Skipping the Fall

Be it an abbreviation, be it a cry,
But let it not be a lie,

I’ve frosted some aches,
I’ve feigned some lines,
Nothing is darker than
Fears inside,

Running
Towards the walls,
Gasping for more
Signs and
Minding Nothing,

There was madness
Spread in jest,
What is this
Pathetic sight?

I fall apart,
I barely stand,
Rising is menacing,
Almost like dying,
Constant.

Words can fly away
But they always
Come back –
Turn around,

Tell me about
Your wounds,
Your lies,
Your endless tries,
What tore you apart,
What you lost, 

What you cared,
What you sought,
Meant more than –
Forward,
 
Always moving
Forward and not
Thinking behind,
Uneven ratios,
Flat chords, 

That’s enough,
Familiar steps
Extend the clouds,
Waiver the gap,

Wave the rest,
Wave them good night.

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Wrinkle

Toss it in the street,
Throw it in the river,
Leave it to the sky,

Crash, destroy, trample
Whatever you do,
It’ll appear again –

Listen to it quietly,
Mend it with your voice,
Find it to the core

Of your will,
Stains will grow,
So does strength,

Cry if you may,
Try if you must,
Live and live more if you will,

Whenever you remember,
Coarse strings
Always synthesize

Fair bubbles
To the mellow wisp.
Hinting for yearnings,

The wind whispers:
‘Run for the tide’
The dress disappears,

Yet the wrinkle stays
Unsolemnly
In the fate of sand.

Stars, Glasses & Sand

No rush,
Just empty bulbs
Each finding
The ruse
Of all thoughts
Sanitising itself
From the wind
Of the Hollow

What now?
Just grey rainbows
Dispelling
The quiet storms
From the people
Who say
Nothing
but care

More than anything
When
They come back
To themselves
Fighting for
Themselves, without
A doubt

No fear
Just chilling
Under the moon
In the white
Room
Soothed by
The warmth
Of the
Pandemonium.

Sunset Dreams

Standing on puddles,
You were certain you were alive,
Delivering angles of truth,
You welcomed challenges
As if they were your best enemies.

Yet, you feared the slight whisper
That kept you awake and drained,
Forcing you to lose your victory,
Letting you watch the wrong scenes
In your head, your room and the old streets.

Unaware and aloof,
The space invited a spur of noises,
You thought you were fighting them
But you caressed them with your silence,
And you tore up the torn walls.

Forever became the moment,
You were like a runaway patient,
Going through different circles and taxis,
Trying to dismember any bad memory
That was never made, only structured.

Sunsets called over and made you rest,
You confronted your blues and whites,
While the certified driver was proud to announce,
That people’s flaws were due to their nature,
And skins and cultures were all that matter.

No way that thoughts could mean facts,
Oh, but what a way to express a discrimination!
You remembered your faraway dreams,
Perfection and globes climbed up to your mind
Again, you breathe and slowly you feel

The rain, not the puddles,
The wind, not the heat,
The light, not the fire
The will, not the blood
The signs everywhere

And the limits you put
To yourself,
Forever becomes
A wonder
Once more.

Maximum

Panic overruled diagnosis
Science invites chaos
Testimony scars visions

What a being
Without knowing how
The earth spills

Everything that shines
Every worm bites
Every dice turns

Every word freezes
When you slither
Front and back

Momentarily
The trees speak
Anguish sends storm

Curiosity creates litmus
Acids intensify mimes
Air reminisces rains

Taints and fevers
Covering the veins
Simmering the pride

The pendulum sways
Knocking the hues
Of the imminent

Were you needed
Before
or ever?

Century

Indifferent spelling
Wasteful
Signs
Breaking white
Noise

Withdrawing
The blinds
Seen from
The tame
Eyes

Old age
Is old
No matter
What
They feel

Twenty one
Is forgotten
While
News
Is forever

Right now,
Absence
Makes
Everything
Sound

As if
We are
Complete
When we
Triumph

Over
The hills
That were
Never
There

When we
Were
Born
In a different
Era

In a different
Volume
And
Space
And crowd.

Cardboards

Truth is like an old man,
whom you’ve seen before,
with his ragged, filthy clothes,
Often alone, at the side street,
sitting on cardboards
and surrounded by plastics and sheets.

You feel like you want to help him,
but you can’t decide, instead
you pray someone else will,
As a way to redeem your conscience,
As a way to soothe your soul,
You close your eyes
while you try to breathe normally
and bite the tears,
The pain is gone but only temporary;

You see other people do the same,
You curse and condemn them,
You forget your own doings,
You forget your own ignorance.

Your conscience directs you and you depend on it,
But your heart is screaming out loud,
You lie to yourself, you become a mask,
A hideous one who pitifully cries
and scorns no one but itself.

The old man walks away
as he picks up
his cardboards
and coins,
You see his back, you stop crying,
You follow the old man with weak
but careful steps.

You finally approach the old man,
and the old man stays silent,
You speak to him with an awkward laugh,
asking ‘how do you do?’
The man remains quiet, and doesn’t show any move,
You talk to him until you are out of breath,
with polite gestures and random jest,
which you try to make them appear
as real as possible.

You laugh again, with sweats,
when the old man doesn’t say anything,
You murmur ‘sorry if I’ve offended you
in any way, I only wanted to talk’,
And every now and then,
the alley dims and blinks
thriftily, ruefully,
like a slow heartbeat.

You feel strange and you grow scared,
You don’t know what this fear is,
Yet you don’t move an inch to get away,
While the old man seems to drown
His head in his dreams of the sea.

You want to say something again but your mouth is dry,
You feel constrained as the crowd is getting bigger,
You cry ‘help’ desperately as you kneel down
and grab anything that is near.
You feel a rough feeling in your hand.
It’s something nostalgic
that belongs to the old man,
You don’t know what happened,
But –

The old man has fled,
leaving only the cardboards,
and scribbles written on them,
where they appear absurd
to the massive crowd
that forgets to see
the truth –

like the old man.

A little bit of reflection on Malcolm X: A Life of Reinvention by Manning Marable

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“But sir, how can a man of your intelligence, a professor of history, who knows the value of thorough research, come here from Harvard and attack the Black Muslims, basing your conclusions on one small article?”

That quote right there, was one of the reasons why I wanted to read this book. Presenting logic and facts in an eloquent manner in his speeches, this guy was a great orator and a most determined individual, fighting for the rights of the black population in the US. I simply wanted to know more about Malcolm X. Another biography is another/a further insight on his thoughts and journey as a Black Muslim leader & human rights activist.

However, the first quarter of the book was a bit difficult for me to read. Marable made it clear that he wanted to challenge the popular and widely accepted notions on Malcolm X, both positive and negative. He wanted to go beyond what other people have done including Alex Haley, whom he thought had his own agenda. The result was a much more comprehensive and explicit work than The Autobiography of Malcolm X As Told to Alex Haley. Marable’s dedication to write this book is no joke. It took him years and despite his illness, he still went on. So I admire that and respect his decision to present certain points and arguments in order to show to people that Malcolm X was indeed amazing, but not without faults. He chronicled Malcolm X’s life from a young age to the day of his assassination and even after that with great detail. He gathered points and evidences to portray the different sides of Malcolm X and the other truths of what have occurred. He was also not afraid to criticise Malcolm, his ways of dealing within his former movement, Nation of Islam (NOI) and his position in trying to solve problems facing the African-Americans in the 1960s.

As someone who looks up to scholars and researchers, there is no doubt that I was impressed, thinking about the great lengths and depths Marable has gone through to do this. Personally though, it was a bit too much sometimes. I don’t think I need to know everything about a person, because you’ll tend to find things that would make you feel uncomfortable and difficult to accept. There were things like that in the book but it wasn’t just this that made me feel uncomfortable. It was how Marable interpreted or suggested based on those details. I started to wonder if I was just too stubborn to admit the possibilities that were drawn by Marable. And then I wondered, ‘What is Marable actually trying to do by saying this stuff? Accusing others like Alex Haley’ Then I also thought, perhaps objectivity and subjectivity could exist together…whatever that means.

After going through the pages through gritted teeth during the first quarter, things got better. I was glad that I reached to the last chapter where I realized that this book was a biography after all, not ‘The Complete Life of Malcom X’. It was Marable’s take (with the help of others) on what he believed to be important factors and events surrounding Malcolm X’s life. It was his perspective, his understanding of what would be the best portrait of the man who was a hero to many, but who also had his merits and flaws. For his efforts of avoiding hearsays and attempting to make a broader and more critical picture, I truly appreciate his work, all in all.

Weird or Just Different? – Reflecting on Stillman’s Autism and the God Connection

“Always presume intellect” – William Stillman

Despite my mixed feelings towards Stillman’s book, Autism and the God Connection, I’m inclined to say his main message is bountiful to share. Being a person with an Asperger’s himself, I feel even more touched and impressed by his brave decision for coming forward and clear some smokes and misunderstandings on autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Regarding spirituality and religion which are also discussed – those are separate issues and beliefs to be discussed, I suppose. There are times where I feel a bit detached reading the book but this is probably (I found out later and there was a similar experience when I read James Baldwin’s Go Tell it to the Mountain) because I’m not familiar with the bible language or bible passages.

Yet, it doesn’t stop me from admiring some of his wisdom. The above quote, in which Stillman claims to be his daily mantra, has definitely left a meaningful impact on me. The idea is basically similar to the Golden rule “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. It’s simple, treat others as you would want others to treat you. I’d probably say with respect because I’d want to be treated that way and as I believe, no matter how flawed I am as a person, I’d like to think I’m worth something as a human (dignity etcetc).

In this case, where autism and Asperger’s are discussed, Stillman believes that presuming intellect is the best way to do when it comes to people with ASD. He explained that some who have low-functioning autism, are not able to express verbally (they use other communication aids e.g. communication board). However, just because they’re not able to speak i.e. the common and ‘civilized’ way of communicating with people, this doesn’t mean – to put this in a plain way – they’re dumb.

Sure, they’re different from us ‘neurotypical’ people (In Stillman’s words: To those unfamiliar with autism, it is, from a clinical perspective, a neurological difference in how the brain is “wired.”) but apparently some people can’t stand the word ‘different’. Sigh, people. As if superiority and superiority in which is so highly regarded in a society, means everything to bully and abuse someone in order to claim for it. As if human’s worth and dignity can be totally measured by perceptions and a bunch of stereotypes.

Anyway, (before I could rant further) it seems clear for me that Stillman believes, whoever you are, one has a heart and has the right to be treated properly and justly. Presuming intellect is said to be the best way in dealing with ASD, I think, is because we shouldn’t judge that their ability that also significantly defines them, based on what is usually thought to be the normal methods of claiming someone as intelligent or able. There are other means where they can express themselves and establish themselves as a “person” and I think we tend to forget that and get sucked in the normal way of understanding and judging people.

What I’ve understood about ASD is probably limited. But I know that in the end, we’re all just human beings, no matter what ‘disorders’ and problems we have. The book is a good one to reflect important social issues and how important it is to understand that disability is often flaunted around when we come across something or someone different. I think beyond this, the above quote also lends me some advice on the outlook of life as well. It’s very much more liberating and healthier to think the best of people.


*Posted this before in FB but just thought of sharing here (plus I’m currently having similar feelings that I’ve stated/described here)

Cheers!