CLOUDs (RetrospectIve)

Ideally, poets run a retrospective on someone else’s writing other than their own. You know, to not come across as a pretentious and self-absorbed a**hole. But I don’t know any better.

Once in a while I’m going to start looking over past pieces and sharing what my headspace was at the time. See, I would do this with anyone else’s writing provided I knew them as well as I do myself, but I don’t. So yes, I’ll risk being perceived as self-absorbed a** if means I get to finish this intro a little faster (We good? Good)

 

*****

“The one who will change your world, everyone waits for such a person. It’s the one who willspark a particular side in you and change your perspective on love entirely. Where they are, and what they’re doing is an unknown, but as days go by, you draw ever closer. The relationship will not be perfect because of the persons’ stunning good looks, it will in fact be who they are and what they do that brings the best out of you. It is the one who, unlike the rest of the horde, will not be an additional statistic to your list of lingering problems, but a solution to all of them. Their love will be so strong and warm, it will feel as if they have a physical manifestation of their feelings towards you. Whenever they are in close proximity, you will feel like you’re in a safe haven. It is that one person who will understand you like no other human could. The one who will not tolerate you, but love you unconditionally. That one person who has the ability to increase synergy in a relationship regardless of an argument. It is the one who will give you a reason to smile after a long and hard day, a happiness donor if you will. It is the one you can’t wait to stand with at the end of the aisle. Such a person is undoubtedly hard to find, but eliminating the possibility is tantamount to giving up. People who believe in finding such a person are considered wishful thinkers by a larger fraction of the populace. Indeed, they might be, however it seems notably better to be on the team that still believes in true love and fairy tales than the one that settles for the first frog they see in the pond. Patience is a key virtue, no-one ever said the one you’ll ultimately love will have a name tag. The person could be right next to you, or you may not share any geography or landmarks at the moment, but one thing is for certain, you draw ever closer.” 

 

*****

 

CLOUDs, initially when I wrote this series I was in a relationship; if I could even call it that. Honestly, a parade would have been a more subtle declaration of love than the slow-mo train-wreck that was soon to follow. This piece is the result of being in love with the idea of love and not at all being familiar with the work that comes when you are actually in love. I was a sweet child, because I had even started a category titled “Cloud 9” prepped for moments in my life when I’d be juiced up by someone’s else’s affection.

Outside the obvious lack of spacing, or the eye-breathers we’ve come to call “paragraphs” I really was at the beginning of my writing career. I had been repeatedly told that I’m naive (I still am) but based on present metrics my naivety back then was on a whole new level. You don’t need to look far, simply read the beginning …

“The one who will change your world, everyone waits for such a person”

This is the line that compelled me to do this retrospective. My cringe-o-meter’s needle was tap-dancing in the red, wondering what vein injection elicited me to adopt this head space. Sure, it’s sweet, but the idea of waiting for someone else to make me happy is baffling. I liken it to waiting for permission, and I don’t think anyone should wait. It’s not fair on you nor the person you’re waiting for to start being happy.

“…will not be an additional statistic to your list of lingering problems, but a solution to all of them”

I grew up holding onto this ideal love, a love that pushed me to make a lot of dumb decisions. I don’t use that word lightly, but when critiquing myself I don’t know how else to phrase it.

“The one who will not tolerate you but love you unconditionally”

Nope.

“That one person who has the ability to increase synergy in a relationship regardless of an argument”

I’ve been cruising my past lines through a conveyor belt of lava up until this point but some part of me agrees with this line. I’ve been in many arguments since then and this is something I still relate to.  Disagreements and misunderstandings are inevitable, but through careful consideration and open-mindedness many bridges are easy to mend. I’ve known many people who – despite both of us being wrong in an argument are not willing to let something go until you apologize for having an opinion that differs from theirs (or until they punish you).

I prefer just calling them the “n” word. No, not that one;  narcissists. I like good vibes, but not when the pre-requisite is cowering and doing my best to overlook someone else’s toxicity.

“People who believe in finding such a person are considered wishful thinkers by a larger fraction of the populace”

First off, there were no statistics to support this. My mental inclination at the time seemed to associate the idea of being part of the minorities as “special”; it’s not. You either believe what you want to believe or you don’t. Having a greater or lesser chunk of the consensus is not what assures your importance in the universe.  

Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting what I outlined in this piece. I’m not against love; I’m against co-dependency being an archetypal representation of love and harmony. To me, that’s not love , but an un-aired pitch for a black mirror episode.

“…it seems notably better to be on the team that still believes in true love and fairy-tales than the one that settles for the first frog they see in the pond”

I actually still believe in fairy-tales. In fact, I live my fairy-tales each and every day; through writing, exercising my imagination and occasionally lucid dreaming. I believe people should live their fairy-tales in ways they can sustain on their own. Fairy-tales shouldn’t be induced by someone else entering the picture. I just think that’s far too much power to be handing to a stranger (or whoever) …but what do I know….

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Usually when I read work I’ve done in the past, I’m transported to that time and place. I feel everything and I recall how I formed certain connections. Sometimes, I retroactively use these connections to remind myself of the value system I’ve come to build over time. By immortalizing context I can rely on an admittedly unorthodox method of self-assurance.

However, when it comes to this one (CLOUDs), I can’t recall the feeling. I am a stranger to myself in this piece; I have no idea how it all came together. There is only so much I can pin on my inexperience as a writer whilst glaring at blatant falsehoods.

Yep, a phony. Peddling hope as currency. I remember coming off a disastrous break-up during that time — a well earned one too. This prose passage was me trying to imagine someone better than my immediate ex; because I couldn’t bear reflecting on my pain. “What will my readers think of me? I’m a happy person. Depression is lame”

No matter what you think of me, I’m right because I’m talking about myself. It’s been fun; see you later (?)

(Bringing another set of unpopular opinions next week Friday)

 

– O.D. ©2020

 

Art by: snatti89

Spirit Rift (Collaboration)

A collaboration with Tara from Raw Earth Ink through poetry; alternating sets of verses.  Please visit her blog and check out her amazing work. No time to waste 😉 Let’s get into it:

 

*******

 

Sand grains massage our feet,

Waves hit our ankles, toppling our sandcastles

No, we’re not sad, but we’re definitely a little salty,

Literally — our toes watered, sand-drenched-deep 

In the warmth of mother earth’s caress —

Absorbing all that we can sea

Past the sun-kissed vanishing point

To us, the Sun sets how it rises; 

We are strangers to the darkness and it’s cherry covered lips  

The evening? What’s that? 

We are one — an extension — Permutations of the light

We are wherever it is.

 

Sun rise, sun set, moon rise, sun rise

Blink and the future has become the past

Afternoon? Day break?

We stand still and clouds wax, then wane

The salt-encrusted waves brush our shins

Retreat

The great work of our hands melt

Harden and melt right before watering eyes

 

Sadness holds our hands

We shiver but stand firm

Part of something greater we will never be a part of

Cracked lips smile and part

Teeth glowing from inner light

Laughter spills like tears

We grow

 

–  And grow, far-reaching — think liana vines intertwining,

Precisely how our minds move and wander,

Travelling past stars littering the cosmos,

They’re all over the place;

It’s no insult when you say we’ve since lost them

 

No metric for the merging of gifted imaginations

Hardly human, yet a brush with barbed wire still leaves us bruised

Surprise-surprise, mouths agape when our blood leaks with an ethereal glow,

To pass time, we play squash using the end of this universe

In-between ricochets, we convey the entirety of that experience through verse.

 

“What’s that in the air?” – “Is it a bird?” –  “Is it a plane?”

No, it’s simply our minds coming back.

 

Coming back, coming back 

from winding paths and circling constellations 

It’s all a game, isn’t it? 

games and gains 

Points received and penalties taken

We morph, grow; expand like dark matter 

pushing us faster and faster 

to the edges of the unknowable known universe 

The further out we look 

the further in we perceive 

in reality it’s push-and-pull 

all coming back again

 

The dream-verse surrounds and engulfs 

Lifting cliffs of fantasy and rivers of science

Fields full of poppies and poetry

A sky dusted with possibility 

An ocean seized with salted lust

 

Salt, salt, yes, minerals coating toes

We dip in and retreat

Shift from one foot to the other

Watching the horizon, time slips

 

Like our souls during an ephemeral passage into a spirit rift

Say hello to the terrestrial embodiment of your unspoken spirit guides

Language is recursive, and this piece fits snugly at the end of it

Each flick of the wrist with that raw earth ink uncovers secrets of the galaxy

Take care to go slowly, rein in the need to OD on the knowledge;

Digest at varying paces but let nothing fly over your head

 

We strike the balance with little to nothing to show for tipping scales

A sample of humble pie to go with our cup of due pride

We were always told to dine on a balanced diet

And this is it — two burning souls cooking all waking senses

Leaving them simmering, don’t you worry;

All you need do is form a single file

For there is plenty of love, clarity and empathy

For all.

 

– O.D. & Raw Earth Ink ©2020

Loveless Nights And Foaming Rims.

The unnamed guy series 1

Here is the unnamed guy series part 2, spiritual successor to the unnamed girl series; which is already complete, you can check it out here. I’m curious to see where this story goes from here. You’re in, yeah?

********

The cost of being real. No one ever explicitly says it.

You lose everything — you start to question yourself often

Questioning whether you ever truly had anything.

Passing me compliments? Please,

Send those through an indefinite quarantine process

Not everyone means what they say.

And you’d be a fool to think otherwise.

I’m not the hero, nor am I the villain

But I wish I was. That way I could have a role to fill,

To be subservient to the idea of purpose —

Maybe then everything would be a little easier

Seeing everything in black and white like designing a zebra.

But that’s wishful thinking

Once you see much of what this world has

It’s hard to go back. I find love at the bottom of a bottle

The circle that touches the coaster embodies the closest I’ll get to a ring

I don’t mean to get esoteric, but blame that on the formation of language

Never would I spoon feed my struggles solely for your entertainment.

Reality is a fabric I’ve since threaded with my own visions

Took time, but I finally have a picture of God behind my eye lids

They’d call that blasphemy but that’s precisely why I’m not in a church

Look at them, open-minded when the pastor is behind the pulpit,

But as dull as a brick as soon as anyone else speaks.

Double standards like incels and toxic feminists.

I stand at the border of what you have yet to understand

I say this politely but, no matter how tempting, “don’t push me”

Yes, I would fall, but you would be the one to die

Loveless nights, sure — but no one ever said freedom comes free

Fall in love and have a mansion full of kids in peace

And while you’re at it. Speak nothing of me.

I don’t owe anyone but the creator my time.

People threaten to leave like I can’t live without them

You would have had better luck when I was nothing but an infant

I spin my words and meanings into a reality I deem fit

Keeping madness at bay as best I can.

Tomorrow is another day — Another day I get to choose

Another day I get to choose whether I want to go through all of this again or not.

So, until then… ….

…. …. ….

– O.D. ©2020

Art by: StephanePellennec

 

Blog Interview w/ Dialectics

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When I found Dante’s blog Dialectics I was immediately drawn to know more. Complete strangers yet not only do we share a name; we share passion for the art. We are the type of individuals you get to understand by reading what we write; no other way really.

Took a while to get everything in order but I’m happy I got the chance to have this interview. There are many things we’ve planned down the pipeline. But before we get to all that awesomeness, let’s check out some of Dante’s answers to my questions. Perhaps we’ll all get a chance to understand the man behind the mystery.

If you’re curious about my answers to his questions you can check them out here

 

What can you tell us about yourself and your blog?

I’m Dante, I love languages. Whether they be spoken or coded – I love learning them and using them. I really enjoy reading – poetry, literature and a lot of novels (sci-fi, horror, dark fantasy and some satirical stuff)

My blog is the truest representation of me and you will learn more about me from reading through it than you would from me telling you. It seems chaotic – the way my mind is – but there is a kind of order hidden within that chaos.

 

What inspired you to start your blog?

I would not necessarily call inspiration rather necessity. I have never had someone I can talk to openly – someone who will listen. I made my blog as a means to say the things I needed to and clear my mind. My thoughts get away with me and it’s a place I put them so they don’t flood my head.

 

How would you describe your blogging style?

Unfiltered. Because my blog is first and foremost about me – what I feel like sharing will usually wind up on there.

 

What are you aware of now that you wish you knew when you started your blog?

I am not restricted to writing about a single thing. I had a blog once – my first one – that was restricted to one subject matter. That did not go as well as I had thought. This may work for other bloggers, but my mind does not function like that – I understand that now.

 

Is there a particular message or theme you wish to evoke to your readers when blogging?

This relates to the quote that resonates with me – I would hope that they learn to appreciate the little things, the small wins. Everyone seems so concerned with being huge and flashy, they overlook that sometimes all you need could be as simple as a smile, a ‘hello, how are you’. Sometimes all you need is for someone to show they care and are there if you need them

 

How much time do you spend writing?

I’m always writing. It may not leave my head or get on the blog, but my mind is a constant stream of thoughts which most of the time I have no control over.

 

I hear many people say ‘blogging is easy’. As a blogger, what are your thoughts on this?

This all depends on the individual really. For some it comes naturally, others have to work harder at it. For me, I’ve always loved books and words so writing, blogging isn’t that difficult.

 

What are you looking forward to doing in the coming months?

The digital marketing course I started. It is out of my usual area of work, so that should be interesting. I’m also hoping to see a very good friend before the year ends, have not seen them since lockdown started.

 

What quote do you most resonate with?

  For the longest time it was 《 à petits pas, j’irai très loin 》 : With little steps I will go very far, which still holds true most of the time but I go back to this one more:

 

To see a World in a Grain of Sand And a Heaven in a Wild Flower, Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand And Eternity in an hour.”

 

It inspired this post Grain of Sand

 

Please check out his blog, plenty of interesting content waiting for you there. And Dante, thank you for taking the time to answer my questions, really appreciate it.

We will be back soon.

 

Cusp Of Ruination.

Fumbling in the dark

Yet, when I look within

All I see, is my soul.

Burning, like the rising sun.

– O.D. ©2020

Art by: AngelGanev

Canvas For Welling Tears.

I finished The unnamed girl series roughly a month ago, and it was received better than I expected. For those that don’t know, it’s a six-part anthology expressed through the lenses of a character going through (to avoid spoilers I’ll say) “many things” that are open to interpretation. You can check it out here if you wish to read it; links to all parts are within the post.

The past few days I’ve been reflecting over something else. The Unnamed Guy Series, I never planned on it but it felt like a missed opportunity in retrospect. I obviously don’t want the characters to mirror each other, but I feel I’ve done enough character building to piece this one together. This might be a once-off, let me know what you think and if you’d like to see more of it in the future.

18+  Sexual Themes, Language, Suicide.

 

I don’t talk about my failures.

Not all of them. Can you guess why?

You know why. Because failures are for losers.

It feels good not to think of them;

Don’t give me that look. I don’t want to feel weak.

Nor would you.

 

I hate myself, yet I scream “I love you”

— On the inside —

Hoping saying it enough times will make it true.

A running gag really— I won’t deny it,

Unless you say it in front of my mates.

 

“Also, also, if I may add — you latch onto hurt like an entitled child”

Who the fuck are you?

 

“What? You think anyone would stick around for you?

The REAL you? The best untold joke”

 

Hey, no-one leaves me, I leave them

Looking back. None of them were worth my time anyway.

 

“Sure buddy, Listen — you choose poorly because deep down,

You know, that’s exactly what you’re worth — You say you don’t need anyone

Because it will make living with yourself a whole lot easier”

 

You don’t get to tell that to me unless I do.

When it comes from anyone else, no matter how true

To me, it holds literally no value. 

 

“Loving you is your biggest complication

You wall off — it’s what you’re good at

When people get too close, you push them away

Because it’s getting too real — it terrifies you,

Losing your power.

You want control”

 

And what’s so wrong about that?

You say it like I’m supposed to give it all away.

 

“You’re a good bullshit detector

Because you’re a naturally gifted bull-shitter

I’d tell you to slit your wrists, but knowing you,

It’d be a miracle if you even manage to do that properly.

Remember that night, when you were called a ‘disgrace’?”

 

Would saying “yes” stop you from bothering me?

 

“Don’t interrupt me,

I can rightfully confirm you’re exactly that

But don’t worry — as if you ever do —

You weren’t taught any better,

It’s all about getting the girl and giving her a hard fuck, right?

I know how nice it is, to have an excuse to fall back to

When you don’t act right”

 

That doesn’t sound anything like me!

“Of course! But you sure as hell wish it could be!”

How can I or anyone like me be any better when you only speak of the ugly!?

“Because that’s all there is to fuckin’ see!”

 

You know this world does not reward being real!

Only the best idea of it! So what if I face a hiccup?

I fall and I stand up again! That’s how it works!

I own up and make something out of it!

 

“Hah! Your little tantrum means shit!

You’re nothing! Your worth is in what you have.

Celebrate ‘this’ because that’s as good as it will ever get

-For you. 

Natural selection baby! Life will continue to bend you over

And give you a hard one from behind

And you will learn to like it, maybe even enjoy it — talk about it? No.

Who wants to hear about your limitless failures,

What kind of man are you anyway?”

 

You’re wrong! There’s more to being a man than that!

I’m allowed to have feelings, to be vulne –

 

“Fucking sensitive, god! Have a little grit!

THIS is why people leave. You’re not a pillar.

Talk to me when you learn how to wear pants in relationships alright?

Till then, get under your covers — tug and pull

And when you eventually leave your shell and don’t get loved back?

Make like an incel and blame everyone around you, except you.

Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone”

 

You’ve said a lot. I’ll be completely honest about one thing.

You’re the voice I dream of killing.

 

“I’m you, so you know exactly what that means”

 

– O.D. ©2020

 

Art by:  StephanePellennec

Thoughts Like A Theme Park (Part 3)

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(Colorized photograph of O.D. and poetry at the beginning of time? Probably)

Thoughts Like A Theme Park (Part 1) * Thoughts Like A Theme Park (Part 2)

Had fun recording this piece, sprucing it with my crazy. If it wasn’t already clear, I’m trying to have this series be spoken word only.

Hope you enjoy listening to it (better with ear-phones)

 

 

*****************

I’ve had to work these verses into a fine line once, twice 

— And if I’m to admit, Its been far too many times

Re-writing, wondering whether I should use this word or that

Questioning the undulating flow — the unlikeliest of intonations,

As if that would by default help me appeal to a larger audience,

What I say carries little worth if I doctor it —

What is this? A competition for the less authentic?

Leave me out of it

I have nothing to add to a mound of the counterfeit.

 

I say my piece in a way that either leaves me loved or hated

No surprise when others choose to look and listen with a tinge of indifference

Hardly matters to me — After all, I have no cares to spare 

That moment when you know what to say to keep people glued

But you choose not to say it because you don’t believe it to be true …

Well, that’s exactly where I am. Dead center in the smog of lies. 

A smile goes a long way, but what does it amount to if it’s not real ….

Far from ideal, just another lie to pile onto other mounting lies —

 

Repetition walks a line that straddles muted insanity

And if you look at the periphery that’s exactly where I’ll be —

Mind is a walking carnival — think multiple rides with thoughts as lights

All rotating, levitating — taking their wielder further into space —

EEG displays Christmas tree brain — 

Inspiration has and always will work like a switch

I plead guilty for repeatedly abusing it —

Cravings out of left field as I siphon another dopamine hit —

Attuned to the muffled rhythm of my heartbeat —

One of the few things that remind me that I still live —

“Your voice has a nice vibe” — their words, not mine —

I jam and I jive to life with poetry on my immediate side.

 

It’s hard to think of coming down

When you’ve played floor is lava using constellations as landings

But you won’t see me clipping my wings

— Not in this life, I’d rather stay far away from the ground

Even if it means my feet dangle over a trap door like a chained prisoner of war.

 

– O.D. ©2020

 

Art by: SuperPhazed

 

The Else-world Inclination.

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*Scribbles* “Okay, Okay Last question — I swear”

“Somehow, I doubt that”

*Ahem* “I’ve been observing everything for a while now.

Tell me, does life for you humans ever get any easier?”

“I don’t know. But if it does, do let me know”

“Yikes. I don’t think I could last a day. How do you cope with all the madness?”

“I mean, you’re ‘here’ aren’t you…”

– O.D. ©2020

Art by: snatti89

 

Anyone else remember the Ridiculousiology series? No? I surely do. Had decided to end it at part 4 but then snatti89 added more art with the charming penguin and I felt compelled to add the final, “Final” part to the series.

No promises, who knows how many more final parts I’ll think of adding to this. On the plus side, it will be consistent with the theme of the entire series.

 

Ridiculousiology 1 

Ridiculousiology 2  

 Ridiculousiology (3): Friendly-fire edition

Ridiculousiology 4

Where The Sun Never Sets.

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No longer am I frustrated by those

That consciously choose to live in my shadow.

… It just means more sun for me.

 

– O.D. ©2020

 

Art by: AngelGanev

 

 

It’s A Voice, Not An Echo.

I’ve roamed the halls of my mind alone

Long enough to hear a welcome stillness.

A quietness, birthed entirely by the muzzling of lost voices,

All listless whispers deep within my head unequivocally dead;

No other lingering tones,

Apart from one that still chooses to call it home

… My own.

 

– O.D. ©2020

 

Art by: Erisiar