SUPERFICIAL SAFETY / TONE-APPROPRIATE *~FUN~*

28 portraits spiralling down,

I'm the last portrait standing

Injected memories, force-fed

Waiting further instructions.

Have an ambition, represent,

Make sense in pressure-cooker

Am I too salty? Bittersweet?

Tasteless? Tasteful? A Toaster?

Alcohol!

Empathy's limited, homegrown

Why think if you don't have to?

I'll thus change tone & storyline

and hope this poem's half true:

/Tepee\ international finds a tribe

And tribes all bike together,

Under the quiet grey canal's

Water display weather

Library studying - coughing choir

Deadlines don't kill, just tire

To make new friends of great height

I gazed into night life

(And yes, they are directness-rife,

And yes, Nietzsche was right)

More A L C O H O L ! ! ! 

mY nAMe Is tHIs

mY coUNtRY's  tHAt

And now you know my story

Let's mispronounce everything,

i tRIEd, YoU trIed, dOn'T WOrRy!

IKEA POETRY

Ikea poetry could sell - 

It would come with instructions!

For when thinking pays overtime 

And poets have working hours: 

 

-What does this mean?
-That's page 2 of the instruction manual.

-I see. The picture helps!

-We love a happy customer!

 

This business of interpreting 

One-size-fits-all model,

Could make us all a family 

With only one big brother.

 

So, get what you will/

Nothing at all,
Poetry isn't science.

Writing in verse and making sense,

Now that's a strange alliance!

DREAM PARTICLES

A shredded teddy bear I placed

Right by the open window

As flight or fall 

(some guts, some gore)

Are always to be expected

When you outgrow,

and, worse, it, you

Your early dreams'protector,

A friend to squeeze, to hug, to love

Now object, then a mentor

Give me your shredded teddy bears

Give me endless potential 

I know you're there,

I see you still,

A soft toy before chaos

And by the window

I fall or fly

Waiting for you to see me,

My guts all soft 

Floating around

As sun begins retreating

CHOOSING SIDES

"Historian signs an NDA"

Enunciates the newscaster 

As holding hands both dance with words,

Jumping higher and faster

After this latest incident,

Keyboards are catching fire

Thick is the plot, the future dark,

Elite nodding so dire!

Somebody save us all

- At least the ones befitting

But here I am, posing a threat (?)

In two, biracial, breathing

Double the test, double the doubt

And always found lacking,

I wonder about the saviour's gun

Which half will it send packing

SUBMERGED

Scary basement activity!

Player denial advised!

But when the nuke alarms went off,

How bright lights we despised

Squeezed in between monsters and spooks,

Breathing atop each other,

I tried my hardest not to break,

-or pierce, or crash, or smother-

Nightmarish infants, ghoulish kids, 

Baby-evil incarnated

All looked at me with eyes ablaze,

Crying and malintended

Awkwardness fell and great unease

Down in the basement kingdom

A conscious roommate of fears?!?

I never craved such wisdom!

Finally, a bony, shaking hand

Emerged in slow motion, 

"Are you of the light, living above,

Reason, Freedom, Emotion?

Immediately I felt so relaxed,

Opened my arms, euphoric.

"Fear not, for I return to you,

A prophet, not a poet."

SUPER - VILLAIN ARC

Pulsating tender memory

Trickles through mask-cracks slowly

Rocking the growing edginess

I casque-peek something homely

Stinging unease subconsciously

Prickles the surface upwards

The worms presented to young birds

Become foul, writhing maggots

And doesn't light come from above?

Only, this time, there's nothing

Yet I unravel, tear my skin

For more "well-suited" clothing

To have release come gushing out

In chambers filled with objects

I'm made to march relentlessly 

Among the happy subjects

And I have howled, will howl again

To stretch a sound-companion

To alleviate what now is me

In someone's twilight hour

SYMPHONY

SMIRNON, SMIRNOFF

Spoiler alert for truths:

Something's about to happen

Startled and Sketchy audiences

Seize & desist your clappin'

Stranded, the capsized ego's 

              STUCK!

S.O.S. praying to nothing

Sometimes it takes a single 

                "bleh"

To drop a stupid pattern

ODE TO THE UNSIGHTLY EGGPLANT*

How I lament the Odd one out - 

Misshapen and Forlorn

Inelegantly hurled to Waste,

Doomed from the day 'twas Born!

Its ~rounder, shinier, prettier~ kin

Like marble busts admired!

Attracting Hands, offering Bites

To Supermarket Buyers.

 

Fashion Police of edibles 

Uniqueness stomping Keenly!

When Veggies weird and funny Fruits

Are thrown away Routinely.

The Unconventional Plant Product,

A proper Nutrient Donor

Empathy trees drop fruits of Health

In every Shape and Colour 

* In wealthy countries, fruit and veg. crop that doesn't meet retailer standards of size/shape/colour etc.,  is being thrown away despite multiple hunger crises globally and a heavy toll on the environment. It is estimated that by 2030, the amount of wasted food will reach 66 tonnes per second. 

BIRDWATCHING FOR AMATEURS 

We went birdwatching, you and I,

On the green flatness, north;

Seashells in mud, feathers on rock,

Breathing Aeolus against Noordzee flurries...

February heat migrated South

(and  birds must know, by word of mouth)

But you and I,

Sneeze out of place -

Earth magi after a celestial trace

And maybe birds are watching us

Through reed, rent brakes, and seaweed grass...

What I can give,

I'll give to you

Since scripta manent,

I will, too.

CALL ME WHATEVER 

Trapped inside rhyming sounds

A shy awareness squirming, 

Longing to burrow away from all,

From well-defined meaning

The worm-like creature I use, to fish

Gill-flappin', loose suspicions,

My boat in the collective soup,

Now oared by vague ambitions

If I reach land, what do I do?

Start hunting different prey?

Forget old ways and change the bait

New fears, new me; Birthday!

But just before I step ashore

And dumbly start exploring,

A blowhole on a white head 

Whistles that settling's boring

At this point, an epiphany!

I'd rather drown while risking 

Than waste my mortal time supplies

Mud-grovelling, ass-kissing!

Anchors aweigh & Batten down!

Tonight there'll be a party,

Poseidon's toes look ticklish...

Sea-me? Suddenly naughty...

Haruki Murakami and the Concept of Dreamlike Reality

or

How many moons are there in the sky?

   In the book ichi-Q-hachi-yon (1Q84), Murakami creates a scene that, to me, sums up the essence of his magical realism; one of the characters, Aomame, has slipped into a parallel world which is similar, yet slightly different to ours. One of the most notable differences, is that there are now two moons in the sky. As Aomame speaks with another character on the phone, she casually asks towards the end of the conversation "have you looked at tsuki lately?". "Tsuki" means moon in Japanese and the word has no distinction between the singular and the plural form. Aomame is trying to ask how many moons the other character sees, without being too obvious about it, as, I imagine, most of us would do under such circumstances. In this scene, we therefore see a character who very realistically tries to explore the new, magical circumstances she is in. As a matter of fact, I am willing to bet that the book's translator in English had to explore some new circumstances as well, because in English, there is of course a distinction between "moon" and "moons". So, imagine this scenario: you now see two moons in the sky. The world you have accidentally entered is a parallel reality with minor differences to our world, but the two moons are a new truth, a new fact that is somewhat comforting in its consistency. Yet, you still wonder: do other people see this and if so, how do they experience it? And, of course, if you are Murakami's translator, you also have to figure out a way to ask the question without making reference to a singular or plural "moon".

   We all interpret and, as such, constantly construct the reality surrounding us based on our own, deeply personal experiences. We all know that things are a certain way, that they can be a certain way, and that, in any case, they ought to be a certain way. Whether we see one or two moons in the sky, this is an unchallenged reality to us because we are the unquestionably subjective protagonists of our lives. Perhaps here lies the key to understanding the allure of Murakami's main characters: the "Murakami man", the typical protagonist in Murakami novels, is someone who goes with the flow, in a characteristically non-judgemental way. One, two, or a thousand moons in the sky, can become a character's new reality, without said character suffering the kind of breakdown that most of us would, I imagine, if our perception of the way things are, was challenged so fundamentally. As a result, the Murakami man manages to transcend an out-of-sync, dull existence in the "normal"world and enter a surreal, dreamlike reality without experiencing the type of existential dread that Western audiences are accustomed to through the works of writers such as Poe, Kafka or Lovecraft, to name but a few.

   As far as questions of national-cultural authenticity go, Murakami has been criticised for writing in a non-Japanese style, however, I think that more than just establishing whether his writing is 60% Western and 40% Japanese for example, his narrative style can be decoded using musical rather than cultural elements. Indeed Murakami's storytelling style shows a musical understanding of harmony and improvisation; his characters do not violently react to the unconventional, but show an easy-going adjustability that sets the tone for the entirety of his oeuvre. Readers alike, tend to accept the writer's magical realism without questioning it; they are sympathetic to characters who seem more like observers of, rather than participants in, their own lives. In other words, Murakami readers turn into a Murakami audience because they experience his stories in a way similar to the way one listens to a new musical composition without prejudice.

   We perceive music with our sense and our emotions. We make it the soundtrack of certain instances or periods in our lives, without judging the the music itself. Perhaps the countless musical references in Murakami's works serve as the magical medium through which the seemingly impossible is achieved: for as long as a Murakami story lasts, the readers forget about their subjective preconceptions and feel the narrative's dreamlike surrealism, with the same ease and curiosity they would first hear a strange, yet somehow reassuring, musical piece.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS & MUSINGS

I met a noisician -

Down by the music hall

She said "I have... accomplishments

In every funky bar!"

I contemplated suicide 

For the tenth time that day,

At least, I mean, the faking it,

As nice, along I played

What does "accomplishments" entail?

Rodin vibes emulating,

I asked myself

Sipping my drink,

For live music waiting

But music never came that night

And no one else did either,

Got stuck with noise, noise MORE NOISE

From the accomplished breather

OBJECTIVE INTERJECTION!

Well, maybe, one could theorize,

This ain't about music

For one of the "accomplishments" 's 

My favourite source of musings.

STORY OF A SAD CAT

Tetris blocks pouring down -

All wrong.

Holding everything back - 

In bloated silence.

"Who took the exit sign?", asked the cat. 

"And why?"

As she heard rodents giggling in defiance.

Ten little mice sat drinking wine

One drank too much - and there were nine.

Nine little mice wanted to mate

One wrecked a home - and there were eight.

Eight little mice thought it'd be fun

To upset the cat - so now there's none.

The cat's still sad,

The mice are gone;

She is well-fed,

But misses home.

PLANET 2 - D

Mostly it rains but never pours -

Solar 50% of panel output

The food simply is "edible"

And those "in love" walk barefoot.

Inhabitants don't fall asleep,

Animals skip the hallway - 

They hop straight into boudoirs

Sharpening knives as foreplay.

An astro-traveller like you

Happened across this plane,

Where amateurish, uninspired 

I drag my feet in pain.

Hounded by lack of metaphors

And pointy half-wit statements,

I cry bitterly, cry loud,

Under puppet surveillance.

3-D dimension how to achieve

When paper's flat like writing?

Crumble this page then,

(Give it shape)

😉 Make reading this, exciting!

And, maybe, we'll both leave this place

Having incited something

That dream you dare not put in words

Because 2-D keeps judging

HAIR - FIRE!

Cause every time I'm standing still,

The primal metal's ringing

It barges in,

You're being washed out -

A mute, a drunk, a coward.

How nicely you were spurted out

Without a squeak

You're  n o t h i n g .

Since when does nothing 

Speak or stare

Expecting validation?

You're quantified, materialized,

But brightness is MY power

Cause, after all, during that night,

I truly was on fire!

HOMUNCULUS

Love is like the Moon.

It tastes like Cheese - yes,

It also has a dark side.

Fixed, unexplored -

For everything that isn't what it should have been

For every anxious part meant never to be seen

 

The d'Arc side in me

escaped the horrid love

(the unspoken, same as the one we accept, yet

dark, annihilating, dogmatique: warlike)

 

A love as hateful as the normal dose of hatred

helped me grow.

Finally,

When I was asked to love, I did so

Unhesitantly

Because with it

The deepest, stinking, painful pus

flowed mixed with blood.

UNIVERSITY

Déception!

I wanted to expa--nd

but lost my antennae like a dead cockroach//

Déception!

Exam material in apathetic eyes,

not apathetic pages!

Déception!

I planted a pine tree when I was six

to grow together 

but we're only growing deader now

of a mysterious itch

I, too, a Déception!

Gathered all pieces of a broken punch

though I clearly said I didn't care

and packed my things for Groningen 

to go and get a cure.