Phillip Chee

Letters to myself

Letters to myself

Note to past self [1/6]
You did it. Your dream of hanging on a gallery wall has come true — literally and figuratively. You never thought this day would come, but there you are. All that self-doubt washed away by the simple act of conceiving an idea and making it happen. All your fears unfounded as someone picked you out of a crowd. All your loathing unfounded.

Letter to my future self

Letter to my future self [2/6]
Puberty is a drag.

I hope to be something in this world. A somebody. Someone that matters.

I want to be an artist. Someday. Somewhere.

Puberty sucks.

I can't wait to go out in the world. But what am I good at? I love astronomy. Do I want to be a scientist? I love art. I want to be a artist, no?

I can't decide. Whatever am I going to do?


Dialogue between my past and future self [3/6]
Past Self: D’ya know who you are?
remember the lonely boy
among the vibrant crowds …

Future Self: Still the same, really
really, I am
but maybe more comfortable
among my friends
among the lonely crowds

PS: But what of your dreams?
the dreams that pointed
to the stars among the
cobalt blue heavens...

FS: I believe I hold them dearly
layered into the cortex
of my thoughts
the referential nature
a passion for astronomy
connects dot-by-dot
the constellation of Greek inquiry

PS: Yes, but tell me, are you you?
restless and burdened
the welterweight of conscience
not yet down for the count
caught on the ropes …

FS: It is me and
not me
and me presently
that mode and fashion
of my history
and yet more than me
the not me in becoming

PS: Oh, please, what was that?

FS: Philosophy?

Revolutionary Persona

Dialogue within my head [4/6]
He took on the persona of a revolutionary
wanting to live the life of the heroes
he read. This all part of a weary

life living as one goes
about bringing meaningful experiences,
fulfilling relations, honest work

rewarding, passionate, erotic chances
spiritual and intellectual poetry that lurk
in the corners of society. And often it

seems, he is confronted with the realization
everywhere he turns, people shit
in his face, which emboldens him more to insurrection.

Why must we accept this bloody
world. This awful, shit-faced earth
that fosters the worst in humanity

from the inequality of property and so forth
to the unfairness of class rule, exploitation
meanness of spirit, impersonal social ties

urban anomie and rural alienation,
indignant violence and immoral vice
degrading, destructive labour, utter

despair, hopelessness, political manipulation
a polluted environment; why suffer
the indifferent elements of this situation.

He still dreams. Still has hope
but not the optimism of naive youth.
His ambivalent dance with the tender Trollope

Fortune keeps his mind working
on the possibility that there will
be a time when all of this fucking

hell is pushed aside so freedom fills
the hearts of men and women, joy and
creativity the measure of life, compensation for

those not able, honour and respect command
social relations between people of all colour,
creed and means. Still, there is that dream.

Epistolary Love Letter

love letter then [5/6]
[stanza 1]

The fact of falling in love
like a possession, a madness
which of,
can’t satisfy.


love letter now [6/6]
Oh my, I miss you
Don't I.

The water reaches my toes, smothering the sand
on the beach where I sit.
Receding & advancing in wave upon wave, the
gravity of the situation.
The water reaches my calves, smothering the sand, which
makes no sound on the empty beach where I lay.
Incredible how attraction covers such a distance — I'm safe when the moon
is in apogee.
The water reaches my thighs, smothering the sand, smoothing
the surface of small moons, as if there are as many stars in the universe
as there are grains of sand on this beach, this plage.
plage n [F, beach, luminous surface, fr. It piaggia beach, fr. LL
plagia, fr. Gk plagios oblique] 1: the beach of a seaside resort
2: a bright region on the sun that is caused by the light emitted by
clouds of calcium and hydrogen and that is often associated with a sunspot

The water reaches my chest, smoothing the few hairs which populate
my skin's surface, as I lay on the plage looking at the stars.
A warm wind flows across my body, warmed from the sun,
carried on the solar wind across the vacuum of space.
The water reaches my lip, smoothering my mouth,
smoothering my mouth
whispering bubbles
into the sea.