Monday, January 31, 2011

Identity Crisis: A Poem

(Written a while ago in my Idea Book. I believe it shows how much I've grown not only as a writer, but as a person, as well. )
Broken mirror,
Many faces,
Many ears and noses,
Many eyes
That stare back at you.

Fists that bleed
Knuckles are numb,
But still feeling that same emptiness inside.

Flashbacks of memories
Of people you once were,
But who are you now?

I am the cocky one,
The confident and brave,
Is what I rely on
And have no weakness.

I am the artist,
The sensitive soul
That wouldn’t hurt a thing,
The one that loves words and paint.

I am the student,
Studying hard
And went to college,
Made parents proud,
The one that doesn’t make a sound.

I am the--
I am the--
I am the--

I don’t know anymore,
Who I am,
Who I was,
All is gone,
Because change is the only constant in life.

One minute you’re this,
The next minute that,
A second later
On the social clock
And you’re something completely different.

I am the man with the bleeding fist,
Who couldn’t handle any of it,
Who couldn’t handle any more of the change,
Who couldn’t handle the voices in my brain,
Couldn’t take the environment or peers,
Couldn’t stay clear
From the path that was chosen by someone else.
Who am I now?
The real me.
Fractured, broken, and needing time,
Piece by piece,
The stained glass was cleaned and glued back,
But still the fractured mirror had those cracks,
The image that I saw was still plural,
Was still so many,
Hands traced the schisms created
And they tore the mirror down
Without a sound.
Silently taking the many pieces away
Until only one remained.

This was me,
The only piece not affected by society,
By everyone I knew and loved,
Tabula rasa
Once again,
Ready to change,
But this time for the better
And not for another
Bad influence.

What is identity to you? 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Beautiful Survivor: A Poem

Cancer spreads
Through her body
Through her skin,
Nothing can stop
What’s within.
No doctor can cure,
No miracles can save,
And all she could have done was wait.

On a hospital bed,
She said,
That she might as well be dead
As tears fell from her cheeks
And she started to breathe

Attached to wires,
Needles and drugs
All to keep her up,
For she could not stand by herself.

Her friends and family visit
But she had to admit it
That every time they came
She only saw the same
Sorry, pitiful eyes
That she never wanted to see
But they could not help it
When they saw
That the girl that they knew and loved,
The one that would laugh when she played on the swings,
The one that knew everything
From geography to the greatest of abstract art,
The one that knew how to sing and play guitar,
She was the one that they all loved
She was the one and only one that they could not see
Be taken away.

She tried to fight
With all her might
For her life
Because she wanted to live
To see another day,
Another sunrise and another sunset,
A beautiful day with her boyfriend,
Another day to walk and not be stuck on white sheets,
She wanted to see the world from the outside
Not through glass window panes.
She wanted to see life again
So she prayed, she wished, hoped for the best,
Changed all those wishes in the past
The ones from birthday candles and shooting stars
And all those prayers to God,
To a single thought:
To be healthy again.

She stands
Just barely on her two feet
But not because of the cancer
Because now that was gone,
She was just plain, old clumsy.
She now laughs and jokes,
No longer does she cry,
No more of those sorry tears,
She just smiles and moves on
For she has survived
And sometimes she looks back
To remember how it was to be stuck on that bed,
To be sorry for everything she did,
And wondering what she did to deserve it.

She looks at the deep, blue sky,
The sun was high and among the clouds,
She rose up from the beach’s sand,
And looked back at me,
Besides all those scars,
All those stitches and red marks,
To me,
She was the most beautiful woman in the world.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A Mental Snack (48)

"Next time, ask: What's the worst that will happen? Then push yourself a little further than you dare. Once you start to speak, people will yell at you. They will interrupt you, put you down and suggest it's personal. And the world won't end. And the speaking will get easier. And you will find you have fallen in love with your own vision, which you may never have realized you had. And you will lose some friends and lovers, and realize you don't miss them. And new ones will find you and cherish you. And you will still flirt and paint your nails, dress up and party, because, as I think Emma Goldman said, 'If I can't dance, I don't want to be a part of your revolution.' And at last you'll know with surpassing certainty that only one thing is more frightening than speaking your truth. And that is not speaking." ~ Naomi Wolf

When you have an impulse to do something, do you always follow through with it? To you, what's worse to have spoken and dealt with the consequences or not speaking at all? Share a story or two of when you spoke and did something to voice your opinion even though it was looked down upon by others. 

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Haunt: A Poem

The walls breathe so easily,
Yet why is it that I feel so claustrophobic?
I can hardly see,
Can hardly do anything.

Walls closing in,
Almost alive,
I stare at them and dream
That they would take me away,
Swallow me up and
Make me forget all the pain that I have suffered
All the hatred in my mind
All the scars washed away,
Everything in just one gulp
Gone and never seen again.

Take me anywhere but here,
Anywhere where she will be,
I don’t want to see her face again,
And be reminded of the thoughts I have with her,
The memories of love and of hate,
Of regret and of blessings,
Of everything good and bad,
Both happy and sad,
But I cannot withstand these thoughts,
And I see the walls breathe,
But they don’t take me away,
They only stay
Where they are
And breathe.

I see afterimages of her in the faces of others,
Her red hair is everywhere
Even underneath the covers.
Her bluish-green eyes are seen in those very same walls that breathe,
In the back of me,
In the mirrors of hallways and bathrooms,
Everywhere I go,
They follow.
Her perfume is a sweet scent
And is common in every room
Even my own
And even on my clothes.
I can’t stop but think
Of everything about her.
I hear it everyday, too
The crashing of her two golden bracelets together,
The ones, those ones, that she wore on her left arm,
The ones that were given to her by her mom.

Why won’t these things go away?
Why won’t the walls stop breathing?
Why can’t I stop dreaming-
While still being awake?

If the walls can’t swallow me,
At least swallow her,
Every bit and part,
The scents,
The noises,
The hair,
The eyes,
Try to make them hide
From my sight.

Please, take her away if not me,
And, let me be.

Can you ever really forget a person, place, or a memory? What is one memory that you try to forget but comes back to haunt you?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Emilia Flowers

“My name is Emilia Flowers,” she licked her cherry-red lipstick covered lips as she whispered into my ears, “and I never was supposed to exist.” A strong metal object jabbed itself into my temple as I sat on a wooden chair. “Tell me, Vatche, why?”

“Pointing a gun at me, isn’t going to help you, Ms. Flowers,” I said as I realized that once again, one of my dreams has taken a wrong turn. One of my characters escaped the mental cabinets of my working mind and now was in one of my dreams threatening to kill me.

“Please, call me by my first name. Emilia,” she let the gun slide down slowly from my temple to my cheek. The cold metal of the gun sent shivers up and down my spine causing my whole body to shiver.

“Okay, Emilia. In all seriousness, I don’t know anything about your story or why you don’t exist. You’re just another character and right now, I’m busy studying for school, I can’t be working on your story all the time,” I pleaded to her as I realized that we were in a room filled with mirrors. I saw my reflection about a hundred times in the circle of mirrors and Emilia’s reflection was also by my side.

Emilia was a tall, skinny pale woman. She wore a tight, sparkly silver outfit that shined in the light above. “Well, maybe it’s just time for you to have a little break from your study time.” Her arm straightened as the gun was once again pointed at my temple.

I noticed something shivering in the mirror. My own body. A gun was pointed at me by one of my own creations. It’s almost like when Frankenstein’s monster turns on Dr. Frankenstein, except Emilia was a gorgeous woman and all her disgusting parts were inside her.

“I’ll work on your story, Emilia.”

As the gun lowered, I sighed.

“Really?” She squatted to face me eye-to-eye. Her eyes were cold, yet fierce. They were a golden-brown and her hair was a white-blonde that was cut short. “You really will?”

“I don’t know who you are, Emilia. In all seriousness, I never know who any of my characters are until I start working on their stories. I--”

“I want my story to be ahead of everyone else’s,” she interrupted.

I don’t think I had much choice right then and there. “Um, sure. Okay. I want to let you know that we’ll take your journey together. We’ll find out why you weren’t supposed to exist and--”

Just then she stood up with a smile and two ghostly, white hands came out of the darkness slowly and snatched her. The gun in her hands fell to the floor. One of the hands tightened their grip on her mouth, so that she wouldn’t scream. The other hand almost wrapped around her small body. The hands dragged her back to the darkness and her eyes were in fear. Emilia, the hands, and the darkness became one giant, black nothing as I sat on the wooden chair surrounded by mirrors.

“What am I going to do?”

And the darkness answered in Emilia’s voice, “Save me! Save me from him. There’s a reason why I’m not supposed to exist.” I heard struggles in the darkness but I was powerless to move. “Find that reason. Find my reason to exist!”

The dream ended abruptly and I woke up in my dorm room in a sweat. I went toward my laptop, opened it up, and began to write in order to save Emilia. I needed to find her reason, because she was my character and I was her only hope.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Mental Snack (47)

Share your thoughts...

"He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you." ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

What does this quote mean to you? Who or what are the monsters that you fight? What's the abyss that you stare into and that you might also become? 

Monday, January 17, 2011

The History Behind a Dream

(This speech was delivered on the PA system last year at my high school for this holiday by one of my favorite teachers, Mrs. Roxanne Bedrossian.  All credit for the compilation of these words belong to her.)
Good morning!

On July 4, 1776 the Declaration of Independence was adopted by the American colonists. In this document, Thomas Jefferson wrote, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Yet slavery was practiced.

In July 1863, a few days after the battle of Gettysburg of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln began his Gettysburg Address by saying, "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal."

Yet segregation was practiced.

On January 15, 1929, Martin Luther King Jr. would be born in Atlanta, Georgia. Little did his parents know on that day that their son would make a difference.

Yet African American troops who fought in World War II were separated from white troops.

On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks, a black woman, refused to give up her seat on the public bus to a white man, which legally she was obligated to do. She was arrested and Martin Luther King, Jr. organized a 385 day peaceful boycott of the Montgomery public buses that put so much pressure on the city that racial segregation of Montgomery public buses finally came to an end.

Yet black and white children could not go to the same school in many places.

In 1959, Dr. King visited Mahatma Gandhi's family in India, where he was more inspired than ever to lead a non-violent revolution. After his visit, he said, "I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity."

Yet signs saying, "For whites only," were common in the south.

On August 28, 1963, Dr. King helped to organize the famous march on Washington where a quarter of a million Americans, 80% black and 20% white, listened to King's "I Have a Dream" speech. It was here that he proclaimed, "And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children- black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, 'Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."

Yet many black Americans were still not allowed to vote.

Nevertheless, hope began to grow that this nonviolent movement would reap results. Until eighteen days later, on September 15, 1963, four little black girls in Sunday school were killed by a bomb set off by KKK members. Many people began to question the effectiveness of Dr. King's nonviolent approach. Many expected him to change his tune. But no King. He delivered the eulogy at the girls' funerals, and rather than preach hatred and anger, he offered these words to the grieving families: "Your children did not live long, but they lived well. The quantity of their lives was disturbingly small, but the quality of their lives was magnificently big. They died within the sacred walls of the church after discussing a principle as eternal love."

The following year, in 1964, Dr. King was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, at the age of thirty-five, making him the youngest person to ever receive that award.

However, on April 4, 1968, like those four little black girls, Dr. King's life was cut short by an assassin. King was thirty years old. Like those little girls, the quantity of his life was small, but the quality of his life was enormous.

King would have loved to have been at Washington, D.C. on January 20, 2009 when Barack Obama was inaugurated as President of the United States. Obama was judged "not by the color of his skin but by the content of his character." That was Martin Luther King, Jr.'s dream.

So remember, death is very democratic: kings and beggars die, rich and poor die, old and young die, innocent and guilty die. It is our job to make sure that life is democratic too.

Happy Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Self-Operation: A Poem

A man’s heart was broken,
Shattered into pieces
Like a puzzle almost,
He had to put it back together again
With the help of family,
With the help of friends.

His family helped,
Tried to glue the pieces back together,
Tell him everything was all right,
But it was not,
He still felt broken,
The glue melted
Like the wax of a lit candle,
And all the pieces fell down again.

His friends saw the pieces on the floor,
And decided to try and stitch them back together,
His heart beat fast,
As his best of friends sewed the pieces back,
But when he thought of love again,
The pieces of thread opened,
And he fell to the floor
On his knees,
Asking for someone to help him.

He stared at the ground
Saw a puddle
Saw his reflection
And noticed that the only person who knew about his heart
Better than his family and friends
Was staring at him right now.

So he took off his shirt,
Opened his chest,
Saw the pieces that needed to be fixed,
Noticed the ones that needed to be replaced,
Took them out slowly,
Saw the memories that each of the pieces held,
And discarded some,
The useless ones,
Kept the ones that helped him grow,
Stitched and glued,
Hammered away,
Cut and sewed,
And put a lock on his heart,
But held the key to himself.

“One day,” he whispered,
“This key will belong to someone else.”

Have you ever had your heart broken? What did it take to mend that broken heart? Was it your friends, your family, yourself, or someone else? In your opinion, what's the best remedy for a broken heart?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A Mental Snack (46)

Share your thoughts...

"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." ~ George Bernard Shaw

What do you think about growing old and maturing? Is it always fun being adult about situations? Do you ever have times when you find yourself acting like a kid again? What's one moment in your life you found yourself being a kid again?

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Journey's End: A Poem

The beast is beyond that door,
After this, there may be no more,
The beast, that was his ultimate obstacle
The only thing that stood in his way,
But he was frightened and wanted to stay.

The journey might come to an end
With the victory of the beast or with his own,
He did not know,
But whatever side had won,
What’s done will be done
And nothing will ever be the same again.

What had the boy gone through to get to this point?
He looked at his fellow comrades,
Beaten and scarred,
Tears in their eyes,
Because this was going to be the end,
They finally made it
And the only thing that stood in their way
Was right in front of them,
They saw a giant wooden door with a golden knob
That reflected their frightened and beaten souls and the end of their job.

The beast pounded on the door,
Wanting to be let out,
But what did they end up fighting for?
They traveled throughout all these lands
And found each other.
They had all these dreams of fame, fortune, knowledge, and wonder,
Which they’ve attained gradually throughout their voyage,
But who’s to know whether it’s enough?

The boy, who led the group, reached for the golden knob
That reflected the images of all,
And as he began to turn,
A flash of light surged
In front of his eyes
As the door creaked open
There was a surprise.
The beast rampaged out
And knocked the boy soldier down,
Nearly trampling on all his friends
And went loose upon the world
Because of him.

Then, they all smiled instead of cried,
A new journey was now about to begin,
The hunt for the beast still continues ‘til this day.

What's the beast beyond the door for you? When do you know it's the end of one journey, but the beginning of a new one? Any journeys that you would like to share? 

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Losing Memories

When something is lost, you realizes that you never appreciated it until it was gone. You never realize how much it really was worth to you or how many memories you’ve had with it. I lost something recently. It was something simple. Something that someone could easily take away when one is not paying attention. I lost my leather jacket two nights ago when studying with a group of friends and with it, I lost a part of myself.

I’ve always wanted a leather jacket since I was twelve years old. Why? Probably because back then I thought it would look cool. I even wrote a short story on a man reminiscing of his high school days and being haunted by the ghosts of his past through a leather jacket he remembers wearing with the words, “Rules to Live by,” threaded in gold on the back. That's how much I was obsessed with it.

I got the jacket when I was sixteen after saving up for sometime and it started meaning more than just something cool. I’ve had that leather jacket for two to three years now, but now it’s gone. I’ve always told people that when I wore it that it was lucky, but I guess my luck ran out when it disappeared. I didn’t realize it was gone until the next morning, when I was looking through my closet because it was cold outside. I’ve lost only small things before this, but this was my first major time that I had lost something of this importance.

The memories I had with that jacket are embedded in it’s threads. The stains, physical and emotional, will never be removed from that jacket. All the creases and bends, will remain the way that it was supposed to fit for my body and no one else’s. However, I can’t help but think of the terrible thought that it was stolen away from me. That someone, right now, is wearing it with a smirk on their face.

What memories can it possibly hold?

A few dates that could never be forgotten with a magnificent girl, a carnival, a basketball game, a volleyball game, all the hugs from friends, a few dances here and there, the friendly touches on my shoulder, summer days and summer nights,  friendly punches and not so friendly. Everything was felt through that jacket and now, without it, I feel empty almost. A piece of me is missing now. The memories are still there, obviously, like papers stacked on top of each other in my mind, but where is the file cabinet to keep them all in?

I guess, I should move on. It was just an article of clothing that can be replaced. I had the privilege of at least owning a jacket. Many people in this world don’t own such things. I was lucky enough to just have a try at it and I could at least save up, once again, for another leather jacket, which will be a new file cabinet of memories for me. It will hold a bunch of new memories and maybe restore some of the old.

I’ve lost something, but I’ve also gained something else. The knowledge that sometimes things get lost and they can be very important things, too, but I have to move on. I don’t think I’ll ever see that jacket ever again, but if I do get the chance I know what I’ll do. I would always wear it, maybe even to bed, so that it would never leave my sight again.

What is something you lost? Have you ever gotten it back? What would you do if you did somehow find it again? 

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Mental Snack (45)

Share your thoughts...

"Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around." ~ Leo F. Buscaglia

What is one act of caring you did today or one that you remember recently? What's something people often take for granted that another person gives? 

Monday, January 3, 2011

Just Love: A Poem

(On the way to my first class of the winter quarter, I had the first three lines of this poem playing over and over again in my mind, and as soon as I started writing the words down on a piece paper, this poem followed. The mind is a wonderful thing, isn't it?)

Breathing deep,
Very slow,
Don’t know where to go.
Push and pull,
Becomes push and shove,
Never was enough.
Two bodies collide,
Two bodies intertwine,
In the act of making love.

Both hearts beat slow,
Then both hearts beat fast,
Simultaneously, both of them crash
Into each other
Can’t help it,
Despite all the tears and sweat,
All the laughter and scares,
They were one once again.

Having no care in the world,
Time did move too slow
At least, for them.
The clock took away all their fun
When they’re going to age,
Wrinkles will form,
Scars will be created,
But they will still love one another
Just as much as that first day,
That first kiss,
That first touch
Of one another’s hand,
Just as much as that first sight
Of that glimmer in one another’s eyes.

After, they just started to breathe
Normally, once again,
Slowly their hands crawled
To each other’s waist,
And they said good night
Wishing for another day,
Because they knew soon they will age,
They wished for another day
Just for them to be young for just a bit longer,
But the clock still ticked,
So they just made love again.

Have you ever been in love? How do you know he/she is the One?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

New Year Resolutions: 2011

    Every January 1st, I begin the day by writing a set of resolutions that I want to follow, but usually don't.  However, this year will be different, because I will post my resolutions here on the blog and try to follow them throughout this new year.
    Neil Gaiman says every year to the followers of his blog, "May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness. I hope you read some fine books and kiss someone who thinks you're wonderful, and don't forget to make some art -- write or draw or build or sing or live as only you can. And I hope, somewhere in the next year, you surprise yourself."
    And so, that's what I'm planning on doing. I'm planning on filling this year, just as much as the last ones, with following my dreams, with reading the best of books, and writing my best. I want to surprise myself this year not only with these things but also with things I never knew I was capable of. So, here is my list:

1. Read a few blogs everyday and comment on them, because I haven't been active lately in the blogosphere.
2. Read more, because I can't be a good writer without studying the greatest.
3. Write more! Practice makes perfect, right?
4. Stay healthy and exercise. I don't want to gain that weight back anytime soon.
5. Be more independent, because I find myself relying on others often rather than doing things myself.
6. Continue to do well in school.
7. Be a good friend by helping others grow and letting them grow independently.

    And there you have it, seven resolutions for myself to follow throughout the year. Some are easier than others and some more difficult, but they are resolutions I plan to keep in mind during this entire year. Have a Happy New Years' Day and I wish you, dear readers, the best year possible!