Sunday, August 30, 2009

in the end

if u don't go out and love someone
in the end
he would have gone unloved

if you don't go out to forgive someone
in the end
he goes down unforgiven

if you don't go out and be one with nature
in the end
she will be a barren and empty space

if you don't go out and stop denying the truth
in the end
you would continue to live your miserable lie

if you don't go out and embrace love
in the end
you would find yourself still longing for it

if you don't out and get a move on
in the end
you would be nothing but a wallow of self-pity

if you don't go out to make your dreams happen
in the end
you will be an unhappy little person

if you don't go out and dance the dance
in the end
you would have missed the celebration

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

What a day! What a day!

Yesterday my tooth broke. One third fell out while I was crunching away some oven roasted green beans. A little later while having dinner another one third added to my collection. Since it is a dead tooth, thank God for that, there was no pain. So I thought I'd go to the dentist today to see if he could salvage this stark emptiness in my mouth.

This morning my mom came home and told me she fell into the drain while visiting my dad who is having his chemo done in the hospital. She showed me her enormously swollen hand and I lost my cool asking her why she came home when she should have gone straight to the doctors.

When we calmed down, me especially, I got my cousin to drive us to the clinic to check and see if it was any serious. After a long long wait the general practitioner, Dr. Lim Hock Gee, told us it was a common occurrence for little old ladies to fall and fracture their wrists and the next thing to do was to go to an orthopedic surgeon to get it fixed in a cast.

And so we headed for the Taiping Medical Center to get my mom the proper medical attention. It was 1.30pm and we hadn't had lunch and I didn't have much money in my pocket. I got me mom to the x-ray department after a quick lunch and then to the bank for a large withdrawal, or at least large enough for me.

Soon we were at the ward waiting for the surgeon, Dr. T. Moses, after two and waited until he was available at about four. While my mom was getting her treatment I went for a teh tarik to catch my breath because the entire day literally fell on me like the sky did on chicken little.

It all seem like a dream. Like a story I have yet to write. Like some scene out of a play or movie. When it was over at 6 we came back home and found that the dog ate up a chunk of meat my mom bought earlier which we forgot to refrigerate.

Now that we have showered and rested from the day I am still vaguely awake from this incredible day.

I thank all the staff at the Taiping Medical Centre for being courteous, caring and kind. Tonight I can sleep well knowing my mom's fine but my tooth remains broken as a reminder that life is so so fragile.

Monday, August 24, 2009

I Love the Fact

I love the fact
that I am blessed
with the grace
to accept life without haste.
I love the fact
that I have children
without having
to engage myself into a wedding.
I love the fact
that I have
an alternative family
where we come together naturally.
I love the fact
that I am in great company
with friends and people
who are wonderfully enjoyable.
I love the fact
that I know
what I want in life
and everything makes perfect sense.
I love the fact
that I am meeting
more like-minded people
who believes that life is a celebration.
I love the fact
that all I want
is to sing and dance and be happy
cos' in the end I know I am only energy.
I love the fact
that I believe
we reap what we sow,
we become what we know.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Review: Body2Body: A Malaysian Queer Anthology

On the day of the book signing of Body2Body I was flanked in between two illustrious authors who were no stranger to the writing circuit in and out of Malaysia. Lauded for their previous works that were well received by their readers I sat timidly listening to an elderly man congratulating Shih-Li Kow for Ripples and other stories, which is shortlisted for the Frank O'Connor award, and praising Brian Gomez for his excellent Devil's Place. After Shih-Li, sitting on my left, finished signing her page the man looked at me and I could imagine him asking me telepathically 'You want to sign ah?' but he said instead, "Where is your page?", which is also a nicer way to say 'I don't really know who you are'. I smiled at him and whispered, "I am page 165" and went on to scribble an artistic signature anticipating some form of fame in the future.

Of course I had my own fan-based friends who made a little rumpus when they came to me just to spice up the moment. I hadn't realized the Pilot marker pen I borrowed, used and forgot to return soaked through and made a mess of the back page. So if I am not remembered for my writing, well at least I will be remembered as the writer who messed up that wonderful book.

I am such a slow reader I may only be able to review this book by early next year if I read the way I do. So what I did instead was to pick and choose the stories from authors I knew as well as those for their semi-celebrity status (this is Malaysia, the only celebrities are the politicians).

Brian Gomez's What do Gay People eat? is an amusing tale of food, acceptance and similarity. It's a real laugh if you have had the chance to experience such an event in your life because it could really happen. I had the privilege to hear Cheryl Leong's sharing a few nights before hearing her read Breathing Pure Oxygen which is a wonderful heart-warming confessional, testimonial and outing of her sexuality. Her self-denying self-discovery journey will be felt most by people who live in closets and who are fighting the worst enemy which is themselves.

How can anyone not love Shannon Shah? He sings like an angel, he writes like an artist and he hugs like a teddy bear. Muslim 2 Muslim is his biographical contribution of his childhood days that shaped and determine the man that he is today who is everything from an activist, a journalist, a playwright, a scriptwriter and a singer-songwriter.

Pang's story Cream of the Crop reminds me so much of my own unpublished novel where it is set in a boy's school and to add even more to the coincidence (which I don't believe anything is a coincidence but I can't find a better word to describe it) I have a character by the name of Larry and there was a death of a friend that changed my life as well. While reading his story I kept wondering if we both travelled on parallel worlds.

In Harry is Dead you have no idea where the story is going until it's gone. If you are like me, sometimes I wonder if I am reading too much into something that's not there, I am dying to ask Shih-Li Kow 'Is Harry..?' but I am too embarrassed because you don't ask writers what their story is all about. You either get it or you don't. So in my case I'm not sure.

Then I went on to Jerome's Alvin about sexual encounters and relationships, looking for love in all the wrong places. If Jerome had spent more time on this little story and extends it into a full length book it might actually read like a good erotica (or so I wish). We're all adults here so don't give me that look.

That's as far as I got and of course my own story Friends of Everyone, which was initially called A Straight Man's Closet, is a satire, a parody and a paronomasia on all things gay and wonderful. Basically, it's about a man who believes that he is cured from this lifestyle but then again is he really?

One of the funnier anecdotes was shared by Amir about how he approached the printer to get this anthology published. If you didn't catch it during the book launch probably you can hear it again when he launches this book in Singapore, I believe, or you could ask him when you see him.

So far, my favorite page would remain at page 5 for obvious reasons. This is the side of Malaysia Boleh that only a few would know but if you have a chance to pick this up you'll also know that Malaysia also Got Talent wat.

Ta Da Dum

After two weeks and more of physically-demanding events, soul-searching agendas, heart-warming moments and mind-taxing challenges I am finally back home to tranquility, fresh air and the sounds of nature.

When I woke up this morning I felt like I could just break out into a Happy Working Song (from Enchanted) or Whistle While You Work (from Snow White) and summon the mynahs, bulbuls, sparrows, orieoles, kingfishers, doves, gibbons, skinks, house lizards, insects, cats and the two dogs to help start the day.

It was cloudy and yet sunny, cool and yet warm, quiet and yet full of songs.

Ta da dum as I stir on my soft and cushy bed,
Feeling the sun's kiss on my cheek and head,
The birds and bees humming a tuneful whisper
and the dogs sashayed in to bring my slipper.

I waltz into the bathroom with a silly smile and grin,
the lizards hand me the toothbrush as they sing,
Every tooth must be accounted for to keep it strong and healthy
Backing up the song are the bed bugs, ticks and fleas.

The doves help me out of my pasar malam nightdress,
And get me ready for a nasi lemak, teh tarik breakfast,
After I had my fill of carbs I turned my computer on,
With the dog on my lap I write this little ta da dum song.

Ahhh ... isn't life wonderful?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

From my Son's blog

168- 16Aug 2009

168... it is a strange day.
861... my house number.
168... my coming out date.
861... just a number that i lived in for 10 years...
168... meant a lot to me.
861... there a so many memory.
168... some accepted me, some may not.
861... i am planning to leave.
168... new life is coming to me.
861... thanks for protecting me all this years.
168... i got the courage to accept what i am.
861... my mom could not accept what i am, it take time.
168... my the other mom happy to accept who i am.
861... mom, sorry for making u suffer.
168... feel lighter, not more heavy lifting in future.
861... starting to feel strange, awkward in the house.
168... i know i can live better.

861-168 my journey starts, feel like everything getting easier. All word i don't have to think twice before i could have said it. It is really nice to being myself.

I am what i am. after 24 years of denying who i am. At last, i got the "balls" to accept who i am.

Love n Peace

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Body2Body, Soul2Soul

Body 2 Body is in limited release. More than 100 Malaysian shops that normally stock Matahari Books titles will NOT be carrying it. Because this is a special book that, erm, deserves special treatment :-)

Let's support the 4 shops that have it right now:

1. Kinokuniya KLCC, in the Social Science section (Tel: 03 216...)
2. Times Pavilion (Tel: 03 2148 8813 )
3. Times Bangsar Shopping Centre ( Tel: 03 2095 3509 )
4. Silverfish Bangsar ( Tel: 03 2284 4837 )

As well as these 6 that will be stocking it in the next few days:

5. Borders The Curve (Tel: 03 7725 9303)
6. Borders Berjaya Times Square ( Tel: 03 2141 0288 )
7. Borders The Gardens (Tel: 03 2287 4530)
8. Borders Tropicana ( Tel: 03 7727 9203 )
9. Borders Queensbay Mall, Penang (Tel: 04 646 8758 )
10. Bookzone Penang ( Tel: 04 226 5585 )

Please call ahead to make sure it's in stock, and reserve if you wish. You can cite the title or the ISBN: 978-983-43596-9-0 .

If you want to be absolutely certain of getting it, you can order online from
Kinibooks. Kinibooks is run by Malaysiakini, an organisation whose take on expressive freedom I find more agreeable than the stance taken by, erm, some actual bookshops.

By contrast, it will be more widely available in Singapore from next week. It's primarily the Singapore orders that have ensured that the book goes into its 2nd print next week.

For those outside the region, there's
Amazon (it's temporarily out of stock now but will be restocked in less than a week).

Thank you for your support lah :-)

By the way the launch was great; we got rid of 256 books, a new Matahari Books record.(The previous record was 188 for Vol 1 of Malaysian Politicians Say the Darndest Things). Perhaps the people who came never realised that the book will be a wee bit tricky to obtain in Malaysia afterwards.

* pinched from Amir's blog - Amir I pinch ah (