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

03. The Hold, The Slap by afraidofwords.

The binary risks of opening up – acceptance vs. rejection. 

Part of a three-piece drawing series. I’ve donated the originals to The Art of Giving, Nobody Gets Left Behind (29th March - 5th April at Blackbox, Publika, Malaysia), an exhibition fund-raiser to help ensure SEED can maintain its center for the homeless/marginalized of Kuala Lumpur. SEED is accepting monetary and supply donations, and will be having an auction night on 4th April where the artworks along with clothes and other items will be up for bidding.

“And the land he will come to is unknown–as is, once he disembarks, the land from which he comes. He has his truth and his homeland only in that fruitless expanse between two countries that cannot belong to him.” - from Madness and Civilization by Michel Foucault. #sketchbook #painting #illustration #art #afraidofwords #artistsontumblr #watercolor #ink #moon #sea #madness

Made with Instagram

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.



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)