To my recollection, the first time I died went like this: I was 20 and angry with everyone in my world. Not just my world, The world. Everyone was selfish. We were destroying our planet and I, I didn’t belong on it, in it, to begin with. I was not enough. Therefor nothing was enough for me. Square peg meet round hole. I wished for it all to end, but was too cowardly to end it. Then, when I was 20, I began having severe, crippling headaches. To my knowledge there was nothing new about this. This pain was just a part of the world I knew. Life was merciless. I rode the pain as though it were inevitable. If there was a god, it hated me. But there wasn’t a god. There was nothing to save me. I deserved the pain. I would’ve caused it to myself if I valued any sense of justice. But I didn’t. I took for myself, because the world took for themselves. There was no charity without the expect of some kind of return, be it in this life or some made-up next, no altruism. I was content with riding out this life of pain. It was my obligation to my mother than drove me to the family physician and then the MRI lab. When the doctor gave me my results the next day, I responded with an enthusiastic “Yes!”. Then doctors and nurses. war at night. A spaceship. And I was reborn at the age of twenty with the understanding that the world was what I made it.
M, A, and I sat on the dock at my grandmother’s house. I had spent a large part of childhood fishing off this doc. I told them the story of how I once caught two fish on one hook. I explained that I had caught a bluegill on a worm and then caught a bass when it ate the bluegill. M seemed impressed. But A reacted with disbelief: “That’s impossible! You made that up!” I insisted I had not. A shook her head with anger in her eyes. Just then, a shadow fell over the three of us. I looked up at the cloud looming overhead and said, “I’m so tired of being added to womens’ lists of exes”. A reacted with anger: It was my fault I was alone. M reacted with empathy: “You will meet the right woman.”
“Every relationship, but possibly one will end like this. I don’t know that it’s worth the heartache. I don’t know that I can continue to try. It’ll be worth it if I find her. If I don’t, I’m volunteering for unnecessary pain.” M insisted, “You will meet her.” A interjected, “You are never going to meet someone who is happy all the time!” I looked away from the cloud toward A. Dodging my eye contact, A looked up: “What the fuck is that?!” M and I quickly looked up. “What?”, I asked. The a high pitched whistle grew louder. M screamed. A huge mass came barreling through the clouds. A loud crash. Water in my face. Then nothing.
It’s fessional. Live life like a pro.
No confessional. We reap what we sew.
It’s logical. to make love grow.
What is a stomach full with nothing to show?
What is the value of human life? To place value on it, we must first define it. Human life is the energy within us that is never created and never destroyed. As there is no way to end this life, debates about the value of human life are often likely referring to the value of separation of this life into specific vessels of human bodies. When It comes to this life’s separation into human bodies, a couple aspects make the life unique. There is an age-old debate in the field of psychology over whether nature or nurture play a greater role in shaping the individual. If it is nature that gives value to the life, my life is, theoretically, no more valuable than my mother’s egg and my father’s sperm. If it is nurture that gives my life value, I gain value with every experience. This would mean that a child’s life holds far less value than an elderly person’s life. But this measurement failed to take into account the potential for a life on Earth. It’s not only the experience of the human, but our experience of the human that would seem to give their life value. This is surely why we may feel justified in removing the life from a vessel that has committed acts we find detrimental to the existence of the human race. But what of the life of a fetus? Using the experience metric, we may conclude this life, or rather this separation of life, is virtually worthless. And still, we develop emotional ties to the potential of this life. As potential parents, we have reason to suspect the vessel will take on characteristics of it’s mother and father. This “nature” value is more subjective. As separations of life have held great potential and resulted in our pre mature ending and others have held little potential and gone on to prove to be rather valuable, there would seem to be no definitive way to determine the future value of an existing human life. Therefore, a goal in the effort to make life better for people of our planet should not be the maintenance of human life at all costs, but rather, the betterment of all life at all costs.
On the first day, I created shapes, little funny characters with no purpose,
perfectly in the place which I assigned them.
Then I dove into them, giving them the greatest gift I had, myself.
Suddenly what made them was not the shape I gave them, but the bodies they gave me.
These brilliant little lives. Perfectly ignorant, willfully dumb.
Each a part of me.
Then they started destorying the others’ physical bodies.
The true them, the them that was me never died. It just recycled.
These brilliant little creatures, recreating the world I gave them.
Living art, cycling, creating new art and destroying old
Through hate and pain and suffering, perfect little lives.
Pefect in their imperfection
I was wandering through a dark hallway, my arm out as my hand ran along the wall as means of guidance. The nape of a woman’s neck came into the bow of my arm. She was standing in the dark with her baby in her arms. I felt an incredible connection with this woman.
I lay in bed, twisting my body against the blanket, attempting to inspire any sensation other than the one in my head.
I tried to let the pain lull me into sleep, with no success.
This hot tingle, more than any kind of physical pain, sends me unwanted thoughts.
In a conscious state I could simply divert my attention. But in this place between sleep and wakefulness, I am victim to the whim of my subconscious.
She was right. What I’m looking for doesn’t exist. Even if it did, I wouldn’t deserve it.
Replaying recent history in my mind’s eye. If I had a gun pointed to my head, my finger inside the trigger guard, I would’ve squeezed. It wasn’t a firearm or a pistol. It was a “gun”. Numb to the sound.
The urge to empty my bladder filled me (rim shot).
I suspected standing would cause headache and dizziness. Still, I had already urinated into the sports drink bottle next to me. Attempting this a second time might result in spilled urine.
I stood to find pain and dizziness. I stepped forward a few steps and grasped the door frame of the bathroom.
I sat on the toilet and blew my nose into my hand. I wiped the remaining mucus from my nose onto my arm. I would have to shower now.
Under the hot pour of the shower, I emptied my nose several times.
I dried my body and climbed back into bed.
I slept almost immediately but woke again a couple hours later.
I knew I could continue fighting consciousness, inspiring copious amounts of pain, or I could attempt to get up. Either way, I faced pain.
Then I remembered not to fight the pain, but to welcome it as a part of me.
Suddenly, the pain was valid. I rode each wave with delight, taking control. This was my pain. I owned it.
Then the fever broke.
The slaves were openly unhappy in their enslavement. Fear of their captors only worked to deter open discussion of an uprising. When slaves were given an opportunity to rebel, they often took it. They assaulted slave owners when opportunity for escape was present. Weary from being assaulted and loosing valuable slaves to escape, slave owners devised new ways to keep slaves subservient. The slaves obviously had reason to be unhappy. There was no deceiving them about this. But their perceived reasons for unhappiness, these could be fabricated. Slave owners led slaves to believe slaves of other faiths were reasons for their unhappiness. Some slaves began turning on each other. But other slaves continued to fight their captors. So slave owners led slaves to believe slaves of other continental descent were reasons for their unhappiness. More slaves turned on each other. But other slaves continued to fight their captors. So slave owners gave some slaves limited favor. With the jealousy instilled with this favoritism, all slaves were turned against each other. No longer were slave owners assaulted by slaves as they were no longer considered the primary cause for the slaves’ unhappiness. No longer did slaves attempt to free themselves as the perceived primary cause for their unhappiness was not their lack of freedom, but rather the conditions created by their fellow slaves.
Who am I to feel entitled to magic?
This impossible thing that serves as means to fulfillment to so many.
Who am I to expect the arrival of that piece to the puzzle?
Still, it is so unique, it won’t fit anywhere else.
Who am I to make this something I need to survive?
I’ve already received so much. I’ve already thrown away so close.
Who am I to ache over its absence?
I’ve never, in reality, experienced a feasible version of it.
And what is it to mean so much to me?
Opiate, object of my addiction.
Looking for it in every pipe, in every pill bottle.
Licking the inside of the bag so that I may claim every last drop.
Its promise is sold on every corner.
Its trinkets fill the closet.
Just one more hit, I beg of it.
Clinging to ghosts
Humming conversations older than they
Masticating pieces stuck between teeth
Sucking every last drop out
Letting go means falling
But it’s time to let go
I’ve got to get you out of me
I’ve got to get you out of me
I will never fly if I can’t fall
I can’t say these wings are strong enough to give flight
But I’m so tired of holding on
Abused by a man. And I am granted sympathy and empathy. Abused by a man of African ancestry. But I am granted no sympathy or empathy. Suddenly we are “black” and “white”. I represent the reason the man has had a hard life. While I never personally did anything to harm this man or anyone of African decent, I represent a long history of oppression and have benefited from it. Wether this benefit was willful or not is irrelevant. I recognize the double standard that says this man can abuse me, but I could not him. Not that I would want to. Now I begin to approach all people of African decent with caution. I understand our contrasting colors of skin grant them the right to be abusive. “Black” people who have not been abusive toward me in the past are viewed as safe. But “black” people I’ve yet to establish a safe history with would be justified in being abusive. I’m told I am their social enemy. Suddenly, I see the world in “black” and “white”, polar opposites. We were once brothers. But the word “brother” has been viewed as a racial slur. So now, I try to only call people of European decent “brother”. We are not people with different colored skin. We are “black” people and “white” people. And those who aim to divide us have succeeded. If I try to bridge the divide, I am view as one who is just trying to be a “white savior”. I want to help only so that I will be revered by the less fortunate “black” people. And if I don’t try to help bridge the gap, I am willingly taking advantage of this “racist” system. There is no winning here. But maybe it’s time for someone else to win. The arbitrary shade of a person’s skin is enough to make us blind to the fact that the only color that really matters is green.
But no. I recognize the aim to divide. I recognize the double-standard as arbitrary. I refuse to buy in to the idea that we are inherently different. I am not responsible for the oppression of people of African dissent. I’ve always had nothing but love in my heart. I know I tend to benefit from a system that only sees skin deep. But division isn’t the answer. Those of us who only see skin deep propitiate this system. I refuse to be part of it. One’s skin color should not grant him/her the right to anything. This includes income, but also participation in social clubs. This division benefits none of us. We are brothers and sisters. We are in this together.