It’s All Human | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

Here’s a fun fact about squids: A giant squid’s eyeball is about the same size as a basketball.

It’s All Human

My dear, don’t think about the amount of toothpaste you use in your lifetime.
How the plastic tubes sit in landfills.
How the chemicals accidently make their way
around your digestive system.
How you have to make a difficult decision
between the $3 toothpaste and $1.00 toothpaste.
How you somehow know that these statistics are recorded
and put into world record books, just for kids to wonder
and for adults to fall into an existential crisis each time they throw out the trash.

It’s hard being a human.
Remembering to put on chapstick so your lips don’t peel.
Remembering to wash your clothes, so you have underwear for tomorrow.
Remembering to eat your greens, so your bowels don’t cease on you.

We create cringe compilations of those beyond the spectrum of normality
as a laughing stock or perhaps as a lesson to learn, a lesson to conceal.
We hide from any remark of racism and avoid all topics of ethics
because it’s “not our problem” and “it’s not going to do anything anyways”.
We twist and turn beliefs until they’re completely distorted
and not even a single plea will be properly translated without being manipulated.

It’s so hard being human.
Worrying about human trafficking
or if I could pay next month’s bills.
Worrying about my children’s education,
if they can get out of the system so they won’t have to suffer.
Worrying about rapists, bigots and, albeits
or if I could have enough time to buy groceries.

It’s hard being human –
why be indifferent or
why weigh one heavier than the other
when it’s all human.

This poem took 2 weeks to write. It started with a trip to Trader Joe’s and I was looking for a better alternative for toothpaste, but when I got to using it, it tasted really bad and didn’t seem to whiten my teeth. As much as I wanted to be more sustainable and try to make decisions that are better for my body, there are some things that you can’t sacrifice. For me, toothpaste must always whiten, clean and prevent my teeth from developing cavities. You can’t really find natural toothpaste that does those jobs, but if you know of some, let me know. 😉

On a more serious note, this poem is about most of the injustices that occur on a daily basis mixed with the responsibilities that come with being human. Using the word, human, sounds a little indifferent to the fact that each individual is unique with a wide variety of backgrounds, but you get what I’m saying.

You’ve been through a tough time and someone is counseling you. They say, “You should be grateful that you don’t have it as bad. There are people out there suffering things that are a lot worse than you.” Honestly, I hate it when people give me sympathy like that. It just sounds like they’re putting down what you’ve been through and not valuing your pain. Yes, there are people who go through worse, but everyone has their own journey, so how could you compare them? Just like how there are many issues in the world right now and I covered a few in my poem, but there are also the “less important” issues in your personal life. While paying for rent isn’t as “weighted” as surviving a war, they’re both necessary for survival.

Although this doesn’t mean that worldwide issues should be diluted to receiving the same attention as daily issues. I’m calling for an equal treatment that’s deemed respectable for each unique situation. That’s why it’s hard being a human because you need to know how to properly discern how to respond to an issue. We are the humans, the most complex creatures and how we react will determine its worth, so why not react better?

Thanks for reading & I hope you have a great day!

Alice

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Liar | Quick Piece Breakdown

Hello everyone,

Fun fact: it snowed this week. I’m not happy and I don’t want to talk about it. How’s your “spring” going?

Liar

This piece was based on a personal rut I’ve been having. It’s probably because I’ll be graduating in almost a month, don’t have security on a job yet and I’m getting overloaded with projects when all I want to do is lounge all day.While I didn’t stay inside all day and build a false world around myself, I have spent long hours doing everything besides my homework.

I really wanted this piece to have a comforting tone mixed with an indifferent tone. It’s actually a pretty sad story since the narrator just didn’t try to make the situation better for themselves. I suppose you could call a mass creation of writing progress, but based on the last line, the narrator was trying to hang on to the better times when they weren’t alone. Strangely enough, the narrator doesn’t have any fear for what will become of them. It’s more so how long they’re able to keep it up. The narrator is lying to themselves by creating this façade and that is the worse way to treat yourself.

If you’re ever feeling monotonous, here are some things you can do to cure monotony!

  • Buy some cake that you’ve always wanted to try and eat it by yourself
  • Dance spontaneously to songs you can’t stand
  • Put on mismatched socks and flaunt them
  • Scrub the nastiest corners of your house
  • Go on a walk in the park and name every bug, plant and bird you come across

I hope you enjoyed Liar! Thanks for reading!

Alice

Liar | Quick Piece

In the morning, the sun rises. At night, the sky gets dark. I haven’t felt the warmth of the glowing sun on my face nor have I witnessed the sun dip low across the horizon before the cloak of darkness falls for a long time. I still write about them. There are plenty of videos online to tell me about the life I’ve missed out. I can search, Dubai sunrise and sit with a traveling couple as they witness the beginning of a hot day. People have hailed me as one of the most notable writers because of how I utilize words. Words aren’t stagnant. They constantly flow all over the page and paint the colors. Little did they know, I’ve never touched the course beach sand fading into the fine and fragile ocean sand. I’ve never heard gazed upon buildings that seemed to tickle the sky. When letters flooded my door with encouragements to feel their corner of the world, I lied. Isn’t it easier to lie than to confront? I wrote back and told them that I was planning on taking a trip to their corner once I’m certain that my words will strike everyone’s heart. They kindly wrote back in looping letters, letters that didn’t flow, telling me places to eat, places to admire and places they once occupied. Their brochures, maps and directions give me a better picture of the world and I write and write and write more.

I used to have a friend with me. We used to dream of days where our bodies would never be in the same place. We dreamt of wonders that we needed to lay our eyes upon, but little did I know that one day there would be a space where he was. He struck my heart with his flowing words as he said, “Why do you call yourself a writer when you will always be a liar?” And with a slam, he disappeared into the night. From then on, I vowed to myself that I would preserve his space and protect my space by dreaming of what once was, what never would be and dreaming of irregularity.

Sweet Dreams | Quick Piece Breakdown

Hello everyone,

I hope you’re doing well and if not, I hope you have the courage to rise again!

Sweet Dreams

Have you ever really looked at a convenience store and felt like you’re on a different planet? They always feel like a portal that is always full with snacks just screaming at you to buy something. I’ve loved and hated the allure of it, but it just seems like such a universal thing. Honestly, I really wanted to write about a moment that we have either experienced or have a strong desire to experience. This piece is full of nostalgia and has a dream-like state, hence the title, sweet dreams. Everyone comes into the convenience store for different reasons, but leaves with the same intention, fulfilling those guilty pleasures.

Lately in my writing class, we’ve been studying style specifically sentence syntax and left and right branches. I’m totally not a linguistics major, but I’m a slight nerd for all things words. I just find it so interesting and complex at the same time. You can do so much with these 26 letters! In this piece, I tried really hard to make it flow and added a bit of my sass into the piece, so I can really call it my own and not have it feel so textbook.

Basically, a simple story with innocent intentions and I really want sweets right now!

Thanks for reading!

Alice

Sweet Dreams | Quick Piece

It was 2am and we were at a 7-eleven. We woke up at 1am after an hour of tossing and turning and realized that we neglected to finish a task before going to bed. “We forgot to get slushies.” Gabe said after noticing that I was also awake and trying too hard to admire the ceiling. I turned toward him and I could still smell the toothpaste on his breath. “What are we going to do?” I whispered. That’s how we found ourselves under the bright lights of 7-eleven, surrounded by snacks that couldn’t be as colorful as they were at 3pm than they were at 2am. “Hey babe, look, they have Whatchamacallits.” Gabe said as he held up the candy bar. I darted as fast I my slippers allowed me and stared at the candy bar in wonder. “I haven’t had one of those since high school!” I said. “Let’s get it.” We wandered through the aisles and found ourselves accumulating a pile of nostalgic snacks and guilty cravings. When we finally made it to the slushy machine, the colorful frozen liquids no longer seemed appealing, so we sauntered to the check-out. There wasn’t a word exchanged, but his wide, confused eyes gave us a clear glimpse of a dialogue he was having with himself. “$13.45” the cashier said, breaking our train of thoughts. Sleepiness had started to settle. I started to fumble with my wallet, but Gabe just shook his head and took out his wallet, pulling out a 10 and 3 singles. Without breaking eye contact with the cashier, he rummaged through his wallet counting out exactly 45 cents. The cashier stuffed our goods into 1 bulging bag and we darted back to the car, clutching our precious cargo and laughing hysterically. By the time we made it home, we only had enough energy to open up one candy bar before passing out surrounded by sweeter dreams.

It Can’t Be Helped | Poetry Breakdown

Hello everyone,

It seems like April showers came early this year. Hope you’re staying dry!

It Can’t Be Helped

I’ve been having so much anxiety lately.
Blood-thirsty craving for a stop,
instead of just pushing through.
I’m a student and I’m not allowed to stop.
If I do, then I’ll fail, causing a larger pause within itself.

Fill me up with medications.
Give me all the holistic remedies.
Lay your hands on me.
Hold me tight and promise to never leave.
Everything eventually fades,
it just can’t be helped.

Spill out onto words,
carry around lists and lists of half-dreams,
incomplete-dreams.
Let the world see your struggles
boldly and truly,
but you’re just a pile of words
constructed together to match and make sense.

Listen to my rhetoric,
feel my moist cheeks.
Understand the word choice,
feel my rapid heart rate.
Hear the rhythm, the steady counting,
feel my non-linear thoughts.

I suffer from your problems
and mine as well.
I carry them on my back, secured with a zip tie.
With each step I take,
I crumble further into the ground.
It can’t be helped.
If I fail, a larger pause will carve a deeper hole.
It can’t be helped.

It’s tough being a student. More or less, things are tough. This poem is about a small push towards hope and perseverance. Usually these more hopeful poems are more dramatic with an introduction of deep failure and then rising up to soar in the skies. There’s nothing wrong with those poems. Sometimes they can be a little unrealistic especially if each day is difficult for you, you might as well celebrate the small things. Good job you got out of bed! Congrats you brushed your teeth! That’s amazing, you went outside! From there, you’d have the courage to do larger things. 🙂

There are a bunch of layers and voices in this poem. I like to look at it like they’re all stacked on top of each other until it fizzles out into, “It can’t be helped.” When you’re hurting there’s always a need to find remedy whether from ingesting something into your body or helping others. This poems mostly focuses on writing with emphasis on releasing the piece and the styles in the piece and how it relates with the overall emotion of the narrator.

In my case, I write to help myself control my emotions, but sometimes when I publish my work, I get a little self-conscious or even the opposite, left out in the open. I learn to deal with my own critic, but I’m an artist, so my work is never good enough especially if it’s a dumping of my emotion.

Anyways, keep pushing through.

Thanks for reading!

Alice

Strong Breeze | Quick Piece Breakdown

Hello everyone,

Hope you’re all doing well. Brace yourself, allergies are on its way!

Strong Breeze

I wrote this piece as an homage to my childhood days where I would spend the entire recess swinging on the swings with my friends to try to get as high as we could. Those were the blissful days even though we didn’t realize it then. You know on a swing set there are differing lengths for the swings? My friend and I would choose the lowest ones to do our “soaring adventures” because we justified it as having more chain to swing on. I still stand by that. Also, there were always too many people on the higher swings.

In this piece, this was actually a similar conversation that my friend and I had. Granted, we were only 7 when we had this conversation and that was what I remembered, but those were pretty memorable times. The reasoning behind the elemental powers was because my friend and I were obsessed with a show called, Naruto. If for some reasons we weren’t on the swings dreaming of scenarios, we would be sprinting Naruto style pretending we were ninjas on a special mission. On the swings that day, I genuinely feel that I was controlling the wind and I remembered feeling so happy. Sometimes I like to whisper to the wind to see if I still have the power and sometimes I do. 😉

On a more serious note, I wanted this piece to be a revisit and exploration of the pure, childhood days. We could run as fast as we could without any worry and our imaginations would take us beyond Earth. We let ourselves drown too quickly when any type of stress comes our way. What if we just let go every once in a while and drop all the stress and societal pressures? Why do we have to try so hard all the time?

When I was little, all I wanted to do was grow up because that’s when people would start taking me seriously. Honey, it isn’t about age when people take you seriously. It’s about how you hold yourself. If you’re going to be regretful of the past and hopeful for the future, where’s that going to take you? So combining that with the blissful past, let’s live in the moment and embrace what the past shaped us to be so that we can be ready as ever for the impending future.

Thanks for reading & I hope you enjoyed.

Alice