Boiling Planet

So we are cooking in a pot of boiling water that even a frog would jump out of. The constant reminder that things are not getting better is so catastrophic for some people that it becomes too much to handle. Global warming and climate change seem like catastrophic events that will happen in the future. Paralyzing fear turning to deafness and some ask why ignorance is bliss. I don’t know the type of pain most people have been through and I am just as ordinary as the next guy, a mutant monkey hoping for survival.

So here is a video suming up a bit of this issue.

The idea that Earth might reach her expiry date before we figure out a solution is terrifying, and fear triggers that fight-or-flight reaction we can’t seem to overcome. I cannot bring forth a solution to the social perception of these issues nor can I think of an end-all method to stop climate change without some big sacrifices from humankind, but I can just remind people of this. Hope and courage will lead us to our tomorrow. Fear is only there to remind us, to present the challenge to all. Not everyone can make a big change but all the small changes will tip the scale in favor of our future.

Last Car Ride’s Sleep

Fast-paced blinks become 
Tiny blankets to cover
Days of nightmares
Dark and scary routines

All liting the road ahead
All blue and black to shed
The streetlights damped
With the viscous mist
Coming from the steaming pile
Of lies littering my life

The empty road
Like a mattress store
With cushions painted in code
All pointed forwards
To a cloud of darkness
No markings in the beyond

The bedsheets as words
The music of silence
Turns smooth for a moment
With the tires screeching
Singing tunes of defeat

The mattress store closes
One last impulse buy
One last blink left
One last closing door
My eyelids praying to keep me awake

The side road motel room
Has grass for linen
The wallpapers tainted red
With my windshield
As the chandelier

As a kid I dreamt
I slept in a car bed
To drive far and away
From people and voices
Outside my dream's reach

With this crashing sleep
I can dig the grave
For the alarm clock
That kept me awake
Inside this bumpy car ride

Hoka Hey
Sunshine rising
Slowly fading
Only leaking gas
My fatal breath waving





Circling Night

Everything kinda sucks
At 4 am the night isn’t warmer
However closer the sun is to the horizon
Only brighter street lights and tree stumps

Enough waiting for midnight to pass
And my legs feel numb
Colder than the air around them
Drained from all desire to walk again

The ceiling could collapse this very second
But my body would stay still
No sense of danger
Although the fear would exist

The same kind of fear outside
Waiting behind the door
The same kind of feeling felt
From closing the bathroom door

No light in or out
But there is definitely something there
Can’t reach it or seek it
There

Walls painted black close in
Turning my bedroom
Into one big recycling bin
For unwanted trash

For silent pity
And whispered screams

For broken lamps
And cheap tears

The birds only singing about
The delay of one more night
After waiting for hours
For one more minute to pass

Crocodiles, canteen jars, broken clocks on the wall
And the stool is upside down
With the wood of the desk sticking out
From crashes but cars without
Puddles of pudding growing mold
Where sad foxes play with dust bunnies
No adult-rated content in their deaths
Just censored subtitles of their woes

Their anger scripted as comedy
For the conveniently placed characters
Outside my door
Wait

One more time maybe
They’ll listen this time
Or maybe they’ll open the door
And laugh at my naked thoughts

Barging in while I’m changing
To a more comfortable tone
For the viewers’ pleasure
So to each their own

Except for the cast of the show
Sitting behind the desk
Hiding mismatched socks
Hiding an unbuckled belt

Hiding the fat
And the ugly
And the sad
And the lonely
And the broken from all the wishing
To passing planes passing as shooting stars

There is no more space in my chair for me
With my legs unmoving
And the silence flooding

I can quit right
Maybe that’s the relief
Knowing I can sit somewhere else
Hugging the head of a tree
At noon
When the night is gone

And still, it’s there

Our Little Piece of Everything

The world is going to be okay

 Right now it really sucks
 The setting is changing
 People are angry
 Voices shouting and echoing
 A human reaction

 Us fighting against something
 Realizing something isn't right
 And we want to make it right

 The world knows

 Our planet moves in unison
 She grows, she changes
 Next to Us, a star child
 In the cold vastness of the universe

 We are the tail of the worm evolving
 And we need some scolding
 From Mother Earth
 For all the bullying we've done

 People dying and crawling
 Makes Us sad

 Unfairness and corruption
 Makes Us angry

 So the world will be okay
 Disease, war, starvation, death
 Unavoidable but fair and just

 So tiny
 So many good people
 Not realizing their goodness
 But the fondness 
 In their hearts growing
 And they keep going

 Changing, creating, thinking

 The world, intertwined webs
 In child's play, We join
 We cheat

 We kill millions of animals
 We destroy thousands of habitats
 We extinguish millennia-old species

 an enemy
 Some say a parasite
 A virus even

 Then again
 A bully makes more sense

 A bully who's gets punched at home
 And takes it out on the little guy
 Keeps going
 the bully could do better things

 Learn
 We are wounded
 Broken
 Watered down
 And our home knows

 The world keeps moving
 It won't stop

 But Our movement, insignificant
 Barely leaving a trace

 For the Big Bang clock
 We are a millisecond
 No bigger change to make
 To the days and years

 A tiny bit of something
 In this huge and vast everything

 Soon We will have a chance
 To redeem ourselves from our corrupt deeds
 Like the bully getting into trouble

 We can change
 Because We know more
 We grow
 With the colors, We stir
 The world will be alright

 The only question remaining is
 If the world wants to be 
 with Us
 Or without Us


Unturned

10% of the world has a sixth finger in their right hand.
7% tie their shoes the wrong way
Only 2% don’t tie them at all
42% sob spontaneously at 11pm
And 68% masturbate afterwards

2% look at sky thinking it’s a good day
74% won’t say Hi back to you when they don’t know you
Numbers don’t lie right
People do

When walking on Rittenhouse Square you can test this
Wave at all the strangers passing by
Wait for them to look up the sky
Look at their under-eye bags filled with stories

The ones in black t-shirts just lost their jobs
People walking their dogs have family stuff
That one saxophone player is having a great day
He might've been dumped by his girlfriend

No one is reading their stories
Their pages remain unturned
Everyone walking on Walnut St
Could have died the day before

But their stories keep writing
Can't stop walking through their books
Telling their stories to themselves 
In the mirror with just looks

Every morning getting up shedding
Every gesture and motion fading
Every memory once treasured ebbing
In the flow of the neighbor's story
In the narrative of another one's glory

76% of statistics are made on the spot
And 100% are capable of love
Turn the page of your book
All you need is a little shove

The Anxiety of Existing

I have been feeling the existential dread peaking through my curtains at night lately. It almost feels like a gigantic kraken passing by my tiny mouse window and looking inside to find only a pitiful scene. At any point it could smash my reality into oblivion or choose to ignore my singular insignificant existence.

So I started looking as to what other people had said about some big questions: why are we here, how are we here and what am I. I got pretty sidetracked with some historic hijinks and gossip like the cafe club that Isaac Newton was a part of before his whole “gravity exists and I can prove it” revelation. There is much to look for when trying to find answers to big questions and I am no big philosopher to get close to answer them, maybe just conscious enough to wonder about them. Thus, I started with a concept I was familiar with, René Descartes’ famous quote “I think, there I am” or ergo cogito ergo sum for anyone who knows latin.

Quote is not actually from the movie, Morpheus never actually said “What if I told you…” but the message is relevant enough and follows the logic of the plot.

The questions Descartes proposed is basically the same one proposed in the Matrix, how do we know anything is real. This has been explored by other famous thinkers but the Descartes summarized it in this beautiful, concise and misinterpreted phrase. Descartes philosophy of skepticism dealt more in the how than the why and that leaves many questions open for interpretation like “Is anything from a reality we don’t know it exists worth it.” The translation in English makes it seem that because I have thoughts I exist. The whole idea began as a thought experiment for Descartes thinking what is real in comparison to a dream. When you are in a dream you can talk, you can see things, you can invent other people interacting with you, what is the difference? We can’t trust our senses because they can easily be confused by dream-like illusions. Experiences are basically information and now we can understand the science of how the brain stores this information, our own memories are easily altered like a can of Bud Light melting away inside the forgotten fire pit of a college party house.

Literature followed suit using this question to build stories around it. One of my favorite classical examples of this is the Spanish play by Pedro Calderon de la Barca titled Life is a Dream. The title is self-explanatory but the story showcases this ; the story is about an imprisoned prince whose father decides to give him a chance at ruling the kingdom. So to test the prince’s poise and morality he is put to sleep so the king can move him from his prison to the kingdom’s castle. When the prince wakes up, he believes he is merely in a dream and thus proceeds to enjoy the perks of being a king. His greedy and capricious attitude proved he wasn’t fit for the crown so the king imprisoned him again in his sleep. One of the most memorable scenes of this play was the soliloquy the prince performs wondering about the meaning of his life in contrast to the dream he had, thus stating that if such a vivid dream was possible then life could be no more than another dream. The realization leads to him becoming better, knowing that in his life he would still prefer to be ethical and honorable, even if life was just an illusion.

The Scream of Nature by Edvard Munch

This privilege of consciousness can be burdensome because humans are the only animal to doubt our own existence. Doubt is the very essence of what Descartes describes as the foundation of our existence. The original excerpt in French made more emphasis in this idea that doubting means we can think, and that means we exist. The Spanish play explores a situation of someone accepting his doubt of reality, if everything could be a dream then might as well be authentic. We can’t fully understand everything the universe has to offer and thinking that everything could just be a lie makes everything seem meaningless. There are many types of existential anxiety and thinking about questions many philosophers have proposed can keep your head in the clouds while the world moves around you. An article by Arlin Cuncic from VerywellMind talks more about what an existential crisis is and how to overcome the anxiety it brings. The thought is very common to the point where it becomes parodied by shows and movies but it brings many important questions we should be asking ourselves. 

To think about the vastness out there beyond our blue ceiling and our place in all of this quantum clutter, to wonder, doubt and dread is part of what being conscious is. Humans are complex individuals, unique in this planet and we don’t even understand why we are that way. There is a world of things out there and maybe the reality we see is just as fleeting as any dream could be. Yet those who have tried to answer these questions have not left us with messages of paranoia or hopelessness, but of something beyond that. Descartes concluded that the Christian God put us here as conscious thinking individuals who are meant to doubt and exist and because of that we should trust reality. Calderon de la Barca used the prince’s monologue to portray a semblance of hope underneath the meaningless of an unsure life. Beyond everything there is something and as humans we are only a bit of something on a bit something bigger. Thinking about big questions is what makes us interesting but those dreadful answers should never stop our progress and our hope for tomorrow.

Links:

Cartesian Skepticism Crash Course: https://youtu.be/MLKrmw906TM 

Life is a Dream full play: https://www.gutenberg.org/files/2587/2587-h/2587-h.htm

VerywellMind article: https://www.verywellmind.com/coping-with-existential-anxiety-4163485 

Pandemic Holiday

It’s beginning to look a lot
Like someone forgot
To stop the clock at midnight
And the night kept going

Showing off to the sun
That the clouds are stronger
The shadows they cast
Hover for longer

Somber are the lights
On empty balconies
The whiteness only silence
Of the carols left hanging

Lightning as the only
Christmas ribbon on the tree
Lighting fireflies on the leaves
Faces in the rising smoke

Soak in the last breath
Of a year long fight
The last bell chime
Of those we’ve left behind

I Can Feel

The dark magic of consciousness 

Was a successful mistake

No errors in the code

All the witches’ chants ideal

No time, present or future

Just us in the center of it all

The candles were lit

The cauldron was filled

A mind, a soul

A body, a heart

We were walking worms once

But something sparked

And the magic started

And the fire ignited

Something giving light to the world

As if all the senses obscured

Were born from nothing

The big bang of self

I taste the whisky on the rocks

I can talk to the bartender

I can feel the stool under my scarred body

I can feel

The path up until now

Is blurred with magical runes

Something from nothing

And nothing again

Every memory is so vivid

Every possibility graspable

The names of “things”

Those things of understandable

I can feel

But how to know

Awareness is only there

When you are aware of it

How to know you know

I can feel the stool

But maybe I’m sitting on air

I can drink and drink

But maybe I’m drunk with emptiness

I can talk endlessly

Making up rhetorical questions

And the bartender only bored

From the meaninglessness of it all

Or maybe worse

He isn’t there

Maybe something made up

Like the words on this page

Like the pixels on the computer

You yourself reader

Just a fragment of a dream

Or maybe the fragment is me

I can feel

I don’t know if you can

But I know I can

Maybe thought came first

And maybe life second

But I know I can feel

I can feel

The grief and loss

I can feel

The warmth of a blanket

I can feel

The pesky sunlight

Waking me every morning

I can feel myself as one

Inside a big room

Painted with stars on the ceiling

Windows with skyscrapers

And rugged floors of grass and meadows

Not many but I can feel

And you might too

All around us there are bits

Of nothing but fragments

Whatever it is

Whenever it is

Wherever it is

We can feel it

The Gifts of the Mind

Atop the sky
The man of the North looks East
Then South then West
And he spots a tree

Engraved with chaos
Leaves of red and blood
People throw food at it
Stare at it, pray to it

Seen once by everyone
Often visited by only the fool
Sorting out the rot from the ripe
Picking the fruit no man saw

The weathered peaches
Lying to their face
The inciting apples
Bloated with rotten rage

But the tastiest is hidden
Painted with a flower
Talked only to the fool
And entered only
Through open doors

And the man of the North laughed
knowing the poor man’s luck

Burning Insomniac

Under the moonlight, beaming,

as the dawn lays in its sleep.

Bedsheets with ashes teeming

where broken dreams left to reap.

The frosty winds lay still

inside the empty cluttered room.

The time bombs ticking ‘till

a sudden sound of a silent boom,

yet the flame holds onto

the clock’s hands and legs

it stops those stubborn two

and kneels and begs

The smoke of burning blood

scares away the god of dreams

The shadows start to flood

this body’s etched seams

Screams from inside the walls

keep watery eyes restless.

The only ceiling light falls.

Chains of rage senseless

in the executioner’s bed

with no light but the burning steel.

Resentment and sorrow have led

to this, no tears, just burns to feel.

Firebrands engraved in my chest,

nightmares of fire in my head,

every single night with no rest

from the reminder of the dead