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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#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

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.

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

Love Me Not: Why am I Still Single

When it comes to love, why do we need to have it? In books, movies, or the occasional times I allow myself to be around other people, the concept of “being in love” has been a constant theme. Beaten into my head so much, I feel migraines at the thought that I need to be in a relationship to feel happy.

Sometimes I wonder if being introverted is a disease and my contentment of being single is just one big symptom that has manifested.

Everyday, this question repeats itself in a continuous loop I can never shut off, the question “why are you still single?” seared into my head like an imprint. What’s wrong with being alone? Whether if I’m laying in bed, working, sitting in class, or attempting to engage in conversation with my peers, I wonder what is the fascination with being with someone. As if being by myself is not enough, that I need to be with someone else to make myself better. Is that why we need to be in love? To find in others what we can’t find in ourselves?

And what exactly are we looking for? Is it acceptance so we can belong or acknowledgement to confirm we exist?

If I’m being honest with myself, I feel it’s both. So often, being alone means to find solitude in loneliness, and I feel I’ve succeeded in doing so. Most nights, I find myself staying at home than at bars, snuggled up in a bed than a woman. It’s become routine to simply wish I was out enjoying myself than being out trying to enjoy myself when I’m actually miserable. I’m not sure when my brain began playing this game—to want things it can have but doesn’t truly desire.

Given these points, I don’t think I’ve been looking for answers but truths, that it’s okay to be who I am. Instead of acceptance or acknowledgement, I wanted approval, for someone to find me okay too but maybe that’s the point. As complicated as people feel relationships are, I believe they can be simple.

Once, we see love as an idea we can control; love can be whatever we want it to be.

#poetry, Uncategorized

Sun Fire

There’s an illusion within fire: dangerous up close yet beautiful from afar.

It’s like the sun. Or at least, how I saw you,
engulfed in its flames. This back-and-forth game we played–
you kept away from me knowing I depended on you.

I warned you of this entire world on fire.
Somehow, I saw the smoke before you felt the flames.
Or maybe, you’d been around fire for so long you couldn’t feel
its warmth anymore. You just felt its coldness, as if your skin
was numbed to it. Tears had long dried up.
They turned into charcoal dust settling around blistering wounds.

How was optimism a way of healing? You cannot mend amputated limbs with bandages, but that didn’t stop you from trying. And it didn’t stop me from wanting to help you.
I remember wanting to touch you. To be felt.

Fire is self-destructive, it burns everything it touches.

is this why you don’t love anything? You realized how easy
things broke when you were a child. Did you feel your hands were cursed?
The jagged lines in your palms being proof some demon had put a hex on you?
So when I said you couldn’t hurt me, you were unconvinced.

Even glass, with its tough exterior, is still fragile enough to shatter.
Is that what happened to you?
Does that explain the sharp edges in places that were once whole?

Since human beings aren’t the sun, we cannot make fire unless we already were.
So you won’t convince me that candle light became wildfire on its own.
Tell me then, who were you before you were set ablaze?
When heartbreak revealed you: the arsonist.
You set the world on fire simply to watch it burn
and I cannot save you from yourself.