On this night I gaze at faraway stars by myself because I’m searching for a light that I lost somewhere in the daze and I can’t help but see the fair features of your face in the sky and I have to wonder why it appears so clear and the thought of the pain we bring each other strains my chest and I feel the familiar burning sear of hurt and I know I can’t complain because I know you felt a similar pain but how can we heal each other when one of us can’t even restrain the other? I feel trapped in a cage, like a patient strapped-in after giving in to a long-silenced rage; I slapped him and hit the wall, he laid down and curled himself into a ball and as more of our faults unfurled I crawled away from him as best as I could, without walking away like I used to. We were no longer humans talking, having a real conversation with words - we were just stuck in a state of permanent seething contemplation of hate and the meaning of love, one we could never voice because I fell victim to fear so severely that I never really gave him the choice; he was never good with words and I never gave him the chance. We exchanged feelings with a single glance but somewhere along this path, a vital interaction vanished and became forever lost in translation and left the both of us in indelible isolation. How could we have ever believed this to be infallible? I thought to feel relieved but I never really achieve that which I set out to seek - How come?
Nobody knows it but I’m a walking disease, my doctor tells me to own it but even she has to have known that people like me are more than just “ill at ease,” I’ve blown it pretty decisively this time around I don’t know how else to put it concisely but this time I’ve hit the ground and I look around and none of it is mine; none of it feels like a life I own, doesn’t feel like it belongs to me because I can no longer dance to the sound of my own heartbeat, my own rhyme; instead, I’m forced to believe that my body failed to be stronger, fell to defeat and left me close to dead with just enough breath to show me that there is no relief - I never meant to call this bluff, to test how close I wanted to get to death and become morose when inevitably I lost the bet; regrettably I am left entirely bereft of even the slimmest of hopes, although I steadily fight this previously concluded battle, the dimmest glimmer of light leaves me and I plead with the doctor, wade through the convoluted explanation and weed out the bullshit, seek a piece of hope to grasp on to, lest I go to the roof to find peace in the air, rasp out my pain and take one last leap of faith - of all the ways, I never knew I’d give in to this ache.
- Jules Renard
They played at hearts as other children might play at ball; only, as it was really their two hearts that they flung to and fro, they had to be very, very handy to catch them, each time, without hurting them.
“He’s not yours, he’s not yours, he’s not yours.” I repeat to myself over and over again because for some reason I’m having delusions that my many illusions are coming true, somehow, and now, I’m through believing in symbols and signs, done dancing to cymbals and composing rhymes I can only hear or see in my own mind; oh god I’m running out of time, summer’s coming and I haven’t escaped this minefield threatening to blow me to pieces, I’m shaped by these people who keep moving, ceaseless, in their endeavors, and I’m stuck here losing parts of myself, opening my heart far too often and too wide, not because I’m manipulative and crazy but because I’m always wrong about my life even when I believe I’m right for the first time, I never am. I grasp the world as if it’s mine, I drink it all in and think naively “everything’s fine” before it all falls apart and I have to realize I can’t claim what was never mine to take to be my heart; it simply doesn’t work that way. The light I hold in my palms crumbles and fades, I lose sight of my vanity and my sanity but also my view of humanity and in this clarity of night, I cry to the moon and the stars and drop to my knees and wish I was far away, where I couldn’t feel the beats of others’ hearts and therefore the pulsing of my own. What used to be my home has been torn away, the place in others’ souls where I stayed too long and where so many memories took place and must now be laid to waste, forgotten, accidentally remembered with disdain, forever causing a strain on my spirit, reminding me of what I’ve lost and why. I hate that he inspires poetry in me, why he causes me to look at the sky and the sea when he cares about neither, and least of all, me, and yet he surrounds me like the elements and I can never know what he meant that night in the blackness when his body went slack and I couldn’t look back. I’ll never be fine until nobody’s mine.
I don’t understand how I fall in love so often, so passionately, so utterly without abandon. I won’t ever admit why, or how, or who, but I do know that the most cowardly thing about myself is that I don’t even have enough faith in the world to admit that maybe it’s more than just a vaguely proven chemical effect of two people spending extended periods of time within the other’s vicinity but, that, perhaps something greater exists. I choose to believe in surface animal attraction, nothing further.
I’m tired of feeling
Not at all.
I am hardly ever in a good enough mood to put anything more than the most minimal of efforts into regular human interaction. With the stress of schoolwork, reading, writing, working out at the Rec Cen, eating balanced meals in the dining commons, the recent addition of 12+ hours of work a week, the necessity to put up a show of apparent effort in various friendships and relationships forged solely for the benefit of personal gain, and a general inability to manage time wisely, the energy required to be a good and friendly person is simply not worth psychological strain.
That’s a lie. Well, mostly, at least. I am enough of a friendly person in the sense that I am not an outright (or even shady-manipulative) crazy bitch who somehow grew up outside the scope of standard child development and evidently never fully acquired a grasp of basic social cues. But my humor, truthfully, is crude and sardonic - and not in a pleasantly filthy way, either. It’s simply toxic humor. The majority of my voluntary statements consist of self-centered, attention-fishing, quite pathetic self-deprecating remarks that indelibly cause the people around me to visibly wonder if it would be more appropriate to take it lightly and jokingly or worry about the state of my mental health.
Most settle for a nervous laughter coupled with darting eyes not sure what to rest upon.
A secret that I will reveal, however, is that I am easily amazed and even inspired but a wide variety of people and their particular mannerisms. The sharp humor of some, quiet quick-wittedness of others, even the gullible and ignorant guffaw of a few chumps often inspire in me the most basic and raw forms of human connectedness and appreciation for our society - shitty as it is.
So I suppose I’m a friendly person in the sense that I care about other human beings in some distant way and therefore wish to bond with my fellow species on some existential and potentially cosmic level, or whatever, but life and people just tire me out so much that I forget to give a shit about being friendly.
I fear the world would eat me alive, deftly and mercilessly.
Vincent van Gogh
My hands drag themselves down the ridges of the wall and the searing I feel as cartridges of inky blood pour out matches the fire I feel from your eyes as they burn into the back of my skull and for the umpteenth time I yearn to soar out, far away where I don’t require Reason, but only Rhyme. You inspire in me simultaneously the dichotomy of opposing seasons; the icy snowfall of winter resisting the blaze of someone else’s eternal summer - Camus is insisting that in the haze of numbness he discovered true meaning but I can’t handle the wounds this feeling is inflicting; maybe I’m not quite as brave as he who wrote those words.
By Geoffrey Chaucer
One day he asked me what I believed is the purpose of my existence here. I said not nothing but, rather, “nothing.”
“Often he felt stupid: this was because he had only an ethical intelligence (i.e., neither scientific nor political nor practical nor philosophical, etc.).”
I open my eyes to the unfamiliar feeling of sandbags in my tear ducts and eyelids the size of overstuffed pillows. Mind reeling from the night before I wonder again if you were telling the truth or just calling my bluff. In not having trust you stifled my voice and robbed me of my joys; in locking the door you created a cage that inhibited my ability to fly and which I despised. I don’t remember the words you said but I can still see the shining gleam in your eyes before my own spilled over and blurred my sight. I kissed you on the forehead and left for the last time composing disjointed rhymes in my head. I crawled into bed exhausted and wide awake, afraid to touch the things that you made but desperate for a placebo comfort for the real one that has to fade and I stared into the stars in space that I imagined far past the confines of the ceiling one foot above my face and wondered if they are as constant as the first day we were out under the sky, or the night we took the place of kites and soared among the twinkling lights. Then my stomach drops as reality hits me nearly as hard as last night’s fight. And all I can think is, well, at least now I have material on which to write. But I don’t think I ever wanted to write like this.
Every poet has words they return to over and over again. It’s not necessarily in the title or the way it ends, but embedded steadily in the flow itself, born and bred in the “soul” of the poet herself and nurtured to life through creativity and an addiction to familiarity and it’s always present in the diction you don’t have to be searching for a rarity. Scarcely, I’ll notice the similarity in different poems and note the lack of disparity and think it’s time for a change in direction. But I come back to those words like “home” every time and find new “freedom” in these rhymes because no two feelings are identical and each time I dabble in the centrifugal I get “lost” and the words are like maps in the “stars,” taking me back through the wording overlap no matter how far I’ve ventured off. And I’m learning to open my “eyes,” to diversify, but I can’t fight a feeling of nostalgia and the fear of re-mastering how to “fly” when I haven’t spread my wings in so long - not since I’ve felt the sting of inspiration unburdened by hesitation. These words ground me, define me, produce my sound, confine me. I’ve tried escaping but they drag me back like bittersweet addiction - they think they’re saving me but there’s no cure for a poet’s affliction.
And I leaned on his shoulder, ‘O Johnny, let’s play’:
‘Squeeze me tighter, dear Johnny, let’s dance till it’s day’:
‘O John I’m in heaven,’ I whispered to say:
‘O marry me, Johnny, I’ll love and obey’:
Ten thousand miles deep in a pit there I lay:
But he frowned like thunder and he went away.
But you frowned like thunder and you went away.
William Yeats is laid to rest:
Let the Irish vessel lie
Emptied of its poetry.” —“In Memory of W.B. Yeats”
I am shit at what I do. Inspiration bounces within these prison walls that are my mind but I can never hear its calls because of the ounces of fluid that I blame for my instability. These words are not meant for easy readability; it’s just a lament for my once-believable philosophy. Possibly, I’m dreaming of a botched lobotomy, probably, scheming how to do it properly. I can’t survive on that existential life, thrive on the meaninglessness of unnecessary strife and not for a second ever realize what it feels like to truly be alive. Words well up like tears but I choke them down so I won’t dwell on them but somehow the ghost of a rope around my neck still lingers like fingerprint bruises from one night I can’t forget. But please don’t take anything literally - I never wrote so people would take me seriously. It might be all one sick mess of a joke that resulted in a sickness blazing like a forest fire I can’t control but, instead, continue to stoke and somewhere along this road it grew too strong. All I ever wanted was to write. And I think that’s where I went wrong.
VLADIMIR: You should have been a poet.
ESTRAGON: I was. (Gesture towards his rags.) Isn’t that obvious?
I titled this piece before I started composing it, which I have never done and would preferably never do again except that an hour or so ago I read this article on Thought Catalog about how 20-somethings should really try to step out of their comfort zones and immerse themselves in a bunch of things that will pretty much guarantee any level ranging between mildly itching discomfort to raging, blatant, spiders-crawling-on-and-under-your-scalp physical, emotional, and/or psychological distress which is really the only reason why I’m not hiding behind a pretentious lexicon of esoteric language and allusions and abstract symbolism that makes up the bulk of my work and, instead, opting for this peaceful yet oddly and inexplicably disconcerting rant of such utter meaninglessness that I could potentially (not in this world, perhaps, but I can’t care too much to not bank my wishes upon the existence of a parallel universe in which it is just so) give Camus or Beckett a run for his money, if only I weren’t lying out of my ass right now and could have even a smidgen of belief in my own ability as a weaver of words in the real sense instead of this pseudo-artistic style I lovingly but painfully refer to as the product of my life and worth because it is just that, more than I am anymore myself, these words that I squeeze oh so painfully from my life force to the ends of my fingertips, this is what I have been reduced to and what I love and I can’t help but recall the one time I wrote I do what I love and I love, love, love what I do and I know that I wasn’t referring to writing in this instance but it’s okay because it was something equally as torturous and self-destructive as these words
“the room is alive” is most definitely not about sexual intercourse; though, reading it to myself now, I cringe at what could easily be taken as an entire ranting poetic paragraph filled to the brim with innuendo and disgustingly graphic descriptions of zoomed-in images of bodily movement.
In all honesty, the inspiration for that post struck me as I was standing in the middle of crowded, pulsating, alcohol-empowered dance floor at a typical frat party on a Friday night.
Read it again. Think about the drunken stupor that lays like a thick woolen blanket over the party attendees as a whole.
I know, I know. Poetry shouldn’t be explained and it’s open to interpretation and all that literary crap that we learned in four, five, six years of Honors English in high school or whatever. It was just really important to me that I don’t get written off as another irresponsible college student with an alarming imbalance of hormones.
Correction: I’m completely okay with that label. It’s the subtlety and tasteful discretion part I want to establish.
We find ourselves in the darkness of a room where the walls come alive with the starkness of the lights and there are no such things as thinking or feeling; only physical moving and mental reeling while your heart pounds the beat and your body burns awake with heat. Instinct overtakes thinking, then there’s no distinction between desire and motion and so fires are set ablaze with simple execution. Body to body, the crowd becomes one entity through intoxicated camaraderie and hands become necks become fingers become lips which linger until morning or the stop-motion of your hips stops rolling the way the ocean does to ships but we can’t remember daylight because in this place we are dismembered fragments of night as an instant of memory standing stagnant in time. Smoke clouds the air and binds us all within the wrap of a shroud that both comforts and chokes and mediates and provokes. I can’t feel my extremities save for the pounding inside my arteries and every time I close my eyes I visualize the resounding pumps coming from the very heart of me – and it’s synchronized to the beat of every person who is living wildly alive.
Lighthearted deceiver and fickle like all his sex he would never understand what he had meant to her and for an instant there was in the blue eyes a quick stinging of tears.
she is overrun with music and motion
standing at the edge of where sky and stars
meet the undulating blanket of ocean
she feels the sear of burning past scars
the wind plays her bones like an instrument
her body suddenly rattled, as if shaken
soundtrack of shallow breathing, a lament
strangers’ blank stares show she’s mistaken
she can never be a part of this revolution
if she can’t get past the paradise of confusion
I dunno, I guess one day I looked up and realized my entire blog is a wall of text. And, much as I live and breathe words, I craved color to act as the background to black and white; to refract the meaning of words in a way other than on a glaringly white block of canvas.
It’s all irrelevant, I guess.
This is the first time in a long time that I’ve written prose as opposed to poetry or spoken word (does it count as such if it’s never spoken aloud?) or any other form of literature situated in that hazy realm that doesn’t quite fully require straightforwardness or logical reasoning - at least at first. So one can imagine how alien I feel attempting to string together these sentences that choke out of me in sporadic, jutting fragments of digital literary dust.
Part of me desired substance, another half craved secrecy. I fell into the long-rumored trap of hiding beneath distance and thus I created an air of mystery. To discover I possessed a certain flair for this art form killed direction and fooled arrogance into concluding this type of “smart” wouldn’t rip me apart - instead left me torn from the very start. Alluding to the novel of mesmerizing magic, in the same fashion to the bloodthirsty quill I leaked life from my weakly exercising heart. Though not from the rivers and lakes on the back of my palm, the ink, supplied from the very organ that causes shivers and shakes from lack of proper oxidation - for words, my living, pulsing energy is drained and thus taken.
Yesterday we were five years old, counting down the tick tocks from the standard-issue black clocks until recess time without a single thought of the outside world. As we ran about the flat top and through pits of sawdust that rose up to meet our heels, we threw caution to the wind and cared not about the scuff marks on our shoes or the rubbing of raw rust on our hands as we snaked our way through the grooves of the playground and in the sand. We were fearless, because we had never seen hatred or pain, remained careless before our faces ever grew tear-stained. At that age, we never saw metal bars used for anything but creaky monkey bars, never saw it through the streaky eyes of an inmate from inside prison walls. At that age, we never knew the sawdust beneath our heels and in our shoes was highly flammable and used for fuel, never knew it could ignite to light up the night in a blaze we only ever saw in movies or on TV. At that age, we never knew the kids playing around us and living life so easy and carefree would grow up to be the murderers and rapists we see on the news, on media websites getting record hits and spiking upwards in number of views. And we know it’s not right but we stare at glowing screens until our sight starts to go hazy and we get plagued by information about fiends! fiends! fiends! shooting children on a lazy winter afternoon. It’s insane here in this nation where December doesn’t stand for Christmas and holiday cheer but, instead, loneliness and massacre and mourners’ tears; we live in a time full of misunderstanding and fear, but no one is trying to listen to the sounds of the voices we pretend not to hear.
“Shooting suspect obviously not well,”
Well, obviously it wasn’t obvious enough.
Tonight I watch the light extend as far as the sea and briefly, there is a single instant of clarity. There’s a low tide with enough force to pull you to infinity; it’s a slow ride through ink black with waves of clouds and ocean floor sharp as glass. And you want to take a leap, from the beach, off the pier, over the railing, into crashing deep and while others are sailing through the winds, you’re being cradled by the tides and from where you are, the light of the surface is your sky and the faint flashing is the water-muddled view of far away lightning - or a cigarette lighting - from where you are it’s all the same thing. The stars disappeared and were replaced by the glimmering gaze of blurry city lights, the hum of the chatter, planes, automobiles, and planes cancelled in a single moment like a nuclear bomb heaven sent. The pressure of the ocean compacts to create a treasure chest that doubles as a watery tomb, but whom is to blame, if not you? Faintly you see the yellowing grin of the cloud-streaked moon and wondered for a second if you took a leap to end a moment too soon. All light is extinguished as the glow is overshadowed and your skin grows cold and everything stops. You take it all in and wonder if this - or anything - is worth saving.
she stares straight up at the ceiling and can see stars floating cross-hatch waiting to inflate up and reach supernova and she’s rowing through space in a boat on the Milky Way where she passes planets and moons and swears only Earth is the place where bandits and criminals and paramours who swoon all make love to each other on the same patch of ground abloom and as her eyes glow ablaze with the rocky stucco of the ceiling a haze coats her mind and stays with her even after she closes her eyes and behind the veil of lids she touches clouds for a second and away she sails only ever half-awake before it’s too late and she sees that it’s cigarette smoke she floats on instead of stars or water vapor
I can’t do work. I can preach and bitch (they’re really the same thing, aren’t they?) but let’s be honest, I don’t even know what I want. I want to be admired and close but some how the path I feel I can use to get there (whether a subconscious or even conscious notion) is one riddled with spite, isolation, hatred, and ridicule. I seek help but I don’t want to take it. I feel like such an incredible loser and yet wish to be perceived by others as something entirely different. Which in itself is already a foolish action, as I know myself that I am anything but. I read when I can’t write and listen when I refuse to speak. I could say I am a paradox but even I know that I would only love that title for the uniqueness of the word. I am no paradox, nor mystery to figure out. There are no secrets that remain deep within my recesses. My hate, whether justified or completely unreasonable, is perpetually tattooed on my eyes, the first vision that people see when they really get to know me. I have my good areas and my good days. I don’t deny that. But let’s be honest here, I should only have friends when I’m having good days because people deserve better. I’m a born isolationist who buried that part of herself to become part of society. And so whenever that ugly monster appears, I want to disappear unto myself. I’m not trying to be crude or vulgar, but come on what is this existence if not nothing. If I am something, so is everybody else and then, what if we’re all back to nothing again. I don’t know what to tell you because I’m still trying to force my way back into society. Work, work, work, I write. And yet I can neither work nor write. I’m a four-year-senior but a 17-year-failure. I don’t know what to do with myself, but try to let anyone else tell me what to do is exactly like pointing in the opposite direction - or at least that’s the way I’m bound to run. I call myself a loser, but let’s be honest, I’m not. But maybe that’s the worst part. I’m nothing. I’m not worth a scream, a lecture, a grade, a chance, a number, a leadership position, and sure as hell not a fight. I’m not worth my own tears so I hardlyever cry. At least for myself. I’m ready to spill buckets for anyone I give a shit about, but when it comes to me, I’m too scared to even give myself a chance or a single opportunity to get my hopes up like an idiot and a fool. I want to scream and shout and write and feel but all I do is sit here and let the energy ooze out of me because that’s the only way to decide if the things around me are real. I surround myself with life but we all know nothing amazing happens through close proximity or osmosis. You have to want it, yearn it, and ultimately fight for it, and I have the first two steps down just fine. It’s the third step that intimidates me and forces me to shrink back into a shell I didn’t know I had. From where I’m sitting the sun rises and sets behind me, and I know that that’s the way it’s always going to be: I’ll never see the light but I’ll feel it on my retreating back, as a cruel but comforting reminder that life is behind me and all I have to do is turn around and feel it but do more than feel it, but grab it with every nerve that exists in my body. I want not only to do work, but to feel it reverberate through more than just my physical body. I want so much, spirit and soul and heat and the whole damn package. I want to mean something to somebody. But more than that, I want to not want to mean anything to anybody. I want to want to be alone. I want to want to be happy with the way everything is and where it will all probably stay. I want a lot more, but don’t make me say it.
The fluorescent glare of the overhanging artificial lights mesmerized her and captured the attention of her eyesight. She stared until the blood boiled in her retinal vessels and the lights became iridescent. The flood came on an infinitesimal scale but nevertheless overflowed the plain of her eyes. She yanked away the fragments of sweatpants-gray and diverted her gaze to view the lines of scars she sported from worse days. But all she could see were stripes from the lights and spots from her cries. And now it’s stars dancing before her eyes but they’re a flashing silver instead of traditional white. As she ponders this, her reality of conventionality crumbles and comes crashing and she’s staring straight down and feeling a rush of reckless vitality. The lights are below her this time around and she feels the chill race up her spine as her fingers repeatedly trace the lines. She witnesses destruction and knows she’s not far behind.
We live on the brink of the shore, but that doesn’t explain why you taste like seashells and the ocean floor. This terrain is rugged and lain to waste and for some strange reason I still find it hard to believe that I’m stuck in this race. Maybe it’s the wrong season or maybe the lighting is off, but there’s a fearful feeling I can’t quite place. Everyday I walk down this same corridor and wonder if it’s the ocean I can see from where I’m standing or the sky from the wrong side up. At the bottom of the sea there is no visible landing and sometimes it feels like I’m one amongst the reefs and it’s only darkness that I can perceive. Silt and sand settle at the bottom but through all this my legs can’t find a grounding and I’m coasting between guilt and freedom and all of this is so much less important than most things. I’m riding waves that I don’t know how to surf through endless days that dull my senses and test my nerve. I know the sunset kisses the saltwater’s edge and I’m trying so hard to find the light from somewhere far below the surface.
This may actually be the first legitimate text blog I’ve posted since I’ve moved in to college. I’m not even going to apologize because I wouldn’t be sure who I’m apologizing to or even why. And maybe it’s the new environment, maybe it’s the impossibility of making new friends and adjusting, maybe it’s all of those bullshit reasons combined, but the bottom line is I haven’t written and I’m not sorry.
I am a first year English major who can’t take any writing courses for whatever reason, who can’t find the time or self-discipline to write creatively, who can read the most personal piece of literature out loud to a crowd of complete strangers jammed into a sketchy garage in the middle of the night but not show it to the people closest to me.
In other words, every writer who ever lived.
There was a time in my life when I thought my inspiration would take me anywhere, everywhere, so long as I had the ability to dream it up. In Philosophy 1, I discovered the objection for the Conceivability Argument, which states that just because an individual can dream something up doesn’t mean it’s logically possible.
In addition, it used to be a somewhat rational (albeit bitchy and insufferably self-victimizing) possibility to blame the world for everything that went wrong in my life. However, college life has shown through seemingly countless resources, opportunities, activities, and options that misery is nothing more than a personal choice. And with the way things are going, a case can certainly be made for my being a pretty hardcore masochist.
I used to think I was heading in one direction. Truly, it didn’t even matter so much which direction as long as I was moving at all. But now I can’t even tell if I’m going in circles or stopped dead.
You will love. You will lose. You will learn. But, most importantly, you will grow in ways that, right now, you can only imagine. That is my wish for you. That you go fearlessly out into the world with your arms spread wide, open to all the amazement it has to offer.
Tonight she drinks wine alone. Because it’s that time of night when the realization of being on her own scares her half to death. And though she knows it’s her imagination playing tricks, she knows also that her eyes are sailing at half-mast and her nerves on edge - the feeling of childish elation put to rest by the dull throb of drink, she can’t think, her mind is reeling and before she knows it she’s bent over at the sink. She’s spent her days and nights recalling flames and frights but, tonight, she can’t think of ways to settle the endless fight. She prays sporadically but to no avail and so instead she seeks grounding by holding onto the rail, from which she screams and she speaks but the further she reaches the lower she knows she is drowning. Her words are distorted and mistaken for wails and she can’t seem to stop raking the walls with her nails for no reason at all; Maybe it’s just that season, she thinks, It’s soon to be fall. And so she dreams of what it means to be unchained, racking her brain to find ways to be saved but only drifts off in the haze. She awakens in a daze and is aching to think of an alternative to the green-eyed gaze of the glass and its empty promise to help her live. And she’s dwindling fast but on this night she’s on her own because tonight is a night she drinks wine alone.
- Stephen King
I’m trying, Mr. King. I’m trying ridiculously hard.
He spoke of human solitude, about the intrinsic loneliness of a sophisticated mind, one that is capable of reason and poetry but which grasps at straws when it comes to understanding another, a mind aware of the impossibility of absolute understanding. The difficulty of having a mind that understands that it will always be misunderstood.