like tides we fall, and rise again
like tides we fall, and rise again
“You smile all the time.” She chuckled, proudly identifying a distinguishing difference between my twin and me.
I was smiling even then, my nervous laughter hidden in the others’ delight at recognizing this phenomenon: Mandy smiles a lot.
I felt wounded by the comment though, and spent the rest of the party trying to figure out why; every smile thereafter making me cringe inside.
Why wasn’t I delighted to be recognized for my smiling?
-because I hurt inside and the smiles feel like masks moved by the wind…
-because Remmy wishes she could smile more, if her teeth weren’t broken …
Wounded again in the realization
even my genuine smiles are tainted
So, I smile to hide the revelation.
Looked up to the sky
heard it ask me why
do trees grow silent?
grass blades mumble
humbled replies of maybe
crazy crow butts in
ca-cawing ‘trees pretend-
the end is not worth knowing’
Towing the line
a bee buzzes by
‘duration of elation
plus creation inflation
-non human definitions
still contend with’
drowns in or drowns out
count your blessings
and climb them
‘til we catch up
lost at sea
mud on a moon beam
in drip tease
for merely asking
your death drumming
as a ghost adrift
against your ribs
for the beauty of a moment
when the world passes you by
(my cat titled this, walking across my keyboard, and I thought it poetic so I kept it.)
every day we see the sun
but it does not rise for us,
the world we live on turns
and brings us into the light,
as surely as it turns again,
casting us back to darkness...
only in this darkness
can we see the light
of all the other stars
shining in the sky
with our naked eyes.
Life is different when you’re poor,
no “seconds” or even any “more,”
mending your own hand-me downs,
making your own musical sounds,
using what someone else threw out,
sleeping on the floor without a pout,
rationing potatoes and making bread
-sometimes out of pancake or cake mix,
saving water when you’re cooking with it
-for the next meal, it’s all that’s afforded;
eating ants with your cereal -free protein,
plus, eventually it becomes like routine,
even the going to sleep a little early
to ignore how much you’re still hungry,
dreams become your playground,
nature is your friend all-around
-offering shade on hot days,
and wind which blows many ways;
washing clothes in a bathtub, one at a time
-then, hanging them to dry, out on a line,
one pair of shoes, probably with holes
-layers of duct-tape “saving” the soles;
during the day, lights are forbidden,
A/C is a freezer breeze and light linen
-if you’re lucky.
That’s not even stepping into public:
social-standards like hitting a road-block,
somehow a burden or disgust to even see;
as if, by sight, others can be tainted by poverty.
Or worse, as if being poor makes you subhuman,
stupid, and too ignorant to have a valid opinion;
not even given a chance or the time to speak,
-someone would have to do more than leave,
throwing up metaphysical, projected walls,
“not me, I want nothing to do with your pitfalls!”
So, maybe I make more of an effort to look clean,
to seem more wealthy than I am, knowing me;
well, then I’m a fraud who must be taking advantage,
of someone or some system -as if that has any wisdom!?
Don’t you realize those who steal to get more,
aren’t really lacking, and not really poor?
Some of us work for it, have family and friends,
we’re all still people, even when poverty stricken;
with thoughts, emotions, and (maybe forgotten) goals
-inside whatever makes us poor, we all still have souls.
To understand Déjà π,
you must first know Déjà vu:
you’re walking across a room
two doors, up ahead, flank you
and you must choose-
and in the moment of realizing this,
you also remember already doing it,
the walking across the room
seeing the two doors
realizing you must choose,
AS it’s happening to you.
It’s different than your memory
when you did this same thing yesterday,
it’s the here and now in echo
the false memory of Déjà vu.
same walk, same room,
but this time
you remember remembering Déjà vu;
it’s the feeling of remembering what you’re doing
as your doing it,
but also remembering you already remembered it
in a kind of double Déjà vu.
This sensation can get exponential,
so, where is the divide between multi- Déjà vu
and the infinitely more complex Déjà π?
The individual’s mind.
What if, when experiencing Déjà vu,
in any form between singular and multitude,
you could focus your thoughts through,
to see with the eyes of the other you?
This is the divide between Déjà π and Déjà vu…
A moment of consciousness split in between
the you that you are, and the you’s you could be
in infinitely expanded realities,
in a moment synchronized in the doing of a deed,
you have a chance to see as yourself, but also as they see…
Nine out of Ten choose the door on the right,
and still you see a hundred minds take the left,
and suddenly the sameness is like noise that’s white,
and the stains that show through are the difference-
a push door instead of a handle,
the right turn instead of a left turn of the knob,
the light that comes from a candle,
the silence instead of a soft distant sob-
follow it long enough,
and be conscious,
you can have a legitimate conversation
with any version of yourself like this,
see any reality you are a part of
of Déjà vu
opening a door
in the mind of the observer
who takes it to infinity
of multiple possibilities
I don’t ask why,
I just called it Déjà π.
My name is Mandy Elliott, more commonly known as MEsolushospes here, and I'm the winner of the NON-Fiction Copperplate Award here on Prose. This is the first, first-place award I've ever received for my writing, and that alone makes it pretty damned special to me (as well as surprising, being that my staple these days is painting!)
I didn't enter to win (though there was the occasional secret hoping), I entered the challenge because no one had ventured into NON-Fiction at the time, and that had surprised me. Surely every one of us has a true-story of temptation! The first and only story that came to my mind, I almost didn't write... because I blush to admit I let myself slip. Yet, it's a true story and I've always said that what people know about me doesn't change who I am so, I did write it and I'm glad I did. (link attached to this post)
I'd forgotten about it, that I wrote it and that it was being judged (award worthy?). My life got turned upsidedown, uprooted, and re-directed; I had more important things to be thinking than about winning. Need to find a new home, new job, and as a professional Artist just starting to try making it a living, I don't make a lot of money. So, the first thing that impacted me about winning the Copperplate Award with my twin (Remmy Ar'emen, @Another_Proser in Poetry for "[Sollicitatio Venditatae]"), half of what we needed to make moving happen just came to us! Plus, an ipad to Prose. and Vango app! I was in disbelief, then relief, and then practically jumping from my skin.
But there was still work to be done, money to make before we can even secure a place to stay so, I didn't celebrate, I busted ass and sold 10 $100 paintings to get me the rest of the way. The funny thing about it is, that's a lot of packing, and packing involves a lot of measuring, cutting, folding and wrapping, etc. It's boring. There was a lot of time for thinking and not about the money, but the story (Temptation Surrenders to Experience) in between my gratitude for my new and returning Art buyers!
So, while I'm packing all these paintings, I got to thinking and wondering, what about my story spoke to the audience? Did they need, as I had, to be immersed and tempted along with memory-me? To giggle aloud at the silliness of reality? Did the trip of emotions, from panic and uncertainty, to defense and fight-ready, to embarrassment and straight comedy ring in reader? Was it the different shades of temptation felt, from the last drink that started it all, to the options that drew me to toe the line of action, and the unspoken lingering questions of what happened next? Was it the punchline and moral to my temptation story; that some temptations are worth following, if only for the story?
Well, I don't really know, but I do know that to me it was a confirmation of the latter. If I hadn't been tempted to share my real-life temptation story, I wouldn't have had this new story to humble me. Interestingly (to me) winning this award made me cry not because of the money and ipad (which make moving possible, and working with our Art sales easier with the ability to see the user-experience in the Vango app), but because in this moment of my unexpected need, I get the feeling past-me and present-me worked together to succeed. It's a powerful feeling for someone who's struggled not to conform to society's demand I again slave for corporations that don't care about me as a person (and indeed, nearly killed me), only what I can do for them... but here and now, I wrote and I painted from the heart, and it feels good to see it result in the success everyone told me I'd never have.
So, I may not know why my story spoke to the readers, but I can't express my gratitude without crying. The Copperplate Award tells me that my stories can reach people as well as my painting and I don't have to limit myself to one or the other. I don't have to know what the future will hold for me to know that as long as I'm giving it everything I got, every day, it has meaning. In this particular instance, it also helped make ends-meet, and secured a more versatile future for otherwise lowbudgt/low-tech Artists.
This is my long-winded thank you to those who made it possible to create this award, and those who made it possible to have such a massive (positive) impact in my life. Experiences will do that. ;)
my world isn’t all Dalmatians and Zebra’s,
not just black and white, spots or stripes,
but a plethora of infinite uniqueness
found within the infinite nuances
we have, and have yet to discover;
a singular perspective is just crumbs leftover.
If you're reading this, then it worked, but that isn't important. There are some things you need to know. I am you. We died like we were supposed to at 58 but we were brought back and saved. We're now 88 and going to die again in less than a day, no come-backs this time. The infinite infinities is important, and why I chose now to write this all down in our unfinished black-book. I hope our code hasn't evolved too much to understand but I'm only writing it once, so pay attention. This message probably wont survive the time-rift for long.
Things will get worse before they get better, but you are a candle shining in the darkness. There aren't many like you so, it's important to believe in yourself and not be afraid to lead others with your light. You have a unique ability to see alternate perspectives, and this is the key to your success. Don't ever lose it. It's important. You will never really know how many lives you've affected, but know that it's largely been positive, and we have no regrets.
You may find your emotional nature a burden now, but it will serve you well in your near future. The world doesn't stop evolving toward conformed logic's, and it's only the emotional ones who feel past it. Those emotions, and your ability to express them, is what helps the others wake-up to the growing atrocities. You will find friends in those you help awaken, and in others like you so, have faith that loneliness is only a symptom of lessons you have to learn on your own to better understand those you will cross in your future.
I explain that so you'll understand why we've gotten thirty extra years. You will only remember reading this when you come back from your first death. Because in these last thirty years, you have to be an advocate. You will be gifted with the ability to know who needs it, and you must be ready to speak for them. These individuals are as important as you are, and by then, you'll understand it. There's a reason you have your experiences so, take note of them, and share them with those who will listen. You're not alone in this pivot of change, but you must work as diligently as your counter-parts. Don't be afraid. We're at peace in the end.