A dark greyish picture of a mirror reflecting a tree.
thoughts

Beware the Mirror: the Not-Hidden Message Written on its Surface

When I see you, I believe it’s a mirror. You become a reflection of what I want to appear. Or should I say, not myself, as of now. This moment, like every moment before, I want to forget.

If only, I could see a memory. Then, I can make it real. Watch it become reality so I can change it. Or, give it a new name as if to say, ‘I own this thing too.’

There is no smoke & mirrors. Everything about this image is real. What isn’t, however, is my perception. Like, how I can look into a mirror and see myself reflected back. This is really me, except it isn’t. What I see is light refracted through the glass and my eyes making sense of it.

Science says, this is how a mirror works. And I think that’s right until I look into one. Then, I remember what Nietzsche said about staring into an abyss. A demon always glares back with my own eyes. See? No one has to teach a body how to despise itself.

It’s like the mirror reveals the worst in people. Brings out what’s hidden in darkness into light so it cannot be avoided. You ever try running away from the sun? Even a shadow can’t hide behind something when light discovers it. The same goes for the mirror. It says, I cannot hide from myself forever.

A mirror taught me about self-hate and its consequences. How you can love yourself a little less, the longer you stare into it. Find flaws you never cared about before. Secrets exposed for only you to see. It seems that light is just as blinding as the dark.

It’s like a mirror is a vacuum into another world. Maybe what I see isn’t a reflection, but my soul being pushed out into someone else. It works like love but more sinister.

Self-hate had me searching for reasons to hate myself. A mirror was my way to seek answers. Saw myself instead, as if this was the confirmation I wanted. And soon, the question of who am I became why aren’t I.

Or maybe, I’m the mirror. Broken, I can fix. Yet, will always see cracks on its surface. Funny how something as tough as glass can shatter so easy. You’re likely to cut your fingers putting its shards back together. It’s like the mirror says, ‘healing can hurt the skin as much as the wound inflicted upon it.’

A fixed mirror never works the way it did. It’s known that light refracts differently on cracked surfaces. Images become distorted as if trying to maintain its shape despite the fractures. Eventually, we look a little less human.

Then, we start acting like it. Become the monsters the mirror reveals us as. That’s why, we look for ourselves in other people. How do we call this love when no good comes from it? The heart beats and is beaten into submission. Why I’d rather see myself in a shattered mirror.

I hated my reflection so much, I punched the glass to break it. When only my knuckles bled, I realized how hate can turn into pain. And how human evolution is best seen in ways we destroy ourselves. Just look how quickly arrows and stones turned into guns and bombs. And how quickly I went from being outraged to enraged. 

And how I blamed you.

I mean, you should’ve told me about mirrors. About the bad luck of breaking one. That it curses you longer than a measly seven years. That the walls become mirrors themselves when you scream at them. That an echo is nothing more than a reflection of sound. That my own voice would get tired of speaking when it’s not being listened to.

You should’ve told me about myself. About where I fit into this world. That I do fit in this world. That I’m not a puzzle piece & that it’s okay if I don’t fit correctly into the ‘right spot’. That there aren’t any right spots. That there isn’t a puzzle or a shattered mirror. That glass, no matter how small, reflects an image as its seen. That I’m tougher than glass. That a reflection doesn’t reflect a lack of soul searching. You should’ve told me something.

Or maybe, I should apologize. Say sorry for not listening when you tried to speak.

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a picture of a planet exploding. the planet is surrounded by fire.
thoughts

Scapegoat: the Sky is the Reason for All our Sins

I hate when we preach for non-violence. And no, it’s not because I’m against peace. In fact, it’s the opposite. I crave for peace like the memory of a dream once I wake up in the morning.

What I hate is the exaggeration of it. Nothing about world peace is deliberate. It’s like a New Year’s Resolution: a goal that we don’t actively pursue.

We want to save the world while we’re destroying it. Is this arrogance or stupidity? Maybe both. But does it matter? My beliefs of heroes and villains are dead.

They’ve died on populated cities turned battlefields. I’ve long buried my hopes of peace in the same graveyards where we bury innocent victims of war.

This is who we are. Human nature is ruled by greed. We’ll scorch the grass and dirt in search for gold. The green of money means more than the green of Earth.

So why do we act like we hate chaos? We love fire as long as it’s not too close. Water is cool until it becomes too deep. What I’m saying is, we love violence.

It’s a spectacle. A way of coming to age. To be man. To be God. To be anything other than what we are now. What death brings is change. We cannot rebuild anything that isn’t already in ruins.

Think about it: the world is burning. Literally, burning. And I’m not just talking about global warning. Or, the onslaught of destruction that spreads across this nation and outside it.  

Even California is being plagued with fire. It’s like the prettier the green, the brighter it burns. All this devastation and we’re still looking for the scapegoat.

So let’s blame the sun. How dare it shine without giving us warning? Or even asking for our permission? What makes us human is how we can take a thing and make it do what we want it to.

Even if it goes against its own design.

Instead of spending billions of dollars on solar energy, we’ll build weather machines. That way, we can make the sky do as we please. Who cares if we abuse the o-zone layer?

The rain aren’t tears. Look at the clouds too long and you’ll never see a face. Not that we’d care if the sky can elicit genuine emotion. Science says, the sky is only blue because air scatters particles to make it that way. So blame the air too.

Surely, the earth has no feelings.

But let’s say the earth can somehow voice its depression. Foolish, I know. Still, let’s just for shits and giggles believe the earth should be taken care of.

We cannot be blamed for its suffering.

There’s always a scapegoat to be found. Just point to the sky and blame the clouds for its pollution. Yes you, Cumulonimbus cloud, how dare you turn a darker shade? Not even the sky owns the right to love its color.

Mother Earth or Mother Nature—still a woman. Emotions are a biological flaw and not what makes something human. It’s always that time of the month. Say women are prone to be too emotional and then we can ignore it.

But have you heard the saying, Hell hath no fury than a woman scorned. The irony of that particular quote. To see all this fire and not think “yeah, maybe there’s some truth to it.”

Still, there’s no reason to fear. We’ve learned to tame fire like a dog domesticated of its animal. As soon as we put fire into a gun, we craved war. It’s stupid to fear what cannot kill us, right?

That is, until that gun is pointed into our own heads. Now, we want to control the gun and not the hand holding it. It’s similar to what we want of the sky. To control its air and not the pollution we created.

#poetry

What the Mirror Echoes When We Scream Into it

thoughts are twisted, searching for a god
in the starkest mirror. since scars tell a story,
a novel was scripted of the author’s intentions.

flaws & addictions hidden behind walls to shield
a frost-bitten heart from years of wallowing
in sorrow—
an infliction that I caused.

the reflected image causes this memory lost.
It’s like I picture myself calm, then grab a camera,
damage the lenses, darken the pigment & blot
every pixel with pencils until it looks cryptic,
scarring your vision.

this is the terrorist battle fought between soul
& mind where I rebel against
a devil,
who sent legion of demons into my head.

& still I wait for this hell to unravel,
as madness rages against my soul
every smile buries my face.

psychotic laughter turns chaotic
as if my own voice is tortured
even the world turns different,
distorted, distant—

coiled & contorted into a shape
I morph earth into with my own fingers.

dreamers like us are always considered
insane—left imprisoned in a system.
belittled & condensed

feeling tense facing intense ridicule waiting
for pretenses to change.
rumor has it that looking towards the future
is tragic. this can ruin the fabric of time itself.
& I’m aware

this heart on your sleeve is only there to disguise
any loss of pride you felt. no one cares
about emotions untouched.

all we know of the ocean is the blue
of its surface. only those who don’t fear drowning
look deeper. so how can we learn?
what’s the benefit of experience being a good teacher
when we choose ignorance?

war on a battlefield only worsens
when anger kills every thought that is anchored,
reveals a broken person—or a weapon built
of ego—a dagger is how we hold this burden—
why we turn our bodies into garden of Eden
to scold the serpent? An act of rebellion,
shows the purpose of why we exist. 

& the ocean becomes an abyss  
we hope submerges into us. we name things
to make them smaller, to see ourselves taller,
but gold is worthless when its compared
to the sun—
becomes foolish not to fear the bullet
when you carry the gun—
this is how I know a god is what I’m scared to become.

thoughts

No More Gardens of Eden: A Warning to Anyone Telling us this Food is Forbidden

There’s a war happening. Starvation is the motive and food has become weapons of mass destruction. And this is all your doing. You’ve created world hunger. In fact, you’re the one who designed the blueprint. You feel nothing from those who died. Instead, you build slaughterhouses on their graves.

We know all this, and yet somehow, we feel sorry for you.

When we were children, we truly believed you knew everything. I mean, how could we think otherwise? Who you were: the adults, the politicians, the parents, the teachers, the authority figures. So when we asked questions about the world, why did this evoke fear and anger?

The world is a big kitchen. You built its fridge, the cabinets, stove, and microwave. And even though they’re faulty and outdated, I should tell you we’re grateful. Truly, we are. That’s why, all we ask to know is how these appliances function. Through understanding, we can learn how to fix them. So they’ll be as good for us as they once were for you. Yet for some reason, you don’t tell us.

As if the bolts and screws are these delicate things we can’t handle. That our hands are too small to pick up the tool box where you’ve “conveniently” put on the highest shelf to be out of reach. You tell us, the world works the way it does because that’s how it is. What you really mean to say: the world can only work the way we say it does. And how is this fair?

Our childlike eyes must give you the impression of blissful ignorance. That we look at this stove and fridge as a toy. Like the way children look at pots and pans as drumsticks on rough surfaces. But as we’re taught—we can learn from suffering. When hungry, we learned the usage of pots and pans is to give us food.

You don’t think we can comprehend the reason of things? Even with little knowledge of a kitchen, we know it’s purpose is to prepare food. And the world works the same way. It’s here to give us a place to live. We’re alive simply because the world exists. So why won’t you tell us how this works?

I think you’re afraid to tell us. Because then, we’d know that you have no idea. The world is what it is because you’ve made it that way. The truth is, you need the world to act this way because you know no other way to live.

This is how it was when you were young and it must remain. Your fear is irrational and change turns into a phobia. For you, handing us the tools is like putting the crown on our heads. It’s giving us the keys to everything that cages you. What you’re afraid of is us.

Yet, can we blame you? Sacrificing power must be hard. You’ve found this kitchen and are expected to hand it over to someone fortunate enough to already have cooked food. If we told you what we wanted to do, would it help calm you? What we want to do is save the world. We believe nobody should be hungry. There’s enough for everybody and even leftovers in the fridge.

So why is there starving people? Those that live outside this house do matter. In fact, they’ve helped gathered the wood and brick to build this kitchen. And even if they didn’t, who are you to own this? This kitchen was preparing food before you became the chef. So you must hand over what belongs to us too.

Instead, you’ve placed menus on voting ballots. Read directions of a cookbook as a rousing speech. Had brunches and picnics as a celebration of a rebellion that can never be revolutionary. Eradicating world hunger was never your agenda. You understood: only hungry people brought food. It’s always been about making money.

Age doesn’t breed wisdom, but arrogance. You care for no ceasefire to a war fought by others that only you’ve benefitted from. This kitchen is only sanctuary as this house is the border walls to the war outside. And we see right through your façade.

So you’re not invited to the cookout—we’ve crossed your name from the guest list. If we have to do this without you, we will. We have. We’ve turned this kitchen into an open café with no price of admission.

And in case you see the “we’re open” sign on the front doorway, just know you won’t be welcomed here.

thoughts

What is Life is a Disaster Movie

What We Love is of Hate

There’s always a pressing matter to discuss. A war, a struggle, a death or thousands of deaths. The world is a big place so surely something will go wrong.

Think about how the best stories are always the most tragic. We love disaster movies that happen after society collapses and the human population has been cut in half.

And why is that?

People tend to come together after a natural disaster takes place. Will it ever cross our minds that if we came together before the destruction we’d best defend against it? When watching a disaster movie, this is what I think about. If the characters came together before the storm, would they have escaped disaster sooner?

If this is the case, the movie would be over in the first fifteen minutes. And we can’t have that, can we? Hollywood needs to make money and the audience must be entertained. The reality is that we love tragedy. Suffering breeds character, right? It’s the creed that we live by. So why do we fear death? Why do we act like we’re not in love with carnage?

What We Romanticize is Everything

It’s always a fight between good and evil. I ask myself how is this true? History has never been born of memory. War is never fought between heroes and villains, but two opposing sides. Those who win the war get to tell how it started.

This is why war films are conflicting to me. Disaster movies with the soldier as the main character—everything that happens is from their point-of-view.

But what about the civilians? What becomes of them when telling someone else’s story? When it’s their homes that are battleground. When they become as meaningless to the government as are buildings to a bomb. We let them become foot-notes or simply forgotten.

What is History is Determined by Those Who Survive it

Life is similar to disaster movies. Everything we own is threatened when valued by someone else. It’s so easy to take advantage of other people. We’d put our lives in the hands of someone who only knows how to handle a weapon. Is this why love leads to heartbreak? To protect someone, they have to be more valued than a gun.

War is chess but played like checkers. We think having the most pieces on the board means we’re winning. Sacrifice is easy with this mindset. The more you have makes it easier to give something up. In other words, it’s not a loss if it can be replaced.

Politics seem so simple when we think like this. Have enough people on our side and we’ll call it a victory. We no longer question what is being fought for as we’re too concerned with fighting against something. For once, I want to feel like I’m going somewhere rather than leaving a place. Even if the destination doesn’t exist, I’d rather believe it does. It’s better than always having to run from something. I’m exhausted from being paranoid that everything is a threat.

What is Hell is Made Up of Ourselves

There’s always a devil, a sinister force, or a boogieman hidden in the darkest corners. So let’s shine light there and expose them. I’d rather see the devil’s true face than pretend we live in heaven because we can’t feel the fire. Don’t you?

We never cared for each other. Whether if it’s votes in politics or successes in work—we find no worth in ourselves. What we accomplish is more important than who we are. Love is earned and malice is given, when it should be the other way around.

The future is grim as is my excitement for it. Fear, and not love, has dictated every decision we make. It’s a sickness that everyone is infected with. A virus of hate that has turned into an epidemic. We can’t retreat into ourselves as a quarantine forever. Eventually, we’ll have to discover a cure. And yet, I ask myself: what’s the point? Ignoring the scars makes the pain hurt a little bit less.

thoughts

Political Elections & The End of the World as We Voted

Election Day is the Worst Day Ever

I cannot wait until the midterm elections are over. At this point, I’m annoyed by the whole concept of voting. It’s not like we actually care about politics anyways.

Voting is like picking teams for basketball in elementary school gym class. We’re most concerned about being on the popular team that we ignore if the captain is an asshole.

This mindset that voting in the midterm elections is a life-or-death situation is fallacious. Voting for democratic senators who do nothing for us won’t stop the Book of Revelations from becoming reality. So why continue to use fear mongering tactics to get people to take part in the midterm elections?

The Definition of Insanity

I remember the 2016 presidential election just like everyone else. The feeling that we were only one congressional hearing away from cotton-picking will never be forgotten. And yet, are we really surprised at the outcome of that election? Regardless of the masks and disguises America wears to hide its bigotry, we’ve seen its true face. It’s old, white, wrinkly, misogynistic, racist, sexist, homophobic, transphobic, and everything-else-but-white-man-phobic face.

So why are we acting this way?

Guilt-tripping and threatening people to vote in the 2016 presidential election didn’t sway people to vote. So why would repeating these actions in the midterm elections be any different?

You should know a little fact: HILARY CLINTON DID WIN THE 2016 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION!!! This means that people did, in fact, vote.

Let’s be clear of three important things: Hilary Clinton won the popular vote (even without 53% of white women’s support); over two million more people voted for Hilary Clinton than Donald Trump; Hilary Clinton has more votes than all other losing presidential candidates. And she still lost.

So with all that said, what’s the point in voting when the Electoral College’s decision means more than the popular vote?

Let me clarify one thing

I’m not saying that we shouldn’t vote. I do think voting is important in getting our voices heard. Issue voting in the midterm elections is a better alternative than simply supporting a democratic politician.

Still, voting cannot be the best (and only) method of getting results in our favor. To me, voting for candidates that are fighting for us is the smart way to go about fixing this mess of a government. We should care for people’s issues with the same passion that we have for their votes. Remember, real life people are dying because of real life policies made by REAL LIFE politicians.

 Surely, we’re smart enough to know that voting for the “lesser evil” will never bring about change that is for the good, right?

In a war between two corrupted political parties, I don’t want to pick a side. It’s like asking me if I want to die by burning alive or being thrown in a pool with hungry sharks. Neither option is good and we don’t have to choose either option. It makes no sense that my life rests in the hands of Democrats who care more about my vote than my well-being. Even worse, they don’t even care about my vote more than the support of right-wingers.

Nonvoters aren’t to Blame for the Government’s Mistakes

We should care about people despite their votes. Understanding why someone chooses not to vote will only help in the long run.

People aren’t doing great. Ignore the illusion of social media that makes it seem everyone is rich and happy. Don’t believe the government when they throw out facts and statistics to prove how great they are. Just because the economy is good doesn’t mean less poverty. So demanding poor people to vote to alleviate everyone else’s suffering is incredibly selfish. In fact, the more I learn about capitalism, the more I understand why people aren’t eager to vote.

However, if you do only care about people’s votes then you should act like it. The government has taken extra measures to restrict people’s rights to votes for some time now. Even with our right to vote, we should know as black people that our rights aren’t fully protected. Yet, I haven’t heard much fuss about any of these restrictions. Instead, the media is still talking about the Russian hacking as if the American government isn’t intervening in the midterm elections.

The Orange Devil with the Blonde Toupee

Donald Trump has truly brought the worst out of everyone. And I’m not just talking about Republicans. (Even though, they’re lost their minds.) The Alt-Right has finally succeeded in retaking control of the government. Not that I’m stupid enough to think they ever lost control of it to begin with. It’s just not hidden anymore.

If I wasn’t black, I’d say our government is trash. However, I do find relief that the bigotry plaguing America has finally bubbled up to the surface. If only this epidemic was bad enough that we focused on finding its cure. Instead, we force ourselves to keep feeding into the disease like it’s not going to kill us anyways.

The Revolution Must be Vaccinated

You’re not being entirely truthful if you believe voting will fix everything. To say that voting is the only way for our voices to be heard isn’t only inaccurate but historically incorrect. Organizing and educating ourselves on government issues are as important as voting. The more we know, the better off we’ll be. We must learn what neoliberalism, imperialism, capitalism, and fascism is and how they work. This way, we won’t keep being treated like pawns by the American government.

We must stop thinking that voting is the magical vaccine that will end the zombie apocalypse, especially when the government is causing the disease.

Despite the government’s role, I believe that people still have the power. And that power doesn’t come solely from a ballot box. Voting for a politician that fits our needs is where true power comes from. This is why I wish we were power hungry, instead of being overpowered by fear.

Let me by clear: I don’t hate the Russians for what they did. (Well, I don’t hate them as much as Democrats do.) I’m indifferent when it comes to this election hacking controversy that’s been all over the news.

America has been stripping away black people’s right to vote ever since we were given it.

Not only that, but I’d say what happened in the 2016 election was karma rearing its ugly head. After all, America has hacked into elections across the world. Now, all of a sudden, they want to say meddling into elections is a problem.

Why is it that everyone else is always suffering because of rich white men’s decisions?

The American Pipe Dream

Hasn’t America warned us not to put all our faith in politicians? This is not what Martin Luther King died for. And you cannot tell me otherwise. In fact, Malcolm X told us how we should use our voices and votes.

I refuse to believe our ancestors fought and died so we could vote to put old white people in charge of things.

I refuse to believe that Harriet Tubman was taking negroes to FREEDOM just so we can put old white people in leadership positions.

I refuse to believe that the Black Panther Party was packing heat and bringing war to the Ku Klux Klan for old white people to use our votes for their own gains.

Despite what black people at these Trap Brunches say, I don’t believe voting alone will take us to the Promised Land.

Is it wrong that I want my vote to matter? Like, really matter? And not simply vote just to spite Republicans.

I want to vote for senators that are actually going to help the people that are voting for them.

I want to empower politicians that aren’t money hungry and war mongering.

I want a congress that’s ran by the people and actually for the people.

I know this is a pipe dream. This sort of reality can never exist as long as politics are the way they are. A democrat throwing bread crumbs on the floor is the best I can hope for to get fed. It’s better to be a dog than starving at the kitchen table, right?

WRONG!

The right to vote is a reason to be depressed. One vote means one more person to suffer and die for the benefit of old ass white people. For this reason, I wonder if voting in the midterm elections or any other election makes me any better than the president I despise?

thoughts

The Silent Revolutionary and a Poem about Scrap Paper

 

Are poets revolutionary?

I’ve always wondered the intentions of poetry. Was it a representation of the world? Or do poets, through our writing, change the world to what it should represent?

Then again, maybe I’m thinking too big. I should focus on myself. An entire universe lives within my skin. Me as insignificant as the moon in a galaxy of stars.

I ask myself: can I write a love poem?

Not for anyone else but me. Would that be narcissistic even when devoid of love? I want to tell myself I’m happy and mean it. As opposed to feeling a sense of guilt. It’s like the words I speak are a blasphemous prayer to a god who must be overwhelmed.

If thunderstorms are temper tantrums, then a natural disaster is god having a mental breakdown. And it seems he’s having a lot lately. In fact, I think I should write about it. Find some similarities between the rain and me. Maybe then, I’ll feel this connection to god that has been a stranger. Being a poet is my way of reaching out to a forgotten friend.

But it’s not all bad. Through all the world’s ills, the most important thing I’ve done was love my poetry again.

For a while, I hated seeing my voice written on the page. Becoming so addicted to editing, I never wanted to show my poetry. And to think, I wouldn’t have created this blog or published my poetry book, had I allowed myself to continue falling down that long spiral to absolute nowhere.

If you ask me? I’d say poetry has been therapeutic.

And sometimes, I actually mean it when I say it. What I think poetry has become is a diary. I have a secret that I’m afraid to say. So poetry is how I express the words I cannot speak. This way, I can take something complex and simplify it. Make the unexplainable understandable.

Poetry is a language that is learned through the heart.

It’s not something to be read, but felt. A cry for help through humor or a comedy born of tragedy– poetry is only limited to how open the poet chooses to be. And from this, I’ve discovered my secret.

How I hate that poetry isn’t intended for the poet. Once it’s read, the words are no longer mine. Poetry is the heart and the poet is the body, poked and prodded. You focus on the poetry and forget the poet exists.

However, it’s not your fault. We’re taught to be careless. And in carelessness breads arrogance. We want to see ourselves in everything. Even in what doesn’t belong to us. Poetry is always taken from its owner. This is how a poet can understand the meanings of words that seem similar.

For example, the difference between a refugee and a wanderer is dependent upon two questions: why they left and where they’re going. That is to say, a poet finds inspiration from being lost or searching for something. Either way, the journey isn’t easy.

Of course, no one cares of a poet’s dedication to the craft. We uncover love through suffering– not all of which is our own. This is how we know that love requires sacrifice. We allow ourselves to be wounded in order to reveal the pain that needs healing.

And fear is born this way. When writing poetry, we know it must end. It’s like we write to obtain a sense of immortality. This way, we’ll be remembered even after the poem is finished.

I ask you: what’s wrong with being scrap paper? Or why does poetry have to be read for poets to be respected?

Since you value a good poem, we’ll fictionalize anything. Create ourselves as the protagonists we want you to love. Even if it’s at the expense of our own character.

For me, I’ve found power in scrap paper. It’s why I aspired to be a poet ever since I picked up a pencil. Writing is the closest I’ve felt to being immortal. I’m able to create anything I want from nothing. Tell my story using my own words in however way I want to use them. Instead of writing poetry, I’m able to embody it.

But the world isn’t as liberating.

Sometimes, I ask what’s the point of having scrap paper? A pencil running out of led is useless. And this is my fear.

Instead of an ending, I become afraid of not finishing. What happens to the poem if it’s stopped mid-sentence? Does someone continue where I left off? Is it possible to understand intent when it’s not fully written?

All I desire is to hold no meaning. I’m a radical in my thinking. Wanting to live in a world where worth isn’t depended upon anything outside myself. The more I write, I realize how selfish I really am. I hate how we define poetry: that it cannot be a poem if no one can decipher its meaning.

I’ve allowed myself to be limited. For too long, I’ve settled with being a pretty phrase in a poem. Someone else is telling me who I am. This is no way to live– a poet trapped in someone else’s poetry.

Why do I need to be defined? Instead of poetry, I want to be scrap paper. There’s limitless possibilities of what I can write in the white spaces. Finally, I can write a love poem and actually like it. Not because of the words, but simply because I wrote it.

So yes, poetry is revolutionary.

When I say I love myself, I want to

#poetry

Tsunami Waves

I’m not sure if it’s my jealously of the sky
that has me afraid to touch it
or my fear of drowning that makes me hate
swimming.

how does my body crave water?

grabbing the edge of a swimming pool
in a vice grip, I kick at the bottom,
desperate to find footing somewhere.
careful to avoid the deep end.

& I think this is fear.

struggling to lift a glass to my lips
without my fingers shaking.
my head hurts thinking about
hot showers &
don’t even tell me there’s a storm approaching.

I hide in my room under covers
when it rains. my heart beats as loud
as thunder. the darkest clouds always
look like claws to me.

is this what anxiety feels like?
being thirsty & everyone telling me
to drink water as if it isn’t poison?

if only I could breathe underwater
grow gills like a fish
but there’s a flood & I’m trying to make myself
into a boat & I’m sorry—

sinking is the one thing I’m great at doing.
my happiest is when I reach a shallow end.
when the tides take pity on me & stop attacking.
when I can put my toes into the water
& not have someone push me into it.

when they tell me this is how I’ll learn
to swim
even as I tire myself out flapping my arms
against the current.
when they tell me I need water to live
& I’m not sure If I want to
not if living means never being on land.

if only I saw this water a mirror.
its blue reflected of open sky
but the water, unlike a mirror, cannot break.
its surface only temporarily displaces when touched upon.
the ocean symbolic of me. I can lose myself
for a while, but will always keep coming back.
into this place
even if I don’t want to.

say my fear is generational.
passed down from ancestors I never knew,
or got the chance of knowing. when they were
stripped of their human
like their skin was old cloth. tattered
at the seams. stitched with bamboo
that was bonding them to their homeland.
now the threads have been cut.
replaced with chains.
anchored onto boats, taken into
a place I’ll soon call home
simply because I’ve only lived here
& I’m sorry

isn’t it sad how they were forced out
into water? had nowhere to escape but
under? I think I understand why now.

why they jumped overboard into the ocean,
birth blue their bodies. allowed the waves
to devour them whole.
escaping what they were to become
to avoid the memories of who they were before.

I discover no footprints within oceans
so when I say I want to go back
it’s only metaphorically.
I see the ocean as tears symbolic
of grief for what is lost. I can never find
what I’m losing—

ain’t no such thing as still water.
the tides are always moving
as if running away from themselves.
but ocean can only go where it’s allowed.
the strength of water means nothing
when something is blocking its way
so maybe the ocean is body symbolic
of what I want to sacrifice. I hope
to never find all that I want to lose.

as I hear the gnarling teeth of rushing tide,
this water at a distance at its most calm,
I think I was twelve when I discovered fear.
the news telling a story of a black boy–
still young but older than me– had leaped
into a creek & didn’t come back up.
a witness said he had disappeared somehow,
vanished, as if the water devoured him
& refused to spit him back out.

I didn’t follow the story long enough to know
if his body was found. on good days, I’d like
to imagine so. that the water found use for him.
that he was symbolic of Jesus
or Emmitt Till or some other dead black boy
we’ll never know because no one knows
is missing & I’m sorry—

I see the ocean as home symbolic
of being lost & I can never find
what I’m searching to find.

I want to ask the ocean
to swallow my body whole & spit me out
as something
other than tsunami waves
as I want to be part of the sky,

touch the blue that hasn’t threatened to kill me,
without destroying everything I touch
when I fail to reach it.

thoughts

The Grammy Award Winning Marketing Genius that is Kanye West

Attention, Attention, Attention

If you haven’t heard Kanye West is selling something.

I’m not entirely sure what that something is at the moment but I know that it’s something. I know because Kanye West is speaking to the people. This is always a special moment for the black community. When Kanye West speaks, we listen. Take in his words like a prayer that will get us through another troubling week. Even God stops his Heavenly duties to hear what his other begotten son Yeezus has to say. Kanye is this powerful.

It should be no shock to anymore. I’m a huge Kanye West fan. Or, as he likes to be called: “the artist formally known as Kanye West who goes by Ye.” He’s such an artistic genius, I doubt normal people like you will ever understand. Like, how my name was David but now I call myself “Id.” You know, like, one of the three psyches of the brain. That’s how much of an artistic genius I am.

Anyways, I can’t wait to buy whatever Kanye West is selling.

The Compelling Art of Trolling

Kanye West has the greatest marketing campaign ever. The way he’s able to make black people question the severity of American slavery in order to sell us something is legendary work. I never thought I’d see the day when black people would question the strength of our ancestors who fought to get us where we are today.

And it’s about time!

To think 400 years of slavery, rape, family separation, and inhumane suffering should be seen in the same light as 9/11 or the Holocaust is just disrespectful to all the real victims of tragedy. We are not our grandparents, indeed. If only Harriet Tubman and Nat Turner had iPhones to capture racism for consumption. Instead, they were planning revolts and freeing slaves. We’d be better off as a people if our ancestors just worked alongside their slave masters like black liberals work alongside politicians who endorse white supremency. Thank you Mr. West for opening my third eye.

Artistic Integrity

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What I like most about Kanye West is his growth. How he went from saying George Bush didn’t care about black people to celebrating Donald Trump because he fights for black people. Have you seen the unemployment rate for African Americans? According to Trump’s twitter account, they’ve gone down because of him. Now we too get to work for minimum wage and poor benefits. Yay!

I remember Kanye West before he used Twitter. When he just made rants on camera like any normal “out of their mind” celebrity would do. Do you remember those good ol’ days? When Kanye West would use his tours to promo lengthy rants about all things celebrity instead of performing the music that his fans spent a lot of money to hear. If not, then let’s reminisce.

Today, Kanye West has learned a new marketing skill: the art of the mental breakdown. But I can’t give Kanye all the credit. I mean, every strong man has an even stronger woman behind him. So I’d like to give credit to the Kardashians for saving Kanye from the sunken place. Where would we be as black people without the Kardashian’s efforts?

The Kanye West Album Rollout

I know Kanye West has an album coming out. (Or, is it two albums?) One, I know for sure is Yandhi and the other I hear is Watch the Throne 2. The album Yandhi is apparently pushed back to November 23th because Kanye has to record the album all the way in Africa. You know, to be in touch with his blackness that people claim he forgot existed. Even though the album was delayed until November, he decides to wait until the week of its release to say he hadn’t finished it. Which is a very Kanye West-thing to do, if you ask me.

The second album, Watch the Throne 2, is what I’m most intrigued about though. I’m as excited for that album as Jay Z, if not more. I wonder who’s going to be the artist Kanye will collaborate with. Maybe Drake and him patched things up and will become friends again in time for the release. Or maybe, Kanye and Pusha T will team up to finish Drake off in a two-on-one beat down. Even better, Kanye could leech off one of the newer rappers like most veteran artists do, when their star power wanes a bit. With all these unanswered questions and built up anticipation, you’d think Kanye West was the new Dragon Ball Z narrator.

What Kanye West has taught me Image result for trolling money

Selling our souls for popularity isn’t that bad. This new way of marketing has made us gods to whoever we’re appealing to. Isn’t it great how doing antics and “going viral” has brought out humanity’s best? Who knew that all I had to do to be heard was to scream louder than anyone in the room. I mean, why should Kanye West use his platform to preach a good message?

The marketing is simple: sell integrity in exchange for clout.

It’s time to accept the reality. We’re no longer people anymore. Our worth is measured by numbers and statistics. In order to have importance, we must rack up a good online following. Otherwise, we’re nobody but a social media page. And who wants to be that when we can be celebrities? The closest to Godhood any person can possibly reach.

In Defense of Ye

So I’m not sure why people don’t like Kanye West. He’s done entirely too much good for the fashion industry to be disrespected. But let me guess, he didn’t do enough for Chicago? Well, Kim Kardashian said she’d take over Yanda’s House and do more for the community than the organizers that are there. And I believe her. If anyone can help the  black youth in Chicago, who’s better to save them than a Kardashian? Just look at the amazing work she’s done with Donald Trump to save the blacks from the racist prison industry. Who knows, she might free Bill Cosby with the hard work she’s been doing for the community.

Now, Kanye West has set his sights on the thirteenth amendment.

kim-kardashian-donald-trump-meeting-twitter-social-hp-crop-1527781336The amendment that abolished slavery and quite possibly the most important of all amendments that keeps black people safe. (Well, as safe as America will allow us to be.) I’m sure there’s a reason Kanye West wants to end the thirteenth amendment. Maybe Kim Kardashian explained how the thirteenth amendment empowered the mass incarceration of black people. And Kanye, being the black pioneer that he is, wants to destroy the racist prison industry. Surely, this must be the reason. Kanye West wouldn’t be so stupid to get rid of the thirteenth amendment for anything else, right? He is a genius, after all.

And as far as Donald Trump is concerned, I understand why Kanye stands behind him. The reason he wears that “Make American Great Again” hat is the same reason he wore the confederate flag. Kanye West is trying to bring black people together so that we can be great too. Like, how Kanye West is great. You see, it’s all a part of his genius: thinking of others before himself.

So again thank you, Mr. West, for making true liberation ba-lack again.

#poetry

Affirmation

I know nothing of cave diving
but I’m an expert at escaping.
& this is all I know. not poetry

so I tell myself, I’ll learn how to write
this poem, but until then I’ll teach
myself how to breathe.

say my body is mine as I am to it.
remember we work in one accord.
we are one & not a collection of parts.

though I forget how a machine works,
how the loosening of a screw can make it
malfunction. I’ve become a builder of things.

my hands stay dirty & my fingers coated
in scorched earth. I learn that everything
has a place, including what has been abandoned.

even a building was a home to someone.
once, I was a house. this thing to be taken care of.
love was carved into the walls & cabinets & carpets

but never the backdoor. I tell myself
there’s nothing out there in the yard
but an exit. sometimes, an escape is

only used by cowards. I wanted to stay
but told myself that leaving isn’t my fault.
how a broken window can make a house

less a home? why am I concerned
of people thinking my house is beautiful
when they don’t live here?

I want to find god. this is why I stopped
writing poetry. I teach myself how to pray
as easy as breathing. oh lord, can I be an offering?

can I be someone worthy of prayer?
the only congregation I have
are the grass & rock under my feet.

do you see how they dance in the wind?
is this breathing? did my lungs hear me say:
this body is mine as I am to it?

had it always been this easy?
be in control by simply being.
this is how I’ll start my poem

by finding home in words unspoken.
tell my tongue: this body is mine
as I am to it. force my teeth to listen.

I’ve always been a cave.
inviting despite the darkness
one enters & can never leave

sometimes, to escape we must go back.
understand fear & how we become afraid.
of it & of everything else.

why is the night the only darkness
to hold stars? is my skin not worthy
of being night? I long forget its beauty.

so I want to find love again. to tare down
all these walls & experience land.
it’s not fair how a home is a place

that can be entered & not a feeling
everywhere at once. sometimes,
to escape is realizing we aren’t caged.

this is how I learn to write this poem
as easy as prayer as easy as breathing
by saying: this body is mine as I am to it

& believing myself.

thoughts

The “Proper” Farewell to The Black Panther of All Panthers: Cliff Huxtable

Disclaimer…

As a black boy living in America, I just want to come to the table with some insight. Considering that I can’t cook greens or chicken without burning the kitchen down, it’s the least that I can do for the black community at large. I want to tell you a harsh truth—something that’s been on my mind for a few years now. This article is going to give you a glimpse of how I feel about my fellow Wakadians or Wakadans or Wakas or whatever black people called themselves in the Black Panther.

The Eulogy of The Greatest Black Man to Ever Live

Bill Cosby is going to jail and I feel a bit “sentimental” about the whole thing. I remember watching the Cosby Show, and I thought that Fat Albert was a great movie when I was younger (Kyra Pratt was in it which made the movie even better.) So as the justice system takes another black man away from us, I thought it appropriate to remember the man the way he should be remembered.

Truth be told…

Sometimes, the black community really disgusts me. While the constant need for white acceptance is one thing I can tolerate. This thing where we have to support everyone black is even more aggravating. There are too many coons and ultra-liberal black people using black suffering and black activism to further their own causes for me to support everyone that has melanin in their skin. Not even my self-esteem is low enough to where I’m accepting any form of “wokeness” out of desperation. cliffhuxtable

Again, I’m a black boy. So I know how America loves giving white people the spotlight. Hollywood, especially, tends to give roles of directors, writers, and movie characters to white people. Therefore, black people have to demand and fight for positions that we’d be overlooked for. Which only adds to the anger and protests during the award season that most of these award shows don’t really care about. Too often, most of the nominations are given to White people. And even more frequently, they win these awards.

As a community, our need for the spotlight seems unhealthy. It’s like we can’t shine without someone else putting that light on us. What we should do is find power in shining on our own. Instead, we want those who’d rather keep us in the dark to illuminate us in some way. It’s to the point that we’ve become blinded to a lot of things that shouldn’t be ignored. Especially, within our own community.

In this case, it’s the rape case of Bill Cosby.

The Man that was Cliff Huxtable

It took 60 women (where only ONE was believed) and two trials to finally put Bill Cosby away. And yet, there are black people out there who are still trying to excuse or defend what he did. I see way too many times people bringing up Donald Trump, Harvey Weinstein, or some other creepy old white dude rapist with Bill Cosby’s name. The reason is to show the racial component to the severity of punishment for black rapists and sexual predators compared to their white counterparts.

And I would like to be the first one to say how stupid it is.

Yes, the way the justice system treats black people is unfair, wrong, and extremely racist. As a black boy myself, I understand it. I’ve seen racism and experienced it just like every other black person across this country and outside its borders. The blackness of my skin is like the boogeyman to most white people and institutions across the world. Which is probably why the spotlight for most is important. The light keeps the big, bad boogeyman far away and out of reach.

The First Killmonger…

Bill Cosby remembers Cab Calloway during memorial services

Still, I understand why we admire Bill Cosby. He’s had success within the Entertainment industry from stand-up comedy specials to hit television shows. And just like with any black celebrity who finds success in the white dominated world of Hollywood, we flock together to support him. Bill Cosby had become a beacon, showing us that we can stand in that spotlight too.

However, I no longer care for that spotlight. My apathy towards the spotlight is similar to Bill Cosby’s apathy towards black people in general. Which is why I’m even more confused by black people’s sudden rush to defend Cosby.

The man didn’t like us. At all.

More than a decade ago, Bill Cosby made the “Pound Cake Speech.” A speech that should’ve had his Negro Card revoked and the word “Coon” branded in the middle of his forehead. In this speech, Cosby demonized poor black people for their problems and harsh living conditions. The reason he shamed black people, I assume, is because racism didn’t exist during that time or something. According to Cliff Huxtable, black people had failed to live up to the promises of the Civil Rights Movement.

Therefore, with all due disrespect, Bill Cosby is the modern day Willie Lynch. A wannabe Martin Luther King spending his life looking to be accepted into the White Man’s kingdom. And yet, I’m expected to be outraged that he’s going to jail for being a rapist? Well, I’m not. In fact, I’m happy for his victims and hope that all 60 women find some form of justice and peace.

One last thing…

Let me also say this to those black people bringing up the racial disparity in Cosby’s rape case: Why are you standing up for a man who was looking down on you? Bill Cosby isn’t the “hill I’m willing to die on.” In fact, he’s nowhere near the hill. To be even more clear, Bill Cosby isn’t even in the valley in which the hill rests.

Just because white America is okay with their rapists  being free does not mean that I have to support rapists because they are black. Not all skin-folk is kin-folk and that is doubly true when it comes to rapists and sexual abusers. Black Lives Matter cannot extend their message to these criminals when Black people who are victims of rape and sexual assault within our community don’t receive this same level of support.

So fuck Bill Cosby.

And I cannot wait until R. Kelly suffers the same fate because he’s disgusting too.

thoughts

Time Scars All Wounds

The first symptom of discovering illness

Sometimes, what we dream to be isn’t healthy. In a world that doesn’t care about anyone, how aren’t we ill? Always in search for something on a road we’re told we must create for ourselves. Time isn’t in our control and never has been. With or without us, it’s always moving.

It’s a road we travel where we’ll never reach a destination. All this road covered in land where we could build homes for everyone. Instead, we’re too concerned about what’s at the end of this “journey.”

Father Time isn’t a Witch Doctor…

Whoever said time healed all wounds was a liar.

Or maybe I misheard what the saying meant. It’s possible the only wounds that are healed are the physical ones. Then again, even those wounds leave lasting scars behind. So while the pain disappears, the memory of how we get them remain.

The worst wounds are the mental ones. Sacrifices and losses creates these types of wounds. When we work in hopes that one day we’ll be compensated. We realize that days are too long and nights last too short. When we have too much time and don’t know how to start anything. Or when we have no time to finish what I started.

Procrastination isn’t a flaw. It’s our failed attempt at a remedy. Telling ourselves that all this hard work will be worth it at the end. This emptiness of not being where we’re supposed to be is our biggest wound. An infection that has spread everywhere affecting everything. No wonder all our relationships feel so toxic.

Diagnosing the Self-Destructive Mind

I don’t believe that healing can come in fleeting moments. Time has always been a poor excuse for a cure. In fact, time feels like the very thing creating the wounds. The hands of a clock strangling my neck like a mad man. Is this a mid-life crisis come early?

At twenty-six, I feel I’ve accomplished nothing. Being an accomplished writer with two college degrees to my name should give me some feeling of fulfillment. Instead, I don’t feel I’ve reached any milestone. It’s as if this journey ultimately leads nowhere. Anything I accomplish is only a short hotel stay where I can rest for a while and not a real destination.

Can there be a place I call home?

I want something that is mine. This thing I created from nothing. Why must this be human nature? Needing to be god somehow. What I want is control—to write my own destiny. My aspiration to be a writer is more than just a childhood dream. It’s a promise I must remind myself on dark days. However, I cannot create medicine from the very thing that is causing my illness.

#poetry

Godhood

We’ve become good at hiding.

Blending into day so we can be part of the light. The sun has made perfect camouflage. Even as the sky loses purity—it’s clear blue decaying into something else.

Dark fingers clawing at the softest part of a cloud. The sky no longer looks like paradise to other worlds, but a glimpse into a Hell created by your hands.

It’s crazy how your fears can make us sick. What you perceive to be animal can plague us with feelings of worthlessness. Love feels as absent as summer rain in winter storms. But just as cold and intimidating.

What fear is to you is what we call summer nights.

A place that is home but not familiar.
A thing we can feel but cannot touch.
A person only in name and not context.

How can the air feel so warm without the presence of sun? We find ourselves drawn to light poles and street lamps. Light has become this thing we had to create when it’s taken away from us.

No wonder our skin dark. This is warning from some god somewhere. We’re born to look like the dirt that our bodies will one day become again. So how aren’t we god? We find immortality in death and discovered godhood in dying things.

We’ve become good at seeing ourselves.

We’re proof that what is killed can never stay dead. Fear is the reason you won’t bury us. Our bodies left there in dirt and on street as roadkill—something deserving to be dead.

Look how dirt can make the most beautiful flowers. Look how our roots reach into the ground, never letting go. Look how you tear away Earth to remove us completely.

What godhood is to you can never be god.

thoughts

Self-Destruction as an Instrument of Self-Discovery

Creator

I’m great at breaking myself down. The very tools I use to build my self-esteem, I can easily turn into weapons of mass destruction. It’s like my own little superpower, or how I see it, a curse that is worst than death. Writing has been my best tool. With it, I plan on building kingdoms where I can finally feel that I own something. This blog being where I lay a clear foundation.

So it’s no surprise how quickly I’ve become a nuke. Every thought in my head is a landmine I want to step on. What I want to do more than write is to stop thinking about being successful at it. This is a war I fight on both sides. Even if I win, I still lose. The truth is, I’ve been running away from the truth for too long. Trying to build a castle on a battleground will never end good for the builder.

Verity

I feel I’m an average writer. Not a bad writer, or a good writer–just an okay “there’s a beginning, middle, and end” style writer. I feel this way all the time, never getting any better. And when I admit this to myself, I feel good. Like, I don’t feel that I have to prove myself to anyone. Even better, this is how I want to always feel. That it’s okay to just be… okay.

This is my truth and I accept it. And when I say my truth, I mean exactly that. Mine, not yours or anyone else’s. The reason I’m an average writer is because of expectations. Reading other people’s work, being poems or novels or blogs, is intimidating. Any world I create through my own words would never rival those made by others. So I can see why there are people who don’t want to believe in aliens. As humans, it’s easy to believe in our Godhood despite our flaws, when we have nothing to compare ourselves to.

Destruction

Then again, am I only using other people as an excuse? Probably so. The more I think about it, the more I start to wonder if I’m lying to myself. My biggest problem has always been that: myself. Without a blueprint, it’s easy to build prisons instead of houses. The walls I built to block the world out have done too good of a job. I feel a lost connection; that I’m an IPhone 10 without WiFi. My chaotic brain cannot express itself through a filtered voice. This is why I have to break myself down. In order to rebuild anything, I first need to destroy.

thoughts, Uncategorized

Suffering & Empathy

Sun & Shadow

It’s amazing how suffering turns us into hypocrites. Through suffering, we’ve found a way to control death. It also gives us the power to see ourselves as Gods when it comes to our morality. How can we aspire to have love and peace yet fetishize war and power? Our lack of self-awareness made us love guns until they’re pointed at our own heads. What suffering and empathy means have different interpretations depending on who is asked. And this is where my problem lies.

I’ve learned that suffering doesn’t always breed empathy. What the world is to most people is only the place they’re living. Rarely, does anyone care about the dark when the sun is most high. For me, I’ve always noticed the dark. How it follows me like a shadow; always there even when I’m not searching for it. The sun is only there to remind me that it keeps the darkness hidden. Humanity’s biggest problem is when we’re only aware of the dark when the sun is no longer present. Unfortunately, too many people have no reason to fear the night. The stars are always there to give them comfort.

Life & Sickness

Suffering is everywhere even if people are blinded to it. Or simply, they don’t care that life exists outside of the one they’re living. To have empathy is to be exhausted all the time. Figuring out what others find important sometimes means stepping outside myself. It’s to marvel at the world and all its beauty, while at the same time, take in people and all their ugliness. The way I see it: suffering and empathy are opposite forces that are complementary to each other.

My empathy is a mental disease. An illness not caused from a lack of sleep but of preparation. It’s hard to find humanity in a world that doesn’t perceive me as human. So often, I feel vigilant: an entire world suffering and I feel traumatized by it. I’m not sure if this feeling is the cause of my introversion, or the effect of it. This feeling of being the tether holding things together, while everything feels like chains ripping me apart.

Shame & Self-Love

And then there’s the guilt: being inspired by the suffering I want to rid myself of. Nowadays, I call myself an addict to pain; what could be depression is the muse inspiring me to act. I figure if my soul is missing something, then that means I can fill this emptiness with whatever I want, in however way I want to do so. This is what I believe: loving myself is the first step in saving the world from its own destruction. That to be Superman, this cape cannot be a noose.

I once believed suffering and empathy were opposite ends of a bridge. However, I know that this isn’t the case. For world peace to be a real thing, I must see suffering and empathy as the bridge itself. To know that humanity is not something I have to prove to others, but is what I’m deserving of. That a mirror is the only conformation I need that the person I see is worth something. Even if, that is only to myself. Eventually, I’ll look at my shadow without self-doubt lingering in my mind. When I tell myself a shadow can only exist when there’s light—I want to believe it.

thoughts, Uncategorized

Exit the Matrix: How I Cope with Loss of Self

The Truth of Social Media will not Set us Free

I’ve come to the conclusion that what is seen isn’t what is real. In truth, what we want is to be seen, which gives us the notion that we’re important in some way. This is how social media has marketed itself to us. By allowing us to create reality, we can be whoever we want to be through photos and online posts. Trolling has become an artform; entire personas built from well-crafted 140 character limits. While human connection has been made simpler, it has only become more difficult. The irony of social media is how people have become more secretive as a result of it.

Belief in anything seems a waste of time when everything is an illusion. Social media has exposed too much. Just a simple look through Twitter and Facebook, I realize people aren’t as real as they claim. Lifestyles are only lived through Snapchat recordings, and Instagram photos are marketing what we consider beautiful. Who’s the person behind the filters? What’s the real story inside a funny tweet about mental illness? Who are we outside what we put on the internet?

The Fantasy of Human Connection is a Nightmare Made Reality

When people say things like “social media has made it easier for introverts to come out of their shell,” I always find it funny. As this way of thinking would imply that people are nice and kindhearted on the internet. We don’t have to look any further than the daily tweets of Donald Trump or the long stream of comments under any Youtube video to realize the fault in that logic. The internet or what we call the “World Wide Web” is an appropriate name. We find ourselves so deep into social media, it’s become difficult to escape its entrapment.

Even I struggle with the balance. How much is too much? The hardest part about social media is showing who I am when I’m not even sure who that person is. I ask myself all the time now: does this tweet express who I am or how I want others to see me? Of course, there’s not much I can do to find an answer. Especially when I see people struggling with this inner turmoil themselves. If only being real was, in fact, reality. We all suffer from some sort of existential crisis hidden within a funny twitter thread about depression.

The Loss of Oneself is Self-Discovery

Posting as a way to prove to people something about ourselves; I guess this is just human nature. Since human existence, we’ve wanted to leave something behind to show that we (at one point in time) existed. Using social media to document our lives, we can make snapshots into movie reels. A camera allows us to turn a single moment into a story arc. This is the best way I can describe what reality is now: a cookie-cutter scrapbook we want to form into memoir. However, it’s important to realize that a novel is only good depending on what it’s about, not in its number of pages.

So when did I start searching for my purpose in life on Twitter feeds and Facebook timelines? Social media has made a fool out of me; somehow, I thought happiness could be found in online threads. But I must find my own worth within myself. Validation cannot be depicted in the number of Instagram likes and Twitter followings. Everything that I’m searching for may not be found as easily as a Google search, and I must be okay with that. Of course, this soul-searching is easier said than done—especially when I still struggle doing so.

thoughts

Finding Our Voices: The Strength of Being the Lone Wolf

To speak is not the only way we can be heard. For me, I’ve found my voice through writing. And when I found my voice, I also came to understand the importance of listening. This world is sick and has been telling us for a long time. It has also told us the cause of its illness: us.

What we perceive as human nature is really a scar. And that of civility and compromise are bandages placed on open wounds and amputated ligaments, neither of which does anything to stop the blood leakage. Unfortunately, we lack empathy as we see suffering everywhere but only mend to the suffering we’re not affected by. Or in other words, the suffering we cause. Which is why many see the separation of families at the American border as tragic, calling for the abolishment of ICE; while the separation of families by a flawed judicial system and the many escalating wars overseas are only tragic enough to merit meaningless debates about reforming prisons, to simply lock people up in a “better” way.

A wolf is strong because they know one thing: The power of a leader’s howl is meaningless if they’re not willing to protect the pack. Therefore, we must speak up for what we believe in, in whatever way possible to make our voices heard.

When hatred and chaos is everywhere, we should understand the necessity of being quiet. Indeed, the arrogance in how we speak turns into carelessness through our actions. In my article Does “Freethinking” come at a cost, I discussed how being argumentative had become trendy. With no regard to fully understand whatever topic is being discussed, the confidence people have to argue amongst each other as if they’re a scholar on said topic has become the norm. No wonder everything feels chaotic, as we care more about being right than doing right.

The problem social media has created is that while it allows more human connection, we’ve become even more shallow and self-serving. We refuse to see the errors in our ways; instead, we justify our wrong-doings simply because we (or enough of us) have found them essential in some way. We have this “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” mindset on how we should live. However, just because something doesn’t kill us, doesn’t mean it’s good for us either.

We behave as beasts, believing ourselves good-hearted people. Easily impressed by gnashing of teeth and sharpened claws, we’ve forgotten how to be pack animals. Or maybe we never learned how. Maybe this is who we are: lone wolves devouring everything to satisfy our appetites.

So I ask is this truly human nature? How foolish of us to think a past born of slavery, genocide, and war can breed a future of love and kindness. We cannot make the world beautiful as darkness cannot make rainbows, no matter how good of an artist we think we are. And yet, I find myself searching for a deeper meaning in colors. To remind myself: red can mean more than blood; blue doesn’t have to be reminder of tears. Most importantly, to show the world; black isn’t the absence of color, but the unity of them.

Yet it seems, we value self-righteousness more than self-reflection—refusing to accept our own evil makes it hard to bring about good in the future. We must understand the past is not something that just happened to us, but in truth, what we allowed to happen. Which leads me to question: how can we bring about change if we won’t admit how we made things the way they are?

It’s not a coincidence that those who know nothing always have the most to say. Ironically, yet sadly enough, these people tend to be in leadership positions: political and educational. How dangerous it is to place faith in people who only pretend to be god to be worshipped as one.

All I seem to do nowadays is retreat into deep silence. A place where I learn to love myself despite my meekness. Where it’s okay that I don’t have any answers to all the ills plaguing the world. Don’t you feel this way also? To know we’re the infected: to be human in the way we breathe but not in how we think. Our need for human connection as illusory as the world peace our world leaders claim we’re fighting for.

This is how I discover peace within silence. To not act out of impulse: that one’s politics must be more than reactionary. When people become more corrupt, outrage alone cannot lead to a real revolution. Likewise, in order to rebuild anything we must be willing to destroy. Whatever notion we have to reform anything made to oppress is idiocy as those suffering will continue to suffer. Even now, as the world reveals itself more and more as the monster its always been, I remember: no matter how pretty you make a wolf, won’t make them any less violent.

Uncategorized

Love Poem of the Stars

rain is the sky is the empath
it is a cry for help
& a flood
we’re slowly drowning

night is the sky is our skin
also human      a rediscovery
& reminder
we are the sky too

in the dark      anything as small
as a flashlight can mimic a star
or that is what we tell ourselves
to escape from it     the black hole
blooming into being
as bones into aging body
that will soon become us

similar to the mind      how it becomes
the night ever growing forever it seems
we search for light to lead us
somewhere & found nothing

when I told you the sky
haunted me
you thought it was mental illness
you thought nothing of it

but have you ever looked up
felt the moonlight beat into
your back
like bony fingers on your shoulder
eager to snatch you

how the moon seems so small
despite its bigness
a monster tip-toeing through
the clouds does anyone know
 its there

as I peek through blinds of windows
like critters through a thick bush
the only thing I see is you
on a street corner glaring at
a flickering light pole

love the stars & purge us
of all that is dark
of all that is except this skin
for this is the only thing
worth loving

love their song & calm us
of the demons in our heads
as if we were children again
still believing the power
of lullabies       how they pacified monsters
underneath our bed

what we see as stars
are dying light what are called
supernovas

when the star in its final act
of self-destruction
explodes into a sudden flash
only to become that of a black hole

isn’t it funny the illusion
of it all        how what we see
isn’t what is real
how what is alive to us
is disguise of something dead

isn’t it funny when nature becomes
metaphor        when we become
the very thing we despise
how no matter the brightness of star
eventually it’ll be as dark as night

isn’t it sad how human
it all is         how the stars
only pretend to shine
& how okay we are
even knowing this

if this is darkness
we can discover strength
this heart we call shadow
will bloom into animal
a love we’ll name galaxy

I found myself outside with you
arms around you as moonlight
over the river
its okay if you’re not okay
my voice blends into the wind
empowers it

what I thought was rain
are tears what is called
release
its okay if you’re not okay
my voice finds your ears behind
storm clouds of dark curls & luminance
of sunlit eyes

love yourself & love
with all that is in you
with all that is including your skin
for this too is a place
worth loving

as you peek through damped eyelashes
like the sun does the horizon
I want you to see me
love you
in all the ways you should love yourself

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Un-American Non-Patriotism: How This is Still America

Truth Within the American Façade

Who needs the news when everything to learn about America is right outside the front door? Over the last year alone, the fear of a plot to destroy America has intensified into an obsession, especially in regards to black people, people of color, the LGBT community, women ‘s empowerment, and impoverished people in general.

Conspiracy theories hold more weight than the actual news, becoming a huge problem in regards to how we tackle politics and other social issues. Eventually, the next conspiracy will center Parkland and how their protests of gun control to end the rise of tragic shootings across the country were only used as distractions. The real threat is Black Lives Matter organizers working with ISIS terrorist groups and MS-13 gang members to take over the government.

This paranoia is not anything new but is in fact buried deep into American soil—pushing through the earth, reaching every continent on the other side. Bridging the whole world together, sharing centuries of oppression and hatred to everyone who aren’t rich and white and male. And what makes it worst is the ignorance of it all. As if tragedy is a pathogen we’ve come into contact with, that doesn’t turn people into zombies, but bigots and horrible people. So maybe Rosanne Barr was on to something with this Ambien thing?

As rhetorical as this question may be, how can the words “This is unamerican” shoot out of people’s mouths with utter confidence despite the immoral problems happening everywhere in America? When we have 90% of American history proving how American this all is—In a country cluttered with so much history, the blood of our ancestors exudes a toxic smell. This method of erasing one’s burdens must require a shitload of bleach and a heavy dose of amnesia relating to everything pertaining to America, including how it was born.

Blind Patriotism & the American Blindfold

These words are uttered all the time: how unamerican this America is. Molding into a mantra—that if said enough times they’ll actually come true. The American dream as a reality one must wake into, or maybe this is White America’s clever way of taking the phrase “stay woke” away from us as well. Unfortunately, it seems that no matter how much “progress” is made, we still fight against the same enemy from centuries ago, who ironically enough share our faces, politics, and beliefs.

Overtime, America has begun hating itself, turning Patriotism into an old habit like opening the door for someone or exchanging hellos with people we come into contact with—its just something we do to be polite. Even with a full-fledged, White Supremist approved president, who’s civility is as bland as the dull coloring of the Confederate flag hanging off the back of broken down pick-up trucks and rickety, old SUVs across the country, it only has reinforced the already held beliefs that America isn’t as good as it claims to be.

How does anyone believe this conflict has ended? Because for many Americans, the war has been over. But what has been won? All that was accomplished is the battlefield has a change of location—being everywhere but on American soil. 

I guess they figure by hiding the guns, they can pretend no one is dying from them. This deluded way of thinking has worsened as the unethical and brutal actions taking place at the border, both inside and outside its bloodstained and oppressive walls, continues to become more severe.

Isn’t it ironic how a country torn from daily protests, vapid yet heated arguments, and the ever expanding list of public shootings turning people’s lives into sad songs and city streets into open cemeteries is also a country that claims the promotion of peace and prosperity for all?

Stolen Property & the New Home Owner

Imagine America as a dirty old house where people refuse to do much of anything to make it look better, except paint the walls a brighter shade as this absurd notion that cleanliness is dependent on clarity, or a not-as-bigoted way of saying “less color” (which makes sense because of the bleach).

In reality, America wants what lies in between those two extremes: for there to be enough color to rid the black and brown, while also being intimidated by a rainbow. How does its colors become the most oppressive flag to stand for?

When I imagine this house, I see skeletons piling on the floor and how they were covered with a fluffy carpet to make people feel welcomed here, even when they aren’t. Somehow it’s forgotten that the stench of dead things only intensify the longer they’re left unattended? To evade responsibility, entire graveyards were stuffed into the far corner of a basement to hide that this house was built on top of human remains.

And yet, even air fresheners aren’t strong enough to drown out the smell. Although  the entire house has been doused with so much of it, people can only pretend the oxygen isn’t foul. When we’re told there’s nothing that can be done to fix things, it sounds like an excuse. Since in order to care means one must accept responsibility—to be honest about the past as well as our present.

The Guest Suffering from Insomnia

I realize to be “woke” entails knowing one’s job description—to understand that I’m not a homeowner and never was intended to be. Likewise, I’m not the servant either, as that would require the need for compensation, benefits, and even the most basic form of decency.

Isn’t it ironic that a house without doors resembles a cage? Patriotism is understanding that this resemblance isn’t coincidental, but still trying to make home of America, even when it’s difficult to breathe.

In this house, there are no doors but open windows, and I no longer question its intent as I know only eagles are invited to any tea party and afternoon brunch taking place here. As the sunrise kisses my skin, validating my belief the sky has loved me more than most humans, I see even the sun has made this place, home.

The Ignorance of Paying Rent in a Home Where I’m Not Wanted

Being a fool, I believed that one day I’d be given a room with a warm bed as a souvenir of everything once sacrificed. This is how I lose myself: thinking I was lost to begin with, not understanding that only things belonging to me can be considered lost. In truth, real liberation is knowing my voice can be taken back, and that no matter how many times its silenced, my voice still matters.

As I look at America without forced patriotism clouding my vision, I remind myself I was someone stolen, and that this understanding holds importance as I cannot recover anything taken without knowing those who took from me. I see the ignorance in asking how I’m less human than an eagle. I come to terms with the sad reality, that the American dream is more realistic than my own future. And lastly, I avoid being around people who see me as something borrowed, merely to be returned only when I’m no longer needed, as if a house will never need maintenance.