Particular Moments

More Stars than There are

Tag: memoir

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Outdated Post Offices and Abandoned Factories,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.

Love at Midtown

I fell
In Love
With a fine,
Young Lady

From the Other
Side
Of town—

She North
And I South—

Two neighborhoods, separate lives,
And both having
Miraculously crossed,

Would never
Once
Be
The same.

Gutted

First discovered this unforgettable album in Spring 2015 (many thanks to the spy who led me to this).

I occasionally like to find a quiet place in the evening, close the eyes, and listen to certain tracks within this collection on repeat.

This one, in particular, brought out many unspeakable sentiments that once tethered themselves so deeply that they sickened my spirit, and upon hearing this song, and feeling its solemn melodies resonate within the thickest and blackest parts of an old heart, I found confirmation. The emotions inscribed onto this song dug out the heavy lump I couldn’t seize nor describe on my own. And knowing that someone have had similar undertakings, and was able to translate it into something simple, dignified, and beautiful, I was lucky to have found consolation.

My Muse

A_Smurf_Or_Fairy

Mementoes

Hotel_Serving

A Rainy Walk in Late October

So_I_Walk_In_The_Rain

Maybe
In the dampened
Mess of things,
You shall see
Once more
In Clarity,

Able to shake
A few
Mulish monkeys
Off your bag—

On a day like this,
Crave not to
Feel,
Wish not to
See;

Love,
Make yourself
as Cruel as
You can be—
Fuse
Hard wires
To your being.

Yes,
Walk out
During this Storm,
For no one
Sees
Fragile tears
Or hears
Sorry weeps

In a Sea
Of razor-sharp
Beads.

Let the broken
Seek refuge
In the tremulous,
Impartial
Rain,

For its Deluge
Equally wets
And
Justly absolves
Every
Bitter ache.

November Her

Running her long, refined fingers past your hair—the smoothness of her skin made it feel thinner than you’d like to have remembered. Standing before you, silent, her belly leveled with your helplessly down-tilted and slumberous head, she emanated waves of almost intangible, lulling warmth that was all the more irresistibly unsettling.

“…go to sleep.” Tiresome, you slowly seized her by the wrist, too spent to look up and into her face.

The night was dark, and it had rendered everything dim. Even the small lamp in the living room corner seemed somnolent, unwilling to illuminate expressions.

“But you are the one who actually needs it” she said, quietly, as she gently broke away from your refusing hand.

It didn’t occur to you before how firmly your drunken hands had clasped around her well-intended reach—you were blindly hurting her and her kind caressing. How could you have been so in over your head, so much so, that you failed to tend to the her, right then so close, the her whom you adored like no other?

“I’m fine, and uhhhum, strong. I’m a trooper, remember?” You let out a slight chuckle, stubbornly clinging to your light-hearted and nonchalant shtick.

That was the kind of humor you exercised, to her and yourself, to kick anything you dared not to confront under the carpet, and to lead conversations to their desired dead ends.

In truth, in that particular moment, as you sat on the sofa, leaning forward and struggled to prop up your sinking head from falling under, you felt more worn and vulnerable than ever—one nudge from her crafty hands and you’d been side ways like a dead log.

.

Are men really, deep down, all helplessly prideful and self-contradicting creatures? 

.

“Even a trooper needs some comfort” moving your futile hands away, she let her hand run through your hair once more, allowing it to rest by the base of your neck.

.

That’s the way she was, able to discern all your boyish pretense with such ease; yet she did so while having managed to acknowledge it—humoring you without sacrificing the authenticity of her own ideals. She knew, that you knew that she knew, in the face of her, you were forever powerless. Even then, in spite of the occasions when you grew indelicate, she never took the convenience of jabbing at places you were the most tender.

For she was all-powerful, and kind like that, like the way she is.

What Do You Have In The Garden?

“You really love your plant, don’t you?”

“It’s my best friend. Always happy, no questions. It’s like me, you see? No roots.” Chuckles, innocent and sheepish.

.

.

.

Hesitant, after days of neglect, you decide to set foot on the back porch; it’s been too long since you last checked on the tomatoes, cucumbers, and the flowers in their distinctive pots.

They have been left to the worst of this year’s blistering sun, as you have left the corresponding portions of yourself to catch dust. Oh, what have you done to these garden greens (among other colors)? You have abandoned them on your way to a mindless degeneration, and let them wither into each of their own desiccated hues.

.

Beautiful. We live as we die, alone. 

How cruel. But a glint of true.

Don’t deny it. Accept, so then you can hope again.

.

Objectively speaking, these damn plants aren’t where they belong anyways. It’s not your damn fault that these damn plants cannot survive a damn week without any nurture. Either way they’d die on you. This backyard is…Simply. Not. Their. Natural. Habitat.

To be truly good, one must occasionally acknowledge his/her innate evils—the best detectives often think like the worst criminals. You like an occasional expression of viciousness, for it is brutal, malignant, yet nakedly human and therefore true.

Spill all the bad blood as you wish, but know your place.

.

Then again (return to your angels, please; every night, before bed, do it), phew…are these things not just like you?

They do not recall a place to go—their home lies right where you desire to place them—everywhere, anywhere, and nowhere. The fluidity of their comfort allows limits that extend beyond the confinement of any particular pot; all they require are the essential nourishments of life; you simply need to heed to them, here and there.

They are the seeds you sowed, now you take responsibility and look after them, for they are none but the very extensions of you. 

.

In your recollection, how much you know of her perfectly coincides with the only conversation you’ve ever had together, in which she did the talking while you performed the juvenile, intimidated yes’s and nods.

Great grandmother was lying in her death bed when she directly spoke to you for the first and very last time.

No, no Hollywood death scenes where the person passing on gets to squeeze in a few sensationalized words before they drop dead. Father and I had to return to town, where he held a job as a university lecturer. The students couldn’t have taken long before their study in plant sciences became a farce at the hands of substitute teachers.  She passed away roughly a month and half later.

“Young, get on an airplane and fly overseas; go be with your mother” she said, gesturing with her feeble hand, raised and slowly moving through the air, mimicking motions of flight.

To an eight-year-old, an elderly lady so often silent and solemn was unmistakably a figure to be feared; her outwardly stoic dispositions exuded a demand for old fashioned, almost hierarchal respect, the kind that intimidated. But when her voice finally made its way to your ears, all your preconceived constructions of a harsh, strict old lady melted away.

She was stricken and sounded ancient, like the cracking of centuries-old, hollow branches. She was very sick and was on her way to an undoubtable decease, yet her words were clear as day, and infinitely warm—every single one of them spoken without a vestige of ambiguity, as if when she spoke to you, there wasn’t a second person in the world, and that all you had was her voice, which echoed and engrained itself permanently into your thoughts.

(be very, very careful of  what you say to children—their sponges pick up certain things that will travel with them for life)

.

Mother. The Voice on the other end of the telephone. Early kindergarten memories: her long, sage colored dress in the summer; her studying through piles of paper; her getting on a train one day and seemingly disappearing forever.

Why would I have wanted to be with her? 

Somehow, a few years later, what your Great grandma said manifested itself into a physical truth. Your memory is still blurry on the series of spontaneous events that abruptly led to it. It is only eerie because it was the last thing you had ever wanted.

.

Years of unexamined living, growing older, brushing off the ones who loved you, receiving hand-written letters and not having enough patience and perhaps compassion to deliver anything of equal value in return, have you not let your garden rot and become entangled with undesirable weeds?  Leaving all the good wells to run dry and the youthful flowers to die.

What an asshole. What would the old lady think of this—her well-intended prophecy having been fulfilled, but what has become of the seed she had sown? 

.

Father. Years later. Different university; different town—a long stretch from the where years before. Same occupation, a professor, or more humbly a teacher.

You see him most significantly as a gardener. He used to subtly praise them (he still does)—paraphrasing:

“Plants are reliable, given the proper nutrients and a suitable environment, they thrive—growing day and night to yield desired results—bearing fruits. They are efficient, unlike us humans, who rarely display signs of growth when our basic needs are satisfied.”

He used to squat next to his garden vegetables and study them, pruning them here and there, sometimes binding them to stick scaffolds to create order and induce upright extension. During crop season, he would visit them morning after morning, making sure they were well hydrated and in good development.

The old man smokes a pack a day; he used to (and sometimes still does) drink prolifically.  For how much he puts his body into harm’s way, you cannot help but to envy him—how he undeniably sees a very special dimension in life that which you are doomed to overlook—how, there seems to persist a subtle yet insurmountable passion in his life, something that you are in a constant failure to maintain.

He loves and nurtures his garden, and its constituents love him back, each year blooming and bearing desirables past their expected portions. Your father’s garden is one of miracles. Why can’t you be more like your father in that aspect?

Perhaps, it’s an age thing. It is the only way you would prefer to rationalize it.

.

.

.

“If you really love it, you should plant it in the middle of a park—so it can have roots.” 

*Face pauses. “Yeah.”