This is not a poem. This is not a letter. This is not really much of anything, for that matter. I hope you'll continue reading because it kind of helps knowing that someone somewhere out there is reading what I'm going to say next. I just hope you, my dear reader can benefit from my story.
It's merely 3.41AM and I am feeling empty. It's not the kind of emptiness that overwhelms you in tsunamis of water, neither is it splashes of water. It just didn't seem to have a place, it wasn't really anywhere, it was kinda just there. Haunting me.
I had just finished my O level examinations, and where I come from, it's one of the most major exams in my life. It determined my future. So like any other schooling teenager in this country, I studied for it. Not just the kind of studying where you listen in class or read the textbook and do your homework. The kind of study where I could go on without sleep for days or taking shot after shot of expresso just to keep myself going or regurgitating word for word an entire essay. All because I knew how important this was to me and my family and my future. Every day of the week was dedicated towards memorizing, every minute of the day was devoted towards practicing, and every second of the minute was committed towards reading. Basically, every millisecond was crucial. And this was something I abided by religiously. But despite my efforts, I was still struggling. I simply couldn't do well. And when you put your heart and soul into something and it just doesn't go how it's supposed to, you get really broken, destroyed. You never know what went wrong and you question many things about yourself and you start running in circles, thinking and digging. The failure I was faced with consumed me with defeatism and self hate. I broke down more often than I should as the days to my exam drew closer, and I grew more anxious and scared. So god damn scared of the future.
Bear with me, please.
Anyway, the week of my exams came quickly. Despite my efforts to slow down time, time had done just the opposite. It was the most painful and suffocating weeks of my life. And although I am one to say that lightly, this easily took the crown. I have never, ever in my life felt this close off the ledge. And there were many times were I have came very close off the ledge. My exams lasted for around 3 weeks, and each morning I had to have at least a triple shot expresso and each night I before I went to sleep, there would be these images and thoughts telling me that I didn't deserved to sleep and I shouldn't even think about it. But when I did catch some sleep, the constant fears in my day had took over my nights. I would always dream about failing the exam, or being late for the exam, or forgetting to bring something to the exam, or killing myself before the exam. It was impossibly horrible and I could actually feel my soul getting depleted by the minute. Like the 'me' in my body was slipping away and there would soon be nothing harboring my body. I often find myself crying to sleep, and waking up in tears. I couldn't stand being so weak and vulnerable, but I felt absolutely defenseless against everything around me. Even the ones that loved me couldn't make me feel human, I felt like I was already dead and my body was still alive. I felt like I was constantly suffocating and nobody could see it. Each day felt so purposeless, ironically. (It being my exams week) Waking up each and every day was draining and having to face my eminent fate was painful. A physical kind of pain where you felt lightheaded and spinning but yet caged and choked. It's hard to describe.
So, it isn't hard to tell that I wasn't in the right state of mind to take my exams. I just dragged myself through those past couple of weeks, doing what I could. Each breath felt labored and each thought in my head wore me down greatly. I broke down frequently before my papers, and there would always be this couple of schoolmates who say things like "You'll do fine, stop worrying." Or "Just do your best. Whatever will be, will be." My parents would even try to tell me to take it easy and "We'll be proud as long as you've tried your best." I know that they mean well. But no, you don't understand. I have worked too fucking long and too fucking hard to watch it all slip away from me just like that. It isn't just some national exam I have to study for, it was my godforsaken passport for the future. All that I have done for this exam, all that I have forsaken, all that I have gone through was for myself. It was the dedication of every ounce of strength that I had so that I could let myself believe that hope existed. And I had just watched it being snatched away from me, right before my own sunken in, swollen eyes. And it hurt like hell knowing that I've tried my best for it, and it is a reflection of what I've worked for. Nobody's going to look at C's and D's and see the reflection of an "overnight mugger", they'll see what comes to mind first: a lazy, complacent teen. And as the saying goes, "The lie, if repeated a hundred times, becomes the truth." All my hard work will be forgotten. And it will be like it never existed before.
Maybe some might think that all this is stupid. All this I go through for one exam, I know many of my schoolmates think that way. But the complex feelings that I experience for this exam isn't just because of my future. My life depends more than it should on this exam because it will prove to me that I am not a failure and I am not as stupid as I think I am. I want to know where my best truly is and where I stand. Because I have never worked for anything in my life but this exam has been the great exception. It was the key driving force of my life, it was what wore me down and spurred me on at the same time. I don't want people to tell me that I am capable and that I am smart, because I will never believe you. I need this exam to show me that I am capable and I am smart. I want to believe it too.
So I lie in bed at 4.17AM now feeling so afraid of the future. And I used to be the kid that depended on the prospect of a better day. I have yet to meet my impending doom, and if you are wondering, I collect my results next year in January. So now, I am lost and alone. And empty.
Thank you if you've read this far, I just hope that you, my dear reader, if you've ever felt useless, or not good enough or you're just hurting, know that you are not alone and there is someone that knows how you feel. I would tell you to be strong, but only you can do that for yourself.
Strange things happenin'
in space these days.
swirling emotions and
Who knows about
the sudden hook-ups &
disconnections just as fast,
It's on-again off-again,
of the internet,
a place where dreams
and without pheromones
to complicate matters.
To be loved.
Is that too much to ask for?
To be held.
To be kissed.
Is that too much to ask for?
A simple request for affection, sometimes without even asking.
Is that too much to ask for?
Some ask for money?
And receive it.
Knowing the odds are that you might or might not get paid back.
Then, there are those like me that needs simple things without payment.
Is that just too much to request?
God asked, for a few commandments.
And we treat it like he asked for the world.
When he created it.
And controls every aspect of it.
So, to be loved.
Is that too much to ask for?
Dig deep within yourself and question your heart.
Is being love too much to ask of you?
Get back on track
You know what to do
Focus on doing good things
The rest is up to you
Forget about the past
Do not drown in sorrow
Take care of yourself now
So you can have a brighter tomorrow
play wild things
lie is waking
spirit is american
the book is beat
where is wonderland, Alice?
Jurassic period dinosaurs,
oven toasted humans,
dancing to ska,
cupboards organize themselves,
toking indian hides
blaring chocolate chip trumpet solo
as the laughing sun, rises
pen stroke sun rays
into a rainbow bouquet
Hidden away in the back of the drawer,
is a letter my father wrote me from his prison cell.
It contains words that were fastly written
with the tip of a ball-point pen.
It asked for forgiveness.
It contains promises of never going back.
Hidden away in the back of the drawer,
is another letter written 2 years later.
With the same fastly little words,
asking and promising for the same things
that were once said before.
can you hear the monotone rumble
ringing in my head?
it creeps its way through my bones
an echo of all the things that i could have said.
my shattered jaw line outlines all I’ve suffered
and what’s left to come.
the bruises layered onto my skin
are only the reflection of a long night of regret.
imprints of recurring dreams
and stones left unturned
impressions are digging at me again
they don’t know what i truly am.
build yourself a little empire
to protect your stuttering ego
i will be the flame to start the forest fire
it won't be such a shame to see you go
do you recognize the stench that fills the air?
that’s the smell of a thousand burning forests.
you can hide behind your walls in shambles,
losing everything you thought you ever had.
but me? sweetheart, i’ll be doing just fine.
roaming the earth, spreading the seeds of regrowth.
positivity and its fine little hairs
prickling at the sight of someones skin
you just so happened to fall in love with
but they’re not really there,
darling, you made it all up inside your head,
among the burning flora of a million sins
you would think you would have learned
the fifth time around
but perhaps you never really cared,
blisters where the shackles of lust had you bound.
you’re seeking definition
thinking it’s buried deep in the neck of others.
you bury your lust in the sheets,
transforming casual conversation into white noise.
you’re foaming at the mouth and your pupils dilate
waiting to strike and tear your next victim apart.
like a succubus, you linger in the shadows
twisting and turning your way through
the wide open doors of the unknown
you sink your teeth into your prey,
suck away their sympathy
and leave them breathless,
hollow and taciturn.
i watched you slip away
deep into the arms of others
slowly declining as your breathing grows heavy
your body becomes a warzone
those who have traveled it before know,
you’re not the same as you once were,
and you never will be again.
what will you do now, with your claws at the ready?
will you tear them apart, or yourself first?
be sure you get the order correct
you are not the seamless dress you slipped off
before you made your way under the sheets
you are the breath that expels from your lungs
when you finally see your reflection
and you are not what you once saw
your lips curled back into a snarl,
your fingers bloodied and cracked
your eyes void and black
not once will your prayers be heard.
i caught myself wishing you back
finding myself buried in delusions and heartbreak.
you should’ve just said “i never loved you in the first place”
but that would’ve just made things simple.
simplicity was never an option for you.
everything had to be a challenge,
because that’s how your entire life was.
abused by your father, channeling the hate of your mother
there’s nothing you would do just to form stability on this
tattered and beaten ship you call your life.
where will you go now,
that your ship has sunk?
what paradise can you seek
without the stars to guide your way?
they will not shine for you any longer,
the darkness is now your only friend.
and to you, directly to you,
where do you hide your heartbreak?
can we build a fortress strong enough
to hold our heads high
through the pasts empty threats?
our towers were built alongside the shoreline
shining light to those who passed by
in hopes that they wouldn’t just avoid us
our intentions were pure, but our actions were contradictory
we can’t accomplish anything if we don’t know how to.
did the ocean wash it away?
or is it still standing, pure and tall.
everyone can see you sparkling there,
your light runs through your veins
where your blood is supposed to be.
all along the watchtowers
we hide our emotions, like treasure
to be found by a lucky passerby.
whoever ventured into what we’ve built would find
everlasting love and emotions too strong to perceive.
we just pray that whoever finds them doesn’t sell them off to another.
crystalline passages to our hearts
shattered by a beating drum
they collapse and collide
our minds lost to the debris
Who mouth does I speak with
When my anxious thoughts multiply within me
from my heart or from somewhere deep within
Should I bridle my tongue?
Or wash it out after with soap
Or should I allowed it to ride the wind
Until it lessen overtime
It’s so tempting: to give away my thoughts
I hate the sound of other poet’s pens
Should I freeze their ink cartridge
and spare the world the pain
from their internal and external mishaps
Should I close my eyes, and say
All's well with the world
The things we must do: not to offend
However, we have to endure many things
to conquer and to win bits at a time
“Comrade-in-arms to my old friends”
all isn’t well within our world.
Because I am a sonnet
In search of a poet
I am imaginative, forceful, and compelling
And sometimes disciplined
But today, who mouth must I speak with?
Your consolations delight my soul.
We're dancing formless into a void of our own making
Carving silently into creation these silent similarities
These constants that connect us, the wild and free
animal that is humanity.
We don't speak of how we are the same person
Ignoring the fact that internally, we all desire
at least one or most of the same things.
The external differences are so demanding, pressing on our attention.
We can't let go of the old. We can't let go of most anything.
But in those quiet moments, we recognize ourselves
hiding so plainly in the soul of someone else
And in those sublime, religious moments, we realize
we're all just holograms, dancing into a void of our own making
Carving the connections that will one day make us one.
Funny the things we recall.
Images that flash through our brain.
Some most vivid for me were of an old man.
Skin like creased parchment paper,
Lined and yellowed with age.
The veins visible just below the surface,
of a thin near transparent covering.
Liver spotted flecks of red,
Charted paths of years of toil,
Palms callused forever from a life time of labor.
Big fingers knotted and misshapen,
The two inch tip of one gone missing,
Saw taken, at age sixteen.
Looking at those old hands, one could hardly guess
That still there remained gentleness in their caress.
For an old dog, or a little grandson in need of some
Companionable affection or parental love.
Those aged hands could also make things,
Toy sailboats, and wooden trains,
complete with caboose.
A cool flute whistle that actually worked,
He said it was like the Indian’s used out Oklahoma way.
And he would know, he'd cowboyed out there.
His hands could become birds, rabbits,
butterfly's, all sorts of things.
When projected up on the wall,
Silhouetted by light.
He knew magic too,
Could pick silver coins right out of my ear.
His tired face matched his hands, visual weathered
Creased and wrinkled road maps,
Of 89 years of life traveled.
Yet, his lively pale green eyes remained forever
Fraudulently youthful prisms,
Eyes and spirit of a much younger man living.
But it is his hands most of all I shall remember,
Their imposing look and their reassuring touchs of tenderness.
I shall never forget my Grandfather’s hands.