a sentimental open letter to polat the cat

oh polat, how i’ve missed you… miss when you claw my pants leaving little holes, when i touch your sweet paws… paws dipped in snow… when you look at me and i can only imagine what you’re thinking of, only to have you try to attack my eyes, when you show off yr surfing skills across that broken marble when mils is in her room – begging for her attention. the best moments — when you sometimes don’t move away from my thighs as i stroke your fur with the comb, until your face is drunken and sleepy, your sweet miu miu noises, the way you greet me as i walk through the door, then the next moment you would be poking your head into my shoe, or paw-attacking my slippers, because i smell different, i am a foreign object. now i dream of the day when i get to feel your fast-heartbeat warmth again, so you can leave tri-coloured fur on my pants… i remember last time coming upstairs, knocking on her door, and you would be meowing inside, you can smell me through the gap of the door, you know i’m out there and maybe you could smell that it was me, the ‘visiting auntie’. nevermore… but one day i hope to knock on that door again, and i hope you could still remember who it is calling out your name “polat”… and i hope that door one day will open for me… like the good old days. hugs and a fake kiss from 15cm away from auntie jun kit.


2010 friendships and other ships some disappeared and came back but some are no more, no romance tapi takpe, getting away more from smoke infested places into quietness of lalang moving in the wind somewhere in a field, somewhere as i walk to work, sitting there for ages waiting for actual work… the nature of newspaper publishing? yearning for nature and forgetting about politics because it’s the same dirty dhal-smearing on white shirt tendencies. feeling more and more safe from the detachment from the father, me and mama plan to form that sanctuary together in that tiny 2-roomed place we got… without testosterone bullying. hormones abound but lust for furniture is on par with the usual suspeks…… can’t share this place with the straight guys anymore thankfully yoga and sweating it out in bodypump raises the immunity? cathartic post not even poetry or prose. sisters backing me up, oprah-fists clenched with strong urges for reform-of-self: saying no to assholes and deleting dust from my life; saying yes to the ones around me because they are worth my time — better than to lay motionless in the room? to be continued.

The author, maybe trespassing

Exploring a beautiful space that seems to be under refurbishment somewhere near Yee I-Lann’s future home (which by the way will be designed by Building Bloc).

Christmas spent by the sea

Christmas Day, like any other public holidays in Malaysia, also means that shopping malls will be crowded, and the roads near them will be choked.  So it was pleasing when a friend decided to drive to Port Dickson. Highways seem less claustrophobic. The soundtrack of choice was Jiwang plus Rock Kapak.

The last impromptu trip there was in 2002 or so, with two members of the Four-leaf Clover Society. This time, as the car approached the Port, the air didn’t smell salty. But cats were still everywhere. Here are some shots of kuching perched here and there, their shapes accentuated with clouds of fishnets in a fishing jetty around Teluk Pelanduk.

At a beach in Kemang, we found a secluded area with rock pools and large rocks punctured with barnacles. Emotional landscapes! Just like in that Jóga video. What was there to do but rest and rilek on one of the rocks with a towel for a pillow and join the arthropods. At that moment, I wanted to be a barnacle forever.

I saw red with my eyes closed — sun through the eyelids; as I opened them everything was dark blue and turquoise, a perfectly natural saturation for what was right in front of me: calm sloshes on remarkable wave-carved formations… and the setting sun.


My father recently traced back his ancestral roots in Hainan Island. His phone had limited memory — a few megabytes — so he had to be rather selective of what images he would save.

The above features the tombstone of his great grandfather, apparently a minister during the Qing Dynasty.

Granny’s bicycle accident

My granny is proficient in maneuvering kampung dirt roads with a high bicycle; so high that my legs cannot even reach the ground comfortably (I think she has longer legs!).

However a few days ago she met with an accident — her femur is now in three pieces.

Whilst cycling one misty morning after tai-chi, at around 6am when the palm trees are shrouded with mist and the wind that knocks against moving skin is as cold as air conditioning, she lost balance, distracted by thoughts of the ghost belonging to a girl who was killed near the dirt tracks she was riding on. Small hearted now; she once expressed how she was so startled by the silhouettes of some dark men behind the chicken fences of her half-wooden house, further camouflaged in the morning by all the weeds and undergrowth (she nearly fainted). Probably plantation workers of some sort…

But living alone near so much nature makes one humble…

I fear she would not be able to cycle or jog in the near future. She is in her mid-70s… She has survived another bicycle accident where she fell at a slippery slope and nearly broke her clavicle. Strong Hakka woman.

I present here a video of her cycling away from me, one gentler morning near Chinese New Year; birds and other rejuvenating sounds can be heard quite clearly:

Watching you and Ah Heng together

Kak Reto, after dropping you off at the gate of the Haiku House tonight, I witnessed Ah Heng the dog greet you with beautiful enthusiasm, so much that I sat transfixed in my car, unable to reverse and leave…

The front gate of your home had ornamental swirls that seemed to originate an era when Malaysian architecture still believed in craft. The stillness of the neighbourhood was the most perfect setting for your post-midnight contacts with your black and white friend.

Tropical branches filtering my view but I could sense the good vibrations you were emitting, even though you and me are both so tired from painting a gallery wall earlier. Ah Heng barked a little. You met my eyes again, curious to why I haven’t reversed. It was a warmth shared between the creatures that were awake and very much alive, you and me and Ah Heng. I let this sweet energy sit next to me on my journey home to my little room here, where I am laying now, alone but not at all sad.