"Hush your mouth sometime and let 'em teach you, that's law." - E-40
"Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise." -Proverbs 19:20 (NIV)
"When I got older, I still thought I could write life. I didn't understand, as my mother had just realized that evening, that it is the other way around. And yet, here I am, still trying" (90).
"Wei had told me a gentler era was encroaching upon Taiwan. Brutality belonged to the previous decade. Does brutality ever get old? I wondered. Each generation brings a new group of men who have not yet learned the guilt of the last. They need to feel bones breaking under their very own fingers to know for sure how they feel about it" (333).
"We are curious creatures, we Taiwanese. Orphans. Eventually, orphans must choose their own names and write their own stories. The beauty of orphanhood is the blank slate... 'The country is broken, but the mountains and rivers remain'... We are the mountains and rivers, no matter what the country is called" (372).
"'The funny thing is that if you were a millionaire like some of these managing directors shaking down seven figures a year, you'd have known to push your way ahead and fill up your plate. Rich people can't get enough of free stuff... So, this is the game, Casey. You have to take what's offered'... She'd pretended to be otherwise to be ladylike and had moved away from the table to be agreeable, and now she'd continue to be hungry" (91-92).
"No explanation was necessary. They were collecting Mr. Jun's departing gift... Even if one Korean was nothing in this strange land, a church full of Koreans meant something to each other, and they intended to care for their own" (322).
"You can be grateful and angry. Such feelings can coexist" (494).
"The next day he woke up feeling like he'd been unshackled from his fat, like he'd been washed clean of his misery, and for a long time he couldn't remember why he felt this way, and then he said her name" (40).
"Beli, who'd been waiting for something exactly like her body her whole life, was sent over the moon by what she now knew. By the undeniable concreteness of her desirability which was, in its own way, Power... Telling Beli not to flaunt those curves would have been like asking the persecuted fat kid not to use his recently discovered mutant abilities. With great power comes great responsibility... bullshit. Our girl ran into the future that her new body represented and never ever looked back" (94).
"Nothing else has any efficacy, I might as well be myself.
But yourself sucks!
It is, lamentably, all I have" (174).
"I'm ready to forgive
My heart and hands
For holding on too tight
To draw a straight line
From a thought
To an action" (from "Out of Pocket")
I may deteriorate
tear down these haunted hallways
let the library get some sun
breathe in dusty thoughts,
interrogate the chipping walls
I may redecorate;
hopefully, still at peace" (from "Deteriorate")
"in coils, her
in the air and hung
rows of weeping
with joy and encouraged
to do the same" (from "Cornwall")
"Who says murder does not require that a person be gentle?" (4).
"It was as though money was a shameful thing, made to be hidden, an object of sin which was forbidden to me and yet permissible for others, as though it had been made legitimate only for them" (91).
"That I knew nothing about patriotism, that my country had not only given me nothing, but had also taken away anything I might have had, including my honour and my dignity... the man from the police looked as though his moral pride was greatly shaken by what I had said. How could anyone be devoid of patriotic feeling? I felt like exploding with laughter at the ridiculous stance he was taking, the paradox he personified, his double moral standards. He wanted to take a prostitute to this important personality's bed, like any common pimp would do, and yet talk in dignified tones of patriotism and moral principals" (122-23).
"I want nothing. I hope for nothing. I fear nothing. Therefore I am free. For during life it is our wants, our hopes, our fears that enslave us" (137).
"everybody tells me i am too small and too slow to make a diference in this world but i am making a diference in my own world and i hope that is enough"
"i've been wonderimg why the lonely ones make the most beautifubl music and i thimk its because theyre he ones most invested in filling the silence"
"i was so woried about wat i woud become in the future that i didnt realize i can be anything i want to be right now"
"look. life is bad. everyones sad. we're all gona die. but i alredy bought this inflatable boumcy castle so are u gona take ur shoes off or wat"