a female’s tale

I suppose I will be understood — when I die?
that death be my proof seems such a simple thing
a cliche, a blinding light which has no priority: no proprioception.
I am not going to die, soon, if I am going to die at all
it is a stupid thing to make immortal the person who has no mortality
denying them their temporality is denying them the identity to live

so, I will not die today or tomorrow, or the day after, if I am able to hope so
— I will torture you with life, with my life, the life that you wish to deny me
I will live with, with my sins, blessings, regrets and asking my God for forgiveness
I will live it when I exhale and inhale, when I wear a burqa or a miniskirt to chide you
for trying to shame me for my veil and legs — for in each I brought the beauty of living
which you wanted to deny me — by a choker of silence, no fetish I gave consent to
no sexualisation I gave consent you. I am sexual in my billowy robes; modest as I bare my legs: my lips and eyes will insinuate life which you tried to martyr me for with the helm of the shirt, with the housework I will do and you will never give me credit for and the children I will raise but will respect you more and the precipice of my tongue wanting release — a smarting, shattering, constructing orgasm which you feel you will deny me and I am a slut to want for more.

You are the slut for being scared of me — scared of all that I can achieve and all that I am more — when I wore the apron to shine the bannisters or cook the food I am still a soldier battling as an architect, close to godliness, close to the apex of a trinity: soldier, sage and stable revolutionary with all the vices and virtues you needed and more. I am the same when I wear my shoes; those minimum pumps required by corporate to stand in toe in height with men; or, many a times look taller and deadlier than them anyway.  What they think is the erection of the tower of their own bones, so amazing right, just is an ivory tower of height not the tusk of the mammoth, or elephant, not the planetary audience — when I wear the proper shoes to school but fail because I am nice — because you wanted me to be but wanted a coquette too which I could not be and shamed me the once in a blue moon grades I got because you were afraid to admit you underestimated me. That I was out of your league.

My lips be nude or doused with rogue — or doused with the flames of gasoline fuel I will not die today, by immolation, by spears, stones, guillotine or bullets, or you choose to efface me day in and day out like acid rain on the face of what you think are statues. I will not die today of ennui, of boredom, of lack of recognition — I have my cognition, my gears, my sword, my stones, my glass shoe that I sharpened to my spear and I have the hijab, the nude hair, the scarf, the nun’s habit, the shaved head, the colour blue and the habit to be relentless in my bones and marrow. My flesh may have been born from a rib that means I can be you and more. That was the lesson you should have learned when you swallowed the fruit with me. I am poison. I am potion. I am elixir. I can be edenic in the core. I am a rampaging beast but I also show the compassion of brotherhood and sisterhood. I am XX. I am what some call woman. I am mostly female. I write the laws of the feminine. Not you. Queer or straight. Religious or secular. I am irreplaceable. I am the rib you need and the fruit you will want to swallow. I can kill the serpent, the trickstar. Both the sinner and the saint. I will not die today. I live in everything in the ether.

Not everyone will like you — Medium

via Not everyone will like you — Medium.

One day, you find a yellow orchid in your room

But you don’t like orchids

A week later, the orchid starts flourishing

But you still don’t like orchids

Two weeks later you notice a golden reflection on its surface

You start disliking the orchid a little less

A month later, you bow to the orchid

For despite your dislike the orchid kept flourishing

And just like the orchid not everyone is going to like you

But as you continue flourishing many will admire you

I really loved this poem I saw in the Blogging platform Medium. I mean this was one of the best pieces I read today (though I didn’t read much today or any day, my reading is as daft and dry as  an iguana in a snowman outfit). I really know this does feel true. Not being liked is a case that is  considered quite important — two other stories seem to capture my attention focusing on likeability a) Mark Zuckerberg, the founder and maker of Facebook, has willingly become homeless to prove a point for likeability (he did it to have solidarity with homeless people) and b) NHS gets both critical feedback and admiration after Justin Bieber endorses for it. The second story has probably more to do with national health care than likeability but the NHS is a subject of much talked about criticism. If you ever lived in the UK or visited it for a long period of time you will know funding the NHS is a mammoth issue. And funding on it depends on likeability to an extent (I can be wrong but I feel rather than know it to be that way).  Zuckerberg’s act followed his own criticism. Some of it is unfair. Others like the one by Mike Goldsmith, actually shows a better response:

Mark Zuckerberg making himself homeless is like a bulldog making himself a vegetarian. Selling stock ,buying a tent and deciding to camp out is not being homeless. Being homeless is when you lose everything, not give it up. It’s when you are forced to face the harshest elements of life by circumstance , not by choice. Camping out on a sidewalk, eating in a soup kitchen by choice isone thing but doing it as your only means of survival,that’s quite something else

I am sure Mark means well, but if he really wants to do something he should abandon these optics and do something that will really make a difference. With his resources he should do something to address the circumstances that put most of his new found friends on the street in the first place. He has the means to create and fund opportunities that would help a lot of people find new meaning and purpose. He could be a force behind new sources of rehab, retraining and jobs. Unfortunately, this “Look at me” optic is not the way to go.

So mark, If you really want to help, get off the street and actually do something that will make a difference. Stop acting like the lost little boy with to many toys and act more like the captain of innovation that you are….

That does make sense actually. We do get derailed to actually want “likeability” and this actually affects who we are. Like many people don’t talk about their editing processes feeling that likeability is focused on some template of genius. And that is true, we are all inculcated to believe the genius requires no effort. And for a while  I believed that too. Actually, the genius might need more effort in many things and that, with her/his innate vision, is genius is usually born and borne. I will readily admit that I had to read the comments’ sections and also the main article to get the gist of what was happening in the Bieber article (the article by Williams is a bit vague if you ask me because I didn’t read the title properly but I also feel it paces on ambiguous  terms without announcing its ambiguity because it probably doesn’t know what to think about itself; it is a bit divided and that is fine). However, most people won’t mention that for likeability. I am not always going to put likeability in parenthesis because likeability and “likeability” are both concrete and also elusive phenomenon. Everyday likeability and the major form of “likeability” (as a collective or pouring into theme) is faced by all of us. We may not know it but many or some of our actions are based on likeability and “likeability” — though it is true that some social etiquette and politeness should be taught many people overburden themselves with it all the time leading to overall ungratefulness. And this is where “likeability” and likeability actually does fail.

Jonathan Franzen wrote an article of being liked saying it was for cowards. The article also mentions Donald Trump but it was written in 2011 (Trump’s recent comments are more on the extreme scale than on any likeability or “likeability” scale: that is another topic. It is one thing to be disliked by going your own way and another to be disliked for racism, totalitarianism, extremism, plutocracy and oligarchic need for control in human interests which become reduced and violated as your own interests), so, it is more on how consumer culture is based on wanting to be liked more and it has nothing to do with love. Love is an adaptation, poetry in progress and motion, love is also constructive criticism, helping you reach great heights — liking is more about satiating some immediate need and moving on. Though that is important too the main thing I gleaned and developed my own way from this article is that you can’t have either/or: one extreme corrupts the balance you have for yourself. We must do things we like but we must also be challenged and become finer, polished beings, so we require that love too, tough or soft, it’s a need and ultimately a want for us as humans.

As some short stories on depression show in Medium that liking, even for a gift, after a point fails. I put in part of the story down below:

“Karen! Guess what?” he asks excitedly.

I look at him to acknowledge his question.

“I got you an iPhone 5 instead of 4!”

I consider this. I consider him –– his face lit up in excitement and anticipation of my reaction. I feel nothing.

“Pretty cool, right?” he says as he hands me the box.

I take the box from him and shimmy it open to reveal the iPhone nestled in itspackaging. As I lift it from its shell and examine the polished design, I think about how I should be grateful.

“Thank you, daddy,” I say because it is the right thing to say. But I still feel nothing. It takes a Herculean effort to force the corners of my mouth up.

Thoughts wander aimlessly through my mind. I think about how my dad is trying so hard to make me happy. I think about how disappointed my lack of reaction must be. I think about how if I felt any emotion, I would feel guilty for being unable to show him happiness. Guilty for not having accepted his gift with more grace and grandeur.

The pain in this piece is obvious. After a point likeability can fail. To a person suffering depression liking, likeability and “likeability” fails big time. Because there are times, like when is depressed or suffering from depression, no gift can really cheer you up.

Well, likeability and “likeability” in themselves can be complicated issues but no matter how complicated the complex in you has a greater chance fate and faith to win. Because we were all made to be uniques in and with and within a collective. So, we are born into a middle-ground many a times. Unless, you truly want extremity or it is dished out on via circumstances, I don’t think you have to worry on it being your identity too much though another reality is it is hard not to worry too much either. We just have to find frequencies that work for us.

The orchid at the beginning of the poem may have blossomed elsewhere or change its pot and dirt; but as long as its reached this state it’s fine even if no one admired it immediately for it or at all. The thing is some honest things won’t be admired either but you can choose if that is something you can live without being appreciated for: whether you can or cannot doesn’t also determine your worth; you may be living a different life and may have different needs. When I was younger I read the dialogue between Jane Eyre and Helen Burns pertaining to this likeability and “likeability” (the novel itself tracing a lot around it) — I suspected that Burns was wrong when she thought Eyre’s humiliation publicly in their boarding school should not matter as long as God still loved her. I wasn’t wrong in thinking Helen Burns was wrong but I was wrong in thinking she totally was. Burns is not totally wrong. To her, this sort of humiliation did not matter, she was older than Eyre and probably had faced this form of torment previously, she has known that people can be stupid and hypocritical and cruel. But she is wrong to seem desensitised to it and not understanding Jane Eyre’s younger self’s need of acceptance and also how justice needed to be served there which only honesty and truth could help prevail in it. Yet, at the same time Jane Eyre should know that getting their aproval should not be her end goal. Both have right arguments in that debate. It was the frequency, the extent of each voice in it, that needed to be understood and possess a corrected pitch.

I would like to conclude with someone’s poem, who is at the moment, my favourite poet on the internet:

If there’s a tic in your toc

It wasn’t me – I am afraid

Of its –  r.a.p.i.d.n.e.s.s

Especially when running

So very – f.u.c.k.i.n.g – late

This poem by Mari Sanchez Cayuso is called Time. Someone in the comments stated that the use of expletives helps the piece. I agreed. If Mari was only vouching for likeability and “likeability” alone she may have exempted from it (though the young adult phenomenon of doing anything one wants is actually more with the grain than against it – that is also a separate topic; I just hinted on it). Yet, this piece is  hers and honesty and truth on her conditions and beings is always why I loved and liked Mari’s poems. I guess, in her own way, she has shown a great balance in her for both things.

Rasping

Impact publicitaire by Matthieu Riegler
Image via Wikipedia

A spirit is hurt
mitigated
mitosis-cycle of criminal despair

my envied armour
is peace
for I had launched on chaos
the blanket burnt me bare
taught me tomorrow is better
sinisterly
without any blessings

my scarred eyes are threads
like slashed windows
and shattered walls
these cupboards
are used
to store misery profuse
and eyes bleed glamorously
the world a theatre of ignorance

my wrists are tied
with a blade
my monster is a planet
where I had seen real
your drowning is a deluge
of insincerity
why was
this hurt
this bonded body
corseted by pain?

I’m not made of glass
but breaking me
is a synonymy
my tongue is twisted
I’m not implanted
into everyday harmony

loss of childhood
loss of adolescence
loss of progress
retrospection claws me
nostalgia is nausea

I cry
but my tears
only tie me more

maybe as an angel

maybe as an angel

life is insane

yet if I see my wings
unhooked
naked in the air

I’ll bleed no more…

 

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A friend had died. I dedicate this to her. Abuse should not be tolerated. Its victims must be rescued. Please Pray that they do.
I’ll Pray To Allah Almighty that they do