They never saw the painting

I speak, “Ten long nights I weathered storms, and in these storms I told my adventures that came.

The crowd they gathered, to hear my words. And how they looked with rapture, as my words would fill their passing days.

With each word more people came, until the whole street was filled, with those listening to my speech.

Alas, the hours past, and the time to reveal my masterpiece was upon me. I bit my lip, a nervousness compounded, this was my fate.

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A Chipped Mirror

I look in the mirror and see myself. Is this who I am and what I’ll always be? They say a man is only a man so much as they fight; have I done my fighting?

My CEO messages me over email, we’re reading books together. We have several email threads going, full of thoughts and ideals.

We throw our values at each other. Digesting and analyzing each others judgements, separating noise from signal, partials from Truth. We’re sparring, but only in thought-space.

I type out a lengthy reply to his statement on the state of the today’s society. We live in purgatory he says. But Isaac, what if the world was already saved? Can’t you see that we have nothing to worry about anymore?

Yet, despite this, I know he’s quite similar to me. Indeed that we’re even typing about these things to each other, isn’t that the greatest sign of our likeness? Yet somehow the smallest differences are the hardest to overcome.

I wonder if he has any fun. I wonder if deep down, his heart, his spirit, his self, something was torn away from him. Is it because he’s talented yet also idealistic that leads him to shoulder the burden of pain? That the self-reflective man lives in infinitely crueler life knowing he’s the only one to blame? Hindsight my dear, hindsight kills.

But am I not of the same character as him, largely Alone, facing shadows daily for… for what? For my ideals? For the world? For others? Or simply for killing time, boredom; the more talented a person, the quicker they grow bored, and boredom, boredom is the worst punishment.

He sends me a lengthy email in reply, and at once, I am disappointed at the tone. I read,

“If I am the Devil Incarnate, I am also God.
I feel I am neither.
If I am anything, I am just a servant of higher powers.”

A servant… and how I wanted to slap my companion! This kindred spirit of mine, lying down, submitting in pain, in sorrow, in someone else’s name!

Is it not our will that compels us to stand up? To continue on in service of ourselves despite ourselves? That we may laugh a bit more, that we may fight! To rally the call of absurdity, to see to it that we fight, despite not knowing why.

Stand up my friend. Stand up and fight! For did you not see a younger you in me? And did I not see an older me in you? But then isn’t it our destiny to continue on too?

So that is why I fear. That when I look in the mirror, perhaps that I be weary and beaten too. I hear the hidden echoes, “You will tire as I have too kid.”

And he smiles. And I will slap that smile too. He is not done fighting, and neither of us are through. But just because I don’t believe, doesn’t mean it’s not true.

~

The human longs to be lifted. Away! Away from today!
And should we succumb to the fire and flame?
Should we forget the loneliness of our days?

Oh, but I have dreamed! And these dreams I’ve harbored and beckoned to stay amongst my loneliest of company, that they should spread their wings and fly away as I watched. Yes, as I gave rise to my dreams, that they may carry me beyond me.

How I wished for that starry night, that would shine for me the last breath of life,

But make no mistake! As my cries and pains, they are nothing! They are nothing! In exchange,

to see you run away. That I could be left without a heart, but that now, I could see it beating to a drummer that plays another’s part.

So come with me, one last time, to happy meadows, abandoned churches, lost remnants of the worthless begging,

that you’ve left me with.

My dreams. my dreams. That you may escape from me.

Away with you! I turn to leave, and should you stay –I know you will, this much is my happiness, tears belonging too.

Thank you whom –my dreams, I leave for you.

For Those Who Would Spread Love

I profess, in you I see much to love! But this is not enough, you’re fearfulness shakes me up inside. Where love is pure yours is amuck!

There’s something there that shouldn’t be. What is it? Huh, do tell me dear –in your speech, you profess to me:

–‘Love I see! Is the most important thing. And to spread this gift, the only thing.

I stand above these sharks, who would hurt and follow –and my heart is weak, from anything too shallow.’

But dear, what is love? For doesn’t nature show the cruelest touch? A mother bird pushes her darlings from the nest –and die they might, but so they must fly!

‘It’s interesting you should say! But still I see kindliness –and is this not what we should all aspire to? Polite and curt?

There’s nothing worse than a man who makes a huge fuss –over what? Nothing! And they speak bad words, backstab, and hurt.

Isn’t it better, if we lived without hurt?’

But did you not just –fuss over this man? And did you just not betray, your hate for his kind?

Where is your love for him? That I should ask –because it seems that your love, is not as far as I thought.

‘No, you have me wrong! I only mean to say –that this is a part. In person I’d never, say any of these words.’

Your actions betray your self-contained world! That you should speak these words to me –behind the backs of these sorts of men.

And even worse that in person, you’d never let them know of your honest thoughts.

‘But do you mean to say that I’m petty too? I can’t see how that could be true! I’ve done nothing wrong –I’ve only said words.’

But precisely this –you’ve never done good. You’ve never accepted fear –you run from it too quickly to see what it’s trying to say. And if you did, you’d act –and follow a different path of pain.

But instead you hide, in love’s warm domain –and in its name you excuse yourself, from doing anything great.

A Conversation with my Heart

–“Message her darling, it’s someone that you care about.”

Me: “But I’m quite concerned and scared.”

–“What for? Does the world revolve around pain?”

Me: “No, but lately I’ve been used to this Aloneness state.”

–“But darling! You can’t conjure up random friends such as me to protect your face! I too am just a figment of your brain.”

Me: “Comfort… is that still what I seek?”

–“I don’t see why you shouldn’t take a break…”

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A Conversation with my Soul

Me: “That I would be brave enough to say these things, tell me, is it in my nature?”

–“Should it be in your nature?”

Me: “That I was hoping you would tell me. I fell upon a dream yesterday that reminded me of the outcasts of yesteryears. That I would be condemned to insanity, isn’t that everyone’s greatest fear?

I speak to myself, but have no where to turn, who would dare enlighten me now? Is that not your final task?”

–“That you should seek your own enlightenment, this seems unenlightened to me.”

Me: “But I cast myself in doubt! Do you see how the people run? They can’t stomach me, or I have no ways to judge stomaching!

That I should speak to a wall would fare better for everyone! But then, how could I be so selfish as to speak to a wall!

Damned! I was damned upon birth! And in the end, I cannot even stomach myself!”

–“You laugh.”

Me: “If only underneath. If only under you my soul!

Do you pity me? But at once I see that you don’t. I fear the people –should I fear myself? Do I have no grounds to believe in anything else?

You’ve caught me spirit! I’ve no where to hide. But then why do you insist, to keep shining light? Does the night not ask for a chance? So that it too may dance?

I heard my shadow the other day. It would have me be gay!

But no, I live in nowadays, this language can’t stay. Too many books and hollow poems, have ruined my brain! That I could not shut off abnormality in speed, I’ve gone to love this me. But is this not the most foolish me, I’ve come to see?”

–“Then I would say you’re free.”

Me: “From who or what do you mean?”

–“…”

Me: “I see. Then I’m finally Alone and free.”

Revenge

Just the other day I left my gym bag in a stairwell. I was going to sleep there for the night, and I didn’t want to lug my gym bag around while I got shit-faced drunk in Koreatown (everyone has a right to alcohol) so I just left it in plain sight. I figured no one would touch it, but I even left my name and phone number incase.

Of course, I got back that night… and someone touched it. Worse yet, I could imagine them now assuming my identity –wearing the 12 pieces of underwear I had, 6 pairs of socks, a few of my favorite button downs, some neutral colored pants, and my external hard drive.

My fault for carrying the external hard drive. But still –we’re talking countless hours of future entertainment for my future self (not porn –sicko). There’s a lot of angsty journal writing and pictures on that drive. So whoever has it, please value the sanctity of my brain and don’t violate all my deepest, darkest memories. Or do and then make me into a meme. Either way, enjoy the clothes.

That was a rough night, knowing that humans could be so cruel. You see, people don’t care about you, and that’s a great first realization when you’re first growing up. It’s like getting the magical I don’t give a fuck card and tossing it at everyone because you realize they couldn’t care less.

But then later when you’re 40 and alone or some other trope cliche about never finding the love of your life, that’s when you realize… you wish someone did give a damn about you. Of course, not all those bad things about you, but come on, at least care about something. That would feel good, and I’ll even buy you flowers in exchange.

Well, there was no one giving me flowers this morning. But there was a semi-elderly looking woman that walked up to me in a proposed panic. She started talking about how her grandmother was having a heart attack in the hospital, how she needed to drive home, how she just happened to have no gas in her car, just happened to not have any money on her, and just happened to choose to talk to me.

Now let me get this straight –what if she is telling the truth? But don’t you see, that’s exactly what they want you to think! Don’t do it man! Fight the system! Power to the people! Fuck manners!

Anyways, I’m talking to this lady. She wants me to feel bad for her, she walked straight up to me. Why? Because I have the babiest baby face ever. And when you have that going for you and small hands well… it makes you look real innocent, real approachable, and real easy to take advantage of.

Ahem –thanks to you lady, all nice guys are forever jaded at their lives.

“Sir please, I’m putting my pride down… look I’m having a panic attack. I just –can you help me?”
“How can I help?” I raise my eyebrows.
“I just need some mon–”
“How much?”
“Sir, don’t distance yourself from me. Look, I’ll pay you back, I just need -”
“How much?”
She takes a step back, “$80.”
“I can’t help you,” I begin walking away.
She begins walking with me, “Oh but please sir, anything! Anything!”

I stop walking, it’s a long walk to campus… she’ll walk the whole way with me! She’ll actually walk the whole –fuck this. I reach into my left pocket where my makeshift wallet is (a piece of cardboard and a rubber band holding my debit card and some dollar bills) and take out the dollar bills.

I look at her, “Here,” and hand her about 4 dollars.
“Thank you sir, ” her voice is clear, apparently devoid of any panic from getting four dollars.
I nod my head and walk away.

I think about what just happened. I like homeless people more than that lady. At least they are straightforward. They ask for your money, and if you say no, they leave and ask someone else. It’s honest. Yet here was this lady, posing as someone who was really in need, in trouble, and it was all a con to her.

Yet at the same time I couldn’t fault her. It was a convincing show, and she did put away something to act like that. Maybe not pride, but that’s not something everyone would do.

A person from a group of six calls out to me.
“Hey! Hey you!” he’s holding an iPhone in his hand.
“Yah yah, I gotchu,” I say.
“Thanks man.”
I take a couple photos as they pose in front of the newly constructed building at UCLA on Westwood Boulevard.

Freedom

I found myself one day
wrapped up in a cage.

I stared around my surroundings
and to my senses I felt pain.

The forest air relaxed around me
but breathing I heard on the forest plain.

What’s this metal cage that surrounds me?
And where am I, I implored.


And beyond a large oak tree
stepped a little girl who held a key.

I beckoned her name!
I shouted so fiercely!
Oh but did I scare the child away?

She looked on at me with a childish gaze
But what, did she put me in this cage?

And squarely in that moment,
we began to hear the pant of horses’ hooves
strangely men sounded, across a river brook.

Along the forest path a new cage dawned
and was dropped on the ground
with a man inside, sleeping at once.

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A Warrior

My reason fails to grasp at the wings of understanding
it falls from heights and lands
and fears its descent.

But then the warrior never cared for reason.
He marks his path in solemn ways,
honors his error as hidden intent.

Come! I dare you to fare the worst! For the prince longs to see blood. The prince longs to be a warrior, and for what the warrior does, we can only attest to the finest matters of love and madness.

Thus with laughter we kill on the battlefield of sin.
The higher we aspire the more we crave to be cut down as a tree
“Hold sacred your highest hope.” –and love like the innocence of a child.
The Nature to be cruel whispers in my ear.
Thus the prince spoke to his lover for the first time.

For the warrior knows,
wishes to slay that which is inside and claim victory
and through his own victory, overcoming himself,
does he then see the true battle and peace of mind that says –war and courage have accomplished more than love of one’s neighbors.