Numb Tastes Like Candy

27 August 2015

Poetry By Karen Wang

The times when you’re the most numb—

feel the best, while your face falls flat against your mouth and

your fingers begin to trace the outlines of his memory.

It’s not the same without you here. It’s better.

Or so I tell myself as I lay wide-eyed, alone, coughing back tears,

because I can’t have puffy eyes in the morning.

I’ll face my greatest vice in the mirror tomorrow

and pretend that I don’t miss you.


The Right Place At The Right Time

I have a perpetuating fear of stagnant living.

Stagnant living manifested in brainless activity, longing gazes out the window, and an unquenchable urge to keep moving forward. My life is a well-groomed compilation of ordered lists, scheduled downtime, and confirmation texts. I crave efficiency. I seek out tantalizing activities with an insatiable thirst for life.
To my apparent demise, I live for the future.

But for the past three months, I’ve neither been moving forward nor backward. No introspection; just a never-ending pattern of unfortunate events. A series of ‘what the fuck is happening’ internal dialogue. My coping process consists of the typical steps one and two: breathing deeply, and moving forward one day at a time. Simple. But for some reason, I can’t shake the feeling that I must slow down. Maybe even turn around to view what’s been trailing behind me all this time. After a culmination of what could be considered just bad luck, I’ve decided to take a closer look at the message behind the façade.

Since the beginning of my spiritual consciousness, I’ve believed that life is taking me exactly where I need to go, and that right now, I am exactly where I need to be. Always at the right place at the right time. I don’t want to live under constant scrutiny over what’s safest or what’s realistic. I don’t want to fear life. And yet, as my body flails over endless hurdles, my soul takes the beatings as a warning.

Don’t run, Karen. Walk. 

Listen to your gut.

If it feels forced, don’t do it. 

As of last night, I felt lost. Utterly directionless in the repetitive forward-motions. I had never felt so out of control of my own life, much less unable to get things back on track swiftly and without fanfare. I was afraid of living… until I stumbled upon a blogpost about the upcoming Super Full Moon of August 29th by Kate Rose.

We are already in the build up phase to this moon, and may be feeling like we are barely treading water through the murky depths of our emotional world.

It may seem like we won’t make it through this challenging time—but trust that we will.

Sometimes we reach certain points in astrology where the cosmos stop us in our tracks so that we can make sure that moving forward we are acting in the best interest of ourselves and our hearts.

We are being asked to sit quietly and see if where we are is truly where we want to be. We are quite frankly being given a time out by the Universe. Sometimes although we are adults, we don’t behave in ways that we should, or that we really want to—we all carry emotional baggage, and if we are still holding tight to those precious packages soon we become stuck and unable to move forward into our futures.

Just because things seem muddled or confusing right now doesn’t mean that we can’t correct our course so that we can see the life that we desire manifested into reality.

In order to do that though we are going to need to do more than just tread water through our emotions, we are going to need to swim the hell out of them—like our lives depend on it.

There is a difference between hiding under a rock and being in a time out—we have to make the conscious choice to sit with life as it is right now—no hiding, and no lying to ourselves this time.

And just like that, I’ve been handed a slice of astrological wisdom-for-the-soul that I am so gratefully ingesting. While I am fully aware these musings should be taken with a grain of salt, I see this passage as the sign that I’ve been waiting for. You can expect to see me on the night of the 29th, perched upon a seaside rock, recharging my crystals while crying silent tears and smiling to the moon.

But for now, Tame Impala is playing and this feels right.


Here To Stay

My first real rave went exactly how first real raves should go.

Skrillex was headlining The Warfield in San Francisco and I was at the ripe age of 17. The event was around the time of Halloween in the year 2011 so, naturally, skimpy outfits were completely acceptable. No, encouraged, so long as you went the extra mile with either a tacked on bunny tail or cat ears. Alongside my then-boyfriend and three of our very best friends, we strode through the heavy double doors into the subsonic layer of mind-shattering music. The sea of bright kandi bracelets, colorful tutus, and frayed fishnet leggings felt brutally unfamiliar to me as I slid my way through the relentless crowd. It was hot. It was loud. And we were packed in like sardines, but for the first time in my teenage life, I felt liberated.

It was a congregation of the masses. It was a sanctuary for misfit toys. It was a sweaty mess of swaying arms and sticky foreheads. It was my first real rave and it was exactly what it needed to be.

When I was 17, American EDM (electronic dance music–by now, this term has become so pervasive that I genuinely worry for those of you who are in the dark and I will rightfully assume that you live under a rock) was in the midst of its ascent towards widespread domination. While the international roots of underground electronic music spanned far earlier than 2011, this era took bits and pieces from prior disk-jockeys and transformed it into something we’re proud to call our own. Music festivals like EDC were just starting to become mainstream and PLUR was just a skipped pebble that would soon create ripples in the stagnant water of our lives.

As a Junior in high school, I had little direction. I had always been the goodie-two-shoes-too-afraid-of-disobeying-authority girl and whether I wanted to or not, it was time to do some growing up. Unlike drawing or writing or choreographed dancing, I was finally able to loose myself in the squeals and wubs of Sonny Moore’s music. Like shedding the first of many layers of self-doubt and inhibitions, I began to molt into the butterfly I undoubtedly deserved to become.

Now, four years later, I revel at the passage of time marked by the hundreds of raves and shows and festivals I’ve attended. Like a constellation, those blips of time have carved deep patterns into the fibers of my existence. While I have written a good amount of works in an attempt to convey my whole and wild affection for what the EDM world has given me, it’s excruciatingly hard to appropriately translate feelings into something tangible. All that radiates from within me is gratitude– thank you to the unquestionably talented DJ’s, thank you to the undying fans, thank you to the highs and the lows and the supporters and the haters. Thank you to the people out there who never gave a fuck. Without you all, I would never have had the chance to rage my face off and become the person I am today.

Life With You

9 July 2015

Poetry By Karen Wang

We are so happy

and there are no periods nor loud voices, except when we laugh

and when we laugh the ground trembles and the walls shake and tears stream uncontrollably from our eyes

and there are lots of and’s and yes’s and please’s and thank you’s and especially I love you’s

there are a lot of I love you’s

and sometimes we are very quiet, not for lack of conversation, but because we prefer the silence

listening intently to the breathy whistles of each other’s inhales and exhales

but we aren’t boring, oh god no

we drink wine, and sometimes whiskey when we feel daring,

and life just feels like one continuous run-on sentence with lots of dashes and conjunctions

but it’s the good kind of run-on:

the kind that you never want to end

because we’ve spent so much of our lives crying against mesh curtains and dreaming sad dreams on tempurpedic beds and gazing out of bay windows

enough to know that now, finally, we are on the other side

glancing behind our shoulder through foggy bay windows

and that the pain has finally, finally, died with the last goodbye

so I hug you tighter on the good days and you kiss me harder on the bad ones

and when people ask how we are

I laugh and sometimes I try not to cry because

we are so happy