November 15, 2015
We are the children of great men,
men who have elevated their people to insurmountable heights,
men who have built a microcosm of comfort and decadence.
Our forefathers have concluded that civilized society can exist when it is removed from its grisly origins,
entire lives can be lived in luxurious underdevelopment,
a second and third thought never needing to be spared.
We spring forth as the denizens of this grand society,
reaping the uncompromising spoils of our day and age,
privilege that has been rooted in blood and suffering and fire.
This fortuitous circle of life continues for you and I,
as those darkened faces remain at the bottom of the barrel,
for they are the inevitable byproduct of the unforgiving lives we lead.
We are stained with their blood,
we have drunk the tainted water for the entirety of our short and misleading existence,
and we will go on never knowing.
But still, what of those others, the ones we have left out to die?
The ones who will be forgotten and overshadowed by more applicable tragedies?
Will someone unearth their suffering from the malnourished ground lest we, their great saviors and executioners, forget them one day?
September 10, 2015
For a fraction of a millisecond, I see it.
There beyond the bluffs and the sea, the long dive below.
I see my mortality eternal, etched in layered hues of blue and gray.
I see how the best counterpart of my spirit is also its worst, its most nightmarish twin soldier.
How love can be too much to cling to and account for, how it is nearly unbearable to fathom when I stop long enough to think on it.
How in that seemingly negligible fraction of a second, it seems entirely possible and tangible, this terrifying reality of existence.
How I might know this reality through lapsed dreams in the dark, where my consciousness is veiled under cushioned placeholders.
The night grows dreary, cold, distant.
I want to leap headlong into that dark bluff, and I want to frame you for it.
July 27, 2015
You mustn’t misconstrue what I say in this plane,
the tones I take when I’m feeling blue.
It is the way I address my momentary sadness,
it is how I patch up my wounds.
It is a release from the pressures of being human,
of existing in my multidimensional world.
Without this outlet, I would be stricken with a debilitating anger that would grow like a beast in the dark.
This is my canvas of necessity,
where I use only glittering purples, grays and blacks,
as it is the palette my canvas was designed for.
Any other color would ruin the perfect stillness of this velvety texture.
Yet I don’t mention the many other lives I live,
the ones filled with overwhelming emotion,
brimming over with unfettered affection,
nestled in the nook of my inner circle,
who cradle and support my fragile frame.
These are the lives that make up the core of my robust heart,
it is where my people reside.
They are in the vale beyond the sea,
where the lush plumes of green and gold flicker at sunrise,
their halls gleaming with promise.
They wait for me at journey’s end,
their open arms patient and welcoming,
their eyes alight with acceptance.
Here is where I shine uninterrupted,
where I am my truest self.
July 26, 2015
The afternoon was bright. A wind blew through the low hanging willows, making its stringy branches sway like an aging dancer. The driveway leading to the main building looked like something out of a Thomas Harris novel, its gates foreboding and intricate. Every pixel of my peripheral view was final in its lines, hues and movement.
He died just a few days ago. I think. I can’t quite remember. There was nothing black enough, nothing nice enough in my musky drawers. I stared at the stack of clothes I never wore and lost myself in how old they were. I’d never be caught dead in this stuff at school. There were a pair of outdated slacks that fit awkwardly, ones I had to fold up at the edge so it would look less flared… I guess they could work. But what about a blouse? I didn’t own a black blouse. I rummaged through the second stack in the drawer and dug up an old Hurley tank that had the word HURLEY printed in bold white lettering across the chest. Then I shook out the wrinkles of a black button-up shirt I found in another stack in the same drawer. I could wear this over the Hurley tank, couldn’t I? It would look awful, but I could. For shoes, I laced up my triple-striped Adidas. But they were a faded navy blue with white stripes. How did I not have any suitable black clothing? He had just died. I needed something black. Why couldn’t this be like her funeral, where we got to wear white in honor of the dead? White, I had.
I remained uncomfortable for the entire service. I don’t remember seeing him in his casket. Maybe I saw his embalmed visage from a distance? I don’t remember.
I’ve had this bizarre notion of self preservation through the years. I feel the need to right the wrong of that day. Consistently and constantly. I feel the need to reassure myself that I could do it right. That if it ever happens again, I wouldn’t feel so inadequate and unprepared. That death wouldn’t outsmart me. I would know what follows, I would honor the dead dutifully and completely.
I would have something beautiful and black to wear for the next procession. Fifteen years later, my closet has only black items of clothing alongside minor neutral palettes. Colors and patterns leave a distaste in my mouth. I’ve been wearing black regularly for years. In the Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter. Wherever I go, it’s on me like a second skin. I feel reassured in it. Like I’m prepared for the inevitable.
May 10, 2015
Time to scrap the courtesies,
the long monologues of misery,
been away for so long,
it took you so long to come back around,
swaying to that hypnotic serenade,
my jumble of romantic words strung together,
for sensual measure, the perfect purpose,
the rise and fall of my breath as it catches between yours,
here in this canopy I lay out my perogative,
my needs laid bare as the Arab sands,
their imminent rumble into a mirage of misguided lust,
of wandering promises and conditioned expectations,
I want the wrong parts of you,
to do the wrong things to you,
I carry the weight of a modern love,
of its incessant and audible machinations,
I want you close by, to feel your rising heat,
as I hold these ghosts at bay.