Hello, We Are Alive
Whimpers in the wind, “Hello, we are alive”
The wails, the weeping never ends, even the newborn cries
When the notion of tomorrow is no more than a doubt
We all try to break free but we know we won’t get out.
Decaying into madness, we think on time gone by
We shout into the ocean, we scream up to the sky
To you we pledge allegiance with tears in our eyes
“Is this what it means to live or what it means to die?”
We’re stripped down to our bones, invaded, and replaced
Eclipsed with affluenza, our stories are erased
None of us are more than the badger, bird, and shrew
A tyrant unselective will decimate you too.
But the chorus of the sentient persists among despair
Our past affirms there’s nothing that we cannot bear
As it all comes down, our spirits will survive
We’ll remain unconquered, “Hello, we are alive.”
In the constant quest for liberation, what reserves can be drawn upon for strength and longevity? I am surrounded by the unwary bound and the discontented boundless. No limit feels right, yet no single liberty feels safe, and no freedom has ever been enough.
They say they find it in the wild. A reverence and commitment that grounds, calms, and sustains. It winks, it predicts, it prepares, it expects. It is a place, a state of mind, a feeling, and a way. It forgives.
I don’t. I write to keep it together. I’d rather be “too” than “not,” but somehow I am none of those things. I am the verbs themselves without their modifiers, just plain, sometimes understated. There is always something more than me. And in the constant quest for liberation, the more is the sought.
They say they find it in each other. A community of shared struggle, where emotions are infinite and there is no envy or fear. These are those whose intentions inform actions, where accountability to the mission trumps loyalty to the moment. These are those who forgive but remember.
I don’t. I answer to the amorphous liberator. But in true self-sovereignty, do we answer at all? Do we owe it to each other to be who we are or to become who we wish we were, in this moment, in this life, in this place? Our epitaphs will speak of who we were, not who we strove to be. That never was, and what is is what is now.
They say they want it for me. A calm acceptance of my being, untied, unwound, unshackled. For my acquiescence they yearn so deeply, and in haste and urgency they try to induce it. My desires and their aspirations collide; our own identities become hazy. Is liberation a form of surrender? When you are not free, how do you define what freedom is?
I don’t. I will give no definitions nor ultimatums, and in this I am losing myself. But if liberation is surrender, it is in this that I will become free.
six step plan
a perfect six step plan to put you back on track
you went too far west and you need to get back
here we catch the fallen, we heal the hurt in pain
we civilize the wild, we convalesce the chained.
we manifest your destiny, we compost your rot
we sell it back as safety until the next is caught.
create dissatisfaction, stifle the displeased
aggressor and the victim, majority appeased.
a perfect picket fence, two kids and a dog
seven o’clock news, praise the demagogues
here we consummate a dreamy Stepford Life
a prosperous career, a beautiful wife.
a new baby is born, a single mother killed
baby starts to crawl, the kids are falling ill
families separated, baby starts to walk
foreclosures and raids, baby starts to talk!
a promotion and a bonus, a riot in the square
tear gas, tasers, blood; baby has some hair!
handcuffs and confinement, the family’s getting rich!
aggressor and the victim, fathom which is which.
a perfect six step plan to restore the peace
made by plutocrats, enforced by police
we bolster the equipped, reinforce the strong
cage the discontent, deem their feelings wrong.
we manifest our destiny, we assure our own death
in euphoric fantasy, we find our last breath
a perfect six step plan, but we will not sustain
no lifeless plan can flourish, no soulless man remain.
mine is yours
empty greetings, hollow hugs, and how are you’s suffice
it’s care, it’s love, it’s empathy, with no sacrifice.
mine is yours, our struggles one, our scars and tears and pain
still learning to live, starved flesh and bones remain.
recessed and unnourished, a drop rises a wave
while hundreds are heroes, that drop is still brave.
an unwelcome relief, it crashes onto shore
with faith in words unknown, it rises up once more.
wreck and crash and pound and clash, i heard you could see
oceanic mayhem, waves trying to be free.
but soothing repetition muffles out the sound
acquainted with the crashes, you don’t notice the drowned.
no scars, no wounds, no witness, just stories of the dead
if you don’t see it bleeding, has it really bled?
peripheral, extraneous, unsubstantial, small
the strongest of the trees will unexpectedly fall.
fatality of ego, account for what we’ve lost
disappearance, death, the consumed ego’s cost.
if only you had listened and humbly recognized
that mine is yours, our struggles one, one’s fall is both’s demise.
In honor of ED Awareness Week, let’s make some folks who are supposedly already aware open their goddamn eyes.
THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU.
Let’s say that loud and clear.
THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU and your reaction to it is simply your reaction and you need to own that. YOUR REACTION IS NOT MY FAULT.
You people are fucking insane and for once I want to tell you exactly why and I want you to listen completely and don’t interrupt me. I want you to listen and then I don’t want you to respond. I want you to sit with the discomfort that years of failing me brings.
I do not want to see your pouting faces, the faces whose lines and contours express the years of “burden” you’ve been put through having an anorexic daughter.
I do not want to see concern, because you’re not.
I do not want your help with anything, because if I have to tell you how to help then it’s not really helping.
This is hard to say, but sometimes I hate you because
And you never fucking will and it is so goddamn fucked that you don’t even try.
And even more hurtful is that you think I’m okay.
I’m not going to explain what I do that’s so destructive, lest it become precedent for the future. But you know. How can you not, after the majority of my life has been this way?
Yet, oh! You can’t make dinner because you’re at work.
Fuck you. When will I matter more than work? When will you fucking step up? When will you realize it’s not all about you. FUCK YOU.
I don’t want to say hi to you when you come back from work.
But I do, otherwise I’m “unfriendly.”
YOU NEVER ASK ME HOW I AM.
I don’t want to hear you gush about a baby. I don’t want to hear you complain about a client. I don’t want to hear you because I have been hearing you long enough, loud and clear, saying, “You are too difficult for us.”
It is insane that you expect - and completely take for granted - that your anorexic daughter makes you dinner every goddamn day. It is insane that you suggest we have leftovers. It is insane that you have to ASK what to do. It is insane that after being TOLD what to do, you couldn’t even do that. It is insane that you let me run on empty and still demand more of me.
Do not ask me questions. Do not hug me; do not love me. Do not tell me what to do or how I make you feel. Do not do anything.
I am so mad at you that I want to starve some more and I want to do it faster.
Yet I am the bitch for this.
I am so, deeply sorry for all the pain I’ve caused you while I’ve been starving. It must be so hard.
just a bag of bones and everybody’s blind
cast away the purpose, singularly defined
starving, saturated, strung out but surprised?
an archetype of culture and everybody dies.
but maybe you and i can numb each other’s pain
maybe you and i can break each other’s chains
maybe you and i are each other’s missing part
maybe you and i can mend each other’s broken hearts.
and maybe not today, no maybe not for long
well, maybe not ever, maybe it’s just wrong.
maybe we just are and forever will be
itinerant souls, unattached and free.
just palpitating muscles, intermittent thought
captured, trapped and fleeing, is everybody caught?
we have infinite love and infinite grief
where is the liberation? where is the relief?
just a bag of bones and everybody’s wrong
truth and inspiration, we follow along
raging curiosity that quenches our dissent
we don’t give an answer and that is our consent.
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.