I’m itching to write, as if I were presented with a scab that has remained forever unpickable. I crave to write and write and have this pencil glide from page to page to scroll to keyboard, from material to technological, my words shall keep speaking. Kingdoms of two meter waves, rosie autumns, misty minds, suffering, hoping for catharsis. I crave to write about this whole existence, the earth and all the systems within it, and of course, the systems within and of course, the unknown, when we turn the lights off. In this little controversial mind of mine, I shall clear some space for a little writing laboratory. Test tubes and microscopes, sieves, gloves and the whole lot. You see it’s a science. One must first dip themselves into the waters of imagination, with gloves, carefully extract samples from different kingdoms: darkness, despair, adrenalin, jealousy (and we usually go for the nastier ones, harder to grab, more likely to bite your finger). And once you’re back from that expedition, you examine them under a microscope, these little twitching encapsulated potentials. With some wit and pincers, you tie them together to form a little world of yours, where gravity might be slightly different. Another warning: you can’t really control when these urges to dive into these creative, inviting, dangerous waters will come. Whether your head rests on a pillow, hair relaxed, body decompressing for sleep, or whether you’re at a coffeeshop, or on a rollercoaster, this urge simply does not care. You’re thrown into your diving suit and pushed into your subconscious synovial fluid. Down under there, the sky varies often, blanketed by the indigo wine and occasional lighting strikes. You might find some familiar structures, bits of picked up memories. You might find grieving faces- suppressed pain never nurtured. Now… I don’t want to spoil your exploration nor uncover too much of myself in this. All I can say is, remember to take your backpack.
I’ve been stuffing
my body and organs with
tissue paper, gaudy empty,
I climb through donut holes,
small mole in woe
indented into fried dough,
dirty oil bubbling
flour, sugar and coil.
The final product sits
through my finger like a loose
ring: it fits.
Tender and appealing
Slender, full of splendour
how shall I make
it sickeningly sweeter?
and maybe if I ingest all that syrup,
I’ll discreetly be as sugar,
I’ll eat around the hole,
until the hole is no longer a hole
walk out of its role,
for what’s around it is gone,
it’s just one whole,
Maybe the hole, in between ribs
and nightless nights
will take flight?
whole or un-hole as long
as its no longer…
Teeth stained by moist
divine, liquid delight,
give me a bite,
guilty for that hopeful nectar.
I’ll swallow and gobble
Munch this donut up, and finally I can say
something solid makes me up,
makes who I am,
down to the last damn gram.
This little amorphous saliva,
mucous dough has
a hero’s journey,
a place in the circus.
Mouth to stomach, intestine to anus.
It is bound to cross the finishing line,
reminding me, forcefully,
that I will too?
It’s like trying to sink in brine.
Destruction of the void.
That cave in the middle, is an intruder,
but I’m lost at the riddle of escape.
And if my hole were to cave in with all this dough
would it be full,
fulfilled? Filled in,
but in the right way?
The problem, plain simple,
sits in the middle. The
All this dough can’t hide.
Infinitely a hole,
So I’ll gobble down
sugar coated outsides
and poof! the hole softly
fades out of existence,
my hole slowly fades
out of existence for…
buy me another ring-shaped
fried sugar thing, or whatever,
as long as it can pile up
inside me and I’ll feel this fullness
even if its just in my stomach.
Today, my brother swam in the ocean for the first time in a year. The water was frigid and licked our toes maliciously, tempting us to dive in and merge with the fish. We entered at the same time, and immediately sprinted metres away from the shore. The burn of our muscles fought the tingling cold. With our laboured breaths, we streamlined in and out of the salty water, eyes agape, trying to make shapes through the fog of our goggles. The underwater realm was turquoise, but of a dark tint: the clouds were to blame for this, as they stood above us, troubled and stormy. Yet, the sea was just as calm and welcoming. It took us under its battered blankets of algae and mossy rocks. The pebbles and dark algae armies seemed incredibly alive beneath our floating bodies. Occasionally, big boulders would rise above others, so we would plant our feet on their welcome mats and rise above sea level, looking for the shore like kings. Leo placed both feet and a slipping hand over a rock, and climbed it.
“That yellow, huge box-shaped buoy, behind the smaller red ones…”
He bent forward, slightly swaying like a lanky tree to the force of the tide. “Let’s swim there,” he mumbled, and threw his body back into the ocean.
Wordlessly, I glanced for a second at the yellow blob in the distance. I spit in my glasses, rinsed them twice, and tailed him. Minutes later, we both stopped, and the big yellow buoy, probably the size of both of us, remained just as far. I overtook my brother, then realised he had stopped.
“You’re coming, right?” I inquired.
“No, I’m scared.”
And so I watched his back hunch over the water and each node of his spine dip back into the sea like a while after having come up for air. He swam back towards the shore, and I followed him too.
Half an hour later, we’re both back in the water. We rented two kayaks and we were ready to go looking for jellyfish, like the year before.
“Left or right?” I yelled in front of me.
“Let’s go left, then,” I replied to myself.
Nonetheless, we both ended up drifting to the right. Like falcons searching for preys, we looked for lighter spots in the ocean: sand not populated by the algae, better for finding jellyfish. Having caught a glint of bright blue at the bottom of the sea, we both dipped our heads underwater like ostriches. It turned out to be a piece of plastic. We were expecting to find the big blue jellyfishes from last year. And as we pedalled, we realised that we had reached the big yellow buoy. Out of nowhere, a sense of satisfaction and closure filled my heart. But what truly took me aback was the low thumping that came from around the buoy. I circled around it further, to then gather that the soft humming actually came from inside it. As we leaned forward, with our kayaks uneasily tiptoeing forth, we picked up the melody of a song. The discrete music seemed to vibrate all over the surface of the buoy.
“It must come from the beach, they probably have strong speakers…” Leo mumbled.
But we both knew his assumption was a rather scarce attempt at covering up what was truly happening before us. And as we came full circle around the box-like buoy, we found a small circular window near the water surface, half engulfed by sticky moss. A thin rod poked out of a tiny hole from the window. I pressed my face to it, and saw an old little crumpled man holding a record player. He sat cross-legged, spine bent over, and was completely naked. His skin shone, as moist as an amphibian, and his wrinkled, swollen eyes were closed. In that tiny enclosed space, he somehow still managed to sway slightly to the music’s beat, as if his body were part of the music itself. His beard and hair cascaded over his whole skeletal body in cataracts, reflecting shades of faded brown and grey from the scarce sunlight that filtered through. Before we both decide whether to knock on the window, our kayaks crashed with force against the buoy, and the strong wind opened the window wide. The little man stopped the music and looked directly into my eyes, as my face contorted in shock and embarrassment.
“Well, hello.” His voice was melodious, and flowed like liquid. Yet, there was something to it that made it remain slightly inhuman. He pulled the fishing rod back in and stashed it behind him. At the same time, I noticed his thorax did not expand or contract to breathe.
I struggled to find an explanation. So my brother did, from behind me and remaining hidden.
“What are you doing here?” He asked.
“I’m living. What else?”
“How long have you been here?”
“Oh, a long, long time, my dears. I can’t really truly remember how I came to be here…”
He squinted at my face and I moved back slightly.
“What did you say your name was again?” he asked.
Before I could reply, he checked his watch and swiftly pulled out the fishing rod from behind him. I was surprised there was even space for him to move his arms that way. He took a worm out of his mouth and poked it through the hook. Soon enough, he was fishing from inside the buoy. I gave him another inquisitive look.
“It’s dinner time and my stomach’s rumbling for jellyfish,” he blurted out.
“It’s him, taking all the jellyfish away from the sea,” Leo whispered in my ear. “That’s why we didn’t see any.”
The old man didn’t hear the comment for he had already turned the music back on. He was happily humming again.
“The jellyfish are attracted to this music. And so am I…”
He seemed completely unworried about the lack of response.
“It calms the soul, this soft music, doesn’t it?” He continued.
“Yes?” I barely whispered, still utterly in shock. I couldn’t stop staring at his incredibly moist and shiny skin.
“Why are you here?”
He stopped and really looked at me.
“I don’t know, really. I’m the only one that can fit in here, and I truly do suffer from memory loss…” He scratched his head. “Nature has taken one thing away from me, memory, but IT has given me something else in return. You see, nature is always give and take.”
He untangled his limbs and came towards me. Alarmed, I sat back into my kayak. He poked his head out, nodded at my brother and touched the water. The moment he did that, his face scrunched up and his tiny eyes shrank into miniature fish. A tear slid down his cheek in pain. A few seconds later, he pulled his hand out of the water with a curse.
“It burns,” He hissed. “I can’t touch water, but I can have conversations with it. You want to know what the water told me today?”
We stare back at him, and he continued.
“It told me tomorrow will rain and that your cat died two years ago on June the 25th. Is that right?”
We took one last look at him, and our muscles clicked at the same time. We paddled away as if we were saving our lives.
The next day, it rained like never before. The palm trees outside the small glass rooms shook and shivered in pain, and breakfast was delivered directly to all the rooms. My brother and I didn’t speak about the old little man, nor the fact that his prediction was right. I didn’t tell Leo what I planned to do that night, once the rain had subsided.
At 3am, I WAS awake. Under the blooming sky, I ran to the beach. My heart felt palpable and crazy from adrenaline. It was the first time I was running off, or breaking any rules. I got hold of the the first kayak and ran off into the frigid sea. I found the little man by following the faint music I heard the day before. He opened the window to my knock, not at all surprised. I wondered if he had predicted that too.
“I’m taking you out. I’ve decided. You need to see the world, you can’t stay trapped here forever. I need to save you.”
“Well you needn’t save me.”
“Why?” I ask, incredibly perplexed.
“I don’t want to leave. I may not know much about the outside world, but I know that this is my purpose and my place on earth: to stay in this little buoy, play music and eat jellyfish. I was born into this life with this sole reason.”
“But, don’t you want to explore all this, outside? Let me at least take you to those boulders over there.”
He didn’t protest.
He wrapped himself up in a blanket, picked a few dried jellyfish and told me to not let him touch the water as I carried him on my kayak. We paddled towards the boulders peaking from the water, at the southern edge of island. He didn’t speak the whole ride. I carried him with utmost care, as if he were made out of porcelain and ice and the floor were made of fiery spikes. With serenity, he sat cross-legged on one of the boulders and calmly waited for me to join him. We both sat on different rocks and gazed up at the sky and the water, hugging our knees. He offered me some dry jellyfish and we both munched on them.
“Won’t you ask me about all this?” I asked him. “Have you seen these rocks or trees before? Or those umbrellas at the shore? Do you know what a shore is?”
I was completely bewildered.
He looked around once more, not amused, as if he had seen this view forever.
“You see, my dear, I’ve lived so long in this little buoy of mine, and as time went by, I sat in pain and talked to the waters. And you know what they told me? That I could not be anyone else and could not be in any other situation. My role had been assigned already. Right now, outside my buoy, I am not playing my role and this hurts the universe around.”
I looked at him with a blank glance.
“In every universe there is meant to be a little man in a yellow buoy hunting jellyfish,” he explained. “That role happened to land on me. Just as there was meant to be a role for you, and you’re playing it out accordingly.”
At that time, I was thirteen and I couldn’t understand a word he said. So, we finished our jellyfish in silence and then I brought him back to his little buoy.
He gave me parting words. “The waves tell me that it is of utmost importance that you don’t come and find me anymore. Human contact deteriorates me.” And he looked down on his body. I noticed moss and barnacles starting to crawl up from his feet.
Only years later did I understand his need to return to his purpose. And only after four years later did I return to the little island in Italy. I only remembered him once I saw the same yellow buoy. The first thing I did was to swim there, fearlessly. The music thumped and I was filled with nostalgia. I looked inside the buoy but I only found the record player. Dazed and sniffing from the salty water swim, I looked underwater and followed the cord attached to the buoy. There was a boulder that served as the anchor. Expelling all the air from my lungs, I sank down to the sea bottom, and I saw him. His features and cross-legged position were were mummified into stone. Moss covered him from head to toe. Even frozen, he held held his fishing rod. I stretched out my hand to caress him, but I ran out of air before I could do that, and my legs pushed off the bottom as a reflex. I came up for air calmly.
The future is my worst enemy,
it’s a shapeshifter with a menacing smile,
clawing its way down my path,
an obsidian vortex in the form of a spider,
sucking the life out of the forest I’ve
And the thing is, I’m short sighted, so I can never
really make up its form, a foetus,
covered by amniotic fluid: yellow,
cloudy, muddy and disgusting – this
aura that protects the future (my enemy)
from showing it’s true form.
Day by day, depending
on the color and feeling of my
bedsheets, whether I’ve dreamt
of falling teeth, the future morphs
to its personal likings.
From a beautiful flower poisonous to
the touch to a pillar of arsenic,
always lethal and toxic.
The future never really leaves
I know this because I smell
my own fear in the air.
I know the because since I’ve made
my footsteps barely touch the
ground, and the hairs on my arm
stand tall like skyscrapers (even in the morning).
No-one can protect me from the
It falls through the stitching of
cotton and strides through satin.
If you ever manage to hold it on your
fingertip, it will sink
through your skin,
then, you will be injected
Don’t go looking for my
it will find you first.
Recently, gender has been such a recurring topic in my mind. To the point where I think in cycles, realise the paradox in each assumption I make, and come out frustrated. On one hand I love the dichotomy between feminine and masculine, what each represents and how some days I feel like embodying one more than the other. Some days I want to be bright, impulsive, explosive while other days I choose sensuality and nurturing and reflective energies to embody. I love to hop between these realms which have been encapsulated in human forms: “feminine” and “masculine”. It feels like a game. However, at the same time, I see the uselessness to have to group characteristics and attitudes into two categories. Why do we do this? By doing this we are defining what we cannot be once we state that we belong to one label and not the other. Isn’t it something in excess? An unnecessary part to add to our identity, and an unnecessary stress and struggle. Removing the label, sometimes, I feel like I can breathe deeper and create myself better. The clay in my hands no longer needs a cut-out, and I feel myself expand. I never really realised this was a cage until I saw the metal columns. When I don’t stick a name to my “gender”, it’s as if gender didn’t exist, and it was just me, this human, being itself in this world, surrounded by other humans trying to also reach their ideals of themselves. I don’t need to announce to the world that I am only one category of gender, because I don’t want to exclusively identify only with a certain set of principles, ideals, expectations. I am not feeding into this concept by society, I personally reject it. Saying my gender is female or male, I’m left with an inner question mark, where I’d like to not even stand in the middle, but completely out of the spectrum. This human body, made out of flesh cells, proteins and all, is simply my outer manifestation, but I identify with my creative essence which is boundless, nameless, ever changing. And the same with sexuality- in my reality, it will not exist. It is unecessary, and I will never know completely that my whole life I will only be attracted to a certain “gender”- for that also is just a concept. It’s all just mind play things. I will fall for who I fall for.
However, I still do understand where these labels come from. In order for us to feel like we belong, for us to create amazing communities, for us to bond with people like us, and for convenience. Sometimes we also feel safe once we give ourself a label, we feel like we know ourselves a little bit better. You are free to choose whichever label you like, or create one yourself. I think that is a beautiful human process. As for me, I’ll stay on the side-lines, a little lump of clay that never fully hardens. I don’t know who the fuck I am, and I’m great with that- in fact, I enjoy it. I enjoy this constant evolution without the strings of societal concepts. It allows me to be whatever or whoever I want. I simply Am. Beyond words and forms, I am. And I am here to create and love.
my mind’s racing,
they say it’s normal,
adolescents are like this, don’t mind them,
crazy minded, mindless,
bezelled by the universe
chatters and impulses, smoke, lights,
cries, they say it’s all just
with our hormones
but is that so?
maybe you adults just
downgrade life, cut it with a knife
forget its beauty
and newness, freshness born
into every moment,
but we, with new eyes,
untainted still see life for what
night times, we stay awake,
head in a racing car game,
throwing thoughts like elastic shotguns
sons of euphoria followed by
hands tumbling over keyboards,
crumbling cameras, strumming strings,
creating some things
to let out the excitement
of living in a body, on a floating rock,
gawk at how the heck did we get here?
we do it not for the future, not because
it could amount to anything, but the
we strip clothes off,
teeth fall off,
eat bitter earth,
scorch our fingertips,
plunge into crisp waters,
why because we don’t know
who we are, (the greatest gift)
this stubbornness to keep
unapologetically launching ourselves
into this world.
but i say it’s because we know
this world is nothing but
a cardboard box stage,
not a cage,
and we’re here so infinitesimally
cry over, suffer over, joy over,
unpreel, then refresh and start over
the sun shines again.
get to be someone new,
reach out further
away from where we started,
we know we can be anything we ever
as long as that flame burns
not related to age spurts,
to just, be alive,
i say it’s not,
i say it’s our true nature,
before we comply and forget
not take a bet on
this miracle of a human life
before we strive to stick the feeling of freedom
under a desk like gum,
before we construct the cage of
what is and what isn’t
and think about it,
those times where you thought
nothing would stop you-
that’s when your invincibility existed
On the rare occasion where I settle down and stop my wheels of blood from rolling, I sit down to watch the burning trail I’ve made- the friction between the soles of feet and unnerving city cement. I cremate the moment and look at its ashes. All that exists are the flames, the heat, the black dots dancing across vision. I empty my vessel, picking and scrubbing at all corners of this machine. I unhinge the engine and I’m left with splutterless silence. Suddenly, I realise how obsolete certain things in life are, yet at the same time, the intentionality behind everything. Immortalising this moment, I immortalise myself. I, who thought I could conquer and bellow tyrannically over soul and mind, control life like a maniac. Now I dress in titter tatters, sit with simplicity, hold rocks in the palm of my hands and happiness comes in with mischief. Caught red-handed, I surrender my fortress, my megacity of plan-thoughts and let the moment pierce my skin like a subliminal vaccine. Protecting and giving asylum. The future in my head is now past-tense overgrown weeds, that only belongs to night terrors. I realise its opacity, and in turn, my solidity as I breathe. Thick, unkempt hair and rosy cheeks. Elbows propped against knees. It’s all at ease and I exist, slightly hovering above this body.