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The Resistance (Poem, Series)

A recurring theme in a lot of my pieces is this lack of control or, better stated, "submission" to our brains (or perhaps more appropriately, submission to our egos). We exist, from birth, in this mandated prison where our every action is dictated, defined, and examined. Its a bit confusing but I'll try to illustrate what I mean first before getting to the poem.


In these examples "I" refers to both the brain and the individual, interchangeable except for the times when there is conflict or judgement.


"I don't want to be seen as weak, so I should hit this workout daily, and anytime I feel too lazy, sick, or tired to work out, I should shame myself into working out regardless, since, I don't want to be seen as weak or less than."


"I'm enjoying my Sunday afternoon at the park, free from distractions. But look, there is an attractive female who I simply must talk to. Why must I? Well as a man, I need to show my sexual worth, prove that I am capable of sexual conquest so that I can continue to hold value in society where (and it seems like this metric is declining for better or worse) sexual prowess is valued. If I approach her and I'm rejected, I feel a grave loss, why is that? Well its obvious, I could potentially lose value in society. Whats more, I (in the sense of both the brain and the individual) will lose value (respect) in myself. Am I not worthy of love, sex, and intimacy? Am I really "the man" that I (we) thought I was? No, I mustn't (haha how is that a word) bring on that anxiety and pain, so I'll be sure to be as confident, charming, and attractive as I can be." (I understand that might be challenging to read, seeing "courting" as some big game of manipulation, but I do think it's important to be aware of how it COULD be a big ruse in order to prevent it from being disingenuous).


The craziest part of the previous example, and I'm sure not everyone struggled with this growing up, was that we could have just admired beauty from afar by just acknowledging it. Humans are naturally drawn to beauty, but it's in the attempt to possess beauty where we leave plenty of inviting space for anxiety, depression, disappointment, anger, resentment, all to appear under the guise of "love."


Anyways, I'm preaching now. The last two examples I'll try to keep short.


"Well you know, we (the brain and you the individual) did this thing for John last week, but he didn't even bother to wish me a happy birthday. Man, maybe he really doesn't like me, maybe he (insert whatever runaway anxiety induced train(s) of thought occur here)... Well you know what, fuck him, I'm not gonna support his (whatever) anymore."


And lastly, "Oh man, reality is pretty cool huh. Well, it's all I know really. It would be terrible to die one day. Oh...I AM gonna die. Hmm, well I guess I have to live life to the FULLEST. I have to always be improving, getting better, taking a step UP. More money, more happiness, more success, so I can make the most of my time here, otherwise whats the point?"


All of these thoughts (not these exact examples, but some variation) that we've been indoctrinated with since birth is nothing short of brainwashing. We come to believe that this is just how things are, and have a hard time questioning if there is any REAL alternative. As such, we become quite literal slaves to them (thoughts or society, you choose). They consume us, and the most nightmarish of all, they BECOME us.


We become the people that have to look a certain way, be a certain way, have a certain thing (money, status, career, trophy husband). And without ever realizing it (how could we, it's all we've known since birth) we become THAT GUY, or THAT PERSON, thinking we're chasing success when really we're just imprisoned by ourselves, our own brains, under the guise of survival, or better yet, "success."


Alright, enough rambling Mario, without further ado, here's a short poem I did over the infamous summer of 2020 with an accompanying illustration per (co)stanza (bass slaps to Seinfeld). As you can see by the content, I too was (and remain) "oppressed." "Here is the problem, I think that I’m way too, overdramatic, when I’m just the issue."


What's striking, to me at least, is that I felt like something had taken over when I was writing this poem. I had just gotten off a zoom call for work and one of the lines just randomly sprang into my head. "I try to hold on to my thoughts on existence, But I’m just a guy and the stars paid my tickets."


As soon as I wrote that line down (it wasn't even the beginning of the poem, everything else seemed to somehow magically form around it without effort. I was finished with the poem in less than twenty minutes and was amazed at what "I" (not me in the personal sense, but maybe more so in the sense of experiences I've been through up until that point mixed with what my brain had been trying to say subconsciously) had come up with. It was, to me, rather beautiful and COMPLETELY/effortlessly captured the struggle I had been feeling in my life up until that point."


Whether you're a religious person or not, I think it's safe to say we've all had moments where creativity (in some form or another) just FLOWS out of us, where our subconscious regurgitates everything it has been holding on to and, as my brother would say, "spits hot fire." It could be in the form of a painting, a dance move, or even something like how to better organize an intricate excel spreadsheet.


Ok, ok ok, for real, without further adieu. Scroll to the bottom for the full poem without illustrations interrupting you. Hope you enjoy!

Here is the problem

I think that I’m way too,

Overdramatic

When I’m just the issue.

And if I’m real honest

I wish I were either,

Dead or alive

But mostly stuck in bed.

And I do think I love you

But I don’t know how to,

Tell you these truths

Cause my lips want to kiss you.

So I’m stuck between

My own thoughts and my wishes,

As I live this life

And my seconds diminish.

I try to hold on

To my thoughts on existence,

But I’m just a guy

And the stars paid my tickets.

So if you can read this

Please send some assistance,

Cause my mind is armed

And I’m just the resistance.

The Resistance


Here is the problem

I think that I’m way too,

Overdramatic

When I’m just the issue.


And if I’m real honest

I wish I were either,

Dead or alive

But mostly stuck in bed.


And I do think I love you

But I don’t know how to,

Tell you these truths

Cause my lips want to kiss you.


So I’m stuck between

My own thoughts and my wishes,

As I live this life

And my seconds diminish.


I try to hold on

To my thoughts on existence,

But I’m just a guy

And the stars paid my tickets.


So if you can read this

Please send some assistance,

Cause my mind is armed

And I’m just the resistance.

Well then, we've arrived. You may have noticed I spelled ado and adieu up there towards the beginning differently. Until today I didn't know that one, the "ado" spelling existed, and two, that there were different meanings for each. A humbling google experience to say the least.


Unfortunately these prints aren't for sale, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't check out the shop for other pieces you may like! As always, thanks for reading, hope you enjoyed, and see you next time.

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