Last year, I had the privilege of having my poem, “Soulstream,” published in From Whispers to Roars literary magazine. You can check out the poem below, along with other writers’ fantastic works. Thanks for reading.
Beautiful Boy, Beautiful Girl
He was a beautiful boy. She was a beautiful girl. There are times when things are too perfect to happen in this world. It’s why the beautiful boy ended up holding a blood-stained knife that day.
Love is a beautiful thing until it causes hurt. Is it really love if it bites back? It depends on the point of view but the beautiful girl still ended up with a knife in her thigh that day.
Beautiful things are not always what they seem. It’s why she killed him that day. The beauty spilled from his body, knife dropped from his hand. He was beautiful, even asleep. She lost her beauty that day.
He was a beautiful boy. She was a beautiful mistake.
Let’s talk of love,
Let’s talk of roses
And full glasses of champagne.
Talk of joy
And having a baby,
But let’s not talk of hate,
Or crimson rivers;
Wounds crackling with pus,
The sizzling gashes on my face.
Don’t speak of lost soldiers with forgotten limbs.
And divided skin.
Don’t waste a single breath
Ignore conversing about infants
Left in the gutter,
Or orphans without arms,
Or fire in the streets.
Don’t mention parents
Who kill their children.
I don’t want to know
Don’t look at the spires
Constructed of bodies,
With insects crawling out holes,
And eating out frowns.
Absolutely never speak,
Of anger and sadness
And anything in between.
Why bother with illness
Forget about the times
When liberty bled.
That’s not on my conscience.
Why mention families,
Why speak of agony,
But let’s talk,
Anything at all.
As it’s not,
I’ve Tasted Galaxies…
I’ve tasted galaxies of life
And sorrows past feeling.
Of joy without limit
And the doubting of self.
I’ve drunk rivers of peace
And oceans of boundless wonder.
I’ve breathed in clouds of self-pity
And enjoyed the smells of meadows
Filled with unending mystery.
But I’m not you.
I will never be like you.
And even when our souls do
I feel more distant when we part
Than before we met.
But you feel fulfilled,
Like I’m just another self-help book
On your shelf of past experiences.
Like I’m a pass or fail college course
You can take in eight weeks
And forget about in three.
So I cover my scars with a cloak of shame
As they spread down my twisted back.
And I hide my broken tears
In the lyrics I sing to the world.
You sing along,
Calling my suffering, “art” and saying,
“I wish I could write like that.”
“It makes me want to cry.”
If you knew what it cost,
To create the art you marvel at,
You’d draw your eyes anywhere else.
The beauty you see
Is the mask worn by the fallen angel of who I am.
If you could write like I write,
You’d cry tears
You could never take back.
I wish you never have to cry the tears
And I’d cry them again
If it meant saving you
From it all.
But even then, inside of me,
I feel the rusted inner-turmoil of a Saint who killed his god.
Who can’t get over the death,
Cause it was a senseless pleasure murder
Disguised as a mercy killing.
All else died on that day,
The day his god died.
And I can taste,
The ever-running-tears from the Saint’s face,
As I hold it next to mine,
And I wish he could forget
When his god died.
I wish you suffered
Like I did-
I wish you suffered worse than I did.
Because I’m tired.
I’m so tired.
Cause every bed is a bed of thin needles.
So I stand and bite down on my hand
So the blood distracts me from my failing heart.
But when I grow tired of even that,
And the blood dries,
I’m left with a swollen, teeth-marked palm
And a heart struggling to even gasp.
Then I remember
And take back the tar-smeared words I never said to you,
And put out the livid torch with my fingers.
Because I love-
I love you more,
Than I could ever love myself.
13 Reasons Why: Reflection
Our culture is built on hyperbole. That in itself is hyperbole.
“He’s more evil than Hitler.”
“That ice cream was the best thing I’ve ever tasted.”
“I hate when you call me Alice.”
“That’s the best TV series I’ve ever seen.”
I could say that 13 Reasons Why is the best show I’ve seen, but that would do it a disservice. The show is so well done. SO well done. But the most important part of the show (and the book, I’m sure [despite my not having read it]) isn’t how well it’s written or filmed, or scored, or even acted; the most important part of the show is the message.
That cheesy enough for you? Well, guess what? Life is cheesy. And what is cheesiness anyway? Life is a giant cliched wheel of cheese that we think we’re not a part of. We’re all part of this screwed up abomination of a world. Our lives aren’t all that special. But they are. Each life holds more meaning than anything that can be expressed through my try-too-hard keystrokes. That doesn’t mean that we should give up trying to find the meaning in each and every life.
True Art Is Truthful
I’m an art addict, and even moreso for excellent art. Excellent art, to me, makes me understand people a little bit more; sometimes a lot more than I would like. 13 Reasons Why deals with topics that a lot of people don’t really understand; a lot of people also understand them too well. Some people need to understand them. Others can’t handle these topics. Some people should even stay away from this show because it could make them relive things they shouldn’t have to relive.
This show isn’t gentle. It’s raw. It’s real. It’s uncomfortable to watch. It even hurts to watch at times. Now, I don’t know where you are in your life, but chances are, you need to watch this whole series and you need to watch it soon.
Hell Is Hell
People are suffering. There are so many people out there that are living in hell and we overlook them every day. Maybe we’re making their lives hell. Maybe we’re one of the people living in hell. Maybe it’s a cocktail of blended hell. I’ve been part of both. Maybe we all have, to some degree.
I’m being really vague in this all, but I won’t be anymore; not completely. This show deals with suicide, rape, bullying, and more. It shows some pretty graphic stuff. Is it senseless? I don’t think so. Sometimes we need a glimpse of someone else’s hell so our perspective can change even a little. That perspective change is different for every person. For me it was, well, a lot of things. What it boils down to is- I’m not really 100% sure. Like I said earlier, it helped me understand people a little bit more.
Suffer Through Another 2 Paragraphs?
Human suffering is real. We don’t do enough to stop it and sometimes we even cause it. Sometimes we enjoy making others suffer. It’s not a “well he’s worse than me” thing either. It’s not about comparisons or contrasts. It’s about understanding. We need to try and see where people come from, what they’re feeling.
Humans are freaking complicated freaking beings with freaking problems. This show is not for everyone, but if you have problems, and you’re complicated, even a little, this show is probably for you.
Tell someone you love them. Really ask them how they’re doing. They won’t be around forever. Neither will you.
Days of Summer
Enclosed in his,
She mistook the bliss
For days of Summer
When the Sun was higher
And brighter, yet calmer.
Beside the One
Who gave it all up
When no one else would.
She took the pain
But with him remains.
Should Love ever go one way?
Because the current
Never washed my way.
The waves were my own,
And the perils, I braved alone.
She took the risk
Where there was none.
She jumped into
The Future not knowing,
The Past hadn’t received its due.
I’ve had about a week to let my thoughts on Logan percolate. Here they are.
(No spoilers in this review)
Darkening the Doorstep
Logan is centered around loss of many things, but it’s also undoubtedly about renewal as well. A renewal of relationships between characters and a renewal for the superhero movie genre. Don’t go into this movie expecting a fun time, cause you won’t get it. This film is tough to watch, and that’s not just due to the high level of violence. Logan deals with humanity on a level that no other superhero movie has done yet.
I wouldn’t even call Logan a superhero movie, although it’s unfortunately tied to the genre. There’s plenty of action and there’s a main villain, but I think those are just tropes that are being used to tell an incredible story of a human being who’s lost everything. Everything that happens in the film isn’t tossed in without some heavy thought.
This movie is dark, and although we’ve started to overuse that word, it still applies. This is the mature Wolverine movie that fans have been craving for years. Logan finally gets to use his claws like we’ve been hoping he would and drop those lovely words he loves using so much in the comics. I found this to be less convincing for Professor Xavier, who favored them just as much as Logan. Despite the heaviness of the film, there are plenty of hilarious moments sprinkled in. The amazing part is that these moments don’t disrupt the narrative flow of the movie. They feel natural, like they’re not written into the film as breaks from the gravity of the other parts.
A Child’s World
Logan deals with a world where children are just as much a part of the world as adults are. There are some gritty scenes involving children that will make you think about parallels between Logan’s world and ours and if we’re doing enough to protect our children. Adults’ actions don’t exist in a vacuum apart from what goes on in children’s lives.
This film isn’t preachy or overbearing in its content, it just tells a good story. There are a couple moments where it’s obvious people came up with the story; it’s kind of hard to escape that with the genre, but they feel real despite that. This movie is just really genuine all around, and I really appreciate that.
Act It Out
The acting in Logan is phenomenal, with both Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart putting their all into their roles. Dafne Keen, who plays Laura, does a great job for her age and given the stoic nature of her role. All the supporting actors aren’t left in the dust either, with strong performances from basically everyone.
Even so, this film is very much Logan’s movie. Hugh Jackman does the character a huge service in his last appearance as the character before he lets someone else take on the role.
I walked away from this film a bit of a changed person and I think that’s what all good films should strive for. It made me reevaluate some things about my life and the lives of those around me. When it comes down to it, I couldn’t ask for more in a film. Go and watch it, but but be prepared to walk away with a few scars of your own.
Horizon Zero Dawn: Risking It All
I’ve been yearning for Horizon Zero Dawn for quite the while; it’s finally here in my PlayStation 4. I’ve spent a few hours with the game and these are my initial thoughts.
Beauty In The Beast
It sounds really cool on a surface level: hunting robotic dinosaurs in a post-apocalyptic world. Horizon is so much more than pretty graphics or a fascinating premise. This game is about relationships between human beings, through their love and their hatred for one another. Sure, there are massive machines to be slain, but that almost seems secondary when it comes to the narrative of the game.
You play as a young female protagonist in Horizon Zero Dawn. Playing as a female character obviously isn’t new to video games, but the fact that this high-budget game centers around one is telling of the industry as a whole and where it’s heading. I personally think it’s fantastic and hope to see more lead characters from a variety of backgrounds.
The story hovers around human outcasts and the many taboos they choose not to face. I’ve already felt a connection with the narrative that I rarely experience this early in any game, especially a new franchise like this one.
Hunting More Than Machines
Some of the machines in Horizon are pretty terrifying once they’ve spotted you and begin to rush at you. The adrenaline that I’ve experienced when running and dodging from these things is insane. The gameplay isn’t necessarily revolutionary, but it’s so well done that I’m left more than satisfied.
Again, back to the story of the game, this game is about hunting more than machines. It’s a hunt for acceptance in a world of tradition. Where there are strict rules, there are those that suffer from exclusion.
I look forward to playing more of Horizon and sharing more of my thoughts on the game with you. Thanks for reading!