rising up to conquer, to dominate, suppress
religion of submission, the dominators blessed
trademarked slaughter juxtaposing domestic suicide
success of rags to riches, a dainty princess bride
to singular power, a panopticon’s guard
accept our shoddy value, released into the yard
reactive vile swine, a calculated scheme
merciless chatter, melodious, obscene
gaseous poison above, injected below
we learn through observation
there’s nothing left to know.
rising up in desperation, to aggress, to defend
untamed lawless beasts, space and time transcend
forgotten how to love, we fabricate some care
it’s a wireless connection, nothing’s really there
paradoxically, the liberators caged
the singular power, satisfied, assuaged
as underground uproots, the trampled on reclaim
autonomy, esteem, barricades aflame
a severed body bleeding, a culture is condemned
we learn through observation
what are you teaching them?
"Earth Below, Sky Above, Fire Within."
I sit outside in the perfect fresh early fall air. It smells so wonderful. Soft hair, flowy scarf, and chirps of crickets and birds. I sit outside in my favorite light. Magic light. Everything is glowing. Maybe I am just a little bit too?
But I am empty. I am physically empty and that’s not a good thing anymore. As much as it feels like that’s the reason for my glow, it’s not.
It’s the air.
The trees and barefeet and crickets and fluttering birds and the promise of rest and love and care from people and from myself. The ground below and the sky above and the vibrancy in between. I missed out on the in between.
For nine years I missed out.
I am going to say, oh so soon, that these days of emptiness were the old days.
This will all be over and I will be victorious.
I can do this and I will.
With the earth below and sky above; there’s fire within.
8 Simple Ways to Control a Populous
1. Create unattractive and uniform identities for those you intend to exploit. Examples include prisoners being “inmates” or “bad people.” Bad people deserve to be punished, so we punish them. Employees who stand up for themselves are “whiners” or “complainers.” Whiners don’t deserve to be listened to, so we don’t. By creating these negative alternate group identities, it is easier to exploit individuals as they lose inherent worth and value.
2. Homogenize standards for measuring success in order to make exceptional performance impossible. By setting (often numeric) blanket standards that focus most often exclusively on output, diversity of individual and community can be overlooked. With homogeneity, a single system is depended upon for accountability, one that is simply incompatible with most environments and communities. In this way, no individual can become exceedingly valuable, securing class hierarchy.
3. Make people believe they have choices. Offer people choices. Whether or not they believe the choices really provide any useful autonomy, they cannot complain as long as the choices would be evident to an outsider. Having choices also removes responsibility from those in charge, as blame for any negative externality related to the choice can be assigned to the chooser.
4. Maintain popular paranoia and desperation just enough so group unity becomes impossible. If individuals fear for their own well-being or ontological security, they will betray and backstab others to protect themselves. Thus, it is important that no individual feels safe or empowered enough to take risks that would jeopardize class structure.
5. Show people the door. If someone is upset enough about a situation, tell them that the only obstacle preventing them from leaving is them. By giving the person this option, the blame then rests on the individual if they choose to leave or if they choose to stay. Also, present them with alternatives to their current situation, making sure any alternative is less desirable.
6. Keep people distracted. By keeping people’s attention off of real problems and real solutions, the status quo can be maintained.
7. Never accept blame. Always find a scapegoat, whether it be specific or ephemeral. This way, there is no place to assign dissatisfaction and it simply festers with the unsatisfied individual, disempowering and tiring them.
8. Complicate process by creating opportunities for bureaucratic inefficiency. By keeping people busy jumping through bureaucratic loopholes, you can either exhaust them or confuse them enough to prevent them from feeling personally empowered.
How dare you
You better be grateful for all your goddamn blessings because there is a cost to your fortune.
It looks like death.
We are not dying; we’re being killed. We sweat and starve and stay awake to slow the gunshots, clot the wounds, tend the fire.
It’s the party for the end of the world. Tell me some lies so we can keep dancing.
There’s nothing wrong. I’m fine.
A calm tranquility
A quiet discontent
We live, we breathe, we die
All are divine
For when we are born, we are
When we die, we are
And in the twists, tangles, and turns
We stumble and we are.
We are who we are
And we do what we do
All to see another dawn
When we are.
Things I’ve Learned About Life
1. Being introverted means you are internally charged. Being extroverted means you are externally charged. Both are great.
2. Old habits resurface, or perhaps they never disappear. Quitting a habit is like falling out of love.
3. Most people are actually quite selfish, but this doesn’t mean they aren’t nice or helpful.
4. There is a difference between understanding and internalizing.
5. You’ll never reach the same high, but you will reach new highs.
6. All animals that aren’t mammals are underrated.
7. Most people prefer to drink water at a very specific temperature. This ranges from steaming hot to ice cold.
8. Love is not weddings, roses, or rings. Those things are expressions of love if done right and products of capitalism if done wrong.
9. Loneliness does not mean absence of company.
10. You will never be able to be with all the people you love at once.
11. Your hair is your hair and it’s going to do what it wants and that’s just the way it is.
12. Rich people have it easier but they hate admitting it.
We have always been reaching.
Arms and hands, they’re reaching, but never far enough
The wanting and the absence form desire
Starving beings dying, unitary mind
Any semblance of nourishment admired.
The arms, they reach, they touch, they hold
Then cling and hurt and lose.
Creating worlds that don’t exist
They learn to love abuse.
Can a void feel better than the hope of being filled?
Hope is just a figment of the mind
For we have always been reaching
Arms and hands and bodies intertwined.
Consent is a strange thing these days. There is little to which it applies and even less that respects it.
The question “how far will I go?” used to play out in dimly lit bedrooms. With each time the question was asked, the answer was further.
I will go further.
We will go further.
The response was intuitive. It was natural. In most cases, it was wanted.
These days, this question has penetrated through the walls of bedrooms into every physical room and thoughtspace I occupy. It is asked but not answered.
May bedroom intuition seep through the walls of our resting places so the answer can always be further.
everything, goddamn it.
I want a slap of the keyboard to produce something other than letters. Not numbers or punctuation. Not space.
I can’t do this anymore.
The pretty “hey-here-I-am-with-pink-lipstick-and-I’m-going-to-tell-you-about-the-terrors-of-this-world” dichotomy.
Hey hey, I promise I’m radical!
And then hey hey, I promise I’m nice!
And finally hey hey, I promise I’d be a great (insert capitalist career choice here)!
When does it get to be hey hey, here I am?
I hate how accustomed I am to the comforts of capitalism. I hate how in absence of these comforts, I am scared. I hate how my mind has been colonized. I’ve always hated my body and I hate the way it craves products of oppression. I hate the disease that has defined my life. I hate what is romantic to me. I hate what I love. I hate making connections. I hate that I look “better” with makeup. I hate that there is a better and a worse. I hate knowledge. I hate ignorance. I hate patriarchy and corporatism and racism and imperialism.
I want to be able to talk about what you talk about. Tomorrow night, that party, that guy, surface everyday problems, romance, dreams, and job searches. This is so fucking unfair.
Fuck you. Fuck your spaghetti dinners, soup kitchens, petition drives, formals, and philanthropy. Fuck your shoe collection. Fuck your perfect hair and your purses. Fuck your institutions. Fuck your churches and the “I am eternally saved" rhetoric that renders you useless in the present. Fuck your vacations, beaches, tanning, manicures, perfume, allergies, period cramps, and Tylenol. Fuck hybrids. Fuck plastic. Fuck diamond rings. Fuck alcohol. Fuck the TV. Oh yeah, fuck the TV. Fuck fucking and how you’ve distorted something I still hold as pure. Fuck your machines and exams and grades and performance evaluations. Fuck recycling. Fuck dinner parties and disposable napkins and electric blankets. Fuck birth control. Fuck hair dryers. Fuck accessories and 9-5 jobs and waitressing and pizza boxes. Fuck trash bags. Fuck your conversations and coffee and cat calendars. Fuck camping gear. Fuck laziness. Fuck your relaxation. Your “oh-my-god-I’m-so-tired-I-need-a-nap.” Fuck you. You don’t know what it’s like to be tired. Fuck the judgmental statements you make about about my friends. Fuck your military. Fuck your designer mug. Fuck your “good life.” I want to go to Greece on a honeymoon too.
I can’t talk about any of this. More things I hate. Well, I hate everything, goddamn it. I hate long distance relationships. I hate rustic cabins and I hate luxurious mansions. I hate texting and talking and conversations and loneliness. I hate deeper understandings. I hate entitlement. I hate that there is not one single place on this earth that I can be.
I hate this world and I hate living in it. I hate the way it’s made me. I hate all of the secrets I keep out of fear. I hate that no matter what role I play, it is not good enough.
This wasn’t eloquent or articulate or charmingly unclear and I hate it too.
6:30am, The sun slowly rises. Waves of warmth contrast the chilled breeze; the light mixes with the cool air. The flowers and the grasses awaken; the leaves start to dance as the sun’s rays hit their sleepy faces. Creaks and cricks are heard as the trees wake up and stretch, releasing any tension that has built up through the night. The dew sparkles and the birds begin to sing, a soft melody alerting life that it is alive. The world is stirring.
3:00pm, The sun is high up in the sky, beaming down on all the life. The animals are moving, feeding, playing, prancing. The birds are flying, building nests, providing for their chicks, taking dips in the water. The flowers and grasses and trees are slurping up the sunlight for themselves and for the animals who will take a few of them to feed their own. The plants don’t mind, they are happy to provide. There is movement and vibrance. There is giving and taking and receiving. There is curiosity. There is purposeful and reasonless motion. The world is active.
8:00pm, The sun slowly moves down toward the horizon. Birds return to their nests and converse with each other, speaking of the day’s joys and hardships. The animals find spots amongst the plants to lie down; they nuzzle and burrow and nestle in. The flower petals hang their heads and the grasses sink their roots into the soil, retreating for the coming night. The trees shake their leaves, acknowledging the present and honoring the space in which they reside. The world is thankful.
12:00am, The sky is dark and the stars are twinkling. All the animals have long since retreated and the air is chilly. Sounds of deep, cleansing breaths echo throughout the surroundings, a melody of regeneration. The air is crisp and cool and calm, blowing and breathing softly along with the animals. The flowers and grasses and branches have retired and contracted their reach. All are resting; all are peaceful. The world is still.
The sun rises; the sun sets. Each part enriches another.
Our bodies are our ecosystems so we must do more than take care of them, we must inhabit them. They are our worlds. They rely on the wax and wane of energy, productivity and rest. They need balance. They do not operate linearly. We must do more than treat them with compassion, we must embody compassion, because what we feel is what they feel. We must absorb and reflect the kind of energy that nourishes. What we do is what our ecosystem does. We must act in accordance with this simple truth, because our ecosystems are meant to thrive.
Not live. Not survive.
So many words, the ists and the isms
But we are none of these
We exist as a cultural reaction to compartmentalization
Stripped of categorization, what is left to define us?
The wild and the unknown, the transient and ephemeral
The molecules colliding, firing, composing
The flesh and skin and reaction
That makes a being a being.
We are afraid of the collision
Afraid that we’d react.
We exist as a reaction to a reaction
We don’t remember how to act.
So many feelings, the tragic and triumphant
But we are none of these
We feel so deeply, if at all
Stripped of indications, what is left to feel?
The true and the intrinsic, the products of our past
The curious, the silly, sad
The body and soul and spirit
That makes a being a being.
We are afraid of the exposure
Afraid of who we are
We exist on a falsely aroused plane
We don’t remember how to feel.
you said write a fucking poem so here you fucking go
i can’t make a fucking rhyme or even think, you know
they said you weren’t good for me but you, you understood me
when i was crying, dying, lying you said baby, you can turn to me
paralyzed, heavy eyes didn’t know what to do
you said come over here hun, let me cradle you.
so my feet pounded pavement my lungs were on fire
my heart was beating fast, you were my desire
baby, we can do this any time of the night
sweetie, you’re okay it’s gonna be alright.
prison, love, and rape, you see, the things i love i hate
but this is how we do it baby, we regulate.
like clockwork, escape closed, you were there, i was scared mind was running, running fast, running body, you prepared
them? they didn’t look, they just told me what to do
i thought we settled this, but fuck, they don’t know you.
you know, it’s so peculiar how you aren’t even real
but i am just like you, you make sure i feel
not too much not too little, just enough so i’m alive
this is how it goes, we don’t live, we just survive.
you want this in a rhyme, but this doesn’t express
that’s probably why you like it, that way you can write the rest
and now here i am again, efficient, astute me
without you i don’t know who i would even be.
You Don’t Know How Sick You Make Me
I’m drinking wine, lying on white sheets. Black lace and candles. Get the goddamn rose petals and fuck me. I’m asking for it. Fuck me.
I dare you. Put your hand over my mouth, tell me to shut the fuck up. Pin down my arms and overtake me. Have your way with my body, there is no curve or surface that hasn’t been hated or hurt before. You can’t hurt me but I dare you to try. I dare you to try.
This kind of sex is raw and carnal, forcing acceptance. When someone is coming into you, coming into you, you are there. You have to be. You have to be. I be; I am. You control me and I am removed from my body, my mind, from any sense of autonomy I force upon myself out of haste and obligation.
She is hurt, but she is a survivor. Her integrity remains, there is no scratch or bruise on her body that cannot be healed.
The scars are intangible. The implicit informs the explicit. You fuck me in the dark. Rip my clothes off my body and force yourself into me. Once, twice, over and over and over and
eventually it ends and
you leave and I stay and I clean up the mess and
no one knows what happened and
I cry and I take control and
I do the things I do and
I am genuine.
The implicit informs the explicit. Inside, in that small little box, in that deep dark hole that no one ever ventures the despair wrestles with the evanescent.
And in this vanishing moment, you don’t know how sick you make me.
mourn the disappearance but the damage has been done
we’re human, only human, in our flesh and blood we run
lights off, hide your body while we fuck till the sunrise
could call it making love if it didn’t demand disguise
the natural condition of our unpainted skin
no, nothing to see, we are beautiful and thin
we’re human, only human, so wonderfully human
yeah we’re human, only human, we are oh so human.
the officiants of justice swore by their right hands
an unfounded promise to protect these lands.
the applicants of the creed, brutally trained and armed
domestically destroy, universally harm.
mourn the loss of children, innocence manifest
yet it’s the story of us all, unknowingly oppressed.
we’re human, only human, so magnificently human
yeah we’re human, only human, we are oh so human.
I’m terrified of the very thing I defend. In the wild, the sun and moon dictate the schedule. There are no profoundly complex unchanging factors, no certainty. You are forced to move with, not before. I’m not used to that. I live from obligation to obligation, making obligations out of desires. Some call it going through the motions, but it’s really just existing. Numb. One thing leads to the next. And the next. And the next…
The wild beckons me with a convicted ambivalence that is absolutely irresistible. I always respond, which is why I live in fear. Terrified of the wild, that is what I am. I know not how to command and control it. It cannot be placated, outsmarted, manipulated - all the things that I, even I, rely upon in this sociopathic culture.
In the wilderness, I am the constant variable. I act, it reacts. I fear its perfect power.
The windows are wide open as I fall asleep. I do not sleep well. In a state of elevated alertness, I fear what is just beyond the screen. It could so easily enter, choke, mutilate, kill. I fear my own species’ prey.
I am a predator, subdued by the fear of my prey. I watch. I plot a way to kill. I know what to do. I’ve held a gun, even shot one a few times on my grandpa’s ranch. It’s quite something, holding a machine that can kill, maim, paralyze without much effort at all. A pull of a trigger. That would do it. It could all be over. For me, for you. For it…
So I wander the sidewalks and the streets, press a button here and there to get across. I stroll past the building of dynamic stationary machines and zip through the parking lot of the highest grossing shop of its kind in the nation. The place sells beer. This is college. Would you presume any different? I cross the street at the yield sign, close my eyes and tense my muscles, expecting a collision. Not so. I walk through the neighborhood, through the parking lot of Vowles Elementary. The kids play on a plastic paradise. Not in, but on. You cannot engage with plastic. The church points me in the right direction, a parallel and interchangeable statement, let its implications be what you wish. A few more turns and I’m there. An orange construction gate stands guard at the entrance, a light brown dirt trail leading to the wire. Sharp right, sharp left. A field. And a forest.
You have to go left to get there. In, and then left.
I used to take the trails, a human way of expressing relation to that which it compartmentalizes, allows to thrive within the confines of its premeditated plan. We move from urban compartments to suburban compartments to natural compartments in compartments. Sometimes, the lines blur and the suburban oozes into the natural, but there is no attempt at association, no attempt at collaboration. A house. A yard. A beautiful view. We look but do not touch. We stay on the trails. We are the caged birds and we don’t even sing.
Fuck all of that.
I put my toes over the line. I, a human. I, a caged bird. I, now a rebel. I broke a rule, disregarded an unspoken law. I touched. I felt. I sang.
A tune of ubiquitous, universal loneliness. One that penetrates through every facet of my being. Because that is it. Exactly it. And the loneliness comes with the realization that so few identify with it. Not even a part, a piece, of the raw, living, and dynamic truth. Connecting us all, yet we choose estrangement.
If you want a sad story, I know plenty of those. I could shock you with an injustice fact, but what does that do? Nothing. Maybe eases my loneliness for a moment as you acquaint yourself with the horror that is my daily detachment, but then nothing.
I want a conversation, so I tell stories. I hover over cruxes to maintain a curiosity. I ask open ended questions, free to interpretation.
Beaten down. Poisoned. Commodified. Assaulted. Choked. Molested. Abused. Violated. Deceived. Murdered.
The perpetrator, the aggressor, society. Society with drifting ethics, subject to the elucidation of each capricious soul that ravages its own home. A spotless mansion. A dinner party. Cocktails. Cheers to our undue affluence!
But it’s all just entertainment - the occupation of everything that makes us human. The heart, the mind, the soul…the conscience, complex cognition, free moral agency, the capacity for introspection. Occupied. All occupied.
We talk in circles, caught in the vibrations of sound waves unfurled to capture and deafen. The white noise, a relief from the radio, a constant hum mourning the decay of sound. I quiet my mind. I need the noise to relax in this urban compartment. Only in the wild is the silence a comfort.
The toxins, they are gifts. Disguised as luxuries underneath a blanket of elitism, they seem to be delicacies, even rarities…but they are as common as the disillusionment that masks them. A mere illusion of diversity, their many forms attract and excite.
An apple, carefully chosen? Bulbous and juicy, the sun glistening off of its shiny exterior. Cross-bred, modified, tamed. “Perfected.” Loaded onto a truck, ripened on a shelf.
A week later.
An apple, carefully chosen. “Perfection.”
A world of seeming perfection, yet the tools at our disposal to obtain it are as tainted as the image itself.
I’m not. I can’t. So I go to the wild and it doesn’t care. It is; I am.
But she doesn’t sweat, she glistens. He doesn’t cry. Period. And they don’t make love, they fuck. She cries, he sweats. They fuck again.
I like being a woman. My thoughts are dismissed as a consequence of my sex. Women are crazy. I, a woman…
Fear. This time, it’s yours.
I scare you just as much as you scare me.
I’ve known it for a while now; I can feel it in my body and in my mind as they crave a fuel that no longer exists. I don’t give it to them.
I’m going to tell you a secret. And that’s that I’m dying.
I’ll tell you another secret. That’s that I’m being killed.
The weapons, everywhere. The pen extinct, the sword again proves mightier.
But let’s not talk about that, right? It’s not comfortable. Okay.
"You’re in school? Tell me…aren’t you just loving college? Do you study hard? Is there a special someone?"
Yes. I answer you with one word. I give your patronizing self the courtesy of vocalization, but just one motion of the head would do. You’re welcome.
Oh to be young again, you say. I flash an empty smile. You grin, returning what you believe is my apparent sincerity. The young are no more alive than the old. Life is a choice over which some have more dominion than others. The privileged white male, for example. It’s been a nice conversation.
I need to get out. The illusions no longer suffice. I’ve tasted the wild; its flavor lingers, awaiting a venue to be released. A flawless alignment, a perfect storm. Wait. A little more. Never time. Never the right time.
A step to the left. To get there, you have to go left. A shrinking natural compartment in the distance begs, beckons, swallows. Left. Left. Left.
Fuck it all.
I will not wait for the wild.