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 And even though they’re faulty and outdated, I should tell you we’re grateful.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

#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.