Love Me Not
Sharper than ever he was.
An Ode to Gray
Left and neglected, it sits like a mistake.
Born, unwillingly, into a life not their own.
On the balcony and cast
Your sight upon
The gleaming stars?
On a dark, chilly night, of course.
That’s when I promised myself
That I will change my life.
But I didn’t.
And it’s all because of you.
You act like you care
But you don’t.
You think I need you in my life
When it’s you who needs me.
You marginalize me over and over
And make me an outsider.
I had enough.
I’ve always had enough of it, but I didn’t show you
The painful feeling of subordination, of negligence.
Today I really had enough. I must stop you
Before you assign yourself as God and judge me.
And maybe you’ve done even that,
In your daydreams, in your vast imagination.
It was that night.
When I asked you about the lit stars.
‘Will they ever become dark?’
And you looked into my eyes, yours as shiny as mine,
And smiled to the question you couldn’t answer but tried.
‘I’m sure they won’t.’
And I never thought I should question your answers.
But I do.
Because today all the stars in the sky have gone dark.
Darker than the night sky.
And you’ve gone dark too.
I don’t know you anymore.
And thinking of it tires me, makes me feel that I didn’t know you at all.
I remember one day you told me,
‘There is an end to everything.’
And this is the end to us.
The artist is putting on a show
"At the heart of every chaos, there is stillness and tranquility, and at the heart of every quiet, there is war and turmoil."
"At times, principles are worth a lot more than lives."
“Politics and literature are inseparable, for the former is conveyed through the latter. Without it, the world is a blank canvas.”
- Liam Grossman, Deadly Sand
“The truth is burdensome when you’re knee-deep in the lie which you have fashioned.”
- Andrew Wilson, The Greatest Speech
The hands of solitude console me,
They tell me, warmly, to set free
The feelings of hate, throw it into the sea.
But I detest. “O’ dear friend,” I say,
“Is it bad if I feel? Why keep things at bay,
When you can mourn for yourself every day?”
It chuckles and smiles. The heartfelt sentiment
Of a long-time friend, brings back the resentment
Of long-gone friends of years’ worth of investment.
I sigh deeply and turn my face to the shoreline
From which I have thrown my worries and my bovine
Feelings. “There,” it says. “You have stopped the malign.”
I excuse myself and so gingerly walk away.
It catches up with me, touches my back, and I sway.
“What?” I ask, and tread back. It meets me halfway,
And touches once again my back.
I show my dismay with a frown. I lack
Any sentiment. I tighten my knickknack
On my back and scoff. The sheer absurdity
Of this whole scene. The sheer absurdity
Of this whole spleen. The amount of perversity.
It hesitates; our eyes meet and depart
Like our feelings, diverging apart,
Telling a story; mimicking a work of art.
“Are you done?” I ask.
“No,” it replies. “A task
Is overdue, which you shall unmask.”
“What shall it be?” I muse.
“You shall know. But if you refuse,
For you, it will be bad news.”
“I hereby refuse to participate,
Let’s see of that what you shall create.
For your task and your punishment, I wait.”
“Don’t be absurd,” back it scoffs.
“I don’t mean to burden you with my gnarly turnoffs
Of things I like to say; they seem to make you off.”
“I tried,” I say. “I tried.”
It closes its eyes in codified
Sensation. I already miss the almond-eyed.
“Try again,” it says with vigor.
“Never have I taken you for a quitter.”
“I have surrendered,” I whisper.
So long a night I ought to whimper.
“Then I should realize, thereafter,
That you’re not making a comeback,
No matter how many a rafter
I tell to you. You’re dead. Whack.
“No,” I say. “Say that never, ever.”
“Why?” it asks. “For what happens
When you give up, crying a river?”
“Nothing to you,” I scoff. “It just happens.”
The long pause of years
Dawns upon our ears.
Then after a moment,
It readies itself to comment.
“Sadden you me, dear child.
The good you do is immortal,
And the bad you did have died.
Child dear, you sadden me.
Just please, you can let it all slide.
Cry me a river, or teleport through a portal.
To a world full of glory and pride.”
“I wish I could, for this world is tiring.
The only thing I knew here was how to cry.
Though thank you, for trying to be inspiring.
Of this world I am tired, and I wish I could.
I can’t, however. What good does fantasizing?
My only wish now is to simply die.
If only I could do it without all the harming.”
“What is it you’re talking about?
Who are you afraid of harming?
And why, about that, do you care?”
“To harm them I cannot dare.
Especially she – the news would be alarming.
And it’s something my death cannot come without.”
“Come with me, dear child,” it says.
And off we go, traveling for days.
“What do you make of this?” I inquire,
And show it me, and what I require.
“I make of it all that is good,
For your friendship, I would—”
“Let me stop you right there,”
I say. “My friendship you cannot bear.”
It scoffs with dignity, offended.
It shall not keep its pride undefended.
But instead of talking, it smiles,
After walking miles after miles.
“How long, dear child, have we known each other?
Do you think, were you a bad friend, I would bother?
So stop this absurdity right away.
This is not healthy, and not for today.”
“Just leave me be,” say I.
The well of my heart has gone dry.”
“Why then cry about it to your mommy?
Well, then you are such a dummy.”
“This is how I was born to be,
No friends: no Michael, no Toby.”
“Please,” it scoffs on end.
“Who wants Toby to be their friend?”
I say nothing to that and take a gaze
At the peaking mountains and their charming glaze
“Have you not watched The Office?
If not, you will enjoy it – I promise.
Though Michael Scott – that’s a good choice.
His companionship everyone enjoys.”
“Leave me be, you I beg.
It’s me the world cannot dig.”
“Now that is a lie. A big one.
When all is said and done,
You remain you, with all your qualities.
And the world doesn’t appreciate formalities.”
“Remain where you are,” I say in defense.
“Do not approach, don’t jump the fence.”
“Let me heal you, dear child.
You know I’m always on your side.”
“It is not you who I need,”
Say I. “I say we go our ways in speed.”
“Granted, dear child, but forget not,
The days are long and the earth is hot.
You shall travel a lonely mileage,
But you shall return from your voyage
With ecstasy burning your chest,
And longing, by my side, to rest.”
“We’ll see about that,” I wave off,
And to that it lets out a heavy scoff.
And so I travel alone, leaving behind
The heat of our complexity bind.
I close my eyes and, chanting, I walk,
For hours on end, remembering a joke
It had told me years ago,
When I suddenly had to go.
Times pass and places fly by.
People come and go, and people die.
Children become men of power,
In the hindsight of a surreal hour.
With the world, I try to integrate,
Yet it fails me; I am not that great.
I retreat, quickly, to my hollow,
And chant, in the dark, my consoling solo.
The day after that I try over,
Only to find the hard bovver.
It waits for me by the alleys,
Vigilant, and by the valleys.
I shun my face from it, hiding,
My shame and fiasco abiding.
It shakes its head with a clear sign
That I shall return to my divine.
But I refuse, getting up every day,
To try my best, if my qualities pay.
“The price for this is your soul,”
It says. “It will consume you whole.”
“How did you get so close to me,
When I staid always away from thee?”
“I followed you here to offer
You my protection, lest you suffer.”
“For God’s and Heaven’s sake,” I shout.
“I asked you not to follow me about.”
“You will destroy your hopes and dreams!
You will kill yourself with these extremes!”
“Calm the hell down,” I exclaim.
“Bold of you to make such a claim.”
“Why don’t we go back,” it suggests,
“To before everything went west?”
“I would love that,” I say calmly.
“But alas, I’ve changed so largely.”
“Things can return. Feelings can come back.
Have you not heard of the tale of Rider Jack?”
With a frown I shake my head,
And before it speaks, I picture the dead.
“Don’t go there,” it warns
Before the sun above us dawns.
“Tell your tale,” I tell it and tail
Its footsteps, trilling behind its veil.
“Granted, dear child, but hear me out.
This shall be long, bearing drought.”
“Tell your story, for I don’t care.
Tell it before it’s too much to bear.”
“It all starts with a horseback rider,
With a sack, a sword and apple cider.
A youngster of power, of unparalleled might,
Punishing wrongdoers and spreading fright.
Yet this man’s brave heart meets capture,
When he meets the charming girl in rapture.
He quickly waves the first time
Off his mind the crude crime.
‘I must follow my holy path,
Lest I entail my Lord’s wrath.’
And so, he keeps on going,
Without thinking or doing.
Overnight he thinks of her,
A daily sight so divinely rare.
He wakes the next morning sleep-deprived,
And looks into the mirror, eyes mortified.
Lest people see him with this shape,
He aptly produces a long silky cape,
With which his head he covers,
And rides and tails the hefty rovers.
The woman of his dreams cannot stop,
For he thinks of her face with every hop.
And so as not to commit the deadly sin,
He promises to throw love to the bin.
He shakes the thought out, chiding himself,
Promising that he would put love on the shelf.
He walks to midtown to meet his pals,
Who only speak of beer, duels and gals.
‘Excuse me, dear close friends of mine,
I request of you not to cross the line.
For this is one holy abode, no doubt,
In which only good we speak about.’
The gallants in the speakeasy laugh.
Furious, he breaks a table in half.
With tremor in his voice, the barkeeper says,
‘Thy orders are to be met with yeas and yays.’
He nods and smiles, calming down,
And decides to get out of town.
Before outside he rides his horse,
A gallant of the laughing steps with force.
‘What shall you make, Rider Jack?
When shall you make your way back?’
‘Wait for me no more,’ says he,
‘I will see to the matter when I see.
I shall be with myself for a while,
And discover it by the lengthy Nile.’
And so, he rides with the utmost care,
Not to disturb the public or hurt his mare.