Life Like Words

Maybe the world is a game.

If it is, then death is just the goalpost.

The timer. The only real rule.

If it is, then dying is our final score.

Working may be desperate.

Wealth or happiness may make a difference.

We all subsist strategically,

Gaining or lacking in different amounts.

Totality pressures us

To decide which pursuits prove worthy

Of conscious individuality

While it’s ours to compare and contrast.

It’s just a poem.

Writing, but we know it’s a burden.

Words are ours to choose

Until space confines us to a stop.

 

Knowing Fear

Fear, Ignorance Content.
A flower, beautiful, blind, deaf, and dumb
Plucked unaware its demise was planned.

Like a friendship that ended before it began
Because we didn’t comprehend how badly we’d been deluded.
No way of knowing, no one to tell us, we were still too inhibited
With the one we’re most comfortable with.

Fear, knowledge without empathy.
A machine that knows your wants, needs, and secrets
But doesn’t give a damn for you.

Like a parental figure that knows just enough
To push where you’re weak, but not enough to empower growth or happiness.
Prodding, pushing, punishing for the sake of a predetermined standard,
A program written unconcerned with your use.

Fear, unknowable reality.
Lost in a desolate landscape without borders,
Shelter, landmarks, or escape.

Taken from home, still a child, thrown into another family’s plans
With all expectation and no direction.
A neurological disorder that distorts human interaction
Into a perpetually lonesome experience.

Fear, the unknowable self.
Awake without memory in a dark,
Empty, and confined space.

I ask myself who I am, how I feel, what I want,
Or what I should do to make life worth living.
Am I a man or a woman? Am I depressed?
Should I try to make friends and risk another uncomfortable, dysfunctional experience?

Fear, the palpable mystery.
The feeling of heartbeats, shakes,
Ice on the neck, and other irrefutable motions.

I know wherever I go, whoever I’m with, whatever the situation,
Life will have evermore chances to overwhelm my senses.
I don’t fight, I don’t run, I surrender.
I feel afraid because I’ll never escape it, and I don’t need to.
I’m afraid because I still believe my life matters.
Knowing that, fear becomes me
As breath, laughter, and love.

Touch

Touch, a spectrum,

Pleasure, peace, and affliction.

Too little or too much

Distorts the stimulation,

Turning tenderness cold

And neglect burning hot.

 

To fear touch,

To know my flesh can feel.

Disassemble itself lasciviously,

Dismember itself in pain,

Falter, fall apart,

Or give way to forced entry.

 

It never stops,

Permeating everything,

Inside, around, over-top.

Sinking into puddles,

Poring down my chest,

From fingertips to drawing breath.

 

Telling Life Like Stories

My story is my self-love,

Framing my existence against odds and fate.

I’ve never not been telling myself

How I relate to everything I love.

Sometimes everything means nothing

Logic draws an empty shape

A void of anxiety or dread,

The overwhelming potential of a blank page.

In confrontation with this,

My beating heart vs the blind night,

I tell the tale of “I” and “Us”

Displacing emptiness with narrative form.

The sharpened edge of reality fades,

Never abating, but making space for creation.

I draw meaning out of thin air

And weave it as I’m best able.

I exist, therefore I tell a story.

I value truth and beauty because I listen.

Every fleeting moment is somewhere

Between a comedy, tragedy, and romance,

But even the finest prose,

Is little more than painted dust,

Fractals to be discarded and neglected,

Swallowed whole by eternity.

It’s an absurd story,

Sound and fury told by an idiot,

The dearest fantasy of my heart

Like late autumn leaves.

Absurdity, my idol,

Language of passions and pleasures,

Defying inevitable complexity

To take rapture in the fantastical.

Laugh at my solemnity,

Existence makes us lunatics,

The world is a journal for mad ramblings,

And it’s a story to be loved.

 

By Sanya Elswyth Walma.

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A Modern Rumination

When I discarded my religion,
I found a world that I’d been missing
Already in motion
Without my conscious participation.
Simultaneously, I couldn’t help noticing
The blandness of modern humans
Chasing superficial pleasures
As though nothing else exists.
The abandonment of false purpose
Both liberates and destroys,
A hollow heart hurts to carry
But has capacity to be filled.
Values like certainty and purity
Are irreplaceable once they’re gone,
Vitality and wisdom
Filling in to hold their shape.
There’s a whole horizon to fall into,
An endless void of discordance
To construct, reflect, and internalize,
A perpetual stream of absurd meanings.
There’s no clear answer,
No guarantee of another life,
No genuine good or evil,
But there are endless things to analyze.

What Carries Over

Sometimes I feel better when I imagine my own conscious thought is all that exists.
The feeling of being a disembodied psyche in friction-less space,
Emptied of all but the most critical pieces of my identity
And reassembling my complexities into a more beautiful shape.
As many times as I’ve done this,
There are thoughts and patterns that persist through me,
Some I’ve cherished, others I’ve hated,
And some I couldn’t understand or even properly explain.
There are pieces that never seem to come unstuck,
Fears, attachments, and my deepest memories.
There are images and vague connections I retain,
Like pen-strokes which remain even after they’re scribbled over.
A vague, off-beat rhythm seems to drive my actions,
Unfocused or out of sync with the environment I’m in,
Curiosity, obsession, and paranoia distort my tempo,
Playing my own tune, in spite of what drums beat around me.
I’m liable to fall carelessly into the beautiful or intriguing.
My heart snaps alert, when a note, by happenstance, complements my own.
There are ideas, perceptions, and sequences of thought
That feel more like hell and like home than any real place.
Whatever I do or imagine myself to be,
There are elements of myself that remain true.
Burdens I carry, gifts likewise treasured,
And I expect they’ll remain until my mind is permanently changed.

To Humans

I write despite my overdue silence,
In light of my grudges and slights,
To enlighten the thoughts and emotions
I’ve reserved for my own contemplation.
Having distanced myself so thoroughly
I’ll admit my lack of comprehension
In matters I’ve never engaged in
Or only watched from my privileged shelter,
But even when I detested you,
Counting myself among your kind,
I couldn’t help empathizing
With the burdens you’re seizing under.
It’s easy to criticize your failures,
As I’m sure there will be more,
And judge you in harshest terms
For the cruelty and neglect
You imbibe in endless cycles.
I’ve wanted too much from you,
Expected things that seem trivial,
Like a respect for shared existence
And the universality of feelings.
You break hearts too easily,
And I know they can be brittle,
But I could never quite accept
Your ugly side with ease.
Your shallowness and petty conflicts
Routinely, it seems, betray innocence
So the gentle moments you all enjoy
Are wasted for inane reasons.
You neglected me as so many others,
But I know I’m not superior.
I’ve shared your burdens
And your entitled sense of indulgence,
Took things because I wanted them
And disfigured what you thought precious.
I’ve tasted the light of hate,
The bittersweetness of callus violence
Against myself and others,
And I’ve made my justifications.
As much as I’ve despised you,
Forsook your feelings in light of mine,
I never lost that vague connection
With our sublimely tragic condition.
At your best, you make me love you,
Creating your projects of passion,
Embodying your best ideals,
Making fantasy almost tangible
And creating art from your pain.
I want to love you every second,
To comfort and be comforted,
Inspire new ideas
And converse about our tragic past.
I need to feel something better,
And I know you do as well.
For our sake,
I hope you can save yourself
From the overbearing nightmare
You’re still busily creating.
I can’t hate you any longer,
But I cannot help hate your stupidity,
Or the dismissive simplifications
You project on everything you see.
Like an addict without hope,
Burning bridges just to feed
That passive will to power
Or to distance insecurities.
You could be something beautiful,
But it’s hard to picture you
Facing up to your flaws
In any meaningful way.
You could bury yourself
Alongside your egotism,
Proudly burning us to ruin
To say you died without mistakes.
If no choice is made
We could end ourselves swiftly
Without ever really perceiving
Our consciousness in its true light.
There’d be no one to tell us
We didn’t learn from our imperfections,
And the other forms of life
Wouldn’t miss us for a day.
We’ll be what we will be,
Our beautiful tragedy,
If that’s the way you want it
I’ll be here to see it pass,
But I’ll always remember,
And I’ll probably regret
The possibilities we lost
And the parts of you that I respected.