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 And even though they’re faulty and outdated, I should tell you we’re grateful.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.

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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

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

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.