“Domestic Bliss”

“These images by a white photographer

of black domestic workers are offensive”

reads the headline on my newsfeed,

two words hanging like death knells

so that the sentence cannot live,

cannot breathe beneath the

crushing pair of opposites

it fails to reconcile.

 

The portraits are not perfect,

lacking the shades of grey

also missing in the headline,

but the function of art

is to bring out the best in us,

reveal the wonder of perception.

That is what the critics

have never understood.

 

Even the unskilled artist says

“This is my truth, nothing else,

it need not resemble yours.”

But if there is rhythm,

if it is skillfully rendered,

it will have some element of Truth,

an all-too-fleeting moment of

Beauty.

 

That is what I seek

between the light and dark lines

of a Japanese landscape painting,

opposites used to construct

a complete picture of

the ebb and flow of existence,

photographers and domestic workers

included in the rhythm of it All.

 

The more I look the more I think

the answers only fit for the

conversations of madmen and shamans

far from religion, race, belief,

where the truth is shattered

into a million different shades

battling back and forth between

the darkness and the light.

“One Night in Buccaneers”

There was a beautiful girl

in a bar called Buccaneers

who talked a bit too much

about life and energy and

manifestations of consciousness.

Still, though, she was

really really beautiful,

so I stuck around and

made sympathetic noises

everytime she said something

especially deep and meaningful.

 

I paid particular attention to

a comment about my glass

just being a slower-moving

manifestation of the energy

of life which is all around us

in the hope that said energy

would instead manifest itself

in the form a free drink,

but it seems this cosmic force is

as uninterested in our wishes

as most modern-day gods.

 

Still, something she said

stuck with me despite the

manifold drinks that did find

their devious way into my glass

as the evening progressed

(life-energy notwithstanding).

She told me that she would

never stop being idealistic

because it is not realists

who change the world.

 

‘How naive’ I thought snidely,

nevertheless lifting my drink

to acknowledge her smile.

Imagine my surprise when

the glass twisted in my hand,

winked at me and waited

for the jukebox to stop,

then, in a clear voice,

said “Cheers bro”.

God, she was beautiful…

“Networking”

Facebook is a fascinating phenomenon

along with all its equivalents:

Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr,

even WordPress and Blogspot.

All these so-called social networks

which allow you to build a self,

carefully constructed with text

to share with other shadow people

wandering a digital landscape,

plugged into a personalised news feed.

 

It’s a little worrying, I think,

how lost we can get in

so vast a web of words,

how Whatsapp and Viber

have overtaken our ability

to communicate face-to-face

while Facebook reminds us to

bid half-hearted happy birthdays

to people we barely talk to.

 

Us youth, digital natives of the net

with technology in our pockets

that transcends time and distance,

generation of iPhone therefore I am,

who will have our very sight

connected to the world wide web

through small contact lenses.

What will we make of all the

shadow people, ideal projections

and shallow internet chatter?

 

We can so easily drown in

such a flood of fluid networks,

but the ability the net provides

to learn and link to others has

set off an exponential explosion

in the ways we can now share.

It’s no mistake that we call a

conversation with links a ‘thread’:

a small piece of the tapestry

we weave with digital fingers.

 

There is freedom to weave as

you please and, if done well,

we can find the occasional

golden thread where we would

never have thought to look for it,

be it in a flamenco song or,

nerdy as it might make me,

a simply brilliant maths proof,

both reminders of the beauty

to be found in everything.

 

Im gonna make those

last few lines my status.

l8r 🙂

“On Rejection”

There’s a video of a man dancing:

he starts by crawling through the dust

over sand and rough stones.

He moves while people walk past,

ignoring him and his beat.

 

He seems lost,

having been rejected again.

They’re missing his moves,

his unique rhythm and

how it will change the world.

 

Finally, he recruits one man

to pass the movement on

before collapsing on a bench, depleted.

It is not until another joins this man

that the dance can be finished.

 

I’m getting tired of picking myself

up and out of the dust.

I wish I could find that man

who will pass the movement on

so that I, too, can finish my song.

 

Maybe he’s in the legions of losers

I join now, not knowing if I can dance,

only that I am not alone,

that failure makes me harder

after doubt cuts away resent.

 

The dancer moves despite

the judging looks of passers by.

I guess I will too,

throwing my head back to silent music,

smiling at those who cannot hear it

(praying for someone who can)