This weekend, on the eve of the country’s 58th Merdeka (Independence Day), the Malaysian people (rakyat) have come together for a peaceful protest organized by Bersih 2.0. The rally, dubbed Bersih 4, is calling for clean elections, anti-corruption, the right to dissent/freedom of expression, parliamentary democracy, and saving the national economy

I couldn’t make it for any of its 34 hours, hence the solidarity poster*. The rally is still going on, now entering its final stages on the periphery of the historical Dataran Merdeka. It is set to end at the agreed-upon time, 12am. 

* photo reference was a combination of a few photos from media/social network streams.


no band-aids

i found a hole on my face
today and poked it

it bled. i collected
red dots on tissues 

growing maps with every
dab. i can read the red and wrinkles

better than i can read
your voice stammer 

behind a sentence. i can
see more possibilities

in the trash can than i do
when i let myself walk more than

three steps in this
fake house. forgive me

if i refuse to look out the window
for the next fourteen months.

words by Dhiyanah Hassan
art by Bob Schofield


limbs move slowly, knowing there’s no other way to move. heavy airs dampen ability to respond, and there is not enough blue when i look outside to calm these aches.

there is not enough blue when i look outside to let the tiredness overtake me, belly where it belongs – pressing against the floor or bed. i want the promise of being taken care of by surrendering to whatever is happening inside me, but –.


now when i see someone with a red nose i feel sad. so, so sad.

it is so hard to rest here. my eyes, they’re dry and sore from all the salt kept secret inside. i don’t know how to get on with things like i’m not waddling through air made of thick jelly. 


i blame this arbitrary slowness on my body’s irrational preparation for a winter – cold to wrap me in four layers of clothing before venturing out the door, chill to remind me where all my bones are, grey skies to parallel with the greys inside, the need to cup and touch all the warm things around me, darker nights for easy sleep. i’ve never missed winter as much as i do now.

there is no winter here. this place will never work that way. 

before this i could have sworn i was getting used to these hours and monotony, but then i started to think i’m waking up in the wrong bedroom again.

after recalculating the years and events to wear off the shock from waking up today, i thought, how long more will i be jet lagged from the past?


i will always be jet lagged from the past.

and from all the loss and losing that brought me back here.

-DH (afraidofwords)

See Me Sea Foam III: And I’ll Raise You A Storm by afraidfowords. 

Free styling, contained. In deep water. Fin your limbs. Thrash. Memories of old houses that took up many names shrivel at the bottom of the pool. Give up the waves.

by afraidofwords.

a cornucopia of tired phantasms 
battered against the senses 
in such a way as to make 
the orange frustrated with the day. 
silly fingers drum the toil of hours 
against tabletops and tree barks, green dreams 
dead from ambition. there is a voice 
that happens every night, it calls. 
it calls and no one hears it 
it calls from the soil of things, beckons 
you back to sleep with its end but wait, 
wait. it turns red 
underneath the weight of the next day’s 
listlessness, growing into groans 
that read: “I am so done with all of this,” 
before fluttering off 
into escape.

THREE-WORD PROMPT (tired, frustrated, done - ZH)