I Realize You Weren’t There After All

Because of the orange, I can stay.

I can feel myself unfolding from the tightened, origami confinement of the past. In a way, I’ve never felt this free, this controlled, so much myself. Exploding into color, rejecting the black and gray for purples, oranges, reds, blues, greens; the colors of the life of a rainbow.

I smile and dance, the air is anticipation and I’m captive to my burgeoning joy. Never let me go…

The pieces are finally coming together, I feel them click into place, like a puzzle of one thousand pieces, a glass masterpiece, shattered, only to re-converge into the most tear-inducing stained glass artwork.

It’s been five years.

Five years since standing on the bridge at the rushing water of the waterfall, the sign warning of danger and a gentle nudge to “Dial ###-####” if I was feeling the sweet caress of death in my shadow. She was closer than a lover, her dry fingers massaging my skull, fitting into my ears as she whispered to me of the eternal beyond.

One moment then nothing.

Five years since turning away, again, and again, and again. The pain of turning away like parting from one’s beloved, sour-tinged panic and nutmeg hope an odd drink to pass my lips.

Away from my eyes…

Five years of unspeakable pain, of cruel words and hidden veins of deception. Of being forced to see and hear and bear witness to a most foul subset of humanity, the envious and the proud.

The rocks venomously tossed into my soul, shattering the clear prism above to ripple the waters below and sink and thud at the bottom, stoning my heart into bloody pulp, searing words into my cerebral matter like a burning brand to claim my very soul and chain it to a special, unique hell of human design.

And that was the past.

2018 I awoke and swore I would not be a victim. That the chains would not hold me, that those words would not break me. That I would stand on my own two shaking feet and know that I am whole, that I am strong, that I am better than the shit.

We are in, but not of…

And it is now, here, after much work, that I can finally see a the corner turn, the bend of the arch, the bow of the rain in the sky, casting magic and lighting a way forward.

Shedding this skin, I flutter to life. And no prince was near to kiss these lips, so I licked them myself. Hauled myself out of that glass coffin and put on my stomping bitching shoes, with the heels and the studs, and strutted through the forest, weapon in hand, to slay my own fucking dragon.

I knew deep down, that I had to stand on my own. Mind over matter. Mind over desire. Mind over all.

A sacred blood oath, to be no one’s victim. A Valkyrie can kick ass all on her own. I just needed to fly with my own wings this time.

The fire of autumn ignites my flames, the red beckons to me and I embrace his hold, a mastery all my own. Sweeping up the forgotten mantle, I am my own master and my dominion remains.

Thanks to you, I have reached the threshold.

And stepped beyond.

Nothing can hold me. You failed to stop me. I am transcended.

It’s over.

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My Muse

I’m humming a tune that I can finally remember. I write it down. The words float to me easily, the melody plays in my ears, I am immersed in the sound of beauty. A few tweaks and I’m onto a masterpiece.

The ideas come freely, I am a-gaggle and a-goggle with giddy delight. I laugh and smile, a little less hollow now. I’m wrapped in words and the plot rolls before me like a river to chart my course to the path I had struggled to achieve and yet never quite approached.

I am watching romance films and I don’t know why but I find them charming rather than nauseating.

It’s like the bubbling in my chest, the joy of life, the crisp of autumn, all combine to make me alive. I want to be alive again, and my fingers and heart and soul are dancing a melody of something genuine and new, something unfolding from inside like a sheltered flower that finally bloomed.

This didn’t happen before and I don’t know what it means now that it is.

I just am.

I exist and for once, that’s okay.

Are you the one who unlocked my creative side? The side so still and cold I thought it maybe had died from neglect or… sadness.

With all this, I am feeling again, and that means that pain is on the way. Time to slaughter and slay and to forget all my names.

And yet I cradle it close, like a long lost lover. Captivated by it’s light and beauty. I am subdued by its power and it rules me. For a time, for a season. Will it fade away and leave me again with the gray?

Is this a love? Or is this pain disguised as pleasure?

When will you hurt me. Again.

Metal and edge, the beauty of a katana is not just in how it gleams in the light. But in its slash and cape of blood. Likewise, something this beautiful starts with joy and cuts to the quick in a sharp and incisive way. Needlepoint my heart. Cover my eyes, and make me love again.

It hurts, it’s love, it hurts.

It’s love.

It hurts.

It is raw and untethered, like grated nerves stretched for piano wire.

It cuts yet the sound is piercing.

Mocha #4: Snapshot of Yesterday

Written 6 months ago… through the lens of teenage angst…

Come.

I want to show you something.

Let’s go back -I want to take you back many years ago. We can travel together.

We stumbled on an old journal that I filled while I was in high school. I’d forgotten what that time was all about.

I was fighting the parents on a regular basis while -vainly- killing feelings on a first crush who -if I remember correctly- promptly started dating an acquaintance.

Ha! I haven’t thought about him in a minute…

He was a senior while I was a sophomore, we were both imprisoned in a christian private school with a racist, religion-ist principal, namely if you weren’t of his religion (or color), you were to be despised, hated, and expelled. He kept getting sued for his treatment of people from other religions and had a sign saying he’d shoot Jehovah Witnesses if they set foot on his property. And don’t get him started on non-Causasians! Long story of a pathetic man...

Don’t worry, fate is punishing him as we speak…. I have nothing to do with it, don’t look at me like that!! He ate himself into 2 quadruple bypasses-

I call that karma.

Anyway, that was a sidebar.

The guy I had a thing for was the “bad boy”, but honestly he wasn’t that bad. Yes, he rode a motorcycle, had the darkest eyes and raven hair to his shoulders, and was built like… okay, he had muscles. He played guitar and had a beautiful singing voice, with a slight southern twang when he said certain words.

He also had a tough home life. I don’t think his mom was in the picture, and his dad was a tough love, threatening type (skewed perspective, obviously, I don’t know much about his father).

He was the type to speak his mind, and he wasn’t intimidated by the religious faction that ruled our school. Which meant that the Principal delighted in making him a target for discipline and teachers would mark him for pink slips on the daily. No lie, I don’t think a day went by when he didn’t get a pink slip/detention for stuff that, in hindsight, was quite trifling.

Collar not straight? DETENTION!!!

No kidding.

I had a massive crush plus I had a deep admiration for him since he seemed very powerful and assertive during a time of my life when I was feeling angry, powerless, and attacked constantly at my home life.

School was my weird refuge -I could escape the house and my parents with their crazy pressure to make me a better christian (yeah that worked out SOOO well). #noreligion #agnosticAtheist (I don’t care if this isn’t a thing, I question sarcastically and believe nothing that demands that proof is stated by a book via referencing that book).

Ironically, back in high school, I was already over religion. But it was like I didn’t have a will of my own, I was constantly backed into corners due to my lack of will to seize power and control. And I was sorely tempted to kill myself but I realized that killing myself meant that they would win and that it wouldn’t save me. I would need to save myself.

And I did.

But that’s another story…

So, with the darkness closing in on my life, it was a lifeline to see someone who was rising above it all, despite all the shit and flack being thrown at him.

There were moments, when I was present and tongue-tied (yeah, I was very shy back then), that he would chat with a teacher who was the only nice and sweet one around and she would try to encourage him to see it through when it got so hard he’d be angry and in tears with fists clenched with that impotent rage that frequently visits the teenage soul.

Yeah, he got angry a lot.

He got in trouble -as defined by christians who would find fault with the sun in the sky- but he survived.

And graduated.

And walked away to a better life, last I heard.

I hope he’s still kicking ass and taking names.

Anyway, I had to put my journal down, because it was quite visceral and brought back a lot of anger and memories. Now, I understand why I’m still mad at my parents -not so much, but as I reread what I went through with them….

Yes, they changed, they changed very much for the better.

But at that time, during those years, they made my life HELL.

So, no, I will no longer feel guilty that I don’t really talk to my father, or that I have a simmering resentment towards my mother. Because they earned it.

I’m not inviting back that rage or hate. But I am acknowledging that when you sow the seed, you reap the whirlwind.

Lucky for them, it’s more like a dust bowl.

They did crack my soul, but it didn’t break.

Thankfully, that didn’t poison my life. I am very happy now, I am a completely different person that who I was back then.

Back then I was miserable, angry and just making it one day at a time, hovering on the knife’s edge separating hope and death.

I’m glad I made it. To a different type of misery.

It’s so much better now.

It’s true that you forget what hasn’t been written.

P.S. Not stalking but curious, I googled him, and it looks like he got married earlier this year. Looks like he did make it. 🙂

 


Picture source

Among yet not With People

I pick up on that “among people” even if I am not “with people” vibe too, especially when I’m at Barnes & Nobles curled up with a comic or book or just writing in the knock-off Starbucks cafe section, watching people.

Some people are obviously on a date, others are doing homework in group study. Some are just chilling by themselves. In such an environment, one can just be, without being overwhelmed by maintaining conversation or putting up a front with someone else. In such moments, we are all aware of each other and accepting through our silence and lack of verbal interaction -aside from asking to share the power outlet or to watch someone’s stuff for them on a quick bathroom break.

The hum of dialogue is a soft and melodic bass, the excited voices of children a punctuation and the steadfast and plodding steps of the grandparents a slow, reliable rhythm anchoring the symphony as the coffee pot gurgles its steamy melody.

In the fall, the pumpkin spice latte accents the air, flitting around the sent of coffee and baked goods. The barista chuckles with her coworker as they argue the merits of one band’s lead singer over another. A familiar banter I hope to someday emulate with someone, someday, somewhere…

A sense of hopelessness washes over me, I turn back to the straightforward world of heroes, misunderstood and yet never alone, even when the knife of betrayal plunges into their soul over and over, they are never alone.

A sidekick, a partner, a lover, a brother, a friend, a colleague, an ally, enemy-of-my-enemy-

There is always someone…

I pull my hoodie around me, burrowing deeper into the slightly uncomfortable wooden chair perched in the window. Cars go by, there is something so hypnotic about the zoom of the vehicles from one side of the window to the other.

-Zip.

-Zap

-Zop.

We played the zip-zap-zop game in drama class, to prompt swift reaction time and to practice reacting off each others’ “energy” I guess. It was a rapid game, accompanied with a clap and slide of one palm over the other in the direction of someone else who caught the “Zip” and sent off a “Zap” to another who received and slided a “Zop” on to someone else.

Hesitate or delay, and you’re out of the game.

“Zip”     “Zap  “Zop”

“-Zip!” “-Zap!” “-Zop!”

Zip

Zap

Zop

Catch a turn of life, quickly return it to someone, somewhere else. Quickly move on before you sink and become bogged down by the intensity of the here and now.

Zip

Zap

Don’t fail to move along-

“-Zop”

Winner is all alone.

The king at the pinnacle of his throne desired a queen to sit with him. So he sent his brave knight to search the land for a woman worthy to become his queen. He waited for 30 days and 30 nights, and on the morning of the 31st day, word is brought that a queen of most noble carriage and unmatched beauty is on her way, accompanied by the king’s most courageous and loyal knight, to meet and wed the king.

How his heart burst to hear the news! His majesty could hardly contain himself. What to wear? What to do? How should he prepare to meet his most beloved queen?

The king was besides himself with joy. He commanded that the entire palace be cleaned from top to bottom, that the finest foods in the kingdom be brought and the most lauded chefs cook a banquet to honor his queen on their wedding day. All the nobles of the land were summoned to the wedding, and all the common folk brought gifts and homage to the palace, in honor of his queen.

When finally the queen-to-be arrives, the king raced forward to greet her. He noticed her delicate hands and melodic voice, her laughter and sparkling eyes. In all her raven haired beauty, none else in the kingdom could match her in beauty.

If he wasn’t in love before, his majesty was smitten by the mere sight of her.

Three days later, the wedding bells rung, and the King married his lawfully wedded Queen. The king was delighted, he achieved the pinnacle, and had at his side, the most divine of all feminine creatures. What more could he ask for?

…Loyalty

…Faithfulness

Devotion…

A month later, the king found himself in the smoldering ashes of his ambition. His most loyal knight, whom he had trusted above all others, held his blade to the King’s throat.

His queen stood by the knight’s side, her delicate hands clasped over her belly, almost 3 months pregnant.

Forced away from his kingdom, with neither queen nor support, the King of one turned to the forest with a broken heart. His army stolen, his love betrayed, he had nothing left but a hollow crown and empty arms.

Show… don’t tell…

Right.

Sometimes less is more.


Photo Source

Fallen Glass Chards

The crash behind me made me cringe.

It could only mean something had gone horribly wrong. Perhaps I shouldn’t have jumped at that spider with a shoe. Maybe if I had let it live, and been more careful, I wouldn’t have bumped the bookshelf of metal and glass.

Then I wouldn’t be sweeping up the pieces five hours later.

Glass in the carpet, on my bed, on my skin, cuts on my fingertips, glass in my books and glass in my thoughts. I wondered if the tiny, nearly invisible slivers could float through my bloodstream through a cut or something, slicing me up on the inside till I bled out. Or maybe a shard would get in my eye from the bed covers. Or I’d forget to not walk barefoot and store some pain in my soles.

For a moment, I was convinced a piece of glass had somehow landed in my ear. Stay tuned…

Only 1 out of 4 shelves had shattered, no piece was left in tact. The stress of… whatever impact had caused a spiderweb of veins to snake throughout the glass. Mostly cubes of 1/4 inch glass squares throughout the room.

The first few moments were shock. Then cleaning without thinking about it. Collecting all the books that had fallen, the hair products and trinkets scattered on the floor. At first I mindlessly swept and tried not to get shredded.

Then I started looking through the books more closely. I hadn’t read some in several years now. Why was I keeping them? They needed to go.

So a paper bag for the glass and another for the books.

I hadn’t worn cologne in several years, why did I still have 3 bottles of them? More to donate.

Did I even use these hair products anymore?

Toss.

Why do I still have this much stuff?

Oh, right, I stopped decluttering… stopped reducing my stuff while continuing the search for mental clarity and peace. How had I forgotten the peaceful meditation of getting rid of something?

Why did I still hang on to stuff for my fantasy self?

Why did I let myself be held back by fears and worries and…stuff!?

Glasses on, I continued to sweep, grateful that the lens would keep glass flecks from flying up into my eyes. I pondered my fears -I need to get healthy, I need to be more social, I need to be… less needy….

I moved on to my desk covered in papers and delayed decisions. Why did I have flashcards when I hadn’t used them since college? What about rechargeable batteries that I lost the charger for? Pens I’d never use, wall putty from 10 years, still unopened and probably unusable, and a tiny stapler that never worked properly.

I still had it from when I got it in high school…

Stuff. Stuff. So much stuff.

I can’t believe I’m still wading through stuff.

I had done a first major purge last winter, reducing my possessions by 65% – yeah, I did the math- and yet I seemed to have missed some things.

Or, maybe, It’s because I bought some things. Correction, I replaced some things with higher quality, better items. Quality of items had improved, broken items had been replaced, some much needed purchases had been met.

I was surprised that I missed some things to get rid off.

But maybe, I’d gotten nose blind. It was finally time to do more. Time for the second purge, or the third, whichever one it is now.

Time to resume the journey of minimalism.

It’s just too bad I had to break something I loved to figure that out.

Omelets and eggs, right? Stupid…

So I got 4 bags of things to give away/donate. And I feel like I’ve once more grasped something I’d forgotten.

Ouch!

Looks like I missed a piece. *sigh…

The Silence Burns

How much I’ve trapped within these eyes? Like a mute I struggle to place the words to my lips, and pen to paper.

How do I talk about what happened -What is happening? Is it something I should just lock away?

How do I describe what that time did to me, how I am still struggling to collect the glass shards shredding my fingertips burnt with glue holding this fractured window in place? How do I speak of those moments that I want to forget and yet cannot erase.

This mute agony excavating my veins. Screams in my pores, and yet all is placid and still above while I drown and thrash and convulse in the grasp of a predator from yesterday who still visits me. Easing through my gates, slipping past the bars to taunt me and haunt me and laugh at who I am now.

It’s like you’re saying you’ve won.

But it isn’t you who torments me. It’s my emotion memory. How I felt, not what you did. Echoes of imprinted terror and anger, pain and fire sing through taunt frayed nerve endings.

I shake with rage, shudder in anguish, and wrap this cashmere shawl around me and tell myself it is over. But my mind just doesn’t believe, my body remains on edge, it lives in me and I in it.

We are in recovery but still live the trauma.

And we go on, in silence.

I. Won’t. Fall. Quietly. Into. The. Dark.

Blindly into the night- Fists to the sky, I am free and speech is my birthright… I rise- I move and have feeling- These scars remind me that I am a champion- A survivor- No one can own me-

I wear the crown. And yet these stitches in my mouth…

I suffer and I don’t know why.

And yet I suffer, again, in silence.


picture source

Mockery of the Angels

You said you were ready
But had no idea what you were in for
You thought the law would protect you
But lacked the imagination of a criminal.

You thought hiding behind laws
And walls would be enough to save you
Yet, those were only needed to enslave you
Words written down to betray you
Nothing more than broken promises
Made by an unfaithful lover.

You thought that speaking a truth
Would drown all the lies
Naive child, don’t you know
Last one standing writes the historic byline?

The dead tell no tales
The martyrs never write their own creeds
The ones burned at the stake
Never write their own obituaries
So what was your plan of succession?
When naught but assassins surrounded you?

Every ally becomes your enemy
Every stone wall projectiles for condemnation
Every brick of evidence open to suggestion
A fabrication of interpretation.

Did you really think that the media would save you
That they would snap up your words and relay accuracy?
Did you forget that these vultures
Only chase the freshest meat?
And yet the same words of love in the morning
Turn to accusation by mid-afternoon, and death penalty by nightfall.

Did you really trust that your comrades
Would guard your back from the wolves?
Did you not suspect that they
Would follow to each their own?

We only canonize the dead
When we are told to, we laud
And praise genius when it is laid to rest
We embrace and celebrate when the tombstone is placed
We remember the soldiers only when they’ve fallen
And the innocents by piling skulls in Valentine’s square.

Are you a child or are you grown?
Are you asleep or have you woke?
Do you really know this world you are in
Or do you cling to your myopic view of the world?

WAKE THE FUCK UP!!!
You are left wide open
To a bullet, a bomb, a word of slandar
No one will put their life on the line to save yours
Everyone will fail you
Your superman will die.

This world is rotten
The system dismantled through systemic, systematic chisels
The truth is just a perception
Your indignation, a fanciful dream.

There is NO justice!
Stop chasing a dream
The powerful always win, the money trumps the law
Truth is free, what is freely given is never treasured
Blood stains deeper than innocence
Ignorance is bliss.

So take off those fucking rosy glasses
And see the hell where you live
It’s deep inside your home
It’s buried within your heart.

Pull back the curtain
And see the reality of it all
Your sword is broken, your pen out of ink
All the world has begun to sink
We’re digging to hell, baby, and no one’s gonna stop us
We breed in this filth and LIKE IT.

So stay lily white
And we will decorate your skin with black handprints of soot
And speckles of blood
Weigh the scales of justice with your heart in one, and the sword in the other.

You tell me which one sinks the scale
Does a feather still equalize or does it only
Break the camel’s cigarette spine?
We like to be broken, you won’t sustain us
We’ll take you down, you’ll be one of us
For we are all dead men…

Poem inspired by the manga -Revival Man ch 36-40 -written by Jae Yong Taek, artist Kim Jae-han

Picture source

Mocha #3: Minimizing the Past

History contains the word story.

Hi story.

History translates to experience which provides framework for the “if-then”. If you touch the stove, then you will be burned. If you get a cut, then it will heal and leave a scar.

Yet history can generate fear. If someone got burned once, and that results in a permanent fear of stoves, that memory can result in a crippling fear of stoves resulting in avoidance, painful recall of the memory, and other debilitating outcomes.

When the past links to a fear, the window of life can narrow.

I sometimes wonder how much control I have to speak of the past. Do I keep it inside and pretend that it never happened? Or do I tell everyone I meet about it, like that poor woman in the film who had a nervous-breakdown?

In the end, I veer towards being a private person.

I stopped writing here for a while. For a while, I didn’t think I’d come back. But here I am, almost a year later.

Last November was a time of change- Correction, it was a shit show.

  • My “closest and dearest friend” dumped me cuz they were just too busy
  • My “mentor” became an abusive boss.

November taught me not to reach out to friends when I’m feeling down or want to just talk. November taught me that spending time supporting someone else who won’t take the time to even say hello is a waste of time. November taught me that friendships that are a one-way street are really just user-ships.

Fuck that ship.

November taught me that people with unreasonable expectations should be left behind. That when the job becomes a prison instead of a workplace, get the fuck out. November taught me that the people I was relying on and looking to for support were nothing more than an IED waiting to blow me to smithereens.

I cried like a pussy that November. I cycled between grief and rage. I experienced the depths of denial, sadness, anger, apathy, and landed in cynicism.

Remember, remember, the lessons of November…

But November wasn’t all bad:

  • I took my “fuck you” savings and left the bad work environment.
  • I moved back to my parent’s house till I got back on my feet.
  • Got my awesome dream job.
  • Learned about minimalism.

I adapted minimalism as my creed: prioritize what is important, ignore the rest.

In November, I decided to choose me. To put myself first and flip off everything else that tried to hinder me or dissuade from progressing towards a better life. I decided that no job was worth being treated like shit, that money in a paycheck wasn’t enough to buy my soul.

And I was lucky because I burned a bridge behind me only to set foot in paradise.

2018 hasn’t been that bad. I’ve moved on to better and bigger things. I can look back with a certain affection.

How small that world is now… How vapid and uninteresting. How pathetic.

How far I’ve grown.

So I shut the window on November.

It’s June. The sun is shining, I’m blasting  The Gambler by Xzibit ft Anthony Hamilton. I’ve got my life right, my mind right, my money right.

And I’m not alone.

I got quality people at my back. I listen to my instincts. I don’t ignore when I see a situation go bad. Dare I say I am in touch with my higher self? Haha, if you believe that stuff about the higher you, then yeah that’s what you could call it.

I had abandoned my sovereignty,
Abandoned the reigns to follow strange kings and queens.
Now I’ve returned to my kingdom,
Only I have dominion -and I walk beside, not behind.
I’m the knight of my own castle,
And I save myself.

Now I smile when I remember,
Those eerie dark days
Of November.

A Spark

Life is beautiful in pain, with the tinged edges of lofted memories.
Like peanut butter smeared on celary
Or caramel chocolate.

But this isn’t a conversation about food.

It’s been 5 months, so much has changed
Faster than even I could have arranged.
The barometer of time
Can erase much from the lines.
But never the emotion
Of words left unspoken.

I wonder sometimes about the options,
To roads of full of cautions;
In the end, people are themselves;
It’s too much to keep them assigned to their shelves.
They are free
Just like me.

I laugh now more than I cry,
Some things I remember with a sigh;
This path of decisions,
Not everyone wants to listen.

After so long in the dark,
I emerge in the sun, shattered and stark;
And yet I am comfortable with these marks.
It is my history, my grounding story.

The harsh disconnect of being unmoored,
A history shrouded in blank pages, torn;
That lack of anchor both empty and freeing,
Hence a future full of meaning.

I build again and again.
I try not to be discouraged by the end.
Because the close of a chapter begins another.

So I close the pages of yesterday;
My joys, regrets, and past ways.
Because new leaves have unfurled,
This growing tree expands my world.

Joy tinged with sadness,
Peace with gladness;
In a way I had to break,
To put the pieces in this brand new shape.

So in a way I must thank the trauma,
That ended so much drama;
And freed me to be more in line
With this beauty unconfined.

When the forest fire dies
Smoke and ashes flies
Seedlings will grow
And the coals will show

A brave new beginning. . .

 

(Untitled)

I sail in a ship, not of my design
But of my input
Breaking the waters of a world
I cannot understand
Surrounded by the confusion
I cannot solve
Condemned to a deck
I did not build.

This vessel of mine
I cannot fathom
Raising sails I did not weave
Grasping a wind
I did not request
Heading in a direction
Not of my choosing

As though, of all the directions
It would have been this way
The options naught but empty
Unfulfilled destiny,
For all the choices I supposedly earned
Only one was placed before me
The captain’s wheel fixed
On a destination
I never charted

For all the stars in the heavens
I could only find one
Of all the ships in the harbor
Only one would take me
For all my struggles to alter
The path was set

This vessel of mine
Conveys me by unwilling knots
No more can I assertain
The trickery of fate
When all my decisions
Led me to this predetermined sea.

And what of these bones
And mind that betrays me
What construct is this
In my hands and feet
Fingers and throat
To directly challenge my every desire
With impertinent need.