The story begins with the most truthful sentence I can think of. Red is a primary color. — or — The earth is oblate spheroidal in shape. — or — A city revisited is a city seen for the first time.

“I’m just really angry,” I write, “at the state, the capitalists, the cause of the rot of society — the injustice of it all — and most importantly, at myself and my art, for being so fucking useless,” but — aren’t you being useless now?

“I’m lonely,” I write instead, not entirely convinced, “and I’m tired.” Maybe this is enough. And later — eventually — I will write that story, and it will be good.

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Some scattered thoughts on Language

1. When you say something is, you are spared from having to say the infinity of things that it is not.

When you say you love someone, you are spared from having to admit that you do not love everyone else.

Language is convenience. It is the precursor to the wheel.

2. Language is the only way to communicate the unspoken—the divine—but in the process kills this divinity. What is expressed through words is ascribed mortality. An eventual death.

When Nietzsche proclaimed that “god is dead,” the weapon that slew him is those very words.

When god said, “let there be light,” he has doomed us all to darkness.

***

1.1. To say “it is a cat” is to imply it is not a dog, water, or rock. But the cat, when not described through words, is “not a dog, etc.” to begin with. Everything that it is not is part of itself.

To say “I am” is to limit. I can no longer be the countless “I am not.”

When we speak of the unspoken, we are translating the sacred into our terms. The human experience—fleeting, corruptible.

This is language’s most powerful character: to humanize. It is a god slayer.

To proclaim “I am,” therefore, is to assert your mortality.

With apologies to Descartes, “I die therefore I am.”

***

I am filled with a love for ideas of things and stories and people but I am scared that if I open my mouth to speak about them for even just a moment, I would spoil everything that remains sacred in my mind…

Isn’t it true that language turns ideas into a shadow of themselves? A word is a thought brought to existence imperfectly, not quite as intended… like Frankenstein’s monster, both beautiful and sad…

An idea has to die through language before settling in another’s mindscape, to live, again. To die, again, once uttered or written.

***

some parts originally published on Twitter last February 14 & March 20

Looking at concrete overgrowth / leads to chemical hysteria / and between a mumble / and a foothold / to find the epicenter of this tragedy / is a cinematic residue / or an unrelated accident / or your mother browsing old albums / waiting for her beloved strangers / to knock.

Where the clouds are late I thought of you, or phrases I collected in my notebook, or a message getting lost in the bag of a mailman, or unread in your inbox, or still floating in the ocean in a bottle I bought from a thrift shop selling foraged seashells too, where the clouds used to linger, when you are both here and not here, a quantum superposition, a hypothetical, a cruel experiment on cats, just an idea tossed around for a bit, that you know where the clouds have all gone, maybe.

What pilgrim named you queen, tree, ancient snake, slew and stole your heart, left us longing for a long time gone? A deception, misnomer, surely—for how could a happy place persist in the presence of countless farewells? What thankless welcome turned you cruel? Was it the memory of your past life, borrowed, like all others, across the sea? Or was it because of one weary traveler who declared, without consultation: “Oh city, I christen you Naga, mother of wayward daughters and sons,” when you had no more love to give?

Are we done dealing with the devil? / The contract left unsigned, life / unsaved, filleted fish on the bin / scavenged by the cat, famished, once / condoned, now abandoned, / perhaps a triplicate of melancholy: / a silver medal from one bad spelling / slipped between boxes, a frown / once found, now framed and / forgotten, or simply mourning / over a dying plant, needing another hand / to count losses…

The morning had been unkind. You woke up from a state that could barely pass as sleep. First, a protest, then a race against the water draining from the bathroom. You slipped into your crumpled clothes in such a hurry that even you did not recognize your feet on the curb outside.

The rest of the day went as horrible as the tale intended. In a blur you were back home, dreading the sight of your room you left a mess, like your hair that you never comb. Like yourself you never bothered to take a closer look at, terrified of the honesty that it would require.

Resigned, you opened the door.

There you found your bed fixed. Sometime, somewhere, a reflection in a mirror hidden behind a closet sighed in relief.

The pillows were piled neatly on one corner and the sheets invited a promise. As if nobody had ever dreamed of monsters there.

Save me from the listless
sleep of children with lesser dreams.
Where cities, burdened
with news of your leaving, slowly
crumble in shame. I will
let your long distance
kisses of home miss and fall
by the wayside.

A traveler will harvest them,
in spite of my warnings.
I worry, perhaps, that he will sleep more
peacefully at night.
Or for this lesser dream to end,
to remain, again, without rescue.

I will wake
up at once, at this moment:
about to wonder if to tire is trifling.
The traveler scowls at the road.
He unfolds a map
without rivers.

Alone in bed, I trace the veins
on the back of my hand.

From now on, I will endeavor to show my appreciation towards people who deserve it—especially if they make my life a little less difficult (sometimes simply by existing).

Like apologies, gratitude should be given sparingly but sincerely.

I hope my existence, in turn, offers comfort for a few individuals, at the very least. Then I would have made a difference.

That is a bit optimistic, is it not? I often wonder if I ever made someone feel like it is worth staying in this miserable place.

We all need a break these days.