Electrified Veins.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Technology emitted rays; they messed with the stillness of our minds, made us see everything in pixels and encryptions. It distorted our sense of self, made us do things we never would. The rays, they messed with us, consumed us, trapped us within ourselves.

You saw the images, heard the clicks, even with your eyes closed. You couldn't see your hand anymore; they replaced it with machinery, gave you superhuman powers, pushed you far enough so you couldn't control the movement of your fingertips.

With the touch screen, each moment of contact was a source of nourishment. Electrics in our engineered veins, currents as blood cells. 

Softer Than A Limb Torn Off.

This breaks my heart into pieces every time.

Some of my favourite lines are:

'No one would put their children in a boat unless the sea is safer than the land.'

'No one spends days and night in the gallbladder of a truck feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled mean something more than journey.'

'Maybe it’s because the blow is softer than a limb torn off.'

'The insults are easier to swallow than rubble, than bone, than your child’s body in pieces.'

How To Save a Life.

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

I wondered what death meant. An absence of a person, the vacancy of their body, the loss of a mind. You would grieve for memory and presence, but you could still taste their hopes and dreams.

People injected themselves into you, filled up your bloodstream and expanded your veins. When death came, your physical being was taken; the voice was still alive.

My pulse has frozen,’ he said. ‘I can hear the whisper of Satan.’  

We pulled ourselves together with candle wax on cracked hands; it melted and merged, then solidified on our palms.

I wondered how long God had yearned for our souls. 

When We Stand Together.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

It's amazing how much changes, even when we think it's all the same. It's only when you put everything together that you notice the evolution of self.

The Insecurities of a Human.

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Putting words onto paper makes them feel final; spoken words are transient. By writing things down, we preserve them; we give them meaning and truth. Words visualise our thoughts, bringing them to life; a form of animation. We can see just how profound or ludicrous the insides of our minds can be. Writing is a form of systemising and liberating thoughts. Sometimes we need to write our deepest secrets onto paper, to share them and be rid of them.

I am going to share my biggest insecurities, and by doing so; I hope to achieve two things. I want you to experience the dynamics of somebody else’s mind, and I also want to use this as a form of interaction and a basis for your own blog post. I write about my personal insecurities quite regularly, so for the sake of diversity, I am going to concentrate on my physical insecurities.

1. I find it difficult to smell things unless they are very strong, for example, I cannot smell the perfume that somebody is wearing. In fact, I can only smell perfume directly from the bottle. For this reason, I am generally quite paranoid about smelling bad myself, because I will never know. It sounds silly, but it is something that has always bothered me.

2. I drink a lot of coffee and have done so for a long time. I am always conscious of my teeth looking yellow and becoming stained by the coffee. I constantly use whitening toothpastes and treatments just in case. My front tooth is also slightly bigger than the one beside it, and I am always mindful of this when I laugh. I also have a strong fear of them falling out. Sometimes I wake up in a state of panic, and have to check if they are still there.

3. Last year, I put on a whole stone in weight due to illness, which caused my skin to stretch very abruptly. I now have a variety of stretch marks, and although they are in places that are generally covered, I have a few on the insides of my upper arms. They are not as prominent as they once were, but I am so conscious of people noticing them that I avoid wearing t-shirts in public.

4. My relationship with food has always been a problem and I am absolutely terrified of weighing myself. If you know my history, you will understand why.

I have never shared these with anyone. By writing them down, I am able to see just how ridiculous they are. You may read through them and identify each one as being quite silly, but they are things that genuinely cross my mind on a daily basis. Although I have deeper insecurities, these are things that I am too afraid to talk to others about.

Upon writing this post, I found this corresponding article: I hope that it encourages you to replicate the post on your own blog. If you do go ahead, please leave the link to the post in the comments. I love to read and discover new blogs.

My Own Saving Grace.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Too many women wait around wanting to be saved. They want a man to make them happy, to fill their lives with flowers and affection. They believe that this will make them content.

Let me tell you a little secret.

You can only save yourself.

Stone Cold Sober.

Friday, 11 April 2014

I think about what would happen if I tore out my own soul. My hands would be covered in flesh, blood dripping down my fingertips. I wonder what the soul would feel like, whether it would be solid or supple, whether it would burn through my palm and find its way home.

A Ghost in Your Memory.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Our memories distort people.

We extract fragments that we want to remember. We repress the bad, or only remember the trauma. We don’t remember people as they were. We recall them in the way that we want to see them. Even when they change. 

People do not live as the tangible characters in our memory. Everyone moves forward. Life is ever-changing. We must formulate new memories, override the old ones. Nothing is as you remember it. Everything in the universe evolves. Give people space to be who they are; don’t confine them to the constraint of your memory.

This is where writing provides control, we have the ability to create people into whomever we want them to be; they become our own creations. They change as we want them to. Our hands mould characters into definitions of our own humanity. We can write our moments into eternity. They will remain timeless, carved into the concrete beneath us. Writing captures the morsel of details that elude memory.

Look around, it will never be the same again. Even when your heart beats in the same rhythm, the emotions in your bloodstream will transform themselves.

Our rhythms pave who we are, the pulse moving us along.

Die Another Day.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

I read a book this week about a woman losing her memory. She would wake up everyday and have to be reminded of who she was. A doctor suggested that she keep a journal to read every morning. As memories came back to her, she would note them down.

I found this interesting because it reiterated that we need to be reminded of our memories to remember who we are. It’s easy to forget the promises that we make to ourselves, the struggles that we went through. Sometimes it’s difficult to even see who we have become until we look back. We forget our goals and lose our drive.

Looking back can sometimes emphasise and heighten the meaning in our lives. It can help us get back on track by paving the route to where we should be. We drown in our days; we don’t know who we are anymore.

We often live in an abyss, sinking as our hopes are extracted from us.

(Coffee's For Closers).

Monday, 31 March 2014

I have been drinking the same coffee every morning for the past 10 years. A failure to do so has led to serious consequences, and this is not a form of hyperbole. When I attempted to stop drinking coffee in the mornings, my body went into complete shock and I was ill for an entire month. This is the severity of my caffeine addiction. I am dependent on it.

My parents have always been big coffee drinkers, in fact the first thing that I remember being able to smell as a child was coffee. I loved the smell, and I would pour Coca Cola into a mug, pretending that it was black coffee. I couldn’t wait to try my first cup of it, and I was 12 when my parents finally thought that I was old enough.

My first memory of incessant consumption is at the age of 14. I was having difficulty sleeping; I needed something to get rid of my headaches in the morning. I began to drink a lot of coffee, and eventually by the time I turned 15, I was already dependent on the drug to get me through the day.

I was 16 when I had my first sip of Red Bull, and this soon became my favourite lunch drink. I often had an average of 6 cans throughout the day, and I eventually reached a point where I was constantly being advised not to drink it. My morning cappuccino ritual intensified. My body would expect the coffee at a specific time, and if it did not receive it, the painful withdrawal symptoms would go into overdrive.

At the age of 18, I began university. My friend and I would visit a coffee shop in between lectures and this is when I began to drink espressos. I would get through at least 8 a day and they were a requirement to cope with my insomnia. As time went on, I began to notice the impact of the caffeine on my health.

Eventually I realised that I needed to cut down, but this could only be done slowly because my body was accustomed to the large amounts of caffeine. Over the years, I have managed to cut down on my caffeine intake, but the one morning coffee is still a necessity and I am thrown into a state of illness if I abandon it. Most people tell me that this is psychological, but believe me when I say that it isn’t. I have tried again and again to avoid drinking it, but the withdrawal symptoms can become so intense that I cannot get out of bed.

I have learned to accept that it is something that I will eventually have to stop, because the level of dependency on coffee is not healthy. I dread staying overnight at other places because I know that I will need my specific coffee in the morning. I have attempted to find substitutes, to drink decaf coffee, but nothing satisfies my body enough. There is only one type of coffee that I can drink, which is exclusive to my coffee machine.

I have recently been thrown into a state of panic because a majority of supermarkets have stopped stocking my particular coffee. In fact, I have spent weeks searching and there is only one retailer that is now stocking it. I attempted to locate it today, and I felt a huge sense of relief when I was able to find it. In fact, I was so ecstatic that I bought three boxes. As I was paying, I thought to myself that my life would have fallen apart without this coffee. I have now been searching for online stockists so I have an array of backups.

The extent of our dependency is sometimes ridiculous. I wonder what humanity would become without all of these foundations.

Cremation in a Cemetery.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

I could feel my thoughts confined inside my skull; ricocheting against the bone.

Sometimes my veins changed colours; I could feel the blood flow becoming still.

I passed the cemetery and wondered where their dreams were now. Where did God extract their substance to? A gift to somebody else or buried with their flesh.

My face on fire, my insides vacant. Was this what cremation felt like? Could you feel your soul burning?

The Woman Who Couldn’t Be Moved.

Monday, 24 March 2014

Her veins reminded me of stems; short and stout, but her hands didn’t look like flowers. They were chapped and aged; they almost looked like they belonged to a corpse. They were tied by ropes of paranoia, the heart resting in the delicacies of veneration.

Sometimes strangers were the most interesting of people, full of secrets and stories to astound us. I wanted to write her words of deference, adoration between the lines.

She was gone by the time I looked up; I never saw her again. 

The moment had passed.

I Feel The Earth Move.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Sometimes I didn’t know what to say, so I analysed my wrists until the silence was over. I saw the skyline in my veins; I traced it with my fingertips until the world began to grow old with us.

Sometimes I could feel my soul walking away from my body and watching it from afar; I tried to force them to correspond but they claimed not to recognise each other.

It felt as if God was playing a game of chess, moving the pieces wherever He felt like. I could even hear Him saying ‘checkmate’ as my anguish became my breath.

It was hard to feel when I wasn’t in my own body. The emotions had no origin; they just became air.

Friday, 21 March 2014

How strange it is. We have these deep terrible lingering fears about ourselves and the people we love. Yet we walk around, talk to people, eat and drink. We manage to function. The feelings are deep and real. Shouldn’t they paralyze us? How is it we can survive them, at least for awhile? We drive a car, we teach a class. How is it that no one sees how deeply afraid we were, last night, this morning? Is it something we all hide from each other, by mutual consent? Or do we share the same secret without knowing it? Wear the same disguise?
(Don DeLillo, White Noise)

Burn Your Fire For No Witness.

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The fog reminded us that purgatory was close, retinas taking nothing but our palms.

Moving our fingertips, carving names onto glass, we disguised them with our breath, finding our way back.

‘I think we’re alone now,’ I said. ‘I can hear the angels.’

There Are Words Living Inside of You.

Monday, 17 March 2014

Within a single day of our lives, we perceive thousands of small details that we do not pay attention to. The name tag of the person that served us, the scent of the guy waiting in line behind you, the lines etched into the pavement, the scratches on a car door, the buttons on your shirt, the footprint of your shoes, the water droplets falling from the tap in your kitchen, the conversation of two strangers in the corridor, the sound of coins rattling in your pocket, the roughness of one’s hands, the sturdiness of your chair, the backing vocals in a song playing on the radio, the softness of the keys on your keyboard, the pigmentation of your pen, the folded pages in a book, the profoundness of the rain, the consolation of new socks, the vivacity of the light from your lamp, the dust on top of your wardrobe, the humidity of the rain, the dead skin on your lips, the strand of hair that has fallen onto your clothes, the peeling skin around your cuticles and the solidity of the wind against your face.

It is only in words that we are truly able to comprehend the intricacy of our lives. It is only then that we are able to perceive the edifice of the minute details and the way in which they depict the smaller moments. It is only in words that we can foreground these details; it is only then that we can bring them into focus. This reminds me greatly of Kafka and the way he used detail to subdue everything else.

Writing is about capturing and re-creating, about inventing and connecting. It is about reviving the small aspects of life that we choose to ignore. It is about projecting the intricacy of human interaction and the morsel of emotion that we sometimes find ourselves clinging to. Writing is about drawing attention to the stranger that held the door open for you, about the friend that offered you a piece of chocolate, and the covert simplicity of living. Although we as humans are complex, writing is a means of presenting and preserving ourselves in a way that is commendable; in a way that is comprehendible, in a way that inspires us to be better. Writing gives us something to aspire to, it provides us with a basis; it instigates progression. It allows us to capture our lives in a moment that will never exist again.

Writing is not really about telling, it is about sharing and relating, about finding what is already within us, about feeling those things that we have repressed, about extracting the truth from our souls. Writing teaches us about ourselves and our minds, it shows us truths and losses.

It is words that teach us about the magnitude and opportunities of life and death. Words teach us what it means to live and we often want to live a life worthy of being fictionalised. We want to be worthy. We want to be as significant as the characterised version of ourselves.

Words are the most dominant thing in the universe and sometimes I forget how fortunate I am to be able to use them.

The Spectrum of Mental Illness.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

The internet is full of articles, but sometimes we read profound pieces that fill our entire bodies with epiphanies.

I wanted to share some of my favourite articles on mental illness with you. I have collated a list which I hope will resonate with you in some way:

Befriending Someone You've Never Met.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

'I dislike the phrase ‘Internet friends,’ because it implies that people you know online aren’t really your friends, that somehow the friendship is less real or meaningful to you because it happens through Skype or text messages. The measure of a friendship is not its physicality but its significance. Good friendships, online or off, urge us toward empathy; they give us comfort and also pull us out of the prisons of ourselves.'     (John Green).

4 Ways To Hold On To Life.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Sometimes life grabs us with both hands and our feet forget to touch the ground. It’s easy to get so sucked in by routine that you forget who you are. You forget what you used to love and what the sky looks like at dusk. You forget to smile at strangers or open doors for people. In the midst of chaos, you no longer remember how to breathe.

One day, you will wake up and realise that you have lost the essence of life. 

1. Make time for yourself, do something you enjoy.

You need to make time to do the things that you love. These are the things that make you who you are, and if you lose them, you begin to lose the foundation of your existence. Read a book during your commute to work or during your lunch break. Write for 30 minutes each night. Watch an episode of your favourite show before you go to bed. Just do the things that remind you of who you are.

2. Go outside and see the world.

On your days off or during the weekend, go out for a walk. Make sure you smile at strangers, interact with humans. Remember how big the world is; think about how many people live in the universe and how all of our lives are intertwined. Look at the trees, watch the ducks in the water, stand in the rain. Don’t get sucked in by your own world.

3. Find a way to help someone else.

Do someone a favour, teach somebody something, or even make something for someone. You need to do those small things otherwise you will forget just how to live. These small things make up our world, and helping someone will remind you just how good it feels. Your own little bubble may be a great space, but there are others outside of it that need your help.

4. Maintain your relationships.

Speak to your friends (not just on social media) and make sure you meet up with them every so often, even if it just consists of you catching the bus home together. You need to maintain these connections to keep yourself grounded and you need that human interaction otherwise you will become a robot. Don’t forget who you are, who you want to become. Don’t forget your dreams, but also don’t forget theirs. We’re in this world together.

It’s easy to incorporate these into your week and I urge you to try them. Don’t lose sight.

5 Things Not To Say To An Introvert.

Monday, 10 March 2014

1. 'You’re so boring.'

Everyone has their own definition of ‘fun’ and what they classify as having a good time. You cannot use your own definition as a reference point to compare other people against. We don’t all enjoy partying and drinking until we lose consciousness, and whilst that may make you very happy, introverts are able to attain the same amount of pleasure by reading a book or watching a television series. Our definition of exciting is just different to yours. Don’t call us boring, you haven’t looked inside of our minds.

2. 'Why are you always alone?'

Introverts can often feel quite drained after spending a long period of time around people. We need our alone time to recharge, and this doesn’t make us loners or anything of the sort, we just value our solitude; it heals us. We don’t feel the need to be constantly surrounded by people, we enjoy our own company and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, isn’t one who enjoys their own company more confident and comfortable in themselves?

3. 'Why do you hate everyone?'

Just because introverts like to spend time alone doesn’t mean that they hate everyone. You will often find that introverts have fewer relationships that are more meaningful rather than having large groups of acquaintances. We like profound interactions, momentous conversations; we prefer that over having countless vacant friends.

4. 'What’s wrong with you?'

Introverts have the strongest minds; we are the greatest of thinkers. Being an introvert is in fact one of life’s most beautiful blessings. People often don’t understand what an introvert is, and because it’s so different to anything that they know, they just assume that something is wrong with the person. Never make someone else feel as if they are inadequate because they are different from you. Take time to understand, don’t judge us for being quiet.

5. 'You just need to get out of your shell.'

Sorry, but stop trying to force us into shells that we’re not even in. If we are quiet, it is because we are deep in thought. If we are not joining in with the conversation, it is because we have nothing to add. There is no shell. We just don't want to be running screaming and shouting, there's nothing wrong with that.

Introverts are the best of people, and although my opinion is completely biased, I think it is the best thing to be. We know ourselves well, we are comfortable in our skin and our minds encompass the broadest of worlds that you can only ever dream of.

If you have any lines to add, please leave them in the comments!

Sheep Go To Heaven.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Brown pupils of melancholia,
against the white of existence.
It analysed me in secret,
(I caught it looking in the dark).

We played games with our eyes,
spoke words of solitude in our breath.
Sometimes we would read each other,
(we stared until our secrets had been told).

It gazed at me as if it knew,
(nobody had ever looked at me like that before).
My secret transparency became truth,
the tears reciprocated.

The time and day arrived,
(I watched from the staircase).
Its eyes sad as melting snow,
my soul ached each time I could see.

The knife against the throat,
God’s name on the tongue.
Blood streaming across the concentrate floor,
mapping out the veins on my left hand.

I could see the eyes,
alive then vacant.
I picked up the leaves,
(wait for me in purgatory).

The meat given to the poor,
blood scrubbed into memory,
flesh became food,
(where was the deity?).

(I wondered why it was so sad).

Unexpressed Expressions.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

The sound of heavy laughter filled the carriage; it was coming from a woman. There was something peculiar about the way that she laughed. It was profound, resonating from a place deep within her. With every moment, the laughter traversed through her until it became inherent. It emanated a sorrow, and it was as if laughing was her only way to heal. She was laughing through melancholy, through pain; this laughter was surfacing from the abyss. I pondered, but could not locate the words to depict this sound that I was hearing.

My mind travelled to the derivation of the English language and the way in which we hold concrete labels for our emotions. Oversimplified and generic labels. English is in fact one of the least expressive languages. This laughter was distinctive and yet any name that I attempted to give it was inconsiderate towards her anguish.

What do you call the hurt that one experiences upon having their trust broken? Betrayal? Disappointment? Neither of these words do this feeling justice, nor do they truly articulate this sentiment. Everything is an oversimplification, and through this, we become insensitive towards the victim. These words minimise their pain; they simplify it. We search for the closest words and attempt to brand feelings, but how can one truly understand how another feels when we are unable to accurately explicate our feelings?

What do you call somebody that has just had their heart broken? We say that they are ‘heartbroken.’ This is an oversimplification. This does not encompass the aching that this person feels in their soul, or the sorrow that embraces their each moment, or the darkness under their eyes. It does not entail their feelings of loneliness regret. What do you call that feeling you experience during the first few weeks of having a crush? We say that a person gives us ‘butterflies.’ But what does this really mean? 

We rely on experiences to reverberate feelings but we become displeased upon the other person being unable to understand. We are more likely to relate to characters within books that have experienced something similar to us because we can still feel the echoes of our own pain embedded within our souls. The spaces between the words are the most powerful for us; they speak to us only through occurrence. Other people only understand when there is something within them that can be evoked. 

What about when we read about something that we have not experienced? Our hearts are rarely moved by them; unless the writer is able to procure such a character that we can find ourselves within. Again this is about being able to relate. If there is no connection, we remain isolated. The English language makes it almost alien for us to relate to a feeling that we have not experienced and through this, we remain estranged from each other and the rest of society. We are not able to efficiently communicate because we do not have the correct means to do so and any attempt is almost an oversimplification of our pain. Miscommunication breaks up relationships and the source of this is the restriction of our language that prevents us from truly verbalising our own sentiment.

If you begin to examine other languages, they have words that express concepts that we experience and overlook each day because there are no words to depict them. One of my favourites is the word ‘toska’ in Russian. Vladamir Nabokov (author of Lolita) explains this as:

'No single word in English renders all the shades of toska. At its deepest and most painful, it is a sensation of great spiritual anguish, often without any specific cause. At less morbid levels it is a dull ache of the soul, a longing with nothing to long for, a sick pining, a vague restlessness, mental throes, yearning. In particular cases it may be the desire for somebody of something specific, nostalgia, love-sickness. At the lowest level it grades into ennui, boredom.'

Do we in the English language have a simple word to identify this feeling?

We Lived Inside Glass Bottles.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Our bodies are like empty bottles.

As we grow up, they are filled with sand.

When we learn to think for ourselves, water is poured into the bottle.

The sand absorbs the water, but there is still space in the bottle for something else.

We try to fill the bottle with stones, but they get stuck, or they don’t fit. All we can do is shake the entire bottle to try and get them out.

This is just like life.

The sand is our upbringing; the water our knowledge. The space that is left over represents our desires and our need to fill that emptiness within us.

The stones represent those things that we think will please us, those things we use to fill that emptiness. But these are the things that cause us harm; they try to break us, and when we shake the bottle, it feels like they will never get out.

It feels like they will be stuck with us forever, that they are trapped within us.

But they do leave; there is space again.

And what we learn is that we were happier with that space. We are happier within ourselves.

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things by Jon Mcgregor.

Bitter Glass.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

There was shattered glass amid the ground. 

I watched you walk amongst it; your attempt at courage. 

Nobody came to your aid; you wiped away your own blood, cleaned up your wounds. 

You left your soul between the broken glass. 

You picked it up with bare hands, expecting the circumstances as you attempted your war with God. 

There was pain.

Bleeding was your ablution. 

Smile in your sleep.

Monday, 24 February 2014

The time on your malicious alarm clock alerts you that you should still be sleeping. Sadly your body seems to disagree. You lay awake, your eyes fixated on the sinister ceiling. You begin to wonder why nobody has invented ceiling posters; something to look at to help you sleep. You think that it sounds like a feasible product and you begin to devise a business plan in your head. Your mind wonders off into the world of tax and numerical figures. It stresses you out so you disregard the idea. You continue to stare at the ceiling and tell yourself that tomorrow you will wake up and do something about animating the ceiling. Secretly you know that it won’t happen but you like the satisfaction of being able to convince yourself that it will. 

You try to make yourself comfortable, you toss and turn but your bed feels nothing but awkward. Maybe if you change sides, it will help. It doesn’t. You are back where you started. You take a deep breath and think about techniques that supposedly help you sleep. Counting sheep is at the top of the list. Maybe you should paint hundreds of tiny sheep on the ceiling, then you would have something to count. You begin to imagine aimless sheep gathered in your bedroom; the thought is troubling. You face the alarm clock, it is still nowhere near morning, in fact only six minutes have passed since the last time you checked.

You sit up and turn on the light. Someone looks at you from the mirror that is placed opposite your bed. The face terrifies you until you realise that it is your own reflection. You look absolutely awful. You wonder what a future partner would think if they ever saw you like this. You look for something to do to help you fall asleep. There are books placed on your shelf and work that occupies your desk. You are too exhausted to do anything; you turn off the light and get back into your bed. Again you begin to stare at the ceiling, wondering what to do with yourself. You are frustrated, your body is too drained to move but your mind will not shut itself down. You begin to process the events of the day and your mind spirals off into a thousand directions. This keeps you occupied for what seems like hours but is in fact only minutes.

Suddenly you think you hear a noise, you run to the window in hope that something exciting is happening, something that will distract you from your inability to sleep. Sadly it is just the neighbourhood cat rummaging through the bins for food. You are disappointed. You continue to watch the cat in hope that it might do something interesting. Maybe it will unearth a body disguised as a mannequin. You begin to question where your overactive imagination came from. It couldn’t be from your parents or a relative; they are too dull. Maybe you are adopted. It is at that moment that you happen to see her. A woman is standing at her window also watching the cat. Your eyes meet, she looks awful too. A smile is triggered. It is 4am and you have found the love of your life.

I Can't See For Miles.

Sunday, 23 February 2014

I was waiting in line for my coffee.

I looked around and noticed two teenage girls at a table. One girl positioned her coffee on the table and the other took a picture of it with her phone. The angle wasn’t good enough; she instructed the other girl to move it.  

At the table beside them sat an older couple. The woman was pouring tea as the man folded up his newspaper. They talked and laughed, and smiled as I walked by.

I took my usual seat and thought about how I had just witnessed the change of a century in the space of those two tables.

Love Songs from a Shallow Grave.

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Sometimes I would kick the top of the coffin and other times I would use it to make rhythms. My favourite was Careless Whisper, which was pretty ironic.

I could hear their cries when they walked over my grave.

Once a boy fell and screamed because he thought that he would be sucked in.

Don’t worry boy, this one’s taken.’

Sometimes I could hear the birds singing so close, resting on my tombstone. It was as if they knew I was there; listening. I would hum with them, below the mud.

I wondered if God could still see me underground, or if I was still on Satan’s radar.

Did life stop in purgatory? I’d have to ask the angels when I met them; I didn’t know if they’d come.

5 Ways to Boost Your Self-Esteem.

1. Find a piece of work that you are proud of, or even a certificate or diploma, anything that reminds you of an achievement. Whenever you feel your self-esteem dropping, look at that piece of work and remind yourself of how much effort and dedication it required, and how far you have come. Think about your life, about how much you have endured, how much you have changed. It will not only restore your belief in yourself but it will also motivate you to do more.

2. Write down 5 things that you do not like about yourself, and then look at each one, and identify a way in which it can be seen as something positive. For example, I’m sensitive, but this means that I feel everything deeply, which is a blessing.You'll realise that your flaws aren't really flaws at all; it will make you feel whole. You will be more appreciative of who you are and this will make you feel a million times better.

3. Teach somebody something. This will not only feel very rewarding, but it will reaffirm your own knowledge. You will realise just how much you know, and that in itself is enough to make you feel good. Teaching children is one of the best things, they ask lots of questions and find everything fascinating. It can be a refreshing experience.

4. Exercise, it will energise you. All of that adrenaline will make you feel as if you can achieve anything, and that’s the feeling you’re going for. Think about how you feel after a long run and how much it motivates you. If you feel too lazy to run, try something like skipping. It will take your mind off things during that moment, and upon finishing, you'll be seeping with endorphins. 

5. Make a gratitude list, write down everything in your life that you are grateful for. By the time your hand becomes tired, you will realise just how much you have and it will be very encouraging. Add to this list whenever you feel low, and you will see just how effective it can be.

Birds of Prey.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Language is not neutral; it is filled with ideology, a system of meanings. Our world views are expressed through the language that we choose to use and the way that we represent things. As our ideologies are articulated through language, it allows space for one to project control. Language is a key instrument in propagating ideological framework, and the media thrives from this.

The news is always altered; we do not receive it in its purest form. Modifications are always made before the information is presented to us, and the language is cleverly composed through connotations in order to project a desired belief. This is the reason for why stories are foregrounded and exaggerated in order to thrust a biased ideology upon us. Newspapers are divisive; they have the editorial freedom to write as they please. News editors rework stories, they possess the power to decide what should be featured, and they do this by assuming our public values. They are the perpetrators of what is and should be accepted. The newspapers provide us with a prejudiced view of the world by suppressing information.

In terms of the news that is broadcasted on television, there are three people behind the stories: the animator, the author and the principal. The animator is the reporter that you will see on the television screen, telling the story. The author is the individual that wrote the reported story. Finally, the principal is the person whose interests are being represented through this story. There is always an interest being represented; it is worth remembering that.

The placement and layout of articles is designed to strategically manipulate us. A negative story may be placed on the left side of a newspaper about a negative event involving an asylum seeker, and then on the right side of the paper, there may be a separate story about the rise of asylum seekers in the UK. People read from left-to-right and so the articles are tactically placed to influence one’s understanding. The event structure of the article itself is also significant; there is not a chronological order of events. The main controversial event will open the story, with only selected information included. The background and circumstance are sometimes shorted or eliminated, purging the entire foundation of the event. Headlines are displayed to fixate us by creating an initial impress to influence our understanding of the article. The headline is always biased because the formed interpretation of the headline will manipulate the comprehension of the story. There is a logical relationship.

The language that they use to describe events is meticulously constructed. They derive the reaction that they want to receive. Their language is filled with belief and identity. Newspapers manufacture stories to be extreme or sympathetic; they exaggerate and understate. For example, when a natural disaster occurs, one newspaper will write ‘more than 1000 people have been killed,’ whereas another will write ‘at least 1000’ have been killed. The use of ‘more than’ and ‘at least,’ is significant because it demonstrates how numbers can be downplayed or exaggerated to alter meaning. The media’s construction of events will always influence the way that we perceive them.

The media uses inclusive pronouns such as ‘us’ and ‘them’ in order to signify a boundary between the civil and the savage; the good versus the bad. For example in a news story, America would be considered as ‘us’ and the terrorists would be considered as ‘them.’ Words like ‘we’ are used to imply unity (noticeably in speeches given by politicians), and using ‘they’ as a technique to socially distance others, to see them separately from ourselves.

One must always remember that newspapers have deadlines; there are always pages that must be filled. Sometimes there is a drought of stories, and the newspapers will take anything they can and transform it into something that will appeal to the reader. Their purpose is to sell more newspapers, not to inform the readers of what is going on around the world.

I do not read newspapers or watch the news because everything that is presented to us is in its most biased form. We shun those spreading propaganda, but is this not what our own world has become? 

Girl on Fire.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Fire seeped through windows, burning away diligence, fossilising history into nothing more than obscurity. He stood, frozen in time, surrounded by deafening screams and insecure walls. Colours began to fade, meaning became lost, and everything metamorphosed into a million shades of crimson. His hand reached to find hers; she became a stranger in the darkness. The intensity of the flame began to brand him; he was in its possession.

His legs carried him,
to the nearest escape route.
he followed the screams,
calling out her name.

His next breath,
became a struggle,
as fear welcomed him,
with warmth.

The movement of time became a massacre, as the flames grew cruel. The air was sinister; intoxicating his system as the smoke distorted his senses. Faint screams were incarcerated behind the door. He rushed to release the innocent souls, until her voice began to dominate time and space. She was alone in the room, enclosed by the scent of death. He fought a war within himself, his soul torn in two. He froze, until the voice of reason, pierced the still silence.

He released the strangers,
fire close enough,
to embrace his skin,
with its malice.

The building blew up in flames,
cremating the inhabitants,
with conviction,
and crimson.

He gathered her ashes into a glass bottle, scattering them into the serene river with his bare hands, allowing her to flow in harmony with the current. His yesterday conversed with him, discouraging tomorrow and each day after that. He hoped that one day he would reawaken the stillness that once flowed through him. The city slept, and he was surrounded by nothing but the sound of his own breath and her voice inside his head, whispering melancholy into the night.  

Writing in the Margins.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Writing is a preservation of memories, a sea of reminiscence, a sky of shining stars that coalesce to construct beauty. Words can build and destroy, terrify and weaken, heighten and inspire. They are an amalgamation of imagination and reality, the lines having been blurred. Sometimes when I want to write, my mind disciplines my hand. The pen moves with grace and captures the fragility of moments, preserving memories and sustaining their existence in a tangible moment. The lines write me, they define the person that I am; they are the road to self-discovery; they pave the path to finding myself. Words tell me secrets about myself that I do not know. They distinguish the details that the mirror does not exhibit. There are times when I write solely to fill the pages and other occasions where I must write to liberate my soul.

I write in an attempt to develop insight and unearth the emotions that lie within the depths of my heart. Writing is both a form of therapy and liberation. I often find myself bearing too many thoughts; writing is a means of seeking both clarity and order of my inner being and the outside world. I write for awareness of myself, to capture memories and blend them into a newfound world of perception. I seep thoughts and emotions through ink onto the page, unifying a sea of words into form. Writing provides the opportunity to reminisce in the midst of creating a superior world. Writing is my aid; it is the only way that I can truly express my every thought and emotion. It allows me to identify the intricacies, to magnify them in a way that will heighten my experiences.

Writing is fuelled by emotion. Everything I write is heartfelt and emotive. I strongly believe that emotion validates writing; it provides words with life and energy, allowing them to stand alone. It provides the characters with breath.

Darkness is the vein that seeps through everything that I write; even the happiest of poetry has an underlying subtext of negativity. My writing is about meaning and truth. I will not describe Katy’s reflection but rather the way that Katy feels when she perceives her reflection. I attempt to write to bring recognition to the thoughts within ourselves that we cannot name.

Everything in life is a writing opportunity and that is the way that I view each experience. Writing is a form of revolutionising the world and turning it into everything that I yearn for the world to be. It is an interface between the world that I see and the world that I hope to live in. A place of discovery embedded within memory. Each experience is perpetrated into words, in hope for others to seek solace within the lines. My path is paved with each word, tracing the core of my existence within the rhythm. I write to set myself free.

Writing is a way of life; I write because I need to. I must write, just as I must feed myself. Writing has become an obligation, like breathing. It has become a part of me, like skin. Words are the rhythm of the sentence created so profoundly within my mind. They must be heard. I feel that everything must be captured in words, so it is preserved and does not become lost. Writing is foremost a conversation between myself. When I come to face my death, I hope that my words will speak for me.

The Weight of the Sea.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

I have finally come to realise why people have become so broken. We almost permit others to hurt us and we allow resentment to reside in our hearts. We feed this with antipathy and we become bitter. This not only interferes with our outlook and perspectives, but it destroys our relationships and our lives, and everything becomes a game of vengeance. We begin to exist, just to spite others, and the beauty of life inevitably becomes lost.

There are some that are content, and they do not allow bitterness to penetrate their lives. They choose to forgive and move forward, because they know that resentment only harms the bearer.

It is in our nature to make mistakes and disappoint, one must realise this and not penalise everybody for each wrongdoing. The happiest of people are those that marvel at the beauty of the smaller moments, those that extract goodness from everything in sight. I will refer to these people as being ‘light’ and the previous as ‘heavy’ because they allow anger to weigh them down.

There is grace about the ‘light’ people, there is gentleness and kindness and a compliance to forgive. They live in positivity and hope; they are faithful, honest and loyal. They control their emotions and are ambitious. When you look into their eyes, there is peace, harmony and stillness. They have a tenderness about them that will not fade with age or trauma, a tenderness that has become the splendour of who they are.

Now pause for a moment. Think about which category you fall into and whether it is where you really want to be. 

Withdrawal Symptoms.

Friday, 14 February 2014

You regret staying up last night talking to whatever her name was; she wasn’t worth the excruciating headache that you’re now suffering with. You need coffee; it’s all you can think about. As soon as your mind becomes aware that you’re awake, it reiterates the word 'coffee' until its desire is fulfilled. Today is no exception. 

You enter the kitchen and your heart begins to panic; there is an empty space where your coffee machine usually resides. How could a coffee machine possibly vanish? Maybe you’ve been robbed? You wonder why the burglars overlooked the supreme rapture of technology in the other rooms; in fact nothing else appears to have been taken. 

You begin to search the kitchen in agitation; you wish your head would stop pounding. You examine the neglected jars of NescafĂ© that yearn for attention; there is nothing in the cupboards that will satisfy your desire. You see something move from the corner of your eye. Maybe the burglar is still here? It doesn’t appear to be a burglar, it is a coffee machine, but it isn’t yours. It looks somewhere in between a microwave and a dollhouse; glossy, petite yet robust.

‘Withdrawal symptoms getting you down love?’ The sound comes from the alien coffee machine. You’re hallucinating, of course you are. You desperately need caffeine. A coffee machine cannot talk, snap out of it. Again, it speaks.
‘No you’re not imagining me, I’m right here.’ This time you poke the coffee machine, it is in fact solid and real. You are definitely losing your mind.
‘Well that was extremely forward; we barely even know each other.’
‘You’re the one in MY kitchen!’ You are holding a conversation with a coffee machine; maybe it’s time to see a psychiatrist? The machine watches you carefully contemplating its next move.

‘Well me and the Mrs. got into a slight argument last night, she left and as I’m designated your kitchen as part of the pre-nup, here I am.’ Maybe you’re being Punk’d? You search for arrogant cameras, but nothing. It is just you and the coffee machine. It begins to beep frantically.
‘Hold on, I have to take this, it’s the wife.’ You shake your head wondering whether you’re actually awake. Maybe you didn’t really wake up? Maybe if you go back to bed, everything will sort itself out?

‘The Mrs has instructed that I make you your morning coffee otherwise you shall go ‘insane’ is the word she used.’ Your eyes light up at the sound of this. Coffee is everything that you need at this moment.
‘Please, please, please.’
‘You are pleading with a machine for a cup of coffee, how on earth can you live with yourself? You’re a grown man!’
‘Just make me my coffee!’

‘I shall not!’ The anger upon hearing this causes you to thrust your fist against the machine without thinking. Your ego is uncontrollable. The machine sprouts two metal legs and storms off faster than expected. Maybe you should follow it? This feels like the last relationship you were in, she was always storming off in anger like a drama queen. It is at that moment that you realise; the coffee machine belongs to her. You know exactly what you must do.

Without a second thought, you get into your car and drive to her flat. You still have the key so you don’t bother knocking. She is watching reality television, something about Essex or Chelsea. You don’t stop to make small talk; the kitchen is your objective. It is a mess as usual, but there it sits, your beautiful beloved coffee machine. Even in the disorder that is her kitchen, the machine captivates your eyes. You lift it up and take it back to the car with great care; she follows and demands to know why you haven’t called. You have no desire to speak to her; you have what you came for.

The sound of the machine coming to life is gratifying; you can feel the excitement flowing through you. The machine makes you such divine coffee, the scent overwhelming the kitchen. You inhale and let it enthral your being. This amazing feeling cannot be replicated by anything else. Who needs a woman when you have coffee to satisfy your needs? Caffeine is flowing through your bloodstream once again and all is right with the world.

They called him whispers, because everything was a secret to him.

Thursday, 13 February 2014

This is a guest post by one of my bestest friends, Snowy. You can find her on Twitter at: @Snowyy_ and on Tumblr here:

They called him whispers, because everything was a secret to him.

Silently he suffered,
gallantly he fought.
Misunderstood by society,
underestimated by all.

Everyday a constant battle 

each day a bloodshed war, 
he rose up from the ashes 
courageous to the core.

With dreams as big as the ocean 

he paved the way to success 
stitching tirelessly the scattered pieces 
without a moment’s rest.

You see, by day he was a hero 

emitting cosmic rays 
by night a servant of The Lord 
and a gracious, humble slave.

But inside him was an exploding galaxy 

of black holes and perilous rage. 
He fought the ghosts of Christmas past 
"We want your soul to trade."

Ravenous, their screams would echo 

devouring him up inside 
but never did he let it show 
even though they did not subside.

Finally, his alluring eyes met mine 

"I was brought up in hell" he said 
and it was in that very moment 
the angels continuously bled.

I couldn’t help but wonder 

how much this beautiful boy endured 
I couldn’t help but think 
that I was the much awaited cure.

The light in your heart illuminates 

I said, staring in his eyes. 
Your aura is so radiant. 
It lights up the amethyst sky.

And this bold unyielding spirit 

you so honourably possess 
is a gift from the Almighty Himself 
penetrating through your chest.

If there ever was a definition of strength 

then it is undeniably, you. 
You are my rock, my saviour, a champion 
so pure, so real, so true.

But now that I am here 

there’s no need to walk alone 
there is a safe haven now 
you can finally call your home.

I don’t know what the future holds 

but I promise you it will be bright 
and out of the darkness I took him 
into the resonating light.

I think this is a beautiful poem and I would love to hear your thoughts on it.
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Let me tell you a little secret. You can only save yourself.