Posted on 1 Comment

Poetry Book Review: flinch and air

I first discovered flinch and air by Laura Jane Lee from @lesenwanderer bookstagram account. So what happened was, I contacted lesenwanderer to see if she would be interested to read and review my poetry collection: A Season of Poetry. I was very glad when she accepted. A couple weeks later, she paired the review of my poetry collection with flinch and air, another poetry collection – what an honor for me! Here is the post.

As such I have lesenwanderer to double thank – not only for reviewing my poems but also for introducing me to Laura Jane Lee’s poetry.

Asian Experiences

flinch and air is a collection of poems on various experiences of Asian women, from the author’s grandmother to other women she met who inspired and left an impact on her (for example the taxidermist of the museum). The poet included her own experience in Sweet Like a Bao, which actually is my favorite poem in the collection. Perhaps because I have been to Hong Kong (the poet is based in Hong Kong) and can imagine all the lines she is evoking.

There was a particular poem about the father and daughter that I think is a real masterpiece, but my heart hurts too much reading it because well, let’s just say I wish I had what that daughter had.

Poetry Style

Poetry is something so personal, and every poet has a unique voice, especially if they’re reaching deep into themselves, bearing the insides of their soul through their poetry. That’s what I love and hunger for when I read poetry, and Laura Jane’s poems satisfied that craving of mine. Some poems were easily understandable and made me smile, while others relied on evoking moods through rhymes and rhythms, which I enjoyed also.


I read this book on my Kindle, and I bought the ebook from Outspoken store. However, I must say some of the digital formatting didn’t translate too well to my device. I know it’s fiendishly difficult to format poetry into digital books, so that’s why whenever possible I prefer buying a physical copy of poetry collections rather than a digital copy. Alas, flinch and air is not readily available in Indonesia and shipping would cost an arm and a leg so that’s that. The price of convenience, eh.

Well. at the moment, I’m still quite satisfied with the amount of money I spent and the content I got. I hope Laura keeps writing and creating!

Posted on Leave a comment

Book Review: Poemsia by Lang Leav

Funny thing I thought this was one of Lang Leav‘s poetry collections at first. Turns out Peomsia is a contemporary fiction about a young girl who wants to be a poet. When her Instagram account suddenly becomes viral, Verity Wolf is thrown into the glittery world of celebrity poets. She gets everything she could have wanted, so what next?


The plot is quite straightforward. Poemsia is fairytale-esque with first love, a supportive best friend, evil sidekick, and quick fast glamorous success. To be honest it’s a bit simplistic because all the problems get resolved immediately. Nice, but not always the best reflection of reality – hence perfect for fairy tale happy ever after fans.


Before Poemsia I read Love Looks Pretty On You which is one of Lang Leav’s poetry collection, and I must say I like that one better. She seems to be able to dig into so much artistic depth in her poems, but is unable to bring that out in the structure of a fiction. That said, there were some poetic sentences in which I though THIS IS LANG LEAV. The scene about Verity’s mother impersonating a butterfly and Verity’s answer to someone who asked her on advice for how to be a poet – those transcended above a majority of the narrative.

Lesson (Spoilers!)

I do like the lesson in Poemsia though. Verity tastes a bit of microwave success, makes some money as her poetry book becomes a best-seller, and then decides what she wanted was right in front of her all along – the bonsai garden, the small bookstore, her boyfriend Sash, her grandfather Pop, and her best friend Jess. I love these kind of lessons. As a wise mentor once told me: if you think you have problems because you don’t have money, think again. You will have twice as much problems when you do have money.

Indeed success if it’s defined ONLY by material wealth, pretty looks, and thousands of Instagram followers probably needs redefining. I’m not saying it’s bad to be rich, pretty, and be an influencer on social media. I want all of those things too! But that’s not my end goal. I want a lot of money so I can be financially secure and then support awesome charities my friends set up (from anti stunting to music education to saving the rainforest).

Another goal is to be healthy which often results in looking pretty (yeay!). I want to be an “influencer” because I want to use my voice for issues I care about (like women empowerment and sexual harassment). I also want to reduce my trash output (long term zero-waste life goal) and see more marine animals before they go extinct thanks to our collective trash load – worthy lifestyle goals to consider other than financial, health, and career goals.

Thus, any story that invites the reader to look deeper into perceived success and fame through a more critical mindset is a book I welcome.

Posted on Leave a comment

At The World’s End, a poem

What lies at the world’s end?

A vertical gigantic cliff?

A drop into nothing?

A dive into mysterious astral elements?


Will I see the faces of my loved ones again?

My Ema? My Engkong?


Do I get to enjoy gold rivers, flowing

Happiness because I did my part for the greater good.


Must I meet again those enemies of mine?

Will I rot in eternal suffering due to many, many sins?

Trust me, I have many.

(Many enemies, and many sins.)

What if…

It is simply a new morning.

A breeze of fresh mountain air.

The slight press of a hug

The starry tingle of a kiss

The memory of what was


April 2021