should stay home.

I had no idea what was going on with me; I thought I was having a heart attack somehow brought on by my sadness. I remember thinking, “Is this what happens when someone dies of a broken heart? Is this what really happens? I broke my own heart.”

My childish abandon had, in turn, abandoned me, to be replaced by paranoia and apprehension. In a flash. Just like that. Ouch. Who dropped the world on my shoulders? I’m just a kid!

Until I was about twenty, I saw that day as some kind of awakening to what the world was like and what it held for me. I thought to myself, “Well, that hurt, but that’s how growing up feels.” I looked back on my halcyon days of happiness and enthusiasm as if I had come out of a highly-publicised stupor and was very, very embarrassed indeed. Like I was so sorry for living out loud that I’d never do it again.

Of course, now I know that the Morning of Doom was a panic attack. Nonetheless, it stained my tiny soul, and left me feeling seriously empty and confused. And roughly sixteen years later, I still sometimes panic and cry at the very sight of the light of day, and I still can’t make steady sense of it even though I try and try and try. But now, my emptiness is my muse. I’ve found interesting things in my mind whenever I try to describe the abyss I sometimes inhabit. It’s not like I enjoy how any of it feels, but I often find myself looking back at these episodes quite philosophically and matter-of-factly and it’s very curious indeed.

But if it gets really bad, I’ll just remember “YOU’RE OK” scrawled in purple glitter-glue on my wee twiglet arm and I’ll give my inner child the comfort she would’ve liked on that sad day, because she really is OK right now.