I live in a gentrified part of Brooklyn, I eat out several times a week, I travel the world sampling the best that cities across the globe have to offer. Do I live in a penthouse loft? Am I dinning in five stars restaurants? Can you only find me in the most exclusive areas? Do I own a jet? The answer to all the above is most certainly no. I’m just a regular man from Prince George’s county, Maryland that figured shit out.
I discovered that I can make a career in an arena dominated by artists that sell false dreams. I realized that although the masses may not know of my body of work, it doesn’t take the whole world to have the world I want. Tangible Dream is a mix-tape dedicated to the deconstruction of our traditional ideas of success & shedding light on the possibility of a sustainable rap life.
These rhymes were written in economy class seats, these beats were produced on long bus trips & these songs were recorded in airbnb apartments. All I want to do is make music for a living so that I can live to make music. The only dreams I’m interested in are the ones I can grasp. It just so happens that anything you want bad enough can be obtained. Perhaps the world may never know of my accomplishments but accomplishments they are nonetheless.
lately, i’ve been reading and reading and reading: problems of the introvert, my father’s shy pride, the words that fall and rise in line of my first Murakami novel — which took me a whole month to process — and my first romantic dream.
i’ve never had a romantic dream before. but after he brushed my toes with his, all i got were gentle kisses on my hand. i can’t believe i’m still stuck on those kisses.
and i still fall in love every time i think about us on the couch.
i see you around in real life and think, thanks for reminding me to step back and take notice in culture. and antiquity. and power. and the sadness that grinds nature to the ground built beneath tall towers and dusty factories in the downtown of cities. and to buy more art. and spain. oh, spain. my idea of a soul’s holiday could be with you, taking me to your favourite tattoo parlour outside our city and having your full name inked on the inside of my throat so you can be the unspoken word escorting everything else i say. inked under all my skin, so if i ever share scratches on my back with anyone else, they can uncover your place in me.
tell me i’m a reoccuring theme in your dreams, too. tell me you would rather find me beneath your sheets.
my dad always told me to leave the room when he was counting money from his Royal Sovereign. at first, i really did think it was because he thought i was too small to grasp financial thinking, that i needed to have a mind cultivated enough to avoid being stuck on one serious thing, like money, or marriage, or people who walk staring at their shoes.
but while i heard the papers rapidly flipping through each other, his surgical mask was on and the windows were always wide open.
"why?", i asked.
"because money is dirty. always keep that in mind - money is very dirty. and you should never be so close to the soiled.", he replied, in words that probably tasted a lot like metal and acid rain and muddy fingers with only numbers in their brain.
my supervisor, Inese, says i am amazingly calm around the dogs: the disabled, the hyperactive, the nervous, the old-and-untrained-and-maybe-unloved. while to me, her name is just a name that rhymes with Venus, to them, it is so much more. it is a mother bear’s care, it is soul in the dark, it is reconstruction of the 4th musketeer.
perhaps a puppy is no different from a small child — moving without cognizing its doings, without knowing where they’re headed (kind of poetic, huh?), throwing up even when they’re not sick, embracing enough character to fill an old school desk with signatures. signatures and drawings indicating a student was ‘here’. like when one can suddenly feel ‘here’ when they are sitting in the front row of class.
and like a child and a puppy positioned perfectly in their formative years, i am learning and unlearning. learning and unlearning.
i am learning that the boxer breed grows a lot faster than i would like.
i am unlearning the attachment from my phone.
and the Internet.
and earphones (because as much as i joke about it, i am genuinely terrified of losing my hearing at 40 — you should be too!).
i am learning the importance of losing with a shrug and a smile.
i am unlearning the death of affairs.
i am learning the place where torn leggings and strict-length business skirts are right at home.
i am unlearning rejection of loving someone forever.
and i think i have just learned the beauty in being.
it’s a Sunday morning; and - while half of these people are in a sanctuary bringing company to someone upstairs who says humanistic needs are wrong, to someone who is alone in their own embassy - i wake up on the floor with my fingers pulling themselves to consciousness. i rub my eyes and i think of how cool it is that my brain controls all the movement in my body, and i watch my fingers do the swing, and i’m proven right. but this only reminds me of the day you drove me to the heart of Toronto, and how i thought about the art and beauty of your hand grazing on my naked thigh as if a big X was instilled on priceless territory, the whole. way. there.
it’s been a month and my heart is still set in our ride back home, scrolling through your playlist and thinking i’ve found my soul mate. and now i’m thinking of sadness of arriving home, sadness of walking through the door, sadness of sinking down after you single handedly brought to me the best day of my summer, and it makes me feel like i’m missing a rib. it’s like a pins and needles[s] sadness. sharp but needless, to think i wear my hair a little shorter, a little curlier, and a subtle shade lighter and wishing you could see me now.
it’s been a month and i still find myself revisiting your favourite gelato flavour, your favourite store, your favourite artists. i force myself not to dwell on not being your favourite girl, but it brings me back to every time love strikes and it makes me feel so entire; as if i’d swallowed a handful of magnets it makes me feel entire; as if your hands could find the room of my stomach so easily - it makes me feel entire.
it’s been a month and mornings still makes me want to tell you things like, i’d let you have the good pillow. i want to wake up to snowflakes in vegas with you. and write about you, paint with you half-naked until i can’t feel my fingers.
for my favourite word, i probably don’t utilize 'and' as much as i could…
"when i was younger, i thought listening was just about learning the contents of someone’s mind. i’d always try to finish their thoughts, just to show them that i knew what they were thinking. as i got older, i learned to listen better. i realized that by trying to anticipate their mind, i was ignoring their heart.”
i kind of hate being a part of a middle to high-class area because i’ve always wanted to do crazy things for my parents using entire life-earned money; and i can’t do that if they have everything they want.
i confessed this to my mom one day, and she responded with a laugh and consoling words of, “you can pay us back by taking care of us when we’re too old to take care of ourselves.”
but one thing my family wouldn’t know is that, i have a box of crumpled papers beginning with “merry christmas grandma, i miss you…” in korean, and i never got around to sending the final draft. i don’t want it to be too late for my parents too.
i want to be trying too hard for the rest of my life, and i feel like i’ll always carry this mental weight with me. i just want to make you happy, ma, pa.
feeling as high as the sun, bumping Soulchild and Biggie and writing poetry to the vibrations that used to be your hand clutching the back of my seat in your old car, and the only thing that’s missing is….you. i guess i’ve already discovered your nudity through my dreams. if that’s not graphic enough for you, i’d also like to put it out there that if i could rip out the images you see in your head when you think of me and let them manifest under the sun to solidify, i would. if i could photograph what i’m feeling to carry around and keep in my wallet just to remind myself that i was once honoured to be your something, and that i let this infatuation be sweetened by risk, i would.
i know i ain’t really got time for anyone new, but i’m willing to spend all my 3am’s with you. 3am, a time that knows you better than you know yourself. 3am, where i could be knocking and apologizing, trying to compose this thought that hasn’t stopped tugging since the day we’ve met. tonight can i sleep in a spare room, side of your bed, the floor? 3am, i can reach any heart at 3am.
so here i am. i’m sorry i’m at your door at this time but this thought “i’ve got to have you” just won’t quit.
lack of artistry is shown when people are intolerant towards a deep-rooted appreciation for the beauty of the naked human body. real talk. if your body does it, then it’s beautiful. even the gross stuff is beautiful.
“Isn’t it great, every day, hot and sunny?” What are you, a fucking lizard? Only reptiles feel that way about this kind of weather. I’m a mammal, I can afford coats, scarves, cappuccino and rosy cheeked women.”—Bill Hicks (via balaamsafe)
i once heard that growing old with someone essentially comes down to the gradual unveiling of one weird things on their body after another.
folks, i really do want to know about your birthmarks and tattoos and piercings, even if they sit on the flakiest or bumpiest of skin, even if they’re hidin up in the dirtiest corner of your embodiment.
tell me something boring, tell me a first impression, tell me about your first sweetheart. tell me a story..
i got the freedom moving restlessly in and out of all different places around me, something that doesn’t manifest in everyone’s world. i got spiritual freedom, physical freedom (present only after hours when i’ve had a long day and want to be stripped naked); and most importantly, mental freedom. i got all the mental freedom i want, and despite this, i’m still flimsy.
i never think eminently, emphatically, exceedingly, effectively.
i know that it’s “so elementary” to talk about gratitude while sending silent tributes to those in ethiopia/uganda/haitia/sierra leone/whathaveyou, but i think most people only realize the tangible things about the lives that exist in unfortunate places, like hungry tummies
but think about this: there is someone, somewhere in the world who wishes their mind could grant them freedom but you would rather say that something is what it is just because that’s what the box says.
i tried to write a poem about me, i tried to write two poems about you, i tried to write three poems about us but i kept messing up.
i wanted to speak about your scent and how it made my heart drop to my feet and bounce right back up to my entire 4’11” self. i wanted to cook up a metaphor with the immersion of skin and your softest cotton. i tried writing about wanting to be your ‘little things’ that make you happy, like singing birthday cards, or your favourite room in the house, or when you turn your head to receive a spontaneous deep kiss and you continue to speak in tongues until you lose your entire tank of oxygen, or just really cute oven mittens.
now, ‘eliminating the unnecessary’ was always a task needed to be fulfilled within months of its beginning. my circle is too large, too consuming, too unfamiliar when it shouldn’t be.
do you know how easy it is to cut all the excess and have them slip out of favour? as easy as forgetting the dates that used to mean so much to you. you just get absorbed into other things and you realize your prior jewels weren’t nearly as eye-opening as the ones you were just introduced to. i’m not done until i’ve been exposed to a solid third of all the mines, continually being turned inside out.
i am for the bodies that move, speak, think—my dad’s belly, my mom’s voice, my grandma’s old photos. i don’t know what else to do with tissues of your amending heart but to hold them; and maybe these three pages stuffed in this dirty envelope will straighten things out. hey, check my credentials: i am disheartening, sarcastic, annoying. don’t stay.
my hands are somehow being held by all of you, all at once; but ultimately, my stars will die and i will be stopped from trying to save my world. i still deal with the 4am natural spirits filling my room to raise the laughs that drone out of my mouth while simultaneously feeling angry at knowing i gotta share you. i wish my bones were colder so i could be past the feeling, ya know?
i used to think it was really cool how i could get up, drink too much whatever, spend too much time reading every tedious word on the internet, and drain my brain with loving you too much.
if you hadn’t already noticed, i made a new tumblr! this one is strictly for pictures, as i’m using ls-g for mostly writing/actual blogging. i came up with the url @heoiyeon based on my real korean name (pronounced Hae Yun).
i felt moonshine in the veins that ran in my arms-it was a little blurry in my throat but i had trusted in systematic advil for breakfast. i was sad because i wanted this to burn as much as i felt you did, but now we’ve burned out in a different way. i’m sorry if i seem distant or contrastive to who you were used to but how far does ‘never meant to’ get me when i honestly didn’t try to avoid it either? sometimes i don’t try very hard not to hurt people.
what else do i regret? i regret realizing there were none like you who shook off the miasma of sleeping pills. i regret letting myself enjoy my body when it is with your body. i regret not trying to edit all the bad parts. i regret showing him my tumblr because he will come back to check up on me one day and he will probably think this post is about him.
i sat (probably slept) in the shower for a few days and thought about all the thoughts i experienced. it was really depressing, but i’m alright with you staying here every night.
there have been numerous repeats of tonight prior to the beginning—nights where i lay in bed and can’t sleep because i am feeling something ‘completely different’, and so i swear myself to unkindness; then aimlessly decide to go all the way to Yonge just to see him. every time, every new year, he surprises me with a different hairstyle and good conversation. this is where we go in and out of mutual feelings; and we can make each other smile like seven different smiles, and my post-repercussion to that would be getting up and soaking the white streets with a neon heartbeat led by all the good credibility he’s ever attached to my being. he’s probably the only person in the world that makes me discover the strength to articulate things that aren’t even in my nature.
i see him evolving, it’s super beautiful. the only thing that hasn’t changed from his five-year-old self to now his sixteen-going-on-seventeen-year-old self is his smile. i still think his smile is perfect.
i remember being cornered behind a door wedge and telling him that he didn’t mean a thing to me, yet he still kept me around. beyond this, another feeling stuck to me since i was 9 and that is, i don’t want to run out of time without him. you ever feel that with someone?