fuck me gently with a chainsaw

Based on the movie (and subsequent musical) ‘Heathers’, which I love more than anything. I reimagined the three Heathers as local secondary school girls and tried to place them in our context.

And then realised that oh, they’d all definitely be uber-privileged Chinese girls. So we have this.

C/TW: Eating disorder (bulimia), sexual abuse, bullying, slut-shaming, fat-shaming, toxic masculinity, internalized misogyny.

heather duke is the girl in your class
who was always on her phone,
and is somehow a prefect, and a class rep.

she’s the one who’ll get just close enough to you
pry you open just enough
before she can rip open your chest
and spill your guts all over the curb
for everyone to step on.

but she always comes second place,
her voice echoes, her damage screams
yet she’s always a forgotten face.

she tries to organize the class outing,
but no one ever cares.
she confesses to a guy she likes
and when he rejects her
she writes long Facebook posts about betrayal
and posts passive agressive edits and inspirational posts.

sometimes, you hear retching from the stall next door
but there’s no right way to approach this,
not when you hear it all too often.

you wonder sometimes if she will ever realise
that she is worth more that what she believes,
that she is enough,
that she is is not the sum of all she’s been told.

you wonder if she’ll take back her life someday.
there’s a good chance she does not.

heather mcnamara is the cute girl in your CCA
who’s always just a little bit blur, always smiling,
and always gets thrown to take pictures for the yearbook.
the pictures never turn out very good.

sometimes she laughs when heather duke says something mean,
though she never says it herself.
sometimes she retweets pictures of cute animals on twitter,
but she never expresses an opinion, never takes sides.
sometimes, that’s the worst part.

she’s always a little distant,
though she’s always a little friendly.
her boyfriend is the kind of guy who wraps an arm around her shoulders
pulls her in with an uncomfortable tightness-
she always looks smaller when you see them together.

when you catch her alone in the bathroom,
she is reapplying concealer,
covering the darks under her eyes.
you watch her shoulders slump
her eyes go dark,
but that girl is gone
when she steps out that door.

heather chandler is the pretty girl with knives for teeth.
during chinese new year
every picture of her is against a brick wall,
every caption is #blessed.

she rolls her eyes when called out on anything-
she might be casually racist,
homophobic,
transphobic,
ableist,
fatphobic,
classist,
elitist,
but you know what, she doesn’t care about that-
who cares about that stuff?

she shares articles on Facebook about animal cruelty with three crying emojis
but scoffs at anyone with depression because “i get sad too sometimes and you never see me complain what.”

you’re not sure why she’s hanging out
with heather duke and heather mcnamara,
but you see them at the McDonald’s together sometimes,
she’s always got her kanken in the seat beside her,
if you lean in to catch an earful-
she’s always the one talking.

“oh my god. get fucked with a chainsaw, heather” she says, laughing, clearly at duke
“you’re such a slut.”

all three of them laugh,
but only one of them thinks she’s funny.

and you- who are you?

from the outside looking in,
wondering what made them special,
wondering if you were special if you didn’t want that.

you watch heather duke’s eyes sink in as her bulimia consumes her,
you watch heather mcnamara leave.
you watch heather chandler slut-shame and bully and rip into everyone else
and you thought they set the example, the grain to go against.

you watch them-
horrible and teenage and confused and tired,
filled to the brim with privileges and expectations
reacting to the world that groomed and demanded and stole from them-
and you pat yourself on the back-
“at least i’m not like other girls”.

you all graduate.
you will lose contact with everyone.
you learn. you unlearn.
you move on-
all of that was secondary school shit,
none of it matters now,
you’re a different person now.

chandler posts another picture in her yoga outfit-
maybe this time she’s on yacht,
or maybe she’s in a sarong bikini at the beach,
maybe she’s in church, failing to see the irony,

she posts reunion pictures with
heather duke and heather mcnamara
with captions like “catch up soon!!”, “love you bitches!!”
sometimes you can kind of notice
she’s always center front, poised,
they’re always at some expensive bar,
and heather duke always looks a little wasted.

duke’s social media goes dark-
sometimes,
you see her on chandler’s facebook,
untagged.

mcnamara writes a long thinkpiece about her
experience with internalized misogyny,
how it fed her depression,
how it fed the sexual abuse in her secondary school years,
how she did what was expected of her.

her facebook profile picture has a pride filter.
you hope she’s doing better.

maybe it doesn’t matter what happened then-
the cruelty of being a teen,
learning, growing,
never really realising you are being kept in a box
until you grow too big for it.

some never grow enough to notice it.
often, it’s not by any fault of their own.

maybe it doesn’t matter if you never find out
what happened to the girl who vomited in the bathroom
because her best friend called her fat
while her other friend laughed.

maybe it doesn’t matter.
maybe people don’t change.
maybe we learn to sharpen our tongues
and file our nails
because we were supposed to be sweet,
we were supposed to be ladies,
to be mature, to care.

maybe people don’t change
if their privilege grants them success
within the boundaries of the system
that oppresses anyone who doesn’t look like them.

but maybe you changed,
maybe what happened back then matters-
it was the mulch that fed your growth,
expand beyond the box,
slam your fists against the glass
until it shatters, until it cuts and you bleed.

you heart react heather mcnamara’s post.
the next time you see her,
you are a different person-
and so is she.

she seems to be doing better.

you’re starting to feel better,
too.

Sidewalk Puddle

– To the first friend. I wonder what you’re doing now, I hope life is treating you well these days. Written for Day 1 of SingPoWriMo 2018, which took place in April. We were challenged to write one poem every day for a month. I completed 23 days.

Each day, a new prompt would be released to help us with the writing process. Here is the prompt this poem is based on:

THE H20 PROMPT by Stephanie Chan
Write a poem about a body of water.

#SEASTARBONUS: Read about its history/geology. How was it built/formed? How old is it? Does this information change how you think about it?
#FISHBONUS: write about the body of water as if it was a person.
#LETTERINABOTTLEBONUS: the poem is addressed to the body of water.
#PARTOFYOURWORLDBONUS: you have at least two conflicting feelings about this body of water.
#SHAPEOFBONUSBONUS: write it from the perspective of the body of water. Or a mythical or real thing that lives in it.

It would be
a fine proposition
if you ask that we
get dirty right now
bare feet on wet asphalt
bubbles of laughter
tree-broken wrists mending
in the curled lips
of our appalled mothers

Continue reading “Sidewalk Puddle”

Musings of a Slut

I’ve been too obsessed on posting poetry and photography simultaneously, instead of posting poems that I’m proud of having written. So I’m going to stop being so uptight about my format from now on.

Enjoy the poem!

It’s no one’s fault
But sometimes I am feathering along the hips of a lover
Whose love will dissolve in spit by morning.
Sometimes I crave touch that must be paid for first
In the form of climaxes.

I know-
There are better ways to gain affection
There are healthier ways to be loved
Like alcoholism, because you never drink alone
Like drugs, because your doctor will always prescribe xanax
Like insomnia, because there is always someone in Texas who’s awake enough to hold a conversation with you.

Continue reading “Musings of a Slut”

Sayonara

DSC_1592
Photo Credit: Taken by @snarksparkle on Instagram

Performed at Blu Jaz Cafè for the Luna/tic Poetry Slam (Open Mic), hosted by Word Forward. Performance found here.

Your fingertips leave my body
Like grains of sand cascading over a boulder
Gently we part, your lips still lingering over mine
We smile. No more love poems.

I’m falling and crashing into the asphalt pavement
The rain is cracking down on my exposed spine
Never have I felt this much pressure on my hands to
Get up, get up, let go of your ghost-

How often do we get to live like this?
Your hair falls around you as you toss a giggle over your shoulder
I catch your hand and we leap off a cliff into the sea,
Happily, everything falls and settles.

The wave hits me like an angry mother
She crams her salt-riddled palm down my throat
99 paper roses and a pocket full of heart
I feel the pull of the tide and my lungs are-

Softly, your fingertips are dancing over my chest
Platonic plates shift and fall back into place
You are so-

Why is it that I am crying over the last petal as it falls away from the 99th paper rose
Did you know that I stayed up late to make them for you?
When I told you I love you did you know how much it hurt to admit that?
My bones are breaking from letting go of you.

I want to be in love with you.
We float above the Dead Sea like otters
The salt stinging our wounds as our fingers seperate and mend
Alone, is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever tried to be.

I wish you would stay the night, just this once
I hang on to the bits of you that you’ve left in my room,
Screaming my sorrow for the lost emotion in my body
The fluttering in my chest took off from my aching heart.

Loving you was the most unselfish thing I had ever done.
I wonder if letting go
Would be the kindest thing I’d ever do.

Wish

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I wish you weren’t so damn charming
I wish you had shifty eyes and red flag habits
I wish you were ugly.
I wish everything you said or did was a signal for me to run as fast as I could.

I wish your sense of humour was more out of phase with mine
I wish I could stop keeping my hands free just in case you want to hold them
I wish I would stop liking guys who will never fall in love with me

Continue reading “Wish”

VI

vi

For the girl who loved him, and hated me for loving him.

His footsteps are earthquakes ringing in my ears,
And adrenaline runs higher and higher with every step.
There is a rush that comes with freedom, with anti-gravity,
One that only I can know.

And you, half-blind, scrawl curses into my name,
Wishing for something you cannot have,
For the thing I refuse to let go of,
Not to posess but to protect.

Continue reading “VI”