Nostalgia

I know that she’s lying.
I know that the glimmer in her eyes
Is contrived.
That the way she leans in,
Full of life and lust and lilies,
Is a falsehood.

Her eyes widen innocently
With a pleasure that has only
Ever existed in the past tense
And the expression on her face is
A bastardization of that.

She oozes doctored history.

Nothing
In her oh-so-convincing body language
Is true.

Everything,
From the swaying of her hips
As she walks across the floor,
To the crease below her lips
When she’s searching for a word,
To the tone of her voice
On the sweet side of snide,
Everything
Is an alluring allusion
To imagined histories.

And yet I fall for it.
Every single time I fall for it.

That old familiar twinge of chances missed,
Of lips not kissed,
Of wishes unwished
Pulls deep inside me:
Behind my stomach,
Beneath my heart.

But still, I know she’s lying.

I know that the missed chances
Were missed for a reason.
The unkissed lips
Were out of season.
And the wishes that I never wished
Were left deflated
Because had they been voiced,
Had I filled them with air,
Had they somehow been granted…
It wouldn’t be fair.

And yet she shakes her head.
From there, across the room.
She disagrees with me and so
She shakes her head and chuckles
And everything is gloom.

So I ask myself the questions
That I see swirling in her eyes,
And the flipbook in my mind
Recklessly rewinds.
It replays several moments,
Inconclusive,
Inconsistent,
Inconsiderate –
It scatters what it finds.

I panic.
I choke.
I snatch them from the air.
I rearrange them carefully
But some pages are not there.

I wait for a while
And laud the now.
I wait for a while
And through clenched teeth I screech
The past is dead.
The past is gone.
Replaying, rewriting, rewishing is wrong.

Then I pick up the pile
And the images dance.
Stuttered and halting with holes between scenes.
Their stories so dim now
That they can hardly be.

Still I flip the pages back
And watch the figures of my past.
And somehow slipped in every gap is
The woman of the beautiful dreams.
The woman full who spins tales of an untrue me.

 

[probs still a work in progress]

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True Colors

It seemed magical sometimes:
the way nothing that I said was lost on you.

I struggled through my mind
simply trying to find
words to capture the ideas
splattered across the
cathedral slopes of my skull.

And somehow
You understood.

And somehow
Years after a conversation ended
You could bring it up again,
Quote us perfectly,
And ask what is the same
And ask what has changed.

But now I realize the truth.

But now I realize
the bitterly average,
horribly mundane
truth of it all.

Like everyone, you only listen to the things you want to hear.
How did I miss that for three whole years?

Once,
on a walk that lasted hours,
I told you that I had something to say.
But I couldn’t say it
Because I knew you too well
And I knew you wouldn’t be able to hear what I wanted to tell –

I interrupted myself.
because I needed someone who
could hear “religion” without baggage.

And I didn’t think you could.

Outraged, in your understated way,
you insisted that even without agreeing
you could still understand.

So I explained.

And you plugged your ears and nodded
And said things that made it sound like you could hear me
But you didn’t
But you couldn’t
Or you just forgot.

Because last week I told you my secret.

I explained the puddle that had rocked me.
The evaporating puddle, that clings to the shape of the hole that it lives in
And screams to itself that the hole was made for the puddle
Because how else could the puddle fit so perfectly?

And you smiled.
Satisfied.
You smiled.
And you told me that I was too smart to not come to this conclusion eventually.
You told me that the stories  in the book were too fantastic to be real.
You told me that belief in anicent mythology had no place in a mind like mine.
And you smiled.
Satisfied.
You smiled.

And I reeled.
I recoiled.
My mind stopped its steady churning
And my face started burning.

You had told me that you heard me
All those months before.
You had said you understood me
When I explained the lore
Was not the point.
The stories could be metaphors.
The stories could be fables.
When I told you that we are able
To believe without the lore
You said you understood.

And it wasn’t worth the chore
To explain it all again.
So I let you echo jokes you’d heard
Until you took me home.

My friend.

Itch

Looking for an
Itch
To scratch.

Looking for a
Need
To catch
Hold of my self and
Hold of my soul
That will push me in circles,
Abandon my goals.

Looking for something
To be an excuse.

Looking for something
That needs the abuse.

Looking for something,
A sparkling noose.

Looking for something
That won’t hold so loose.

Not sugar,
Not nicotine.
Not salt,
Not taurine.
Not alcohol, caffeine.
Not Music
Not THC.

None of it works.

Looking for something
To push me around.

Looking for something.

And it won’t be found.

Old Writings

Yesterday I spent a lot of time looking through things that I wrote once upon a time (ie quite a while ago).  I would like to share a few of them with you.

Exhibit A:  An exaggerated and generalized application letter, written out of frustration, of course.

To Whom It May Concern

I am writing to tell you that despite what other application essays may suggest, I am the person most deserving of your award.

There are dreams and goals that I would like to achieve and without your help they become that much more difficult to actualize.

I have passions and loves that drive me to achieve and sometimes drive me into the ground, but I care so much about them that I relish my time in the dirt because I know my passion is what put me there.

My life has been touched my grief and tragedy and although some people have it worse, there are those that

(the rest of the paper is ripped up)

Exhibit B:  A bit of poetry I wrote about writer’s block.

Fuck.
The words don’t move.
Sentences
Images
Letters
Spacing
All of it looks
Feels and
Sounds
Contrived
What happened to
  words that fell into
one another like a child
into arms that it trusts?
What happened to the ideas
that spouted out of nowhere
into full bloom like
fast-forwarded roses.
My words stutter
My ideas shy away
My stories trip over their
own     shoelaces
And my poetry gives up
before it gives itself a real
chance at life.
Where is that clarity and sense
of purpose that once crowded
my mind?
The aspirations, ideas and plans
that drove me to try and succeed.
THIS IS DISGUSTING

Exhibit C:  A short descriptive.

Clocks ticked and calendars turned relentlessly.  The depth in his eyes disappeared, shallowing as he had to come to grips with what everyone around him called “reality”.  He was told to appreciate what he had and found himself being forced to regulate his being, his essence, with standards that the world had already set for him.  A sense of apathy began to seep through his skin, a result of fear and peers’ standards and other things this boy did not quite understand.

Exhibit D:  A short philosophical musing entitled “On Existence” that I think I wrote in early middle school.

No one can exist if they deny themselves.  Only by forging a unique personality is a person born.  Physical birth is nothing.  It means nothing.  The vast majority of humanity does not exist because they have not created themselves.  People are continually killing themselves and those around them by “forcing” everyone to conform to their (being society) own standards and values.  People do not exist if they do not believe in how they’re living.  If a person has to think about an action before they go through with it it is not theirs and, therefore, is another proof of their inexistence.

Exhibit E:  A rather emo poem.

Misery is lonely rejection.
When there is no one to share
The subtle sting of being turned down,
Turned back, turned away.
Each refusal burns that much more violently
When there is no one to whom
I can turn to
With a commiserating smile.

Exhibit F:  A post-Africa rant.

I sound exactly the same as all the rest of them.  Everyone else who has already been to Africa put their words in my mouth and I spit them out in defiance but I must have picked them up, dusted them off and swallowed them again so I would have some way to respond to questions other than “I don’t know” or “It’s so complicated.”  Instead, now, I laud the intelligence, emotional fortitude and cuteness of the people I met.  I tell silly stories about people shouting “muzngu” as we walk by and how kids pet our hands and arms or touch our hair because they want to know if it feels any different than their own.

It feels like copping out, selling out, however you want to put it.  In trying to finally express my trip to people who need or want to hear about it I have lapsed into cliches that feel every bit as dishonest as they sound.  If only I could help people understand the DEPTH, the MAGNITUDE of my trip to Africa.  But instead I let other people’s hollow, disgusting words fill the air around us and masquerade jovially as my own thoughts and ideas.

Alright, that’s enough comedy for one day.

Balance

Perched atop the water,
Slowly moving onward,
The snippet of green,
Fading to brown,
Tries its best
Not to drown.

An Almost Regrettable Rekindling

It is still there.

I can hear it in the way his questions,
Although about me,
Although to
And answered by me
Are not for me.

I thought it was gone.

I returned to tales of conquest,
Vaguely lude introductions,
A successful poor man’s swagger,
And nary a whisper of what had been.

Step, step, step.

Leaves,
Shredded,
Flutter quickly to the ground,
Damp with the sweat from my fingertips.

Poor boy…

Words and ideas,
More luminescent in his worldview than mine,
Followed him home
And whispered hope and unused history,
Price tag still attached,
Into the dusty corners of him.

Questions,

Pointed shards of mirror,
Flashed aged desire in my eyes.
I wince at its veiled bluntness,
Glad he knew not to try.

Undereye

Swollen.
Friendships, heritage and time
Injected, pillow-like, and tight.

Darkness.
Daylight, gatherings and joy
Bruise blackly on the sly.

Flattened.
Caution, watchfulness and mirth
Bind lash to lash outside.

Covered.
Razor, stylishness and sloth
Cascade neatly over our fights.