Sometimes I wish I was a question mark.
Floating alongside the right questions. Longing for immaculate answers.
Floating alongside the right questions. Longing for immaculate answers.
It’s just one of those days when silence is your best ally just because words don’t come out like they’re supposed to. You find yourself dreading the morning and the daylight, anything that’s luminous enough to make you visible, anything brilliant enough that it hurts. Because being seen implies you are solid enough, together enough, tangible and strong enough to be seen and thus to interact. And this interaction presupposes a certain conduct- that of the real, that of the social, that of the normative. Categories, which I find some difficulty identifying with. You can’t just staple a note, you see, on your forehead with big bold letters that say: Don’t talk to me. Not in the mood. Piss off. P.S. Didn’t mean to offend you just naturally rude. Or perhaps milder derivatives of that sort but the thing is, mildness isn’t a priority. Neither is politeness or propriety- the prescribed doctrine of societal politic. Not now. Because at this moment, I belong once again to death. She has beguiled me once again that I am consumed by thoughts of her. A relative of mine just died, you see. Randomly. Unexpectedly- as though death is a thing that announces itself almost, always. Regrettably, death doesn’t abide by our customs. It comes and goes. It kisses you without warning. It’s spontaneous like that. I’ve been pondering on my reaction, whether or not it’s normal, whether or not it’s sincere. But the thing about reactions, in the pinnacle of emotion, in a state of passion, is that there’s rarely anything normal about it. Only expected but never normal in the moment, in the consumption of feeling. Here, relativism is not merely a dangerous –ism word but a truth. And the truth is, I don’t feel sad, not that sadness is the only reaction to grief and grief the only reaction to death but probably the most common- that and denial. Regardless, though, sad isn’t the word. I am affected. That I can guarantee. Affected partly because I was caught off guard and maybe that scares me like all unexpected things scare everybody. Sometimes, it’s better to know. It’s better to brace yourself. We need someone counting to three when the band-aid’s going to be pulled off or the needle injected. We like things we know. We like things we can predict. We like things we can take a deep breath on before we take the plunge or more often than not when the plunge takes us. Knowing is safer or at least it feels that way. There’s something aside from shock though; shock is only partial. Shock isn’t the whole thing. There’s envy there too. There’s envy, there, somewhere. Because I wanted it. I wanted death merely because it intrigues me. Drives me curious and by transitivity, mad. I want to shake hands with the afterlife. See it. Understand consciousness beyond that of man’s, perceive through a spirit, just end. Because I like the feeling of endings. Of finishing. It sounds like closure whenever I say the word. I know endings don’t always imply closure but it sounds like it. And I’ve longed to grasp that sound. I’m not suicidal. I’m not depressed. I just crave death because through the brief, miraculous moments before it, before I am taken, I feel like I can understand life. I can live and be sincere about it. And after which, after those few seconds of revelation, or fantastic enlightenment blessed with meaning, I can retire happily into the undergloom, or heaven or to limbo, whichever end chooses to take me, dares to welcome me. You must find me perverse, I assume, a woman craving death as though death was reversible, simple. You must think me primal, bestial. To want end instead of immortality. To want to renounce life, though I must interject that death is not merely the denunciation of life, perhaps its absence, its opposite but not necessarily its adversary, not all counterparts or antitheses are adversaries. I must agree, though, that under certain circumstances, wanting death is gruesome, beyond that which the civilized teaches us. But man by nature is bestial, not only under the context of war but always. It does not take carnage to bring out the brutality of man but perhaps it exemplifies it. And that being said, man by nature is also only mortal. Would it be a perversion to merely follow the doctrine of the natural? Want it for myself? The only part of my nature I completely agree with- the part that dying is necessary. And immortality is only through memory, legacy- the phenomenal and not the temporal, a comforting ruse to ease departing, to make death comforting, to maintain the quasi-physical, quasi-spiritual connection with that which is familiar, with those that are beloved, even after life, even beyond death. I want to die. Perhaps it’s in the semantics, the linguistic rules that make such statements abhorrent even macabre to some respect but it is far from it. The intention at least of my meaning is far from it. I am not gloomy or dark, merely curious, merely restless. Merely tired. Merely waiting for anything to signify my living, my existence which through some default setting of mine had required that I invoke the presence of their counterparts- death, oblivion. Because only through these counterparts can I check the meaning of both my life and existence, or in the least, this is the only method I know how but I am open to suggestions. To contemplate on death is not morbid, a mere impulse once you begin the act. One of those things that gets stuck in your head like a blues tune or a jazz note or a catchy lyric. A humanistic thing because death is also part of human nature and it merits some analysis too just as much as any other abstraction. And quite frankly,I rather retire into analysis because I no longer know how to feel. Though, I must say that apathy is neither a solution nor is it more comforting as being overwhelmed, neither is it equal I must add. To those feeling things that deny the penchant, I caution you, sometimes, apathy is worse.
She lived like a moon rock. A hard thing that had no light of its own but could reflect it. Shine from time to time when the clouds allowed it. A shadow that filled the empty spaces of the darkness. A night thing. Shaded. Jaded. A spectrum of seen and not seen. A woman. Technically.
She was the space of paint between the lips of the lovers on Keats’ Grecian urn. Longing. Frozen. Without closure. Erupting. On the verge. An almost. But not quite. There. But never touching. A gap. That wanted to reach. But too afraid to have it all fade away once held. Dots. Pauses where continuity should be. A. lot. Of. Unfinished. Things.
Because finishing is goodbye’s job and she was no goodbye.
But she was a disappearing act. A Houdini that left trails and implied other tricks of the trade when master magicians weren’t looking. A handcuffed thing in a glass box filled with water. Struggling. Panicking discretely. Pushing to a secret door that nobody knew about. Trying. Clasping keys hidden all over. Before the audience sees. A red velvet blanket. Released. Escaping was a hobby. Clever. How did she do it? She’s gone.
A phantasm, now, in the bathroom spilling poems in the sink and exploding words like dandelion petals all over the bathtub. Blowing them away like kisses. Wishful thinking in the toilet. Pulling rabbits out of the hat with verses in black ink. Rejoicing underneath the red velvet blanket. And the closed door. And the shut ears. And the locked curtains. A voice box that instantly croaked when the covers are shed and ears begin to listen, eyes start seeing. Because this was her magic trick. Her sacred thing. And a magician never reveals his secrets.
She was a kiss she could never tell. A scoop she could never spill. Because no one can really explain themselves. What. Is. She.
/She. was./ Noun. Adjective. And verb- the linking ones not the action. A conjunction. A past tense. Phrases looking for completeness. Scrambles waiting for sense.
A scripture. Interpreted. Dissected. An encryption. Embedded as Boolean codes or a dead language that nobody knows how to speak anymore moreover understand. BECAUSE THAT’S HOW SHE WANTS TO BE REMEMBERED:
Fragments. This’s and that’s and Bits and Pieces. Because wholes are just too hard and way too heavy.
NOT AT ALL.
(Insert. Name. Here.)
19. 93. 30. (Age is irrelevant.)
Happy. Once upon a time. In a bathroom. With poems scattered everywhere.
I want to be braver this year. I want to have the courage to send my poems aflame; let them fly on little pieces of paper. Brilliant- like stars in a dark, busy air, and catch a million eyes with them. And say to each stare, yes, they’re mine. My poems.
I want to have the tenacity to send words through the mail and send them to strangers, sign it with my name and not be afraid to try and exclaim, boldly and humbly to a nonchalant world that: yes, I, a fearful spec of spineless clay, a rough of convoluted flaw, an obscure mesh of a thousand personal cages, own a wild thing. I mothered an essence. I bore a child of verse and it may not be the grandest. But it’s mine. I can finally have the backbone to say, though no one can really own poems, because poems are selves, poems are souls, are abstract things, well, they’re mine. These ones are mine. I bled to have them here. I dared to let them go.
Because this year? I want to be daring. Daring enough to choose the truth and not be afraid to listen to it. Truths hiding beneath the poems that’s covering a self, a self that’s afraid of the mirror or rather the reflection, the honest raw reflection, the unpolished, crude and crazy image reflected by the poems because poems are also madness constrained in free verses, and madness has a way of making itself reflected. And if you dare to peak, I guarantee, that you always take a little bit of madness with you because madness is sticky, clinging like a little child with separation issues.
I want to set my verses free and let them cling upon unsuspecting ears. Let it play like an echo child in its canals. Vibrate until it shocks. Electric.
I want to be electric. A bolt of lightning crashing down. Sealing envelopes with kisses and shooting these envelopes into the pockets of nobody’s because connection isn’t that frightening a thing to attempt to have anymore. If I can own a poem, maybe I have the backbone. Maybe feeling isn’t that much of an obstacle. Maybe. I can be strong enough.
Strong enough to declaim verses outside my bathroom. In front of a blurry audience, trembling and shaking, saying with a stare, to the blob of shadows drinking beer and eating bar nuts, the collection of figures that are part eyes and part ears and all judgment, the mob of fellows I’ve renamed as my greatest fear: “ Listen, you, don’t laugh. Except when a joke appears as part of my poem, then laugh. But seriously, spare me a little bit of silence. Treat me to a little bit of your serious consideration. Pay attention because attention means a lot more than a ten dollar tip that makes the tipper feel its enough of a donation to excuse a snide, let-me-just-say-anything-for-the-sake-of-saying-something comment. Comment sincerely. Listen genuinely. Let my poems have a shot at the daylight. Let them embrace your ears because they’re cold and lonely and dying for a chance to touch somebody. And if you feel at the end of it, that I’m only worth an honest smile, then by God Smile and I’ll be the richest poet in the world-“. A poet.
This year? I want to be a poet and not be afraid of the title. I want to remember these resolutions, because this year, they actually mean something.
I want to make meaning because meaning, though abstract, is drenched with possibility and hope and other abstractions. A reachable thing. A human thing. And this year, I want to brim up to my soul and froth at the mouth with my humanness. Celebrate it. Embrace it. Overflow in my own flaw and not be ashamed of it. Because this is also to be a poet: to celebrate the greatness in all things and to radiate this greatness, be overwhelmed by it so much so that you have to solidify it, give it life in the boldness of a verse, in the rejoicing of a poem. With the sweat of the pen and the blood of my pulse, the tears of my lips, the force of my fingers. Create. And there, in my creations, I want to feel alive.
I know. These things, these resolutions are perhaps, too painful to want, too hard to achieve. But for the sake of the New Year, why not hope?
You crave the feeling of connectedness.
But disdain connection.
Poems overflowing from the sink, spewing from every hole of my temple house just to prove that not all holes are empty. Echoing in the caves of my loneliness. Filling the hollow shapes left behind by forgotten, scarred and sacred things. The shadows of memories. Cascading all over my clumsy feet craving to taste the dreams of wings. Flying.
I want poems. Because poems are the only thing my reason gives me blessing, without disdain or hesitation, to love.
I am in love with a poem. And maybe when I’m brave enough, I’ll be able to declare: I’m in love with a poet.
It’s such a wonderful thing to hear.
There, I said it. They’re no longer words. Not just words at least. They’re emotions. Pounding in my chest. Knocking at the door of my fingers. Shaking in my hands. Kissing the life into me. Pouring themselves into a mold of a soul that had thought itself to be hollow but not anymore. And I’ve always been afraid to feel…
They’re not thoughts. They’re beings, the deities of my penchant, the manifestation of my feeling. The human, beating, pulsating thing in me. And I’ve maintained my apathetic barricade because I’m safer with it, more comfortable surrounded by it. My poems have replaced my pulse and it’s just too damn scary-
Too scary to abandon yourself into passion. To throw caution to the wind and lose yourself in the flow, the blowing power of these words, the magnificence of a poem. I’ve just had myself you see. I’ve just made myself wear a leash, tamed myself to obey myself. And I’m just not ready to submit to the mercy of these poems, not yet. To be a slave of the pen and I’m resisting because this is my freedom.
But then, why does it feel so tiring to burry the poems like the past and runaway from it like the future? Forget it like love and deny it like loneliness? Or freedom had always been that way underneath the embellishments of idealization and romanticism? A thing between tensions? A constant struggle to balance?
I’ve just controlled myself. Rid myself of all these overwhelming things. Corrected myself from my own rashness and it’s too early to let myself loose in the world of these words.
I’m afraid. That I might never get myself back again.
Resisting the climax. Keeping it frozen like the lovers on Keats’ Grecian Urn because then it wouldn’t fade. I wouldn’t have to lose it. The poems won’t come and go like happiness, and misery and all the other fickle, incomprehensible emotions.
I want to let go. But I want the reassurance that myself will come back to me once I do.
I want to release the poems. Believe me, I do. I want to let myself feel. To let myself bleed. To let myself cry and grab life in exchange for letting my self-control go. People are afraid of me when I let myself go, you see, but for the sake of the New Year, I want to let myself take this risk. I don’t want to resist. I want to cease. I want to embrace the poems and no longer fear them. Let me feel them. Please, teach me how.
And feel the world. And know that you are not alone.
Rebelling against their unfair mother. Breaking away from a vessel that contorted itself into a prison, a cage for musings to rot in. I can’t find them anywhere. Not beneath dreams, not beside penchants, not inside fantastic neurons that serve as igniting stars in the universe that is the mind. They took their chances- formless in a formed world. Transparent amidst opaque, hard beings. Silent amidst longing ears because, quite frankly they have a better chance of being seen. Better than in crumpled pieces of paper, solidified but casted aside. Waiting near a garbage bin for any taker. Waiting futilely. Craving for an audience, denied in their patience. And tonight, while I wallow in my drunken madness, they crept past my sobbing, spewing self. And they made it out the window, swallowed by the night, kept by the angels. Because poems are immortal things unfit for their mortal mother or steward, rather, their neglectful, mortal steward. Keeping them from their glorious throne because the power of one’s words is much too scary, much too strong to be controlled, much too wild to be kept or tamed, much too raw to be perfected. There, in the heavens, perhaps, they lie by stars, embraced by the moon, kissed by its pale light until they find the will to forgive me. The poems had ran away tonight. The poems are gone.