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Jan 2019 · 167
such great heights
Jules Jan 2019
the condominium i have stayed in
for almost two years now
stands at forty-five
stories high.
from the ground below
it looks like some skyscraper
a scrambled mess of uniformity
and abstraction.
i live on the thirty-sixth floor.
sometimes,
as i stare up its great height,
i find myself counting the windows,
trying to pinpoint my temporary home
from my blurry place on the earth below.
around this tower of concrete there is only air.
behind it the sky sits white and endless.

i live on the thirty-sixth floor.
i find myself thinking:
if i jump,
i'd never survive the fall.
maybe
it is one of those high-enough cliffs
that i'd feel myself falling
for an age
before the shatter.
a breathless,
screaming
thrill
before the end.

after looking my fill
i bring my gaze to the path in front of me again,
my mind returned to earth,
and walk,
steady.

i live on the thirty-sixth floor.
once, i opened the door
to the great open sky
and met the eyes
of the earth below.
the height brought with it
a vertigo i could not name.
from here,
the road below was perhaps as thick as a finger.
my heart pounded in time
with the shriek of traffic.
my feet lifted onto my toes
and i thought:
the fall would **** me,
easy.
i thought:
i am so small.
the idea is comforting
in the strangest way.

i step back,
my feet refinding floor tile,
hands fumbling for the handle,
and close the door.
i'll be on this cliff's edge forever
Sep 2018 · 225
for the foreseeable future
Jules Sep 2018
dear god,
(if god is listening)
i have not died
today.

when the ledge called to me
i did not answer;
when the blade stared at me
i did not falter,
did not offer my hand in greeting
did not hope for it to hold me;
instead
i lay there
and waited for the day to break.

the world kept turning
and i have been left here,
in the strange in-between,
in the stillness;
all the unremarkable tasks
and the things i should be doing -
if i am not swamped by sadness
i am burdened by work;

it is all right.
i have not died
today.
by tomorrow i will return.

dear friends
(for you are the last true thing)
the heart is still heavy
but sometimes the burden is shared.
my hands are still shaking
and i am so tired
but i cannot wait to see you again.
i have not died
today.

dear voice in my head that tells me to die
(i have to believe you are false)
you are so good at convincing me
but by some foolish miracle
i have not died
today.

dear myself
(it has been a while;
come home soon)
yes, i know;
we are both tired
and drawn to the exit sign
but we have not died
yet.
we are still here
and quite alive;
it is all right
even if we are only waiting
for our life to remember her purpose;

it is all right.
we will not die
tomorrow.
i don't know
Aug 2018 · 2.2k
time capsule
Jules Aug 2018
somewhen
in the vast crumbling timeline of the universe
13-year-old me is wondering
whether i exist.
4 years is a long time,
after all,
maybe enough to choose the exit,
leave the stage,
throw away everything
she is currently trying to hold together.

but here i am,
after all,
so she must have made it;
trekked through the perilous path of the future,
which is just another word for the unknown
which is just another word for nothing,
for empty,
and made it here.
and here is not a field of green,
exactly,
but maybe an oasis in the desert.

i am proud of her, even if
it is not halfway done,
even if the road stretches dark and endless,
even if she has brought with her nothing
but fistfuls of doubt
all her stupid starving for reassurance—
will i be here in 3 years?
in 5 years?
in 10?

like a haunting hold,
a ghost.

but we have still made it,
after all.
for me,
and my 13-year-old spectre,
the question is not
how do you see yourself in the future
or where do you think you will be by then
or even what do you want to be doing in ten
but merely

will i see myself.
will i see myself.
will i get there.
it's fine, asking just means you still have hope for a positive answer
Aug 2018 · 256
emptiness, priced
Jules Aug 2018
how lovely
that depression is acceptable only until the breakdown.
it must garner sympathy but must not inconvenience,
look pitiful but not be unproductive;
like you are allowed to be empty
but only until the deadline,
will receive prayers and patience
only until your sadness translates into lazy;
they will claim to understand
only until you have stayed days in
without seeing sunlight,
fallen behind on classes,
missed projects you cannot return to.

your education
and your government
will allow you to be suffering
up until it ties you to bed,
makes you miss days of work
and drown in debt
and lose yourself;
afterwards
it will call these faults
the folly of an able,
merely careless mind;

mental illness
is a ghostly disease —
it exists
and everyone fears it
tells you to check in regularly on your friends for it
speaks of it only in respectful tones
a hushed whisper
about the rising death toll
or buried in a joke about the great
millennial existentialism
(how wonderful
that we have grown close enough to darkness
to be able to laugh at it)

and yet you cannot call it real
cannot claim it as an excuse
for not sleeping
or not eating
or not waking
or —
worse
not working.

how stupid that we
are allowed to be hopeless
so long as we are not tired.
here's a secret: the system does not care about you
Aug 2018 · 2.3k
in praying for an apocalypse
Jules Aug 2018
i have arrived at a point
of desperate fury;
a final certainty
that there is no longer a sustainable solution;
the realization that god was right
the only way to fix this horror
is to wipe it clean,
flood every sea,
drown everything in saltwater
and try again,
pretending all along we have just begun—

but no,
this time there may be no noah,
no single good survivor
except maybe the ones wronged the most,
maybe only the last of the trees,
maybe only the animals

this is to say:
if the human race went extinct
i would not grieve.
only thank the soil as it swallowed me,
only be disappointed because god,
was this the best we could do?
i would love to return
to a belief of more hope,
the someday-vision
of an earth where nothing suffers
and justice wields her scales like a weapon,
needing no blindfold,

but nowadays i only wonder
how we let the earth become this rotten,
let it get too far
and now the problem seems unfixable.
now, all we have to show for it
is a cumulation of debt
and a system that does not care for us.
death was right:
humans are foolish.
we are so good
at keeping things
when they are already lost,
tying them to our chests with hope
thinking we can save it.

but what better way
to halt the plague
than to raze it all to the ground,
set fire to the rotting at the core,
cut the roots and then restart.

to the child-saints we lost too early,
i pray:
tell god,
burn everything.
we need to try again.
we’re running out of options
Jul 2018 · 1.5k
in medias res
Jules Jul 2018
the images
come in flashes,
now:

red lines on my dark skin;
a loose noose;
a cliff to fall from
and a fear of falling.
the tip of a sharp blade
against my throat.
(for some reason
i never think of guns.)

they come unbidden
in the midst of everything:
while i am eating;
in conversation with family;
in the shower;
when i wake up in the mornings
wondering why i have still awoken,
and in these moments,
time slows,
stretches out like a drawn-out punishment
while i watch myself stare into nothing.

the indescribable messy affair
of limbo,
of nothing being bad
but nothing being good;
of things not being terrible,
but feeling that they are about to be;
of wanting to leap off the cliff
before you are pushed off;
a pretence
of control.

outside, the storm keeps raging,
and a tree knocks on my bedroom window.
i sit up in time to see the lightning
illuminate a leaf
blown off of its tree.
in the morning, the leaf will have dried
or be floating in flood.
it will not see the storm pass;
it will only turn yellow
and crumple under someone’s foot.
a satisfying crunch.
i wonder only if the leaf had the chance to leap
before the wind pushed it off.
lately i have been wondering
that if everything leaves eventually,
what is the point of arriving at all.

in my bed,
with only the thunder to speak to,
i lay back again.
i plead with the images to let me sleep,
and close my eyes.
this was written in one go and unedited, for the words have been begging to be written down for a long time. my only regret is that i cannot properly tag this with its triggers, but i do not feel comfortable posting this anywhere else. it is nice that i can come back to this site always, even after half a year, when there is little else. if you are struggling, do not go yet. i only want you to know that you are not alone in the battle.
Nov 2017 · 6.9k
talents
Jules Nov 2017
“what are your special skills?”

well—
lately i have mastered the art
of silent tears
and wordless crying,
shuddering breaths
instead of wracking sobs.
my eyes don’t even get red.
if i do it right,
i have the exclusive ability
to break down in a full room
without anyone noticing.

also,
i can brush my weak gums in front of the mirror
and watch blood drip onto my uneven teeth
without flinching.

last,
i can give the best i have
every time
and still my brain can convince me—
worthless.
this poem is almost unbearably sad
Jules Nov 2017
the house is too large with not enough people,
an empty space, a skeleton of something.
you keep running into the ghost of your dead dog
and the memory of your father in another country.
there are too many people to miss.

the apartment is too full and far away to be called yours,
only a temporary safehouse,
and a place of only work and sleep
cannot be called a home.

you do not want to be lonely
but you cannot wait to be alone,
and so you do not belong anywhere.
doesn't it feel too quiet
Jul 2017 · 296
searching for ghosts
Jules Jul 2017
i am still waiting
for you to haunt me;

i am still hoping
that i dream of you tonight;

i am still thinking
that it is all temporary;

i am still wondering,
when will you return?

(no,
i know it is for the worst,
but i cannot yet believe
that you are gone.)
or, the stage of grief that no one ever tells you about.

or, i am still a little bit numb. or, i am thinking that if i only go home, you will, by some miracle, be there. or, i feel as though if i simply do not say goodbye yet, you cannot be gone.
Jul 2017 · 488
dog
Jules Jul 2017
dog
On the days I forget how to feel,
I lose my fingers in my dog’s soft fur
and allow myself to hold him.
His hug, the way he presses his nose into my hand,
nips at my fingers,
is softer than a human’s.
This strange wonderful creature,
sharp teeth and beating heart and simple mind that he is,
I think he will save my life.
hi. long time no poem. so. a few days ago, my dog, whom i wrote this about, passed away. today i opened up my poetry documents, trying so hard to distract myself from tears, and instead, i found him everywhere, in little mentions and lines and words, and here - i found one poem for him entirely. i wrote this poem ages ago but sadly never published it while he was with me, and now the weight of it - of him - lays so, so heavy on my chest. (i still can't describe it properly. maybe one day.)
Jules May 2017
Tonight is easy, I realize,
and I am relieved.
Tonight the heart is light,
beats a steady rhythm;
tonight the lungs breathe easy,
take in air like it is just that: air,
not water seeking to drown me.
It is fun to write about:
the lack of relapse.
It is fun to reminisce:
the easiness of a smile.

There will be worse nights,
but this night will be separate.
I will give it a space of its own.
Tonight was different; tonight was rare.
Tonight, I think,
was kind.
Tonight was fun.
i haven't written in so long— but oh, here i come with words of joy
Mar 2017 · 338
i am on the cusp!
Jules Mar 2017
so easy, the idea of giving up!
so near, the thought of it!
to think of not writing anymore,
to hush this voice of mine,
to throw away the goal,
to let it all fall down around me.
so easy, so there.
to let the resistance crumble—
an option so real, how very simple.
how in my reach.
short little thing from ages ago; strange i never published it; still an option, a routine battle (to this day)
Mar 2017 · 339
several steady steps
Jules Mar 2017
someone asks me for help with work,
and there is a rush of relief:
if they need help, then my body will stay awake, unsleeping.
we talk ourselves into the night,
and i am pleased—
this way i am not left to my own desires.

come evening i am called to eat,
and this is good, because, you see,
this way my body is made to move,
dragged off the couch, out of bed,
and forced to live.

i know how it works,
that old proverb, see:
they say that if i just get up from the bed
the world will seem brighter to me,
but oh,
how difficult it seems as well,
and the mere idea— how cold.
even the too-bright lights of my bedroom are dull to me,
but i know, i know—
if i just get out of bed,
all may be well again.

and there is a gratefulness for this,
somewhere,
perhaps small but existing anyway—
it is nice,
somehow,
to be kept alive;
these little tedious tasks
that none are free from.

i sigh,
hug the pillows through a shudder,
and rise from the covers.
lo and behold, we remain alive
Mar 2017 · 4.1k
tired (but aren't we all)
Jules Mar 2017
'i'm tired,'
i say,
and my mother asks me how, and why;
tells me i haven't been doing that much today.
i don't know how to tell her
that the exhaustion goes deeper than bone,
how the weariness takes my heart in its hold,
seeps into my skull
and settles there.

my art is slow, sluggish;
my writing is a dying fire.
my body is a sunken ship upon my bed
half the time.
my lungs do not breathe, only rattle;
and i?
i am simply tired,
tired,
tired.
this is a horribly sad poem and i'm sorry for it. i'll post a better one soon, promise.
Mar 2017 · 330
scintilla
Jules Mar 2017
so maybe we are not all we’re cracked up to be.
maybe we’ve less to be proud of than expected.
maybe they’ll think we’re less fire and all ashes.

so what. I care nothing for it.
the odds are inconsequential;
the fight will continue without regard.
remember this: I refuse to be the ashes.
we are burned but in no way broken.
and if we are not fire—
then we are flint.
tinder.
spark.
flame.

we work our way to becoming bonfire.
tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow.

(the past few days have not been very kind to me, so this is another old poem. please burn for me, but in a good way.)
Mar 2017 · 375
the art of artlessness
Jules Mar 2017
when it hits, there are no words.

the drive, the glow, the kind air
disappeared from my heart a long time ago,
it seems, and this is nothing but the last part of the breakdown,
not so much as an aftershock
than the very aftermath.
i cannot break down if i am long gone;
i cannot speak if i am empty—

and i am just empty,
a quietly sitting void, a patch of vapor.
the words do not come to me, and here i sit,
artless.
i think,
this is where the anger should be,
burning somewhere in the back of my mouth,

or, this is where the sadness should come,
turning my eyes to water,


but it doesn’t. it doesn’t.
and so there i sit, then,
empty.
another old verse, recovered
Feb 2017 · 599
how simple
Jules Feb 2017
we put so much stock in the big picture.
you know? we fall so far in love with the glory of promises,
with big words and exaggerated gestures,
with the scandals and the fights.

I do not need so much.
I can live for smaller sights.
the cup of tea you brew for me each morning.
the way you link our hands as we are walking.
your heart, thumping against mine.
how you’d pull my covers up again when I kick them off at night.
your clothes, in my home.
if you head out early, leave me a note.

I do not want for much. The smallest things can be enough.
another old poem!! you'll be seeing a lot of these, probably
Feb 2017 · 318
as i wait
Jules Feb 2017
in this,
when the sky and sun have left me,
when everything smothers me, leaves it harder to breathe,
when there is only tired eyes and heavy burdens,
when this poetry is something forbidden,

then i look
for the small things.
a glass of water. a breath of air.
the good music.
the dog’s footsteps, soft.
a working pen, a clearer mind.
how the clock takes her time.

so i shake my shoulders, gentle.
i’ve got this, i think.
i can. i can. i can.

it will be all right
at the end of this.
it will be better
in the morning sun.
an old poem, dug up again
Feb 2017 · 336
graduating
Jules Feb 2017
you may say nothing,
but don't tell me it doesn't feel strange to you too.
doesn't it feel strange;
doesn't it feel harsh,
doesn't it ache
to know
we may not be here again?

doesn't it make your heart
pound out of your chest
to know
you will not see the skies from this one specific place again?
doesn't it weigh upon your shoulders
to fear
that we may not meet again?

doesn't it make you nauseous with the whole heaving hurt of it,
and the entirety of your relief.
don't you get torn
between good riddance
and i'll miss you,
between is this the taste of freedom,
the heady weightlessness in my chest
,
and take me back; what i would give to do it over.

doesn't it make you go weak-kneed.
to think, we're almost there.
we've made it, and now
who even knows
where next to go.
the school year is almost over
Dec 2016 · 508
god, but you're a wonder
Jules Dec 2016
and *******,
but it’s so strange, y'see,
me always trailing behind you
in some sort of half-awe, all-daze
watching you breathe and grin and do
me in always some kinda wonder,
at every **** thing that you are.

strange that you don’t seem to be bothered
let me come near
drift on the edges of your shine
(there must be an eclipse out of you and i,
just somewhere here)


and so there is me, always just somewhere there
unable to catch up
but also me thinking,
just being there would be enough.
the entire universe could not compare
Jules Nov 2016
i don’t know,
but there just aren’t any words for this, are there?

days later
and i still scramble for the right things to say,
as if any poetry could make this easier, more okay.
(it doesn’t work. i give up soon enough.)
(there is no poetry for this.)

i want to let time take my hand,
wash away the horror of what america has done;
i let angry music blare loud in my ears before i realize—

no. this is not something i can drown out.
this was not anything time would heal.
this was never something we could have just ignored, see?

you cannot let a sickness grow
call it healing while it festers.
you cannot watch a burning building
and think the fire will put itself out.
you must not leave a infected wound out and open
and just wait for the blood to stop on its own.

(it’s already infected. it hurts enough already.)
(it will scar.)

no. you have to act. you have to say:
this is not normal.
we cannot live with smoke around us,
with open wounds—
we cannot live if we are dying.

you cannot succumb. you cannot think of dying yet.
you have to say: i am alive. i will not die.
not while i am needed,
not while i can help.

take a breath. let the image sink before you.
stare at it, this open wound;
but then you must fight the sickness.
if you put a frog in boiling water it will jump out; if you put a frog in lukewarm water and let it boil, it will die there. haven't you noticed how hot the water is. haven't you noticed how it has always been boiling.

this poem also kinda applies to ferdinand marcos' burial in LNMB— a late dictator whom the supreme court in my country have now voted to bury in a place for national heroes.
Jules Nov 2016
everything’s been a little cut-deep lately,
heart-pound lately,
teach me
how not to feel
for once.
this isn’t the first time, y'see,
that my heart wears me down,
lungs a little too full.
d'you know the feeling?
but—teach me how not to.
how not to feel every quake of every bone,
every pulse of every vein,
let it fade into background noise because god,
only thing louder than the entire world is my own **** self.
exhausting.
either teach me how to make it hush
or lay me down
to sleep.
i don't know, myself. so just breathe through it, like always
Oct 2016 · 2.4k
if sunrise ever comes
Jules Oct 2016
i’ve run out of words to say,
you know,
i am wrung dry of poetry,
heart just a little too buried.
see, instead, everything is just

heavy, heavy, heavy.

all closed-up throat and dragging feet and burning eyes.
building under collapse,
empty tank of gas,
edges too rusted for use.

and still—
still. the heart shakes.
beats wildly.
(like hummingbird wings)
the eyes gone empty,
but stay open. awake.
(owls in the night)

look. await me.
i can stay alive for another morning.
"i couldn't seem to die"
Jules Sep 2016
I’M SORRY,
BUT WE ARE A HOARD OF HEAVY HEARTS,
A LITTLE LOST,
A LITTLE SHAKY—
A LITTLE BREAKING.
CAN’T YOU SEE IT,
ALL THE STARS FALLING FROM THE SKIES,
LANDING NOWHERE TO BE SEEN;
AND YOU ARE LEAVING
AND I AM LONG GONE
AND I HAVE NO POETRY LEFT BUT TO SAY

THAT THERE IS NO MAGIC IN THIS ANYMORE.
and i ache for you already
and this house is ever so empty
without you here
Jules Sep 2016
ain’t it strange,
how we fall in love with people we do not know,
who do not know us.
with the boy and his dog, each day walking, without fail;
with the dancer and her grace;
with the author and their stories;
with the fighter with her shouts,
her fury always undone,
a bravery which is hers alone.
with the lover and her heart,
her heart falling deep.
with the artist,
their messages, their heartfelt,
their blood and sweat poured out into every line.
don’t we fall in love.
don’t it seem strange to you too.
don’t you do it just as i do.
don’t you love deep and long and hard,
as i try to.
love hard
Jules Sep 2016
i tell you: this day is clean.
this day, the fear does not claim me,
and i take it with both hands and let nothing control me.
it does not rain, it does not storm,
it does not burn, it does not scorch.
instead, the sun rises kindly
and the wind kisses this home of mine
and the clouds give me space to breathe.
i tell you, i tell you:
my heart still beats.
and are we not lucky to be alive.
Jules Sep 2016
look: i am trembling fingers again.
own pulse keeping me captive.
i think i locked up the dragon of my heart some time ago,
i think i threw away the key—
and now she is burning all my ribs up just to get free.

wonder: how did i ever come to this.
i have thought of death often enough that it no longer scares me.  
i tried to keep the worst of that locked up too, see,
but sometimes the whispers will slither out.
they run in and out my brain
like the ghosts of all i could have been.

see: i have thought of death often enough that it doesn't frighten me,
doesn't make me flinch no more—
at least,
not the way the shaking always does,
always a surprise, a shockwave,
all my old worries and fears and doubts and panic
coming back to bury me,

and it is as though
i have long since drowned.
a little burning forest, a slowly swallowed sea
Aug 2016 · 679
nothing grows here
Jules Aug 2016
see, it’s just—
i was gonna be great, y'know?
i was gonna be godchild,
i was gonna be stardust,
i was gonna find the top of the world,
make my home there—
all these things people thought i could do.
told me i was capable of.
and instead—
i don’t know, but here i am.
a patchwork of apologies, a clump of soil.
something full of not enough.
here i am. trembling joints and hitching breaths,
hunching shoulders and uncertainty.
i don’t know.
here it is. i am sorry.
the cusp of another breakdown.
it is all i know i can do.
Jules Aug 2016
and it is the worst,
y'know,
that descent into silence,
slow and all at once, they say,
that sudden shaking sadness.

it springs outta nowhere,
see, that pounce, that shadow consuming,
and see,
suddenly you’re hollow.
suddenly you’re gone,
or you wanna be gone—
like my heart’s tryin’ to pound
only my chest’s on lockdown
and no words’ll come out my mouth;
see now,
it just seems
there ain’t nothing i can do.

nah, see, i’m sorry, just—
some days,
i am consumed.
intensity twelve: and my mind too is in calamity.
Jules Aug 2016
and— my god!
days like this,
i wanna be the wind,
that howl,
that whistle through the trees,
that storm comin’.

girl, days like this one:
i wanna be the way the roofs rattle.
all that cold air in my face.
all young tornado.

a gale, a gust gone wild,
a current, an easy flight.

a quiet kind o’ siege,
see.
watch this, darlin’.
the storm.
it’s comin’.

watch.
when the wind whistles, is it a song or a howl?
Aug 2016 · 334
lady nature
Jules Aug 2016
boy, but does she shine like a light,
a star, the sun and moon combined.

like the wind in your face, like a breeze blanketing,
like the steady dream you work for, like the long-awaited rest;
see, she is the calm in the sky, the ocean, your heart –
she is the quiet in the forest, the softness of each movement.

she is a soft sprout, the grass beneath your feet
and the tree who arches her branches above you.
she is the good soil and all the things in bloom,
the water running clean and cold and sweet;
she, who knows nothing but to give, and give, and give –
a beauty that runs good and goes deep.

(and people, they so easily forget
how she is as well the thunder, the lightning,
the storm meeting the shores,
a wolf howl at her core.
don’t be fooled.
know
how she is both hellfire
and candlelight.)
there she grows. forest + forest fire.

((this is a repost from my tumblr.))
Aug 2016 · 422
i too cannot be certain
Jules Aug 2016
what if
we are not the thunder.
what if
the ocean carries only water
and the wonder is something that was never there;
just hope turned desperation.

what if the soil is just dirt,
what if there is no stardust within us.
what if there is only us;
if we are all we have.

if our fates are not set in stone after all;
just us cradling bad decisions in shaky hands.
if we are left alone,
and there is no savior but ourselves.

what if purpose is a long-lost myth,
if we cannot make it on our own,
if we find this life gone in a blink, a beat.
what then. what then.

if we are left unfound.
alternate title: "but writers are supposed to be brave, aren't they?"
Aug 2016 · 3.4k
ease
Jules Aug 2016
'i still love you,' i whisper,
an echo that does not echo back in the silence;
(it does not need to)

i still love you,
the most honest words to pass my lips,
and yet it is easy –
to admit this love for you even now,
not so much a confession as a simple confirmation:

i still love you; i haven’t stopped; i do not intend to.
it is as easy as breathing. i hope you know.
Jules Jul 2016
i turn the sound of the shattering into a punchline
and the laughter almost burns the room down.
and it feels almost like a promise.
(of what, i do not want to know.
i do not want to say.)

and the truth of it is
sometimes it truly is just a joke, a skin-deep wound, no one's loss;
other times
(most times)
the hurt scrapes against my bones,
and the promise echoes just as the laughter ends,
(sputters into a silence more deafening than the uproar)
as they leave the room,
as i am left alone.

i ride through the breakdown and become too lost to rebuild,

much less to rebuild alone.
punchline; promise; price of hilarity.
Jul 2016 · 1.4k
sunset, nightfall
Jules Jul 2016
she is the bright of sun in the last light of day,
turns the sky blood-red in her struggle –
does not sink until the end of the fray.

and yet, this light goes untamed still, somehow, someway,
alive even in the night;

for after all,
hers too is that borrowed gleam of moonrise.
and she rises again in the morning
Jul 2016 · 424
ocean, let me take you back
Jules Jul 2016
do you ever feel a sadness for something you never knew—
a mourning, a longing, a rage?

in these moments the swell of injustice burns in my stomach,
rises up my lungs.

but when have we ever had what we should have.
when have we ever been taught what we needed.
when have we ever been given what belonged to us.

no: instead,
there has always had to be a longer process,
a remembrance of memories we have never known,
an unlearning.
we have always had to dig deep inside of us
and in doing so,
realize that the truth of who we are has been long buried,

(but never less worth the fight).
(ocean, return to me)

this poem got uploaded earlier than intended! meant for it to be much longer than this, but can't do much for that now. hope you liked it anyway.
Jules Jul 2016
it is grief and rage all at once.

and there are never any words for this—
simply a scream,
a howl,
an outrage.

in this I have never felt more helpless:
my apology will never be enough,
but staying quiet will mean silence,
and silence means consent,
and no
I do not consent to any more of this injustice,
this farce,
this outright lie.

there have been enough stolen lives.

my love,
my black brothers and sisters for which there are no words:
I am so sorry.
you will always have me in solidarity.

I feel as if I can do so little,
but lead the way.

send me your voices, send me your battle cry:
and I will do my best to be your megaphone, your ally,
if need ever be.

and my love,
these children,
good men and women who have been lost to this earth,
who this earth does not deserve:
I am so sorry
but you deserve far more than my grief.

may you find justice. may you find home.
may you find rest; may you rest in power.
say their names.
Jun 2016 · 535
independence day
Jules Jun 2016
she is a child on the streets in the light of day.
dancing.
she has made a world of her own, here,
in tattered clothes and still-bright eyes.
she,
who lives in fear and smiles still—
braveheart.

this is the life she lives:
a fight for freedom even now,
a thirst for better days,
a kindness that remains.

this girl—she is a child.
and she is fury.
(beneath the worn-out dress there is a knife.
this child—she has been a fighter in so many lives.)


this lady—she reclaims her royal right.
for far too long she has been dealt too much dirt;
my child. she hurts.

generous child; sometimes I think she has been far too kind.
she has been cheated too many times.
good lady, take back all that they have taken.
I want it back; I want it back. we will take it back.

(this is a shout, a hope, a full demand.)

good lady, you deserve far more than what you have been given.
my lady, dear child,
still you smile.
my goddess,
stay bright.
unsheathe your knife;
raise your voice, speak honest words—
let battle cries be battle cries.

old heart of mine,
old heart of this land I love:
stay bright, stay bright.
we will take it back and more.
heal her.

(6/12/16. maligayang araw ng kalayaan, pilipinas.)
Jules Jun 2016
on the worse days,
i do not let it show.
i watch the ones whom i love most
out of the corner of my eye.
their faces are bright.
i watch them - hope and love and surety - and think,
i am sorry.
i am sorry.
and i do not let it show.

everything is loud around me
and i am an apology left unheard, unspoken;
i myself am left deafened,
too lost to speak.

my love, my love,
i look at you and think:
i am sorry.
do you know? do you know?

do you know:
i am a plane crash,
i am leaping off this cliff that is my breakdown,
i am drowned in my own waters.
do you know, do you know?
my ribcage has been paper-thin for so long,
and my own heart is knocking it down
(it pounds so loud);
and so i am trembling fingers and empty feet,
burning palms and everyday fatigue.
i am the moment
the calm leaves the storm
and everything comes crashing;
i am a star about to die,
and not once did i ever seem to shine;
i am an explosion,
and do you know:
i am so terrified
you will be caught in my aftermath.

in the end,
none of the metaphors will ever fit:
i am sad.
it has been this way for some time.
do you know?
if i think too much my eyes might tear up,
and this is why i can never seem to meet your gaze.

no; of course not:
my apologies are always unspoken.
i am sorry;
perhaps one day the bravery will return
(if it was ever there)
and neither of us will be so lost.

my love, my love,
i am sorry. give me time.

my love,
worry not about me.
not yet, not now.
your quiet love - it is bright,
and i think: no,
you do not have to know.
for this moment, i will be all right.
i will not let it show.
(i will try to stop apologizing for faults that aren't mine.)
my love,
stay with me in this moment.
i ask for little more.
and here it is, here i am: that rollercoaster that only goes up.

(note: but guys. if you have a mental illness/are having a bad bad time, please tell your partner/trusted friends/close family. tell someone. it's important, and you're important, and it is so much better to have someone help you through it. sending love and similarly good things.)
May 2016 · 803
amid rainstorms
Jules May 2016
on days like this it seems
there is not much to write about.
my mind blurs most things over
and I have become used to nothing happening to me.

my heart is a reckless thing;
it either pounds itself against my ribcage,
haphazard, rushing, angry,
or beats too quietly,
a noiseless bleat, a silence.

on days like this I wonder
‘what exactly might be the point of me?’
and it is never a question I can answer.
(I leave even most poems unfinished.)

on days like this my body aches
like a tired machine, rusted out far too early,
far too quick,
and it begs me for sleep.

but for a day like this one—
for this one I breathe through it,
breathe deep and long and clean,
and declare for no one but myself that it will be enough.
it is not so unsurvivable.

on a day like this one I sit back,
listen to the rain hammer itself upon the streets,
listen to the thunder scream just outside my window,
watch the lightning try to be its own sun.

I breathe in and exhale hard.
even now I do not know what to write about.
but what does it matter.

I convince myself that this—
it is not so hard.
not so unsurvivable.

I check for my heartbeat, and it is quiet—
but it is constant.
it is there.
who exactly am i?
May 2016 · 310
i hunger for more of this
Jules May 2016
ravenous,
and it feels wonderful;
the old energy seeping back into me,
and everything is full and wide and easy.
these moments are an oasis in the desert.
i eat a full meal,
run a lap,
go out.
i shake, tire out, fall softly,
but what does it matter -
i am alive and with heart,
and morning will come.

it is more than this, than what i can say:
the simple quiet fact
that i can breathe with a full heart
today.
that my soul fits back into place -
does not wander into the dark,
does not leave me a ghost -
but instead stays,
and thus i claim myself.
in this moment, the world is good and bright and mine for the taking;
and i will be the lightning that sweeps the sky.
subject to future editing. keep ur gaze up; ahead.
May 2016 · 1.3k
post-breakdown
Jules May 2016
it's strange,
but it is always after the storm that i feel the most hope.
call it faithful, maybe brave;
but possibly i'm just naive.

to me this is proof the fight is still in me.
somewhere, a small spark, in hiding.
but not gone,
and this is the most important thing.
i am alive still,
i whisper to myself,
and it means the most:
that the breakdown has not broken me.
that i have survived still,
and will continue to survive.

call it gullible,
but i still think to myself:
if i can survive this,
i can survive most things.
what is everything else
compared to what has just been?
still made it thru; may u feel the same faith.
May 2016 · 598
the firestorm brewing
Jules May 2016
in the face of this,
what else matters.
it becomes difficult to concentrate on trivial things
when larger moments stare you in the face.

in the face of this,
my hands lose power, start to shake. my mind strays,
falls to thoughts of sadder days.
the art either loses meaning
or transforms into something
i do not wish to create.
in moments like this,
when the world grows too big
for me to inhabit it,
when the worlds within me
are turned to dust by the sun,
i can only hope to stay stable,
stay clinging.
i fear the alternative is crumpling,
a breaking no one is ready to see,
a void -

and isn't that strange,
to be filled with empty?

so in the face of this,
i can only stare the sun in the eyes,
meet it glare for glare.
i am hesitant to mutter the word breakdown
in the fear that it will all turn real,
and the world will shatter around me.
right now it is paper-thin.
fragile glass, and i fear the firestorm brewing within me
will set everything ablaze.
i ache;
each breath heavier than my heart.
try my best to swallow the scream churning in my throat.
blink to keep the burning out of my eyes.
my bones creak whenever i move
like a rotten thing. a skeleton.

i stay here,
stay clinging.
wait for the firestorm to fizzle into a kind wind,
fizzle into nothing.
it takes its own kind of eternity.

still, clinging, i wait.
here, it is the most i can hope to do.
wrote it out for once
instead of suffering through it.

keep clinging, my love.
May 2016 · 490
breakage
Jules May 2016
it is bad enough by now
that i can pinpoint when it starts.
the slow ***** of downhill.
the soft lull of descent.
it is quiet and deep and pulls me in without a thought,
a noiseless explosion.
i explode,
but only inwards.
i crumble,
but only from within.
there is no collateral damage
except to myself.

and in this knowledge,
i would excuse it as okay.
who cared, anyway.
it was okay as long as i kept it silent;
a survival that only goes one-way.
shows only one side.
i would wait for the storm to pass with baited breath.
for the earth to stop shaking, the waves to quit crashing.
ran, lost.
tried to find a way out of the calamity
that was myself.
do as i say
never as i do.

in other news: guess this means i broke the creative block :)
Apr 2016 · 393
these days
Jules Apr 2016
these days everything is blurry
and i keep forgetting all the things i want to write.
in exchange my poetry is a strange entity
that doesn't quite fit my hands.

these days the sun shines far too bright.
the light upon the ocean water is as good as blinding;
the sand is burning coal beneath my feet.
everything is burning;
but somehow, i still drown.

these days everything is just tumult,
is ocean waves crashing against my back,
begging to pull me in.
the water darkens,
deepens,
does its best to lose me in it.

and when it isn't -
when it isn't, i am wrung dry upon a desert,
half-buried.
it is either storm or drought with me, these days,

and i am ready for neither.
any poetry is better than not writing at all
Jules Apr 2016
in the end,
it carries on.

I discard backing down from my options.
fear is a difficult thing to shrug off:
anxiety keeps it heavy and panic makes it stick to my shoulders.
nevertheless: I discard giving up as a worthy solution.

if my fingers still shake, it’s only the cold.
if my heart still pounds too loud, no one has to know.
and if I am still afraid—give me just a moment.
it is out of my control.

nevertheless, count on this:
I will pick myself back up again.
??? anxiety *****. also: i keep trying to do a poem a day because hey! poetry month! and... failing. nevertheless.
Apr 2016 · 600
i can confirm
Jules Apr 2016
and yes,
I can confirm
(for all the still-lost)
there are good days.

they will come—
days when you feel free with every breath,
moments when your heart beats light in your chest
(steady, stable, alive)
times when there is this wonderful clarity in your mind.
they will come.
days everything—mostly—goes perfectly right.
they will come and you will smile.

you’ll finish all the things that must be done.
someone loved will offer a hug.
there will be triumph over the smallest things,
and you are allowed to feel proud of how far you have come.
there will be companionship,
and it will feel warm where it blooms in your body.

it will come:
the days where you will smile at anything.
you will be so happy it is as if you are afloat.
everything will go back to feeling like home.

yes,
I can confirm.

for the ones still hanging on,
I can confirm.
there will be good days,
and they are coming.
for all the still-lost, myself included. we'll get there.

a genuine, truly good day is so - difficult to describe, with all its brimming wonderfulness, and i find i can never do it justice. may you have a good day.
Apr 2016 · 525
shark
Jules Apr 2016
I require no lies;
I’ve seen your piranha teeth—
show your soul of ice.
for selected people
Apr 2016 · 569
THE MOST TERRIBLE THING
Jules Apr 2016
A wind rustled in the trees
A flock soared above the skies
All was peaceful, all was calm—
But then something lurks in the shadows; peaceful no more.

For there it is: danger a-prowl
The deadliest animal, the most terrible thing
But it’s no lion, it’s no wolf
It is mankind alone.

The hunter sharpens his gaze, shifts his gun
A fawn is nearby, painfully innocent
Illegal, illegal, the subconscious whispers, stop, stop, stop!
But the hunter does not pause, for ignorance is bliss.

The conscience gnaws, the heart grows heavy
But still he aims—now, now! Let the bullet sink!
The shortest second, the briefest blink:
The hunter hesitates.

He stares at the fawn, oblivious to him
(Illegal, illegal! Stop, stop, stop!)
He stares and stares and stares—what has he become?
The hunter steps back; he lowers his gun.
proud of this one: another old poem, written a year or two ago. time goes.
Apr 2016 · 435
with the highest aim
Jules Apr 2016
How ironic that the expectations they stack upon us only weigh us down,
like sacks of rocks upon our shoulders;
but we stand tall and refuse to be crushed underfoot—
These burdens will be our boulder.

Breathe in deep, remember this:
We are human beings;
even the first of our kind were at once evolving—
we were made for dreaming.
don't let 'em get to you, kids
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