Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Empirical Evidence

I gave up everything I knew, to understand your rules.
Over time I thirsted for you - you became my fuel.

Your numbers and logic fooled me to stay.
I took a risk-- All in, I lost my way.

I resisted, you insisted. I fell in.
I hesitated, you persuaded. You win.

It was natural, like hydrogen bonding -
Your quiet ways - and your subtlety in responding.

It was like molecules merging
Separated - but our paths kept converging.

I turn to science to explain these intense forces.
Your electrons, my protons -- turned explosive.

Our elements must have changed, the way our chemical compounds combusted.
Why didn't you check your formula? I was so blind - it was you I trusted.

I'm sorry, but something must be wrong with this equation.
You are the one that made me dispel any and all hesitations.

And now, you're telling me that you're unsure?
Check your math -- your proofs - again, some more.

I trusted your numbers and listened to my heart.
Your logic isn't sound - the way you overlooked this part.

Heightened levels of adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin took over my mind.
And that's how it all began -- all these neurotransmitters working overtime.

There was everybody else, and then you.
I just looked into your eyes, and I knew.

All these chemicals involved should have led me to something concrete.
These feeling are irreversible -- I'm in way too deep.

So now I feel like the variable in your concocted experiment.
Ever so calculated - you made me believe you are the one in need of this.

You've now compiled all the empirical evidence you needed.
Well Done. It didn't cost you - it was only my heart that bleeded.

Image: Wanting by Audrey Kawasaki graphite and colored pencil on paper

Monday, September 14, 2009

There's No Place Like Home

There's no place like home...there's no place like home. There really isn't.

But how do you define home?

They say home is where the heart is, but sometimes - most of the time- my heart feels so detached from everything - so where exactly does that leave me?


They say home is family. I believe it. But my family has all grown up and we've all gone our separate ways. So where does that leave me?


They say home is four walls and a roof over your head. Alhumdollilah. No complaints there. But that's much to much literal for me. So where does that leave me?

I want to feel something more than just what is tangibly in front of me. I need to know there is a place I can always go to to feel safe.

From all the stress. From all the pain. From all the nonsense. I just want a place to feel like home.

Lately, the only place that feels like home is when my knees and my forehead are pressed against the ground and all my thoughts, my prayers, and scattered hopes are at peace.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Snakes Have No Hands to be Tied

It's been weeks, maybe months since I had this dream. The details of which I can still visualize and recall very vividly. The recurring elements of this dream probably also contributed to the clear recollection. I think it's because it blended my reality and my "surreality" so well. Almost too well.

Why have I decided to write about it months later? You'll see.

It's quiet. The city is dead. Almost night time, but not. It's not hot, but it's not cold. Breezy, maybe a little overcast. I'm walking out of a shabby liquor/convenient store in some run down corner - walking backward so I could finish the conversation. The parking lot is empty, and there's no one else around. At this point, there aren't even any cars driving by. And as crazy of a "fashionista" as I dare to be, my attire was definitely questionable -- even for me. Clad in a long black matrix style trench - to the floor - that was fitted at the waist, but opened and flared A-Line style as it draped to the floor. Underneath - hah - I was um, wearing fishnets and really high black leather boots. Up top, I'm pretty sure I was wearing black leather gloves with no finger holes. Yeah, I dunno. My hair was up - messy and unkempt - but almost stylized and intentionally so. I'd say it was like Gothic meets dominatrix - eesh. (This is not where the reality part kicks in - so relax.)

Following me out of the store was an old friend. (At least he wasn't fictional) Arguing about something, I angrily stormed off. He was walking behind me laughing. That, of course, made me more upset because he didn't take me seriously, as he still continued to laugh at what appeared to be a big deal. I remember crossing the street at an intersection toward a brick building. There were cars, but not many. I don't remember faces, but I remember weird stares from drivers waiting at the red light as I crossed.

I don't remember the next transition, or if there even was one, but I end up in my studio apartment in the brick building I was walking toward. I've never seen or been to this place before, but now - in my dream - I'm living in it. It was shabby, really run down, and messy. As soon as you walk in you see a small kitchen table to the left and a bed and some couches directly in front. The bed was not made, and the blankets did not look like they were in the greatest condition. Underneath the covers hid my snake. Yes, my snake. It was like a huge python type snake, that knew to behave. I was not afraid of it, as I felt connected to it. I dunno - like the snake listened to me or whatever. Maybe I was a Gothic Snake Charmer?! Who knows? FYI- if this was a spider that I was able to "connect" with - I would have immediately woken up - I'm deathly afraid of spiders, even though snakes are the ones that can actually be deathly.

Anyways, my friend knocks on my door and enters without being invited in moments later. He wants the baby snake. The baby looked more like a worm, not so much like a snake. It was gross, but again, I was not afraid. I didn't want him to have it, so I said I was going to give it away, and I already had someone coming to pick it up. We fought some more. The snake/worm creature got loose and was really fast. It squirmed away and around the room, not wanting to be captured. I was determined to make sure I caught the baby worm/snake so it wouldn't fall into my friends hands. I caught it.

Again, I wasn't grossed out. (Definitely not the reality part)

Then without seeing any transitions or anything, I go back to my friend - who is still in my apartment - and told him that I gave the baby snake/worm away. He was about to sit on the bed, but I wouldn't let him because the snake might not be so behaved if someone sat on it. So without revealing the "Secret snake" under the blanket, I told him to leave.

I don't remember if there was more - but that's the part I remembered the clearest. It was SO bizarre and so strange. I couldn't get it out of my head. But I finally did.


(Ok, so this is reality)

Last weekend I went to an event that was held at an art gallery in downtown LA. I HATE going to downtown LA because of the one way streets, the confusing roads, and overall bad traffic. I rarely go, but if I do, you'll find me at the fashion district purchasing fabrics - which is a different part of the place the venue was held.

The street was quiet, hardly any cars driving by. I was worried I came to the wrong place, or that I was lost. I There was an uncanny feeling about this street and then the building I pulled up to. I parked across the street. Surprisingly, parking was not an issue as I was expecting it to be. I took a picture of the place from my phone because something about it was so familiar.

I loved the personality of the gallery. It had an industrial/warehousey/shabby-chic feel to it, that was all charming. The art work was scattered. Either deliberately so, or just random bits of the gallery owners collection - but not typically set up as you would see at opening night at an art gallery.

After settling in, and shooting the breeze with friends - I was told that there was more art toward the back. Eager to see what more hidden treasures remain, I headed toward the back of the gallery with my camera. On the right - a black curtained off room with a single bed and a piece of fabrics thrown together as a blanket with some other couch type seatings. I stopped in my tracks. What was this room? Where was the art? Why did it look familair. I've seen this place before.

Thinking nothing of it after that moment, I went back to the soirree. I was then later told that the gallery owner has a pet snake in the back. I was like WHAT? Who has a pet snake?! It was a python. I had her take me to the snake cage immediately. So the owner took the snake out for the event, but she showed me the glass cage where it is supposed to live. It was pretty huge. A glass casing that was designed into a counter top so it was also functional. It was directly across the black curtained room - I missed it the first time because it just looks like a glass counter.

Behind the snake cage was this beautiful painting that caught my eye. It was so mysterious, free-spirited and edgy at the same time. I LOVED it.

Hot huh!? It looks all airbrushed - and I like how the light hits her arm -- the monochromatic use of colors is even more captivating for me. Oh, look, it's against a brick wall! Kinda Gothic and Dominatrix huh? Weird? Yes.

So I tried posing like it - but in the midst of messing up my hair to get to that point - this is the unsuccessful picture that came out. But the table in front of me is the snake case turned counter. Crazy, huh?

I called the gallery owner and I asked about the painting. It is indeed airbrushed. Done by a tattoo artist. It's $2000. Well worth it.

But the dream and the reality stuff - it's a little bizarre.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bleeding Heart

and you say:
let's forget about it, and just carry on.
until the situation resurfaces, unresolved.

and you say:
you care, but you're insecure - I need to change.
If I change, then don't you care that I won't be the same?

and you say:
You're happy, but then constantly complain.
if you're so happy, then why would you need me to change?

and you say:
how you wish time would stop just like this.
then remind me of the days before me when you felt much more bliss.

your contradictions are consuming me.
your empty promises are numbing me.
your thoughtless actions are diffusing me.

And there you go, gallivanting about your day.
I'm here, you're there - words spoken - but nothing consequential to say.
And there you go, pretending everything is perfectly okay.
I'm here, you're there - glance averted - everything's in such disarray.

I pulled out my heart for you - and you were supposed to take care of it.
I wish there was more I could do - instead of forcing you to cherish it.

I pulled out my heart for you-- Only for you to tear it apart.
I wish there was a magic button; - Rewind ? Erase ? Back to Start???

I didn't think it was possible to feel my heart bleed.
And I don't know how you don't hear me - crying for you in need.

Image: Audrey Kawasaki's My Dishonest Heart

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I knew I was being chased and hunted - it's an uncanny feeling. He wanted something I had, but I refused to listen. That's not uncharacteristic of me - I hardly ever listen. I vaguely remember what he looked like, but then I second guess my recollection and am not sure I even saw him at all. He was older, unattractive and dressed terribly. A short sleeve buttoned down silk type shirt that had a collar - not a polo - just an ugly, dated shirt. It was yellow- dijon yellow. It was dark and I'm not sure where we met, or why I had any contact with this character.

He was not someone to not take seriously.

I found myself at home later that day receiving a text message on my phone from a strange number. An alert of my security being breached, and him letting me know that I am no longer safe - and he always gets his way. I remember clearly a close up of the text on my phone, as if I was zooming in on it through my SLR. Now - the image is clear, but the exact text is jumbled.

I warned my family - requesting us to not leave our house, and not let anyone in. I sound calm now- but I assure you, I was not calm. I was scared. I was so worried that I had jeopardized my family's safety! I only remember seeing my dad and my sister and my nephew's at home.

Battling with my nephew to promise he not answer the door, he mindlessly forgot and answered the doorbell to random solicitors. It was crazy - I've never been so frantic and crazy - I did anything and everything to push this solicitor out of our house. There were 2 - an adult and a younger kid. I didn't know what they wanted - but I knew it had something to do with my security breech.

As the sun set the night progressed - I saw someone walking around in my backyard. My dad was still up watching TV in the living room. I ducked down, and walked over to the kitchen window.
He was male - looked Filipino - had long corn rows that extended to his mid back. Not someone I'd want to upset.

I ran upstairs with my sister quietly, to try to get a better view from my bedroom. My curtains are ALWAYS closed - but if open, you can clearly see my entire backyard. When I walked into my room, my curtains were already open! I was worried someone had been in my house before me. I didn't know how it happened. As soon as you open my bedroom door, you have full frontal view of the window...I had to duck down immediately with my sister - as i tried to move to the left on my bed. I didn't want to close the curtains as that might signal some sort of motion from above. It went from one vicious looking guy, to a whole squad of people - including a camera crew. Were they filming a threat video to show me on my own property? I had no idea.

As I tried ever so hard to remain discreet - it was too late. Someone from below in my backyard saw me see them. They packed up their things so quickly, and evacuated our property. I wanted to call the police to show them the evidence and catch them in the act - but it all happened too fast. And all my phone lines had been compromised.

Suddenly, half of the squad that I THOUGHT had evacuated has some how managed to enter in my house! Meanwhile, I somehow figured out I had all this electricity running through my body. If I applied my energy correctly - I could electrocute anything I wanted. This had a short term affect - and was hardly harmful. What a useless power.

As the squad poured in, I would somehow manage to electrocute them to hold them over as I helped me and my family escape. It was so bizarre.

I promise I've never tried any drugs.. I don't know what this nightmare even means.

Image: Audrey Kawasaki's As I Fall - mixed media on wood 14"x11"

Monday, May 4, 2009


in the night i hear them talk...

i hear them scream, i hear them whisper, i hear them.
i hear their thoughts, and their naively malicious intentions trying to bring themselves up by putting others down.  is it really any of their business?

i hear them talk.

the coldest story ever told. 

the tragedy permeates through silence and the pain penetrates deep like adding salt to open wounds. The chilling echo of the tragedy spreads like wildfire and everyone is made aware of this...

coldest story ever told.

Somewhere far along this road, SHE lost her soul to a man so heartless

the essential organ that pumps blood through all the blood vessels in a rhythmic melody was dancing to a demonic tune that removed any ounce of compassion. the integral entity that makes anyone anything was completely replaced by an impostor heart that had no heart.
falling into the lies and easily manipulated by this impostor heart, she relinquished her heart and her soul trusting her misguided intuition. 

somehow, and somewhere along the road she lost her soul to a man so heartless. 

How could you be so cold-- As the winter wind when it breezes?

i've heard that people change more than the seasons, but i ignored it thinking that it's summer year round in california and this can't be true. the unsettling truth punctured deep and left everything feeling ice cold.  it's hard to think about the summer when all you feel is rain.  it's hard to believe it's 80 degrees, when you feel so cold and hollow. 

I mean after all the things that we've been through.  I mean after all the things we got into. Hey yo, I know of some things you ain't told me. And I've done some things but that's the old me. 

I've made changes. I've made sacrifices.  I did everything right, but I did nothing right at all. It felt real.  But then you just walked away and never looked back. We all make mistakes.  I think the biggest mistake I ever made was meeting you. 

How could you be so "Dr. Evil" You're bringing out a side of me that I don't know. 

I never knew the potential of such evil. I'm pretty sure the devil wouldn't recognize you. 
I'm only emotional because I cared. 

But in the end it's still so lonely. 

* italicized text are lyrics from Kanye's Heartless | 808's and Heartbreaks 
Original Photography by Adnan Mahmud

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Te Busque.

At what point did losing myself to find someone else become synonymous?


Lost in the dark, lost in the light.

 Misguided directions and an obscure sight

 Maybe another place and time things would all make sense.  

Or, does it all make sense and my eyes won’t let me see?

 I’ve asked for answers, and prayed for truth. 

 Killed confessions and an eradicated youth.

 Mixed emotions and a tattered heart. 

My very essence decayed over time. 

Over you.

Over me.

Over everything I once believed.

 You witnessed a murder and I let it die.

We’ve both been felons to this homicide.

Photography by Adnan Mahmud


I’m tangled in my own mess, it’s kinda scary.

I’ve created this defense fortress; my heart is wary.

Lost inside my thoughts, it’s not normal.

Lost inside my memories, it’s paranoia.

Falling faster, and sinking slowly.

Save me.

Don’t tell me you care, show me.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

It's Going to Burn for me to say this...

I was baking in my kitchen. Cupcakes? Cheesecake? I can't recall exactly. The batter was off-white. It could have been either or. I was wearing my black and white Parisian inspired apron I ordered online from Anthropologie. I have actually never worn it before.

It was daytime, but it was dark inside. Overcast indoors.
I set the oven to preheat to 350 degrees, and continued with my batter. It got really hot. I could feel the heat. I looked at the oven and noticed the temperature automatically increase. Significantly.

I began to scream for help. My sister was home? Yes, I think it was her. She was sprawled on a foot stool cushion in the living room breaking up a sweat. She was sluggishly resting in a state of inertia. That is so unlike her. Was it my sister?

"The oven is going to explode!!!!" I exclaimed frantically calling her up for help.
"So, turn it off" she said in the most nonchalant lackadaisical manner I've ever seen...not just from her, but from anyone.


(I don't normally talk to my appliances, and I didn't in this case...but it came out that way in our dialogue)

She refused to get up or help me, I was dripping sweat, and so was she. She laid there as if she was in a hammock on the Northshore of Hawaii, and reveled in her sweat.

"You're over reacting, it's not a big deal, the oven can't explode." Still refusing to even move an inch, I began screaming some more.


I shrieked for my older brother Nayeem, hoping he would know what to do. Running back and forth to the oven, trying to turn it off. I kept getting burned.


My brother appeared out of thin air, clad in his plaid Holister shorts and a plain white T-shirt. I'm surprised he didn't have dumbbells in his hands.

"What's up, bro?" He said in a calm and collected manner with an invisible smile. (That's so him) (On a side note - he calls me "bro" in real life - if I'm lucky he'll gender specify it and call me girl bro)

He laughed.

"You're crazy, bro. It can't be 1000 degrees. "
He reaches over to the oven, and notices there are no controls to switch anything. He opens the oven and almost gets burned. An immense amount of heat blows out of the oven, and then he shuts the door quickly. The oven is untouchable without wearing 2 oven mits, and even then, you can still feel the heat.

"Is it as hot as the sun!?!!" I shrieked again.

"Dude, bro what the hell did you do?"

"We're going to explode!"

My eyes were watering, not just because I was terrified, but because of the immense amount of heat that radiated from the oven.

I turned toward the oven, and noticed a new button panel.

Up and down arrows under "Photons"
Up and down arrows under "Volume"


I started reducing the amount of "photons" on the oven with 2 oven mits and the temperature finally dropped.

I don't think I woke up.

But I don't know why I remember this so vividly.

Dark Side.

there's more that meets the eye. always.
look deeper.
beneath the surface.
the truth is buried.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The morning.

The morning comes and brings the chill into the dawn.
The morning comes and the unsettling truth still lingers on.
The morning comes and the past is still the same.
The morning comes and the morning goes, with no change.
The season's change, but the feelings remain.
Like a ghost that haunts.
Like a record on continuous play.
This love just taunts.
And it hurts more each day.
 The pain from the years gone by cannot compete with the unspoken love that was felt.
The pain and the hardships made the good times stronger and made the heart melt.
The morning comes and transitions into the day.
The morning comes and brings no words to say.
The morning comes and doesn't erase the tears.
The morning comes and the morning goes, and I still don't have you here.

Original Photography by Adnan Mahmud

Monday, February 16, 2009

Laws of Attraction

There are rules to everything. Some defined, and some unspoken. Even when I want to live on the edge and not follow the rules, I find myself bound by guidelines, rules and restrictions. I find myself following the rules in attempts to try and break them.

Even things that are supposed to happen naturally have rules. I find myself wanting the things that I can't have even more than if I could have it--only because it's a challenge. So I follow the rules to take on the challenge to see if I can ultimately obtain my "desire." Once I know I can have it, I'm not quite sure I want it anymore. The game has ended. The challenge is gone. The rules to follow cease to exist. Next.

I don't think mutual attraction comes along easily. I think I'm bound by rules, restrictions and constraints to fully feel I can feel comfortable being attracted to someone. It's so much of a process, I'm not sure the pure magnetism | chemistry | carnal impulsive desire, exists for me anymore. Sigh*

Suddenly my life feels so "paint-by-numbers" and I'm dying to paint outside the lines.

I'm too creative to be bound by any patterns.

Following the rules is not easy.

I'm going to EXPLODE.

Photography by Adnan Mahmud

Monday, January 19, 2009

Figure it Out

You run your own course at your own pace, but sometimes -- well, most of the time -- it's out of your control to determine your own pace. It's already written.

There are walls and fortresses that are built to make us convince ourselves that we are doing certain things because we choose to, and want to-- not because it's what's left to do. Making peace with the options we are given when we wanted something else - something more - seems to be a recurring situation. I wonder if we were all honest with ourselves, how much of what comes our way would we really think would be our own doing?

I've planned my life in its entirety and it appears that nothing has gone according to schedule. Kanye said it best in Welcome to Heartbreak,
"I chased the good life my whole life long, I look back on my life and my life's gone... where did I go wrong"

Chasing after our dreams, our wants, and our plans doesn't always work out the way we envision. It doesn't always work at all.

I guess you spend your whole life figuring it out?
I think.
I'm not sure.
I'm still trying to figure that out.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


The Memories.
The images.
The history.

My apologies.
My damages.
Your mystery.

This inexplicable feeling.
This pain and love with miraculous healing.
This undeniable connection.
This unfaltering loyalty with no flexion.
This deep bond that held it together.
This strong fire that kept burning forever.

This deep connection that doesn't seem to dissipate.
This deeper love that makes the heart palpitate.

This glue.
This force.
This chemistry.

Only You.
My Source.