Life Notes - Exploring New York

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April 9th, 2008

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06:27 pm - Exploring New York
First a bus topples, and I see nothing
but a daily in Chinese. Strange to imagine
how long the train ride from Brooklyn to Queens
is. It must be the length of an entire country,
and entire country where the adopted language
is English, and many of its citizens do not speak
it at all. So this story, in the free Chinese daily.
Strange to imagine that this is the America
this is not the America I imagined as a child
when I was five, watching my parents watching TV
watching Exorcist, One Million Dollars Chance of a Lifetime,
Hunter. I took a look at photographs of
a place spoken of as if it were
the bottom of the Earth (Brooklyn). There are quiet streets
and the place is filled with placid, silent,
and unmolested vehicles, with four wheels in their place.

Imagining New York City:
I make a connection with the two Malaysians I know
in Manhattan. I devise a boundary between Carrie Bradshaw
and Sesame Street. I noted that Oi Yen, for all her traipsing
in a place where Zedeck and Jerng and I often dream of
speaks, or at least thinks, in many occasions
better bilingualism than I do. I devise a boundary
between Tribblewing, Corneredangel, and the World Trade Center
(did I mistype that as the Word Trade Center?)
there was a Malaysian girl -- Aliki, I think -- who watched it
when it collapsed: shortly after Bush was blared to our screens
worlds watched, and my world was sitting
in a mamak stall, sipping iced Milo
but I am slowly making the pieces come together now,
and imagine New York as not New York,
not even imagined America;

a country of brick and mortar
trains and graffiti. I imagine and leave this unchecked:
the boundaries. Long Island Rhode Island and the
Statue of Liberty are places
and names full of significance and
of no geographical bearing.

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