Minds vs truths: A history of collaboration

The minds of my oppressors
know not of their own thoughts
They are a simple miscalculated counter stance
to our united state of existence

“Attitudes” are not granted at birth
they are honed by the hands of deceit
they are nowadays sold
like US
for the sake of profit and power
but you don’t focus on the negative
so I’ll save my silence
for the birds and long walks by the beach

Just look at ME!
I am a budding entrepreneur
I’m an aspiring influencer
I can run fast
and think slow
I can bring the world to it senses
I cannot expect you to really cover everything you show

You can now tell it like it is
honesty no longer suppressed
I wish you the highest of freedoms
supreme in all your best

You would never bring others to their knees
for the sake of their insecurity and greed
You would never let others bleed
trampling over their lifeless corpse
on the path to see your people succeed

We know not of such despicable people
for WE, the people, are good
I get a sinking feeling that backyards and swamps
are similar in nature
but I’ll adjust my attitude and keep silent like I should

A few thoughts on 2020

Even though I have lived a life of some wonderful and unexpected privileges, I have spent most of my adult life as an individual separate from the grips of uniformity rather than as a part of a longstanding community or collective experience. Many people, just like me, will only go as far as what life has afforded them in their understanding of their world and thinking. The more that I am away from America and the grips of the mainstream western world with constant and evolving social discourse, the more I also realize that many people are formed by what they experience, not in spite of what they experience. People are also often guided by deep rooted fears based on what could or would happen, mostly regulated by an inner compass created, strangely enough, by the hands of distorted historical interpretation all while maneuvering into the unknown.

As right-wing governments in recent years are once again completing the circle of political power around the world, its seems that many of the fears of majority groups and conservative minds are founded in a perceived loss of their grip on majority rule and the privileges they might feel they experiences as part of a larger collective based on race, religion, gender, or caste. Why would a majority group fear an intangible shift of “power” towards minority groups? Do they think that minority groups might wish to destroy or overcome the majority’s “way of life” or take away any sort of real power? Is it simply fear of the unknown and insecurity that drives the right-wing forward to gather momentum against a progressive and liberal left? The answers do not appear straightforward, either.  As a privileged individual, I find myself in fear of losing the option of air travel and vacation due to Covid-19. However, I do not find myself finding blaming the Chinese for the current state of the world, rather more concerned about the welfare of the animals in “wet markets” than their contribution in the creation of Covid-19.

I have never really been a majority race, religion, or ethnic community member (aside from my years as child in India). I do not understand what it means to be afraid of losing grip as a majority community member. Even though I do understand fear quite well, I thrive in solitude, performing best as an individual fueled by the need for interpretation and education, experience, and constant thought to challenge myself into better understanding of my world. I cannot see myself banding with people of my race, religion, ethnicity, or caste for any reason other than to quantify a census to provide information to help communities disproportionately affected by the hands of socioeconomic hardship.

I do believe that the “majority” should be driven by the ambition for betterment for all, not only for a certain group of people. Even though the world is largely in a crisis in 2020, there can still be hope and recovery from the current situation given time and planning.

Revolutions

I let time pass quickly
without a hint of care
without the need of approval
from a grip my hand no longer bares

I drop the seconds with haste
crushing their ticking to the floor
refusing to pick them up
or care much about them anymore

I throw the minutes with fury
against the whites of the wall
smashing their intent to pieces
watching them drip slowly as they fall

The hours are infinite
but time is certainly not
Still, I turn the face of my watch
and let the dials on my wrist rot

The days, the weeks, the months
are left without rule
I glace at the calendar at times
only to realize I am no fool

Years upon decades upon centuries
passing a second at a time
finite, limited, confining
rotating circles upon circles in my mind

Work

The songs of surrender know well of unfulfilled effort
crashing upon the shores of our receding dreams
What will come of our trials and errors
logged forever in the books of failure
bearing our names and numbers
with the beating heart of our stories?

Page upon page of denoted action not avenged
the boots of labor scathed and broken
our bodies carry scars
that the seams of our jackets would never conceive
Our hands carry only creases
that no amount of rest would relieve

No matter the equipment we wield
or the loved ones we wish to shield
We are the guides of our pulse forcing mind over matter
to consider ourselves men of steel
Some know better, that our limitations are tethered  
The world breaking man in the grips of its working wheel

Everything I want to be

Breathe life into my lungs
Until they bloom with the airs of adventure
Each inhalation fresh inside my skin
appearing within to cleanse my body of banality on the brim

Wipe away the dust on my being
Offer me your eyes for the sake of better seeing
Walk me into the splendor of your scenes
Send me your skin so I may be tougher than the demands of my dreams

Lend me your legs and wiggle my toes
Hand me your fingers and the funny bone on your elbows
Pass me the creases on your palms and the curves of your cuticles
Let me have everything that makes you so beautiful

Give me everything that you can
Give me everything that will no longer remind me of who I am
The heart on my sleeve covered for sound judgments decree
The silence on my lips the fatality of everything I ever wanted to be

Blooming darkness

Don’t we cast mountainous shadows upon the landscapes of life?
The streaking silhouettes of darkened outlines
Larger than the stretches of our endurance
Lighter than that weight of our stories

Can we fathom the extent of struggle?
The jitters of joy within groves of encompassing grief
Every second a lifetime to be savored
Every minute the last of these hours in infinite rotation

Hand upon fingers, my shadow knows it all
Growing fuller with each secret kept
With each affliction accrued
The endless toil of silence working away at the strings of the heart

The world is full of countless contours
Of anonymous souls with names and numbers
Of affiliations and enduring absences
Striving for simple breaths of lifeless survival

For freedom

Take away the skin on their backs
the prints on the tips of their fingers
their veins a bruise upon time
the world like a hollow cage left behind

Take away their papers and documents
the dignity in their dress
knocking thunder in the middle of the night
whisked away in the midst of plain sight

Take away the liberties they never had
the little they can afford under watchful eyes
Like batons, the heart of the people will never retire
surrounded by fire in the depths of freedom’s desire

Crows

I know that they were never given names at birth
or tagged and labeled as individuals on earth
a feathery patch of living flesh and dearth
winged for flight but grounded for food and objects of worth

Every morning they scour the barren fields
a unit of hunger and communication concealed
on an endless search for an existence to wield
to live a little longer before they end and keel  

Some are liked less and labelled as pests
some underappreciated and not as beautiful as the rest
sometimes smarter than the likes of our best
more resourceful than the admired without tiring of their eternal test

What it takes for survival is more than the gift of frill
the scratches and scars on their beaks and bills
what some seek out for a life of thrill
other exist through the strengths of their breath and will

A bird that grows upon emptiness and despair
will survive the weather without the utmost of care
giving up and giving in an option they wouldn’t exercise or dare
living a life for which they were never prepared

Sounds

Drown me in sounds of the cold wind
until my purpose turns purple
under the welts of invisible air

Starve me of the brazen breeze
until I freeze within the stale
the frail formations of skin heavy upon the scales of life

I hear my sounds echo against the walls of emptiness
the white chalk and old paint
clumping closed against my buried mouth

The wings of the wondrous fly in sound
within the winds are vocals strung on strained chords
the abhorred quieted in vats of silenced voices

Solitude

Published in “Opening Boundaries: Toward Finnish Heterolinational Literatures” (2019)

The rivers run dry in the summer and the birds leave for the winter. It’s a strange place, where I’m from. Sometimes, at night, I hear my heart beating but place my hand over my chest only to feel nothing. I quickly move my fingers around, reassured to find the beat a little lower down near my stomach.

I can’t see the stars from where I lay my head at night but there are a couple of old glow-in-the-dark star-shaped stickers above my bed left behind by a past tenant. I look at them as I fall asleep, knowing they won’t be shining when I awake. Dressing to the tune of modesty is my winter dress code. The fittest have ceased in their quest for survival and the birds have given up on us during these cold months. Our visions rarely meet the skyline. We simply stare into the salt and pepper sidewalks, slushed with mud and ice and whatever the elements have conjured up from the night before. I don’t worry about the beating of my heart during the daytime. I know I will hear it at night, when all is quiet, and all our sounds have died down.