LOVE POEM #33 – OBSESSION

It started out like most loves do,

With cliché thoughts of me and you

Sitting till sunset at the park,

Or laughing at each other’s snark.

But like most loves, it weaved and changed,

Until I’d found myself deranged.

I felt deformed, just like a leper;

And more lonely than Sgt. Pepper.

 

Every morning was such a chore,

And every class was such a bore.

Every moment I yearned for you.

I burned, and churned, and turned for you.

I broke and breaked and failed class.

I choked and ached and scaled glass.

I killed myself just so I’d see

The love that was so dear to me.

 

A love to protect me from my fears,

And warm hands to wipe away my tears.

But what I found was all my yearning

Had simply kept the wheel turning.

And spun you farther than I could see;

Too far to ever come back to me.

 

And so I find myself alone,

Too scared to ever make a home,

Or venture out to see the day

Where all my pains are borne away.

 

And I wonder…did you ever love me?

Or was this just some fantasy.

——

 

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BEDTIME STORY PART 3

To preface this, here are links to Part One and Part Two. Enjoy!

 

The next night we sat down and jumped straight back into our story. Lizzie’s wide eyes looked on me with excitement and wonder as I recounted the events from the previous night.

“…and so that monstrous looking entity bellowed ‘who dares to disturbed my slumber.’ Are we all caught up?”

“Yup,” Lizzie said, drifting into silence.

“Ok. So this ancient creature stands before you. It’s blinking yellow eyes trained on the light from your lantern. It looks almost like a human, yet its skin has the distinct texture of solidified mud.

‘My name is Ashoka, I am of the river,’ you call out. You’ve lied, though you are unsure why. Something in the air gives you pause.

‘Ashoka?’ the beast speaks every syllable with a slow, meandering pause, as if tasting each in turn, ‘human, you would do better not to lie to me.’

‘What are you?’ Your voice presses on, with a determination, ignoring its question.

‘Me?’ the beast sounds almost taken aback, ‘if you are not careful, I will be your reckoning.’ The hint of a smile pulls at the eyes of the beast, its face remains neutral. That is, if you could call such a sight neutral.

‘Speak, or never speak again,’ you announce, with quite a bit more confidence than you feel. You pass the lantern to your right hand, and draw your sword. The silver edge glows bronze against your lantern, yet with the palest hint of blue from the light of the beast.

‘You think you can damage me with this?’ the beast laughs, it’s a pained, guttural laugh, with such disdain, ‘what do you call your precious sword?’

‘This is Elendall, forged from the same fires as Durendall.’

‘Elendall.’ The beast’s voice breaths in a ghost like whisper, then, more loudly, it boasts ‘let me show you how feeble your mighty sword is.’ The beast’s arm raises slowly. You step back, wary as the hand extend closer to you, though it stops a short ten feet from you. It’s boney brown fingers glow red against the light of your lantern. The beast speaks an unknown word, sharp, clear, and steely. It sounds like ‘El-Dah,’ though it is so raspy and ancient you cannot say for sure.

Suddenly, Elendall begins to shiver. It looks like a gong, vibrating furiously after being struck. The shaking runs though your arm, until at last you cannot hold the sword any longer. Your eyes dart between the sword and the beast. The beast closes its hand into a fist, and you watch your shivering sword change. The silver blade shifts, to a burnt, angry brown, then to a molten, fiery red. The surface began to morph and twist, and little bursts of smoke began to roll off it. The once hard edges of the blade melt onto the ground into a puddle; bubbling, popping, and hissing as the molten turns from red to orange, with the hilt laying listlessly on the earth. Then, as if possessed, the liquid begins to move, rising into the air, and forming a sphere of molten. Waves of its heat scorch your face, but you stare, transfixed, at the sphere before you, unable to turn away. Then, the sphere suddenly shifts back through the color spectrum, until it sits before you as a pale blue ball.

‘Open your hand,’ the beast commands. Without thinking, you oblige. The sphere moves above your extended palm, then drops suddenly into your hand.” I stopped talking and sat in silence.

“Wha—come on!” Lizzies protested, “you can’t stop there!”

“It’s late Liz.” I brought my hand to my forehead.

“But what is—”

“Liz.” I said, in a tone more harsh than I’d intended. I could feel the fatigue against my eyes. Liz shrunk back in her bed, her expression hurt. I took a deep breath, “sorry Liz. I’m just tired. I’ll tell you more tomorrow.” Silence. She had turned away from me. I stood there for a moment, then walked to her doorway. I said a horse goodnight on my way out, then shut the door behind me.

——

 

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CAUGHT (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

Perseverance

How do you succeed?

Fail at a million things,

Till you win at one.

 

Diseased

The pain in my bones

Is dull compared to the pain

That rots in my heart.

 

Orders

“Women shouldn’t be:

Afraid, angry; too sexy.”

…Because that’s worked out.

 

False Lives

My friends post pictures

Of their glorious nights out,

But tell me they’re sad.

 

Caught

Perhaps the liars

Aren’t all terrible people.

Just those that got caught.

——

 

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FRIEND ZONED

Hello everyone,

 

Today I wanted to discuss the dreaded “friend zone.” Which is a term I strongly dislike, but at the same time have experienced the feelings that tie to what people often deem “the friend zone.” Before I get into it, in case you’ve been living under a rock (or perhaps you don’t really date nowadays), the friend zone is a space in which a love interest of a person does not reciprocate that person’s interests, however both people still want to be friends. I hear this situation come up most commonly where girls tells guys they think of them as a friend, rather than a romantic partner, though that may be simply my experience. I do not hear women talk about being “friend zoned” often at all.

Ok, so I don’t like the term “friend zone” because it dismisses one person’s opinion. I mean, not literally, in the sense that the person in the friend zone is willing to stay there, but it indicates that the relationship is not what that person wants it to be, despite the fact that being friends is what makes the other person comfortable. The friend wants to be able to say to this person “man I’m having problems with a crush,” and not have them say something stupid back, like “well if we went on a date I’d treat you right.” That does not help them. That’s selfish. I think it is reasonable to assume that if they are friends with that person, they probably view that person as a decent human being.

That being said, it is also a reasonable reaction to a situation in this day and age (what, you thought I would just cram my opinion down your throat? Nah, that’s not what we’re here for). Lets think about it. Today is often about being sensitive to the needs and feelings of others. If someone doesn’t appreciate something, they should be able to tell that person how they feel. Someone should never feel trapped. There is always the opportunity to leave, but there is not always the opportunity to stay. Let’s take a Hollywood cliché love example. Guy loves girl, girl rejects guy, but he persists until she eventually comes around. I mean, everyone adores Beauty and the Beast, and that’s pretty much how it goes, right? So if this is the rhetoric that everyone hears, then it’s not unreasonable for a guy to be expected to persist, is it? The idea that love follows rejection leads to ignoring rejection. It reduces the “we are not dating” mentality to “we are not dating right now.”

This concept is supported in our culture in all ways. “Don’t give up,” “hard work pays off,” and so on. If a person just tries hard enough, they can be whatever they want. Even happily married. There’s something romantic about crossing a barrier to win over a loved one. Which I think is what the thought process is for those who believe in the friend zone. They think their interest just has not seen the beauty of them yet. Which is a hard thing to disagree with, especially when we aren’t willing to ignore the feelings of others.

——

 

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PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE

I pledge allegiance to the flag

 

My young eyes followed

Each word on the board dutifully,

As we spoke,

Because I had been told

That’s what a patriot would do.

 

Of the United States of America

 

My home.

Well, my country, at least,

My home was there, too,

But just down the street,

Next to Mikey’s house.

I had never been to somewhere like Texas

Or Tennessee.

Ma said it wasn’t safe there.

 

And to the Republic, for which is stands,

 

And what exactly

Do we stand for?

I wondered.

Uncle Rob and Mom

Were arguing over that

Just the other day.

“You poor people

Are all the same.

Fat. Lazy.

And so irritating,

Begging for my money.”

He had spit.

I remember the contempt in his eyes

When his gaze fell on me.

 

One nation, under God, indivisible

 

Of course, the divide in our family

Was made long before yesterday evening.

Mom had married a Muslim.

And because he translated God

To Allah

Uncle Rob acted like dad was a terrorist.

Then again, so did my classmates,

Which is why mom drops me off

Nowadays.

 

With liberty and justice for all.

 

At the time,

When I rocked back and forth on my heels,

Hand clasped over my heart,

I did not know the term “irony,”

 

But as I would learn,

In my public schooling,

The ideas of “liberty” and “justice”

Are riddled with it.

 

Where was the liberty

When my father was executed

By Mikey’s dad,

The “self-proclaimed” patriot?

 

Where was the justice

When my mother grew weak and weary

From over exhaustion,

While Uncle Rob

Grew fat

With his riches?

 

“For all,”

Echoed through my mind,

As we took our seats in class.

The tattered walls,

The creaky floors,

The wobbly desks,

All reminded me

What a perfect lie that was.

 

There’s no justice for us.

——

 

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LOVE POEM #32 – A LITTLE FANTASY

I have this little fantasy,

Where every morning, you and me

Wake up beneath the unlit skies

With an adventure in our eyes.

 

We pack our bags, and picnic too,

And set out, as the sky turns blue.

We scale up the mountain’s peak

Till we come to the point we seek:

 

The highest point our eyes can see,

Occupied by a lonely tree,

With leaves more green than summer’s grass

And roots more deep than legends past.

 

Up there we waste away our day

Without the need for words to say.

Just cheese and wine and happy thoughts;

Admiration for what we’d wrought.

 

As the sunsets, I see us both,

Sitting beneath the undergrowth

We’re arm in arm, and cheek to cheek,

And I feel the urge to speak.

 

The sudden welling in my throat

Is realer than all I’ve wrote.

And there, beneath that glist’ning view,

I have to whisper “I love you.”

——

 

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THE FLAG-BEARER

The streets filled with the thunder of footsteps as we marched down to the capital. Thousands of us had heard the imperial message of our leader, reminding us of the tentative balance that democracy constantly hung in. Unlike the indecisive nations of the world, however, we were unafraid of our government. Our revolution had been different. Main Street—the street we now trampled on—had been the site of our reincarnation. It had been a bloody debacle, in which many lost their lives on both sides. In the end, however, we had claimed victory, though the red from the blood baths had permanently stained the street a faded red.

I was the flag-bearer—holding the large steel pole to display the symbol of our nationalism. The fabric was a vibrant red, with a gash of heavy crimson through the center, to symbolize the scars of our nation’s beginning. I was near the front, pushed off to the right so that the heads of the masses could approach first. The front-runner was a man dressed in a black leather robe, with a dull silver lining around the edges. On his head sat a matching hat, and he had donned a pair of intimidating shades, despite the overcast weather. He walked with a terrifying air of power.

Since the revolution, he had been named the Enforcer. The role of the Enforcer was just what it sounded like…to enforce the law. He had rescinded his name the day he had been given the role, twenty years ago. His strength of youth had left him, and his stark black hair had been speckled with the salt and pepper of age, yet he walked with an air of resilience. Each of his large strides (for he was nearly six-foot five-inches tall) seemed to rise above the clatter of boots behind him, and each step seemed to shake the Earth itself.

Around his waist were the only two guns in the whole of our nation. After the bloodbath of Main Street, even the most remote villagers could not argue with the destructive force that these weapons were capable of. Only the Enforcer, the final level of judgment, was allowed to bear arms. He was a zealot, but not an unrestricted or careless man in his demeanor. The only zeal he defended in his life was the just treatment of things in life. Hence why he alone could wield the twin pistols with the power to take life in an instant.

But it with the strength of power that men become the most susceptible to corruption. While the Enforcer was a great man—and in many ways still is—he himself has failed his own duties. Perhaps that is why at the capital building there stood a legion of men in all red. They stood atop the stairs, looking down on us, and we halted at the base. The white marble steps contrasted the red of the street stunningly, the way a pillar of light cuts through the darkness around it.

Yet as we stood there, the crimes of the Enforcer paled in comparison to those of our ruler. Broken promises, violent language, and irresponsible behaviors. The minor follies of the average man beg the forgiveness of his peers. I, myself, struggle with my sexism. Even now, I refer to men and mankind, rather than the humanity we live in. Yet in the end, is it our struggles, or whether we overcome them, that should be judged? Do we mock the single stray bullet, or praise the steady hand that has time and again liberated us?

These questions I pondered, with the cool steel of the flagpole in my hand, in the moments before we tore down the regime of anarchy, cut down the battalion before us, and restored order to the people. After, I returned to my lonely desk job, the Enforcer went back to his building, where he drank his nights away, and I assume the rest of the crowd dispersed back to their usual lives…but that one day, the moment we chose to overthrow tyranny and return the power to the people…that’s what makes living worth it. That’s what makes our country great.

——

 

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CLIFFHANGER (AND OTHER HAIKUS)

The Fish Tank

Googly-eyed fish

What is it you’re looking at

With such indiff’rence?

 

Little Things

The hot water’s gone

And the lights have been turned off.

But at least we’re glad.

 

Old Style

Business in the front,

And a party in the back.

Mullet or corp’rate?

 

Temptation

I’m trying to be

This careful, precise, health nut

But pizza’s too good

 

Cliffhanger

I hang on the edge

Thinking about all my stress;

Wishing I’d let go.

——

 

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A YEAR IN THE BOOKS

Hello everyone,

 

Today is a good Tuesday for a discussion. It’s cold out, I’m at work on spring break…just a perfect day. Wait…that’s not perfect at all! Then again, nothing can really put a damper on my mood today, because today we (I?) are celebrating one year of blogging! Technically, cassadyblog turns one year old on this coming Thursday, March twenty-third, but as discussions are on Tuesdays, it seemed most appropriate to put this “year in review” segment today.

As you may or may not have noticed, I started out writing this blog pretty exclusively as a discussion of my ideas. I’ve talked a decent amount on just about everything—politics, gender, race, global warming…the list goes on. But then things took an interesting turn as I started trying some creative writing here and there. I realized I adored it—specifically, I really liked poetry. It called to me. The rhythm was like a siren calling out to a sailor—beautiful and irresistible.

Likewise, writing short snippets of stories is something I took up after a few attempts at it. I realized that writing short stories was something that let me focus on really getting into the nitty-gritty detail of things—which is something that sonnets and such often are forced to leave a bit more broad. I mean, how does one fit the details of scenery, complexities of dialogue, and development of character into one-hundred forty syllables? It’s pretty hard—I mean, isn’t that why Shakespeare wrote plays too?

Anyways, I wanted to do a couple things with this post. First of all, I wanted to thank all of you for reading. I had a friend recently check out what I had written, and she was kind enough to tell me how much she liked it. I don’t write for people—I do it because I enjoy it. That being said, I can’t pretend like there haven’t been days where I wanted to bail entirely. There are always doubts, misgivings, and fears about a project, but the happiness, the smiles, and the support are all things that have kept me going when I’ve felt like quitting. So thank you.

The second thing I wanted to do with this post was provide a list of my top 5 pieces of work for the past year. I know, based on WordPress statistics, what everyone likes most of my work, but none of you know the works that I have liked the most. With that in mind, here is a list (with links) to my top 5 favorite works from this past year of writing (and of course, I ranked them because who doesn’t love ranking things?):

 

#5 – Views from the Coop

 

This is one of a few haikus I wrote, and has been followed by several after it that I’ve enjoyed very much. But somehow, relating chickens to people is something that I have found an everlasting appreciation for, ever since I wrote it.

 

#4 – Stand Up Citizen

 

This was the poem that actually sparked my desire to continue writing poetry. It was the third original poem I posted on my blog, but the first born from personal experience and real, current emotions. I can still see myself, on the rooftops of L.A., sitting and waiting in disbelief and anger. In retrospect it’s a little…well, it could be better, and, like my emotions at the time, it’s a little rough around the edges, but I like it just the same.

 

#3 – An Eternity in an Instant

 

Similar to Stand Up Citizen, this was one of the first short stories I wrote. After a thought experiment of smiling at everyone I saw, I recognized that the people that smiled back were often people I would never see again, and that moment between us was so meaningful, yet completely intangible. It has been a memorable experience for me in my writing, despite how short it was.

 

#2 – A Stroke of Red Ink

 

I have a soft spot for haikus alright?! Though this is a poem made up of several. I think A Stroke of Red Ink is probably the most interesting poem I have written so far. It has aspects of cultural differences with both the language difference in some actual French words, and the abuse of the black girl (and the character’s inability to help her). It has powerful imagery with the lake of red ink swallowing the dreamer, and it has allusions to other aspects of literature—all of which is juxtaposed with a certain irony.

 

#1 – Camouflage

 

Do you ever unintentionally make a rhyme, and it sticks with you for…like months? That’s what the last two lines of this poem have been for me. I’ll be standing in the shower, or walking through the halls, and BOOM “why is it that you / Hide behind that suit of red, white, and blue?” hits me like a bullet. I wrote it in December, after the results of the election had finally sunk in, and the hypocrisies of various nationalistic characters began to show their ugly faces. The “I Want You” poster kept popping into my mind, and I decided to write a poem applying that image to our current political climate.

 

Honorable Mentions:

Where would I be without a myriad of honorable mentions? Many of these I think about regularly—things I could have done better, turning points in my life, and so on. I encourage you to check them all out, though if you have read this far, I’m sure there is no need for me to tell you that.

 

A Choice

Tweedle-Dee-Do

Off Ramps

Chapters

I Wrote You a Poem

The Morning After

Visitors of the Mind

Train Stop

Harnessed Lightning

Connecting Hillary’s Two Faces

——

 

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SPRINT

Sprint,

Don’t run.

For life is short,

And so is the race.

 

Sprint,

Because

The best meals are taken

By those first place.

 

Sprint,

Because

Death catches those

Who linger behind.

 

Sprint,

Because

Love finds those

Who are the most defined.

 

Sprint,

Because

You can rest

At the end of the day.

 

Sprint,

And you

Can escape

What the haters say.

 

Sprint,

For the thrill

Of the hunt

In your heart.

 

Sprint,

Before age

Saps your hands

Of their art.

 

Sprint,

Until

Once strong bones

Start to ache.

 

And sprint,

Until

Your body

Finally breaks.

——

 

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