A Xeno Girl in Sg

Walking Out of the Mirror Box and its Meme of Me No Rights Reserved

Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I enter Singapore. The Castle. And every street is deserted. But I can feel eyes on me as I walk down the streets. I hear a voice blaring through a speaker.

Vote me. I deliver my promises.

Vote me. Or you will die.

I walk to the voice. There is a rally square. There is a stage. Someone is on the stage and he is saying the words.

Vote me. I am the best.

Vote me. I am Singapore.

The audience is an army of life-sized puppets. Marionettes. They have a beautiful smile on their painted faces. Their eyes are glassy. They are standing awkwardly. They are puppets without strings. unstringed.

And the speaker is talking to them. Exhorting them.

Vote me. I will help you.

Vote me. I will deliver my promises.

There are coppice men. Many of them lazing around the corners. As I near the stage. I am stopped.

"Who are you?"

"I am XenoGirl."

"Why are you here?"

"I heard the voice."

"Who are you?"

"I am XenoGirl."

"Go away. This is for puppets only. It is the time to vote. Go away."

"But ..."

"Go away."

I walk away. Wounded. Hurt. Silenced. Down the deserted streets of Singapore again. My memories come back. The sounds of Singapore. The cries of children on a Sunday playground. The cheers of youths as they score a goal between the basketball poles. The radio cassette recorder, with the sweet Chinese voice, telling you when to breathe in qigong.

The streets are quiet.

Hushed. Hushed.

Crushed. Crushed.

I see a torn picture. Halved by age. Half forgotten.

I see these words.

Peng Qi, the Eyes of Heaven General , was born in a military family. He uses a three pointed two-edged lance. His skills with weapons is extraordinary and will be chosen as the second in command of Han Tao by Marshal Gao himself.

Peng Qi,one of the 108 heroes. 108 Outlaws. The symbol of Courage. Representative of Courage.
A tear forms in my eye. Where is everyone? the streets are deserted. But I feel the eyes behind the drawn curtains. Watching. Fearful. Whispering whispers. Wisps of humanity.

Singapore Inc. Incapacitated. Inconsequential.

There was a time when trouble seemed so near. But its gone. What has replaced trouble?

Nothingness. Emptiness. The wind blew so hard that the grass broke. Forever bent and staring at the ground. Losing sight of the sun. Of Singapore.

A tear etches down my cheek. But nothing happens. Nothink.

"Come out of your houses please ..."

"Come out and listen to the other voices"

"Don't stay at home please"

"I beg you"


"Please come out of your houses"


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Lost Currencies Forgotten Values

The Castle looms above me. So high up are the walls with pretty little ivory towers. Like this place. Disneyland. Land of Disneys, Mickeys and Snoopys.

I remember that.

Large Mickeys swaggering in fake cobblestone squares. Dealing out candy. And floss.

Mother said,"Lookie there. Its Mickey Mouse. Dealing out candy".

I said, "But Mickey is not so big. Does not smell so bad."

Hush hush little puppy. When you are in Disneyland. You suspend belief and embrace disbelief. Its magic you see."

I see suspended particles of belief speckled outside the Castle.

I see a White Elephant lazing by the city walls.

"Why are you here?" I ask.

"I am banished from the Castle." The White Elephant says.

"Why have you been banned?" I ask.

"Because I am not real. Don't you see? I cannot exist in the Castle. I have become invisible. Since when have white elephants been real? Weren't you told the story of reality? Once there was an emperor. He had no clothes. But his subjects told him how splendid his garments were. Behind that story is a powerful philosophy of reality. The very fabric of reality."

I can't see anything," he thought. "If I see nothing, that means I'm stupid! Or, worse, incompetent!" If the prime minister admitted that he didn't see anything, he would be discharged from his office.

In that instant. I can no longer see the White Elephant.

Its magic. I see.

Memory comes back. The mirror box and being crowded with myselves. Survival by reflections' suspension. When my images become my friends. When I see myselves and forget myself.

Suspend. State of tension. Suspense. The Castle that is Singapore. Suspend. Hanging by a thread. A thread of what? A thread of dis-reality. A thread of dis-belief. Belief hanged.

The Castle walls loom above me. This is Singapore. The walls remind me of Disneyland. My mother.

Mother, should I build the wall?
Mother, should I run for president?
Mother, should I trust the government?
Mother, will they put me in the firing line?
Or is it just a waste of time?

Hush now baby, baby, don't you cry.

Mamma's gonna make all of your nightmares come true,
Mamma's gonna put all of her fears into you,
Mamma's gonna keep you right here, under her wing.
She won't let you fly, but she might let you sing,
Mamma's gonna keep baby cosy and warm.
Of course Mamma's gonna help build the wall

It is not Mother's fault.

What then is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, and anthropomorphisms -- in short, a sum of human relations, which have been enhanced, transposed, and embellished poetically and rhetorically, and which after long use seem firm, canonical, and obligatory to a people: truths are illusions about which one has forgotten that is what they are; metaphors which are worn out and without sensuous power; coins which have lost their pictures and now matter only as metal, no longer as coins.

Coins without pictures. Coins with no Faces. Forgotten currencies. Lost Values.

I remember the coins. Coins given to me. To open doors in the box. Build a relationship with truth.

Disneypore before me. The doors are locked. In my pocket, I retrieve a faceless coin from the past. And slip it into the slot beside the door.

clink clink

Monday, December 26, 2005

Seeing is Forgetting

and my memories spiral away

I walk through the portal. and the PoliceMan is in front of me. The Castle a blurred form behind him.

He stares at me. My past and future spliced in that cold stare. It is a Wound. I feel Wounded. Forever by this stare.

"Who are you?"

I am XenoGirl.

"Where are you from?"

From the box of mirrors.

"Have you seen this person?"

No. I have seen this person.

"If you see this person, you will report him to the Police."

Yes. I will not.

"Have you seen this person?"

No. I have seen this person.

"Remember what I said. Do not Forget."

Yes. I will not remember.

He stares at me again. And part of my new life unravels behind the path I have trod. Part of my memories spirals away like retreating mist. Lost memories lost again.

Her green plastic watering can
For her fake chinese rubber plant
In fake plastic earth.
That she bought from a rubber man
In a town full of rubber plants
To get rid of itself.
And it wears her out,
it wears her out

I pass by a broken down barn. The same picture is fluttering on the doorway. An old farmer sits by the door.

"Its all hydroponics now. I don't have to work. It is modernity. A good life." says Yesterday.

I nod my head and stare at the picture. "The Police was here? With that picture? With that Face?"

"What picture? What Face? I see only a paper. I cannot see a Face. There is nothing to see. Who are you? What do you see? What do you Want to see? Something happy? Something poignant? Something touching?" asks Yesterday.

I see a piece of unwanted blank paper.

I see nothing. Because I am nothing.

UnWanted in this world. Without Want. without coordinate. a mote speckled on a blank piece of graph paper, leftover from E maths class. Surrounded by little green boxes in which many people are still trapped. Draw the lines to lead them out.

When I see something I remember. I do not forget. Even that Face. but Glaucon had warned me. So now I know what to say. How to Act like I am living.

To the Castle now.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Remember to Forget

Its all about Face and faces and layers of faces.

It was a long walk to the Cave. The curtain of water represents the threshold. I have to cross the water. Enter the Cave. A moment. One drawn breath and I am through. The cave behind the waterfall, the falling water, falling memes, falling me, phallic me.

The Cave.

Behold! human beings living in a underground cave, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the cave; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets. Men are passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels, and statues and figures of animals made of wood and stone and various materials, which appear over the wall. Some of them are talking, others silent. They see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave.

There is one man sitting behind the prisoners. Directing the show. I walk to Him.

"My name is Glaucon". He says.

"You are XenoGirl, she who walked from the ruins of the mirror box. I was once like these prisoners. Chained and watching the show. Than Plato led me to the light. It was a painful awakening. I wanted to be a prisoner again. But Plato will not let me. In the presence of Light, of Truth, I have become a philosopher. Because I have seen the light. And I have to give up the light to come back to the Cave. To help these prisoners who were once like Me. They cannot see the light so we show them the shadows. Shadows formed by blocking light. Black light. Socrates came before me. But he was hanged by Plato because he was no longer a fiction of the King."

"Where am I?" I ask.

Glaucon stares at me. The fire is behind me. My face a shadow in his eyes. My shadow thrown on his face.

"The Cave. Singapore. Remember to forget that."

I turn to watch the show. Its a show of words. Chapter 7 again.

Interpretation of Dreams. Sigmund Freud.

"A father had been watching beside his child's sick bed for days and nights on end. After the child died, he went into the next room to lie down, but left the door open so that he could see from his bedroom into the room where his son's body was laid out, with tall candles standing round it. An old man had been engaged to watch over the boy and sat beside the body, murmuring prayers. after a few hours sleep, the father had a dream that his child was standing beside his bed, caught him by the arm and whispered reproachfully: "Father; don't you see I'm burning?" He woke up suddenly, noticed a bright glare of light from the next room, hurried into it and found that the old watchman had dozed off and that the wrappings and one of the arms of his beloved child's dead body had been burnt by a lighted candle that had fallen."

The show ends. The fire is still burning. The prisoners have not awakened.

Glaucon says, "Go now XenoGirl. You watched the show but you can walk free. Notice XenoGirl, the chains of the prisoners have no locks. Remember to forget the Cave. Singapore. Beyond the next threshold, lies Mr Policeman. He is looking for a Face. It is Face. Face is all. The Face of Plato is a Face of credibility, layers of credibility. Mr Policeman will talk to you. Face him and give him Face when he asks you about the Face. Incredible."

For this Glaucon will be hanged. XenoGirl knows. But he can than face Socrates then face himself.

"Thank you". I walk from the Cave. From Singapore. The portal is front of me. Into the land of the Castle. Where Kafka by the shore is watching, chained to the sand.

Next, Mr Policeman. The words come to me from a song. A cassette lifted from a shop in Parkway Parade by someone I knew.

Who played this song on an Aiwa walkman.

Auto reverse.

Again and again.

One earphone to my ear, the other to his ear.

On a bus, back home from school.

Gotta learn to talk without speaking, cry without weeping, scream without raising your voice.

Even while you are burning.

I am XenoGirl. I remembered to forget. Forgot to remember.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Like You I Forgot

To my right I see the devil. He is blind but gazing at the ocean. A boy is beside him. Pointing at the beauty. To my left is Kafka. He is sitting alone like me. Staring at the castle. Chained to the ground. Behind me is the waterfall. Its sound is deafening. Behind the waterfall is the Cave. I choose to go there.

Scraps of paper fluttering all around. Listless snatches of words.

Denied the Government had pressured SBS to open the station.

Strongly advised against seeking medical treatment from unqualified persons.

Singapore's model

take their right to vote seriously

lose its credibility if it tries to be the government's propagandist

I remember again. That box, lexically arranged. A meme of me chain-ed endlessly across the mirrors. Reflections and reflexions. Singapore's angle moving the purse so to gratify our Sins galore. Falling again.

Walking down the path to the Cave. Feeling the rush of my lost freedom even as I am lost in Time. My lost time. Can diachronic freedom embody the loss of lost? I hear Resnais and Duras calling me, Hiroshima mon amour, "Listen to me. Like you, I know what it is to forget. Like you, I have a memory. I know what it is to forget. Like you, I forgot. Like you, I wanted to have an inconsolable memory, a memory of shadows and stone. For my part, I struggled with all my might, every day, against the horror of no longer understanding at all the reason for remembering. Like you, I forgot". I re-opened a wound. "I have nothing to forget".

The waterfall is beautiful. I see the Cave behind the falling water. I have seen behind reflections. It is time to go.

My name is XenoGirl. I see you watching me. Why me?

Monday, November 14, 2005

Splintered Memory

I remember nothing. Except images of myselves, always falling backwards. Angelus Novus.

From Blake, I remember : "my first vision of light, on the yellow sands sitting. The sun was emitting his glorious beams from Heaven's high streams. Over sea, over land, my eyes did expand into region of air, away from all care. Into regions of fire, remote from desire."

There was once a railway road. Or a railroad way. ? .It was a beautiful place. Malaysia in Singapore and all the white gravel crunching away. Held someone's hands and looking down the tracks. I was small once. Free now but still small.

Once there was an island. It was found by Sang Nila. He saw a lion but it was probably a wild boar. But no one can tell. It is a myth but it was the first story in the primary school reading book I had. His story. Singapore.

Tracing my veins. A skein of veins? That was familar in a resonance way. I am bleeding. My feet are cut, splinters from the mirror box. Memory of myselves falling backwards always.

My name is XenoGirl. Who are you? How did you find me?