I Empty Myself

 

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I empty myself
Of all my fears
The paralysis of all my years
The reasons for all my tears.

I empty myself
Of inner chaos
and self-doubt
I empty myself
Of secrets that I kept
Of decades that I spent
waiting like a weakling
for cowardice
to clear.

I empty myself
Of all the ‘shoulds’
and all the patronizing ‘musts’
Of all my useless ‘buts’
Their lessons about what is best
How I should dress
What I should say less
and not confess.

I empty myself of their obsession with success
The anxiety about a future they hardly possess
The superficiality they wear as garments
The very things I detest
I empty myself of all kinds of stress
I no longer want to impress
It is time I rest.

I empty myself of reoccurring thoughts
of words resembling everyone’s words
I empty myself of anything remotely absurd
Of conformity and social acceptance
Of ridiculous moral lessons
Of conventionality or unoriginality
Of grand plans
Of overrated choices
Of preaching voices
in my head
Of contradictory things
they have said
that could have easily been misread
That sometimes robbed me of my dreams
and made me doubt myself instead.

I empty myself
Of the art of wowing creation
I am so bored and tired
of constantly seeking inspiration
Enough tantalizing temptation
There is an overload of sensation
We are overly stimulated
and easily deflated
All in the name of proof
to show we exist
to flatter
and prove we matter.

I empty myself
Of networking
and connections
Of fake ties
Of meaningless attachments
that weigh me down.

I empty myself
Of self-inflicted crimes
Of self-compromise
or any kind of sacrifice
I want to live again.

Oh how I regret
Wasting my time
Living in fear
Waiting for it to disappear

I empty myself
I empty myself
Courage is finally here!

Hysteria

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EMBRACE YOUR AGE. ACCEPT THE INEVITABLE.

Bee-stung lips
Legs like twigs
A butchered nose
with a pointed tip
firm like brick
Protruding ribs
thin as sticks
Facelifts
and painful pricks.

Confusingly ageless
External sameness
Addicted to excessiveness
A game of competitiveness
Under the spell
of impressiveness
While this is madness
Her aim is happiness.

She pretends normality
Exaggerates reality
Changes her features
For vanity
or maybe sanity
Sometimes temporarily
other times permanently
I should mention:
This has nothing to do
with aesthetic correction
Nor is it about
improving a disfigurement
Because that my friend
is certainly different.

An unusual mix
of big and small
Tennis balls
ping-pong balls
all kinds of balls
Whatever is in fashion
a new dimension
to increase attention
for example: two balls
against the walls
of her poor little cheeks
Stretched and besieged
cocooned and ballooned
That only last
some measly weeks
(minus the ongoing tweaks)

All shapes and sizes
A disfiguring crisis
Expressionless eyes
shocked and surprised
An effort to fix
her thousand ‘ifs’
An attempt to clip
her droops and falls
her deflated holes
her skin and moles
To regain control
of her wobbles
her dribbles
her bodily scribbles
her less than graceful wiggles
To vanish
her growing worries
her insecurities
her inner villains
To drown out
her nervous giggles.

She is so obsessed
with all the plastic tricks
all the latest beauty tips:
‘Brightening’
‘Lightening’
‘Plumping’
‘Tightening’
How frightening!
She is so transfixed
on all the objects
the varying facets
and different gadgets
she can use and install
on her fatigued face
The needles, the pair of scissors
The driller, the filler
The nerve killer
The ‘no expression’ thriller
on her forehead
on every possible area
But that’s not it!
There is no limit
to her fanatical hysteria!

This is not some complicated case
nor a biological womanly phase
This is vainly adorning
Foolishly succumbing
Naively conforming
to a manipulating
Culture of Erase:
‘Elongate the waist’
‘Change your taste’
‘Improve your ways’
‘Start now don’t waste’
‘Spend now incase’
‘Avoid numbers hide age’
‘Old age is a disgrace’
In short,
Just erase your face.

Instead of this disarray
How about we disobey
Speak up and say:
Embrace today!

Yet with all her misguided faith
with her delusion and haste
she eliminates every facial line
every wrinkle that is divine
every beautiful story, her history
everything of hers, yours and mine
every imperfect detail that is sublime
the very things that makes her shine
She spends all her time
trying to redefine
To confine
any sign of time
Losing her mind
Hiding her age
Poisoning her grace
Trying to chase
with jealousy and rage
what life left behind:
her lost youth.

She knows nothing of the truth
not her nor any woman in her shoes
Can’t she see?
How everything is romanticized
How we have been fed a thousand lies
every single time
Can’t she see?
How oblivious can she be?
Sadly, she remains convinced
that wrinkle-free
is being free
and youth is the key
to a life that is happy.

Instead of this disarray
How about we disobey
Speak up and say:
Embrace today
Find your way
Use your head
Ignore what is said
This vulture-culture
might as well be dead
Be wise
Don’t fantasise
Enough disguise
Time to say goodbye
Remember, don’t sigh:  
Every age has its prize
and every age has its vice.

Yet drowning with self-pity
she continues to copy
this and that personality
with what’s left of her femininity
with her worn-out body
that is now shaky and sloppy
She imitates
She waits
for what she considers a trophy:
a hint of human attraction
a few seconds of false admiration.

She wants to be somebody
Worth it and perfect
The best she can be
Only because they told her
then she told herself:
Unless young and pretty
I am nobody.

Everyman

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A Book Review

I recommend Everyman to every man and every woman going through a mid-life crisis.  Or to those who are helplessly confused because their immoral actions these days do not reflect who they thought they were: people with unshifting morals.

This short yet thought-provoking book cleverly demonstrates how certain choices driven either by: sheer boredom; the craving for newness; the thrill of the moment; a desperate act to relive youth; an aversion from monotony; an untamed impulse or an indescribable need for instant gratification – will eventually lead men and women astray, dropping them casually into a bottomless hole. And only as these men and women experience the alienating effects of aging (though it could happen much earlier), will they fully comprehend the monstrosity of their past actions, and how much pain they have inflicted on their loved ones along the way. Even more so on themselves.

Unfortunately, there is such a thing as an irreversible mistake and it is usually born out of recklessness.   

If you’re someone who often thinks about all of the above, you will enjoy reading Everyman by the American author Philip Roth. If you are someone who is on the other side of the spectrum (living in la-la land and thinking you are immune to life’s adversaries) then this book may not be the right one for you.

Everyman is a novel – raw and uncomfortably real. It is about one man’s intimate story through the different stages of his life.  It is a fictional memoir dealing with one man’s realisations, limitations, losses and regrets. It is about a man journeying through life and standing on the edge of the abyss. It reflects on the anticipation and inevitability of death, and if you dig deeper – it is a study of complex human relationships.  Its style is simple yet profound. It is bound to leave a deep imprint.

The protagonist says and I quote: ‘Old age isn’t a battle. Old age is a massacre’. The older you get the more tolerant you will be of Everyman and the more you surround yourself and spend time with old people, the more it will make sense to you. Read it – it will gift you more awareness.