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  • Sharon Uy

#4. Change is Croissant


Welcome to issue #4 of my letter! That's right, it's no longer a newsletter. Perhaps it was never a newsletter. But what's in a name?

(You can read the others, whatever you want to call them, here.)

Speaking of what's in a name, this letter is a series of... poems? What is a poem, anyway?

If you're averse to poetry, don't call it that; call it whatever you like. If you love poetry, call it poetry. If you're neutral, come on in, the weather's (way too) warm. These were written over the course of jet lag; a bachelorette party weekend; (over)consumption of food, alcohol, edibles; and the subsequent withdrawal from all of the above.

My unrelated art is my ode to the moon jelly that stung me in the warm waters off of Wrightsville Beach, NC, of which I am still suffering/entertained by/in awe a week later!

What can I say, I'm collecting battle scars to show the world that I dared to live.

As always, thank you for reading! <3



notes at dinner

[at the foot of the table, informed by a very strong edible]

reading energy

watching people and knowing what they’re saying with their eyes

feeling bad for the person they’re talking about so overtly with their eyes

(overt to me at least)

in the midst of taking notes

i hear my name

i check in and laugh but the laugh was real

look at that, i can check in and out easily

i still feel bad for who might feel bad

but also see that she who might feel bad is drunk and hopefully won’t remember the eyes talking

talking about her

-

it becomes so apparent

that everything is based on

social skill compatibility -

to watch friendships form [a projection into the future]--

i wonder if it’s because she volunteered as tribute to entertain someone we were cautioned was a talker but got the wrong person and didn’t know it

so she kept it going

and their friendship was accidental

but ended up lasting forever.

would it work if they knew it was based on a lie?

i guess it doesn’t matter.

now i’m thinking about the texture of my food

it’s so new

even though it’s probably not really new

i wonder if she knows and if so whether she cares

everything is a drone

how am i alive

this is what it means to be alive?

i can’t tell if i’m disappointed or thrilled

maybe the human part of me is disappointed but the soul of me is thrilled

does that make sense

i always say that to clients

“does that make sense?”

i don’t say it in a way that’s condescending

i promise

i swear

whichever one (promise or swear) is more acceptable

this is the saltiest empanada i’ve ever eaten

oh shit i can control life

i wondered where the bathroom was

a guy walked past and stopped a waiter

right next to where i sat

“excuse me where’s the bathroom”

“to the left and down the hall”

i made that happen.

i made that happen?

interesting how the ceiling mimics its southern counterparts.

central america southern to be exact

except there are no snags in the weave

no duct tape

no variations in fabric

no dust

no dirt

that’s how you can tell its mimicry and not the real thing

-

how would you ever really know if there’s a mistake in the painting?

if you think about it too much as i do now,

an artist can take any mistake and repeat it, make it a new theme in a painting.

and keep taking every mistake

and making it into a new theme until it’s a whole new whole

---

"ATL-LAX, seat 16a"

[upon withdrawal]

i want to write poetry but how? do i write as a woman as a child as a therapist as an imposter

as a filipino as a student

a teacher a partner a daughter a sister a friend a traveler a writer a reader a lazy bones jones a human an animal a soul a spirit a heart a this a that as nothing as everything the universe the world where do i begin where do i end - it takes me either a glass or bottle of wine or a joint or an edible or a lot of time to get ok enough to share maybe the point or a point is to be as meta as possible because then you (or i really) get out of the way like at dinner when i just observed and ate observed and ate and drank and ate and observed and wrote notes and then had a conversation about all the conversations that were being woven across the table

and i couldn't tell if i was being annoying or weird or stoned or totally fine

so i asked

and i don't remember the answer

which i take to mean that it didn't matter to me after all

maybe i just stay as honest as possible but if i lie i’ll let you know at the end

-

i always fancied myself a poet of sorts we think i was 8 or 9 or 11 or probably 8 when i wrote this poem i laughed so hard reading it decades later:

//the palm tree

by sharon brooke uy

oh, the palm tree was so big,

its top looked like it was a wig.

then the leaves flutter away,

they always do, day by day.

but the leaves' color, oh, so bright!

they lit up the world like a candlelight.

then it whispers again and again,

"don't you think i'm taller than men?"

i will die, i must die.

goodbye palm tree,

i never will see,

never, never again.//

i'd like to write a book maybe this is me writing a book it’s just not packaged the way we're used to books looking or feeling but written and sent out page by page and in a year or two or three someone will print it all out and bind it and you won’t need to buy it because you’ve been reading it all along i’m not writing for my ego i’m writing for its death every bio i have to write feels at least a tiny bit false like i'm leaving something out like the truth

or pride

or all of it maybe i can only answer for the moment who i think i am one day i'd like to say i’m a writer and that’s it a good exercise is to write your own obituary some of my rehab clients weren’t so stoked about the idea it hit too close to home

but maybe close to home is where we're supposed to be

or where we'll end up anyway before i began these letters i thought i’d just knock out a bunch and send like clockwork turns out i don’t work like that nor do i work like that do you ever have days where everything just kinda feels like a lie

and you have to ask yourself, what am i not lying about?

like "fine, how are you?"

except i'm not fine (could be horrible, could be fantastic, just not fine)

and i don't actually want to know how you're doing (sorry)

yes this is my car but i didn't buy it, i'm borrowing it yes this is my address but it was my parents for four years before i arrived earthside and it’s still their address yes this is my face but i’ve got three coats of mascara on and concealer under my eyes

yes this is a ring my ring but its symbolism falls on deaf ears, blind eyes, whatever

yes i know but i actually don't yes yes yes yes yes yes yes yes

NO

i can't possibly send this out. some may say i’m thinking too much i say you’re probably right but also fuck off but also thank you so much for reading and sharing your attention with me i mis-read "change is constant" as "change is croissant" and i think i prefer that, particularly warmed up with butter and jam sometimes i feel in order to write i must write as an expert on something but i can’t think of what i’m an expert on aside from being an expert on not being an expert on anything

does that make sense?

"what are you gonna do with this one wild and precious life?"

i don't know, maybe just watch people live their wild and precious lives. maybe it’s ok to be normal and not be so wild and precious all the time or at all. normalize normal, you know?

anyway, it's hard to tell if we're at the end or the beginning.

Until next time-

<3 SBU

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