The setting was impeccable
flickering lights, foul winds
shattering glass, hurricane ring
The prospect however, quite terrible
the bitter cake in front of us, barely edible
‘Let us begin now, child’ fear tapped on the table
with its fingers long, dark and brittle
Unavoidable as this chance encounter was
I could already sense it going south, thumbs twiddled
‘Um.. How do I begin? Where does this start and where does it end?
What came before? the chicken or the egg?’
I asked, expecting a reply, barely holding back a sigh
Fear sneered itself into a mocking scowl
‘I do not know. Ask another question’
And so it continued one after the other
All to no avail
And thus, went the night
No sudden fright or icy spine-chilling roller coaster ride
Just an inert presence slowly fading away into distant memories
And once time was up, fear did not need
to disappear or even continue with the sneer
For the most lethal and darkest of fears
are not quite what they might seem
made not of tears or unfinished beers
not of companions found or lost
to the depths of time or even spectres in the rear
none of these situations perhaps even come near
the true depths of real darkness as it might appear
nay, the true destroyer is the question
the silent whisper in the back of your head
on a lonely rainy night, you very well know or you might
that silent whisper that slowly asks you to give up the fight
it’s all quiet and serene before its begins
a violent internal riot
tears you up, smiles as you slowly and slowly
choke your own dreams, kill your own means
until all that’s left is a few spare beans
nothing radical as you die watching tv in your jeans
there is perhaps another vague voice in the back
of your head that talks slowly while all the lights get whacked
and then before you know it, you killed it
every single cheat code hacked
while you play your video games
silent bliss oblivion
no desire nor fight left
it disappears and stays at the same time
reduced to not a even a nickel or a dime
ladies and gentlemen,
I present to you.
The power of the human mind
Bravo. Hurrah. Hallelujah.
The wonderful thing about life,
It starts with a blank canvas and a box of brand new brushes
You just need to find where the colours are
Magenta, green, purple and red
And some of them you conjure up all inside your head
And thus begins the journey
The more interesting thing about this situation
You start not knowing how to draw
A splash here and a spatter there
Some of it hits where it needs to, some doesn’t
Alas, a flawed masterpiece
But what does one truly do
when there aren’t any erasers or a clue
It does even seem that nobody cares
for a while
You keep splashing through
Like you’re learning how to swim
But you cant seem to see beyond the deep blue
You can’t find another colour
It’s quite the struggle to
find the colour you need,
perhaps because what you want is a different book to read
Not the same one over and over
You want to breathe, smell that strange clover
That once revitalised you, made you hover
Alas, it might be over
And then, the colour starts hardening
and so do the principles and the beliefs
You never realised this would happen
A great deal of more questions, a lot less answers
What must a hardened artist do,
After years and years of mistakes
centuries of colour shakes, watching sunset lakes
trying to get that inspiration before its too late
Maybe it’s already too late
The questions change everything
The next few years dissolve
trying to pick apart the hardened canvas
There was no other eventuality left
In between the confusion and the questions
The search for brand new colours, abandoned
Dismissed as a pointless charade
You don’t need brand new colours, you just need to get better
and there lies the belter
An artist destroys one’s own shelter
why you may ask, why the helter skelter
Is it perhaps disillusionment
With how the world works or perhaps something more conflicting
Maybe it’s our own opinion curvature
That spins us round and brings us back
to where it all began, in the rusty mind shack
Old canvas, old beginnings
Airs are bold, but white hair eventually take hold
Another machine sold
For barely a percent of a life
Why even try anymore, why keep wrestling trife
Yet that one canvas slowly crackles away
As you go about your day
Harder work, lesser pay
Until one day it all dissolves before you
And another beautiful painting is lost
Memories, people and places
They all eventually disappear
The crackling paint finally melts
Death finally knocks
And finally asks that one question you always feared
What is it that made your life worth? What did you achieve?
Another blank canvas waiting, you say
Success once asked failure ‘I give a man everything he wants – fame, money, a good life, high esteem in society. what do you give? nothing but pain,misery and sorrow.’
Failure replied – ‘I give those men a road full of stones, pebbles and potholes to walk on. they bleed, scream and curse their fortunes. I am their worst nightmare. I crush all hope. I’m a monster. It’s true. but know that without my existence, their life would be hollow. Without me, there would be no you. I am the creator.’
(0:00) INT. HALLWAY
(0:08) ‘Hahaha, this sounds like fun, lets go further!’ said Max pacing through the hall. ‘Come on, let’s go!’ He beckoned. They were in the middle of a long hallway with several doors. Claire was hesitant. ‘I don’t know Max, you know we could get lost and we aren’t supposed to be down here. Maybe we should go back.’ ‘No we’re either going together or I’m going alone.’ Max stated with a sense of blunt resolution. Carpe diem. Now or never. This was it. She decided to take a chance and follow Max. They soon came upon a red door on the right.
(0:22) “You first” he said. “Are you serious? I’m scared shitless and you’re being chivalrous. Is this for real?” Claire said exasperatedly There was a flicker of the light. “Woah, what was that?!” Claire thought to herself and consoled herself thinking it was just another power outage, or maybe another one of those stupid power malfunctions that had been plaguing the Palau recently.
ACT II – DOORWAYS
(0:32) She opened the door. Another long corridor, another long winding passageway of doors and lights, much like several they had encountered before. She wondered if things were starting to get strange and there definitely seemed to be some amount of confusion sifting through her head. She and Max had been walking for the past two hours through every door, passage and hall they could find in their strong attempt to get out of this massive architectural marvel. But somehow, it seemed that the further they went, The more difficult it got.
Claire took a deep sigh and walked into the hallway. The door slammed shut. “Max, is this your idea of joke, It’s not funny!?” Silence. no reply. “I swear I’m going to kill you, stop playing around!” There was still no reply from Max. “Fine! I’m going ahead. I’ve had enough.” She hesitantly tried opening the door that had just shut behind her to no avail. She had no other choice but to walk ahead. There was a slow comedown, a realisation. fear had slowly started to wrap itself around her and she wasn’t sure of anything anymore. Had Max disappeared? or maybe another one of his pranks? Little did she know that it was neither.
ACT III – BLACK
(0:48) Pitch black. Nothing to see, no eyes to be able to navigate. No cue to let him figure out which way was forwards or backwards. Max could sense a fleeting state of anxiousness taking over him. Purely guided by his ears and the tempo of his heartbeat which seemed to get faster with every second, he paced around trying to sense the entire hallway with his hands. As soon as he started moving, he heard a distinct sound like the one of a lever being pulled and something being set in motion.
Suddenly, the whole room was shaking and rumbling beneath him. It was alive, and breathing. Maybe he was going upwards, or maybe he was going downwards. It could have been either or neither. He had no idea.
ACT IV – WHITE
(1:10) Stark white and shiny, the room was. Claire wondered what she had got herself into. Perhaps travelling halfway across the world to Valencia to study opera music and violin had not been the brightest idea. But then again, adventure had always been her middle name.
This, however was different. The fear here was more menacing, more insidious something she had never felt before. She whipped out her phone with the ridiculous sense of hope that there would actually be a signal. There wasn’t. 19% battery. She had to figure something out. and fast. She had an idea. She would open every door, see what’s behind it and eventually manage to figure out an escape route. Claire was going to find something very strange and unpredictable.
ACT V – INERTIA
(1:29) The room rumbled and screeched to an eventual halt. Max got thrown by the inertia, landing face down a few steps ahead within the hallway. This place was indeed getting stranger by the minute. Where was he and why did that door shut on him before the lights went out? There were so many questions but no answers. He decided that the priority would be to get out of this place as fast as possible. Composing himself and standing back up, he decided to again start by feeling for the walls and finding a door. He was very sure that finding a door would perhaps bring him easier to an escape route.
(1:40) Max put his hand on the wall and started walking sideways. In some time, he realised that it was not just the room that had changed but perhaps what surrounded it. There were no doors anymore, or so he thought. Frantic and losing composure, Max sat back down and started wondering if he was ever going to get out of this place.
ACT VI – REPTILLIA
(1:50) Suddenly, there was a click. He looked around but he clearly could not see anything. Must be a figment of his imagination, he wondered. A slow creak on his left alerted him to the distinct possibility that maybe he was not alone in the room anymore. ‘Who’s there? Show yourself!’ He shouted half-expecting to hear a reply. There was none. ‘Goddamnit!’ he muttered to himself and punched the wall with all his strength. There was no movement for a while. And then he heard them the footsteps.
The ticking time-bomb of realisation would eventually hit him. They certainly didn’t seem to be human footsteps.
(2:30) An earth-shattering, shrieking roar followed.
For a good part of the past 5-7 years, I have been at this board. Pinning
things on. Tickets, journals. Scribblings. Faint reminiscing of places and people left behind. New things discovered. Every single thing that has driven me. Was on this board. At the outset of 2016, I made a resolution to let go of things that just didn’t drive me anymore. The truth is, to some people it might just seem like a simple board. But to me, it has been so much more. A device I could lay myself open on. I could like holes through my own creations. Travel the universe to anywhere I wanted to, all with the power of imagination. An outlet when I felt like I had fell on hard times, situations where I could see nothing but despair and pointlessness on the horizon. I’ve gone through a lot since 2012, and I’m glad the universe listened. And yes, it does. Sometimes you feel like you’re screaming your lungs out on the inside but its not listening. But it does. Some people give up, some go on to greener pastures, get married, move to a different continent or become someone else. But this board was all of me and then much more. It has been me, my struggle and everything it brought with it. Tears of happiness, of times I felt misunderstood, a lone voice in the giant dark void of space. It was always there. Slowly whispering in my ear – you just need to work your problems out. One more pin, one more one more flight ticket, concert pass or artifact. Today half of it is empty as I finally let go of things I collected and kept before the weight finally had started taking over and it’s all out. No more bullshit, 2016. This year imma be real and reset everything. Didn’t someone say that to truly find yourself you must first truly lose yourself? Well, this is probably the finding out part. Time for a real change.
serene, icy cold winds blew that day
that day she left, trees moaned in sleep
flowers wept, the sun long gone, slept
only whispers from old sirens felt
haunted ships of old memories lie in disrepair, wrecked
old, tattered and decaying like crevices of an old door
One i stopped stepping on, eating itself on the floor
music written, abandoned and destroyed
a broken score, a static flare on the edge of night
infected and choked by plague, blight
gangrene on the soul, black blue and white
all brittle, all bite
I shiver under the shelter of a dark cave
while I mourn her loss
Winter, she was cruel.
Letter upon letter, I wrote as seasons passed
Questions, answers, doubts yet nobody to ask
t’was quite a task
when yer at the end of the flask
give him a mask! give him a mask!
It was all so slow, it was all so fast
the weeping banshee wails, a remnant tethered flag still half mast
still in fragments and glass shards, I peek at the past
too many love letters aside, cast
what might one do when all that’s left is the twig of a tree
another crumpled up page about what we used to be
a delightful mystery, an abyss underneath a beautiful symphony
a cacophony of all that was dark, all that dissonance and all that monotony
reduced down to a bare memory
Is it all that she wanted of me?
Winter, why were you so cruel to be?
Seventeen seasons passed.
I only needed two to realise it was too late.
Not yet, I told myself.
Some days were too bright, some too dull.
Some too busy, while some ah, forget it just not right.
a seven in the morning and a five in the night
weren’t they all the same
controlled and tame
just not yet, no time for that bottle of wine
as the grainy sands of time trickled through my fingers
winds turned, eclipses appeared
sunsets blew away the fury of youth
just not yet, no time for that bottle of wine
on my deathbed now I lie
wondering why I would never quite
open that bottle of wine
laying seconds before my death
the hounds of hell speaketh
in wrath and growls
calling me to the grave
unashamed to be brave
and to be depraved
of one last sip
there wasn’t ever a time for that bottle of wine
What has life become?
Once, a flowery wisp of smoke caressing my lips while I slept in dreamy oblivion.
Awake and charred, broken and boldly breathing.
May this dawn bring a new recovery.
Another finished bottle of unhinged madness.
a broken colourful sandbox with crystals purple in green.
dissolve in my shrunken head.
Nothing makes sense anymore.
When everything’s broken. what can you find, yet again.
what can you find, yet again.
repetitive motion. actions and motives.
left right and center. while the collective conscious static ever-burning.
How many fires I daresay, should burn before I find fresh water anew.
it’s a broken mystery.