We live in a culture of destructive transparency.
- Tina Brown
Sitting quietly at the river/
Wind through the trees like the quiver/
Of a bow on a violin/
The speed picks up, it’s more violent/
Soon to follow, rain begins to drop/
I can hear it on the leaves, at the top/
Of a huge oak tree, my shield from the weather/
More instruments are added, the music’s getting better/
Violin, drums, and the sounds of the river/
s like the noise of the crowd as they clap and whisper/
Birds like the singers, sharing their song/
As soon as one starts, they all chant along/
These four sounds, in near-perfect sync/
This riverside band, music to let me think/-
We like to think we're opaque:
That no one can see our secrets,
But no matter how well you hide the truth inside,
There will always be one person to whom
You are perfectly transparent.
Between the Streets
The musty alleyway which lays somewhere in New York City comes alive each night. Jazz players from all over the world coming together to play the best Jazz you can ever hear. Lights gleaming red, blue, and green, give the alley an illumination which allows shadows to dance over the brick walls of two apartment buildings. The tenants of the apartment building watching affectionately from above. People dancing while the mice scurry away to find somewhere quiet to sleep. Feet beating the asphalt to a pounding rhythm. Smiles across musician and admirer faces alike. The musicians enjoying every second of their music being blasted and relished by visitors. The musicians freestyling throughout the night, their fingers hitting all the right notes. At points when the moon lay clear and bright in the sky, it seems as if it is watching along as well. When morning arrives the alley is nothing but a trap street to pedestrians. The alley becomes transparent and unnoticeable during the day, and alive and vibrant during the nights.
The Sisters Blue
Lights shine bluer in the city. Everything has strange tilt, as if 90 degrees is only 85 here.
Went out last night. Came home drunk and lazy. Couldn’t remember which apartment was mine so sat in lobby and smoked. I’m quitting tomorrow, hand to heart.
Lots of music. Perennial music. Guy in apartment below me (ad man) likes jazz, especially Charles Barclay. Now I know all there is to know about jazz. Wore a sweater for the last time last week. Summer blooming and haven’t even swum yet. Tried once. Beach smelled fishy and I couldn’t. Maybe will try another beach soon.
Come see me, one day, visit. No room but you can share my bed.
there's something to be said about
those who never speak their minds
they keep thoughts bottled up inside
as if they are too frightened
they don't venture out and share
or let words form on their lips
they sit in the back of the room
too quiet to be noticed
perhaps they're consumed with the fear of other’s judgement
they may just second guess themselves
whatever they're thinking
can't be spoken aloud
it's unfortunate, as these may be the people with the most beautiful minds,
the most valued opinions,
the most enchanting views
we truly wouldn't know anything
if it weren't for those who aren't afraid to talk
so, my friend,
13 things the ghost haunting your home wants you to know
ripped skin shows red, pain on each wound…
when your soul wants to tear at the physical parts of you
it's hard to let it stop
"Your soul knows what it wants," people say.
If it really does
I don't trust its judgement.
Why does my body fight itself?
I can't touch you
I'm afraid to look at myself but what about you?
When I pull away
on painful days
will you look the other way?
I want to let my body rebuild itself
But the rest of me refuses
While the rest of the world denies me the same as I do.
Read it down then up.
Now so corrupted by
The dark, although
Has taken over
I am a social person, I will admit that. I like talking to people, learning from them, learning about them. I wouldn’t say I like people though, I guess I just like learning. Through all my years of talking to people and learning about their behaviors and personalities it’s become very easy for me to determine whether a person is genuine or not. Most of them are not, but that’s just life I guess. It’s not like I have a sixth sense: I just know how people are feeling or what they are thinking and no, it’s not like that. I’ve trained myself, without knowing it, to read the tiniest abnormalities in a person’s behavior. These abnormalities tell me what mood the other person is in, a slight social distance if they are sad, or a small stutter if they are nervous. Most people don’t pick up on these things, I consider it as somewhat of a super power.
it’s the middle of a year.
life and death spin the earth,
taking what they can.
what death takes, it tosses away,
but it takes note of where they go.
using their useless state.
they stand in front of a mirror.
alone, in a room of nothing.
the reflection is nothing.
they are nothing.
before, they were something.
they had a body.
they had a mind.
they had thought.
but it’s been whipped away.
they’re stuck here.
they observe without commentary,
they watch without seeing,
and they don’t care.
they’re unable to.
they don’t remember how.
they’re trapped for eternity.
until the end of time,
until there is nothing existent,
and for longer.
They’ll linger in a loop of existence,
without a sense of beginning or end.
without a sense of the emotion they once had.
they’re stuck with us.
they don’t recognize us,
and we wouldn’t recognize them.
they wouldn’t care.
they don’t know how.
they don’t know what it’s like to feel.
individuality whipped away by death.
death uses them frequently.
you walk into a room of nothing.
You stare at your reflection,
and take no notice of them.
death reaches it’s hand to its extension.
death takes and tosses away.
it takes note of where you go.
it uses your useless state.
the earth continues to spin.
life and death take what they can.
it’s the middle of a year.
I can see right through you,
everything about you.
All the words you want to say,
pictures you need to show.
I know you want to be lit up,
want me to shine a light on you.
I know you feel dusty,
but trust me,
you’re in the clear.
At least, from this point of view.
When I get close will you rub off on me?
Will everyone see all the mistakes I’ve made?
Or...will I become see-through too?
When the presentation’s done,
I shut you in the dark,
promise me you'll stay there,
stacked with the other plastic sheets, you
Horrible. Flat. Transparency.
The Call of the Corridors
the bricks are placed into vague, paisley shapes,
that whimsically form corridor corners,
and lure the easily swayed to roam further.
as of late, i often wander,
calling out for a willing responder
but I’m met only with the portraits on walls,who acknowledge me kindly, but make me feel small.with their fixed eyes gazing, observing the comers,
and goers they can’t hope to call to.
i hopelessly envy their unshaken safety,
mounted securely upon the said walls
while I chose to wander, seeking encounters
with the quiet, shadow halls.
under silver moon of quarter past two, my steps echo out behind me
but no one could ever see me while I'm cloaked in transparency
My Glass House
I found shelter in a glass house.
I painted it blue,
And like that I was safe.
But it is scarring.
You hear knocking on the glass and muffled voices,
All the voices.
Even the gentle words are soaked in cruelty.
Every noise reverberates through the house and it’s torture.
The sharpest knives last the longest,
Bouncing off the walls, impossible to dodge.
They always come back
Like barbed echoes.
But no one knows,
Because I’m alone inside my painted glass house.
[Excerpt from] High Five
“You’re home early.” His face was as white as the sheet he held tight fisted around his waist. My eyes were flitting around, trying to escape a hard and sinister looking figure staring back at me from the other side of the linen sheet, searching for a less threatening object. They found a wedge of green Apple skin wedged between his navy blue braces, probably there since lunch.
“Field trip” I replied. “Where is she?”
He gestured a thick thumb behind him to my mother's closed bedroom door. An uncomfortable moment of silence passed before he scurried in the opposite direction towards my sister’s bedroom, a mouse recognizing a cat and retreating back into his hole.
I knocked. I knocked again, this time with our secret knock.
The door opened and my big sister stood in the doorway.
“Hannah…” She said.
“I know” I replied.
“Do you think Mom will?”
She wore the same pink polka-dot robe, smelled of the same raspberry kiss perfume and had the same unruly mane of hair.
“Make sure you wash the sheets” was the best I could do.
I see through you
And these endless lies.
Your compassion and kindness
Is all a disguise.
You don’t care for me
So why do you bother?
With this unravelling ordeal
After all, I’ve nought to offer.
But you’ve got a game to win
And a role to play
A crown to steal
And a crowd to sway.
What you don’t realize however,
Is I play the lead
And you are simply
A transparent memory.
Web of Lies
Poison running through her veins
She spins her webs of lies
She is the one who holds the reins
That is, ‘til somebody dies
The web will choke, strangle, until
You know it is too late
She will now close in to kill
Granted by the lies she’d create
You can try to search for reason
But the answer will not be there
There is no reason for treason
What you’ll find is mere despair.
She’ll leave you lying in the dust
You rot and you’ll die and cry
And you’ll wonder why you gave her your trust
When all she gave you was lies.
“You can’t love someone forever.”
Is what they believe.
“Drifting apart.” is how it's reasoned,
By people trying to help
Words of encouragement,
Are the easy articulation of an easy choice.
But you can love someone forever.
Drifters never considered it.
Influenced by dreams of a future they already have.
A lust for something better,
They’ve lost vision.
False anger and confusion taking over.
When they said I do, it was supposed to be forever.
And what of the other?
Young yet smart, aware of his surroundings.
He is a product of their dashed voyage.
He’s lived the journey
A course he couldn't control or change.
Yet he tries his best to make it better.
Telling himself that they love each other as much as they love him.
Dead dandelions and late nights,
His head bowed and hands united.
Insisting someone can hear, but they’re just too busy for him.
Now time has passed and he has given up.
He thinks of the past as he inhales,
Slowly it disappears as he exhales.
A remedy rolled in paper.
The same pattern over and over.
Attempts to break the cycle have failed,
Still he moves forward.
He promises not to be like the ones that turned him into this.
When he says I do, it will be forever
He won’t let his child feel this.
I squinted, blinking rapidly until the white surrounding me became clear. White ceiling tiles were the only thing in my vision besides two fluorescent lights that flickered every few seconds. I turned my head to the left, a navy blue hospital chair and an IV drip that I was positive led to my left arm came into view. The chair was empty, so I turned my head to the right and froze at the sight of her.
Lola, after hearing my quick intake of breath, glanced up from a thick novel that was resting on her lap and a smile spread across her face. My chest fluttered at the sight of her and my lip quirked up subconsciously.
“I’m so glad you’re okay.” She placed her book on a small table and stood up, never taking her gaze off of me. My cheeks heated under her stare, but I was unable to take my eyes away from hers. She kneeled beside the hospital bed, my right hand in hers, and she rested her forehead against the bed.
“It wasn’t time yet,” she murmured into the bed, “it wasn’t your time yet.”
I’ve always been comfortable sharing my thoughts without thought of repercussions. Some have called my tendency to share my unpopular opinions stupidity, others have called it genius. You could further describe it as bluntness or bravery, ignorance or apathy. Some have even dared to describe it as confidence.
But I can share this fact with you right now; I am not confident.
I can share my opinion in front of hundreds during campaigns. I can share my opinion in front of thousands during debates. I can share my opinion in front of millions on national television. However, I would never be able to share my opinion in front of those I love.
Sharing my opinion in front of a crowd is easy. I am solid; I am higher than them; I am untouchable. But applying my political thoughts to my real life, that is something I cannot do. From a stage, all the faces in front of you are blurred. Through the internet, you can write off all reactions as overreactions. But looking your own daughter in the eyes and telling her that she is worthless compared to your son is different than telling a group of strangers that women have no value.
In front of millions, I am opaque.
In front of one, I am transparent.
sprawled across my paper.
Blank words written,
meaning or thought.
The very idea of death
is so abrupt and unexplained
that in every instance,
I cannot fathom it.
The world obliterates every molecule, cell and memory
So only silence and stillness remain.
Still frozen in
What will I become?
Where’s my great adventure,
that I will be remembered by?
could compare to
I’ve never said.
sit in silence,
about the things still warm,
but left untouched.
of the quiet,
of the snowy, cloudless sky,
of the empty sounds echoing through the empty house,
of the countless condolences.
The blinds are shut and the doors are locked and I am alone,
not yet at peace, not yet resentful.
February winds tap at the frosty window,
and there is no heat to melt away the stigma of loss.
There is no beat, no melody,
Only the whispers of ghosts of February.
They clatter, a minor disturbance in the tidal wave of
And they pull at my hands,
each fingertip a glacial blue
And they sing,
Wordless songs of the people we once knew,
And so I sit, solemn,
the hollow house as my sole guest
pen to my page,
Dust collecting on the ink,
not yet dry,
from the February cold.
Windows and Walls
The walls in this house are paper thin. Footsteps, voices, the sound of cutlery clinking and loud meals are a constant jumble through the walls. Sometimes you’ll hear the neighbour’s kids play ding-dong-ditch with the elderly people who love down the road and the elderly couple in question yelling at them to keep away.
Sometimes you can hear my cousin practicing on whatever instrument he’s playing now, making my mother smile proudly and give me a quick glare as if to say “and what are you doing?”. She doesn’t see my sister roll her eyes behind her or how I suppress my answering snicker.
The window next to my bed is framed in sunlight, getting brighter and darker with each pass of the clouds. It gives me stellar view of the peeling, squat rooftops outside and the leafless maple tree reaching its arms out to the sun. Cars alternately cruise and rush by, reminding me of water.
In this place, walls are almost as transparent as windows, lacking only their easy visibility.
A poem about Them
Oriana Vizcaino Delgaty
I see you
I notice you
I watch you
Not in a creepy way,
It’s become déjà vu.
You walk by and my mind falters
I stumble and grin
Like a little kid
This platonic crush
Is perpetually insane
It can’t be contained
I see you
I notice you
I watch you
Not in a creepy way,
It’s become déjà vu
You walk by, and I realize
I must be transparent to you.
The crowd was screaming for blood, and it was being delivered in swift slender rivers from the two fighting men. One man was armed with a trident, net, and a small dagger; he was made to represent a fisherman. This man, the retiarius, had little protection which was in the form of metal armour on his left arm, called a greave. When a retiarius uses their left arm to lunge with their trident, the greave acts as a shield to his exposed limb...