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.
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.
I’m sitting in this room, having tea and scones with myself. It’s rather a very fancy space. Painted white bricks, a nice table, red velvet chairs. The tea is earl gray, and the scone comes with a little pot of cream. Of course, this whole set up has been stolen from one of my memories- how else is imagination made? I am indeed quite rusty at this process, for fear has been nagging it’s tail in my face. But today, emotion has prevailed and I can’t find myself doing anything else but writing- for it is all I can really make myself do. You got to always give something back in this energy exchange. You take in the form of breath and space and time. You have to give back. It can be in the form of creativity, happiness, awareness… Anything pure. So, everything else has been crossed out on the “giving” list, and writing sits there like an awkward child, waiting for me to claim him finally.
My alter ego sits opposite me, across the table. She’s been served the same as me: tea and scones. I want to say hello, but I’m scared and disgusted. She has my face, and it is really the only time I can fully see myself directly in real life. I have this narcassistic need to crawl up to her, look at her from every angle, but then I remind myself that she is not me. Right? Her name tag says Anthea.
“Speak,” The voice that comes out of her lips is of a higher tone, but of course it is, why am I taken aback? The only voice of mine that I’ve heard is but an echo in my defective human eardrums.
She crosses her legs, and I don’t. Before speaking, I really take a good look at Anthea. Her hair’s flying everywhere, as if no one had touched it in a year: mouldy, hay-like, half-black, half-yellow. But in contrast, mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick has been applied perfectly to her face. Two little ghostly shadows rest on her cheekbones: she is thinner than me. Her skin glows like a halo, her fingers are like a pianist’s, but a real pianist. Maybe she plays piano? She wears a huge white shirt with a blue circle- I recognise it. It fits her like a huge bag, it’s obvious how tiny her body is beneath that cloth, and it looks good. Not the way it looks on me. As she waits for my reply, she brings her hands up to the table, and graciously lifts the teacup to her mouth. Her arm is covered in porcelain ink tattoos, drawings of flowers and some other amorphous slightly dark shapes. The skin is pulsing and red and raw.
“Those new?” I ask.
She stops midway, and places the cup back down. The ding between the ceramic and glass table seems like it is made in heaven.
“Yes.” She speaks with confidence. “Who are you?” she adds on.
“I am me.” I look down at my hands. I’m wearing something I think seems familiar. “And you, are my alter-ego.”
“Oh no, no. You, my dear, are my alter-ego. I am original. A unique creation.” She replies, with that voice that just seems too abnormally high in pitch.
We both lean forward at the same time: I guess we do have the same brain with the same reflex-impulses. I stare into my own eyes.
“What do you do?” The words barely come out of my dry lips. I’m sweating and she’s stone cold.
“I’m an artist, a writer. I’m intense. I like adrenaline, and caffeine and rushes- I like extremes.” As she says this, she lights a thin cigarette that she allows to balance precariously before her food. She cuts the scone into a million tiny slices.
“I like my body to extremes- these bones, seeing them, remind me of my mortality. It’s what drives me to live my life. And the feeling of this smoke? It makes me lightheaded, and the fact that it’s slowly destroying me just puts me in the best mood for creation.” She says this, as she keeps the smoke lurking in her lungs. Her small, pinpoint breasts roll outward, then inward.
“You are destroying yourself to make art?” I say. I don’t know what to feel. This all sounds too familiar of an idea.
“I don’t know, really. This is all just so temporary. I’m just playing around like an alchemist, with these limbs, this face, this living breathing machine. I like to be in control. I’ve written books about my emotions- killed my way to get up top. I have a girlfriend – I think she hates me, but also maybe secretly loves me. You see, I’m just oh so paranoid she’s going to run off, so I like to interrogate her, tie her up. In my free time, when I’m not networking, of course. That’s me, that’s what I do. There you have it.” She says all at once.
“Friends?” I inquire, almost desperately.
“Oh, so many. I get invited to parties, I’m an artist! A self-destructive manipulative artist, testing the limits- who doesn’t like that at a party? I have pictures of my friends, but I can’t really remember all their names, of course. Human memory is stunted.”
My whole body starts shaking and I stare at my veins portruding. She watches this happen but doesn’t speak a word. Goddamnit. I take the teapot sitting next to me and throw it right at her face. I want to watch her disappear, disintegrate like a projection. It hits her, and she bleeds and her head hits the wall behind. She screams. Fuck. Who made me throw that? Why did I throw that? I’ve never heard myself scream since I was 13. It’s a painful sound that cuts me to half and makes me forget everything but that.
She doesn’t disappear. She’s real and she crouches down on the floor, grasping her eyes. There’s no anger when she cries. It’s like she knew it would come.
Salty tears start building up and soon enough I’m crying, at the same rate as her, and in the same position.
“Oh, my alter-ego. Why are you so cruel?” She weeps and squacks out. Her voice is scratched now, patchy.
Those words hit me like ten blows. I want to say, Look at who you are. I thought you were who I wanted to be.
Then I look at myself.
I don’t say a word.
We spend the next thirty minutes patching up. We place the teacups, teapots, scones back to exactly where they stood. We clean the blood off the floor, we place the chairs where they were meant to be. We smell the flowers. Then, for last, we sit at our respective places and eat.
She looks more reserved now, as if scared to talk. Her cat-eyes glance at me, like a hurt creature. We both swallow the food. She takes smaller, planned-out bites.
“So what do you do?” She breaks the silence after an hour.
“Well…I’ve just finished school. I’m hopefully going to a monastery for six months. I’ve been trying to write my first book, but I’ve completely hit a block. I’ve been trying to be a good person, I guess. I have lots to do on my mind, I want to get it done. I want to help. But yeah, I wake up, have some food, try to be okay half the day, try to meditate, think of what to have for dinner. If I have to go out, I need to keep my heart in check: it races like crazy.” I reply solemnly.
It just spills out, as if someone had pressed some inner button.
“So in short, you don’t do much.” Her voice assumes one of a therapist, non-judgemental and full of hidden questions. I recognise that tone.
“Did you attack me out of jealousy?”
I shake my head, after a moment of hesitation. Then I do it with more assertion.
As if some bell rang, we both get up in unison, with force, like little kids at the last class before break. She sticks her bony, pale hand out. I look at her once more. I only recognise myself in the eyes. I stick my hand out too, to shake her hand.
“I will never understand you, my alter-ego. How can you live this way?”
“Me neither, my alter-ego. How can you live this way?” I reply.
Before I can grasp her hand, and have some kind of closure, she disintegrates.
I, too, disintegrate a split second after her.
I can only hope to become a balance between the two.
How many people have sat on this very train and contemplated the comings and goings that have comprised of their life? Most probably a lot. Their eyes have most likely settled upon the tiny ghostly dagger marvels that seem to speed across the window with familiar urgency. This G-sharp piece of music I’m listening to races at the same speed- it’s urgent changes and screams perforate the air around me and now even the trees seem to be running away from me as I sit. The train tiptoes to a silent, shy stop and now it all grows a little softer, a little more honey-dewed. The white daisies stretch their necks with a morning glow, opening their faces towards the white fence they lie behind. Yet, all these musings remain but a mere distraction to the agenda of the travelling mind. So as the train keeps trudging into the near future, the picturesque nature slowly eases the true thoughts to come out of the passenger. And this is where me, myself, and any other passenger differ: both immersed leg-deep into our own personal waters, yet each facing different tides. Though no matter the size, they all affect us with the same magnitude and feeling of nostalgia. So the thoughts that were meant to be, spiral out like curls towards the shore, and we pick them up, one by one, like unique seashells, decoding each ages pattern with affection from the past. It’s a moment of serenity that only a train can allow. A moment of transit, where for once, the human being is not expected to achieve a thing, and sitting still is the most one ca do. Our soul, at once, is uncaged and starts expanding beyond the window until the clouds guide it back home, between the veins of our heart. Until the call for work beckons us back to reality.
You’re musical miles
I listen to your
the songs are vivid
yet somehow pixelated,
blurry versions of us,
accurate and inaccurate,
between a wall of
not a wall,
but rather a featherlight river between
optic fluctuations that
sometimes I just need to
check that you’re
existing three minutes ago.
I’ll take a shattered breath,
for the past
seemed all too good for me,
a walkable garden of eden
has been nurtured:
you were the sun that made the
flowers bloom, and I was
the moon that gave the world
rest. Our magic worked perfectly
in purple, palpable darkness
But in the end, we picked
our toes were then
the garden of Eden-
Adam and Eve, fell on different
ends of the earth.
Now we live in a world of new
three typing dots equate to
three faint heartbeats,
the ring of a phone
equates to her calling
my name from across the bed.
remain the same,
lips and gaze still soft like
braiding hair underwater.
Smile still growing symmetrical
flowers in my chest, all the same.
It’s all just some tiptoes away,
this world won’t close,
it’s just a nose away,
in the waiting room
and while Adam and Eve
scavenge around earth,
charged with terror and love,
the garden grows of immense dimensions,
now a pool of vibrant haze,
flowers of immeasurable blaze
and with time,
there, they shall reunite,
taller and brighter,
and cross eternity again.
a bear breath of the
oozing out obscure
Ends meet in
airplanes, your past
bends its back,
cracks its spine and
stretches out, mews
for your milk.
So ends meet,
yesterday, today, last year, next week
shake hands like
wives meeting ex-wives:
horrible yet necessary and
Tugging at my scalp,
fostered with my love
clinging clams of
past versions of my identity
meeting who I am now.
and I’m helpless staring out
the airplane window,
seeking for some
motherly nature in
Ends meet with who
I am, with future craft,
scraping past remains,
my brains (but before) meets
my brains (but now).
Dots connect it all,
it’s one big murder investigation
and I’m the missing
This issue is getting
repetitive, I might say.
Humans are so intricate, like finely tuned violins. If you strum them with enough fragility, they’ll sing you tunes that are out of this world. And for every phase of the moon or mercury, they’ll bathe you with their sweet little personalised melody. At times, these tunes full you up to the brim with melancholy hopeless despair, then they’ll tip you over like a water bottle as you watch yourself spill out your tales. Tales of how deep a cave your heart is and how many shadows splay upon it every time moonlight crawls in. Other times, it’s as if their tunes were to empty you all out. You’d imagine them place a straw and suck you dry when you never even realised you were a full bottle. They sing to you lullabies with a voice that dips down, then arches high with peppermint breath. All you do is lull your head back in pleasure, hands waving in the air, intertwining with all the magic around you.