Leapdragon 2016 - Aron Hsiao Was Here

No. No, it isn’t. Stop asking.  §

I don’t know what this is for.

There was a time, once, when writing was my outlet. There was a time, once, when shooting was my outlet.

Pen and camera in hand, I lived my life at a distance, at a remove, so that I could cope with it.

Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles, New York, schools, road trips, drug trips, bad relationships, endless bottles of alcohol, tattoos, degrees, research projects, career twists.

There were, here and there, flowers. Clear, dark nights walking in the city alone. Rainstorms. Bundles of concrete and steel tucked away in the nooks of the endless map. Miles and miles and forests and forests and cities and cities.

There were moments to cling to, things to anchor to from a distance—from behind a pen, from behind a lens—and to hold on to for dear life.

— § —

This isn’t an outlet any longer.

There is no outlet. No outlet that can cope. No outlet that can help me to cope.

The rain falls and the wind blows and more rain falls and more wind blows and the leaves are torn from the branches and the branches from the trees and the trees from the frightened earth and the earth from the substrate of being and all swirl and swirl and clamor and rush in the tremendous fury of the tragedy.

— § —

The tragedy, our state of being, the nature of our world. The tragedy.

I can live in darkness. I can cope with a bleak world of suffering and hate, of the song of destruction wailing always and everywhere amidst twisted figures of suffering and deformity and decay, blah, blah. I can drink with the devil.

I can live in light. I can cope with a sparkling world of echoing giggles and the scent of lemons and springtime, in which creation bubbles forth in endless fertility and naive ecstasy in simply being. I can drink with God.

But these are not our world.


It is the both that I can’t cope with. That I have no outlet for. Both.


Fucking both. Always both.

Innocence forever arising anew from heaven only to be fed to the slaughter, without understanding, without guile, without cause. Laughter giving way to cynicism giving way to the demonic. Springs of purity feeding cataclysmic mountains of corruption that race ever skyward, a symphony of mold and blood and feces and rotting, defingered arms and socketed faces conducted by the devil himself, virtuoso and maestro.

It is the fallen world that I can’t cope with.

The fallen world.

— § —

There is no outlet from the fallen world and there is no escape from the fallen world.

The world in which all good things must end.

The world in which every innocent babe becomes Judas, Machiavelli, Jekyll and Hyde, and ultimately corpse in due course.

This is unacceptable.

In an unacceptable world, there is no outlet that matters. All outlets are merely ways of feeding diseased effluence into a dying sea whose death is never complete, whose suffering can never be slowed.

— § —

No, this is not a suicide note. I am always asked. For thirty years or more I have been asked, every time I reach the familiar impasse.

“Is this a suicide note?”


“Are you okay?” they always ask.

No. No I am not okay. No, I have never been okay. Not for a single day for as long as I can remember, since before I can remember, since before I could speak a word, have I been okay.

Who is okay in a fallen world?

Who is “okay?”

“What can I do? Who can help?”

I mean, what is the purpose of these questions?

“Who can help” is the eternal question, since time immemorial, since the dawn of man. The answers are Hitler, Stalin, and Mao. That’s who can “help.”

There is no help to be had.

Gravity pulls in one direction only. The fall is the fall.

We fall forever.

”I am become Death, destroyer of worlds.”

— § —

”A Klee painting named ‘Angelus Novus’ shows us an angel looking as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating. His eyes are staring, his mouth is open, his wings are spread. This is how one pictures the angel of history. His face is turned toward the past. Where we perceive a chain of events, he sees one single catastrophe which keeps piling wreckage upon wreckage and hurls it in front of his feet. The angel would like to stay, awaken the dead, and make whole what has been smashed. But a storm is blowing from Paradise; it has got caught in his wings with such violence that the angel can no longer close them. This storm irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him grows skyward.”

— § —

”History, which is a simple whore, has no decisive moments but is a proliferation of instants, brief interludes that vie with one another in monstrousness.”

— § —

Every assassination, every cancer, every treachery, every unmarked grave, every cold case, every unheard cry in the darkness is proof that truth always wins out in the end.