The Paved Road

Well, pilgrim ...


The first thing that I saw / When I woke up this morning / Was bad news on the TV I left on the night before / It’s the same old, sad story / Somebody shot somebody / Most of the time the victim / Was a junkie or a whore.

The Weather Channel was made for days like Tuesday, so, naturally, Eddie Sylva never took a look at the forecast. He was preoccupied by dread. He had a dental appointment at nine for a root canal. Doctor Torrence made no promises but was going to try to save Eddie’s upper incisors, either that or he’d fit him with a bridge in a few weeks. He had good insurance, the doctor noted, so what was the harm in having two options and trying the one unlikely to work first?

That wasn’t exactly the way Doctor Torrence had phrased it.


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Organization Man


Organization Man

The new building under construction
is swathed by green nettings.
At noon time, from where I sit at my office,
I can touch the calm in the air;
the workers are at lunch
as gray clouds hang,
moving into my recurrent dreams.
On my computer monitor,
the owl’s face of lush brown feathers,
big droopy yellow eyes,
does not flinch to any intense
notes of Miles Davis’s Sketches of Spain.
Lately, I have been skimming blogs for
musings that would unhinge me,
from strangers and familiar,
at any depth and language of the soul.
I’d call for a magical whirl of the hour,
the flight of tuk-tuk, monks melting
in their saffron robes, scattering
of stars floating on the Mekong.
In the streets of Phnom Penh,
I’d like to have anything to tide me over
through my evening walk in the rain.


All the way

Cristian Mihai

give_up“If you’re going to try, go all the way. There is no other feeling like that. You will be alone with the gods, and the nights will flame with fire. You will ride life straight to perfect laughter. It’s the only good fight there is.”Charles Bukowski

Whether you believe in God or karma or simply fate odds are that at least once in your life you’ll feel as if the entire Universe is working against a specific desire of yours. And you’ll want to give up.

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Tiananmen Square Photos, Found in a Shoebox

The China Girls

It was a black film canister, rattling around the bottom of an old Naturalizer shoebox labeled “photos.” I opened it, wondering if it was a roll of unused film. Instead, I found a twist of white tissue paper wrapped around tightly rolled black-and-white negatives. I held them up to the light. At first I saw…legs.

Tiananmen legs

Then, people with bicycles.

Tiananmen bicycle people

Wait, that looks like the Monument to the People’s Heroes. Is that Tiananmen Square? With banners? Tiananmen monument

Next, a white form rising above a crowd, holding…a torch?


Oh man, is this what I think it is?

On Sunday night, I was searching through my parents’ photos for a piece I was writing on Tiananmen Square and my father, when I stumbled across two rolls of negatives that appeared to be from the 1989 student democracy protests in Tiananmen Square. I was stunned. I had no idea where they were from, why my parents had…

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An Overlooked Anniversary

Big thanks for this post! I hope to meet with Mr. Li (or any other guide who has a personal story to share of growing up and living in the shadow of Tiananmen Square) in my fututre travel to Beijing. Ok even if only in my dream.


Today, June 4th, marks the 25th anniversary of the deadly confrontation that took place between Chinese pro-democracy protestors and the People’s Liberation Army in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square. Living here in mainland China, you wouldn’t know the day is of any historical significance. The government censors are always quick to wield their control over the media. So, it hasn’t been surprising that our television has gone silent and black for minutes at a time during the last week at any mention of Tiananmen Square by the BBC (the sole channel we get).

The censors are equally diligent in their patrol of the internet: no references can be found to “the Tiananmen incident” online. Vaguely associated words like liù (6) and (4) have been wiped off the face of the Chinese wide web. In recent days, too, Google has been blocked. For those without a VPN (the majority of Chinese…

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