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

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

December 2017 events at Red Room

故事分享之夜 十二月號|Read Aloud : December
Friday, December 15 at 7 PM – 9 PM
FB event page

Repose, Visual Dialogues
Hosted by Lutetia露特西亞 and Red Room 紅坊國際村
November 17 – December 15 2017
FB event page

Stage Time and Wine XCIV 紅緣寄詩酒 94
December 16 2017, Saturday from 6:30 PM – 10 PM

Junior Improv!
Hosted by Red Room 紅坊國際村 and Stage Time and Juice at the Red Room 家庭聆聽分享會
December 23 2017, Saturday at 3 PM – 4:30 PM

Kind of Red XIV : 紅酒爵士夜 第十四場
December 29 2017, Friday, December 29 at 8 PM – 10 PM

The Juice Players Workshop: Green Eggs and Ham 兒童劇團:綠火腿和蛋 1/3
Hosted by Red Room 紅坊國際村 and Stage Time and Juice at the Red Room 家庭聆聽分享會
December 30 2017, Saturday, December 30 at 1:30 PM – 3 PM

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Stage Time & Wine XC June 2017

Stage Time & Wine XC June 17
By Addison Eng

Stage Time & Wine 90

the Red Room is full of glowing people.
Some I have seen before,
some I have not,
but the important thing is that all of them are here, now.

Somebody is reading an original poem into the microphone,
their words never before heard by others’ ears
and their left hand trembling honesty.

Somebody is listening and recalling
bittersweet days gone by with a former love,
funny how the brain does that without being asked.

Somebody is listening
and spontaneously whispers to their partner about cheese,
how they should get some sharp cheddar for tacos tomorrow.

Somebody is hearing
the poet without taking in a single word as they go over their performance in their head for the seventh time in the last 50 minutes, trying to make friends with their jitters.

Somebody is eyeing with nervous excitement
the acoustic guitar resting upstage,
suddenly considering if they still know “Blackbird” well enough to lay it down in the second half.

Somebody is helping a toddler take off their shoes,
a playfully guilty grin spreading across their face
as the Velcro rips faintly
despite every effort to be silent.

Somebody is refilling their cup of mulled wine because,
it needs to be refilled;
we don’t call it Stage Time and Empty Cups.

Kristy is smiling, content at her post in the front.
Sharon is puttering about dutifully at the bar.
JJ is taking pictures with subtle flourish.
Roma has found her usual spot that’s somehow out of the spotlight but right in the action.
Constance’s dip and soup are already long gone, as is inevitable.
Chamber is camped out on the bed with a Michelob Special Dark in hand, beaming with such exuberance that even his new haircut seems to be smiling.
Yuean is sitting right in the front, devoting her full attention to the speaker, giving so much and asking for so little in return, as per usual.
Charles stands in the back, a rock-solid sentinel of love and support.
Mellow is of course everywhere and doing everything at the same time: backstage and on stage, to the side and to the front, listening and speaking, providing and consuming, leading and following, a master conductor of people and vibes.

Now here’s me
taking it all in from my perch in the sound booth off stage right
(and Lawrence, by my side,
is playing with the vocal effects ever-so-slightly,
so even though his eyes are closed I can still see them twinkling impishly).

I sense,
that each of these somebodies is
so much bigger and nuanced and richer
than I can see in a single sweep of the room at a single Stage Time and Wine.

Of course,
their stories have taken all of them to places that I’ve never been. They’ve told secrets I’ll never hear to people I’ll never meet.
They’ve all gone through loses and celebrated triumphs that I’ll never understand,
or perhaps haven’t ever imagined.

But it’s ok,
because now we’re here.
And despite the many mysteries and unknown variables,
I feel confident that
we’re all much closer together than we are far apart,
more united than divided,
more similar than different.

Sure, life is meaningless and we all die alone,
but right now,
somebody has just finished reciting their original poem
and I need to go tell them how awesome it was,
because it really was.

Right now, we’re at Stage Time and Wine.

Next Stage Time & Wine is on the 15th of July, same time same place.

I, Too: A Reflection of Stage Time and Wine 86

I, Too: A Reflection of Stage Time and Wine 86

Stage Time & Wine 86

Stomach churning, I put my name on the performers’ list of Stage Time & Wine (STW) LXXXVI. Although it would be my second time to read at STW, I had reasons to dread. Located near the top of the list, I thought my trial would soon come and be over. As time went by, however, I realized that the host had shuffled the performances to give the show a better flow. That unexpected unpredictability only worsened my stage fright.

Finally my name was called, and I dragged myself up front. My nervousness was transparent. I prefaced my reading with Langston Hughes’ poem “I, Too” as my backhanded apology. In this poem, the African American poet pays tribute to an earlier literary giant, Walt Whitman, and his poem “I Hear America Singing.” This “darker brother” stresses that in addition to the people of different genders and occupations whom Whitman praises for forming the multi-faceted American identity, African Americans, “too, sing America.” He laughs at the discrimination he suffers from and asserts that one day, people will see how “beautiful” he is. Just as the two poets reflected and celebrated the American-ness from their view points, so I wanted to maintain that “I, too, am America.” Despite being neither black nor white, or even American, having neither the English language as my mother tongue nor the Anglo-American literature as my inheritance, I’ve written a thesis which surfaces the little-noticed positive sides in one of the gloomier poets, Philip Larkin, and I wish to ascend from academic writing to poetry or prose, writings that may one day be included in the literary canon.

It was with this ambition I attended STW that evening—to test the waters as a writer for the first time. Like Hughes, I resorted to an earlier American writer, Raymond Carver, for inspiration and based my narration on his short story “Popular Mechanics,” a story about a couple fighting over their child. Beginning by borrowing elements from a famous writer and retelling his story from a different character’s perspective, I hope that one day I, too, an outsider of this language and this culture, will have unique tales to offer.

Ever so nervously, I started my reading. My whole body was tense, my legs trembling. So was my voice, I believe. A couple of times I paused, to catch my breath and for dramatic effect. During those moments, I found myself embraced by an attentive silence. I peeked over the edge of my script. No one was checking their phone or checking out the bar. Instead, I was greeted by faces with eager anticipation. Feeling encouraged, in a steadier voice I read on. After I finished reading, the audience’ warm applause thawed my stiff muscles, enabling me to bow and resume my seat.

Earlier that evening, I joked with friends that with Red Room’s renowned supportive crowd, “I wouldn’t know how badly I suck.” I was wrong. The audience’s feedback was genuine. They shared with me how they were moved (“I knew the cameraman was taking my pictures and I looked stupid, but I was jaw-dropped and couldn’t control my face”), and which parts of my story resonated with them (“I’m a mother, so I know what the woman in the story chooses to do at the end”). That night, I left STW, eyes brimming with tears, heart full of joy. Like many others, I, too, look forward to returning to STW, where several successful artists have been cradled. Uplifted by the warm air current at Red Room, a fledgling writer is gathering up momentum, ready to fly.

By Li-Chieh Lily Yen

Stage Time and Wine 85

Stage Time and Wine 85

There is always so much energy at Stage Time and Wine. Crowds of people gather on the carpets and fill the chairs. Sometimes, the crowd fills the entire room. The energy is tremendous and exciting.

However, Stage Time and Wine 85 was an intimate affair, with at least 20 people in attendance. I prefer the quiet times, where people just relax and enjoy the quiet conversation more. We had a few new faces take the stage, who seemed more comfortable with sharing in front of a smaller gathering.

The mulled wine warmed everyone’s spirits. Addison Eng was our “host with the most,” giving our audience positive energy and welcoming everyone at a slower pace than usual. Even the five-minute rule seemed a bit more relaxed because of number present.
We had new people take the stage, sharing experiences, poetry, and music. Red Room veterans also took the stage with new pieces to share.

Finally, we had words from our spirited mural provider, Iris, through the voice of our Keeper, Roma. Words of love, wisdom, and whimsy filled our souls, reminding us to look deep into ourselves because there, we will find Red Room!
For me, after a busy day at Stage Time and Juice, Stage Time and Wine gave me the chance to unwind and really sink into good conversations with new Red Roomers, old friends, and those passing through. I left STW 85 with a big smile on my face and a warm glow in my heart.

By Whitney Zahar

21 January 2017, Stage Time & Wine LXXXV 紅緣寄詩酒 85

Stage Time & Wine LXXXV 紅緣寄詩酒 85
Saturday, January 21 at 6:30 PM – 9:30 PM

Please join us at Stage Time & Wine on the 21st of January 2016. Red Room will be hosting the 85th Stage Time and Wine

We welcome everyone to share the space as we revisit some familiar performances and be wowed by the new. Performers may sign up on the day of the event (open mic format).

6:30pm: Doors Open
7:30pm-8:45pm: 1st Half
9:00pm- 10:30pm: 2nd Half

Your Patronage 開支攤提費: 300 NTD

提示 Our usual reminders:

Performers have 5 minutes to share (unless you have made a request for a special performance beforehand)

The Red Room promotes the culture of listening. We ask you to honour performers by actively listening and remaining quiet and respectful while they are on stage.

Red Room is a community space and we welcome sharing.

Stage Time & Wine is a performance-centric event and announcements are not encouraged. If you have an announcement to make, you may inform the MC and you are also welcome to leave your promotional material at the door.

Credits & Sponsors 特別感謝與贊助

Tremendous gratitude to all our volunteers. Thank you to all who transform the space of the venue into the Red Room, prepare the food and drinks, greet everyone at the door, fill all who thirst till their cups near runneth over…and especially to all who help clean up. Stage Time & Wine would not be possible without your support and the beautiful spirit in which it is given!

The Red Room is an ever-expanding community, exploring and extending the boundaries between audience and performer; a not-for-profit platform for events developing a culture of learning to listen to each other, what is around us, and our selves.