Posts in Prose
The annoyances of oil paint

T-Thump t-thump t-thump t-thump. T-Thump t-thump t-thump t-thump. The beat sets my mind in sync with the song. The bass keeps rhythm. A lighter atmospheric sound joins in, then a voice begins to sing. I step in time to the beat as I walk across the room. A faster beat steps in, adding to the thump thump thump thump keeping time. My mind falls into the state I’m trying to induce, like clockwork. Nothing but me, my intention and the music.

My hands set to work, and an image assembles itself in my head, picking up its fragments since the last time I was in the space. I start mixing, I start eyeing the different components, picking out all the little details I’m not satisfied with. I think, ‘if I do just this, it’ll be good’. But then a minute later I say, ‘No something is still off’. I step back. I look at my source image. I look some more. And I look even more. Then I look at my image. I examine angles, shapes, negative spaces, proportions. I look back and forth. I say, okay I think ‘it’s this that’s off. I go to fix it. I fix it. I compare again. I think, ‘Nooo there’s something else. I must observe some more’. I repeat this process a few times. Before I know it 4 hours have passed. I stop to eat. I get back to work with my focus maintained. After some time, I go to the bathroom. At the beginning of this short journey, I think, ‘I can’t wait to get back to my painting’. It seemed my body was caught up to the new activity but my mind was still there. After I flush the toilet (and wash my hands!) and begin to walk back, I think my realisation, ‘ok I’m hungry’. So then I look at the time. I am surprised. It’s now the afternoon. I go to heat up my food. Then I remember, I had some things to do today: the busywork and paper stuff that always feels like an interruption. So, I set about doing that. Halfway through, I stuff my face. I keep thinking of the painting by looking at it. I’m thinking in the background of my thoughts, ‘it’s too complicated now because I added too many elements’. I keep glancing. During one glance I realise, I know what to do. I feel a surge of triumph. Today is miraculous because I didn’t have many things written down. I remember to go back to the painting. Then once I’ve changed the thing I noticed a bit before, I stop. I have to let it dry before I do the next step. I was working on it all day, thinking today, I’ll just do this and it will be done. But as is often the case, I am proven wrong. The annoyances of oil paint.

ProseDesi-RaeComment
On Art

When my thoughts are confused and slippery, producing no friction as I reach for them, I listen to music, write, or draw. This emotional release is art. This stimulation of the senses is needed not only to release bridled emotion, but to reveal it as well. The process of making art allows one to dwell on thoughts and to bring the unconscious into the conscious. The arts are a form of therapy that help to maintain a state of calm and order in an almost unnoticeable manner. Artists are able to sift through their thoughts during the creative process, often in an absentminded manner. It is why authors and playwrights write. It is why visual artists paint or draw. It is why composers and musicians make music. It is why dancers get lost in sound. The arts are about feeling and expression. This is true for visual arts, performing arts, literature and other forms of the arts, and it is also true at both the individual and the community level. It is so for the people who create it and for those who experience it. The lines scrawling across a paper, the chords that run throughout a song and the degree of clarity or confusion in a piece all say something. An artist takes a feeling and intensifies it; he or she tries to sincerely convey emotions in a way that makes sense. This is why art can never be a bland thing. No matter how simple a piece is, it can evoke an exact emotion in the observer and bring a message across; that is its purpose.

I often see artists at work and imagine what they are feeling and what is behind all their motions. As a child, I could really stare at and contemplate these people and their masterpieces. These opportunities come less frequently as I grow older and people grow colder, but I realize that the finished products of artists give me a glimpse of who they are. I watch movies and plays and wonder which individual a particular character was based on. Why did the scriptwriter feel the need to emphasize this trait more than another? Why were certain materials used in a piece? I want to know what the artist is trying to tell me and if I am getting their story just right. Art is communication. It is the selective recreation of reality based on the value judgment of the artist. It is not possible to fit everything into one piece. Hence, the artist portrays a world view that is specific and focused away from the general experience of life. In doing this, he makes an argument about what is important at the time. He tells a story through the medium which best helps him to bring it across. This is what is so beautiful about the arts; the storytelling that is a key part of them. Art exemplifies what life is about: stories.

Everyone, every group and every individual, has a story and the arts are essential to the transmission of these stories. The arts allow heritage to be passed down through generations. This includes simple aspects such as dress or folktale. They embody the culture of a people and share their stories in a way that nothing else can. Sometimes, literature is the best way to do this as it takes the reader on a journey of the mind into what a person’s lifestyle was at a certain time. Architecture and paintings provide images which are concrete in the thoughts of the observer. Music and dance provide something more abstract, yet definitive of a particular background. Film and theatre often recreate experiences much like literature does. The arts preserve history while providing a simple, unobtrusive method of educating different societal groups about each other. What I think is so beautiful about art, is how it allows people to reach beyond what they know, to experience something different from who they are and to think beyond the familiar. They can touch a sensation that was not originally their own, but then make it theirs once it reaches them or once they reach it. Art cuts across all boundaries, including culture, education, language, background and time. Each time that art is experienced, an imprint is left on the mind and that impression, if given time, can often change the way a person thinks. It can change how people relate to one another, simply because they recognize that at one point they were at the same place and experienced the same things. Two persons from completely different social spheres are able to come to the same conclusions on certain subjects. In this way, the arts develop the personalities of individuals, nurturing more tolerant minds and decreasing ethnocentrism. They allow persons to find similarities among themselves and build on these to form bridges to one another.

Art builds appreciation for the unfamiliar and encourages people to allow themselves to feel their own emotions. It helps them to understand themselves and to understand each other. Of all the things that the world needs in order for humans to coexist with themselves and with their environment, it is these two that it needs the most and the arts provide them.

Stripling

From ever since, he had looked toward a different time, a different life, hoping it would blend into the now that he knew. He mused on it frequently, on where it would be, on how long it would take, and etceteras. He acted too, tried the little things that promised to pull his new life closer. He kept burrowing for comfort, unable to find a place where his limbs fit.

Eventually, he grew tired of playing with his dreams. Every time he met them in the sandbox, they pushed him to ground with their enthusiasm, and then laughed when the grit got in his eyes. So, he held a requiem for them one night, bringing a bottle along for the ride. Because he hated what he had made of his thoughts, the visions he had created in his head. They scarred his retina every time he chanced a look at them. They were too bright, too full of hope.

He thought up silly fantasies to take their place. He wanted to be an English man with an English name and have an English wife. He wanted two dogs and lots of plants in the backyard. He wasn't sure about kids. Kids messed things up. But he wanted a yacht too, a vessel to sail on and remember days gone by when what he had achieved was all just wishful thinking. And as for work: he wanted to start at the top. His skin wasn't too tough after constantly being rubbed between the ground and the shoes of his superiors. He wanted a sweet life, sweet like candy, and pretty like money. He’d seen the futility of his desires and refused to put them within his reach. If they dangled too far, there was no point in making the effort to reach them. Maybe, they would drop from the sky and hit him in the eye, without him ever noticing them while they were too far to touch.

Sometimes he would get lost in these thoughts. Then he would remember where he was and how things really were, the heat whipping against his face, the sounds of the city and murmurs of gossipers, all carried along by a silent wind, a wind that just wouldn’t bring him what he wanted.

Sweaty bodies lurched against each other as the vehicle moved. Dust, plastic wrappers and bits of paper repeatedly jumped up and returned to the surface of the bus floor. They maintained a gentle rhythm, dancing with the flaws of the road. Kamal absent-mindedly watched this. Every night when he reached home, it seemed as if his mother were even angrier than the night before. She constantly nagged him to go find work, pressuring him to do something about his state of limbo. The pitch and persistence of her words stung his ears and fueled his reluctance to try. His friends looked at him through slit eyes, accusing him of laziness in an effort to urge him on. He didn't see the point. Experience had perfected his fatalistic expectations. Besides, he had told Ashlee that he was going to call her tonight.

He came off the bus at his stop, the clinking of coins being exchanged familiar. As he continued the journey to his house, he watched his neighbours kicking ball under a street light's yellow glow. He pushed his gate open. The air had cooled the metal. It unfortunately did nothing to stop the horrible creaking that always sounded as the gate opened. Yes, this was home.

Last Summer


I want to be the moment you desire.

I want to smile with you under bridges and over mountains of paper, recycled wood; drown in ink, drawings, and words; taste graphite; and become paint. I want to feel the grass at my back and your breath at my shoulder. I want to share something with you that no one else could recapture, even when you’re gone. I want to play at the edge of the well of souls and see your visions, hear your comments and observations, make them my own.

I want to have something pure, yet I would respond to the tainted. I want the good, but I would preserve the selfish.

I want to prove something: that we exist. I have a yearning so strong which claws through interwoven bonds like the slow burning of paper alight. I want you to hear my knocking like a siren’s cry and understand my gaze in that of a child’s.

I wish you could forget where you’re bound.

I want to damage time, cruelly force it to turn back, with a violence that is not my own, but a borrowed vehemence and guilt and shame. I wish you had heard my laughter and seen my energy, met me when everything was fine, even when it was not. I wish you had tamed my cries of joy and wonder and amazement, with yours of passion, fueled and transformed it into something absolutely raw and good, not skipped it and left a barren space of dreams.

I want you to experience this strumming in my chest and feel this breeze brushing away my sweat. I just want to share it, that’s all.

I want to lose myself in your embrace.

This Nameless Feeling

Time sleeps while the heart slips and surrenders its beats.

--------The day was stuck, he was convinced. His mind was stuck, the weather was heated and still, the clouds were stuck. Even the hands on his watch did not move, so the day was stuck too. That’s what his logic told him, what his sweaty back and languid stretch spoke. The creaks of the house echoed the sentiment as well, and the cool liquid rushing down his throat only made him want more. No satisfaction, no change of state, mental or physical. It was all the same. Everything he knew droned on and on in endless familiarity.

--------The wrinkles of his skin had deepened over the years, pores more visible, skin almost harsh. A crooked smile would lift his face ever so often, yet it was so ordinary that it blended in with the rest of his visage. Fine threads of silver were working their way in and adorning his head, and his eyes had a twinkle although they never shone. He had lived, was living, and was getting older, but this ‘now’ never did seem to change. The time of the world, of buses and cars, of appointments, meetings and rude alarms, seemed like a stolen illusion. For nothing could ever keep pace like the duration of his heartbeats, from the first to the last, each one a complete pulsation of the heart.

--------There was a pause here and as he stared mindlessly at his world, he just waited, waited for someone to turn him on.

Wrestling thoughts

It’s counting down to midnight. There’s a storm brewing outside and a candle burning in my midst. My stomach is already sated from dinner; my thought-train has already been overworked for the day. The shadows are everywhere and they flicker as the wind blows the flame. The windows are open and the night is cool. The only sounds to be heard are the drops of the rain on leaves, water dripping off the roof unto plastic below, night insects giving their serenade and the distant humming of a generator. If I try, I can also discern the scratching of my pen and the alternating inhalations and exhalations of my breathing.

Physically, it’s cozy, but mentally my mind has lost that state of homeostasis. It worsens when someone awakens and comes shuffling into the room. The careless sounds are deafening and the banging of the cupboard door draws my attention. He burps and bumps my chair, then returns to the darkness of his room. It’s silent again. My mind continues spinning, and I stop writing.

Old Title

The first thing that came to mind when I saw him was that he was perfectly gluttonous. His protruding stomach did not help my estimation of him. It was round but turgid, as if constantly full. That wasn’t what set me off though: he swaggered when he walked. The man exuded self-confidence. The wine glass in his hand: it never emptied the whole time. He sat down beside Ralph’s mother and leaned in, invading her personal space, but she didn’t seem to mind. The hand gripping the glass was held at arm’s length as if he was trying to gloatingly display it by letting the lights bounce of it with eye-hurting brightness, and it did mind you. You know what was funny though? He looked like shit. I looked away when I realized my lips had curled into a sneer. I ended up looking at the bratty little kid in front of me who kept kicking me under the table. I glowered at him and watched with amusement as his mother tore off a piece of chicken. Her canine winked at me, and although I knew it was just the meat giving her a hard time, it looked very much like a snarl directed at me. I guess I deserved it.
 

Beginnings

Beginnings are wonderful. I don’t like middles. And I’m never sure if endings are actually endings.

Renee was bored. He was bored. Renee was so bored that he couldn’t bother to repeat the words ‘I’m bored’ out loud anymore. Staring across the wild grass behind the house to the grey of the falling rain in the distance, his lips half formed the words so that only the ‘bored’ was audible. This utterance then slowed and softened, mouth moving without sound, so that only the rushing of air through them could be discerned. He sounded like a dying person gasping for water, even to himself. If only he was brave enough to go through the bush to the other side, the side where there was water, rock and sand. He was sure his brothers were lying about the crazy old people who lived there, but if he couldn’t work up the courage to forage through the prickly tall things that his aunt called grass, he would never find out. He sighed.

Some time later, Renee was asleep. He awoke with a shout as something heavy fell on him, something definitely heavy, breathing, and screaming unintelligible words. He was surprised his aunt hadn’t come running already, but she was senile, or so his uncle kept saying to explain everything. He pushed the loud thing off himself roughly, receiving a kick in the shin in return. After flapping some sort of excess fabric off his face, he came face to face with a… a… boy? girl? Either way, finally! He had someone to play with! Renee was unsure of the best approach to use in this situation.

“Get off my property!” he shouted. The thing set its hands akimbo, and now Renee knew it was a girl. She stuck her tongue out with an air of arrogance and began walking closer.

“It’s not yours stupid. I don’t see your na-- ” She tripped mid sentence, cap falling off, braids flying. She tried to get up, then gave up and sat on the ground, knees drawn up, one bleeding. Renee looked at the bleeding knee, then at her face, then at the knee again. She began to sniffle, trying not to cry. He looked at her again; then he began to laugh. Her face twisted in anger, fingers scrambling through the dirt on the ground. She found a suitable rock, and hurled it at him. It caught him on the shoulder and only made him laugh harder. She really began to cry now and Renee panicked.

“Shut up idiot!” he cried frantically. She paused for a moment, then started to cry harder and louder. “If auntie comes outside, I’ll get in trouble for waking her!” He was desperate now. He stooped down and crawled closer, grabbing her knee, once again having no tact, and began blowing on the wound, tiny droplets of spit reaching it as well. He grabbed a random leaf and tried wiping the blood away. The problem was, the stupid girl wouldn’t stop bawling her head off! He shoved his hand over her mouth and she bit down, hard. He was at the pinnacle of his frustration, when they both heard a door slam open and two necks snapped to face the direction of the bang.

“RENEE!” Renee’s eyes went wide and he shot the girl a glare. She wasn’t even crying anymore! She was looking at him, first curiously, then mischievously. She stuck her hand out and whispered quickly.

“I’m from the sea. I live with grandma and grandfather. My name is Sedna and I want to be your friend,” she took a breath, “and you’re really really dumb.” She dragged out those last three words, nodding her head knowingly. Renee just looked at her incredulously and stormed off in the direction of his house.

Stupid girl. He was in so much trouble.

The Soul Collector

He was waiting, as always. She granted him a faint smile and approached, feathered feet silent. The kiss bruised her lips instantly, her back arching in wondrous pain as cloth tore, blunt nails scraping across the dirt, toes bleeding. She didn’t want this, not now. Indecision was eating away at her mind, a thousand pricks to her skin, disrupting stimulation, stunting her movements, channeling her thoughts. His turn had come and she wasn’t prepared.

He half dragged her across the dirt, ignoring the door to choose the moonlit grass, sparing a brief pause in inquisition of her apathy. She looked at him then, and he knew. They stared at each other, her eyes soulless and resigned, his stilled with despair. A moment passed.

He attacked her, with his lips and hands, tongue and teeth. She looked to the sky. Her pleasure, her comfort, her predictable fool... he was too kind, too trusting, too beautiful, like the rest.

The hair resting on her neck lifted, harshly, rapidly. The warm digits clawing up her spine moved faster, desperately. He worshipped her flesh, trying to give a reason to hesitate, slobbering on her. Her nipples ached, her thighs trembled, but her mind traveled far away.

Her fingers glowed blue; he began to choke. She felt his eyes on her. She heard the plea in his silence. She refused to return the glance. His skin darkened, drying, eye sockets sharp. She knew the terror that was appearing before her without seeing it. She had yet to forget the first. When she heard the last clink of bone, she looked, jaw clenching.

She added the fifth soul to the chain of soul gems between her breasts.

Curse the gods and their silly games; she was slowly losing her heart.
Inspired by a lovely painting. I don't like this. I see potential. Too rushed... but I wanted to capture it with few words.

Fascination

I am amazed, simply, surprisingly, amazed.

I feel lazy and wispy, like it is always sunrise and it is always sunset. The ticking time in between whirs by, because it doesn't exist, even while it is not forgotten.

I am rising like the wind that combed through the grass at daylight, through the windows and front door, through my hair, over my skin, freshening all the rooms, shifting the sheets, caressing the walls, banging the doors, playing with me.

Shhh. Every time it moves, my lips move too, upwards, joining the sonance of nature, trailing a zephyr, all the way to the other end of this strangely concrete building. Why is it so heavy, when everything feels so light?

I am floating with the smog that settled over the city at morning then stayed till dusk. I am forever experiencing and being the colours of the sky, at dawn, at night, at midnight.

And everything

makes sense, because there is a weight in the back of my mind, that is so familiar, that it is not there. All is balanced and equal, homeostasis presides, as that shadow, barely looms. It is patient and weary, disillusioned, unable to touch me, because my care for it has changed.

I am not laughing; I am smiling. A faint difference, that illustrates the truth in such a fragile way, of utter beauty.

I can hear the sound of tapping feet, see the movement of careless faces and sweetly tired hands, reach the smiles on dreamy faces, and hear the tinkering of dewdrops on grass and spider webs.

I could sigh myself into naïve intoxication. This vision of simple contentment,

is mine.

Art did this to me.

The Lights Are Out

 

Clickety clackety clickety clackety.

An odd assortment of noises carried down the dark lane, past the dusty windows, broken doors, and peering eyes. The squeaking of unoiled joints, the squelching of wet rubber and the groaning of wood resounded, siphoned through the street from beginning to end, beyond. Carried by strong vibrations, they were felt even before the figure was realised. The air was damp, foggy, chilled, and saturated with fearsome anxiety, given away by frantic murmurs and the shuffling noises of poorly hidden movements.

The sounds became louder as the shape moved closer. The air seemed to thicken and tighten in on itself. Particles of dust, seen in the dim beams of light from the street lamps, ceased their frenzied movements. More shifts of cloth against cloth, cloth against skin, and scraping of shoes could be heard; terror took hold and feet moved in the opposite direction, away from the windows, doors, and other unknown orifices of the building. The silhouette was now upon the first house. The door opened, as if on a gentle breeze, and light flooded the street, carrying upon it, neatly floating, the irregularly quiet form of a baby. The dark shape slowed as it came into the light. It could now be identified...

A wheelbarrow

As the illuminated body floated through the air, life seemed to rapidly drain from it, limbs going limp, the fluid under the skin losing to gravity, turgidity gone. The now corpse-resembling mass of flesh was delicately lowered into the moving container. There were no screams. The lights in the house went out. The street was dark, foggy and poorly lit once more.

The sounds started up again, less creaky, more clackety.


I don't know what I'm doing. This came from nowhere. There's more, but I don't think here is the place to post it.

The Tree (the dream)


There stood a tree, a beautiful, big, red tree, viewed from a distance, through the hazy partitions of a dirt-stained window. The land around the tree was earth and wood and crunchy leaves. The red was extremely red, yet the green of the forest behind it remained bright. To the right of the tree was shrubbery and land, a great big expanse of it. The only thing which could be seen beyond was the deep gorge of a valley and the blue of the sky, along with the occasional wispy cloud that remained stationary in it. To the left of the tree, was wild grass, tall bamboo and a green fog which seemed alive and playfully beckoning to all.

The tree was always alone. The atmosphere around it was always the same and the weather refused to change. On the other side of the window was the interior of a silent house. There was a person in it who was trying to reach the tree. Well, in actuality, it was simply a hand and a mouth, but these things are always connected to a body, so a person must have been trying to reach it. The person must just have been, unfortunately, invisible. Every waking minute was spent staring at the tree or walking to the door.

A most curious thing seemed to occur whenever the fingers on the hand curled around the latch of the door, pressed down, then pulled it open: all the windows in the house slammed shut and shutters seemed to magically appear and roll down before the glass of the windows. This darkened the house and made the hand let go. The hand and mouth, strategically positioned as if they belonged on a body, would once again move to the window and the invisible eyes would examine the tree and its monochrome colours, entangled branches, shiny leaves, and heavy-looking capsule enclosed fruits.

This drab, yet magical routine continued for days on end, or it might have been hours, but as the atmosphere around the tree never changed, it remains a thing to be guessed. The tree was so big and it’s branches reached so far that the hand and mouth knew, or to simplify it: the invisible person knew, that if they could just open the door and get a glimpse of outside, they would get the ultimate experience of seeing a branch of the tree close up, maybe even be able to pick a fruit, or just step on a fallen leaf. This thought made the invisible person realise something very important: not even once before had a leaf fallen from the tree.

As a matter of fact, the wind never seemed to blow through the leaves to rustle them, the fruits never fell, the fruits never even got bigger, there were never insects or animals or birds around it, and... every single leaf and every single fruit was a perfect replica of the other. Now the invisible person knew that something was wrong. Extreme determination set in.

The hand and the mouth moved to the door. The fingers on the hand curled around the door handle and pulled. The house darkened as the windows were blocked off and the light source interfered with. The hand pulled harder. The door resisted. The hand pulled even harder. The door resisted some more and the hand pulled even harder. A howling began, the mouth formed an ‘o’, rain began to fall, thunder clapped, and the invisible person could see outside. There was a red branch all right, there were red leaves, there were red fruits that looked like bulbs, and everything looked real. This is what the invisible person saw for one glorious second.

There were also dead people with friendly, colourful faces, who wouldn’t stop howling, and wouldn’t stop approaching the door. Rain was falling from the sky, everything looked green, and the group of dead cretins howling in unison was really close.

The hand slammed the door shut. Everything was silent and it all seemed the same. The invisible person moved to the window.

The red tree wasn’t there anymore. There were two fat pieces of tree trunk, lying side by side, but

nothing else was there, not even a fallen leaf.

The invisible person was now sad and confused. Should it have opened the door?

That should have sunk in by now. Yes, my dreams have been taking a strange turn lately. I can't make sense of them. This is just an embellished version of the most recent one, but that's how it went. I don't think I captured the essence of the tree. It was beautiful, yet untouchable, something to stare at and be entranced with. The entire tree was red, and it was HUGE. I left out the last part, because it didnt seem to fit. In the actual dream... I opened the door again and became friends with the zombies...