happiness americana

November 10, 2017 62 By Maggie Tan

revved up engine.

on the road once again.

baked beans in mouth, gates opened and ski trip kids ran.

fat boy slim talks of farm business, everybody’s sleeping on their own headrests.

along came the conductor, pouring his passionate heart out,

about his garden, his bourbon and his throttle.

friendly faces appeared, chilli dog was ordered along with raging bitches.

saved by the wind, markets apassin’, we were jumpin’.

navigating through the world’s narrowest bookshop to capitol hill wanderings.

georgetown welcomed us with open arms, everyone wearing runners.

the long weekend took them home then took us to a real maryland home.

food brought upon the table, we speak of our hometown.

reminiscence of bygone days seemed to be our past time.

hidden lounges swooped us away for a quick second,

rolling and dancing to the brits, salute!

the sahara noticed us sparkling marbles, exchanges were greeted amicably.

and now, the trains pulled into the station,

awaiting us to board the mothership.

oh yes, darling, you’re too pretty to smoke.

oh no, boy, one minute left.

get up to your seat.

yay man. yemen.

little buns and hooded jackets were treasured,

as i recount the story of my sahlab,

before dozing off to camus…




time to head to the dining cart.

sierra nevada clinks, 8 o’clock dinner.

steak and fine conversations, we closed down the premise of neighbourliness.

as we moved to the next cart, whisky in hand,

your body moving close to mine,

we caught a glimpse of something divine.

smoke stop at pitts, listening to the melody of infinite moment,

let’s not ruin it by snapping it.

goodbye for now, chicago awaits.

sisters reunited, down for a tour around this concrete jungle.

lights and jazz, belmont and speakeasy,

coconut latte with cardamom and rose water,

piers and snowflakes, intertwined with each other.

oh, didn’t we have a blast roaming around this city.

bilbao meets borneo, we jumped onto this bus,

going somewhere, going anywhere.

chinatowns and subway lines, musicians busking their talents.

pay some attention, citizens of gotham.

the jewels spread on these dirty floors, nobody bothered.

pick one up and marvel.


at the winsomeness.

at the harmonious structure.

amidst the chaos.




hold the phone, this chapter ain’t over.

moma invited us for a strange japanese film,

new york times buddies caught up in midtown.

along with smiles and hot dogs,

rooftop bars and authentic ramen.

brooklyn felt generous and an attic comforted us.

delicious affairs, sunny days encapsulated our essence,

writers hang out in bars, unfold this red carpet.

for us to spread sunflowers, lobsters and green fairies.

hell’s kitchen rhythms, the kgb located us.

smokes went up into thin air, pounding on the table,

fries and ceviche, new friends to be made.

after a day of strolling, it’s time to be back on the other side.

these sights are so blissful, how i wish to stay.

empty flight, polish girl sleeping behind me.

and i couldn’t help but wonder,

what is life, if not a fantasy?




what are you looking for?

those rare moments of inspiration. infinite moment.

did we make a wish when we saw the shooting stars?

aren’t these moments priceless?

you and i, laughing, crying,

every single human emotion jumbled into one.

one big fat joke.

a joke, a real joke, touches you deep down.

and if we’re lucky enough to be humorous,

well then… we’ve won the jackpot.


at the end of the day, we’re all a little dysfunctional.

love someone’s flaws.

see the beauty in their blatant ugliness.

do not feel dampened when you’re not understood.

strive to understand instead.


as my cabbie said, only your perception matters.