Cold Searing Reality

He dreams of blood and knives all the time
In waking moments the copper and iron mix to taint his fingertips
At night, he’s surrounded by strangers; he is a stranger to himself
The mirror is a fog of gray and blur-
There is nothing to see that he wants to see
There is nothing he can say to make himself real.

Less of a who and more of a what
Busy shuffling life and drama to the front
Once more drowning himself till the end
Until he, again, doesn’t know who he is
But part of him wants it that way
It’s just too complicated, there are no answers
And no one to put his questions

He’s tired of being just another brittle cup
To eek out another drop of water for the starving souls around
How long until the sun cracks these fragile edges?
How long until they realize he’s not just a tool for others?
They slice him up and divvy the spoils, everyone gets a piece
All that’s left are the bones of anguish, no silence or peace.

He is alone.
That is the worst part of it all.
Everyone has someone and he is just one.
Still.
Again.
And he doesn’t want to wallow in self-pity
But, he can’t help how he feels and he’s tired of being silent.

He dreams of darkness and red
A violent demise to this fear and dread
A soft and muted gray nestled on the sunrise of
Each and every day.
He doesn’t enjoy being despised, he just wants to be
Himself without being penalized.

Why do hurtful people always have power?
Why do they always need a victim?
Don’t they know he has more important things on his mind?
Than wasting energy just trying to survive them, and himself,
And this godforsaken world?
Busy delaying him with petty battles when he’s trying to win
The bigger war.

What is he becoming?
What is he supposed to be
Where is he going?
Is this ever going to end?
How can he make a new beginning
When he doesn’t know where or who or what he is?

For someone supposedly smart
He never has the answers to the questions that plague him
He leaves the room for a cage, the cage for a glass box
The glass box for a room with walls
No windows, no switches to unlock
Nothing but a series of boxes
An echo of chains.

And he must put this away now
He must fold all this away into yet another safe
Housed in the closet
At the end of the hall
Behind the barricaded door
In the abandoned mansion encompassed by the impenetrable forest.

He has failed again.
Containment has been breached, and the agony pours out
In waves of fury, in ice trailing through his veins
In the kiss of Judas stealing the breath from his soul
In the hands of betrayal wrapped around his neck
Grin and whisper that they want him to stay
Then wake him up to kill him again.

Sometimes it’s like he’s not even there
Unless they want someone to blame
He’s not even there
Unless there is someone at fault
He’s not even there
Unless someone needs to be punished.

He isn’t even there.
You have to be a person to be real.
But what does it even matter?
People have no rights at all.
He’s just a leftover script
Of their desire
Just a robot’s soul that they killed.

Damnable Cannibal

Utensils, just so.
fold the napkins
decant the wine
lay the toast
crumble the sugar cubes
that’s the water glass
sterling silver knives.

Aerate the stemware
polish furiously
the butter pat
gleams in the candlelight
ceramics, not plastic
please seat yourself
ice and champagne.

Smile and steam
the platter arrives
salt and oil
the meat is resting
cloves and thyme
would you like red or white?
toss a salad.

Scream, Grace
the head of the table
chiming glass
shiny serrated knife
carving fork
yes, medium rare
thin strips on her plate.

A hiccup in silence
shred a dinner roll
curiously red
he prefers the white
have a bite
his lips stain the rims of the glass
she swallows.

Happy Anniversary
she tries to smile back
shaking fingers
pain and numb
a sip of water
missed you too
may I carve you another slice?

Nauseous and faint
she chews delicately
napkin folded neatly
sweaty forehead
mismatched earrings
his savage smile
bloody ring.

The fading blue and purple bruise
matched his tie
it’s perfect
but today can be a good day
another bite
couples compromise
plastic laughter.

Made it myself
a new recipe
how’s the temperature dear?
best meat in town
the heart beats loudly
carve off another strip
the muscle stutters.

Laughter
the chandelier winks
lay down the fork
empty chest cavity
he can’t help but grin
her tears
blood taints the white wine glass.

Yet another slice
her heart labors now
another strip of flesh
he wets his lips
it’s almost gone
want the last slice?
the fork jabs the meat.

Lovingly fed
they consumed
the final pieces
of her heart
tenderized flesh
the heartbeat finally fades
he licked his fingers.

Clear the feast
she collapses
white wine splashes the floor
blood pools
we can get that stain out
hiccup and choke
she didn’t need it anyway.

He poured her a glass
this time of red
drink
the taste of copper
with plum highlights
she couldn’t drink fast enough
no more pain.

You missed some
he smiles again
the tablecloth will never be the same
flickering candles
I don’t have a heart, Charlie (she gasps)
I know, Grace
you didn’t need it anyway…

The cleaned dishes sparkled
cloying bouquets reek
mourners in the plot
walk through the valley
cloudy sky
black satin gowns
wet dank soil.

For your loss
attendees trickle away like sand
he stands alone now
leaning over the pine box
carves another strip
the hole bleeds in the dull light
bye-bye Grace.

He always liked her heart the best.

The Dark Tower (2017)*: To Archive with The Great Wall

*minimal spoilers ahead

Oh, look! Another film based-on-written-material which will disappoint readers everywhere. My friend (white) was pissed that the integrity of the story was supposedly compromised by the casting of the gunslinger as a black dude, but that’s another, kinda racist, story.

#StirThePot.

I like Stephen King books-become-movies, but I haven’t read the books/graphic novels behind this one. I blame the local library for starting at book 4. Consequently, I have no prior expectations going in nor terrible disappointment coming out.

Okay, I lied, I had some disappointment.

If you do go to watch this, bring a healthy bag of sarcasm, there are plenty of opportunities for dark jokes and satire. I was blessed with a movie companion to whom I could whisper and receive jokes which helped make the film more bearable.

As usual, I’ll protract the following, this time with spoilers. I don’t have time to pussy foot around:

  • Plot
  • Action
  • Characters
  • Annoyances

Continue reading The Dark Tower (2017)*: To Archive with The Great Wall

Squandered

Picture credit: https://mentalnote8.wordpress.com/tag/betrayal/

The thought slammed into my brain moments ago. A cumulation of rumination, you could say. Friends fade and fall away like the petals of a dying flower in the fall. We were never ready to commit, that or I had committed too soon. To stay. To patch your pieces, to hold you down, to back you up, to slay your dragons and watch your back.

I was the only one who whispered forever when you called us best friends. An incomplete vow of one-sided loyalty. You would abandon me to the fall, let the dragons surround me, let my enemies tear me asunder, and leave me alone on the battlefield of your intention. Like a fool, I rushed to your side when the enemy encompassed you, threw myself between you and disaster, nursed you back to health by feeding you broth from my very bones. But I would be alone in my darkest hour when the cold clasp of defeat would chain me. My summons for aid would be ignored. I would be left in the cold. You would replace me at your table with another; I would be your forgotten knight who no longer served a purpose.

You would fail me in my time of need.

I have learned these lessons well. Trust none, guard your heart, keep the armor wrapped tighter than skin. Await betrayal with expectation.

Loyalty… An abused principle, meaningless in the face of self-preservation. A slaughter of lies -tell me again that I am nothing but a ghost who refuses to see the truth.

We were never friends. I was just your shield, your sword, an arrow in your quiver. Just a tool for you to use then discard.

My life is not a cloth, to be used then tossed away when it pleases you. I am not your toy that you can bring out then put back again. I am not an orchard, to be hacked down and shredded when it seems good to you. I am not yesterday’s fashion to be donated and tossed into the past.

I would have given so much in exchange for a solid shred of loyalty. It is frightening the currency I would pay to secure such a bounty. As such, it can never be purchased, only earned and won.

I’ve learned to hold back. You. Taught. Me: to wrap my intentions tightly to my soul and give nothing away; to house every innocent thought in the banks of Switzerland, and hold my very soul on a distant, unreachable planet; to entrust my virtue to a tower of solitude and my honor to the depths of Atlantis.

You taught me to erase my face. To collect the masks that emote beyond what I could ever hope to express. To abide in shadows and feed on the dregs to soothe my pain. To shy away at a touch, a word, a breath on my skin. You taught me to stain my teeth in my own blood for your sake. To strip away muscle and sinew, tendon and veins, and grind my bones to dust.

You taught me that I was nothing. I heard you when you said that I was worthless. Read your lips when they spat at me with venomed fervor. I witnessed when you took my hand in yours and nailed it to your wall of trophies. I felt the knives go in, felt them slip through my skin, glance off bone and punch through my organs. I swam in the lake of my blood, a carcass stripped of every useful component.

I know your kind. You’re no friend of mine.

Even after I have long since departed, why do you imagine my shadow in every crevice? I would never return, not for all the gold possessed by the Vatican.

You can be the sun and burn yourself to nothing. I care not. I have resigned as your messenger. This whipping boy is on indefinite furlough.

The fire immolates the empty frame of what was. A hollow mockery chortling on the back burner of our past. I only like the scars that remain, for they remind me not to play the fool twice. The story tattooed on my skin spell the tale, a lesson learned without remorse. I do not mind the pain when the moral is taught.

I only regret putting a face to the name

Betrayer.

Were We EVER Ready?!

Death is the date you forget
The promise that time corrects
None can dodge their fate.

Death is the silent sniper
When ready, aim then fire
No one is exempt from this tax collector’s tally.

Death floats in on quiet wing
To ease the final moments’ sting
Into a final peaceful solitude.

Death trails fingers through rough cotton sails
Monitors and machines pump and wail
Roll call sounds through each flatline.

Live by the sword
Die by the gun
Bullets are forever.

For all the posturing and politics
The glories of dynasty
Fade into the sands of time.

No one is left behind
But everything remains, to find
A final separation of man and possession.

A final surprise
In dull empty eyes
Death will literally take your breath away…

As the dive from the beach
Robs you of your final speech
Let the waves comfort you now.

As your shallow husk
Is buried without fuss
Take your grudges with you.

Death makes even religions a liar
The final equalizer
Prince and pauper fall as one.

Chase with desperation the chalice of immortality
Ignore the human fallacy
To waste precious time in futility.

But isn’t Death just a carriage
A taxi you missed today
That may ferry you tomorrow?

A Chaste Cuddle

“Philia (philía, Greek: φιλία) is the love between friends as close as siblings in strength and duration. The friendship is the strong bond existing between people who share common values, interests or activities.” –The Four LovesWikipedia

Boyfriends betray you, girlfriends lie;

Husbands divorce, wives cheat;

[Boyfriends lie, husbands cheat;

Girlfriends betray you, wives divorce;]

Partners leave, friends-with-benefits implode;

Keeping it casual gets complicated.

You don’t have to kiss
You don’t have to  grope
Skip the flowers, skip the wine
Skip the chocolates and obligation

You don’t even have to speak
Not a single word in exchange
Silence and empathy
Someone to hold.

You don’t have to pressurize
You don’t have to perform,
Just a hug, once or twice
Just a few moments of rapport.

You don’t have to get it up
You don’t have to go down;
Just a shoulder to cry on
Just a shoulder to lean on.

Keep your clothes on,
Keep your hands to yourself
Dim the romance, blow out the candles
Turn on the lights.

Humans have the need to connect
Brain to brain, philia love;
No “heart-strings”, no encumbrance
No romantic entanglements

You don’t have to be anything more
Than a friend of excellent quality
Nothing more, nothing less
Than your unwavering loyalty

There is no “next level”
You are on the plateau
The only question left
Is one of trust and control.

Can you be trusted
To cuddle -platonically-
Without an expectation
Or pressure for intercourse?

A friendship as strong
And unbreakable as graphene
Is hard to find -harder still
The unconditional selfless accord.

Jesus Was Out

I went to church looking for Jesus
But Judas greeted me at the door
And smiled with soft spoken words
Kisses on the cheek and handshakes of greeting.

I entered the sanctuary looking for Jesus,
But Judas sat next to me and welcomed me
With song and spoken words
While asking about my membership.

They said listen to the sermon to hear Jesus,
But Judas was veneered at the pulpit
Speaking words of condemnation and ignorance
Rattle the collection plate, drum up the tithe.

They said to speak aloud and talk to Jesus
But Judas was listening and weaving deception
Whispering words of guilt and self-deprecation
Thirty-nine lashes, thirty missing pieces.

Funny, that Jesus never appeared
But Judas showed up to hand out ropes
When they nominated my lynching
And cast stones at my soul.

Like all realities, the books are best
Mercy and love waxing eloquent on less than half the pages
Sorely lacking in stark application
A disproportionate outcome in action.

They said you have a savior in Jesus
But it was Judas knocking on my door
To point out my follies and hem me with hell
The terrified are the easiest to con.

Judas hugged and embraced me
Wondered when I’d return
But the game was exposed
When he hungrily eyed my purse.

How difficult it is to find salvation
And appease one’s immortal soul
When every church, mosque, synagogue, and holy place
Hordes a Judas within its walls.

I don’t trust anyone with matters of eternal life
If they insist on holding my coin hostage
For with finances, guilt, and atonement
Money tends to be the superior currency.

They sent me to church to find Jesus,
But met Judas at the front door
Where he was shaking hands and kissing cheeks
And greeting with fervor.

I went to meetings, looking for Jesus
But found Judas at the head
Guiding the ministry in one hand
And pocketing funds with the other.

I went to the pastor’s office looking for Jesus
And found Judas on his hands and knees
Prying open the safe, frothing with rage
When faced with the Bibles within.

I went to the congregation to look for Jesus
But Judas was waiting with empty hands
An oily smile and a sharp eye
To mark my remaining coins.

And when the doors shut and the services ended
When the fellowship had long expired
I sat on the steps and pondered this curiosity-
For “Jesus” had never appeared.

Coffee #28: July 4th

“July 4 is the 185th day of the year (186th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 180 days remaining until the end of the year. This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Monday, Wednesday or Saturday (58 in 400 years each) than on Thursday or Friday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Tuesday or Sunday (56). The Aphelion, the point in the year when the Earth is farthest from the Sun, occurs around this date.”

~https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_4

The most popular rendition of July 4th is the American celebrations that have taken place since their Independence from Britain during the 1776 end of the Revolutionary War. Nowadays, if you travel around the world, many of USA’s allies also engage in similar festivities and celebrations from China to Europe.

Google will delight in reminding you of the three USA presidents who died on July 4th: Thomas Jefferson (July 4, 1826), John Adams (July 4, 1826), and James Monroe (1831). And don’t forget the president born on July 4th, 1872 – Calvin Coolidge.

On July 4th, the Philippines also celebrate their own unique independence from the USA during their Republic Day. Fun fact: the USA owned the islands -after Spain sold the islands in 1898- till 1946. This celebration date was later changed to July 12th to reflect an earlier declaration of independence of the Philippines while under the rule of Spain.

Rwanda also celebrates Liberation Day which commemorates the end of the Rwandan genocide on July 4, 1994, thanks to the USA’s support and aid.

If all the countries of the world could view the USA during the celebration, I wonder what they would make of the inordinate food consumption, merrymaking, and strange customs.

There are 180 days left in the year

That’s all I’m thinking about.

So much to do, so little time. Is there enough to make a difference? How much will you achieve in 180 days?

Is it enough time to start afresh and make changes to the benefit of yourself and others?

Governments would argue that it’s possible. A little less than 6 months can easily roll back legislations, pass laws, enact policies, and erect statutes.

Armies would argue that it’s possible. Countries can be invaded in less time, wars have been won within months.

Science can make large strides by that time. A cumulation of life knowledge moved forward on the shoulders of generations of information gathered throughout the years.

Ocean levels can rise in less time, tens of hurricanes will whip by, weather patterns can lay waste to the world within days. Natural disasters can occur within seconds. Seconds.

Migrations take only days to complete, dependent on numbers and distance. Thousands on the planet will die and thousands more will be born. New diseases and old diseases will have their time on the stage of life.

New movies, new shows, new media and more art and marketing will fill the world and flood the senses.

More endangered animals will die. More will become extinct.

Sadly, hardly any of this will be acknowledged. Social media will drag us back into the embedded sensationalism and rhetoric that we’ve engaged in since… forever.

Will that change? Maybe.

Will that change in 180 days? I doubt it.

Can people change in 180 days? It’s possible but unlikely.

Can we make this world a better place in 180 days?

I don’t know. Does anyone even care?

The minority. No.

How do you know?

Review the 186 days that have come before.

But the world isn’t just defined by the circumference of the earth. The world is defined by what happens in your corner of life, your sliver of the community every day.

Make something good within the next 180, huh?

Maybe it will ripple out and add some drops of positivity to the planet.

Zis Regret: Her Final Valentine

Ze wishes to go back in time
And never meet her
Knowing now, the end
Ze wished it had never even begun.

But youth is foolish
The summer air fills with potential
A world of happiness trapped
In her smile.

Like any smile, hers hides a world of pain
Zis laugh smothers discontent
But both find pleasure in the moment
Of meeting.

If only ze
Had stuck to zis instincts
Ze could have avoided
So much anguish.

They duct taped a world
And made it their own
Exacerbating each other
Painful hindsight.

Ze wonders if ze had
Been too vulnerable
Perhaps, ze should not have been so honest
Should have kept zis heart locked away.

Because she hurt zim so much more
Than all the others who’d gone before
Not just because of timing
But because ze had trusted her.

Ze wanted to be vulnerable
With her, test the waters
After prior hurts, ze
Let her in.

Ze can’t do this anymore
Can’t deal with friends who hurt
And carve up zis soul
Grafitti zis skin with scars.

Ze has no more tolerance
The pain drowns zim
Ze’d rather erase all their days
Never meet her again.

Ze’d rather she just tell him straight
That she hates zim, wants nothing to do with zim
That she’d explain why
She hurt zim this way.

Ze doesn’t need to be hurt again
Ze hurts zimself enough
Others have hurt zim before
She doesn’t need to hurt zim again.

Why did she pretend to love zim?
Ze’d rather stay alone
Than be tricked into thinking that someone
Wanted to be zis friend.

And what did ze ever do to her?
To make her turn against zim
Ze doesn’t know, and perhaps it’s
Better that way.

But ze’s done writing messages
To never hear reply
Ze’s done wondering what ze did
To be driven into exile.

Ze doesn’t want to hear her name
Never again will ze
Even worry for a moment that she’s okay
Because ze needs to be selfish, else ze will die.

And, yes, perhaps it has nothing to do with zim
The silence could be purely coincidental
But when she ghosted zim from her life
It went beyond apathy to pure indifference.

And ze’s tired of feeling that pain
Tired of bleeding out on the balcony
Waiting for her to find zim worthy
To reenter her good graces.

What had ze done?
What had ze done to result in this?
All ze knows is that the rift isn’t zis
And that ze needs to let go – once and for all.

And so, ze stumbles away
Binding wounds that bleed to this day
Someday, ze will regain zis trust
But definitely not today.

Perhaps ze will finally
Find someone who actually cares
Will love zim, and will not
Cut zim up again.

But the world is meant to hurt
Ze accepts that ze will always be carved
By those who pretend to love
Hopefully next time, ze will see it coming.

Blinded by love
Ze never saw her
Blade sinking into
Zis heart.