thoughts

What is Life but 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 take place 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 have a better chance to 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 are the story-tellers of what caused it.

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 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 that than always having to run from something. I’m exhausted from my paranoia that anything can be 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.

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thoughts

An Escape Route: What Love Can Become

What are you apologizing for? If you love yourself, never seek a reason. There’s no need to answer the mirror when it asks what about you is worth loving. You, still alive, is the only answer you need.

Remember, It’s okay to love yourself and never ask why. Besides, The answers will never be good enough for you anyways. Maybe that’s your biggest problem: how you can hate yourself as much as you do.

Question love long enough and you’ll soon discover hate. Sadly, tragedy is born, not from pain, but love. It’s true, that all life has an end. That death isn’t evil but only a means in which this inevitable truth becomes reality. So find comfort in that fact.

Everything comes into being through cycles. You’re on a journey, but this path isn’t a road; it’s a maze. You must leave a place to get somewhere else. In order to escape a maze, walk through it. Even when you’re lost, you’re where you’re supposed to be. At least, if you learn to think that way. All pathways in a maze lead to an exit, eventually.

Remember this: love cannot be a promise. That connection doesn’t fit in any context. People break promises as easy as glass. They’ll watch it shatter on the floor and won’t bother to pick up the pieces. Instead, they’ll find that shards can make the perfect weapon. It’s sad that people are monstrous that way.

This is why you must be careful of those around you. Be aware of the friends you give that title to. Even the heart can be a weapon to the body it occupies. In most instances, love can be a threat. Provides sanctuary only to take it away from you. So how would you describe Hell? It’s the place where Heaven no longer is.

So what can love be other than a question? It must mean more than a statement. Hold more honor than a promise. Be something greater than a threat. Can love be conformation? That it exists simply because you say it does. If that’s the case, then don’t say love is a road. It cannot lead you to a place you don’t feel exists. Instead, say love is the exit from the maze. This way, if you have no idea where you’re going, you’ll find comfort knowing that you aren’t truly lost.

And you never were to begin with.

#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

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.