I write sins not tragedies

If you see me today, in top hat and coattails, ask me about it. In my grogginess, I will tell you. The dunes on my back – pinched nerves and remnants of wings – will relax. Your knees will give into the dust that eats at them. We’ll lock our words into steel traps. Set them on fire. Drown them in our throats. I will reveal to you then, that my stomach has been holding kerosene. You will worry about the explosion, and I will tell you tales of all the explosions I have swallowed. “Old party trick,” I will explain.
Your wonderment will be uncalled for; my tricks are plagiarized. You have seen them all in your friendly neighbourhood mirror. Nevertheless, you will take a seat on the floor. I will ask for a volunteer and you will raise your hand. I will feign interest in imaginary people sitting around you, until I reach the blunt tips of your fingers. Upon selecting you, I will make doves appear out of your ears. Before your amazement ceases, I will take out coins from a seemingly empty hat. I will show you that there is space for more.
When I am asked about what I am most afraid of, my most common answer is heights. Sometimes, I throw in failure too, just to add more depth to my vulnerability. I have come to realize that those are lies. I am most afraid of writing and rewriting the same words. I do not mind the circles, as long as I do not run in the same ones forever. The better you get to know your words the easier they come, and before you know it, you write about the moon the same way you write about lead. Greatness is built of excessive struggling. Excessive struggling is not built for us all; sometimes I plagiarize. I take my tricks out of tired pages. My ability lies in the way I convince you – myself – of the legitimacy of my flair.
As long as I do not rewrite, I live a million lives. There is no better evasion than the sound of multiple breaths out of the same mouth. You will notice my forked breathing. You will notice when my eyes change colour. I will not make you aware of the illusion.
I will hold a paper up to your nose. You will confirm that it is indeed, a normal paper. “Normal paper,” I will repeat, and you will nod obediently. Normal paper, we will agree, until it bursts into an ocean. Unless you have seen a page bleed expanses of water before, you will giggle in appreciation. Slowly, as the water rises, you will float, still sitting on its surface with your legs crossed. A buoy at worst, an island at best. I will sashay up to you, and take a bow. “Even Jesus couldn’t do it like this,” you will say, and my palms will break out into kerosene sweats, staining deep blue with dirty yellow. Jesus happens to be exactly who I got this trick from. I will keep quiet, should you show any signs of knowing. Ignorance is moderately comfortable.
We will proceed to the finale.
“In this trick,” I will announce to the empty street; a theater full of you and world’s water, “I will show you just how I tired I am of writing about myself.”
You will cock your head to a side. I will reach into my mouth and pull out the kerosene by its tail. Its jaws will turn me inside out, until I look like you. You will applaud like a madman. You will take a bow. “Absolutely splendid,” you will yell. You will walk out, changed in the way you recognize the world’s mysteries. You will walk out, a tired husk of forgotten. Perhaps you will take yourself with you.
If you see me today, ask me about it. If you are not afraid of yourself, I will tell you.

An Unnecessarily Long Metaphor for Letting Go

I am staring at the fabric of space, my translucent reflection outlined by all of Saturn’s moons. Light blankets my wrists, swallowing Mercury’s raging blood that flows into strangely unrepentant fingers. I begin (surprisingly) gently by shaping my ribs, molding stray metal into coils that scaffold my lungs; rising and falling like the ivories and ebonies of a piano, my lungs are moments from blooming. Their vines will wrap around my spine: uneven pieces of wood held together by dark rings; bless the magnanimity of Jupiter: its massive red blotch beats beneath this chaos, erupting into nervous laughter at how closely it manages to escape these thorns that have sunken into my back, every single time. Its beating fills my stomach.
My epitaph reads, “Seldom courted by sleep or wisdom, regretfully lost to voices louder than his own.” If you did not burst into snorts of laughter or at least break into a pitiful grin, I pronounce your empathy lost at sea, perhaps swallowed by the fishes (who obviously lack it almost as much as they lack common sense). Fingers, their delicate ceramic edges chipped, jagged and unrepentant, they scratch past my flashback until I am staring at naked regret; I stagger back. I still had clever observations to make about the rotten skin under my eyes and my stinking breath, my shock is very justified. Neptune rolls her eyes at me.
I like to believe that fear is universal. Sometimes, it leads you to do things you wouldn’t normally do; ships do not survive storms strictly on determination and courage. Look closely and the worm-eaten wood will glow with prayers and premature goodbyes, hurriedly swept off board at the first sight of the shore. Fear is an ally only when coupled with patience, and patience has never been kind to me. It is the empty space you would choke on, should you find yourself trapped in a glass box, the rest of world calmly passing you by. I would, at this point, blame existence and its very pointlessness, but I have fought too hard to insult the impotent yet immortal hope we are so naturally born with. Alas, I still do not know how or when that charade ends. I wish I did, my red spot beats louder when I am afraid, and not knowing petrifies me – I have my reasons. Fear is born of reasons, is it not? My patience is really a bottomless pit of reasons; a wooden box waiting to shoot splinters into my naivety; I am lured in by some wanderer’s bare innocence every time.
An ocean gushes into my hips, taking me by surprise. I twirl (with a little more flair than I would care to admit), and it crashes into my sides; the moons start squirming. They are trying to hold themselves back from dancing with the waves that call them. They have responsibilities to lend their glow to. These moons make me nostalgic, they do; a little sick with worry too. If at all I we could converse, I would tell them to break off from themselves and fade into the distant splashes, even at the risk of my projection. But we cannot converse, and I know how their story ends; how depressing: they glimmer their discomfort away as if what caused it never existed, and the waves settle in my hips, perhaps pouting in hopeless annoyance.
If you had one chance to point out exactly where your story went wrong, and go back to fix it, would you? I would. I say so very shamelessly. I refuse to believe that regret leads to beautiful things; if I could go back and step out of my metaphorical glass box just to let the skyscrapers hear me breathe once, I would, never mind the fact that I might have been hit by a metaphorical truck halfway through the process.
The asteroid belt that holds my gleaming hips in place rushes into and past the sea, and suddenly, it is summer again. I am walking past the comfort of the shade, the stones in my shoes poking my feet as I make my way into the warm grass that embraces me when I lie down on it. The stones in my shoes whiz in between my toes; my knees erupt into hot seething ash, foaming upon my shins. My head rests on the sun – awkwardly wedged upon my spine. My guts spill into the emptiness of it all, upended, frail, open mouthed fishes – as devoid of life as they are of common sense.
I am staring at the fabric of space, my translucent reflection an inch away from my face. Light blankets my wrists, and Mercury’s raging blood spreads into strangely unrepentant fingers that work their way around the knots Earth has bound me in. I always believed letting go was the hardest thing I would ever know. I realize now, the weight of all the things I will never know of is worse. The knots fray and my breath hitches. Somewhere, a shooting star bursts into flames; a glass box shatters.
Staring at the fabric of space, I let myself fall into time. I do not know when it ends or if it ends at all, but I am fearless.
This patience is free of consequence.

This is not about heartbreak.

On evenings like these, when the wind dances around me and the sky is a placid white, I lose my mind. The iron grill outside my window is covered in dust from an old encounter with an iron willed storm; a crow sits on the ledge outside and looks me right in the eye, as if it knows of my procrastination, then tilts its head to a side: crows empathize better than most human beings. Christmas lights from last year are still tangled around the window sill and the wind chime is dancing along with the wind, like some madman let out on the street after years of captivity; both are a strange golden in colour: the kind of filthy you cannot take your eyes off of. The wires on which maa hangs the clothes out to dry are quivering in perfect time with my hands.
Near my feet lies the old landline phone we used before its buttons started sticking, I wonder if your number’s still saved in its ‘most recent’ option. I pick it up to find that little mark the door left near its receiver when I dragged it hurriedly into my room when you said you had to tell me something but my brother was sitting too close for comfort. Just when I thought I’d rid my mind of you, you waltz right back into that corner I keep especially for you, no matter how many times I tell myself you’re not worth it. You were never worth the wait.
The short tree is in bloom, little red flowers line a few lucky branches. The crow’s jumped to this tree and hopping from one naked branch to another right up to the top, I can see it stare into the distance. Pensive creatures, I wonder if they’re the poets of the bird world. The wooden frame of my window is digging into my back, I don’t mind it one bit. Beck is crooning in the background, have you heard of Beck? Grammy award winner, but more importantly, his music reminds me of you. In some strange way, his voice reminds me of your eyes. I lost my defenses to those eyes, deep brown like the colour of the cello playing in the background of Beck’s voice; the cello reminds me of your arms, wrapped around my neck when you held me. I can see a little boy standing on the street below, I wave to him… and he just flipped me the middle finger, kids watch too much television these days.
If I look down from a great height for too long, I feel like jumping down below. I like to think it’s because something calls out to me from within the Earth. I’m not dumb enough to go back to it however, I wonder if it knows I’ll crash into the ground if I try. I like to think that human beings are creatures of the past, living in what we wish could have been, in what we know has already happened. Everything we wish to do, we do for the memories, because really what use is a life you can’t look back on? They say your life flashes past your eyes in the minutes before you die, I wonder if that’s all breathing is really about.
My montage (I’ll take the liberty of calling it that) will be dominated by pictures of you, lover, and I’m not too proud of it. I wrote you poetry the other day, monsoon is the weather of nostalgia, I believe. Has to be something to be in the air that I’m breathing, or the concrete that supports my weight, calling me down to it with each step.
The kid is now spinning in circles, giggling. The wind is tangled up in his shirt like the Christmas lights on my window sill. A juxtaposition of innocence and acrimony, maybe that’s what we are. The cello’s given way to Beck’s voice again and my, oh my, we’re dancing like madmen in my head, tangled up. My wounds are a beautiful deep red, lining my branches. Dust settles on my legs, my bones are iron now. The crow’s long gone, that beautiful bird. You were (are) beautiful until you decided to disappear, but I lied. You were always worth the wait, lover. Always will be.
On days like these I lose my mind, what a wonderful state to be in. Nostalgic (I am a creature of the past), and ablaze, silent and dirty, pensive and alive, and healing.
The sky is a clear white, and I am healing.

on sleep

Night 1

I’ve been yawning uncontrollably for the past two hours, and my eyelids are heavy. Textbook symptoms of being sleepy. I should sleep.

Then again, what’s the fun in doing what you’re supposed to?

Night 2

My head’s been spinning a little bit. Tara told me today that my eyes are red, I told her it’s because I’ve been rubbing them too much. I haven’t told her about the crying, I haven’t told anyone about the crying, mainly because I’m not sure why I’m crying. In the beginning I was pretty sure they were just those tears that well up when you yawn too much, but then I felt it. That terrible pull in my tummy, as if something just dragged my heart all the way down to my stomach, and that emptiness in my chest. Then I yawned once more, and that turned into a sob real quick. One moment my mouth was wide open, like that cave where we spent our weekend when my father took us camping and Scott Brown spilled his drink all over my favourite shorts, next moment I was hiccupping and coughing as if my breath was reluctant to leave my throat. I was crying. I’m not sure why I’ve been crying.

Night 3

When I was eight, the world turned upside down; my legs were wrapped around the highest bar of the monkey bars and my hands were free falling as if revolting against the sockets that held (and continue to hold, to this day) them. The blood inside my head was rushing, as if late for its rendezvous with gravity.
The world is spinning right now, I need to get my head in line. I can see four of that one Elvis Presley bobblehead that my father got for me from his business trip to China; they were nuts over Presley, he told me. The bottle of vodka is floating. The newspaper keeps flying open. The headline says something about ‘Infglatyionnns’. Time to distract myself.

Night 4

I’ve lit a joint and the smoke is swirling around my head.
Sparks and embers are, in my opinion, the most overused metaphors on this planet. And cigarettes, let’s not forget cigarettes. Cigarettes are the most overused metaphors on this planet, and embers and sparks exist in conjunction with cigarettes, and the last time I smoked a cigarette, I forgot where my legs were and slammed my face into the hood of someone’s car.
I’m the least poetic person I know, exactly why I’ve lit a joint instead, I like to keep away from clichés. Ash falls on my shorts, I like these shorts. They’re similar to the ones Scott Brown ruined, only those had two little zippers on each side, you could hide eleven sticks of gum in them, brilliant shit.

I wipe the ash off with my finger. There’s an underrated metaphor for you: fingers. I’ve never known fingers that aren’t poetic, there’s always a tap to document and a twitch to romanticize.
This could be the joint talking but someone should write poetry about fingers, holy crap.

Night 5

A brush a tremble.
Entwined, inch toward the sun
in bloom. Fearless. Sure.

I don’t know what the fuck I just wrote, but I only had enough for this much. I think I’ll title it ‘Fingers’. The joint’s almost finished, just in time with my syllables. The lights look brighter, I should turn them off.

Night 6

Everything is hazy. I’m not sure how to describe this hazy, I’m not a very poetic person. Everything is a blur. I haven’t cried today, but that’s probably because my eyes are swollen. Tara dropped off my homework and asked me if I’ve gotten any sleep. I laughed till my stomach hurt, I think I can still hear my heart gurgling inside; resilient little fellow.
I’ve been cleaning my mouth with mouthwash, and I’ve given up on changing my clothes, I couldn’t tell my t shirts apart if my life depended on it right now.

Night 7

The lights look brighter, I really need to remember to turn them off at night.
Except that I have. No kidding, I’m running my fingers over the switchboard as I write this.
My eyes are less swollen (I accidentally washed my face today), and I can see little spots dancing in front of my eyes. Blurry little spots that change size, so not exactly little. Blurry spots that change size, like those fairy lights my father had hung over the door for Christmas, then didn’t take them down for the next seven months. Partially because he was too lazy to, partially because it made the door look pretty. Blurry spots hung over our door; it looked so delicate. Bokeh is the word they use for these spots, I think. Bokeh’s a funny word, I’m saying it over and over again.

Night 8

I am shivering, and I need the world to know that we don’t really exist. Time is relative, but if time doesn’t actually exist in a uniform form, then could it just be a manifestation of our desperate need to label our existence? Could it be that progress is a process that is not marred by time, a process that just takes place as it should, when it should and however it wants; perhaps time is not unidirectional because it does not exist at all. Perhaps we created time, not clock time, but time, just as we created the cotton that covers our back and the bricks that guard the diamonds that we excavated that were previously coal which was previously a dinosaur, and my god, my mother has a dinosaur in her safe. Maybe dinosaurs were born from diamonds. What if everything is a cycle, and time does exist, only in every fucking direction ever imagined. What if time is so powerful, it created us? What if we imagine our own existence, my god, what if we are time?
Then again, it’s been one hundred and ninety two hours since I’ve gotten any sleep and it feels like forever, and I’m desperately hoping time is not unidirectional right now. Could it be that we only really exist inside our heads and come alive only when we sleep, and we can only harness time if we forego our true existence? Explains why it’s so hard to not sleep, you know. All I really want is to travel back in time.
If anyone ever gets their hands on this, I need you to know that I am a perfectly capable human being with an extensive vocabulary and brilliant mind, there’s not much that is wrong with me; I’m just really very desperate. If you know how to fix desperation, find me. I’m begging you, you can have everything I have ever owned, but find me and fix me.

Night 9

My fingers are blue, I’m not sure how long I’ve been lying in the tub. The water’s turned cold, like Scott Brown’s drink on my favourite shorts. Like the weather that those blurry lights around my door used to warm up. Like my fingers on my chest. Like my father’s goddamn skin in his bloody grave.
Maybe water affects time, makes it feel like forever. I feel like I’m sixty three, man. Tara once said I talk like I’m an old man; that I belong to a time much before I was born, I was born in the wrong generation and whatnot. I’d told Tara to shut the fuck up and go back to listening to her Nirvana-Beatles bullshit.
I’m not writing anymore, my fingers are blue like the ink on the pages of my notebook. Forgive my substandard metaphors, this is all in my head and I’m not very poetic inside my head. Or anywhere at all. Everything’s hazy, and the lights are just not bright enough.
Do you think porcelain warps time, do you think there is a reason those guys in the movie made their time machine in a bathtub? Never mind, I’ve just remembered it was a hot tub, but nevertheless. Do you think porcelain warps time? I’m yawning uncontrollably.
I need to go back in time, I’m desperate. Everything seems to be moving so far away from me. I think I’ve foregone my existence enough.

I can see my father.
I am choking on my own breath, my heart is bubbling inside my stomach.
I can see my father, time is cold like the porcelain against my skin, like his hand on my shoulder. I can see my father.
I’m not a very poetic person, but I think this is what closure feels like. Untouched by time; naked and pure and cold.
I’m crying yet again, I think I should sleep.
Goodnight.

Winter

Every morning at exactly 3:06 AM, I take one cigarette out of my night stand drawer and suck on it like my life depends on it.
The first time I smoked in front of you, you smiled, thinking I liked it. My mistake, I like to talk in metaphors often; see, the first time I smoked in front of you, I was hoping you’d see the death they cause reflected on my face and realize where you were headed. You saw my acceptance instead, so my question to you is this – are you blind or apathetic? When someone holds up a mirror to you, do you see the shadows on your face or the darkness on theirs?
I refuse to believe that your romanticism toward poison vials was anything but a crass display of what you wished you were.

Some days we’d sit and stare at the skyline, and you’d try to paint. That invisible, effortless transition from lavender to navy blue that the sky spread across its canvas was the only thing you couldn’t get right on yours. So you’d splatter paint all across what you had painted in frustration, and I’d smile.
“Softer,” I’d say.
But your hands had never known anything other than passion, and the colours of the sky could never be enough; your impatience was a virtue. I know for a fact that I will never see the bluish-yellow skies (with that hint of magenta in the corner), that you so boldly painted: you always liked strange colours.
French used to be your favourite language to speak in. I don’t know a lot of people who have favourite languages, but you did, and you’d correct me when I pronounced the ‘n’ in ‘Bonjour,’ too clearly.
“Softer,” you’d say.
You’ll have to understand, my fingers have never known anything but the touch of hot coal; I like to put myself in situations where flight no longer remains a response. When you’d say to me, “softer,” I would cock my head to a side as I often do when I’m confused; the softest I have ever been was when I accidentally bit my tongue, and every word sounded like feet being dragged on a carpet.
Your favourite language was French, and I always failed French, so you can see why I wish sometimes that our goodbyes got lost in translation.

I promised you I’d swim after you if you were ever carried away on a ship. I always keep my promises, darling: they found me unconscious, floating on a plank, kilometres away from the shore. The ship that carried you away from me – I still feel its weight on my back.
I’ve been told I often repeat your name in my sleep; there are nights where I wake up shivering like the first time you touched my bare back. On nights when I wake up to find myself shivering, my hands grasping at the air that was your skin, I pull my sheets around my body as tightly as I can, trying to imagine what corpses feel like. I sat on dead grass last Friday and the strange colour of my jeans, muddy and torn, reminded me of you. It’s strange, the way winter takes hold of souls, laying claim on lives as if it were taking revenge for the thousands of wars we have stained its air with, like cheap wine on the finest gowns.
I woke up this morning with bruised and swollen lips, bloodshot eyes, and stained teeth, and I realized it is better that you will never wake up next to me. I couldn’t handle you seeing me for what I really am. Had you called me the centre of your universe one more time, I would’ve lifted my shirt up to show you – I am not the sun, darling, I am the moon. Look at the craters on my lips, look at the rocks that roll off my chest. I am the moon, covered in dust.
You? You will sail with the current, and when the time comes for your ship to sink, you will smile. Let the shadows take over your face once more. You said you have never been scared of death or loss, so tell me why the first time I picked up a poison vial at the apothecary and pretended to swallow it in jest, you refused to speak to me for six hours, and why you didn’t react the same way the first time I smoked in front of you?

I still can’t speak French right. I still can’t look at myself in the mirror for too long without imagining you standing next to me. I still feel my heart beat faster every time I walk on the shore. The sky doesn’t amaze me anymore, its colours aren’t strange enough. I have too many questions, no answers, and I know for a fact that you’d laugh in my face and kiss me if you were still here. I stop and stare at the end of the street sometimes, that point where the sky seems to end. I shrug when I’m asked what I’m looking for, I really don’t know anymore.
C’est la vie.

Ashes

(I wrote this for a competition a while back, and had forgotten about it until I found it at the bottom of one of my drawers. I decided to post it, because why not?)

And now a white sun burns,
not yet pock marked by the hungry licks
of the afternoon fire.

A bride had sat alone,
the words, “I do,” like splinters
on her lips.
Strain your eyes and crane your neck, my darling.
And then the fire.
The fire.
Strain your throat to scream, my darling,
out of the now-blackened-silver
window pane.
Then there was silence:
escapes come easier to some.

A mile away,
a groom had driven to the steeple,
his throat mimicking the leaves out in the cold;
quivering; shaking.
He had felt the warmth,
they all had.
And as the snow turned to ash,
what was once a man
arriving at a church,
became a bag of bones
heaped up at the mercy
of a cold stone building, aflame.

Then stone turned to dust,
smoke into sea,
and vows into now-blackened-silver.
Escapes escape some:
what a cruel game to play.
Ashes, ashes, we all fall down.

Dirt

I’m bleeding, the sun feels like a million lashes on my back.
My story has no beginning.

I’m bleeding, I feel it trickle down my temple to my jaw, dripping down my chin. The ringing in my ears turns to the sound of a violin. Then a steel gong. Then a crowd, screaming.
The crowd is screaming.
I shake my head, what a mistake: my head hurts more than the next blow that hits me does.
Actually, cancel that. The blow feels like a brick thrown in my ribs, might as well have been; I hear the familiar rustle of broken fragments in my chest. I gasp, and the crowd screams.
Breathe in, breathe out. Breathe in, breathe out. Br- Choke.
I choke on the fist that pounds my Adam’s apple, probably entangling it in my trachea. At least, that’s what it feels like.

I’m on the ground, and it hurts to breathe. Then a foot lands on my back, and I get a taste of what the dirt tastes like. Cheap cigarettes, I decide. Someone throws water on me, the crowd is screaming. My forearms are pushing me up, I don’t remember telling them to. I get up, and I hobble until I find whatever fragile balance I can manage. The crowd is screaming. Notes fly, I hear footsteps in my direction. I no longer remember what their owner looks like, my eyes stopped registering images a long time ago; everything’s a blur.
I feel a pinch on my face, must be the punch. I’m spinning.
Blur. Blur. Blur.
Red blur. Grey blur. Grey blur. Grey blur. Grey blur. Black.
I’m standing, the crowd is screaming. I’m still standing.
Why am I still standing?
I feel a jab in my chest, and everything seems to rush past, like it does when you’re in a really fast car. I’m no longer standing. Something whispers, “You’ve never been defeated.”
Something asks, “Why?”
The crowd is screaming.

I no longer concern myself with the genuine and spurious, I left myself back wherever it is I came from. I’ve never understood people’s love for chaos, is that genuine? Why do you claim to love what you spend your life trying run away from? Why do you try to put your life in order, if you love chaos? Or is it because you’ve given up on the concept of order, because all you see is chaos? If so, then why do you advocate the will to keep going on, when you willingly submit to what’s slowly breaking your world down around you?
I no longer concern myself with the genuine and spurious, I’m in no position to decide. My body is a temple I defile and destroy every day, my mind is chaos that I have given up on. If you manage to ever find me behind the blinding lights of insecurity and hypocrisy that surround me, tell me what is genuine, because you cannot get to me until you get past whatever surrounds you. I left myself back at wherever it is I came from, life is much better when you don’t remember or understand any of it.

My story has no beginning.
The crowd is screaming. I’m standing again.
I feel the wind whistle around my ears as I dodge the punch, step to a side and drive my elbow under his jaw. I tear the skin on his thighs with my feet. Then I squeeze, nay, crush his groin with my palm -tight enough to reduce stone to dust, I promise- and smile as I feel every pore on his body scream, every hair groan, every inch of him ache. I feel the sun like a thousand lashes on my back, and in turn rain them on his face.
Dark blur. Dark blur. Dark blur. Dark blur, a shade of crimson staining it. My fists ache, and I rise. He collapses, perhaps. I pay no attention, I left my sense of object permanence wherever it is I came from: out of sight, out of mind.
I am standing, and covered in blood, sweat, and dust. I am disintegrating.
I am not genuine. I am not fake. I am not me.
I am Jack’s blank, lost, pathetic mind.

The crowd is screaming. I dunk my head in a bucket of water, and breathe.
I disappear.
I am forgotten.

Midnight

Midnight.
The clock strikes twelve,
and a brighter side of me
emerges.
I tiptoe ahead of the sun,
just as radiant;
enough to confuse
the birds
and the flowers
that yawn,
and stretch their limbs towards the light;
towards
a fresh start.

Midnight.
The clock strikes twelve,
and the lights are dim.
My words are
an unintelligible mess.
On tables lie
scattered
pens and books and papers.
Scattered
like my thoughts
that I cannot
place together.
Withdrawal symptoms
take over,
alas,
I can never quit the night.

A clouded mind.
A thought,
an idea.
Privacy lost.
Secrets ripped past,
I lie,
stripped of myself,
naked.
I lie,
stripped of that moral coat
that we all strut about so proudly in;
it’s humid,
and I’m sweating.

A clouded mind,
and here comes the rain
gushing down in thick sheets
over my forehead.

The great depression.
The ocean:
a clear dark blue,
even as the sky above
is an inky mess.
What a sight,
what a sight.
I think I’ll jump in,
I think I’ll take a swim,
and let the tide
take over me.

The great depression.
Beyond lives and times,
and dilapidated houses,
and old rusty weapons;
in the bags under my eyes,
in the twinkle in yours.
Tell me,
what eats you alive
while you lie alone trying to sleep?

Midnight;
and a cycle repeats itself
Perhaps black and white suit us best.

Metaphors for People I Love

You’re my anchor. There’s no better way to put it.
I’m a ship: noisy, restless. I like to keep it moving, staying too long means taking a break from the thousands of places I’ve to go to; the thousands of lives I want to live. And then you came along, and here I am. In one place, calm and steady. You’ve got me to stay. Here I am, and I can slowly feel myself sink a little under your weight. The water seems different, less cacophonic. It’s different, but beautiful.
You’re my anchor, keeping me in one place; keeping me balanced.
Your gift to me: silence, as huge and unwavering as the ocean.

*****

You’re my music.
You changed my life completely, and now here I am. I changed for good, I hope. I think we both know that whether we like it or not, you’ll always be around, no matter what. In one way or another; complementing my mood all the time, sometimes a little too overwhelming for me.
I’m here, and you’re here but really there’s not much to do except to accept whatever happens. You’ll play, and I’ll listen. A repetitive mindless process, but I’m addicted. Too bad, it’s too late for me to go back or press pause.
Might as well make my peace with it.

*****

You’re a bridge.
I bet you didn’t expect to be in here, but here you are.
I walked all over you, didn’t I? I apologize for that, but really you were way too beautiful for me to not stop by and look around. And then I ended up staying, right in the middle. Alas, the sun sets everywhere, as it did on you. All paths come to an end. The thing about bridges is that they don’t exactly end, they connect. Their end is their collapse.
You connected me to who I was before and who I was to become. It makes me sad that you had to collapse and crumble slowly in order to get me to move to the other end. But I’ll forever be grateful.
I’ll probably always love you, as will you me. Thank you for being my friend.

*****

You’re a spark.
Every now and then, you disappear in some new relationship you create for yourself. And then I see glimpses of you, suddenly burning up. Then disappearing again.
But no matter how many times you might, I promise I’ll always look out for you. That’s just how you and I function. That’s how you and I have functioned for years. And I know when I need you, you’ll rage into a flame.
Never disappear completely please.

*****

You’re a tree.
It’s been so long since you’ve been around, old and wise, it’s hard to imagine or remember life without you. Rooted and firm, imperfect but whole. You’re not all mine, but that’s okay; you’re not one to belong to someone are you? Although I don’t always see you, you’re close by and knowing that makes me comfortable. One of my main sources of support is you, and no matter where I go, it will always be. I’m sorry for not telling you how much I really appreciate you, but I believe you do already know. My secrets whispered in your leaves, words etched into your bark, little depressions made into you and branches broken by my juvenility, you stand tall and strong and sure.
I’m so glad you’re here, I really am.

*****

You’re a breath.
A year back, on a particularly windy day, I decided to go down in the evening and take a walk, and ended up in a game of hide and seek. This game soon turned into an immature chase, common to most games idiots like me play. Point being, I ran into a vertical pole between two walls that I’d forgotten existed. Smack in the middle of my chest, this pole knocked my wind out of me. It was like having an anvil being dropped on your chest, I swear I couldn’t breathe or speak. And as I lay on the concrete, the wind blew around me, mocking me. Then after what felt like forever, a weight seemed to grudgingly shift off of my lungs and a sharp burst of air hit me inside.
That’s what you are.
You’re my breath of fresh air. Life knocked me over so hard, and I was lying on the concrete surrounded by the world, thinking I needed it all. And as I struggled for it, you casually came and touched me where I needed it, and before I knew it I was breathing easy again.
That pole left a gash on my chest for a week. My bruises still show. But I’m breathing easy again. I’m breathing well.
You are also my biggest fear. Rather, your absence is.
But like all things must, you will leave. And I’m way too deep into this to turn back, so even though I will never admit to it, I’m already mentally preparing myself for it. I’m clenching my fists and waiting for my wind to be knocked right out of me again, although I know my chest will still burn like hell when it is. And I’m making plans; how I’ll write about you, and the amazing metaphors I’ll have for our memories in my head, but really I don’t want it. Any of it. I’m sorry I cannot accept change.
But I’m breathing easy, and I’m not letting go (can’t) any time soon.

*****

Words Thrown Together on a Lonely Day

Millions
looking for an escape;
an excuse
to rise
into inky darkness above,
where many have gone,
but none returned.
Space
some call it.
Some call it heaven.
Whatever it might be
it is
for sure
a happy place.

Delusions.
For everything above,
is empty.
Plain old,
same old
emptiness.
Permanent happiness and comfort is
but a myth,
therefore heaven it cannot be.
And although light breaks the barriers of vacuum,
it does eventually burn out;
for even the sun one day
will turn black,
letting silence and movement
prevail.

But emptiness.
How does one break silence
where neither light
nor sound can travel?
A place that exists
in abscesses and absences,
in humiliation, and in grief,
in scars and bruises,
in tears, and in halfhearted smiles.
It chokes you,
hurts you.
Escapes
are then found
not above but deep within you,
definitions and rules,
nihilism and rebellion,
highs:
some controlled, others extreme.
Whatever’s your poison,
come pick.
All masochism.

And when everything below you dies,
you will rise.
Emptiness will kill you,
and emptiness will become you.
And you will rise.

For we all do:
the tiniest and the mightiest,
the meekest and the bravest,
the ordinary and the extraordinary,
we all rise
only to fall and shatter.
Or worse,
fade.


One day
your touch will liberate Atlas
of the weight
that he carries.
And as you watch him,
watch him weep,
touch his back.
Caress the bruises
that have been left on him.
Apologize.
Explain,
that we had nothing to lose,
and nothing to gain.
Run your fingertips
along where
our weapons of war
scarred
and where our tears
seared
his flesh.
Hunger for the pungent smell
of blood;
our blood
that lingers
on his skin.
Breathe in
all the pretty little lights
that crashed
and burned
his hide.

And when his eyes
meet yours,
beg his forgiveness,
and laud his patience;
his rage will never leave him,
so praise his control.
Stroke his ego,
listen to him scream.
And when it’s all out,
kiss him,
and watch him turn to stone.

One day,
when your touch liberates Atlas,
look him in the eye
and tell him you will stay.