Categories
Poems

Social Isolation

He paces back and forth,
Stamping his feet,
And for good measure,
Flips over some furniture,
In the living room of my mind.

Dressed in slacks,
Shirt and a vest,
A tie and polished shoes,
Hair neatly parted on one side,
Moustache a neat horizontal patch.

Let me introduce you,
This is my madman,
He sometimes puffs on a pipe,
Pacing back and forth,
In my living room.

He is a man of many tongues,
Mumbling to himself in Turkish,
Cursing in German,
Yelling in French,
Arguing in English.

“Listen to me!”
In an operatic overture,
He gives multiple directives,
All conflicting with each other,
All seemingly both Right and Wrong.

So powerful,
I attempt to compensate,
Balance and direction,
But it’s too late,
In this moment,
One lens is blue and the other pink.

I scramble for my,
Compass of decision-making,
I cannot believe my eyes!
The madman’s cacophony,
Has led North chasing East,
West dancing around South,
True North rendered indecipherable.

He leads an orchestra,
Of conflicting instruments,
The Emotions section,
Clashing with the Logic section,
And the Perspective section trips on its own feet and plants its face into the ground.

All this in my living room,
Wherever shall I bring my guests?
And how will they react to this man?
He will surely spit in their tea,
And slap them upside the head.

Categories
Poems

A thoracic study

Dear reader,
I feel a lump,
Behind my sternum,
Lodged in place,
Neighbour to the heart.

We had talked about,
How we were different,
But the unspoken truth,
That our love for each other,
Was not strong enough,
To overcome those differences.
An untruthful truth.

Dear reader,
What is this lump I feel?
It will not leave me be,
Right between my lungs,
Tight.

Categories
Poems

Kindness and the Fool

The Fool is eternal,
Always there to greet you,
Under any circumstance,
With a cold grin,
That spreads from ear to ear.

The Fool comes to You,
Without a finger lifted,
The way you wish Kindness did,
But Kindness is no one’s weakness,
The exact opposite,
Of what the Fool consoles you:

“You’ve been hurt,”
The Fool cups your heart,
With a comforting hand,
Wicked with long sharp talons,
“Sharpen your words with my whetstone,
Brandish your daggers,
Red-hot your brand,
So as to leave them with a mark,
They shall soon not forget!
Ready your fiery whip,
If they show you kindness,
They are showing weakness,
An opportune instant,
To lash them across the cheek,
Leave them with a kiss,
A reminder of what is to come,
When they move against you.”

You look at Kindness,
Their back turned to you,
And so you lash your whip,
No obstacle to distract your aim,
A smile plays on your lips,
You’re winning,
You feel protected,
Righteous and with dignity.
You’ve been hurt.
Doesn’t Kindness understand?
That complete and utter fool,
Full of weakness!

You are legion,
Kindness has their back turned,
Not on You,
But on the Fool’s army.
What else would you call an army,
Of recruits who whip,
Lash and stab each other?
Unaware of any common cause,
Or of the mission?

Every now and then,
When there comes,
A synchronous lull,
Within their ranks,
Kindness sends some words,
For those who might know,
How to listen:

“I am Kindness,
I am a difficult choice,
As eternal as your Fool.

In my care,
Are a legion,
Which moves in unison,
They do not gain dignity,
By taking it from another,
Their worth immeasurable.

Your whips, brands, daggers, and words,
Leave only marks quickly healed,
My followers are survivors,
Humanity’s caretakers and builders,
Veterans of Fools’ armies.

My followers choose to be kind,
In spite of and despite,
The deepest of gashes in their hearts,
Now covered in scar tissue,
While yours continue to bleed,
Comforting talons digging ever deeper,
Every time you look to the Fool.”

Categories
thoughts

Thoughts on Parasite, the movie (spoilers)

Parasite, a movie released in 2019 and directed by Bong Joon-ho, has a lot to unpack. Depending on your perspective, you may choose to understand the moral(s) of the story differently. The ambiguity with which the movie’s narrative is executed may be seen as a narrative in and of itself, more about that soon. I believe that the intention of this movie is to provide an abstract narrative that I will mention in my concluding paragraph. There is certainly much more to say than what I’m covering here, I am by no means providing an exhaustive review.

The Kim family, at first, may be interpreted as parasites: entering a host (i.e. Park family’s life) and leeching on to their gullibleness. If you don’t wish to uncover any other narratives, the film continues to validate that initial perspective if you wish it to: the manipulative, uneducated, and unappreciative poor who are taking from the rich instead of trying to make their own success. Are they not smart and capable? This fits one of Merriam-Webster’s dictionary definition of “parasite”: “a person who exploits the hospitality of the rich and earns welcome by flattery”

We can dig in a different direction, and we might wonder if it is actually the Park families of the world that are the parasites. They survive and thrive off of the hard work of their drivers, their maids, the tutors they hire for their children, the (invisible) landscaping crew that create and maintain the fabulous exterior of their home, etc. All these skilled workers may not be rich monetarily, but they are “rich” with the skills necessary to provide the kind of comfort and confidence with which members of the Park family could navigate day-to-day life but could never actually provide for each other.

Let’s dive a little deeper. Merriam-Webster’s definition of “parasitism” states: “an intimate association between organisms of two or more kinds; especially one in which a parasite obtains benefits from a host which it usually injures.”

For a large portion of the film, the Kims and Parks seem to be settling in to something more akin to a symbiotic relationship than a parasitic one: one pays for and accepts the services of the other, the other provides labour and accepts payment. There doesn’t seem to ever be a real threat posed by either side to the other. But what about the relationship between the Kim family and the former housekeeper, Moon-gwang, and her husband, Geun-sae?

In this curious turn of events, the discovery of one another, a conflict ensues. It matters not that both the Kim family and the couple are attempting to accomplish the same general goal, they immediately see each other as threats. Instead of working together, they fight and are ready to kill each other over the potential to keep making meagre wages, money that the Park family sees as mere crumbs.

The ensuing violence and chaos hurt both families and the couple. If we follow the above-mentioned definitions of “parasite” and “parasitism” it is clear that none were parasites. The framework made up of families, workers, and the relationships between them and the roles they play, that is, humanity, is the host. How these relationships play out is inevitably dictated by an economic system, in this case, capitalism, which thrives off of pitting people against one another by creating class divisions, to maintain and empower itself. I am not interested in presenting a pro-/anti-capitalist analysis, I’m sure a simple Google search can present you, dear reader, with much of that content. I do, however, admire how the filmmakers were able to create such an abstract narrative that provides viewers with multiple interpretations to choose from, the choice being made, definitely, depends on the viewer’s own narrative.

Categories
thoughts

Writing poetry

Creating art, for me, is almost always an act of catharsis. Poetry is an interesting form of expression: when I am writing it, I am usually in a heightened state of lucidity.

A first step feels like all of my mental faculties are working simultaneously on extracting a lived experience.

A second step is more challenging: translation. Taking the language of memories, emotions, thoughts, sensations, et cetera, and finding words and phrases that validate them.

In that way, art (in this case, poetry), is like a vessel that contains more than just its author’s creativity, time, and literacy. It is like a vessel that contains a microcosmic view of the author’s particular experience of their world.

Unfortunately, poetry is not as readily accessible to an audience as, for example, a song, especially in the way that the author intended it to be received.

Insomuch as that may be the case, is it not a beauty of poetry that it elicits different interpretations from different people? All of whom are reading the same work, but each of whom connects with the poem as per their own lived experiences?

Categories
Poems

A Masculine Perspection

Your feminine enthralls me,
Draws me;
My masculine sees you as beauty pure,
Incapable of seeing anything else,
And why would it try?

What does it want, you ask?
And quite right,
For trouble often follows it closely,

I will tell you what this accursed says to me:

Liberate your eyes,
Let them caress her every dimension,
Envelope her in your arms,
Warmth, worldly and deep;

Ignite a fire so powerful,
She will want to fight for her world,
With a fierceness that slows time,
A light that can and will shine,
Brighter, hotter, and longer than yours.

Let her be the architect and you the builder,
And so the designs would be so grand.

It says to me:

With every glance,
You will understand better why it is,
You’re drawn and fixated,
Incapable of seeing anything less than a goddess;

Cursed nonetheless,
A curse that the masculine seeks,
To unravel,
To turn from chains and thorns,
Into sustenance and warmth,
Continuity and life,
Tenderness and sensuality.

Categories
incomplete works thoughts

Art

Art can strive to remind us of the larger picture, to bring us out of the little boxes that we use to keep safe. Art should strive to remind us that we can choose to have beating hearts larger than life, that we are so much more and that we can do so much more. Each one of us carries a piece of humanity and of the Earth, each one of us has the potential to move humanity and the Earth. If a work of art does not intend to bring its audience back to these basics, it is not art.