Poetry by Lily Yen, May 2018

〈遠路〉by 詹瑋
The Farther Route

Do you like how twisted I am?
Are you willing to take the farther route with me?
There is no light,
but it is said to have more stars.
There is no sign post,
but there are many unnamed flora.
Do you want to live in a warm ocean?
Are you willing to approach a shark out of sheer curiosity?
I always think of you at critical moments
as if you could wake me from my nightmares.

== ==
〈如果真有下輩子〉by 徐珮芬/patmuffin
If There Were a Next Life

I would spend my next life
As a beautiful deer,
Dashing into the road when you were driving
For your sincere remorse.
I would spend my next life
As a petit snail.
On the sidewalk after the rain,
I’d quietly be crushed by you
So that I could live on the sole of your shoes
And follow you wherever you go.
Next life,
I would become a
Mispirnted word
Located in a
Perfect love poem
To make you slightly surprised
And to make you wonder about
The meaning of my existence.

〈我們〉by 宋尚緯
We

Some verses are sad by nature,
such as Love, such as We.
We–Can you understand?
It requires two people or more
to do the same things, such as
making love, or coming across difficult words,
or reading similar stories,
or writing sentences that make one another feel
suffocated at an instance.
I will not ask you ever again, things like
how you’ve been, how the weather is
where you are, if it’s raining,
if you’re still kidnapped by the reality, or
if you’re still afraid, you’re
still shaken in the middle of a storm.
I know the mere existence of somethings
make people sad.
I just didn’t think even these hearts
are broken through our collaboration.
I don’t know about you, but the rain here
has been hitting my window nonstop.
Every raindrop is a needle
piercing through our history
and then slowly sawing it back together.
Are you still where I left you
just as I had once waited for you?
Sooner or later someone will have to leave first,
sometimes dying in life
sometimes an inextinguishable flame
rise in one’s dreams.
Some verses have always been upsetting,
I know, for instance what you’ve told me, about
us. Everything turned miserable
after you and I are no longer we.
I come across difficult words,
read similar stories,
tell lies that suffocate myself.
All lies are voluntarily told.
Same are decay and diaspora.
Same as you and I.
== ==
〈所有人都起飛了只剩他在原地〉 by 林禹瑄
Everyone Has Taken off, Leaving Only Him on the Spot

Everyone has taken off
Leaving only him on the spot
Stepping back and forth, blinking, lighting a lighter,
Using burnt fingers to rub some icy desire.

The floor in his eyes was still the floor
The wall was still the wall, and the self mirror on the wall
Was still having the annoying look,
Living in the house like a wasteland,
Making hollow sounds:
“Nothing happened.”
No splendid fire, no man-eating flower,
and no soft branch leading to the deep end of the universe,
bringing back the answer to life–
He still has questions, but no one answers them.
Everyone has taken off

Leaving only him on the spot,
Trying to burn the extinguished prairie,
Believing that repeating the same uselessness
At the same frequency
Will make himself useful,
Such as reading about communism, drinking diet coke,
Such as believing that ordinariness
Brings one safety and happiness.
“But nothing happened.”
No clock hand that went counterclockwise, no shiny memories,
and no expanding galaxy silently devouring
a life time of regret and depression.
He knew that the world had problems,
But he didn’t know where he had made a mistake.
He remained silent. Everyone said
Silence was right.

And yet everyone has taken off,
Leaving only him on the spot,
Walking back and forth, blinking, and lighting a lighter,
Continuing to breathe sincerely
“Nothing becomes better.”
He unwrapped a piece of chewing gum,
Chewing himself plain.
He felt lonely,
He felt he was extra,
But he didn’t
Put on a disappointed look.
A minute still contains 60 seconds, and afar is still afar.
Standing under the sun
Still makes him want to make a wish.
Everyone has taken off,
Leaving the best of life behind.
He puts the ashes in his pocket,
Sometimes watering it, sometimes burning it.
When it rains,
Only he has a secret.
Only he can see the new-grown mushrooms.

By Lily Yen

Reflections on March 2018

Earthquake Survival Guide

Sound Footprint: Our Trash Remixed

The Red Room’s 8-Year Anniversary was an amalgam of imaginaries. Artistic luminaries gathered to share their creations with a global audience of wanderers, families, kindred spirits and community members. Navigating the rich intersections of painting, music, writing and dance, the Red Room led the way in an explosively inclusive and vibrantly warm festival of experiences.

As one of the participating artists, my partner Jonathan Sherman and I blended together the sounds of trash with environmental awareness. Our goal was to bring to light people’s respective waste footprints, using sound. The concept began with the realization that while you can look away from waste, you can’t turn your ear away from it; you can still hear it, even if you can’t see it, and therefore, you can musically understand your contribution to the waste ecosystem.

To reach this goal, we set up a trash station outside the entrance to the Red Room featuring five different bins composed of multiple categories– plastic, paper, food waste, glass, and landfill. Before people were allowed to “throw” out their waste, they had to make a sound with their rubbish. Crumpling paper, squishing plastic, shaking tea leaves out of a tea pot– many different types of sounds were collected as Jonathan turned on the microphone he designed and caught the sounds. All noises were then looped in an algorithmic-fashion, building the sound of trash via the individual sounds using what was captured.

We did this experiment twice and brought the “trash soundtrack” into the Red Room to stimulate conversation over trash, discuss proper sorting techniques and inspire the kids to sort, recycle, make music, and ultimately reduce of single-waste items.

Our signs for the exhibit were also made from Lovely Taiwan’s recycled materials, a nonprofit organization that collects bins of sorted, cleaned and separated waste for reuse by the public in any shape, way or form.

We are thankful for the opportunity to educate, inform and hopefully inspire using the sound of musical trash in the exhibition
Sound Footprint: Our Trash Remixed.

Lillygol Sedaghat
Storyteller, Fulbright – National Geographic Digital Storytelling Fellowship
University of California, Berkeley | Political Economy, 2014
Email: [email protected]