Friday, December 24, 2010

the night is not silent

(merry christmas)

the night is not silent.
this world remembers little peace
yet beneath the pale moon;

between riffles of bare branches,
between cold winds there are
adamant flames

unwilling to extinguish.
there are old memories
unwilling to surrender.

silence is only a state,
not destinations of our efforts.

(christmas eve 2010)

Friday, December 17, 2010

at dawn's light

at dawn's light
there was a sliver;
a thin momentary view

into the night that preceded,
into the shadows where
faces and eyes have been left.

i stand in magenta rays
of this mourn's break
watching them recede,

watching lost desire to
thread on coarse gravel paths
barefoot, inhaling risk.

17 december 2010

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

A Sense of Accomplishment

Is what I'm feeling after finishing doing updates to my online folio and revising my resumé.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Of Different Worlds

A short piece I was asked to write for the 10th Anniversary of ICAN (


I arrived in California in 1975 at the age of eight. I grew up in this country for many years in places where there were not many or any other Vietnamese people. Over the years, I was very much part of the melting pot that is America. I learned English and to this day it is my best language though I never lost my mother tongue. While I don't have the vocabulary of my Vietnamese friends, I feel lucky to be able to speak, read and write though I stopped school in Vietnam when I was only in the third grade.

Culturally, I became a mutt of sorts. I grew up among people from various origins. I learned a bit of this culture and that culture. I became a mosaic of many sources and was quite comfortable with that. It was not until 1999 when I returned to Vietnam for the first time that I experienced a stirring inside that had been dormant for a long time. Like a sleeper awakening, through the people I met, the places I visited and the home that I grew up in as a child.

It struck me that even though I have had so many other experiences in various countries and with various non-Vietnamese people for so long, there was still a very large part of me that remains Vietnamese. It was the start of a journey that I will be on for the rest of my life. However, it is not a simple journey of finding what bits of me connect to the culture I was born into because after all of these years, I realise I am a product of many roots.

I am not Vietnamese like the people who never left Vietnam. I am not Vietnamese like the many friends I have who grew up there then came here. I am not fully American either and to a great extent, it is a cloud of thoughts that has and still does sometimes blur the sense of who and what I am. There is not a simple easy answer but over time, I have come to accept the complicated nature of belonging to more than one people, than one place and culture at the same time.

There is richness in it and I know it will always be an adventure and learning experience.

— Dao Thai Son

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Three Hours

Three hours was the time I spent talking to an old good friend last night. It was wonderful. It was like finding a cache of dormant energy I had put to safe keeping long ago. Step by step, embers of power and courage are revealing themselves to me, mostly because I am letting them.

The path is rocky and often steep but these eyes are open.

Monday, November 08, 2010


I reconnected and caught up briefly with a friend from art school that I haven't spoken to or seen in years. Of course we are thousands of miles apart, this sort of thing seems to happen a lot in my life. I wouldn't say it is a curse but most of the people I would like to spend time with are always so far away (or it is me who is always distant).

I don't know what to make of that thought. I do know that there has always been a strong nomadic streak in my life and I don't see it changing anytime soon. It is okay, it is a big wide world and much to see and experience. This makes me feel good though I can't say I exactly understand why. Sometimes it is not necessary to know, it is more important to just take the step forward as the path reveals itself.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Ink on Paper

Yesterday while waiting for a friend at a cafe, I sat and pulled out my Moleskine and for the first time in I don't know how long I put the nib of my refilled fountain pen on paper and started writing. It was nothing in particular. It was about nothing and everything. It was about little things, little observations as well as grander thoughts. I was not sure where I was going but it didn't matter. What matter was that I was writing, letting my mind wander unrestrained by the narrow avenues of life, the obligations that I think I should be on top of. On those pages where the winding curves and percussive strokes of letters were forming was a freedom I had forgotten about. My mind was rusty but my hand remembered the patterns. My hand remembered the joy and reward of simply drawing letters and making them run like a snake in the grass.

In the last several days, I have had an inkling that something is about to start again. Call it the sleeper awakening, call it the phoenix's embers lighting up again, it doesn't matter. In this moment, all that matters is I know something is stirring and some things that have been dormant are coming out of hibernation.


there is something stirring inside. it is deep down and has been dormant for a long time. it is stirring and soon it will glow like embers before it explodes into flames and rise again. it is time.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

i wander into the night
the silence holds me
almost comforts me
as when she holds my hand

— equusignis

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

i feel fragile
no god agrees

you all fucks
put dicks in

same old

baggy sacks

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Subtlety and Complexity

Subtlety and complexity live side by side, those who refuse this reality find it easier to gravitate toward attachments where it is easier to fear and hate than reconcile and build bridges among diversity in beliefs.

— equusignis

Sunday, July 11, 2010


when you look up at the night sky
turn around until you start to get dizzy
you find there is a center and starting point
then you know you have a line to follow

11 july 2010

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


i'm not overextended
not in this world
i'm kind when blood
paints patterns so pretty

it's not my soil all this
concrete pretty pay shack
this godless mayhem joint
and they still want taxes

i pay taxes in seeds they
are too stupid to understand

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

there are those
there was me

came to this place
came to this home

i found a new soil
they found shiney cars

i found my desert
they found gucci

all that was good
about my new land

they fucked into garb
and knew nothing

of the places
they came from

wearing DG and
shit they do not

realize how they
are so proud of shit

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

New porfolio

I woke refreshed today after having finally completed my new portfolio site. Minimal canvas and to the point.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


there is a delicate thing in my bed
the room's air wants to
move when she breathes
the gauzy curtains want to
fan her calla lily skin
outside the dawn light
is trying to graze her twisted locks
i watch her scapula
sigh with each breath and
find the golden mean embedded
in the space between us

27 April 2010

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


He has been dreaming vividly
She now walks with him always
Through passages of familiar
Bazaars in strange old cities

— equusignis

Monday, January 25, 2010

Ode To A Haggis

Fair fa’ your honest, sonsie face,
Great Chieftan o’ the Puddin-race!
Aboon them a’ ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy of a grace
As lang’s my arm

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
You pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o’need
While thro’ your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead

His knife see Rustic-labour dight,
An’ cut you up wi’ ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright
Like onie ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reeking, rich!

Then, horn for horn they stretch an’ strive,
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a’ their weel-swall’d kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive
Bethankit hums

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi’ perfect sconner,
Looks down wi’ sneering, scornfu’ view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither’d rash
His spindle-shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro’ bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He’ll mak it whissle;
An’ legs, an’ arms an’ heads will sned,
Like taps o’ thrissle

Ye pow’rs wha mak mankind your care,
An’ dish them out their bill o’fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if ye wish her gratefu’ pray’r,
Gie her a Haggis!

— Robert Burns (25 January 1759 – 21 July 1796)

Saturday, January 02, 2010


it is the cold night i crave
the cold outside fires my skin
the cold is not the cold it is family
they call me cruel call me cruel
i'm the spitting cobra in their faces
i'm fulll of venom and it's all for family

Friday, January 01, 2010

happy birthday

i wonder what you would make of all this madness
i wonder if you would feel like you are missing out
i doubt it because i have a feeling that in your heart
you are sitting with all of monet's colours at giverny
i doubt it because i have a sense that on your tongue
you are tasting the sea and salt from normandy
if you were here now we might be sitting in the sixth
drinking dom and chewing on lemon after oysters