Monday, November 15, 2010

Candlelight for Tonight's Dream

Jason Tse

—Jason Tse, Davis

Shining through black and lace,
the frail cotton white and pale.
A forgotten grim marionette
suggestively pulling the strings
out and about and around
dancing off the dust.

A single red bow crown
donned in great excess
on the over-the-top top hat
just a child underneath the brim
smiling at nothing or possibly
grinning at the hysteric moon.

It’s her turn to be the puppeteer
and the only string is about your neck.


Jason Tse is a poet, artist, designer, and more than anything else, a student. Born in Stockton, California, Jason spent his life on the edges of the city in crime-ridden ghettos and slowly faltering rural suburbs. At a young age, he was exposed to the shadier facts of life through his father’s job at the juvenile detention facilities, his mother’s work at various seasonal canneries, various large inter-family disputes, and the increasing crime located on the other side of the freeway.

Spurred on to find something more beautiful in life, an escape, and a form of expression, Jason began writing poetry in the early years of high school. One of his first pieces of poetry was accepted and published in the anthology, A Celebration of Young Poets. He would later become one of the representatives for his region for a scholarship contest held by the Live Poets Society of New Jersey, but ultimately get an honorable mention. Presently, Jason continues to write poetry alongside his college education as a design student at University of California, Davis. Welcome to the Kitchen, Jason!

Put poems, trinkets, letters, perspectives into a time capsule!

Poetsespresso newsletter Editor Donald Anderson writes: I'm collecting things for a time capsule for until the year 2020. Anyone with ideas let me know, and anyone with things to send, let me know! The main idea is to represent how we, in the present moment, view the past, present and future. That’s (

—Jason Tse

Take a peek through the lens,
size up the distance
and focus in.
Is it a good shot?

Use up an entire roll,
get all the angles,
click away.
It's time to rewind.

Tap, agitate, wash ...

Sift through the negatives
using a loupe,
choose wisely.
Get ready to print.

View through the enlarger
and focus again
until you see the grain.
Run a few test strips.

Dip, agitate, wash ...

Get the timing right
and expose to the light.
Slide, swish, and rinse.
Hopefully love develops.

Spot, mount, frame ...
A thousand words in one.

—Jason Tse

Glowing night of city lights,
the burning smell of hallow’s eve,
and the cold pane fogged.
No starlight could feel more homely,
more distant in mind.

Familiar tones line the skyline.
Shades of flickering street lamps
and the tints of moonlights
shattered through these teary eyes
sealed with a lullaby played on violin.

A haunting song to forget old worries,
and a candlelight for tonight's dream.


—Jason Tse

Clock ticking on at an offbeat pace
On a wide canvas of black and white
Lines leading endlessly to nowhere
As the monotone sun shines in
A room open only to the traveling dust.

Trapped inside some warped mentality
The room starts to swirl mixing about
Each tick sweeps off a numeral
Each tock knocks another digit
Nonstop on this merry-go-lucky happy-go-round.

Carnival “game overs” become more and more
Dust crashes to the ground already shattered
The room rhythm brakes hard without rebound
Before the canvas strokes sweat an ink drop
Light of grays flow standing by in confusion.

Lines now continue endlessly somewhere
All it needed was a touch of life and a hint of red.


—Jason Tse

Light begins to fall among rugged rocks,
A new gleam suspends in a mirror mirage,
Met with the mist of a phantom paradise,
Is this enough to please your perplex persona?

Your glistening skin in the midnight moon,
A faint glow as if you were a goddess’s gift,
Under a mysterious blanket of empty eyes,
Please don’t disappear into the dark.

Silently walking back along the sandy shore,
Taking slow steps just to stay a little longer,
Behind us are the faint footprints of a single soul,
Were you ever in existence?


—Jason Tse

Amidst frosty breaths
glows of fireflies descend
to cold and pale pink lips
parted in awe and happiness.

Hands clasp in a prayer of warmth
eyes to the crying heavens
with crystal tears falling around
a still doll in innocence.

Offering her my umbrella
she pushes it back and gets under
pulling close and forward
towards the town of vanilla.


—Jason Tse

I want to fall asleep on a traveling train,
Wake up to soft sounds of false fears,
Tumble through the light drenched doors,
Down the greens of a huge hill,
Into the streets of a separate society.

I am snatched from a denied destiny,
Dropped upon a stranger's steps,
To the care of a serene seraph,
Personality put to sullen shame,
Where is my hidden harmony?

I had enough of this futile fleeing,
The hillside has become a mound of a mountain,
Yet the train stands waiting witherlessly,
Back to the hordes of familiar faces,
Back to the inevitable obsidian obstacles.

This two-way trip was once in another lifetime.
I will never run to paradise ever again.

Today's LittleNip:

All my writings may be considered tasks imposed from within; their source was a fateful compulsion. What I wrote were things that assailed me from within myself. I permitted the spirit that moved me to speak out.

—C.G. Jung



Morning Sky
Photo by D.R. Wagner, Elk Grove