Article by Travis Coner
Spittoon is an arts collective that hosts events and new platforms to share your work, especially creative writing. While I was living in Beijing, I loved attending the events and became friends with event leaders, which is how we decided to bring Spittoon to Xi’an this year. Spittoon has expanded to Shanghai, Chengdu, and Dali, just to name a few, and each city has a unique style, and although each city and event has an intimate vibe, Spittoon wants all participants to feel a part of the whole.
Some examples of Spittoon events around China include storytelling nights, music and poetry collaborations, creative writing workshops, and book clubs. As far as Spittoon Xi’an, we started with simple gatherings writers can read (or have someone else) read their work aloud, and we are so grateful for the wonderful support thus far. In the future, we will have new writing events including Poetry night, Fiction with a theme, workshops, and also, we will collaborate with others Xi’an groups including book clubs, film makers, photographers, and musicians. We are also looking for more Spittoon Xi’an leaders to be the hosts of these new unique events as well as translators, to include more Chinese language writers.
Below are a few examples of new original writing created for our events in Xi’an this year, and I encourage you to join the Spittoon WeChat, Instagram, and read the printed Spittoon magazine.
- “She Bought A Ticket”
By: Re’Gene Thompson
- “Live to Love”
By: Mercy Dela Merced
- “It’s Just A Bit Of Turbulence”
She bought a ticket
By: Re’Gene Thompson
They sky was grey
The day was young
She was amongst the many strangers Traveling to the great beyond
Thinking to herself today is the day ! When was the last time I got away
I don’t mean just for a day…
Miss will that be a round… One way! She answered before the man in the ticket booth could finish his sentence
She was ready to board Anxiety creeping in
But this time easily ignored
Some piece and quite Away from all the riots
The sun hugging her like a heated blanket a bronze like tan
And let’s not forget the sand
Wouldn’t that be grand!
There’s one thing in which she didn’t quite adhere…
Forced to face the fear
Of being trapped in her own thoughts Didn’t please her
Distractions were easier
A time to self reflect Maybe figure out why All the neglect
Her first time traveling alone A feeling she’d never known
After a couple hours she had arrived at her destination , she looked at the motel adjacent the train station
Her dream of a sandy paradise Sounded quite nice
Her pockets were her only vice
The lady at the front desk was nice Her smile gave off that energy How many nights?
She dug into her wallet and pulled out her lifes savings … whatever this will get me The lady looked at her with wide-eyes nodded, accepted the cash, and handed over the room keys
She found her room
Unpacked her bag
And slipped into something comfortable
She grabbed her notepad and her favorite pen Now as the silence started to settle in
Her vacation begins..
“Live to Love”
By: Mercy Dela Merced
We tend to get caught up in “What are the chances of dying?” What about “What are the chances of you living?” What are the chances for every particle in the universe to be arranged in such a way that makes human life possible on this planet, for every event in history to be tuned to the precise moments of when people cross paths with one another, and for every cell in our bodies to function in harmony composing the pieces that allow us to live? Isn’t that amazing?
As living treasures, we are each other’s precious, priceless gifts, but look around you. What kind of world do you see? Our very existence is incredible, but life is also fragile and death is certain. People die every day from natural disasters, diseases, accidents, murders, suicides, and unknown causes. We humans have limitations by our very nature. Without love, our mortality incites a fear that breeds hostility and vanity. With love, it invites a courage that cultivates empathy and humility. What kind of world do you want to foster and pass on?
There are times when it’s easy to lose sight of the value of life and the beauty of love. We are made to be in communities, but to commune at ease we must learn how to live to love. The lies that run marathons in our heads can drive us into isolation in our mind’s desolation and into a mission of social division. The suffering in this world can make death seem more desirable than life and nonexistence more alluring than death. However, life can only get better if there are people living to love it better. So live, love, and live to love.
“It’s Just a bit of Turbulence”
“We are experiencing a bit of turbulence, please remain seated with your seat-belts fastened until the captain turns off the fasten seat-belt light.” This is all I could hear over the sounds of the baby crying in the row behind me.
I never wanted kids. Once you have kids, your freedom goes out the window. All the doors close and you become rooted to one place for the rest of your life. But now that I think about it, have I even walked through any of these doors before? Maybe I should consider having kids.
I look out the window and watch the wing as it sways up and down to the beat of a slow dance. The red light slowly pulsing as it cuts through wet clouds. I wonder where we are flying over at this very moment. Maybe somewhere exotic?
Ever since I was young I always wanted to travel through uncharted lands, trek through the bush searching for rare species thought to be extinct. Experience danger and hi-jinx while falling in love. Battle poachers with death-defying stunts. I mean, I’m still young right? I still have a chance. I should look into it.
An old man stands up to use the lavatory. A stewardess quickly runs over and tells him to sit down and wait until the fasten seat-belt light is off. The stubborn old man scoffs as he slowly sits back down. There’s always one old person like this on every flight.
My grandfather is old now. I haven’t seen him much in the past few years. To be honest, I don’t think he has many years left in him. I’ve never been close with the guy. He’s a grumpy old bastard, but I remember when my grandmother (god rest her soul) showed me their old photographs. My grandfather would always be wearing a clean button down and glasses with thick lenses. He looked like Buddy Holly if Buddy Holly was born in the Midwest. I’ll always remember my grandfather through these photographs. He had a style about him, an image. I don’t take many pictures, I really ought to start.
The plane rocks up then down and my phone falls in the crack between the window and the seat. I hate that. When your driving and you drop something in the crack between the seat and the center console. You have to fish your hand through sticky wrappers and old french fries as you try to grab what you dropped. Whatever, I’ll just get my phone once we land.
I spend a lot of time on my phone. I mean, we all do, that’s just how life is nowadays. I wonder how much time I have wasted scrolling, swiping, and tapping. What could I have done with all that wasted time? Actually, I don’t even want to know. From this moment on I’m going to strictly reduce my screen time.
People are starting to get loud. Yelling at the stewardess, like she can actually do anything to stop the plane from violently jolting around. That poor girl, that job really has to take a toll on you after a while. Pretending to be happy and giddy everyday while being the punching bag for people who think they are royalty above service workers.
I hate my job. Sure, the pay is good, but everyday is the same. Off-white walls, fluorescent lights, and manila folders. Those manila folders. Exhausting my eyes staring at computer screens. Taking a bathroom break every hour just so I can bang my head against the wall. I really ought to quit this job. I’m gonna call my boss once we land.
This plane ride is nauseating. It’s best I just close my eyes. Where am I going again? It doesn’t even matter, because I know, once this plane touches ground, nothing will be the same.
She bought a ticket, just for the turbulence.