Wednesday, June 30, 2010

i'm always right, always wrong, dressing bad is like loving you, there is nothing i haven't worn

i can feel your breath melting in my shoulders
your hands between my thighs
the only warm place in this whole
temple of mine

your lips burn my skin
petals of bruises evaporating from my blood
marks from these gentle nights
of whispers and flowing heat

title

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

to my eight year old cousin

i need to lose weight, i'm too fat
no baby,
you're too beautiful and you're too young
to start hating yourself  this early

it's lovely at first
an obsession an addiction
it will infiltrate your pores
and gnaw at you from the inside

while you look on at the decreasing number of hundreds
eight to five to two to less than one
you will learn to lovehatelovehate
until you won't know the difference between dead and barely breathing

it will beckon at you from the mirror
with a crooked, pale, skeletal finger
and you won't be able to
stop.

don't break, my love. don't break.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

homesick

i've relapsed three years
when i would stay up until 3 a.m.
writing poems by the light of a gas-station lamp
turning out angst like it was my breath

i've regressed to a summer ago
when i couldn't eat, couldn't sleep
i was struggling with the idea of
two loves at the same time

this damned country rakes me in
it swallows my reason hope sanity
this city with its murky lights and its hard-tipped voices
engulf my lack of tongue age friends

now i'm here at 1 a.m. writing by no light
(it's obvious by day when i reread the skewed letters)
my eyes stitched to the computer screen, waiting to say good morning to you
and reconstruct a broken conversation from the day before

on the bright side, i haven't started having violent sex dreams
but it's been a weeks since i've smiled
it's only the second night in six weeks
and this place has worn me down.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Realization From Watching "Fight Club"

I recently saw Fight Club for the first time on a plane ride to Romania. I had been wanting to see it for a long time since all of my guy friends had been raving about it. The movie (based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk) is about a regular, tortured, insomniac-ridden man (Edward Norton) who meets Tyler Durden, an unorthodox anarchist (Brad Pitt). They both start a club, Fight Club, where the point of the club is to, obviously, fight. The club gets out of hand when Tyler beings to engage in more criminal behaviour that ends the narrator in trouble. The movie has extremely interesting twists and the acting is absolutely incredible, so I highly recommend it to anyone.

While I was watching the movie, I realized that the club would be one that I would readily join. I am, by nature, a physical person, someone who when she gets comfortable with someone else starts becoming physical in sometimes, inappropriate ways. I am a member of my school's Tai Chi Club and one of the things I learned is that I like fighting. While my height (5'0''), my slight build (97 pounds), and my lack of fighting technique make it practically impossible to win against a larger person, I enjoy the rush of the fight. I delight in punching the other person and I also delight in being punched. If at the end of the dday, I am covered in cuts and bruises, I am a happy, proud person. Although the fact that I am both a sadist and a masochist help in the enjoyment of beating and of being beaten, I don't believe they are completely the reasons for why I like it. Fighting releases tension. It's like exercise, it can loosen you up, make you feel better, and let you forget about your life problems for a few minutes.

One of the people I follow on Livejournal wrote a post ( www.theinnbetween.net/pain.html) a while ago about the need to fight with her partner. Even though she was smaller than him, she loved the pain of it all (going in to work with a limp or visible brusies gave her a sense of pride). When I read it several months ago, I tilted my head and thought "Huh. Interesting". Now, after reading it again, I can nod my head and completely understand what's written. The utter loss of control with a trusted someone (a partner, for example) who you know will not kill or permanently maim you (and vice versa) becomes a necessity. The freedom to punch someone and to know that after the fight, you are again friends and no hard feelings are present is perhaps an inconcievable notion, but a liberating one. However, if one isn't careful, a new pleasurable activity might become an obsession, and as shown in Fight Club, might make people go to extremes if they don't have the right mindset.

I now finally understand why boxing is still enjuoyed by so many. Before, I had absolutely no idea why people would enjoy a "sport" that was basically two people beating eac other up. Why would the Romans, those who were so intellectually advanced, go watch the gladiators for amusement? The answer is we like to see ourselves beating ourselves up. We are by nature a physical, violent people and so we have an instinct that for some of us develops into a desire to fight or to watch one happen.

There is a difference between a healthy fight and an unnacepptable one. A fight with someone who you have no hard feelings for entails that (as the rules of Fight Club say) when the other person says "Stop" or taps, you stop. Beating someone afterwards is completely unnacceptable. No additional weapons than the ones already approved are allowed. And, above all, every fight is volunatry. If these rules get broken, just like anything else that is risky to perform, consequences can be momentous.

Remember, first rule of Fight Club is  you don't talk about Fight Club. Second rule of Fight club is you dont talk about Fight Club.



Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Themes of "Real" Men and the Role of Women in "Things Fall Apart"

Recently, I read the book Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, a novel about the disintegration of traditional Nigerian tribal life caused by the arrival of Europeans. One of the main themes I noticed was the obsession of societal opinion, especially in the case of the men. For example, the main character, Okonkwo, strives his entire life to be the complete opposite of his father, a gentle, kind, but actionless individual. Because of this, although he is one of the most respected men in his tribe because of his physical prowesses, Okonkwo treats others physically weaker than him as inferiors. Physical strenght is the cure to everything: cowardice, lack of respect, or lack of title.

One of the issues I have with this theme is the portrayal of what a "real" man is. Supposedly, according to Nigerian tribal code, a man is one who is not afraid of blood or war. One who is, is considered weak and effeminate. Personally, I don't believe physical strenght is what defines a man. Taking responsibility for one's actions and behaving in a mature matter is what defines him. I understand the need for the strength part in that kind of culture, especially where the way of life was mostly a physical one rather than say, intellectual. However, it is unnecessary to degrade a male so much as to consider him weak if his interests do not include bashing someone's head to a bloody pulp. One of the events is the murder of Okonkwo's adopted son, Ikemefuna where the former believes that if he doesn't kill Ikemefuna himself, society will consider him weak, while in reality, it was the complete opposite (the elders thought the action unnecessary).

The second problem I have with the theme  is how women are treated in that particular society. They are inferior to men, expected to do the household chores, care for her children, tend the farm, cook for her husband, and obey his every command. In one scene, Okonkwo releases his pent-up irrational anger on one of his wives by shooting at her with a hunting rifle because she told him the truth. Beating one's wives is a completely normal thing to do. The epitome of cowardice and weakness is woman. The treatment of women should be both shocking and not so unsettling. Many societies, at one point or another throughout their histories have degraded their women and treated them unequally in regards to men. This also shouldn't be surprising in a society where physical strenght is revered. However, in a utilitarian community where both sexes work (the women plant and tend to the fields also), both men and women should be socially equal.



Friday, June 18, 2010

The Science of Love

 For all of those people who believe that love comes from the heart and is completely separate from the rest of their emotions and feelings, they all are wrong. Love doesn't come from the heart, it comes from the brain. In fact, most everything that we can recognize as emotions come from it. There are almost always chemicals involved. Sadly enough, love, or rather the beginning of it is fraught with them. In the early stage of romantic love, for example, at the beginning of a relationship, there is a period of time of several weeks to several months in which your partner is a god or a goddess, surrounded by choirs of angels and with a halo on his or her head. He's everything you imagined, he's beautiful, he's perfect. You want to be with him all of the time, hold his hand, and engage in ludicrous PDA with him. This is called NRE, or new relationship energy. The people around you may call it an obsession. And so, it can be. Donatella Marazziti, a psychiatrist at the University of Pisa concluded that there is a reduced concentration of serotonin in the blood for early stage romantics, the same amount that obsessive-compulsive people have, which may explain why the love can turn into an obsession. There are hormones that also come into play at the beginning. For example, cortisol, follicle stimulating hormone, and testosterone (which was found to increase in women and to reduce in men at that period of time [FUN FACT]). However, Pavia researcher Enzo Emanuele found that after one or two years, all of the hormones were gone, even if the relationship survived. So the question is, if all the chemicals of intense romantic feelings disappear within the first two years, how do couples sustain their relationships after that period of time has passed? The answer is, other chemicals! In the time that it takes for the hormones to disappear, the relationship develops and the people in it get to know each other better and form a sense of attachment. And this sense of attachment is due to the hormone oxytocin, a chemical most known for inducing labour and lactation. However, in a study conducted by Michael Kosfeld and co-workers, it was shown that oxytocin applied by a nasal spray during a trust game made the participants more trustful towards each other. Also, the intense romantic love is different from both the sex drive and attachment in the later phase of the relationship because it activates different areas of the brain.

All this science seems to take away from the mysteriousness and the beauty of love. However, in the heat of the moment, it's quite easy to get caught up in all the feelings and forget that in several months, the way you feel right now probably won't last. In the heat of the moment, it's hard to remember that in several months, you will develop a new kind of affection for this person and get to learn a new side of him. It's hard to think clearly with all those hormones increasing and decreasing in your brain. Over time, a new kind of relationship grows and in my opinion, it feels much better than the giddy obsession of new-found love. Who you're dating is not an angel and he's definitely not perfect. Accepting him for all his virtues and his imperfections is what makes love so precious. That is what makes love more than just chemicals, more than just lust, and more than just a Romeo-and-Juliet tragedy. A connection that grows and develops over time, that allows someone to learn about himself and other people as well is much more beloved than a glance and an obsession.

Source: www.rsc.org/chemistryworld/Issues/2006/February/CupidChemistry.asp

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The Loss of Virginity as the Loss of Innocence

Usually when people refer to losing one's innocence, they refer to the loss of virginity or some other stereotypical, societal taboo act, such as smoking, doing drugs, or drinking alcohol. Supposedly, innocence is retained in childhood and when the child goes to middle and high school, his mind becomes opened up to new ideas that are not so pure.

When one has sex for the first time, one does not lose any of one's innocence. The mentality implies that before the act, the person was pure as a virgin and then after the rite of passage, entered the "grown-up" world, or something of that sort.  As much as movies and the media like to pretend that it's such a big deal...it's not. One particular movie, American Pie, sticks in mind. It is the story about a group of senior high school students (all boys) who make a pact that they will lose their virginity before the school year ends. One of the boys has a girlfriend and she remarks throughout the movie that she wants everything to be perfect. When they do finally get to it, she realizes that she is disillusioned and that it wasn't perfect. Although she wanted it and she had it with someone she cared about, it hurt. The morning after was awkward. She realized that love usually ends, especially in high school. She would never see her boyfriend again and what had happened was probably just a one-time thing. The movie pressures the point that if one doesn't have sex before one gets into college especially if one is male, one sucks. There is an aura built around the act of sex so much that young people expect too much out of it. They want it to be perfect. I'm sorry, let me break it to you, it won't be. There will be some awkward moments. There will be some times that things will go wrong for some minutes. It won't be like the movies. And that's okay. That's perfectly fine. The beauty of sex is not only that you can orgasm, it's that you can have a good time and have fun with someone that you're comfortable with. The beauty of sex is that it doesn't have to be chock-full of emotion or smooth gestures. We are human and we make mistakes. Of course, we learn by them, but at first, we cannot all know how to sail through a sex scene like Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. You aren't weak if you don't have sex either. Being a virgin is nothing to be ashamed of. Even if your younger 12-year-old sister is having sex five times a day, that's okay. If you're not ready, don't do it. And if you do and you're not ready, you'll probably regret it for some time.

However, back to innocence. I don't agree when people say that to lose one's innocence, one must perform a natural act. What makes sex so impure? In fact, it should be the most pure act. It should be the regain of innocence.

Personally, I don't believe that a child is ever, honestly innocent. Have you seen the little buggers? How can you ever infer that one of those seeds of the devil can be pure? They're selfish, egocentric, and they don't know anything about morality. How are they pure? When they do attain the capabilities of understanding such concepts such as birth, death, and sex, they develop a conscience and understand right from wrong. Their innocence has already gone. The fruit has already been bitten into and Adam and Eve have already fallen. The attainment of knowledge, any kind of knowledge, dispels any doubt of ignorance. The only innocent human being is a new-born baby. Afterwards, they start to puke on you and there's just no return.

Friday, June 11, 2010

obsession

i want you to possess me
to infiltrate me until my dreams
smell of your acridity
until the sweat that our two bodies produce
becomes electricity
and the sparks fly so high
we both turn to ashes

we are phoenix dust

i need you to eat me, drink me
until we both become one
and your heart beats as mine
and my lungs breathe the same air as yours
until i can taste your fears
and the deepest secrets you never told anyone
until you can be my jealousy
and throw up obscenities in the name of love

i'm on fire.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

moment

you smell like acrid and sweat
a faint unnameable shampoo
no deodorant and too much chlorine

 that bleaches your hair and clothes
with white and makes the blond on your head
make your bluegreenyellow eyes pop out

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

summer

i become fragile in summer
i'm a wound spring whose arc
punches the air when it springs forward
but moves in slow motion when it springs
back

the heat overpowers everything
the sidewalks blaze with illusionary water
the wind stifles itself on the flowers and grass
one can even see the butterflies' flight in a zig
zag of heat

i fall down every single day at exactly eleven o'clock
and wake up one or two hours later
dizzy, dry-mouthed, and disconnected
until nine o'clock when i begin to struggle to keep
awake

my body starts to shut down
my mind no longer allows logic in through the back door
so it must content itself through the attic window
while emotion floods through the doors and walls
pervading the rooms

my lungs no longer function properly
i can't breathe in deeply and i panic thinking
it's another asthma attack but my heart
is too slow to take the signal and my bones have been melted
putty

everyone thinks they need a break
but if you try to relax you start to lose your mind
and you pray for stress and anxiety
anything to make your mind prey on so you don't get
bored to death.