Public Prosecutor v Blaise B.
 3 SLR 69
Suit No: CC No 666/2013
Decision Date: 12 December 2013
Court: Court of Appeals
Coram: B. K. Beaudoir J
Counsel: G. Bozo for the Prosecution, Renagaresh Bhulimio S.C. for the Accused
Criminal Law - Offences - Murder - Defence of grave and sudden provocation - Two requirements for defence - Subjective requirement that accused deprived of self-control by provocation - Objective requirement that 'grave and sudden' provocation exists based on 'reasonable man' test
Criminal Law - Offences - Murder - Defence of grave and sudden provocation - Applying the 'reasonable man' test - Whether basis exists for interfering with trial judge's decision that provocation grave and sudden - s 300 Exception 1 Penal Code (Cap 224)
1. Ms Lurveit Ima Ho, aged 25 ('D1') first came to know the Accused, Blaise B., through a personal advertisement which the Accused had posted up on a relatively popular internet website, Craigslist. Though D1 was, at all material times, living with her long-time partner Ms Clitty Li, aged 27 ('D2') in their rented apartment at Block 69 East Coast Road, Singapore ('the premises'), a wild and frenzied love affair between D1 and the Accused ensues.
2. On or about 6 January 2009, sometime between 11.30 pm and midnight, loud gunshots were heard from the apartment both D1 and D2 shared. According to an eyewitness' account, the Accused was seen stumbling out from the apartment soon after the gunshots with his pants around his knees. It was also reported that the Accused had, in his attempt to flee the scene of the crime, 'stumbled around like a headless chicken' as he made his way down the stairs.
3. D1 and D2 were both found dead in the master bedroom with multiple gunshot wounds to their bodies. There was no evidence of a struggle in the apartment. Dr Philly Shiotz, Consultant Forensic Pathologist with the Centre for Forensic Medicine, Health Sciences Authority, performed the autopsy on both D1 and D2 at about 5am the same day . Based on his findings, the cause of D1's and D2's death were certified as follows:
D1 - Acute Haemorrhage due to gunshot wound of the heart
D2 - Severe brain damage due to gunshot wound to the frontal temporal lobe
4. Police investigations led to the arrest of the Accused on Friday, 13 February 2009 and the Accused was charged as follows:
"That you, Blaise B. (aka Niggaz on Parole) on the 6th day of January 2009 between 11.30pm and 12 am, at Blk 69 East Coast Road, Singapore, did commit murder by causing the death of one Lurveit Ima Ho, f/25, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 302 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224."
"That you, Blaise B. (aka Niggaz on Parole) on the 6th day of January 2009 between 11.30pm and 12 am, at Blk 69 East Coast Road, Singapore, did commit murder by causing the death of one Clitty Li, f/27, and you have thereby committed an offence punishable under Section 302 of the Penal Code, Chapter 224.
5. It is undisputed that the Accused had, at the aforesaid premises, produced an illegal firearm and opened fire at both D1 and D2, thereby causing their untimely deaths.
The Prosecution Evidence
5. The prosecution led evidence by way of conditioned statements from 48 witnesses and oral evidence from one witness. There was little debate on the evidence presented by the prosecution and the material aspects thereof can be summarised as follows.
7. According to oral evidence of the prosecution's witness, Ms Zizi, whom we understand was recently gunned down by an unknown assailant in a public toilet situated somewhere in Geylang, the relationship between D1 and the Accused had soured sometime in November 2008. D1 had confided in Ms Zizi that the Accused was no longer able to 'satisfy' her sexual needs. Ms Zizi was further told by D1 that she had, on several occasions, caught the Accused masturbating in front of the fridge with a chicken carcass in hand. Concerned and embarrassed, D1 had confronted the Accused with advice to seek psychiatric help, to which the Accused promptly brushed aside unheeded.
8. It was only until the unusual habits of the Accused, which had by that time, deteriorated to such degree that he was seeking sexual gratification through the use of cabbage leaves, did D1 finally decided to take matters into her own hands.
9. Based on hand phone records obtained by investigating officers, the Accused was called to the apartment sometime around 10.30pm. At 11.15 pm, the Accused arrived at the scene of the crime. It is not known whether D2 was in the apartment at the time of the Accused's arrival. However, according to several eyewitnesses around neighboring blocks, D2 was seen returning to the apartment sometime about 11.30 pm.
10. The cautioned statement as well as the long statement recorded from the Accused were admitted in evidence as being voluntarily made without any objection from the Accused or his counsel. Insofar as is material, the gist of the said cautioned statement as well as the material portions of the long statement are summarised as follows:
(a) D1 had, against the will of the Accused, tethered him to the bed by way of leather straps shortly after he arrived at the apartment. According to the Accused in his statement, D1 had intended to insert a raw carrot into his anus.
(b) D1 was in the act of removing the Accused's pants when D2 stepped into the master bedroom.
(c) A heated argument ensues between D1 and D2 and the Accused, whose presence was momentarily ignored, manages to chew his way through to freedom.
(d) Greatly disturbed by what D1 had intended to do to him, the Accused took his pistol out (which was hidden in the pocket of his jacket) and opened fire, taking D1 down before proceeding to shoot D2.
The Defence Case
11. The evidence given by the Accused was brief and concise. He admitted to the killing of both D1 and D2 but pleaded not guilty to murder in reliance on the defence of provocation and diminished responsibility under Exception 1 of Section 300 of the Penal Code (Chapter 224) insofar as to attribute his loss of self-control on the failings of modern society.
12. Not only has the Accused elected to testify, he has, in the stead of his solicitors, conducted his closing submissions at the trial of this matter.
13. Though belated at this juncture, I find it pertinent to address the issue of the Accused choosing to conduct his closing submissions himself. Whether out of foolhardiness or arrogance on the part of the Accused, it is not my place to say, but it is my duty to express my concerns at such an ill-advised approach. It is rather alarming that the Accused's solicitors have failed to dissuade their client from committing such a folly, considering the gravity of the situation. Mind you, the Accused's life is hanging by a thread, and we are all aware that under the laws of Singapore, more effort is needed to pop a girl's cherry than it does to snap that thread.
14. Be that as it may, as convoluted as it was entertaining, the crux of the Accused's submissions is that his aggression had been the product of the environment he grew up in, amongst other factors and influences fuelled by the failings of modern society, and in consequence a characteristic, of which the Court should take account when assessing his loss of self-control.
15. First off, it is with utmost regret that I admit that this over-debated theory leaves much room for argument. Personally, I do not reject the idea that a person, so exposed to the depravities of his fellow beings and the gradual decline of our moralistic values, may be so conditioned in such matter that it becomes an indelible imprint on that person's character. However, I am persuaded to think that it is ultimately a personal choice to allow this debasement of ethics to be replicated by way of an deviant act.
16. If immorality, along with all other choices, is caused through hereditary and environmental means, might not the same be said for the laws that govern this land, which ultimately serve to protect the rights of its citizens. Unless proven otherwise, the laws of nature, on which our written laws have been established, are quite certainly inherent traits of all humankind. Accordingly, I am inclined to find the Accused's argument that his actions were purely a gross reflection of the unfortunate circumstances of which he had been exposed to, a weak and fallible defence. I am minded to think that the Accused was aware that what he was doing was a wrongful act, and therefore clearly mindful of the possible implications of his actions.
17. I am now invited to consider whether the provocation was sudden and grave enough to make a reasonable man act as the Accused had done so as to excuse his action.
18. As the law has developed, there are two distinct requirements for the provocation defence to apply: first, a ‘subjective’ requirement that the accused was deprived of his self-control by provocation; and secondly, an ‘objective’ requirement that the provocation should have been ‘grave and sudden’. The latter requirement involves the application of the ‘reasonable man’ test accepted in Vijayan v PP  2 MLJ 8 at p 12; [1975-1977] SLR 100 at p 107 and cited in Ithinin bin Kamari v PP  2 SLR 245 at p 250:
In our judgment, under our law, where an accused person charged with murder relies on provocation and claims the benefit of Exception 1 of s 300, the test to be applied is, would the act or acts alleged to constitute provocation have deprived a reasonable man of his self-control and induced him to do the act which caused the death of the deceased and in applying this test it is relevant to look at and compare the act of provocation with the act of retaliation.
19. Whether provocation is ‘grave and sudden’ enough to prevent an offence from amounting to murder is a question of fact, as stated in the Explanation to Exception 1 of s 300; this includes the question of whether the Accused had demonstrated the level of self-control to be expected of an ordinary person. Given the circumstances noted above, the Accused must have been in an emotional, vulnerable state of mind when he was told by D1 that she was going to 'fuck him senseless' with the carrot, which she had warmed up in the microwave oven moments before. Further, considering the fact that the Accused is a music recording artist known for his deplorable attitude towards the female sex, he would have felt emasculated by D1's actions and that would have tipped him over the edge. It is, however, most unfortunate that D2 had been present at the scene at that time. Her life could have been spared if she had not returned to the apartment when she did.
20. Therefore, the Accused is hereby convicted on a reduced charge of culpable homicide not amounting to murder.
Final Appeal for the Record (Label):
State of New York
Jefferson Washington Lincoln Carver
Aka: Blaise B/Niggaz on Parole
Docket #: 10098765
Excerpt of certified court transcript (pages 1624-1628):
Jefferson Washington Lincoln Carver addresses the court:
who value the lives of their families
beyond the mere gavel of law, I ask you:
What is innocence?
Do we not all bear the mark of Cain?
Are the sins of the ancestors not visited upon the children?
If I am not my brother’s beeper,
can’t I, at least, be his supplier.
What guilt is there in that?
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Jury,
‘Twas not I who pulled the trigger.
I was at my Auntie’s playing Grand Theft Auto with my cuz.
For argument’s sake, forget my alibi.
‘Twas society. Yea, she is the nefarious villain you seek!
She is the trigger happy bitch that has brought me before you today.
I swear it upon my loins.
Nay, peeps, I swear it upon my very crotch
that hath launched a thousand quips
and knocked up that be-otch Helen
bareback on her high Trojan horse.
My childhood was not coddled with frills of Fisher-Price
nor with the dulcet tones of Baby Mozart.
My rattle was still attached to a snake.
My music was the wail of police sirens
and the staccato clap of gun fire
arising from domestic disturbances in the hood.
You see…my moms was a crack ho’.
Give me pause, good friends,
as I reflect upon her saintly semblance.
It is misted in memory
like morn beneath the Brooklyn Bridge
or Dian Fossey’s silverback gorillas
playing hide the banana.
My moms hit the pipe
like Mike McGuire hit home runs on the juice
and dragged my ass from trick to trick.
Child Services took me from her diligent care
when I was but a tot in an Armani running suit.
To what end?
I was shuffled through the foster care system,
weaned on neglect and nurtured on abuse.
Today, I wear these childhood wounds as medals.
I am not covetous of bling, but I wear it.
My desire doth not dwell on Nike Airs, I just do it.
Is it not the fashion of a man to be fashionable?
To be arrayed in the silken threads and primped with pimpish hats
Who’s pluck’d feathers would shame the Bird of Paradise
In all its plum’d puffery.
Jurors, my only sin be this…
I covet the attention I was denied as child --
I yearn for the tenderness of a mother’s caress
The slam dunk lessons of a heroic father.
Hath not my wounds given me the merit
To covet no less? If offense be taken,
I, too, shall wear that affront as an honor --
A medal from the frontlines of urban warfare.
In this naked simulacrum of Law and Order
We can no longer speak of perps’ and vics’,
For victims we are all:
Victims of Madison Avenue
Who make us crave
The shit we need not.
Victims of the media
Who elevate celebrity,
Pathetic parrots of rote,
To near divinity.
Victims of Darwinian capitalism,
That makes short-shrift of our humanity.
Victims of ‘the man’,
Yes, you crackers in the robes,
Who sat our black asses
On the back of the bus for so long
It left indelible marks
In the upholstery of our souls.
Who in this courtroom
Is not a victim?
Come forth, I pray thee!
Let them cast the first stone
And beat the soot off my weary soul.
Let him render the eye-for-an-eye justice
That leaves the world blind.
No takers? No volunteers?
That’s because, your Honor, there are no perps.
We live in a perp’less society!
God is dead and our lives are perp’less!
We are all innocent.
“Who is innocent,” I ask you.
And I answer…
All of us!
Every fucking one of us!
Yea, ‘Twas Society who pulled the trigger,
Find society guilty and by this fair construct you will be compelled to bear witness to my innocence.
I pray thee, season thy justice with mercy, for in your zeal to dispense the former, you shall make orphans of all.
In summation, a wise man once said,
‘The quality of mercy is not strain’d.”
I add, Nor can innocence be feign’d.
Behind Justitia’s blindfold it is writ:
‘We are victims all’,
In the Fall, when the temperature of the Bay would drop and the wind blew ice, frost would gather on the lawn near Henry Oldez room. It was not a heavy frost, but one that just covered each blade of grass with a fine, white, almost dusty coat. Most mornings, he would stumble out of the garage where he slept and tip toe past the ice speckled patch of brown and green spotted grass, so to make his way inside to relieve himself. If he was in no hurry, he would stand on the four stepped stoop and look back at the dried, dead leaves hanging from the wiry branches of three trees lined up against the neighbors fence. The picture reminded him of what the old gallows must have looked like. Henry Oldez had been living in this routine for twenty some years.
He had moved to California with his mother, father, and three brothers 35 years ago. Henry's father, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, had traveled across the Meixcan border on a bent, full jalopy with his wife, Betria Gonzalez and their three kids. They were all mostly babies then and none of the brothers claimed to remember anything of the ride, except one, Leo, recalled there was "A lotta dust in the car." Santiago Oldez, San for short, had fought in World War II and died of cancer ten years later. San drank most nights and smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day. Henry had never heard his father talk about the fighting or the war. If he was lucky to hear anything, it would have been when San was dead drunk, talking to himself mostly, not paying very much attention to anyone except his memories and his music.
"San loved two things in this world," Henry would say, "Booze and Johnny Cash."
Betria Gonzalez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico as well. She was a stout, short woman, wide but with pretty eyes and a mess of orange golden hair. Betria could talk to anyone about anything. Her nick names were the conversationalist or the old crow because she never found a reason to stop talking. Santiago had met her through a friend of a friend. After a couple of dates, they were married. There is some talk of a dispute among the two families, that they didn't agree to the marriage and that they were too young, which they probably were. Santiago being Santiago, didn't listen to anybody, only to his heart. They were married in a small church outside of town overlooking the Pacific. Betria told the kids that the waves thundered and crashed against the rocks that day and the sea looked endless. There were no pictures taken and only three people were at the ceremony: Betria, San, and the priest.
Of course, the four boys went to elementary and high school, and, of course, none of them went to college. One brother moved down to LA and eventually started working for a law firm doing their books. Another got married at 18 years old and was in and out of the house until getting under the wing of the union, doing construction and electrical work for the city. The third brother followed suit. Henry Oldez, after high school, stayed put. Nothing in school interested him. Henry only liked what he could get into after school. The people of the streets were his muse, leaving him with the tramps, the dealers, the struggling restaurateurs, the laundry mat hookers, the crooked cops and the addicts, the gang bangers, the bible humpers, the window washers, the jesus freaks, the EMT's, the old ladies pushing salvation by every bus stop, the guy on the corner and the guy in the alley, and the DOA's. Henry didn't have much time for anyone else after all of them.
Henry looked at himself in the mirror. The light was off and the room was dim. Sunlight streaked in through the dusty blinds from outside, reflecting into the mirror and onto Henry's face. He was short, 5' 2'' or 5' 3'' at most with stubby, skinny legs, and a wide, barrel shaped chest. He examined his face, which was a ravine of wrinkles and deep crows feet. His eyes were sunken and small in his head. Somehow, his pants were always one or two inches below his waistline, so the crack of his ass would constantly be peeking out. Henry's deep, chocolate colored hair was that of an ancient Native American, long and nearly touched the tip of his belt if he stood up straight. No one knew how long he had been growing it out for. No one knew him any other way. He would comb his hair incessantly: before and after a shower, walking around the house, watching television with Betria on the couch, talking to friends when they came by, and when he drove to work, when he had it.
Normal work, nine to five work, did not work for Henry. "I need to be my own boss," he'd say. With that fact stubbornly put in place, Henry turned to being a handy man, a roofer, and a pioneer of construction. No one knew where he would get the jobs that he would get, he would just have them one day. And whenever he 'd finish a job, he'd complain about how much they'd shorted him, soon to move on to the next one. Henry never had to listen to anyone and, most of the time, he got free lunches out of it. It was a very strange routine, but it worked for him and Betria had no complaints as long as he was bringing some money in and keeping busy. After Santiago died, she became the head of the house, but really let her boys do whatever they wanted.
Henry took a quick shower and blow dried his hair, something he never did unless he was in a hurry. He had a job in the east bay at a sorority house near the Berkley campus. At the table, still in his pajamas, he ate three leftover chicken thighs, toast, and two over easy eggs. Betria was still in bed, awake and reading. Henry heard her two dogs barking and scratching on her bedroom door. He got up as he combed his damp hair, tugging and straining to get each individual knot out. When he opened the door, the smaller, thinner dog, Boy Boy, shot under his legs and to the front door where his toy was. The fat, beige, pig-like one waddled out beside Henry and went straight for its food bowl.
"Good morning," said Henry to Betria.
Betria looked at Henry over her glasses, "You eat already?"
"Yep," he announced, "Got to go to work." He tugged on a knot.
"That's good. Dondé?" Betria looked back down at her spanish TV guide booklet.
"Berkley somewhere," Henry said, bringing the comb smoothly down through his hair.
"That's good, that's good."
"OK!" Henry sighed loudly, shutting the door behind him. He walked back to the dinner table and finished his meal. Then, Betria shouted something from her room that Henry couldn't hear.
"What?" yelled Henry, so she could hear him over the television. She shouted again, but Henry still couldn't hear her. Henry got up and went back to her room, dirty dish in hand. He opened her door and looked at her without saying anything.
"Take the dogs out to pee," Betria told him, "Out the back, not the front."
"Yeah," Henry said and shut the door.
"Come on you dogs," Henry mumbled, dropping his dish in the sink. Betria always did everyones dishes. She called it "her exercise."
Henry let the two dogs out on the lawn. The sun was curling up into the sky and its heat had melted all of the frost on the lawn. Now, the grass was bright green and Henry barely noticed the dark brown dead spots. He watched as the fat beige one squatted to pee. It was too fat to lifts its own leg up. The thing was built like a tank or a sea turtle. Henry laughed to himself as it looked up at him, both of its eyes going in opposite directions, its tongue jutted out one corner of his mouth. Boy boy was on the far end of the lawn, searching for something in the bushes. After a minute, he pulled out another one of his toys and brought it to Henry. Henry picked up the neon green chew toy shaped like a bone and threw it back to where Boy boy had dug it out from. Boy boy shot after it and the fat one just watched, waddling a few feet away from it had peed and laid down. Henry threw the toy a couple more times for Boy boy, but soon he realized it was time to go.
"Alright!" said Henry, "Get inside. Gotta' go to work." He picked up the fat one and threw it inside the laundry room hallway that led to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Boy boy bounded up the stairs into the kitchen. He didn't need anyone lifting him up anywhere. Henry shut the door behind them and went to back to his room to get into his work clothes.
Henry's girlfriend was still asleep and he made sure to be quiet while he got dressed. Tia, Henry's girlfriend, didn't work, but occasionally would put up garage sales of various junk she found around town. She was strangely obsessed with beanie babies, those tiny plush toys usually made up in different costumes. Henry's favorite was the hunter. It was dressed up in camouflage and wore an eye patch. You could take off its brown, polyester hat too, if you wanted. Henry made no complaint about Tia not having a job because she usually brought some money home somehow, along with groceries and cleaning the house and their room. Betria, again, made no complain and only wanted to know if she was going to eat there or not for the day.
A boat sized bright blue GMC sat in the street. This was Henry's car. The stick shift was so mangled and bent that only Henry and his older brother could drive it. He had traded a new car stereo for it, or something like that. He believed it got ten miles to the gallon, but it really only got six or seven. The stereo was the cleanest piece of equipment inside the thing. It played CD's, had a shoddy cassette player, and a decent radio that picked up all the local stations. Henry reached under the seat and attached the radio to the front panel. He never left the radio just sitting there in plain sight. Someone walking by could just as soon as put their elbow into the window, pluck the thing out, and make a clean 200 bucks or so. Henry wasn't that stupid. He'd been living there his whole life and sure enough, done the same thing to other cars when he was low on money. He knew the tricks of every trade when it came to how to make money on the street.
On the road, Henry passed La Rosa, the Mexican food mart around the corner from the house. Two short, tanned men stood in front of a stand of CD's, talking. He usually bought pirated music or movies there. One of the guys names was Bertie, but he didn't know the other guy. He figured either a customer or a friend. There were a lot of friends in this neighborhood. Everyone knew each other somehow. From the bars, from the grocery, from the laundromat, from the taco stands or from just walking around the streets at night when you were too bored to stay inside and watch TV. It wasn't usually safe for non-locals to walk the streets at night, but if you were from around there and could prove it to someone that was going to jump you, one could usually get away from losing a wallet or an eyeball if you had the proof. Henry, to people on the street, also went as Monk. Whenever he would drive through the neighborhood, the window open with his arm hanging out the side, he would usually hear a distant yell of "Hey Monk!" or "What's up Monk!". Henry would always wave back, unsure who's voice it was or in what direction to wave, but knowing it was a friend from somewhere.
There was heavy traffic on the way to Berkley and as he waited in line, cursing his luck, he looked over at the wet swamp, sitting there beside highway like a dead frog. A few scattered egrets waded through the brown water, their long legs keeping their clean white bodies safe from the muddy water. Beyond the swamp laid the pacific and the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco sat there too: still, majestic, and silver. Next to the city, was the Bay Bridge stretched out over the water like long gray yard stick. Henry compared the Golden Gate's beauty with the Bay Bridge. Both were beautiful in there own way, but the Bay Bridge's color was that of a gravestone, while the Golden Gate's color was a heavy red, that made it seem alive. Why they had never decided to pain the Bay Bridge, Henry had no idea. He thought it would look very nice with a nice coat of burgundy to match the Golden gate, but knew they would never spend the money. They never do.
After reeling through the downtown streets of Berkley, dodging college kids crossing the street on their cell phones and bicyclists, he finally reached the large, A-frame house. The house was lifted, four or five feet off the ground and you had to walk up five or seven stairs to get to the front door. Surrounded by tall, dark green bushes, Henry knew these kids had money coming from somewhere. In the windows hung spinning colored glass and in front of the house was an old-timey dinner bell in the shape of triangle. Potted plants lined the red brick walkway that led to the stairs. Young tomatoes and small peas hung from the tender arms of the stems leaf stalks. The lawn was manicured and clean. "Must be studying agriculture or something," Henry thought, "Or they got a really good gardener."
He parked right in front of the house and looked the building up and down, estimating how long it would take to get the old shingles off and the new one's on. Someone was up on the deck of the house, rocking back and forth in an old wooden chair. He listened to the creaking wood of the chair and the deck, judging it would take him two days for the job. Henry knew there was no scheduled rain, but with the Bay weather, one could never be sure. He had worked in rain before - even hail - and it never really bothered him. The thing was, he never strapped himself in and when it would rain and he was working roofs, he was afraid to slip and fall. He turned his truck off, got out, and locked both of the doors. He stepped heavily up the walkway and up the stairs. The someone who was rocking back and forth was a skinny beauty with loose jean shorts on and a thick looking, black and red plaid shirt. She had long, chunky dread locks and was smoking a joint, blowing the smoke out over the tips of the bushes and onto the street. Henry was no stranger to the smell. He smoked himself. This was California.
Migration mitigates minority movements
only the ole soft shoe remains
sound travels dispelling wealth
health costs postulated economic woes
growing strains of virus mingle with dirty shoelaces
tongue-tied flies can no longer buzz because drugs
cousins relate mindless commercialism in the form of slogan
jingles with ginger generate generation gaps
and the old exchange narcotics playing shuffleboard
“I’ll see you one Oxy for two Viagra”
“Helen, remember Niagara?”
Swelling subsides and new worries flash
health concerns are discerned by D students
beer-bong frat boys holding charts
prescribing death to the elderly
enriching the shareholders and depleting inheritance
as a hobby bordering on obsession
trenches hide bodies of the uninsured and FEMA camps wait for the word
miles of coffins stacked and stacked for train delivery
bloated bodies remind those who can remember
of religious discrimination
played out globally for all to see and participate in
and a template was created
waited with breath, bated for just the right moment
for reinstating the roles
Chinese manufactured, Walmart sold, Swastikas
fashionably fronting the fascist façade called the United States Government
freedom cries as the last eagle dies and all that is left are the sighs
of the Native American ghosts
coasts littered with radioactive starfish
whispers of seagulls on the wind of yesteryear
and my head hangs as the effigy of America washes out with the tide
I need to unlearn the language of fear
That I have been speaking since birth.
My parents spoke in fear
And I volleyed back insecurities and reassurances in equal measure.
And when I turned away to meet the world
I spoke to it in my native tongue
It spoke back.
But I need to unlearn this language.
I need to let go of my understanding
Because I don't really understand.
I'm only afraid I do.
I'm more afraid that I know what will happen
Than I am that I don't.
So what good are these strangled words
Gasped out like a dying man's last breath?
When I know that this breath is not my last
When I know that this veil of mistrust has darkened my view of the whole world
And made it untrue.
If I seek truth
If I seek truth out of the fear that I will be attacked by it if I don't find it first
I have failed,
I am failing,
Because I am not finding what is true,
I am finding what I'm scared will be.
Teach me to walk again.
Teach me new words.
Teach me to sing.
Teach me to breathe.
I don't want this doubt anymore.
Doubt doesn't make you the wiser one,
The prepared, ready-for-anything, jaded winner.
It makes you hurt.
It makes you hurt before you hurt.
I am done with doubt.
And I will fight
To force it to be done with me, as well.
Your porcelain skin reminds me of harsh winters that abrupt from nowhere.
Your deceiving eyes remind me of a blackened room that has no hint of light.
Everything of you has a tendency to
wash away all of the good left in me.
You tend to replace my happiness with lonesome sorrow and
Everything I've once known has now evolved into something new.
Something with a dark essence
which reflects only your past actions.
Everything that I thought I had known has now changed.
Thanks to you.
Screaming your name into the winter winds,
the emptiness its own reply
Marked steps leading to a coven grove, faint crescent moonlight on the snow
in the small clearing, round water, clouded starlight watching above
Praying by a frozen forest pond at midnight
The spirits of the trees acknowledge my presence in their circle
I tell them I have come to see the darkest part of night
Turning up my palms, opening my hands and my heart and my mind
A human receiver, channeling the vibrations of the Earth
Sensations directed inwardly outwardly flow into action
Collecting branches and pine needles
Leaving them at your door, the fresh scent of cool mint and sap
Natural balms to sanctify a new reality
Priestess, I am sorry.
I turned my back on the faith. If only for a span,
But for absolute belief, it took me doubt
Doubt burnt down the church
But the spirit still resides in our hearts, Shakti
We felt the flames of the church on fire,
we watched as the edifice we constructed
crashed and burned around us
Invocations of death and pain, I heard and felt the despair from your mouth, my love, a hateful sword ran through me then, and I could only stand still, close my eyes, and die, as it penetrated us
Kali came to wipe the unreal away
What is left?
Benevolent Mother Goddess
Redeemer of My Universe
I am your equal
Standing together to face the world
Building amphitheaters in the wood to recite inspirations derived from love
Let me bring you flowers
Let me be your hand
Let me be a swan by your side
Never leaving you again
Dependent on no one
Yet interdependent with each others entire universe
Our voices merging together into a song
By you, divine lover, this universe is borne,
my mother, my sister, my friend
You are my woman
In woman is the form of all things
There is no jewel rarer than you
A RE-CYCLED boyfriend, with love like new
a re-cycled superhero fell from
re-cycled bedtime stories and re-cycled songs.
(I once sat next to an ex-lover on the train.)
On re-cycled cab seats and
second-hand dreams, to second-rate alibis
using re-cycled, bated, breathing breath,
the smell of re-cycled furniture
the musk, the dust
the re-cycled mother,
some second-hand toys for orphans of re-cycled mothers,
their re-cycled apartments touched by
re-cycled hands that hold
orphans and the world that is full of these things,
these unwanted things.
(No matter where you sit, it’ll always be next to an ex-lover.)
So we re-cycle, and then we’re like new again.
You remember them nights?
Use too kiss ya lips..
use to touch your spots
"Baby just like this"
Damn look them hips..
sensation becoming to real
Seducing ya mind, I think things bout to get real
Do you feel how I feel?
Is this just an act?
Will you make me numb, leave... than never comeback?
My head spinning in circles..
How does she do this?
I should've seen it coming...this woman's bluff I missed
Imma charge her mound
Give her all the pitches
Knock her lights out
Flip off all the switches
Protection a must
When you encounter a woman in lust
"Baby oh fuh..."
Shh baby please calm down
You gunna wake the neighbors
If the feeling to good
Let my neck be ya new favorite flavor
She starts to bite as I start to grab
We moving slow to the track
"Baby just like that"
Loving like she the one
What have I become...
Her body produces novacane
Girl, I'm about to go numb
She pulls me in close, continues to ride the beat
I told her "baby not yet"
She replies "you gon remember me"
Toes curling on my feet
Suddenly the moment comes...to an end
She slowly kisses my lips and whispers
"You'll never have this again"
To whomever who may be reading this,
I've heard that sometimes sadness can't be explained.
Sometimes the reason it's there is because it just is.
The same way that when someone asks you why you're okay, you say you just are.
And why you simply accept that colours exist because they just do.
Like how if you were to ask that boy at that school on New Years' Day why he loved that girl he could prattle on about her pros and cons but fact of the matter is that it was just her. And she was just everything he could ever hope for in that moment.
And that is how I'd like you to explain my death.
It just happened.
I came home that day and I just felt immensely dissatisfied with my existence.
So I carved my arms and wore my favourite dress only to stain it with blood.
Then I took those sleeping pills I bought of that kid by the alleyway and swallowed them all.
It wasn't your fault, Mom.
You thought I was strong enough.
It wasn't your fault, Dad.
I just didn't believe anymore.
To my brothers and sisters and aunts and cousins,
none of you would've seen it coming.
It's none of your faults. It's mine.
And I know I'm going straight to hell but I deserve to burn for my sins.
I've spent years
(in a skewed totality)
placed just so,
back to back.
With a devil's hand
and an ink jet black-
I label each box
It's easier that way-
with every last one
blocked off like this.
For then I can know
who's what where
no one can move
from their labels-
though they may try.
But it's tiring you see,
keeping everyone so-
they surprise me, step outside,
I watch them all grow.
That's the thing with us humans-
we don't say the same-
we've got good sides and bad sides
and sides in between-
Forcing labels and boxes
only slows us down-
open eyes, clear hearts,
turns each new day 'round.
A practical mind opened up by the complexity of human character.
Feeling dr suess-y, can you feel it ?