Particular Moments

More Stars than There are

Tag: America

Not Yet Ready for March

Crowded places filled with gazes of much un-needed Inquiry:
Curious, tense, lustful, and envious—mostly afraid—
Vexing to the extremities of bone.

Can’t a Brother eat alone
Without getting smothered by cloudy and judging glances?

damn unwholesome souls
lurking rampant on this Earth

so disturb me;
perpetually motivated from outwards, of which’s approval they seek;
must we ceaselessly suck like maggots
and compete with one another in nothing
but creature obsessions? 

Escaping the suffocating boxes of Men (and Women too),
Rows of densely packed Crackles sing like
Stereotypical Hispanic Aunties,
Fast and incessantly energetic—
Sitting on the power lines, they look like
Lines of blotched ink, so morbidly jet black,
That a weak mind may just mistake them
For a bad, bad omen—

and can we stop reducing our fellow creatures
into metaphors of our own mere understandings? 

You see, it might just be a rest stop
Along the journey of their mass, seasonal migrations—
Amongst themselves, a make-shift conference is undergoing.

A slow walk toward less crowded blocks,
Outdated Post Offices and Abandoned Factories,
Peeling Paints; Corroded Metal Beams—
Ironically, at such sights, the soured Heart sits more at ease;
Maybe they remind Us of our lost
But once True Essence,

Now empty shells, waiting to be swallowed up
Whole, down the fat, fat belly of the Real Estates,
and gentrified into “Creative Work Spaces.”

Looking into the dark corners of these obsolete Sentinels,
A pair of dimly gleaming green eyes peer back
in Innocent Caution; a Young Black Feline.

“Hey there, Friend.” You say.

For it is a rare encounter, after all,
On this humid Dusk quickly morphing into total Night Fall,
It is only you and the cat
Keeping Sigil at the Graves, six feet under which
Lay the molding corpses of the Earnest and Industrious.

Eventually, this on-foot excursion ended,
Leaving you atop an empty garage, possibly
Another tasteless fruit of some Real Estate Empire—
The view falls far short of what you anticipated:
Foggy flatlands scattered with boxes containing men and women
who mostly busy themselves glancing at each other.

A breeze blows, but does not freshen your face.

Oh February of 2018,
You stubborn Animal,
Must you so soon leave us empty handed?
I dreamt of more adventures in your bleakness.

American Gothic

or what's left of it anyway

                                              or what’s left of it anyway

Attending A Cultural Gathering

“Oh God! What the hell is that smell?” He flinched in disgust, as if stumbled upon a dread wrapped in elements of surprise.

“What smell?” You said, flat-toned and nonchalant.

 

In reality, you were aware, but it was more worthwhile testing someone (not out of judgement, of course–but as an escape, to kick away some daily banality).

 

“Do you not smell this?! Gah…”

He could have gone into more descriptive detail, but he doesn’t. Perhaps he couldn’t. That’s just the way he was, a man of few words—literally.

“Hmm. Whatever you are talking about, I must have gotten used to by it now.”

 

You two were squeezing shoulder to shoulder, trying to make way past a dense crowd.

 

“Damn it, I didn’t know it was going to be like this. This is nasty, man.” He was serious, but not severely so. He could bear more where it came from; but something made him complain more than usual that day.

“Welcome to my domain, haha. Come on, it ain’t so bad. ”

“Is this what it smells like here, everyday?”

“If that’s how you’d imagine it, I guess that’s how I’d put it. Well..it’s just a spice, or however many spices they are surrounded by, you know?”

 

Once upon a time, you had the brief honor of meeting a man, an ordinary man, who never seemed to become dismayed by insensitive remarks, and always had a near-innocent patience to explain his circumstances to those who wished to get laughs out of his countenance, sometimes even his decisions. It didn’t hurt him when people didn’t try to understand. As such, his humility made him an extraordinary man.

You were trying to practice the same virtue you admired—as opposed to complete rejection of all that which shoves you out of your elements, try to adapt, then see why a part of you is upset by it. Upon understanding the nature of your complaint, and the conditions surrounding the very thing that disturbs you, it becomes easier to nullify what was once a nuisance, into a fact of life—something tolerable and most importantly, free of discriminatory stigma.

 

“Man…how do you do it everyday? Having to come here and smell all these people..? It’s like they don’t shower…or something, god. I hate it when people don’t clean themselves.” He stated his conviction more straight-forwardly.

“You’d be surprised. In a lot of parts of the world, people–”

“We are all in America, aren’t we? If they come here, they need to learn the way.”

 

Conversations of this sort, you had encountered much too often. Right then and there, you were too tired for a potentially rift-forming argument. It had been a long day, and he’s a good friend. 

You decided not to press it. However, it was truly befuddling; how can a man, who’s traveled half way across the world, all the way to the poorer countrysides in parts of Africa, could perceive a foreign scent as terribly intolerable. 

 

“I guess.” You responded.