This Isn’t a Masterpiece

I can’t create a masterpiece.
Because I can’t find peace

A creator with no muse // At a loss with nothing to lose
It seems like nobody listens // Like my words echo but don’t resound // All these syllables on the rebound
I’m running out of momentum, at a moment’s glance I’m just another kid who missed their chance
At a deeper level // I’m untethered, disheveled
I want to take my brain out of my skull and brush it up // Clean it out with water and soap and hang it up
On the clothing line // While I dangle from the powerlines // Conducting electricity // Till it triggers creativity // With nothing but silence in my vicinity

Because the world is loud and I can’t cope // She’s doped up on lost hopes roped up in the throes with glasses tinted rose // It’s my own mind and even I can’t come close // It’s ironic, I suppose // How you build walls and close doors till there are no more keys // And you get in line with those asking to be let in please // It’s like my thoughts are under seize and there are no more days to seize and I’ve seized to exist

But I insist // I walk on // I hang on to a depleting flower wreath called talent and hang it up on the wall of washed up child prodigy // I’m proud to be a has been a will be a never have been // Just 67 kilograms of pure unease // Loose nerves and anxiety // Save me and don’t fucking touch me // Trust me, I’m a bloodbath and you can’t cross me // I am the old me and the new me and everything in between // I am spilled milk and spilled tears and commercialized heartbreak // I am the world I’ve always hated // I am the world others created // I am the world with unknown boundaries, dry lands, murky waters and misty skies // I am the world with white lies and uncomfortable ties // I am the world of knotted stomachs and clammy hands // I am the mess I’ve kicked under the rug, the dust particles in corners difficult to reach, the never-practice always-preach, the too anxious to do too inexperienced to teach // All I have is this speech whenever they ask // what is it that bothers you so much // What is it that stops you in your tracks // I take a breath, then I crack, I talk, I don’t hold back:

It’s The Everything is a Constant Mess
The Van Gogh wouldn’t have been an artist if he weren’t Depressed
The Today’s economy is fueled by Stress
The I just Need a little bit of Rest
The Majority of the World’s population is Oppressed
The Kids are Not Alright
The Everyone I know is always just so Fucking Tired
So, you see, I can’t create a masterpiece
Because I can’t find peace.

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An apology Note to Myself

I’m sorry I’m clumsy, careless, out-of-order and easily irritated

I’m sorry I don’t really fit into confined spaces, I’m neither proper nor lady-like and my voice always carries louder than it’s supposed to except when it really matters

I’m sorry I can’t figure myself out, and I’m sorry it causes so much pain

I’m sorry I get so hung up on the little things and make mountains out of mole hills and I’m also sorry I can never see when the problem is actually Goliath-sized, it escapes me

I’m sorry I come across as lazy and immature, I’m sorry I’m lazy and immature

I’m sorry that I’m not sorry for who I am

I’m sorry that you’ll never understand

I’m sorry that I’m trying my best and I’m not going to beg anyone to believe me

I’m sorry that I don’t care if you believe me, even if I wish that you would

I’m sorry you can only see me in terms of bad or good

I’m sorry for all the things I forget

I’m sorry for all the things I regret

I’m sorry if I hurt you, I’m sorry if you hurt me too

I’m sorry I’m growing, and I’ve still got a whole lot of growing up to do

I’m sorry I’m silent, and I’m sorry I can never stay silent

I’m sorry for all the times I’ve ever said sorry for something I should never apologize for

I’m sorry for all the times I didn’t say sorry when that’s all you were asking for

I’m sorry I’m mean, I’m sorry I’m bitter, I’m sorry I feel unclean, I’m sorry I’m a quitter

I’m sorry I can’t quit my pain, I’m sorry I can’t quit running again and again

I’m sorry I can’t quit you, but I don’t really want to quit you

I’m sorry I’m too much, I’m sorry I’m not enough.

I’m sorry that it’ll take me a while to stop listing all the reasons why I’m sorry

I’m sorry it’ll take me a while to learn not to worry

I’m sorry for the laughter, I’m sorry for the hurt

I’m sorry for all the spilled milk and crusted dirt

I’m sorry I can never be that girl

I’m sorry I ever judged that girl

I’m sorry I’ve still got alot to unlearn

I’m sorry for fucking up, and I know it’ll happen again

So take a bunch of sorry, and save it for then

And I’ll take a bunch of sorry, and learn to love myself again.

 

 

Think Piece: Hero without a Tragedy

The certified curse of the fortified mind
Live in reverse and let the past rewind // Fastforward through every tight bind
Searching for one truth you’re never gonna find // Cast camouflage on your thoughts and walk with the collective hive mind
A single purpose to remain infinitely purposeless // Roses are red, violets ain’t blue, and so the world’s made pretty with half truths
Halfway houses // Compromises // Middle ground // Work/life balance // We’ve got an endless stock of synonyms that glorify mediocrity
To subdue the masses // Force them to believe greatness is the stuff of fantasy
The masses, who desperately cling to their doctored imagery
They love and hate carelessly, selfishly
Their affection is as cruel as their animosity // In one day, you can go from golden boy to national atrocity
An existence that depends on their mood is doomed // I don’t intend to impress and I don’t care about their idea of success*
I’ve got crazy in excess, I’ll remain in this state of creative arrest.

Because I’m feeling like a controlled demolition, relieving stress in small measures, staying on the edge but never quite there
Unsettled but never quite scared // Never truly desperate, never truly satisfied
I tried // For the structured life, playing it safe // For the pre-determined sequence of events from cradle to the grave
For the ‘how are you? I’m fine’ // It’s paradise in everyone else’s eyes but mine
And my timeline just so happens to coincide with the fall of the empire
Growing up in a time of prosperity only to be grown when the American Dream expires
And it’s just the same // From the place I came // Only thing we’re good at is throwing blame

It means nothing to hear you’re a good man when the voice in your head won’t believe it
Because this voice holds you to an unfair ideal and it knows you’ll never achieve it
On the good days, you manage to deceive it
But every night it’ll still remind you, you’re nothing without them behind you, and no one’ll stay if they saw what’s inside you
You’ll be alone with no one beside you, so you let the voice hide you, let the insecurities guide you
You’re nothing without that fear behind you
You’re nothing without that fear looming behind you
Throwing a shadow that will taint every achievement you ever make
You’ll be an honor and a disgrace
You’ll lose everytime you win a race
You’ll forget yourself everytime they remember your face

And that’s the hand you dealt, the hand you held, the pain you felt, a pain so uniquely yours, like a fingerprint
Nobody understands that compliments are the biggest hit to your self-esteem
Nobody understands how much easier it would be if they just didn’t believe // didn’t anticipate // didn’t see

But you still strive for the mind of a scholar and the strength of a soldier
And every time you set that bar higher, it’s an added weight on your shoulders
Family, Career, Security, all lined up on your conscience like teetering boulders
Threatening to all crash at the smallest clap // A clapback could mean the end of the track Everytime you bite your tongue and double-back // It takes a part of you away
It’s been 8359 days // So what will you say? If you were asked to define who you are and what you’ve done
I’m a zero who aspired to be the one, wanting to change 180 always ending up 360, with some loose change of generic done sucessfully’s
I’m the message in a bottle getting washed up with the tide // the great expectations of a hopeful prodigy that underwent puberty and came out below average on the other side

Who am I? A dreamer, self-proclaimed
Self-destructed, self-restrained, too afraid of what everyone’ll see if I ever decide to be me, so I never tried to be, can you forgive me?

Can I forgive me?

(*I procrastinate on my fate because I’m scared of that one ultimate catastrophe
The point of no return, because how likely that I could be the hero without the tragedy.)

21st Century Dragonborn (A poem about love, power, and forgiveness)

And how was I to know his touch would not compromise my entire being
And how was I to not say no?
And how was I to not stand up and go?

And how was I to act when she looked at him and claimed her love
And how was I to protest when he said he loved her too?
How was I to you? Was I kind, soft-spoken and nurturing?
Was I sharp, chaotic and unrelenting?
He holds her and she melts into his arms, her body taking their shape as though they were made to contain her
He could never hold me, my skin was burning with 22 years of anger that consumed any who dared to reach for me
For him, I would’ve drowned my conscience to put out the flames
He never reached for me.

I was always too much, and all I seemed to do is increase
Multiply, take up space that was never rightfully mine
Expanding like vines, my energy was capable of racing sound and absorbing light
I was a war against myself, and he would’ve just been caught in the crossfire

But then there was her, you should’ve seen her, she was so sweet
When I was a forcefield, she was the calm without the storm
She handed him the crown and stepped down from the throne
And I took the kingdom next door, every single piece of land became my own
I watched them through the windows of history
As they built a family and I built a legacy
They collected love in handmade porcelain jars
I hoarded gold, I was the dragonborn
They were happy, I was satisfied
They were in love, I overdosed on pride

But the universe tends to be selfish with good men
Paradise opened its gates and took him back again
And now he is gone, she walks through my castle doors
With two bright, young souls
One look at them takes my breath away, they smile and I’m taken back to a midsummer day
A young boy with handpicked flowers walking up to me; while I sat in the mud, holding a wooden sword, dressed in the armor I stole
(He was kind, soft-spoken and nurturing
I was sharp, chaotic and unrelenting)

She speaks, her voice reaches out a hand and helps me up from the past
I leave my crown, my throne, and I go to her
I hold her, thinking about the way I saw him holding me in my dreams, every single night for the past 42 years
She cries, her boys wrap their arms around the both of us
He was perfect, I was his, and he was hers
And I remember that young boy with the handpicked flowers whispering that one day he’ll be strong enough to protect me with his life
And I assure her I am strong enough to protect them with my life

I know Paradise will not open its gates for people like me
But I’ll make sure, if he’s up there watching me
Happiness and plenty in their lives will be the only thing he ever sees
And when I’m gone too, somewhere across the river Styx, I may meet his eyes before I meet my fate
And in that moment, if he smiles, then all of this hurt, all of the hurt to come, will be worth the wait.

 

These selfish pursuits

There’s a law and a structure that commands everything in life

Yet I’m always on its outskirts // I exist on a different frequency // My mind spins with a different velocity

Clear definitions pose a difficulty // I’m not wired to exist in a society

Skepticism is a good look on you // Tell me more, I’m always trying to learn // But I always burn

I’ve been caught in a mess ever since the first time I taught myself to never confess

I took a heap of intrusive thoughts and bought them a new dress // Now they serve to impress

And I serve to distress // I serve, and it’s my biggest source of stress

It’s the way they drew a line for me on the ground to follow

It’s that responsibility tablet, the toughest pill to swallow

All my art revolves around the same notion // I never meant to whine & wallow

All my art stems from one emotion // I never meant to house so much anger & sorrow

And the narrative doesn’t move forward // Because my mind is stuck in reverse

I want to see some progress // But my craft’s my thoughts and my thoughts are a locked universe

I can’t access them // Can’t open them, can’t share them

I used my words to build private castles and now I can’t bear them

I wear them // Take them away, I’ll swear them

I don’t want them anymore // Because I’ve never wanted anything more

Finally now seeing the chance for something more

Finally now coming across a thought process I adore

A mind that catches my eye // I am terrified

I feel like a loose cannon // I stay loose, I never had a standing

I want back the days, months and years I’ve spent stranded

The one dream // Everything coming together full circle

It feels closer // It feels a hundred times further

To create a category // To leave behind an irrefutable legacy

I’ve been the same since I was a child // To my pride I’ve always been biased

I’m on the side of vanity // And I always use a little too much profanity

I never got along with sanity // I’ve tried normal, I couldn’t connect

Could’ve had the safe route with a red ribbon on top but I had to reject

I don’t need love, money or respect // I don’t need validation, never liked the idea of a standing ovation

Because I’m a puppeteer, I keep all my contradicting convictions near

For every statistic, I’m the outlier

Before, no fear // Now, fear so strong it takes my breath away

Stay here // Promise me you’ll always stay

I’ve got my hard days mapped out, starting today

Till the end of the line // Just promise I’ll find you at the end of the line

When everything’s said and done // when we’ve lost and won // just promise

When you pick up your phone at the end of the night, look for me to unwind

I’m not selfless enough to be your number one

I want to be your only one.

Think-piece: Therapeutic Nostalgia

It’s been a habit of mine ever since I started this blog to write the title of any post first as a sort of practice for myself, because I’m terrible at naming things. But this time I’m not starting with titles, because I have no idea where this piece will go. It’s been a while since I’ve tried to freestyle with my writing without pre-planning, but I’m at a place in my life right now where planning doesn’t work.

I usually don’t write this early in the day; I’m trying to discipline my thoughts, because my mind has been running non-stop lately. My focus is distributed over a huge amount of endeavors that I want to undertake, but my time remains limited, and so does my energy. I want to keep pushing for the things that I aspire to, but on most nights when I get home, I’m capable of nothing beyond laying my head to sleep.

So, I’ve decided that instead of trying to govern my thoughts, I will allow my subconscious to stir the narrative. I close my eyes, and let my thoughts flow without restrain.

They stray to a place of nostalgia. It’s a corner of misshapen silhouettes, old clothes, overflowing boxes and cracked mixtapes, and I keep spending more time than I should in it. I pick up the clothes, they remind me of various phases of a body I’ve always had but have never been satisfied with. I approach each silhouette, and find routines that have once been the most important part of my day, but are now nothing more than a forgotten piece of scrap metal. They free float in a network of nerves that are too tired trying to drag themselves along their set paths, and can barely feel the occasional bump of a stray memory. Then there are these boxes; I sit down on the ground with my legs folded beneath me and try to pick apart the different items that I’ve shoved in a stuffed place they never should’ve belonged in. There, I find unbridled happiness, earth-shattering rage and a pure, untainted love. They blink up at me from their place inside the box, struggling to meet my eyes through the dust that has piled up on their surfaces. I can barely identify which is which anymore; they have become so old and fragile, and the logical part of me can no longer make sense of them. But the emotional part of me, the part that took my hand and led me over to this corner in the first place, utters a melancholic sigh for each of the three, then I close the box.

But, if I had to pick the worst part of my visit with nostalgia, it’d be the cracked mixtapes. I pick one up hesitantly, and the edge of the tape catches on my fingertips, leaving faint red lines that stare up at me. Their stare is scolding; they reprimand me for never visiting, for letting things get this far. I spend the entire morning fixing the tape and pulling it back into its slot, and I play it. I hear 22 years of my life in the form of ballads, jams, screams, and baselines. Each song that plays tells me about one goal I’ve let go of, one goal I’ve failed to reach, and one person I no longer see. It lists names of people I hurt and those that hurt me. It lists names of places that I promised to visit but never been. Another song changes, and it’s about how I let myself down, and I let it play to the end before I stop it and take out the mixtape again. I unroll the the tape once more, careful to ruin it just enough so that I notice the tears whenever I revisit it, but not quite ready to destroy it just yet.

I look at the walls around me, and there’s one sentence that repeats itself over and over again. There it is covering ever inch of my nostalgic corner, written in every font I’ve ever used, highlighted and emphasized by every mean I’ve ever utilized.

“I don’t know how to navigate a blank piece of paper anymore.”

I read it once, twice, never out loud, always quiet. I let it go to my heart, I let it get to my head, I let it tear me apart, then I let myself forget.

I get up, and walk outside. I go to sleep, and the next morning when I wake, I’m alright.

 

The secretive writer.

There’s hope, and there’s fear, and a life in between

Where I exist, unseen, unheard of, waiting

Creating.

There’s pain, and there’s love, and realities to behold

And I listen, and I write, yet their stories go untold,

They just grow cold

The narratives gather mold.

I never really thought I’d grow old

But now that I’m here, there’s an empty white room in place of the flower fields

I was promised blues and yellows and greens; I was given quiet, motionless ravines.

That spiral down, down, and downward, no matter how hard I try, I drown words

I steal their life force, I gather them up and lock doors, I break homes, I write tombstones

My stories will never forgive me // For their legacy will never outlive me.

I may never be.

But for now, there’s hope, and there’s fear, and a life in between

Where I exist, unseen, unheard of, waiting

Creating.