Friday, January 25, 2013

Success - Haters Gonna Hate


The heavy hush is deafening as the professor makes his way down the rows of desks. Result after result is slowly  handed back, drawing out the painful wait. A stifled scream in the back row. A relieved sigh in the first. Some just stuff their papers into the depths of their bags and quickly hustle out. You hear his heavy footsteps before you even notice his eyes centered on you, picking you out amongst the hundreds. You watch as he places the stack of sheets on your desk, paralyzed with fear or shivering in anticipation. Is it actually bleeding red ink, or is it just you? Don’t even look him in the face, lest he lure you into a false sense of security... or impending doom. What will you do? Open it? Leave it until later? Shred it altogether? Try to ignore it, but everyone knows their Facebook Newsfeed is (even as they think) being flooded with posts of carefree consolation and outrageous outbursts. You’re going to find out some way or another. As you walk out, you overhear a classic conversation: 


“Oh man, that one kicked my ass.”

“Tell me about it. Gun-fellatio anyone?”

“Count me in.” 

“Oh yeah. How’d you do?”

“I’m so sick of this shit. A-, man.”

Are you kidding me?! I barely scraped a C!”


What follows next is no secret. Mr. High-Achiever is mercilessly railed on for being an ungrateful git and an asshole. His friends tell him to shut his mouth and proceed to ignore anything he says for the next few minutes. Clearly, his only intention was to make them feel absolutely rotten about their marks and promote his own sense of pride and achievement. Right?


Wrong. Newsflash: Not everyone is equal. If that were so, I could as easily model for Sports Illustrated as Kate Upton - fortunately, bikinis just don’t do my curves justice. Each of us has a different set of standards, and we hold ourselves accountable to them. You came to school to study, to excel, and to (hopefully) do something you love. There will always be classes that you intensely dislike - even hate to the very core of your being - but are required to take nonetheless. Students face this in different ways. Either, “I’m going to do whatever it takes to knock this out of the park”, or “I’m going to do whatever it takes to pass and get it out of my way”. Whether you know it or not, you’ve adopted one of these mindsets. 


Some may tackle this hypothetical class aiming for the highest grade they can achieve. They may not come out of it with an A. Maybe not even a B. Whether or not this outcome was their fault is another discussion entirely, but what this proves is that people are not equal. So why should we expect them to hold themselves to the same standards? Furthermore, why should others trash them for achieving either higher - or lower - grades? 


On that note, I’m not vindicating these Mr. and Mrs. High-Achievers. There are definitely a fair number of them who take some sardonic delight in watching others feel miserable about their own marks, by promptlessly broadcasting their success to all those within earshot. No, this is instead a cry-out to more modest high-achievers: students who needn’t feel horrible about succeeding where others have failed. 


Please, for the love of curved-classes, keep your marks to yourself unless otherwise asked. Keep them quiet, because they are for you and you alone. At the same time, if you do ask someone about their grades, don’t self-righteously come out and attack them because they performed better than you. You asked for it, so move on. It’s the plague of all successful people, whether they’re ‘Good Guy Gregs’ or ‘Scumbag Steves’: Haters gonna hate.



Thursday, January 10, 2013



To have heard an elephant’s trumpeting call,

The grey beast’s thunderous cry. 

To have seen the arc beneath water’s fall,

Cascading from heavens high.


To have felt the lion’s great tawny mane,

Groomed by tooth and paw.

To have tasted the nectar’d sugar cane, 

Freshly cut and raw. 


Venture across vast African plains,

Great jungles of the Amazon.

Through scorching sun and torrential rains,

For a sense that must be won.


A sense hard-earned, hard-fought and yet,

You’ll never know a match  

For my lady’s lips, and I’ll gladly bet

A yearly pocketed catch. 


To have heard such song and soothing voice,

As could lull the grey beast’s rage.

To have seen smiles beaming with rejoice,

That dimmed the fall’s hued age. 


To have felt the petals of a kiss,

Masking lion’s power and sway.

To have tasted a love, so sweet as this,

And lived in paradise each day. 


Such are her lips: so soft, so sweet,

So filled with joy and mirth.

They hide adventures and beauties untold,

More than any upon this earth. 


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Lost in Anger

A Storm rolls in, thunder n' lightning, as wrath climbs. Time is inconsequential, as all else is swept aside. Here and now are only and all. Doubt gone, reason lost and peace pointless. It escalates: all in its path is demolished; friend and foe. Blind. What before was endless enmity, gives way now to distressed dread, as fury falls to fear. As the Emotion wanes and falls beneath his horizon, Realization dawns, sheds light on the aftermath. Stagnating. Festering. The Cicatrice of Cognizance. Leaves mute Pain. Deadly Despair in the Spectral Solitude.


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We Are The Generation

We are the generation.

The generation of invisibility. The youth of older thought. We are the generation of iPods and Facebook. We hide in the weavings of the world wide web, taking solace and comfort in the muted transit behind blaring headphones, watching this human existence pass us by like leaves in the autumn wind - whisking us absentmindedly towards the cold, dark winter of our lives.

We are the sons of success, the daughters of defeat: expected always to do what we cannot, thought always to be less than we are. We are the masked faces of our insecurities, clothed in compensation and swathed in self-importance. Donning designers and bearing brands so that their names may outweigh our own, in the hopes that their outer exuberance will blot our our inner inadequacy.

We are the generation of wasted potential, of admitted defeat and of the road often traveled.


We cling to the pillars of the past, seeking comfort in their established security, though we look desperately forward. Our gaze fall slowly to the ground, for these thoughts of a future within our grasp are left unfulfilled. These thoughts are birds without wings, fish without fins, fires without heat and waters without wet. They may have dreams and hopes, but they haven't the force or drive to bring them there. This is our defeat. This is our end. This is our downfall.

Rise up. Rise against the forces of self-defeat and indecision. Do not doubt our power. Do not simply fall into mutual silence, quiet against the deafening storm of the present - for the future is ours, and it comes immediately after. If we are not ready, it shall slip from our grasp, and we will have no one to blame but ourselves.

We are the generation of hidden stories, lost livelihood and buried burdens. The elders of juvenile ideas. We are the generation of political activism and societal revival. We stand proud before our culture of anonymity and empowered-differences.

I am not only me, but one part of we. We are the generation, and we must stand together.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Stronger together,
Than we are alone.
Risks and gambles,
Against the unknown.

Constant, this love,
this love that has grown.
Flowing always,
Like river against stone.

A wayward ship,
At the beck of the breeze.
Tossed to and fro,
Upon these high seas.

But where to rest?
No port kept ready.
You are my anchor.
You keep me steady.

This love my dear,
It keeps us whole.
Fills our mind,
Our heart, our soul.

Never dwindling,
But always so bright.
Standing tall,
Set to take flight
Like birds in may,
Soar to new heights,
Through good and bad,
Past pleasure and plight.

So here I scrawl:
Continue this fight,
This battle, this brawl.
Against our might
Obstacles fall,

Day or night
Big or small,
Remember, sweetheart:
Love conquers all.

For Shalina

Monday, February 6, 2012

High School Flirt

Trudging down grey hallways,
Though they seem to stretch for miles.
Twists and turns past jocks and nerds,
Their dark glares and fake smiles.
Turns the corner and there she is,
His heart now in his throat,
What do I say? How to say it?
As she pulls on her coat.
Dark blue jeans sit just right,
Below a pitch black shirt.
Her bag sits packed, now’s the time,
But I don’t know how to flirt!
Her dark brown hair cascades down,
Like water’s heavy fall.
Across her shoulders, moulded fair,
Down past her silken shawl.
Eyes so warm, they draw him in.
He’s locked now in a daze.
Longing, yearning, aching for
A glimpse, a glance, a gaze!
The bell has tolled, the stampede’s begun.
Though it seems to drag on forever.
But he knows better of that damned clock,
It’s really now or never.
Cautious steps, he shuffles forward,
Like a mouse in the lion’s den.
But oh, what’s this? Another guy?!
Starts to make his move right then!
This cannot be! Goddamnit all!
His heart sinks low again.
But he summons his strength, says his prayer,
Then utters a quick ‘amen’.

He circles in, now the lion,
And quickly yells out “Hey!”
“Jack,” he says “Ms. Peters asked,
That I get you right away.”
The boy, he gave a puzzled look,
But didn’t give any sass.
After all, he knew better.
He was already failing that class.
As he dashed off, the girl seemed startled,
“Is it true?” she frowned.
Our hero shook his head and then he said.
“I couldn’t have him around.”
“Why ever not?” the girl protested,
And she stood straight and stout.
The boy he grinned, put up his hands,
“Why don’t you just hear me out?”
With her hands on her hips, she waited to hear.
What this young dog had to say.
After all, it seemed rather rude,
To keep her late on a school day.
“You see,” he said, “I must confess.
I’ve been keeping secrets from you.”
She waited to hear what would come next,
She really hadn’t a clue.
Her heart, it drummed beneath her chest,
Like a hummingbird’s swift wings.
His words they moved her, swung her, proved her,
Like a puppet tied to its strings.
“Go on, what is it?” She begged to know.
Could this really be true?
Our hero grinned, then eye to eye,
Said “I’m in love with you.”

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The House (part III)

As he walked, he noticed that the trees on either side of the road grew smaller and smaller, younger and younger, barer and barer. Eventually he came upon the oldest tree on the road. As far as anyone could tell, it was one of the oldest trees in Dover. Even ol’ Mr. Peasley could remember it from when he was a “strapping young lad”. The townspeople had insisted it be preserved against any and all construction, so that it would live and become a part of their childrens’ lives just as it had been in theirs’. For generations and generations, the old tree (which everyone had come to fondly call “Old Father”) had been a meeting place, a climbing point and place where people would come to just relax. There was something about that beautiful old tree that cast an aura of serenity over everyone and everything around it. But when James grew closer, his expression of admiration and love turned to one of horror. The tree was bare. No leaves. No birds. No bark. It was doubled over, almost as if in pain, forced to bow to some unseen foe. James slowly approached it, reaching a quivering hand towards the tree’s withered body. Where there was once life and vitality, he could feel only pain and sorrow coursing through the tree’s trunk, leaving him with a feeling of emptiness and drawing any last trace of hope and happiness from his heart. He slumped to his knees, still trying to cradle some life into the old tree. His head bowed, the tears started welling up and began their race from his eyes, down his cheek until they fell to the cold, dry earth surrounding the old birch.

What was that? James whipped his head up and around, quickly scanning the area. He got to his feet and wiped the tears and trails from his face with the sleeve of his jumper. He could have sworn he’d heard something. Maybe a rat? The little buggers seemed to plague the city during the warmer summer months. But no, it sounded… bigger. He spun slowly around in a circle. The thing, whatever it was, seemed to be circling around; waiting for the perfect time to strike. His eyes jumping from shadow to shadow, James could never be sure where it was. It seemed every time he shifted his gaze, it was just a step ahead of him.

Finally, the padding noise stopped indefinitely. James straightened up, leaning against the Old Father for support as he drew in a few breaths. He looked up: he’d made full circle around the tree and was now facing the house. That same mysterious house that none of the boys could remember ever having existed before. It stood out against all the small cottages and shacks that lined the small crescent, towering above them, overshadowing ever inch of the quaint homes. It stretched out to meet James, grasping his very soul in a grip that he couldn’t find the will to escape. He didn’t want to.

Slowly, step-by-step, he moved towards the great gate that offered only a glimpse of the massive estate. It stood stern and silent, despite the wind that still howled around it. Its hinges well-fixed and oiled, the gate look down upon the boy, taking in every thing it could. James could only look through the strong bars, across the front lawn, at the face of the house. It stared him down, its massive three-story windows leering at him in the most curious way – as if he were as strange to it, as it was to him. James stared deeper into its eyes, as it did the same to him, drawing him in deeper and deeper until suddenly, the long maroon curtains were thrown back. A blinding light was thrown out with such force that James was knocked onto his back, shielding his eyes into the corner of his elbow. Then, as quickly as it had come, it vanished – imprisoned once again by the long curtains that swept back out to contain it. James peeked out from behind his arm, and once he was sure that it was safe, got to his feet. He turned to go, determined to leave the house far behind him, but then heard the heavy padding noise from before. He stopped dead in his tracks, and turned his head slowly to look back at the house. It stood as it had before, no different than it had looked before when he had been standing at its gates only hours ago with his brothers. He turned completely, walking towards the barrier once more. Its metal so smooth, glimmering in the light of the moon, drew him to it. He reached out his hand towards it, closing his eyes, waiting for its cool touch beneath his fingertips. But it never came. He opened his eyes, and the gates stood wide open, inviting him to follow their path. So silently, so quickly, so swiftly – he had not even heard them swing open. The small lanterns swung in the wind, beckoning him to follow their soft motion. He looked back through the gates behind him, his eyes falling on the Old Father, lost, forlorn and weak against an unseen force. James took a step. Then another. And another. Before he knew it, his right foot had risen to the first step of the front porch. The roof loomed above him; a comforting, yet overwhelming protector. He blinked, and the massive black door stood before him, gleaming with its own light against the darkness of the night sky; deprived of the stars and the moon fled. He looked at the strong, stern face of the door knocker; a giant goblin with a ring through its hideously grotesque and pointed nose. He lifted his hands, and suddenly, from far behind him, he heard quick, hurried footsteps and the sound of Flynn’s voice rang through the thin, night air: “JAMES! What’re yeh doin?! COME BACK! DON’T D-” But James didn’t shift his gaze from the door. He reached out, Flynn still screaming at him to stop, and grasped the ancient door knocker. Its eyes grew wide in terror and its mouth opened in a silent scream, before they were all plunged into darkness.
Flynn awoke with a startled cry, his eyes pouring with tears, his voice hoarse and sweat flowing from every inch of his body. His head whipped around, scouring every corner of the small treehouse, jumping from Ronny, to Keith, to… “Where’s James?!”