You would see through the fence, the empty streets in which he strolled along. The streetlamp hovered over him, illuminating one side of his face. You knew it was him. He dressed like a boy, but every piece of clothing he had on was lazily slung over his body. He had a lollipop stick in his mouth. And was that a bruise on his face? You couldn’t tell. Every street he stepped foot on was as empty as his demeanour, unlike your neighbourhood where chatters were always heard from somewhere in the distance.

You resided in the livelier parts of town. Everyone wore masks here, and that’s why you despised it. You lived a comfortable life, always pampered, always reassured. The catch was that you were expected to achieve great things, that you have no excuse to stoop down because you were just so fortunate. But you knew that happiness here was a distorted reality, unsure if the creatures behind the masks were even human at all. You temporarily leave late at night, when the yearning for authenticity was at its peak, knowing you wouldn’t survive a day if you left forever. You often felt that no one seemed real, except for the boy you saw in the lonelier parts of town.

He was there everyday, doing nothing but pacing. You sometimes questioned if he was real, since the metal wiring of the fence only allowed you to see bits of him at a time. The sound of his boots being dragged across the gravel was very real, though. His shadow was there, and so were the lollipop sticks, empty soda cans and cigarettes that he had left behind, the cloud that diffused when he sighed into the cold air. You were sometimes tempted to call him, but you weren’t sure if he’d hear you from the bottom of the slope. All you could do was stare, and soon he became your source of escapism.

The sole gesture of looking at him initiated daydreams, you longed to be engulfed in the hands of his universe, you liked how different his aura was. Your escape became consuming, you put no effort into fulfilling the responsibilities you were born into having. Your world was filled with instructions and expectations, in which you needed to repeatedly study in order to perfect. But your perception of his world was ambiguous, a universe completely unexplored, in which gave you the opportunity to learn instead.

Your goals aren’t just a reach, they’re impossible. The closest you got to it was when your fingers slipped through the fence, lingering in the atmosphere that was colder than yours. You admired the insidious solitude, the harsh freedom on the other side. But there was always an unspoken burden at the back of your mind. You were constantly unsettled because your life was being timed by an hourglass, that led to being convinced that this pleasant escape felt wrong and wasteful. The pressure from its existence was so immense, you just wanted to experience something beautiful that doesn’t necessarily benefit society or your future self. You were expected to work vigorously now, to live comfortably and happily when you retire, but you truly just want to live happily everyday.

The pressure to avoid feeling regretful as you cripple into your old age is paradoxical to the philosophy you wish to follow now, but that’s what kept the hourglass mindset intact. You hated that you felt this way, but you let your world win, because you wanted inner relief. You convince yourself that the happiness composed by beautiful moments is only intensively sought out for because it’s not easy to grasp at all. Setting your mind towards your monotonous duties, you tried to smile. Happiness is now, not a destination, as they say. Throughout the life you’ve moved on to, you find yourself once again questioning whether these unachieved, still masked feelings would expire, whether people could ever differentiate whether their positivity was genuine or a fraud.

Oh, that boy? You stopped anticipating his arrival, instead turned him into your aspiration. You wanted to one day go somewhere forbidden, to not worry about consequences, to be liberal for once. You wanted to be the one running through the nights, chasing youth, wreaking havoc only in your own mind.

But that was until you saw him again, not through the fence and below the slope, but in your town, laughing within his group of friends. That’s where your hopes shatter. You felt an overwhelming disappointment, to see him painted in your world’s colours rather than his own, for he was just another that lost his individuality, or never acknowledged it. His mask was sculpted beautifully, though. At least that was something to admire. Perhaps the world is just the same for everyone, and that it was romanticisation that kept you sane whilst your hourglass kept running, everyday coming closer to an end. A wasted youth.

Copyright © 2017 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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photo source: @thegrimmatter



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

2am thoughts on death

the thought of death comforts me.

i don’t necessarily mean that in a self-deprecating, definitely not in a suicidal way.

a sort of melancholy had been lingering over my head, trailing behind my back for my entire conscious life.

you could say that i’ve been surrounded by a crisis, something always going wrong, always in a state of obscure pain.

it took me a while to learn that part of it was dissatisfaction, or a lack of adventure in life. essentially, i felt like i wasn’t truly alive. i’m sure you’re familiar with that feeling, school then home, to work then home. having little to no time for hobbies, if you even had time to discover those hobbies.

i was always ambitious, though i never knew what it was i wanted to pursue. i wanted to do everything, try everything. and as an 8-year-old, i figured that i would find that “true-calling” during my adolescence. of course, i achieved nothing, why else would i be writing this?

perhaps i was unhappy and envious, but i declared the term “true-calling” a fraud. the universe did not construct a path for us, that’s not what i believe anyway. a “true-calling” is pretty much intuitive, synonymous to feeling like the time is right and such. i hope i’m making sense.

living a life in which i’m constantly doubting who i am, what i’m doing and where i’m going, you can imagine that no decision or situation will ever satisfy me. i seek for contentment though i learned that perhaps i shouldn’t.

i thought about why we do this, why we get distraught over a lack of achievement, why we feel depressed when we’re in our 40s and still not living in a mansion.

it’s just human nature, isn’t it? look at how far we’ve come, we’ve started out with practically nothing, and we are now creating artificial life, advancing maniacally in technology.

for a lot of us, we want to thrive, we want to achieve the best while we are still alive. because death gives life a timespan, a task that we, for some reason, feel incredibly inclined to do something with. no one told us to, no one said that we absolutely have to do this or that. you could sit on a couch and eat popcorn for your whole life if you wanted to, though you probably wouldn’t live that long if you did.

you could be ambitious and fleeting if you wanted to, or you could slouch around as long as you don’t get in anyone’s way.

this perspective is quite hedonistic, but how liberating is that? to do what you want to do, whilst simultaneously encouraging other people to achieve their life goals?

(let’s not get into the whole “what if someone wanted to murder” question, that’s a whole other moral topic that would take me an entire essay to discuss.)

now, death comforts me, because i realised that i’ve always wanted to achieve permanent success, assuming that i were to live forever and needed to hoard as much gold as possible. but the reality is that i’m not, i don’t have to pressure myself into doing such things. i will not live forever, therefore, i don’t need to achieve goals that’ll last forever. there is no forever.

i can do whatever i want, as long as i am not being a nuisance to the world, because this is my life. since i already exist, i might as well enjoy.


actual 2am airport slumber thoughts, might draft or delete later on.

don’t look at me like that

We were stood behind a barbed fence under the dark grey skies, the muteness of the world only made possible by the doings of winter. I looked at the light emitted from the skyscrapers on the other side. The air was cold with moisture, it seemed like it had rained moments ago. Buildings don’t move, but they seemed busier than a dense city during rush hour; buildings don’t make a sound, but they exuded messy chatters that sounded like the voices that pestered you with an unending worry. Then I turned to the figure beside me, glanced at him with reluctant eyes. It was only for a moment, but his eyes were heavy. I knew that look, I understood it better than anyone — it was the look of longing. No words were said, but we both wondered, if our desire to step foot on that other world would ever be fulfilled.

I punched my friend in the shoulder, snapping him back to this world. We only smiled, before hurrying back into the grassy abyss where our houses hid. The tension needed to break. And perhaps we do these silly things instead of facing reality, because we want the tension to stay broken.

The cityscape is still moving, the blurred orbs of light still flickering. The view remains melancholic and the life beneath looks cold.

Tonight, the bed is undone, it has been for a while now.

The smell of pencil shavings and the distinct bitterness of the aromatic coffee lingered in the air. An open book thrown onto the duvet remained stagnant, not a gush of wind attempting to flip the page.

The bedding’s dent has undone itself, taking away any evidence of presence.

This room used to exhale cumbersome laughter. But with painful moments comes an underlying joy — the romanticisation of an escape route; the same way happy moments are often accompanied by a lingering worry.

It’s empty now. The home froze to stone, warm shelves into icy concrete. The air carried echoes and an unfamiliar smell, despite being filled with furniture and vibrant colours. It appears to be lively, though it absolutely isn’t. Its faith and benevolence eroding day by day, as homes could grow lonely too.

Life goes on, but there is no life here.

This is a life where we constantly have to chase our breaths, where time exists as our greatest enemy; a life too fleeting isn’t a life for me.

I recalled the days spent under the same heavy, grey skies that echoed loud cries that would soon become rain. But the life underneath didn’t mimic air, people weren’t sensitive towards everything that came their way. People there saw melancholy as a fictitious but, idealised world.

When I catch my breath, when I realise that I am alive, I think about home.

This was my first winter away from home.

The warm, orange heat had suddenly glazed over my face, causing me to divert my gaze towards the horizon, where the harsh light had begun leaving the atmosphere. I took notice of the mountains that it was wedging itself between. In a couple hours, even the sun will return home somewhere, taking its rest from this town.

I recalled the night under the muted mid-November skies, a night in which our longings made themselves known. I longed for a goal, because a life of maintenance is not as exciting as the pain of yearning.

But what I was left with for the past few months, was the purple town. That yearning I felt most passionately during those days, reminded me of you.

I waited, and waited, sitting in mere tension on the dirty white staircase of a remote motel. The shadows began to show themselves, it was then when I saw one that wasn’t stagnant like the rest.


I remember the day you told me you were leaving.

I could still hear life through the only window with beaming neon lights within this typically idle neighbourhood.

Though I knew I wouldn’t miss you, I could still feel that imminent dread, because I wanted a life as mindlessly fulfilling too.

After months of having nothing familiar to cling onto, we’re here now, slightly older, slightly more tired. We’re a pair that dreamed, and nothing more. That’s why we sat in silence, smiling into the air, and not each other.

You kept your gaze steady as you waited for me to speak, for me to bring us back to the place we once were. We wanted reassurance, but that’s definitely not what we needed. We’ve never progressed. Look at us now, we’ve lost that spark of life that we once mastered.


But for a moment, I think I saw your eyes glimmer with life, I never thought that I’d ever see nostalgia in front of me like that again.

You were a reckless influence and we were, in reality, the mindless youths that lived in the moment. I wondered if you were still the same person. I had dreamt that we would one day meet again, and perhaps we could relive youth, running, with our hands tucked into our pockets and faces buried into our collars; feeling warmth despite being almost painfully cold.

We used to see our breaths form then dissipate into the air, but now my body is never warm enough to do that.

It was our laughter that echoed in the distance, it was our lives that were always drifting and voices always fleeting. Those on the other side wanted our freedom and youth. But the reality was that our freedom was empty.

I peered through the ledge and that was all I could see — life, with the cold air and the cityscape beyond us. Beneath the purple skies are lights, every bulb existing as a person that made their way around the heavy air. Too dangerous for other species to roam within the chaos of this urban life, only buses screamed and that was the anthem of this city.

We craved to belong to the other side. Our home may lack stability, but this place lacked colour. Upon finally being here, I realised that this place is as empty as the hopes that we cradled as kids.

When things go bad, I like to sink back to a time when things were easier, which is why I come here every once in a while.

I realised that I am not where I live, what I do or who I most often present myself as. There’s still a world that I go back to, one where it’s safe for me to transform into myself.

I finally got to catch my breath again.

I don’t know about you, but I now enjoy walking within the hustle and bustle, knowing that I don’t belong to the rush of this city.

Because at the end of the day, I will see your fleeting figure somewhere in the streets, you’d have earphones in and be in your own world. At the end of the day, we’re all just temporary souls.


Copyright © 2018 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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author’s note: i wrote this as a sort of tribute to home, a proper farewell. this is the longest piece i’ve written on here so far. it’s not ideal (personally), but this was the end result of what i’ve written after nearly 2 months of not completing anything.

thank you again, for reading. thank you thank you.

photo source: @thegrimmatter

Within Solitude

Remember those quiet evenings?

Those November evenings huddled behind my lightless Christmas tree was the portion of my childhood that I miss the most. The cold weather making my stomach churn whilst my hopeful eyes long for a warmth during every holiday season. Without my dimly-lit home and a lonely presence, winter almost seemed meaningless.

Walking beneath the sun in this winter day made me regress into a child again; recalling my vulnerable frame that often looked fondly at the sky above, with nothing but elusive hopes for the future unknown. My youthful hands slipping more into my sleeves, exposing my mere knuckles as I clench my cold hands into fists.

Winter sunsets often left my skin with a golden tint, blanketing my body with passion and warmth; this season where sunrises are calm & sunsets remain exciting.

I remember this time last year.

These cries exist solely within cold air; they travel together, being each other’s only company. Perhaps, this is why rosy cheeks and comfortable clothes that hide your being come under-appreciated – nostalgia turns you into the psychopath that dubiously smiles and weeps simultaneously.

It was that lonesome neighbourhood – that lantern alleyway of early winter; it was calling after me, luring me into the evening blue dimension of the unrequited. It often gave me the desire to run back to my past, to hide behind the backs of people no longer in my life.

You were a figment of that November, or rather, an imaginary sense of comfort that I didn’t know I needed.

You stayed close by, until I learned to establish a home within this new, daunting stage of life. And I wonder everyday, if I will ever achieve the same in adulthood.

This is a game with no resting points, just shortened time slots that keep you on your feet, even while they’re bruising. It’s no longer a matter of achieving happiness, I realised. It’s whether these living, breathing memories, could attempt to ignite that internal fuse of plain emotion that wouldn’t budge.

But I guess I’m doing fine. I’m trying my best.

I took the time to notice the moon in the evening.

In a city so busy and dense, the sky was almost out of sight. How devastating. How devastating it is for the people who don’t realise that the simplest form of peace & contentment occurs right above us.

A year has passed, and yet something still feels missing. No matter the colossal life changes, the new ambitions and people that came and went, the presence of an unspoken hollowness in the world around me remains. The distant landscape of urban life may as well be a papered backdrop; the people existing as mere shadows.

Amongst the melancholic wind and the reminiscence of the world around lied an absurd sense of security. Nothing belonged to me anymore. All I had was my body and my being; all I could control were the actions I made and the nonchalance glazed over my face.

Hope and I held a precarious faith in each other, weak and staggering from being shattered to the ground too often.

But this is all too familiar to me.

Perhaps the world is mine, and this here, is home.

I think I can manage, from now on.

Copyright © 2017 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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photo source: @thegrimmatter

After Dusk

I have this thing for train stations, the ones where you’re condensed under a sheltered roof with the breathable blue that had finally coated itself onto the sky beyond. These shades of colour so pervasive that a blue tint had been left on everyone’s skin during this golden hour. There’s something so comforting about being on your way home in the evening, seeing the orbs of light switch on within the silhouette of houses in the distance. It’s like watching the everyday lives of people like a movie. When smoke seeps out of their chimney, you’d think that they’ve put use to their fireplace on this chilly evening, validating the commencement of true winter.

I was once a soul that lived in a body too hollow to ever enjoy the cold, where wind makes your skin dance, mine breaks instead. Back then, somebody else held the responsibility to flip the switch that determined night & day. I spent most days within green walls, but I had these intervals in which I spent rushing towards them. These never lasted more than 30 minutes, but these in-betweens made life worth living.

Winter was an exception, however. Cold air learns to follow you through your trail of dark curdles instead, even within the benign sunshine. My particularly freezing fingertips would meet each other, whilst my body sustained warmth. This wind was always cool enough, the seas ferocious and alive. I could smell the new season in the air; it screamed for nostalgia, yearning hopelessly for elusive memories.

I wanted a homely routine that the red & green lights within this silhouette so persistently exudes. There’s something so comforting about watching other people celebrate their own little Christmases in their little homes; perhaps I’d rather dream, because I knew I’d come home to nothing.

But what if you discover an immense significance within insignificance, what if you do find comfort in a substandard life? Sipping on an espresso-infused hot chocolate whilst sitting by your own mahogany fireplace reaches an eventually. It’s cold, even though you’re engulfed in the warmth of the thick knitted blanket you’ve invested in during your last lonely winter. We don’t think about it, but we fear what comes after the eventual. But how could you dream of permanence, when you are not?

There was a calm silence that came with the hollow air during nights like these. Hot seasonal drinks, I’ve concluded, tastes better at 3am. I’ll let this facade of a comfortable life fool the ties I’ve cut, I want to believe the lie that I so meticulously crafted for myself. I don’t want any questions, because I know my insecurities radiate outwards like body heat.

I take more sips, in front of me an obscure face appearing within the unruly fire, inanimate objects could suddenly talk. There were cries that lingered in the air, perhaps from everywhere. Within every furniture and every speck of dust was a soul begging for freedom.

But I’ve stopped fearing the paranormal hour. Why would I be afraid of ghosts, when I am the very negative energy that paces these halls? I am not suited for such a forgiving little home, but I’ve made this environment my own. I am the one haunting this place.

What is my biggest insecurity, you ask?

My existence.


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Meaning: A Poem

how are you doing?

every time i see you,

you grow a little bit, you breathe a bit better, your aura a bit brighter.

you’ve moved on well, i see.

you were one of those who faked happy,

though your nature was bright from the start.

unfortunately, someone had made you doubt your smile.

but i don’t want to look for you in temporary places, that doesn’t make you worthwhile.

do you see those kids over there? they huddle in the corner of the deck;

who knows what thrill their youth holds?

the calming waves and evening view beyond their sight,

the sunset leaving mellow rays of light in the sky.

it was like coming back as a ghost.

and like a ghost, i see life in transparency.

you were once a reserved soul;

you told your problems to the blade that slit your skin,

you’d let blood drip like tears when your eyes could no longer

but as i’ve said,

you’ll fail at death,

because pain will scare you into trying to live again.

now, you are present

yet i am not.

but i digress the past,

the kids have left, and so has light.

there has never been so many stars here before,

with the tip of my finger, i connected a constellation;

but within empty days,

your melodic voice,

is where i stargaze.

there was that silence,

in which you’d feel when you hold your breath.

i know i sit here stagnant,

unplugged from life because words are the only things that could keep me alive.

looking at the still mountains but moving water;

lonesome birds fly by to remind me that i am still breathing, because my reality had stopped.

i can only look back at you fondly,

because i know

i can’t stay here long.

i look intensively for meaning

and sometimes, having a dead end to chase after gives me just that.

Copyright © 2017 | grimmatter.wordpress.com

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author’s note – this was difficult to write without feeling sad, much like the others. all of these writings are deeply emotional, but this in particular is very much a present feeling. thanks for reading, whether you are an avid follower or not, i appreciate the time & effort you put into reading something especially intimate.

also, be aware that i don’t structure poems properly, this is just how i choose to present it. the tenses sound weird, though i don’t even know what time frame these events are occurring in. i’ll just let it be for now.

photo source: @thegrimmatter