I had a shower this morning.
These days showers are more metaphorical than anything else,
water beads that pelt me,
and wash sins away,
or so I assume.
Unseen things, unknown things – I thought were my own –
are now on full display like a merchandised window,
and the people always do a double take as they go past.
That’s just it,
knowing people will take a second look,
isn’t too different than them second guessing you,
and sometimes you just don’t want anyone’s prying eyes,
their curious nose,
nor their wondering minds.
What is this mess of a man,
scars, and bruises and well-worn hands,
words thrown up with the same well wishes as rice on a wedding day,
that no one understands.
And at that point,
when no one gets the point,
when you scream down into your marrow,
‘what’s the point?’
words may as well just disappear.
If it takes the pit to be spat out for people to see that you have something in your mouth,
if it takes muting your voice to tell the world you’re not without a whirlwind of words,
then so be it,
let them taste the shrill of your silence,
and only read you when you’re dead.
Sometimes our sins keep us mute and other times they make us shake violently like an epileptic who has to sweat
involuntary spasms into thoughts,
inconsideration and worthlessness.
The punishment for the sin, is the sin itself,
and that’s why showers don’t work anymore.
Even throwing myself into the ocean leaves me in a tesseract of inability,
of timeless timelessness looking into time with longing and distance like I can reach it at the end of my fingertips and change it,
the elusive fuck!
If you haven’t let life beat the shit out of you for all that you are,
you haven’t told the truth to yourself,
and your sins still hold you hostage,
and that shower will always be a bandaid.
Wesam El dahabi
It’s only through utter savagery,
through the comprehension,
of knowing how far I can stretch the extremes of my soul,
torch the very idea of my being,
that I came to terms with all the sensitivity of mankind,
and found intimacy with every pain conceivable.
I bathe in that idea,
I drown in it,
that this world was meant for pain,
and those who avoid it,
who shun waging war inside themselves,
against their own selves,
are only pretending,
to experience pain.
What business do you have calling to it?
Pointing the world to a faux trauma,
idolatry of your false god,
worship of yourself,
and making people bend in guilt?
You’re of the worst kind of decrepit beings,
slithery and poisonous,
you are the illness and the plague,
hash tag your mattering to the world,
hash tag yourself into existence,
hash tag your plight to the devil.
-Wesam El dahabi
Some things are beautiful to watch.
Like a child finding an idea in the midst of play,
or an adult, even if late, falling into comprehension,
seeing beauty, truth and balance where previously everything was chaos.
Even more, I enjoy seeing everything through others eyes,
becoming their tongue for that moment,
I know how they feel without them telling me,
I know what they want to say even if they don’t know themselves.
They’d refuse to accept that I do if I told them so,
so I write it instead,
and watch them nod in agreement.
I accidentally stumbled into expression,
of imagery through words,
this thing they call poetry, prose and the subtlety of it all,
accidentally a poet where I’m meant to be anything but.
“You have to let people see the truth of who you are”, she said.
I had no doubt that her intentions were sincere, that she was trying to get me to share more of myself, more of my work and to come out of the shell I’d grown comfortable in.
I also felt that she was somewhat attracted, that she was holding back by her own standards and not divulging her interests or motives for conversation. Why on earth would she extend such kindness, such interest in me or my words? Maybe she was thinking out aloud? Maybe I’m looking too far into her words, but she continued.
“You can’t hold back if you want people to find you, you know, if you want to commit to someone whole heartedly you have to show them who you are, how else will they commit to you and share themselves with you as well?”
She strangely intertwined the idea of commitment to a person within the idea of the collective she seemed to be generally referring to earlier in the conversation.
Only in a perfect world I thought. Perhaps if people were not so mean and would not squash your heart as soon as they had full access to it, not unlike many things losing their lustre once the hardship of having to attain them is overcome.
But my mind kept going back to the question; why was she so interested in me, or my writing? Maybe my words were an easier entry point into a conversation she was holding back from, but before I could articulate a reasonable reply, it happened, like a flood on a page, the same semi-conscious expulsions that propel me to write saw me blurt it right out into the plain of thick air.
“It feels”, I paused, “so invasive though….like a devaluation of sorts. Tell me I’m wrong. Do you really feel you can share that part of you? That crevice so deep and dark that you risk someone else holding it in their hands and having the ability to toss it at will? I think it’s a protective mechanism of sorts, for me anyway. ”
“Yeah, if I keep that part subdued, to myself, I can control it. If I share it, I have no control.”
“The urge to hurt someone for hurting me. I couldn’t take that. Sharing something only for them to use it against me.
I might even kill someone for abusing it. The hurt would be too much. I couldn’t contain myself knowing I share a part of me so deep, because I get urged or forced into the idea that I have to be open with a partner, that I have to share everything with a partner only for it to later be used as a method to hurt me, look down on me or whatever. It would for once, perhaps show me the other side of a person who’s lost control and killed another person. Perhaps they’re just people who could not handle their vulnerabilities being known and then discarded. I don’t think I could handle the hurt, I dunno, I’d much rather keep shit to myself. Even this I feel….”
I stopped and realised what I had just said. I could see her eyes turn cold – oh no, she thought I was a monster – and then warm again. Then she surprised me, they welled up as she then looked into her lap and placed one palm over other as if to say she was ready to catch a stream of her tears.
“That’s really quite sad”.
I felt my throat swell and fill with regret.
But she smiled and continued, “and beautiful at the same time”. The tears were now just falling directly onto her jeans as if to say there was no use hiding her own vulnerabilities and the moment was urging her to unshackle her inhibitions, to share more of what she really felt.
I thought about what I just said as the silence tempered the mood into an agreed introspective freeze.
Was I really that fragile, that afraid? Unable to share the truth of myself with anyone because I was repulsed by it all or was it because I was apprehensive of rejection? Am I crazy for thinking it was unacceptable for someone to squash you at will, after you’ve slowly desensitised yourself into sharing a part of you? I rationalised that it wasn’t. That people who did that with disregard deserved to be hurt back.
Could I kill someone over that? I could. I remembered the rage I felt when I was bullied when I was younger and my work I had been struggling with for a week, destroyed by a kid who thought it was cool. I was only twelve years old. Work I had spent hours on, deeply engrossed in, only for him to think it was funny and cool to destroy it. I still remember the coolness of the steel chair legs in my clenched blue fists as I picked many up, one after the other and hurled them with everything I had, directly at his head with no consideration for his life.
At twelve, I was quite comfortable in knowing he could be seriously hurt or die, because what I lost meant that much to me.
I could kill if someone discarded something that meant that much to me.
No, I thought, grand as the the fairytale of believing perhaps that someone could hold your heart in their hands and protect it, the temptation to discard it, the ease of discarding it for their own comfort would probably overwhelm them and they’d ditch your vulnerabilities at the earliest convenience to make themselves comfortable.
I’d much rather not hurt anyone, so I won’t allow them to hurt me by giving too much of myself.
Beautiful as her tears were, they suddenly became bound by a used by date. How I wanted to give her access, how I wished she could hold that part of me forever, safely, but I couldn’t believe it and back into my cocoon I went, and it felt as if the physical space between us grew hands that pushed us away from each other and back into everyday niceties.
Her face was kind enough for me to believe her, but not hard enough to accept the reality of how dark some of us are.
Better for her that she live in a world where she didn’t have to see that part of human capability, the compulsion to meter out justice.
People cannot walk around thinking it’s acceptable to hurt others without knowing there is a consequence.
Don’t listen to psychologists trying to box you into categories of being, categories of feeling, categories of your mental state.
You can think someone is a total fuckwit and genuinely care for them.
You can hate an attribute of your spouse with enough rage to want to punch them in the throat yet settle to spooning at night.
You can think people are total idiots in their life and still be utterly attracted to something about them you can’t put your finger on.
You can feel fifty shades of fucked and still be normal.
The idea that your feelings should be contained and ostracised, cut down and pruned to suit an idea of normal, that a long dead looney fantasised is normal a hundred and fifty years ago is total and utter bullshit.
What’s abnormal is not ever being taught how to carry yourself with dignity irrespective of those feelings and instead use that feeling or state to justify shitty behaviour.
Feel more, think less about it,
but act proper for fucks sake.
Introversion isn’t an inability to socialise,
communicate, or come out of my shell,
it’s a choice not to.
When you are not overwhelmed, influenced or feel the need to conform to the social behaviours, to the appropriated practises and often mechanical actions of the rest of people around you, when you don’t feel the pressure to be a certain way to please others or fit into their comfortable habits, you become a subconscious agitation in many uncomprehending minds.
It’s the irreconcilable idea that you have the ability to overcome anxious desires to be around others and can do it alone. It’s not social anxiety at all, it’s the opposite for a true introvert. It’s the ability to not be lured by anxiety to any extent and carry on your own way without even batting an eye.
But do you know what it takes to be like that?
Yes you can be born with stubborn resolve and an ability to see things beyond the average person, to overcome otherwise paralysing and habitual ways to respond to stimulus. But it also means there are things you must learn and train yourself in, things you practise and grind repetitively, things you drill ad nauseum, revisit and keep drilling. It requires discipline you don’t wane from, and that path is stoic and noble. It’s dignified and shows character that frightens people who haven’t got the balls to grind it out.
Men let waves of grief engulf them,
hold their breaths until they pass,
surface, and swim on.
Wallowing or drowning is not an option,
men don’t float like spume,
we’re savages raging against whitewash,
but we’re utterly fragile beneath it all,
asking ourselves forever if we’re enough.
What you don’t get to hear is the breaths we hold,
the heartbeats we waste,
the anxiety we covet,
we provide enough,
we love enough,
we see enough,
we do enough,
and if we are enough,
then it’s all worth it,
if we die before our anticipated time.
An ode to dad, who constantly gave of himself until his last breath!
I’ve patience yet,
my willingness to endure pain,
and be indifferent,
yet utterly conscious of it all,
until prose has its way with me,
is the blissful dichotomy,
that keeps the tongues wagging,
that keeps the minds piqued.
What is this expressive tragedy of a person,
who feels with his fingers,
writ tangled in webs of distance,
and still rages like he’s love yet to give.
A propensity to violence,
nonchalant and stoic,
and patience yet,
statue like patience.
Like leaves awaiting their decay,
like a woman waiting for barrenness to whither.
I have patience that gives birth to patience,
and I write, knowing,
there’s always another moment of indifference.
How do I feel about Christchurch?
I’ve been asked how I feel about the Christchurch massacre. What I gather instead is that I have been asked to feel. That’s not the same. What that really means and then breaks down to is; we want you to feel, even yet again and more precisely; you are being forced to feel.
I don’t take lightly to being forced. I reject any form of it.
I won’t let people or events sway me one way or another.
Call me cold, but I digress to calling it numbness.
I believe people who are swayed so easily by media are in proper reaction mode, and when I say proper, I am not complementing them. They’re proper according to the swayings of what media wants them to feel.
What’s disturbing is people don’t realise it’s yet another sign of the hour coming nearer….
And yet we’re not scared of that.
We’re mortified by an event but aren’t mortified by our insides and what state we’re going to die in at any given moment.
Look at the first person who died.
His last words were ‘salam brother’, he’ll be resurrected in that state.
What is my state? People are asking each other about it , asking how they feel and I don’t feel a thing.
I’m intoxicated in my disgusting state and occupied in it’s disaster. I have my own massacre inside, I have my own atrocities and they’re on a perpetual replay reel. They never stop, I never get to hear the flickering of film at the end of my movie, it’s on constant replay and I am drowning in that. I can’t surface to catch a breath let alone look at the shore or the scenery.
I’m momentarily torn, mainly angry, I cry a tear for but a brief second of recognition, not because these men and women and children lost their lives, but because I’ve still got mine and I’m a walking disaster whilst they were honoured by their Lord to be taken in a worshipping state.
How will I go? Backbiting? Thinking ill thoughts? Hating, angry, lying?
I’m gathering and walking through these states and don’t know if I’ll be taken in one of them. That’s what scares me and should everyone else.
How does anyone know when they will flip the switch, have the devil take them by the hand to commit any of the above mentioned heinous crimes against ourselves? Because ultimately, that’s what the shooter did, he ignored his insides for so long until they took over.
If each of us stopped to fix five of these ugly internal vices a year, just five, then we’d not be having these conversations, feeling these misplaced feelings, have a lot more honour and respect in dealing with each other and truly love one another more.
That’s why I don’t feel, I don’t hashtag or cry for anyone.
I’m too busy, self absorbed in my own sins to hold anyone hostage for theirs.
Wesam El dahabi