Early Morning Edge

I want to wake up to the thick and murky winter sky, to see the city’s density dissolve within the mist. I want the thunder and lightning to cause my once still body to jolt in fear, to be shortly calmed by the darkness of the early morning. At least that was one thing that would remain unchanged.  Sometimes, I’d miss waking up to raindrops slamming against my window pane.

That was peace, all to be achieved within the loud solitude that exists only in my bedroom.

I can hear it now. It’s 5AM, there are occasional engine roars that fade with the distance, murmurs of those who are just now waking up, or returning home. I can hear the layer of eerie silence, one that was accompanied by the loud lights protruding from the business buildings beyond me, polluting the atmosphere with a colourful haze.

You had a thirsty glint in your eyes, a smug grin on your face, as you told me you wanted to run away. But that’s not what I wanted to do, I couldn’t follow you this time.

I wanted to sit still, I wanted the ringing to stop ; to instead focus on the way the reddish clouds moved, to the distant voices on the other side of the road, the very road that you desperately wanted to run to. I wanted to allow the painfully cold air to freeze me, to listen to the rustling of the flimsy trees, and to not think about anything. But of course, I failed. I thought about everything, all at once.

My youth was filled with returning home to shattered people, with hands that always trembled in either fear or fury. I never once felt like I had a fixed life to run to whenever things go bad. Never would I’ve thought that I’d ever find myself in a disgusting, compact environment, clutching my body in utter hopelessness and just, weep endlessly. To me, that was the worst thing one could ever feel – vulnerability.

I watched as you ran off, you were like a child. It’s like you were running towards Disneyland. In a way, that was exactly where you were headed ; a place with many others like you, vendors to keep you alive, one ride after another, thrill after thrill. You loved the noise, while I was constantly baffled by the fact that my thoughts managed to throb louder than my surroundings. I don’t like your world, the one with a plethora of bodies mindlessly living. Perhaps this pseudo of “happy people” isn’t what I thought it was, perhaps they’re not at all ignorant and instead are the ones who’ve hit rock bottom, the ones who’ve decided that living with no care in the world is the best way to live. Perhaps, people like me aren’t the strong ones.

5AM is beautiful, though. An empty convenience store with a radiating neon sign caught my eye, I dragged my shoes that reeked of someone else’s sick towards it. There I conversed with the sleep deprived employee, and we laughed about our mutual hollowed eyes.

The city remains relatively silent and dim, no sun peeking through just yet, nothing to indicate the start of a new day.

This used to be something I’d see through my bedroom window. But now, I’m walking amongst it. The city looks mesmerising, and I’ve dissolved within the mist, along with it.

Copyright © 2017 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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once, and never again

—the dissonance of winter,

Do you see that over there, the misty city beyond these frilly trees?

Those glowing lights housed our memories of this city, everything we’ve done for the first and last time lies within those lands.

It’s cold, and though the fog blurs our view of the world, and our thick clothes barricade our bond with the earth, I have never felt more real. My vision is influenced by a frosted vignette, but I am looking at life.

Do you recall all the feelings we’ve felt? The highs and the lows, the dark foggy afternoons in the tired buildings, the headlights outside, appearing and disappearing within the golden mist of a ceasing summer.

Here, on this hill, the melancholic remains of an empty summer still linger, like the remains of an unpleasant past swimming in the air, reminding you that they’ll always be there, to put you back in place.

But just because a moment sucks, it doesn’t mean that everything and everyone else existing does.

You come to me with the heavy air you always carry along with you. You like to sit on my shoulders like a child that I shouldn’t care for, weighing me down. You can roam around this city alone, but you’ll never know what it means to be lonely.

It’s not loneliness when you know someone, somewhere, had left the light on at 1am, waiting anxiously for your return. It’s not loneliness when you deliberately avoid what so desperately wants your attention.

Once I leave, I’ll wonder if you’re still there; behind corporate walls, underneath these murky skies.

As we get older, we’ll lose that grip that we’ve once held close to us. We’ll grow apart from childhood friends, as time grows apart from ourselves. We’ll just be ants, looking for a purpose within our little planet, trying to make sense of the life that we have.

—the harmony of independence.


Copyright © 2018 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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it’s just a feeling

I’ve lived two decades and have never seen the world. Not a foreign stone that washed up on the shore, not a taste of authentic culture. I knew nothing of this planet, nothing more than the city that brought me up. Childhood was a fear of never living, life was a picture I couldn’t seem to experience, questioning whether anything really existed. Cold weather, warm sun; stillness in a directionless life, a bright future that’s on the brink of shattering.

But then I met him,

I’ve fallen in love within the rush of the city, surrounded by the fleeting lights of this late night. The zooming of cars, the sharp scent of cologne, his cold wristwatch grazing my skin.

With him,

I’ve gone beyond anything I could ever dream of, been to places I’ve never heard of. I’ve lived contrasting lives, collecting what I believed was missing in my own.

But that’s all it is. We’re just friends, that do things sometimes.

He’s got a different life, a person he comes home to; whom he calms down for, and values more than anything. And if I were more than his friend, I’d have to accept what’s dearest to him. I’d have to grow up, be the person I can’t be for him. I don’t think I’m ready for that, or ever will be.

Because the reality is, you’re a man, I’m just a kid. You’ve lived a whole life before I even existed.

But with you,

I could feel life. You tell me that you regress into your younger self, whilst I’ve lived curiously, and had forgotten about time. We’re like teenagers, because things are perfect, mindless, euphoric. But this is reckless, this is wrong. And I don’t know how much more wrong I could do.

So we remain friends, and we do things sometimes.


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our numbered days

6am was not your time, it was mine.

i’ve always admired the cold, blue hues of the early hours, how the world outside this window had barely woken; how the aroma of my tea was a sense of harmony, diffused solely within our echoey room.

there are some mornings, when i could feel the solitude of the world. a time to catch my breath, after the chaos of yesterday’s world.

though i am sheltered, and you are peacefully asleep on the soft mattress we don’t deserve, i felt safer then, when this city was mine.

life is precarious, but manageable. that’s how it is, how it has been for a long time.

i wanted nothing more than to be a stranger to every city i step into, than to commit to any one. because a stranger gets welcomed, an outsider doesn’t.

but, you see, i left someone behind.

i plate blueberries, a snack often reminding me of my worst times.

they taste excellent, but they only remind me of what i miss. we know that these berries are costly, but i like to think that they replace the value that i’ve left behind.

the poor thing could only stagger its little paws so far into the tall woods, just a baby that yowls and it pains you to hear.

he isn’t here, or there, i couldn’t find him anywhere. 

you don’t realise what you love, or what home is, until you can no longer have it. during my days as a stowaway, there was no such place called “home”, every essence of it that has once been shared throughout bits of my city, had vanished. but what stayed with me were these skies. there’s so much of it, much bigger than us. and once you look at it, you won’t see anything else.

now, it’s like i’m running on empty, my mind doesn’t accompany me anymore. it’s just me, against the world that now feels like a haze that occupies my time & space. but i think, i should learn to live my life without dependence.

but like i said, we still have chaotic yesterdays. and when you hurt yourself the way i used to, i don’t know what to tell you.

because we are both kids, stuck in an adult’s body, unprepared for the new stages of life. we were never given a chance back then. so this time, let’s make our own memories.

a refined youth, to compensate for the damages that cannot be undone, to outlive our numbered days. we will listen to the quiet places, and silence the thoughts that get louder everyday.

though we can’t not feel sad about losing the grip we once held our entire lives, the world is still quite beautiful, and nothing else has to matter.

we’re blanketed under the comfort of the night, surrounded by the universe beyond our skies. the vastness of the abyss silencing our fears.

nothing has to matter, not right now.


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we just met / you first left

It’s that hour.

The sun had just begun to set in this neighbourhood, leaving flimsy trees with golden branches & leaves, and soon a sapphire sky. It was quiet, with a muted glow casting quick shadows here and there. Winter was long gone, though the lingering breeze led me to believe that part of the season wanted to stay.

I heard nothing but the wind, I felt nothing but cold, I saw no colour besides dark blues and orbs of light that appear then disappear past the buildings.

It’s more peaceful up here, without a doubt.

My grip tightens against the concrete slab, knuckles turning white, flesh coming close to a tear. There isn’t much left between my body and this ledge. You made a sarcastic remark and nudged my arm before bursting into your own fit of chuckles. The corners of my mouth then stretched to my cheeks, I let my body weight rest more onto the slab, allowing my legs to dangle. What I had breathed into the air — I think it was laughter.

It’s been a year, maybe two.

There are a lot of things I want to tell you.


“We fell apart”, I want to say. but we’re far from that, miles apart, in fact.

I want to say that we communicated only through ellipses, because a bond would have at least existed then.

You’ve stumbled upon me during my trip out to sea,

and you were the blur in my vision staring back at me.


There was small talk, the cumbersome tension occasionally lingering in the air between pauses.

Out the window are skies like still, murky water.

The blackness of the horizon line so solid, I almost wonder if it’s just a dead end ahead.

The ocean goes beyond our perspective, yet it feels like the wall of a dome lies right there.


It took me years, but I realised,

I didn’t miss sitting on pine floors with the company of my closest friend;

in a cooled room, protected from the scorching summer sun,

idle and talking into the air.

I missed having more youth ahead.


You gave me my best years, and you are in front of me now, table’s width apart.

Elbows on the rustic surface, the sombre dawn peering in from the window.

Not a speck of dust, the oceans glisten.

Hands on our heads, eyes everywhere else.


There’s nothing here, nothing but sea and sky.

This is not what’s left of the world, it’s what life looked like before us.

But sometimes I fear that my life will never change; that no matter what I do, I stay the same.

I find it difficult to see the reality of what I’m doing these days,

What I took with me were the souvenirs of the childhood I never wanted, the painstaking existence I never asked for.

There are only a handful of things I can envision clearly, and it is easier to imagine a fictitious world than the one in front of me.

But I can’t imagine you here, not in my world. Not this time.

Alas, our lives have changed, in a way; the weather no longer carries nostalgia, the seasons regenerate and so do our memories. I no longer recall what I once wished to relive, because I don’t quite remember what those days felt like.


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photo source: @thegrimmatter

the city made me this way

⏤ a poem.

when you’ve painted your monochrome life with colour,

you begin to feel like you’re truly alive

then things go wrong

but it doesn’t fade back to black and white


the paint remains vibrant

and you’re unsure, confused

because you’re supposed to be happy with these colours

you once hoped they’d be your permanent muse


but you’re far from that now


you live in the middle

wondering whether you need to look for more

or stop, or look elsewhere

to put an end to this fogged up war


this is the new world you’ve built

you thought it was so pure

your lips can curl and your eyes can crinkle,

but you don’t really know for sure


animate walls, inanimate people

perhaps nothing is really here

distorted time, decisions uncivil

perhaps i, too, will disappear


life is too muted and mindless,

too stupidly happy to care

but i believe

that the person i once knew,

is in there somewhere.


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quit panicking, my friend.

the crimson sunset of a rare summer glazed over a face that had just entered the room, echoes from clanging metal filled up the hollow space.
he tucked his keys into his pocket as the light disappears from his face, there was merely a glimpse of hurt.

i turn away.

my heart begins to race as his footsteps creaked louder against the dusty pine floor. my hands searched for something to do, so i started adjusting the wineglasses that were already aligned on the kitchen counter.


no, he’s not alone, not this time.
this fleeting being walked amidst zooming vehicles, with more and more headlights appearing beside the pedestrian, and beyond him. faceless shadows behind the wheels. this city so soundly asleep, though the misty air had begun to emit the distinguishable colour of morning — it was almost 6.

his slouched figure ambled towards the dimly lit, isolated bus stop. he swallowed the hollowness of the air, in which tasted of salt and winter.

he began to cry.

we’ve found new homes, we don’t need each other anymore.


Copyright © 2018 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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author’s note— i think something ended, but my writing knows it better than i do.

photo source: @thegrimmatter

Before Sunrise: A Poem

i left my past through an ugly route.

i’d roam these 6am streets.

students would walk to school groggily,

whilst the elderly sat on benches and admired the invisible, chirping birds.

the sun had barely risen,

and the world was dark,

but i’d remember the playlist i’d listen to

when i was the groggy student that staggered through this park.

i recalled the sleeping family that i’d greet before i left,

the quiet bakery i’d stop by right after, then the blur of the day ahead.

the routine repeats itself,

yet i couldn’t crave anything more.

to regress into a time so simple,

well, this here, is my childhood’s core.

Copyright © 2018 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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author’s note— a lil poem/prose thing i had abandoned in a document. thought i could make more out of it, but what inspired it was a memory too specific to be altered.

photo source:@thegrimmatter