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the other Umi Feb 2017
Brittle fulcrums

The year is 2020, and i’m beginning to believe i was born asleep and I'm still caught up in my slumber, or haven't quite had the day dream where your name is the answer to all my questions about the universe. I've seen much of the world. Its joys and its cruelty. I'm scared to live now, everything I touch breaks and every move I make turns into a catastrophe. I've asked for forgiveness from those I've wronged, but words are just words, they can never undo the damage. You're somewhere in the world living your life, and looking back to this moment I'm sure you would've never thought that miracles do come true. By all means, conquer the world, and when you're done you'll find me in the woods and tell me all about your travels while we sit around a bonfire. I'll be writing books and teaching my kids how to unlearn all these social ills. The pain that people carry in their eyes and the Colgate smile on their faces confuse me,  so I need to get away. I don't know why people always try to hide their sadness when in reality they fall apart as soon as the crowd clears the room. I've learned that love is beautiful, but also love is a muscle you need to build from inside. That while some relations never make it till the end, the love remains, and that while some relationships survive the test of the time, the love dies along the way, in the end all that's left is tolerance and duty. People love you you know, but you'll never know this if you don't love yourself first. Sometimes I feel like explaining how it is being in love is a lot like making the sound people make when they're explaining to the mechanic what's wrong with their car. We walk around with price tags on our heads, moving from one relation to the next looking to wear others down in order to fill the void in our hearts. I see a lot of messages about how "love lives here", but you'll be shocked to know how much love leaves here on a daily basis and we never get to know about the ugly parts because we never want people to know when our lives are falling apart. The lies we buy, hoping that the truth might come on sale. I know this is weird but I use my left hand to *******, because, someone in my teenage years told me that using the left hand makes it feel like someone else is doing it. My hands hurt, not from *******, no; but from the things I hold on to when I shouldn't, and things I let go when I should be clutching . My knuckles are bleeding. I've knocked on some doors for far too long, I even set up camp outside, like my fellow Africans outside home affairs in search of identity. Like my homeless friend Baldwin who made a home of the pavement outside the convenient store. One day we spoke about life and death and I realised how much knowledge can be attained where others see despair. My shoulders hurt, cos lately I feel like I've been carrying my people's ignorance for far too long. This Valentine's day I wanna wear a costume that looks like you when you still loved and valued yourself and show up on your door step.  I wanna tell you how I never used to take much notice of abandoned buildings until I became aware just how much I resemble one. The only apology I want from you is an explanation of why some women would want a bouquet of roses on valentine's day when they can have bottles of rosé instead. I think the only reason I love the history of Vikings besides the character of Ragnar Lothbrock is the fact that the men were equally bold when it comes to expressing and sharing their love openly and when it comes to taking a life; which oddly reminded me of my obsession with swing sets when I was just a young boy. My head aches, I think life has been knocking some sense into me and sometimes I'm not sure if it registers. And to the people who've ever pushed me away, I wonder if you used your left hand so it would feel like someone else did it. I know global warming is real but my life feels like it's been snowing forever. I am cold and fatigued. The kind of tired that cannot be fixed by sleep. Albeit I've survived much of winter's doldrums, my heart still rests on brittle falcrums.

W.M. Zimbiri
Poem inspired by Tom Leveille @avxlance
the other Umi Feb 2016
While you were sleeping

The miles we've walked are far greater, harder than this trivial trial we face
But somehow we're down on our knees.
You see, I don't believe in a God that demands his subjects to kneel before him
Perhaps that makes me a non conformist
But I never did take pride in anything except being an artist, dissolving what remains of me into my craft

I saw a stranger yesterday
The homeless man who made the street pavement next to the convenient store his home
He smiled at me, and from a spasmodic reaction, I smiled back and waved at him like I would an acquaintance close enough to greet but further to stop and engage in small talk
He didn't have lines on his face, it's as if he doesn't frown, but laughs and smiled just enough
To dilute the benign darkness in his soul.
It occurred to me that at that moment he could've been as free as a bird
Here I am, surrounded by all these walls
And yet I feel so far from home

Melancholy poisons us all
Don't ask me to heal, as if you don't have scars from going against the odds
The other day you were talking about death, and I got reminded of how we were never quite the same after my car accident on your birthday
You suffered my scars with me
But every jab reality threw
The truth cut deeper;
That perhaps this whole time I was the cinder block that hugged your ankle tight
Down to the fathomless depths of an unfinished novel about fate

It's hard for me not to see the future when you're so ferociously in love with me
But we poets know how to stroke forever and dance on the edge of destruction
Sometimes i think we're tangled up in the lines we drew between us and I don't know how to set us free

Laughter does not visit us often as of late
Tears are starting to leave a permanent trail on your tender cheeks
But you know only pain replenishes my sinking ship, with tanks half full of empty hope and temperament I can only dream of, and I shall use it all to drive us forward

I wrote beautiful things about your eyes earlier today, like how they ooze light,
nonchalance and sadness at the same time.
Like how even after having lost one, I can still see our unborn children when I look into your eyes.
Sometimes your eyes make me think of how life is so much like a race,
to nowhere
And I'd rather be stuck in this moment with you

I love you now and I'll still love you when you wake up many years from now
With snow on your hair and fog in your eyes and contours on your face
My mind is a forest of mischief and you were the little innocent girl playing with matches and now I burn ceaselessly just to keep you warm
my heart is a lone island of beautiful and endless discoveries and you're the explorer who landed on my shores
But no matter how dark, or how bright my reckoning; my adventures
The one constant thing, is you
the other Umi Jul 2015
I'm not the guy you're looking for
If financial stability and security
is what you seek
I have a lot of past errors to rectify,
Most of them not my own
Even all the lost hopes put together won't save me from drowning

If you prefer your man cool and trendy,
I'm certainly not him
I'm weird and socially awkward
People and their need to fit
into a social mould put me off
and I'm not proud of it
but I get bored quite easily

If popularity is what you seek,
Save your energy
I'm a nobody, and I prefer it that way
I'm the guy in the background
Chasing shadows of my own truth amidst the crowd,
Find yours, maybe then I'll find you

There is beauty in bars I'm sure
Night clubs jolting with music & ecstasy
But I've learned not try my luck
in places where luck is tested
With morning headaches, blurry memories and impending regrets about last night

I will not call you every hour to check up on you, you are alive and that's good enough for me
I'm a man of few words, I like my conversations short and concise
Better yet, let's have a conversation without words

I'm not flawless
And my scars are there to prove it, sadly you can't see the ones from within
I'm nothing but a raw idea
But I believe that time is the master of all chisel work
Soon my rough edges will be smooth and life will continue being a pointless struggle to be understood
  Jul 2015 the other Umi
People who fight
their battles alone
either lose the battle
or lose themselves.
  Jun 2015 the other Umi
Tom Leveille
kissing you was like swerving into oncoming traffic

i can never tell if i am more haunted by empty picture frames or the ashes of their contents

you taught me that the saying "pick your battles" meant not answering when love was at the door

sometimes when i drink whiskey i swear i can hear your voice in the creases of my bedsheets & i sleep on the floor

i still catch myself running my hands over things you touched the most, looking for the echoes of your fingertips

i practice things i'll never say to you

i remember the day you told me you didn't like poetry, how "everything's already been said" & how "nothing meaningful can be captured without being cliche" you know, i don't miss you like the sun and moon, i do not miss you like tide bent waves crashing on the shoreline, i miss you like a chernobyl  swingset misses children

rumor has it that drowning is a lot like coming home, that drinking bleach can **** the butterflies in your stomach

for your love of cigarettes, i would have been an ashtray

this halloween i want to dress up as the you when you loved yourself and show up on your doorstep

i never understood what you meant when you said i was an instrument, back when you would cup your hands around my chest and breathe through the holes in my heart, i still wonder if the sounds i made remind you of wind chimes

i never paid much attention to abandoned buildings until i became one

in my dreams all the flowers smell like your perfume

i am the only person who has ever wished for the same snowflake to fall twice

if i could go back, and rewrite the definition of audacity, it would be how when we lost the bet of love, you said "we never shook on it"

i love you, if the feeling is not mutual, please pretend this was a poem

the only apology i want from you, is to have you repeat the names of children we will never have in your parents living room until they *****

we are the same person if you find yourself up at 4am dry heaving promises, or if you are kept awake by the laughter of those who've abandoned you

nobody ever told you that goodbyes taste like the back of stamps

sometimes i'm convinced that the only reason we hug, is so you can check my back for exit wounds
  Jun 2015 the other Umi
Joshua Haines
And I want to tell her that I understand
what it feels like to be fake, insignificant,
and a shadow on the sidewalk of society.

And I want to tell her that I also borrow
the experiences of others --
that I, too, learn feelings
by stopping and staring at personal wreckage,
like a tourist of emotions,
like an inevitable wish of a human being.
the other Umi Jun 2015
It's life
Not warfare
We live, we love
And we learn
Strategy isn't always effective
Tragedy strikes when it strikes
Even harder when your guard is down
But sometimes you have to abandon your armor In order to fully live, to feel human emotions at their deepest and truest form
And strive to stand strong through all of life's storms

Sometimes you have to abandon the armor and trust people enough to let them in;
Cause not everyone that crosses your path is there destroy your castle,
Some come only to cast some light into it
Some come to admire it,
Some are explorers, in search for their own truth
Whatever the case, just care to make a mental note, that one day you might have to stand those dark and quiet halls of your empty castle with no one by your side, when all your guests feel that it's time to leave

Feel your pain, let it sting like it's suppose to
For not all pain is meant to ******* you, not all pain needs to be numbed
Laugh hysterically and make friends in strange cities
Collect moments, not things
Take long road trips to nowhere
Give and accept love
connect with the universe
And watch how easily mystery unfolds when you finally realise that we're nothing more than scattered fragments of the same whole

The morning sunshine doesn't pierce through your window as it does mine
So it's okay to be different and branch out from the norm, without passing judgment
The universe doesn't owe any of us anything
You must claw your way up
And write your own destiny
And always remember that nothing is better or worse than anything
The universe is a big xerox machine that prints out multiple copies of your life story directly from the energy you give out, sending eternal vibrations into infinity and beyond
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