By the Edges

We dance along the edges of time

I never seem to have enough

you never seem to lack.

And each train signals the end

of another beginning

cut short, drowned out

by iron wheels on rails

by blank eyes passing

by fingers clutching.

 

We dance along the edges of our feelings

I never seem to have enough

you never seem to lack.

And each lingering glance signals

the crumbling wall of your emotion

silenced, suppressed

by railway loudspeakers

by the wail of an engine

by my waving goodbye.

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Questions the cat can’t answer.

What does it mean to experience? Do some live the moment better than others? What qualifies as better? Is the ability to experience well, a talent like the ability to dance or write or sing? If someone is able to feel the moment, appreciate the situation and enlighten himself through it better than another, does he deserve the circumstance more than the latter? Can he be thought of as more deserving because he is more adept at feeling, internalizing, learning? What constitutes experience? Is it measured on a scale of individual betterment? And if a person feels more than another the pain and tragedy of the situation they’re in, does he deserve it less or more? Who will award the deserving? Who has the right to? Do we have a right to claim the depth of our experiences as our accomplishments? Will they ever be understood the same way if only heard as a recount? How do we measure the depth of experience? Is there even a need to quantify it? 

Shirlene

Christ, Shirlene, your hands

the skin, stretched out tight against

your veins, every single one of them

your bone is too thin

to carry the weight

of your story

Tiny frame, tinier mouth

Sharp sense, sharper wit

I was scared, Shirlene

you burned me alive

with your orbit eyes

poker faced questions

I couldn’t answer

I wouldn’t if I knew

I knew you

but you knew me better

disappointment, you snarled

Undeserved, I thought

I hid the dollar coin

in my underwear

to hide the devil

from my mother

But maybe she could see

it was you, always you

Now I breathe these memories

through my mind’s archives

I don’t know you

anymore, Shirlene

but you

you still know me

you still watch.

 

 

 

A Ship Called Pandemonium

I keep borrowing the next second

when all I can afford is the present

You keep forcing your rhetoric

while I fake attention, stoic.

 

Do you listen to your own advice

Of monsters and mice

painting dreams with lies

staring death down with glass eyes

 

Ants can love too you know

microscopic intimacy

minuscule proclamations

lilliputian wedding bells

 

The snake, it hisses

Life is more afraid of you

than you are of it

the snake, it kisses

 

Beech wood, teak wood

anything but driftwood

I can build a sail

but will you tax me for the wind

 

I’ll row till I’m through

far away from you

far away from a maddening

world, a saddening sight.

 

Sail your ship

they said

but always into the tide

to be swept to death

is martyrdom

they said.

 

Why Creatives Prefer Solitude

I saw an interesting question on Quora today and I decided to answer it. The question was “Why do creative people mostly prefer solitude?”.

My answer:

There are two reasons why they prefer solitude:

  1. Because most people are not their kind of people. If you look hard enough around you, you’ll find that there are two kinds of people: those who like to think and those who don’t. The latter prefer to be fed information from whatever mainstream (or non-mainstream) sources they choose to follow without contemplation or questioning. They do not like to do research on any topic on their own and are generally loud and overbearing. Some might kindly refer to them as extroverts but I don’t believe all extroverts fall in this category. An example could be the pompous old neighbor and his wife who think they know what’s best for you and are convinced that their opinion is always right. If you don’t know any such people, you are either very fortunate or you have not lived on this planet long enough. The former category of people, the ones who like to think, are extremely rare and hard to find in most parts of the world, save some. They can be called intellectuals but they could also just be curious individuals who like to question and find out facts for themselves. I think this is where most creative professionals lie: they like to stretch and exercise their brains and they do so through their art. That is not to say that they are not skilled at logical subjects and sometimes some of the best scientists are also very creative people. As the number of people in this category is limited, most creative types are surrounded by folks who are not exactly the best company one would want when one yearns for creative or intellectual discourse and this makes them seek out solitude. Creative people like to learn about their craft and how to hone it. I think you would find that a sculptor, painter or musician prefers to learn from a master of their art rather than stay in solitude. But as long as a creative person does not feel challenged by the person they are speaking to or does not feel like they are gaining new information, they will soon lose their tolerance and seek some ‘alone time’.
  2. Because you need to be alone with just the sound of your inner voice.Ideas are formed in our minds, and the process of thinking requires utmost concentration. This is especially difficult to do when you are surrounded by other people who, no matter how much you like their company, will eventually cause you to sacrifice that undivided attention you need to give to your thoughts. When you are alone, you are most free to actually be yourself, to be comfortable in your own skin and shed any pretenses. This is what fuels original creativity, the liberty to be and to think.

Let me know if you have any counter-points to mine or any points to add. This is purely from personal experience and observations and I do not intend to vouch for the creative community as a whole.

Evolution of an Ailment

Like how some scents stick in your memory

because they remind and some because they erase

Some gestures just echo sentiment

while the limbs move to appease and reject

A constant surge of emotions like an unending

car crash with you as the windshield

Here comes plunging the plenitude of our existence

into the silent platitude of nothingness

If you can set the arteries of my city on fire

then why not the veins of Asgard with desire

I can only tell you what the constraints

of your morality will allow me to

I can only hope for the cure to lie

within your jurisdiction, for this ailment.