Standing on the Bridge We Burned

We cannot return to the past
No matter that the regret lasts
Or that penance drips sorrow

They fear us because we are the shadows
Color of the night
We are the offspring of the stars

But we are not a generation of peace
Misplaced rage
Some say -stupidity-  yet just ignorance.

We don’t think, just speak
We don’t ponder, just tweet
Thoughtless mind, empty chatter.


Image source: https://laitma.deviantart.com/art/Iris-Broken-Bridge-532571670
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Mocha #2: It’s Official, I Guess… [I Know but Cannot Say]

It’s Official I Guess…

Is there a right way to talk about preferred names and pronouns in the workforce? Is it even anyone’s business? 

As of a few days ago, my work world has been informed of my preferred name and pronouns -different from the legal ones.

I’m not sure what to do with that.

It was kind of involuntary. My new job segments into 2 sets of peer groups. I’d informed one peer group since I’d felt okay sharing and it was my first time saying it OUT LOUD to work colleagues and having them call me by my preferred name was… the best feeling ever!

I just started working with the second peer group and was more occupied with bare necessities, like office space, where to eat, where to park, who do I work with, etc.. I hadn’t really gotten around to notifying this peer group and set of supervisors about this information.

But the peer groups chat with each other, and before I even thought through how I’d approach a conversation around my pref. name and such with the second group, I got a text asking me about it.  I briefly explained, impromptu, while resisting the urge to apologize (knee-jerk reaction is to apologize for nothing).

I kinda feel mixed about it, because it was outside of my control and it was an involuntary conversation rather than a proactive one. And I feel awkward. And such.

And, I hadn’t even figured out if this was something I even wanted to do -work and personal life are separate, right?

I’m a planner. I want to really think things through before making a decision about anything. Especially this sort of thing which would impact every facet of life. I don’t need extra -isms: I’m already on the docket for racism, sexism, sexuality-ism, personality-ism, religionism, wrong-place-wrong-time-ism,  etc. etc..

Now, I get to add genderism, awkward-ism, underlying prejudice, extra levels of difficulty and how will this impact my job role?

I don’t want to be the “new curiosity in aisle 3” so to speak. I just don’t want extra attention when I want to live my life. I hope this doesn’t become a thing where it’s the queer elephant in the room during conversations.

Joy…

 

I Know, but Cannot Say

I stick to poetry much of the time lately because I’ve been struggling to write the stuff in my mind. Why?

Because it’s not like anyone is going to read it.

Because the big data collection peoples/companies will simply scoop up my brain to analyze my likelihood to buy [insert-product-here].

Because it’s a control thing?

Maybe.

If  I could, I’d talk about my old job, how much it killed parts of me that I didn’t even know I had, or that I took for granted. Nothing like the first job fresh from uni to kill your soul. How I can’t get that enthusiastic about anything anymore since I’m still waiting for the other shoe to drop and for someone to start screaming and calling me shit. Waiting for the shunning and isolation, for everything to be insufficient and for promises to be broken.

I guess I’d talk about the isolation of being in a culture that isn’t supportive of me. Breaking away from the structure of religion, and going back to my parents’ house every once and awhile with them staring at me with these eyes of “you’re going to hell”.

Like I don’t catch every time they say “god willing” or “May the lord bless you” or “may the lord be with you” -fuck that! I don’t need a lord. I don’t need a god.

No one’s there for me, I don’t need anyone like that.

I just need a good friend. But those are nearly as hard to find as an honest politician. Unicorn.

I’ve pursued that unicorn, that dark horse with a conical sword on its forehead. I wanted to be its passenger, so bad. I couldn’t chase it, couldn’t lasso it down. A fucking mockery.

Often times, I’d catch a rhino instead. Ungainly, endangered, and ultimately someone else’s property.

If I ever do catch that unicorn, I feel like I’d need to break its legs to keep it mine. Then it wouldn’t be a unicorn. But it would be mine.

Hi. I’m worth more.

I’d talk about how the theme so far is to crumple oneself to fit in or get used to being alone. I pay for my individuality with company. Cause I’m too much, not enough, inappropriate, or something.

I stand in conversations, silent, and staring at the people around me like “who are you?”, “why are you faking it”, “why are you asking so many questions, I’m not that interesting”. It’s like mentally stepping back to the corner of the room, just watching and observing and analyzing.

Imagine being at a party. You go in, you don’t know many people. You grab a drink, smile, and embed yourself into a conversation or two or twelve. Plastic crinkles in the background and you realize almost suddenly, that the whole room is filled with mannequins. Mannequins you have nothing in common with, that are impossible to connect with, that speak another language as part of a foreign species.

Nothing to do except leave.

But I can’t leave my life.

I’d talk about how life feels like hostage negotiation. Picking and choosing battles, except the battles are life and death. I could die walking out my front door just because of who I am. Being okay with that.

I’d talk about how we are all tadpoles in the boiling pot and we’re close to 100 degrees Celsius, and 212 degrees Fahrenheit. No one’s going to jump out, or say anything. So we’ll all die together. Goodbye planet earth – we’re going to be sun 2.

I’d talk about life being the structure of our own unique cage. You’re born in one, then you build one for yourself. With your style and aesthetic, one that you can stand to live in. The bars are habit, the ceiling is you saying “I can’t”, the walls are your perceived limitations, the floor is the core of your spirit.

Build it right, it can be a prison or a home.

There’s so much I could talk about. But it’s not like anyone wants to hear it.

I have so much love to give. But it’s not like anyone wants it.

The beauty of the future is that it can change. I’m not waiting for it to change. I’m growing me to become a evolved self. The core of me is alive and real and won’t ever die.

The only thing that dies is my faith in humanity. In love. In friendship and brotherhood.

Maybe I’m in the wrong part of the world for humanity.

 

Iced Fire

I have all your secrets
I hold them in the palm of my hand
Will you stay
Or should I leave?
Or should I never plan to succeed?
Perhaps I will find purpose
In the echo of your steps
Leave me again, leave me forever
Ever undone.

I could never find the words
That would make you stay
The devil swore I was meant to be alone
And chuckled when he escorted me back
To my cage
I wasn’t meant to be embraced
These arms harbor brittle branches
Never the warmth of a soul.

I hold these memories close
But like ice and snow, I could never
Manage to get warm
When will my bones freeze
Until I cannot feel
All the wounds that never heal?
The only thing more familiar
Than the taste of my blood
Is the gentle caress of your dying love

Like a candle burning out
Cling to the last vestiges of your presence
Before the altar of the forsaken
Ravens wait to pluck and tear
And savor a heart that was never there
Broken like our vows
Shattered with our distance
Did I stay, or did we both walk?
Did you stay, was I the one who walked away?
Did we both go our separate ways
Who stayed and who was left behind?

Repercussions are naught but concussions
A lurid reminder of the impact of your love
Why warm my flesh when you’d only
Freeze my bones with your absence
Take your flame and fire
Leave me to the graven plaque
Let me crack in the silence
And cave in the solitude
Let this stolid breath
Fade away into nothing
The fog of lust against the chilling chains
Of forbidden kisses

The torment of mentioned lines
Review the whispers for lies
Can it truly be so innocent?
As a farewell? A goodbye?
A never see you again?
Just because -what was the cause?
Why did you leave?
Will knowing salve this cold
Or just jut an icicle
Into my veins.

Intensely turquoise and covered with frost
Surrounding the void holding all I lost
The final flicker dies
Crackling shudder
Sprout frigid wings
I’ll be your snow angel
With you I melt
The ice will keep me whole.

Time Enough

So much to do, so little time
Said the sordid little mayfly
Who in 24 hours must live a life
Of birth, retirement, death, and wife.
So why begrudge a life of 50 plus
Years are still plenty enough
To destroy, build, destroy
A span of time, pleasure and ploy.

Just 24 hours, a whole life flashes past
In only 360 seconds
Of brain death.

Mocha #1: I still [miss] Remember You…

I declutter.

Facebook was finally on the chopping block.

Time to leave all the pages I never visit, the people I’d forgotten I’d followed, the groups I graduated past.

And then I found a page I was still following. And I remembered why.

So, this is for you.


I remember your smile and humor.

The ginger child on the bus when we carpooled to the christian (xian) private school in the middle of farmland. I still remember your smile and laugh, how silly you were. The pranks, the jokes, the silly faces and bubbly personality.

How you drove your brother crazy sometimes.

You were the funny one, he was the serious one. The Ginger Brothers. He wore glasses, you did not.

I always thought of you as part of two. Two peas in a pod, even though you were the younger brother.

I remember joking with you during the long bus rides. I was pleasant to everyone and in a casual way, our interactions had gradually extended to that gray place between acquaintance and friend.

Then again, I was in high school and you were in middle school. I couldn’t say that I took you seriously, but any gap in age was bridged by humor. I could be silly sometimes and you made me smile too. And I learned that your humor belied a deep intelligence I hadn’t encountered in many of my peers.

It was such a gray time. And a ginger ray of sunshine was a welcome gift.

I remember the day you gave me your necklace. I think I commented on how cool it was. You had two, and you gave me one. I was surprised, people rarely gave me gifts. I thought you were joking.

But you weren’t.

I was concerned, a bit, that it might have been some sort of gesture. In my limited experience, guys give gifts with strings. So I was on guard for the next few days, but nothing changed.

You were silly and charming as always and didn’t give me moon eyes. Thank goodness!

We could be friends.

Thank goodness, it was nothing more than a kindness; not even a motive, just selfless and almost thoughtless giving. The innocence of children.

I wore that necklace for a time. A gray string connected to spikes shaped into a cross. It was the perfect mix of gothy and xian that I could get away with wearing it and it was the perfect example of my style.

Time flew by so fast…

I left.

I barely remembered.

I went to college.

Two years later you were dead.

Like a pebble of ice, I could not define the sense of loss. Unlike the sense of not seeing someone during the day to day, how do you fill that sense with the knowledge that you can’t even remember the last time you saw someone? Someone you will never see again?

The why was a mystery. It was sudden, quick, and hopefully painless.

Rumors -stupid and vicious- were thankfully silenced. A funeral was held. Memorial passed.

But I was over 300 miles away, and completely off the radar. Frozen, I mourned from afar.

A distant sadness. Regret. It was a selfish grief. Resolving the smile of potential with the cold clasp of the grave. Realizing that the ginger peas were now a ginger pea, I would flip back through the fuzzy memories and try to remember.

But it was like grasping space or embracing a galaxy. Futile, impossible, and vaguely insulting.

If I had known how short the time would be…

I found the necklace again. Somehow, it has survived several moves and stayed with me. I took it as a sign.

A way I could remember you.

For over a year, every morning, I’d look in the mirror, see the necklace, and remember. It wasn’t a prominent display, but it was enough.

The only time someone commented on it was during warmer weather when an observant professor noticed. I’d been in his office hours for years, trying to understand some difficult classes that he taught, and during that time, I had never worn jewelry. I explained, haltingly, that I was remembering you.

But I didn’t say that your memory was drifting farther and farther away from me.

Over time, the necklace seemed to get heavier and heavier. I experienced neck pain and migraines, but it was a small price to pay. No longer a memory, the piece had become more like penance.

I could barely remember your smile. I was chasing a phantom and the memories faded like mist in the summer heat.

All I had left was the memory of your smile and that twinkle in your eye.

And then the necklace broke.

I held the broken string in one hand and the cross pendant in the other. It couldn’t be fixed, I didn’t have a chain to put the pendant on.

And I swore I heard the wind whisper that it was time to move on.

Even if my cynical mind denied it; -sign or not- the necklace could no longer be worn.

You were more than a piece of metal and string. I might have forgotten so much, but you never slipped far from my mind.

The irony of memories is that you always remember someone being the same as the last time you saw them. 

You could have finished college and started a career by now. You could have married the girl of your dreams and had your own ginger child.

So much that could have been.

Like a story forever incomplete -or prematurely ended.

If a “being” or “god” is responsible for your demise, I’d like to know why “THEY” thought you needed to go. I’m still angry and sad about that.

I’m sorry.

I miss you.

I still remember…