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Perhaps you don't know but I'm from-
San Diego!
Where the sun bursts in a sky of absolute blue
364 days a year
I mean, nothing's perfect
When you are born in good weather and chill attitudes
You can't help but be a beacon of happiness and optimism

So as soon as my mother struck the legs of my cradle
into the sand of sweet, sweet beach
Sun soaked into my hollow bones
Drumming laughter, laughter, laughter into my palms
And warmth lingers still on my deceptively pale skin

So that when a storm strengthens and the clouds rage and upset is on the brink
All I have to do is catch my reflection and see the yellow ring pressed around the pupils of my eyes
to know it'll all be fine
And maybe then some

Perhaps you don't know but I moved to San Francisco
to be alone
To shelter myself in all things books and tea and gorgeous grey
Here I revel in myself, in my own time
In the anonymity of fog and the beat of the city

I have logged countless thoughts on bus rides
-Like those on love and life and intelligence and how to grab the window seat away from the homeless man

Here I am alone
Not to say that I have no company but rather that I can seek seclusion with such ease and grace

Here I construct my mask
from pavement and street art
Wrap myself in my own blanket of fog
Who is she? Nobody can ask
Nobody can see me
Thank god, I can hide here

Perhaps you don't know that I dream of
Of ripe, juicy mangoes that taste like life itself
Of bustle and confusion I can wipe off with my sweat
Of tastes my tongue has yet to meet and sounds my ear may just shrink from
but Thailand is a challenge
And so I dream of grasping dirt in my spidered hands, raising earth above my head and shouting

Perhaps you don't know that I dream of the world
Of smiles and laughter, Of seclusion and mystery, Of challenges and of mangoes
You see, I collect country facts like the social butterfly collects friends
I gobble them up and then spit some back out
And no matter the case
I know place is important
And that it's also not
but either way we all think one of two things
Where are my feet standing?
Where am I going next?
I wish people were smarter
And even with this singular declaration you bristle
Cocked head, tense claws digging into air or  own thighs
Ready on the defense
So I prepare to have “Pretentious Snob” branded onto my forehead
The metal meeting the fore of my skull
Don't act as  you would do otherwise
I can see you dipping your tool into the fire,
Ready to reveal glowing edges
Beneath an illuminated face

But I stand by that which I have said before,
I wish people were smarter
That you would stop gossiping over her scandal
That you would instead remark on how scandals change the world so microscopically.
That you would attempt to trace the origins of gossip
That you would see the irony of wanting to know everything
about a person
if only from another mouth
But you don't even bother to entertain such ideas
And so I stand on stage alone, audience-nil

I wish people were smarter
So that when I have a new thought
Discussion and open ears sit down at my table
Rather than me waiting for the hostess to (never) call my name
Left to hear only the sound of eyes rolling in your well-oiled sockets
and a chorus of
“There she goes again”
Why do you refuse to come with me?
You are invited
And if ever there is a Bitterman, party of one
It is I, trying to discuss the concept of originality
(As in does it exist among influence)
While you chat of liking songs only for the good beat
(It's got something, I don't know what it is)

I do try.
That is to listen to incessant conversations about spats and fights
In truth they bore me so!
All with the same ending
Emotions stuck on the same unmoving clock hand
Of never change

You may have an excuse
Perhaps you find an analysis of Harold Bloom exhausting
Or write it off as too like school
Well I do like school
And thinking
And questioning
And wondering

And so I wonder
if you aren't exploring such prospects
What on earth are you doing?
It seems so mundane to act otherwise
We all seek to fight against boredom
Or so we claim
Perhaps we are in different arenas

Maybe the simplest of messages is the most clear
To face branding or to avoid:
I wish people were smarter
Beaming. Positively beaming
She walks upon the beam
Silence drifts over the stadium.
She walks toward the break,
toward the hoots and the hollers

She steps. Toe, heel. Toe, heel. Toe, heel.
Arms spread
capturing the tension,
harnessing the excitement.
She walks along the beam
toward the hoots and hollers
waiting to erupt.
She slips.

Beaming, she slips
Holding onto stage presence as she becomes absent
She falls
from the beam
upon which she walked.
Step. Step. Step.
She does not reach the hoots and the hollers.
My bones are outside my body
Replaced instead by a collection of wires
Electricity coursing alongside my nerves
A sloppy circuit
My limbs jolting just out of rhythm
I am wired

My heart must be beating fast
A peculiar conundrum as I can not feel the movement
within my chest
I am wired

A mile a minute, a minute a mile
My brain moves
Thoughts nearly incoherent
but still hanging on to that last strand of sense
I am wired

Shock.Beat. Thought.
Terror of stillness
of possible inefficiency
My bones gone
I will have no indication of being
I won't last
I am wired
We have the choice
To make experiences our own
So we do
Creating, fabricating, inventing
better ideals than we have

We are given the power to lie
To synthesize
What we are given
Our realities
We choose to lie

We pick out the thread of
“I wanted this all along”
Spinning and spinning it
Until we are believed

We fool ourselves, our closest companions
Into settling, compromising
And we are not to blame
The alternative?
Miserable honesty
Sufferable affirmations that yes,
“It really is that bad”

We have the choice
To be warriors
To pretend we do not hurt
To not notice we are bleeding
And while greeting the pain
Welcoming it into your home
with a hug and an opportunity to kick off its shoes
While this acknowledgment is freeing
A liberating defiance
To do so continually is overbearing
leaves you drowning in truth
and raw waves of unmet expectations

So as it is
We have a choice
To synthesize
The dirt before our feet into carpets of woven gold
To fabricate
Our own palaces within mediocre routine
To lie and create
and fight
the hand which we were dealt
With all we've got
Which isn't much
So we choose
To synthesize
If ever a child should cry in front of you
Collect his tears
Scoop them up greedily as though they were rare crystals
And save them, nestled soundly in the depths of your pocket
For trust is a hot commodity

If ever a child should laugh beside you
Record the melody and transfer it onto the sleek, glossy surface of a record
It will become your favorite sound in all its rarity
Beautiful even as it skips and stutters

If ever you should notice a child lost
In the deep abyss of loneliness and solitude
Light a torch and draw out a map
So he can venture his way back into your arms

If ever you should trade these youthful crystals for swarvoski
Trade that laughter for a soundtrack of jazz
And if ever you feed a child juice on an empty stomach
So he struggles to enjoy artificial sweetness
As he realizes he is missing true nutrition

Do not be a parent
Go back in time and build a barrier
between you and your partner's willingness to build
The grandiose and admired structure of family
And if your friends are “trying for”
Make them prove that they will soon “fight for”

If ever you should
Truly consider.
Then savor
Every crystal,
every song of laughter
and every found embrace
Heat. Heat. Heat.
I am instant flames
My sparks immediate, my smoke lasting
I do not take time nor kindle nor match
I am instant
Heat. Heat. Heat.
I am fire

I am a shapeshifter
Making transformations to suit me
The wronged I turn righteous
The hurt I turn vengeful
The incapable I turn defensive
I am a shapeshifter

I am the force in intensity
Whether as the fright in whispers
Or as the ferocity of screams
I am the danger in irrationality

I am in sorrow
I am in grief
I am in betrayal
Both prolonged and brief
I am in the happiness of others
but not in you
I am the knife in the back
stabbing all the way through

Heat. Heat. Heat
I require air
Fuel, oxygen, life
My flames not spun from nothing
Require a start, a base

I require caring
Without it I have no reason
And I turn into apathy
I require passion
My sparks can not die out
I require strength
And thus I'm often offended
I require...

Heat. Heat. Heat.
I am heat
I require soul
I require life
I am wrath
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