playlist: chasing dreams

a playlist channeling spring vibes and restless optimism.

these songs encapsulate the happiness, fear, and excitement i’m currently cycling through as my classmates and i prepare for our last flurry of exams right before graduation, as my friends fly all over the country to visit their prospective colleges, and as we make plans for get-togethers and traveling once summer begins. this is a soundtrack for chasing dreams; this is a soundtrack for new beginnings before we even reach the end.

PLAYLIST: CHASING DREAMS
summer // joe hisaishi
with you // tennyson
sunsoaked (ft. salsa) // adib sin
carmen fantasy // sarasate
cosmos // aquamarine
rosen aus dem süden // strauss ii
psychopath // st. vincent
my tamako, my sookee // jo yeong-wook
another day of sun // justin hurwitz

i hope you have a lovely day. ☼

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four moments

happy new year everyone! today is CITRUSY’s fourth birthday. to celebrate, here are four moments from 2016:

  1. i’m sitting on the plane in the seat next to the window seat. we are landing in massachusetts. in the window, white doll houses neatly line the impossibly blue water. i’m one verse away from crying as i read alice oswald’s memorial. on paper, men turn into metal and fall into the sea, voices permanently swallowed by war. beside me, the woman in the window seat is reading her own book. i’ll see her again in the airport bathroom half an hour later, then no more.
  1. “it was one of those headlines that was like, ‘US to colonize mars by 2020’ or something like that,” a young man says as he walks alone, talking wirelessly to someone on the phone. it is late into the evening, nearly nine o’clock. the sky fades fast from pink and blue to dark purple, and dusk falls in a veil of darkness over the street. heat radiates gently from the pavement.
  1. down at the wharf, everything is green and blue. a couple of girls lay in the grass, sleeping, while a man with his dog jogs by the water. i’m taking a photo of boats at the dock and texting it to my father, who loves anything ocean-related but couldn’t come here with us. a boy stands a few feet away, facing my direction. he has long limbs and light hair, and his hands cradle a huge camera lens. he points and shoots. i hear the shutter click as I turn and head back to where my mother is waiting for me.
  1. he’s soft and shapely, all soft smiles and soft eyes and soft voice, as if to mask the sharp intellect hidden between his teeth and tucked somewhere in his ribs. too soft for anyone to suspect – too kind, too loveable. his lips are always slightly upturned, ready to lift into a dopey smile when he sees you. his wit: cleverly quick but never scathing. when he laughs he keeps his mouth shut and lets his breath tremble instead. he is one of the people i admire most.

nath

sometimes i am overwhelmed by
how wonderful you are and how
lucky i am to be your friend. it
is hard to pinpoint my favorite
thing about you – i love everything
your laugh your words your passion
your ability to make me feel
we are the only people in the world
existing noisily as i float deeply in love,
words caught in my throat.
bittersweetness nips lightly at our
mouths. when you smile something
warm flutters inside me like a tiny bird.
maybe one day we’ll visit sweden
to talar svenska but for now i’m
glad we’ve gone to coffeehouse
inks lake and the blanton together,
and if a flower bloomed every time i
was happily reminded of you a meadow
would flood all the halls and classrooms at
LASA: petals tumbling out of windows,
buzzing bees washed gold beneath the sun.

oddloop

she opened her mouth to scream.
only flowers came out,
blossoming from her throat

(more…)

playlist: garden of poe(tree)

good afternoon, loves! as you might guess from the title, i’ve started a new category (series?) on CITRUSY. this particular post combines two of my favorite things: playlists and poetry.

some people have podcasts, and others have mix tapes. i have playlists.
i use youtube 95% of the time (the other 5% goes to google play music), and i have youtube playlists for everything – years’ worth of soundtracks evoking my highest & lowest points, my moods during autumn or rainy spring days, my nanowrimo novels, every year of high school, and so on. i have music playlists for books i love and for cross country practices, for my favorite composers & musicians and for the days when everything is just a little off. i even have a playlist for college applications (the first song of which is the original pokémon theme song). i feel like i’m creating a new playlist at least once a week.

playlists are a lot like poetry in that they’re able to express feelings i can’t vocalize or only understand intuitively. speaking of poetry – poetry has been one of the few things keeping me together for the past month or so, throwing me a life-line made of carefully structured syntax, raw emotion, and beautiful, sometimes irreverent words. i love how in poetry, every word matters. there’s no bullshit, no filler lines. i love how there are no real rules in poetry, that the guidelines set in place can always be broken.

today, i wanted to share what i listen to when i’m writing and reading poetry, which seems to be all i do in my free time these days.

PLAYLIST: POE(TREE)
1) “je te veux (soprano)” – erik satie
2)「ひこうき雲」 – yumi matsutoya
3) “mr.sandman” – 바버렛츠
4)「完全感覚Dreamer」- one ok rock
5) “l’autre valse d’amélie” – yann tiersen
6) “owarase night” – frederic

to end this post, here’s the opening stanza of arthur o’shaughnessy’s “ode”:

we are the music-makers,
and we are the dreamers of dreams,
wandering by lone sea-breakers,
and sitting by desolate streams;
world-losers and world-forsakers,
on whom the pale moon gleams:
yet we are the movers and shakers
of the world for ever, it seems.

minna

your constant honesty and kindness,
along with your ability to remain sweetly
composed in the face of chaos, is even more
amazing than a boy with wings plummeting
from the sky. i love all the little things you say
and write and do, just as i love the intricate
details of a favorite painting or the subtle way
trees turn gold in the morning.

at 8 AM lilac seeped into the sky,
and we chased each other downhill to the lake.
as we swam and rode foam-crested waves,
i wondered which shone brighter: the sun as it
glinted off the cool green water’s surface, or you
as you grinned and shouted with glee
over the roar of the wind.

when our eyes meet

i want to dismantle you:
gently pry off your expression
and tuck it into my pocket;
strip you down to your bones
and feel your heartbeat in my hand.
i want to peel away each layer of
words and gestures you wear
until i expose your soft pure self,
your core.
but there’s no time –
as my fingers twist and tug away
the mirror shards between your teeth,
your true thoughts harden into seeds
that rattle in my fist.
i bury them; the sprouts
blossom into stranger trees
with leaves that shine in the dark.

dream (5): an unknown practice

When it begins to rain, you tell yourself, I love the rain, and I’m not going to drown. In the first dream rain pounds against the house, but nothing leaks so you say, it will be all right because I love the rain. By the second dream water seeps through the window and beneath the doors, and your living room resembles a muddy pond as rain still pours outside. Your conviction wavers ever so slightly, but you reassure yourself again: I love the rain, I love the rain, and it will be all right. Rain continues to fall. The world blurs into wavy patterns, and green melds into blue as trees bend into themselves under the weight of water. I love the rain, you repeat, but now your body’s numb, your skin’s completely soaked, and you live in a swamp of slowly decaying furniture and liquid sediment. Each morning is a gasp of air as you break the surface of the water and tell yourself, I love the rain, and my dreams aren’t real. Each morning you kick with all your strength and propel yourself upwards, relieved for a moment, alive for another day, while at night you’re gradually sinking towards the bottom. You’re up to your neck in water by your penultimate dream, but the torrents haven’t ceased. You don’t pray to the skies anymore, nor to yourself, and you just hope you’re lucky enough to survive until you wake up. You try to wade out, but you’ve forgotten how to swim. At the end you realize, as your head submerges and a liter of water fills your lungs, that infidelity was not what drowned you; you remained devoted to rain every morning, when you woke up and ran your fingers through your hair and sighed a love song to the storm clouds behind your eyes. You died because the rain loved you back. It continued to fall, without end, until you no longer pledged your adoration and began to fear it instead.

(When you wake up with your face buried in your pillow, you sit up and breathe once again.)

scent

soft gray rain, dissonance
tragedy romanticized
into something relatable

bittersweet dreams wrapped
in constant crisp cold

melancholy remains static
no flowers, only dying
autumn leaves

coping mechanism

Miranda is twelve and angry with the world. So when she leans over the battered music stand and aligns her lips with Annie’s ear, she’s not sure how to continue.

“Guess what,” she breathes. She’s never done this before, and she’s afraid of sounding insincere.

“What?” Annie replies, grinning as she leans unsuspectingly towards her. (Suddenly Miranda feels dizzy and lightheaded. How does she move forward?) 

I love you. A straightforward confession, but an ambiguous one as well. The love of sisters and blood ties, the love of best friends forever, the love of strangers who seek passion and acceptance. Tie a blindfold over her eyes and have her point to one (maybe to two, maybe pick all three and more). Everything is so complicated and messy. Miranda wishes that they could all turn into flowers and photosynthesize together. Then she wouldn’t have to do this.

I might move soon. The keyword here is ‘might.’ That implies an off-chance that Miranda might not move and switch schools, that she’ll stay until the end. That provides hope, and Miranda knows that Annie would cling on to that and ignore everything else. So there’s no need to say that yet, no, not until ‘might’ solidifies into ‘will.’

But the words Grandma died last week (the very last thing she wants to say) are the ones that slip from Miranda’s mouth. It’s an ugly truth, and the effect is immediate. Annie’s eyes widen first with disbelief, then with a rotten mixture of shock and grief.

“…What?”

Miranda realizes how horrible it must sound to have a mismatched chord slammed against the keys in the middle of a nocturne. She backpedals accordingly. “April fools,” she whispers with a forced smile. Today is the first day of the month, and she doesn’t want the person she loves most to cry. There had been a funeral, but all Miranda can remember are rain (there is always rain, soft and grey and sad) and flowers, still fresh and bright yellow against the dark earth. There were no tears, and there will be no tears. Within a numb Miranda float well-hidden secrets and quiet restraint. I’m an awful friend, she thinks. How lovely it would be if everything remained static.
For her, the death of an angel is the biggest April Fools lie of all.