Posted in book review, Novellas

The Truth About Horror

Stephen King, the King of Horror, said we make up horrors to help us cope with real ones. Some people drink themselves to numb their existential maladies of daily life, or some abandon themselves to unguarded sensual or psychedelic pleasure. But I seek refuge in the stories about the supernatural world that have to be the actual, not the second-hand replica of the author’s imagination that I find hard to be connected. That said, to descry the headline title ‘The Horror’ from a recent issue of the New York Times Book Review delivered on my kindle seemed too pat not to feel psychic about it with a jolt of fillip bolted to my neural circuits. Reading it allowed me to reflect on my affinity for supernatural scare about whys and wherefores.

The article posits that horror movies scare us through exteriority with image and sound to create the illusion of danger, whereas horror fictions are more sophisticated and cultured to understand the complex interiority of the characters by passing over to the creator’s mind. But why do I have to play an amateur psychologist to analyze the inner world of an author when I try to find a niche for my battered spirit in a supernatural realm where no bullies, despots, or melees would follow me? My kind of horror has nothing to do with overtly thought-provoking fictional narratives that are more like psychological thrillers than supernatural ones. That is why I favor the Japanese ghost stories bereft of bodily fluids and materials but full of silent terror in the presence of a sorrowful dead refusing to depart for the Otherworld. Fear is universal. However, its expression is nuanced in the ordinary landscape of daily life, with the undead still among the living in their everyday attire as if they were still alive, not least because Japan is a country of spirits and gods dwelling in nature among the people.

The article is correct in saying that a love of the horror is a part-time love with a mysteriously eerie beautiful parvenue in Howl’s Moving Castle. By wallowing myself in the supernatural, I feel anxiety loosened, nervousness coaxed, anger diverted, sadness halved, and depression diluted to a certain degree. You may say it is another form of a psychedelic illusion of escapade from reality, then let it be. After all, aren’t we all addicted to something to that effect to relieve ourselves from existential frustration in a socially acceptable way?

Posted in Poetry

If

What if the present is not present but dreamt?
What if the past is not past but future forecast?
For all of this, I am living now is reenacted
Of the previous life, I once lived forgotten
But not erased in the paroxysm of sadness
That my soul cannot bear without tears
And the heart refuses to shield in reason
Because the grief weighs against hope –
The forced illusory vision to staged elysium –
With every fate already weaved, cut, and shipped
To Destiny from Departure to Arrival, and again
Till the Moon orbits the Earth for 1000 years
To live 1000 lives elsewhere in whatever forms,
Each bearing pieces of cracked memories
Reflecting the central fractures of the pasts
In the circle of life, the wheel of lives.
Alas, poor soul! I know her, dear reader!
Pity her not with the condescension of charity!
But give her a rope at the end of a life
Not to fall into the cruel rat race of the rut
Not now, not ever, once, and that’s all for good.