you can call me frankenstein.

Kicked out, burned out
No respect I’m turned out
Lungs smoked out
Heart strings choked out
Tell me, you think you have it bad now?
Cause I’m drinking til I pass out
I’m not a doctor, but diagnose this
I’m thinking I need an overdose, quick

You’re think you’re invincible?
What were you before me? Invisible.
Sorry I made my own monsters
What happened to all your long stares?
I don’t think you belong here
But what do I know, this isn’t my year
Come back on my team, player
And I’ll give you the future, soothsayer

You pour your regrets in me
While still forgetting me
Only a lightning rod usage
Lone survivor in God’s wreckage
I try so hard to please
I mean it’s my fault you’re diseased
Cause you grow like cancer
And I’m forgetting what my plans were
I thought I made it out alive
But the second coming has arrived

So hold on hold on Mr. Fair Weather
You think you can fare better?
Being there isn’t the same as drinking there
Why am the one overthinking here
It’s not like you’re a sell out
Cause that’d require worth, nah,
you can get the hell out

I know, I know you’re so chill, man
Wrecked so bad you can’t even stand
You get brain like zombie thanksgiving
You dish’s pain and you keep on giving
I’ll find a way to end you though
Ill put you back where you belong, below
Even if I let you chose
Think, what have I got to lose

You think all I know is how to fuck
Ya you forgot one part, it’s fuck you up
Like me, you’re shit out of luck
Let me teach you how to not give a fuck
And I know I have to make it
Cause I’m done putting up with the same shit
Break free of my catch 22
I’m done trying to have you


all that chemistry, all that chemistry
even in our autopsy, even in separate cities
and being together all toxicity
in each timeline, a catastrophe
why do you know me so well
why can’t i know myself
all my looks i know are telling, all your touches you keep selling, let me pick this love apart. let me steal your beating heart. i know we’re bad for each other, so bad i know we’re right for each other, we’re mad -ly in love? no we’re just mad. a disease i can’t get rid of; the price i can’t bid, love. the one face i hid, enough. i dream and you’re saying you want me back, i wake and you’re saying you miss me. i’m asleep and you’re telling me you made a mistake, i’m awake and you’re telling me you can’t wait to see me. you say i should come back, what does that mean – are you over me? or will you be under me? “come back” you tell me, what does that mean? does that mean you’ve moved on? or that you miss me?
i’m finding it harder to believe that you don’t feel it too
that what we’ve had or have is true,
that every “you” only means You,
even if we keep saying what we had is through.
when we’re together cities burn and hearts catch fire, villages flood when we desire.
hold me, I just want to feel safe. for this exact moment, i’m awake. we let our paths cross and rewind as you put your hand in mine and we live in the now, safe from time now we start over, i call you friend we both know how this ends. you know you fit best next to me, so let’s stop lying and let this be.

i’m trying my best not to relate to movies no more
i’m trying my best to live in the real world
but how can i when you’re a silver lining
how can i stop meeting you in montauk
how can gatsby stop breaking my heart
when we are one in the same,
where me fitz and lana are our own version of the breakfast club
but detention never ends
and the weight of living isn’t an albatross
but a sinking ship on the horizon
you know i rode to earth on the backs of birds
how can i be both the prince and the rose
full of pride and ephemerality
but each step brings me back full circle
while each step brings you back to me
you’ve tamed me, you’ve slain me

I have been waiting my entire life
for you to catch up by my side
before I hop the train to farhampton
I just need to see your face again
schicksal, I whisper as I leave
you laugh like I’ve made a mistake
i’ll try again then, przeznaczenie
all this chemia doesn’t go away


This week instead of the usual post, I’m presenting my Indiegogo.

Essentially this is the story of why I’m afraid of walking alone at night or around Dartmouth in general. It’s also why I’ve stopped interacting with people.

Please, please share, it’d mean the world to me.



This is a huge departure from what I usually write but I hope you’ll bear with me because I needed to.

“Boston is a tough and resilient town; so are its people”

Now I haven’t had much time to process the recent marathon bombing. I went from straight being in shock last night, to being desperate for news and unable to contribute to a lecture I was supposed to be leading, to bawling over Sweet Caroline a few hours ago. So I’m going to see if I can put some of my thoughts down because this one drives home for me.

I grew up in a town fifteen minutes away from Boston. We were the last stop on the Orange Line, and I often took the last outbound train home to spend as much time as I could in the city.

I applied to earn my undergraduate degree in Boston, the only city I truly wanted to go to college in. I was accepted to Emerson College and Boston University. Due to financial difficulties, I was forced to relocate out of my city and out of what I truly called my home.

Although I hadn’t lived there since I was seventeen, I always pictured myself going back. Every winter break, every reading week, every summer. I would drive myself the eleven long, painstaking hours just to see the harbor again. I would take a sixteen-hour bus to sit on a bench in the Commons and people watch. I would take a taxi to a bus to a plane to the T to my friend’s car waiting for me outside the subway station. I would do anything to see my city, I would do anything for my city.

A month before my final exams in my last year of undergraduate in Canada, I was applying to graduate programs. For my application to Boston University, I was instructed to create a video documenting why I wanted to attend the particular institution, who influenced my life the most, and what I wanted to do with my degree. I remember being able to answer the first question instantaneously, perfectly without missing a beat. The other questions were harder but they all related to the first response – that my home was Boston and it was time to return. I can’t remember the exact words and the video is still floating around old youtube accounts. I just remember the feeling I had. After all this time – my new experiences and my three years away in a different country – I was surprised that I would still feel so passionately about a city and remember its details so vividly. I was never one to travel to Cuba on spring break; I opted to go back to tour the Museum of Science, to order Sam Adams as a domestic brew, and to shop at both the stores on Newbury Street and the underground stores in Cambridge. See, I could fill dozens of tourist guidebooks and memoirs with my fond (and not so fond) memories of the city, but I’ll try to piece together certain ones that stand out.

The free open-air concerts at the Hatchshell for EarthFest and July 4th, and the Phoenix-hosted Best Music Poll at City were quintessential to my high school years. The smells of Quincy market and the quacks of the Duck Tour (which in my middle school years I accidentally piloted into a rock) were always part of my childhood. There is not a second of my last two decades on this planet that I don’t thank the universe for allowing me to have lived in Massachusetts.

I was allowed to eat the blackberries my parents haggled for, fresh from the farmer’s market on the weekends. I surreptitiously chipped off a millimeter of paint from the Green Monster on a middle school field trip (which is still stored somewhere in the back of my closet in a box labelled “Beantown”). I tried my first clam chowdah in the city, sprinkled with the perfect ratio of clam to potato. I saw my first concert in the city (The White Stripes at the Orpheum). I bought a collection of novelty moustache-themed items from Newbury Comics that I never would touch again. I made the mistake of walking the entire length of Comm Ave instead of taking the T. I witnessed street (or should I say vehicle) performers break dance on the red line. I spent three years in high school trying to pinpoint a mysterious Au Bon Pain that existed a few times on State near an outdoor fountain that was never to be seen again. I taught my friends that the Wonderland stop on the T was not to be trusted. I could walk to any alternate T stop after a large Red Sox game to avoid bodies of tourists and out-of-towners in the subway. I learned how to drive in Boston and my Agganis driving instructor let me take the car into the city to grab Dunks, because I had mastered the art of the rotary. (I had also mastered the art of cutting people off if they were going too slowly, flipping them the bird, and never letting anyone merge.) See, I knew how to drive through the tunnel, in and out of the city, without dying – (my friends and parents always made me drive and that much hasn’t changed, five years later). I had a regular table at the Cheesecake Factory in the Pru because my friends and I frequented it so often when my parents worked long shifts. I remember taking the T to Harvard Square and seeing an (exceptionally high-tech for that time) advertisement come to life in the tunnel for Coraline and for a whole year, I craned my neck to make sure I hadn’t just dreamt it. I was in Harvard Square, interviewed by a local TV station, when the last Harry Potter book came out. I have always taken as many American Revolution classes as possible in college, knowing that I would appreciate them much more, having climbed all 294 steps of Bunker Hill. In 2011, I cheered and sung with the crowds as the Stanley Cup was held high by our beloved Bruins.

In 2012, I moved back to New England. For the last thirteen years, I have rang in each and every new year in Boston. In my older years, I hobbled along the cobblestones of the Haymarket stop in stilettos, hoping that I wouldn’t fall headlong into a tourist or worse, a Boston resident. I rang in this new year in the city, chanting down to 1 as the clock struck midnight and 2013 came upon me and my city. Happy. Hopeful.

I’ve never felt in danger in Boston. After 9/11. After Columbine. After Newton. After each and every tragedy that has shaken the American nation. It has always been a piece of my past tucked away in sepia-toned lenses of safety. I have never felt unsafe even when crowds got rowdy after big game losses (or wins) or when my friend lived in her basement apartment near Suffolk with strangers she had just met. I had been able to navigate the streets better than my family and most of my friends by the time I was fourteen. I always knew where danger lurked and how to deal accordingly. Danger lurked in the darkness of Roxbury, danger lurked in the 3AM walks around the city, danger lurked in the catcalls on my way to the last outbound line. I knew how to avoid these dangers – by avoiding certain areas (as is the case with any city), by returning home before last call, and which homeless or drunk men of the streets I could placate with a Marlboro and which ones I had to jog by. But danger did not, does not, and should not lurk in our celebrations. Danger should not be in the form of my friends in the area running from bombs, fearing for their lives; in the form of panicked loved ones Facebooking and texting in lieu of calling because phone lines are down; in the form of not hearing someone’s voice until a full thirty hours later. Danger does not lurk in our sunny days and internationally/nationally broadcast events. And the thing is: it still doesn’t. Hope shines in our marathons and our parades, hope shines on Patriot’s Day, and hope shines in the beauty and courage of those that did everything they could to help on Marathon Monday.

The stories that have emerged have been so crucial in revealing the nature of humanity. The nature of resilience, courage, and the human spirit. Hope shines through in these stories – of runners continuing to run so that they could donate blood to victims; of Boston’s finest fearlessly rushing in literal heartbeats after; of the people running towards the explosion and not away, all in the hopes that they could help; of the citizens of America and of the citizens around the world that have helped donate blood, airmiles, money while sending well-wishes, prayers, and pizzas. Hope in the unity of the American nation as sports rivalries are put aside and as each MLB game tonight sang along to Sweet Caroline in the eighth inning to honor Boston and its traditions. We do not shrink away nor do we let fear consume us. We carry on and carry those with us who cannot go forth by themselves. We are never going to stop running towards something better.

If you know me you will realize that I have always avoided any consistent concrete identity. I have never called myself Canadian. I have never called myself Chinese. I have never called myself American. Instead, I have always chosen to call myself Bostonian each and every time. Given the question “where are you from”, I would never falter to answer, “Boston”.

My city is soft and bold; we are compassionate but we are strong. Humanity is at its best when we face challenges and tragedies together. This is my city and this is my home and nothing in this world will ever change that. Every single person who spends any amount of their life living here will understand – that this city is not static. It is a dynamic, evolving, ever-breathing living organism. Its lifeblood, its love, and its strength are in every person who has been lucky enough to call it home. This tragedy does not just affect me, nor does it affect the current residents of this little revolutionary city. I am intrinsically tied to Boston – its past, present, and future. It hurts my heart to see my city in distress. But, it gives me infinite hope to see it lift its head seconds after.

Boston is my home and it will stay strong.


Rinse, repeat

I left my heart and half my things in Toronto.

You called me adventure girl, as we drove down the QEW. But you’re wrong I’m a drifter; I never once thought of you. You as an anchor, as all I need; to tie me down, for once to keep. But I always set the sails for you, nothing borrowed, nothing blue. Life in the past and nothing’s new. But you can’t stay for someone and a person is not a home. What more is this life for anyone, but a loan? Or maybe it’s alone, just figments and flesh and bone. Really, it’s Faustian, the way I need you. Even though I know I’m damned I give to thee my soul. I’m only kidding, I don’t think I’ve ever had that, I’m too cold. But this devilish bargain, what could go wrong? I’ve waited this for so, so long.

My love is selfish If I can’t have you, no one can. I hear the drums of revolution beating, Iran. “This is my home now” I say to no one and nothing in particular. Our lives are parallel, not perpendicular. When opportunity comes knocking, I’ll weld that door closed. We’re down at the local bar again, trying not to go home. Pints to feel relevant, but I’m not buying it, all of our flaws, clasped. Our plans, half-assed. Our memories, just straws, grasped. I fell down the rabbit hole but there’s no tea party. Doesn’t matter, I don’t want Mr. Darcy. Flash forward. A giraffe’s heart is thirteen pounds, average, and I know how that feels: savage.

So many fair weather friends, could’ve used an umbrella. All these loose ends, and love locked in the cellar, given away. As I lay down my fate, I’m not sure what to take, the hurt or the defense, this is my mind on the fence. We’re all just collateral damage, and impressions of everyone else, every memory, every past self. I reinvent and cut open, and forget to sew the wound shut. All the words left unspoken, and somehow I’m still spilling my guts. You say you want to destroy me? Joke’s on you, I can do that on my own. You know, I like the universe. With my luck, who would’ve known?
What is the point of you? I’m only worse off alone.

But seriously, why am I still recycling the same shit and making the same lists and reviving old grievances so that even I don’t believe in it? Only when I’m done telling my story to infinity and beyond that it finally dawned. Over and over until it becomes someone else’s burden and just another story about a sad girl in my collection, re-spun until I’m done being the master of rejection.

-Ani, professional shit disturber


So the door’s gone now and I’m starting to think so is my mind
My thoughts are so loud, wish I could leave them behind
Fleeting, fleeting, faded, meeting after meeting, jaded
It’s always the same story; coldest winters, wasted glory
Can’t appreciate history until it becomes his story
Her story, my story, Canadian pronounced sorry’s

3135, we’re not dead, but we’re not alive, Schrodinger’s cat got the best of me, meta references got the rest of me. Jokes no one applauds, fanmail? No we’re just drowning, adjust the sails. Not to South Asia, that places smells. I’m not North Korean, you can all go to hell. Wait, what audience? We did this for ourselves, what’s diffidence? UTMSU is not a soup, we’re all stuck on infinite loop. We talk the same shit; love lost, shots missed. F Scott ran my world, everyone had that one girl. Or guy, or albatross, or green light. Every single of us stayed late into the night.

Half of us had more faith in weed and booze. No one wants campus news. And you know everything here’s stolen. Even the words that were spoken. Doesn’t matter, pay no mind. Too bad Jack can’t leave the past behind. (It’s okay – neither can I) I’ve moved on and played my part (lie) But you can still microwave my heart (try). Wait, shut it down, won’t even start (bye). Pour some of Belford’s hot sauce, we can drink wine to paradise lost. Too bad there’s no wine to go with the wine glasses in the fridge. That’s like all of our plans though: half-lived. Take creative’s emergency-only gun off the shelf. Cause fuck this I’m out. This thing writes itself.

Was it ever here at all? Or are we all just holes Buck punched into the wall?

That was back in the day, [Honda] days
I was a cold [bitch] I’m getting back to my ways

Ani’s night last night

Also – there are two kinds of students: those who know that South Building’s name is South Building… and those that suck.

Homesick Catharsis

6AM sketches

Summer ’12, home. (Minus the Greek letters on the house)

Things are pretty rough on my end at Dartmouth, and I’m feeling really homesick lately.
And anyway this is relevant since a lot of the Subtle Water staff have lived here/pretty much lived here too.

6AM sketches, 45 Madison
I’m counting the days again
Before I start my life
Before the need to think twice



I need a new out
No more black outs
I’m no man’s commodity
There, I said it, don’t commoditize me

What’s regret? Besides the price of sex
What’s respect if we crucify different sects
No I’m not lost yet, but I’m losing
There’s so much freedom in choosing
But what’s a forced choice? Coercion
And what’s choice but a tyrannical diversion

Chase, chase down that sun
Our pasts – paths we outrun
Still ignoring who’s chasing us
Happiness? Just outpacing us
I might’ve been on the cusp
Weights in my heart, empty, dust

Never trust a girl without female friends
Or anyone, they’re all after ends
And you’re only their means
Just a bunch of sabotaging deans
(But without the Community)
Or the comedy, mainly tragedy
Oh Charles, you get me-
There’s a bluebird in my heart
And no it won’t depart
It just sings and tears me apart

I’ll silence that bluebird, easy
With cigarettes and cheap whiskey
Some wasted nights
(In both senses), and induced fights
Too proud to stand to beg
You were always West Egg
While I made my wealth
While I reinvented myself
You lost the humanity within you
Familiar thoughts, sins, ones I knew

And I don’t want this to get cliche
But I don’t need any more delays
Because you’re always in a daze
And I’m confused, always
It’s been so long it’s not true;
You know I can’t care about the Patriots without you

I’ve been walking through the fire too long
Charles, you said this would strengthen me,
I’m starting to think you were wrong
What matters most, I can’t see
What matters most, can’t possibly be

And my head told my heart
“Let love grow”
And my heart told my head
“This time, no”

This is the way everything comes to a close
We mourn, but only in whispers
Not with a bang, but with a whimper

For a love song, it’s pretty bleak
Prufrock, you by the sea
With those pretty voices to sing you to sleep
Come send one lonely siren to me

Annie being Ani and Ani being Annie

Dear Charlie,

I want to know that there’s still people out there who
even if they could’ve slept with that person at that party, chose not to
I think I’m starting to realize that our generation is so desensitized, dehumanized
I’m starting to realize that most people are empty husks with empty eyes
I’m starting to worry that I’ll never meet anyone with substance, or amount to anything, or stop being hypocritical about outward appearances.
I’m starting to wonder if I’ll face the world with reluctance, only able to recount the small things, or start being hypothetical about inward coherence.

I’m profound, so profound but who cares?
I just want to learn to be happy when you’re not there
I need a different type, no, scratch that – a different life
This one’s fleeting, I’m afraid it’s devoid of meaning

I don’t want to look for Alaska anymore
I just want to look for myself
The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars
Truly, they are in ourselves

In a universe of probability, each dead-set belief is a self-fulfilling prophecy
And you know life is for the living, but so is love, and I’m not so willing

We’re all just cats chasing our tails
Living and re-coloring a past that’s over
Said and done, failed
At the end of the last day
and I’m on your driveway, pulling away
when all’s really black and gray,
my eyes only see sepia tone.
I really never could just leave it
Or worse, go it alone

Charlie, you’re right – these pictures of me
Look happier, more infinite than I’ll ever be

Love always,
-Ani wants more than this life