The Immaculate Misconception

   What does it mean to be ‘selfless’? Is charity a selfless deed? All of those humanitarians who gave and gave, requesting nothing in return – if they received a sense of satisfaction from their donations, this alone destroys the commencement of altruism. If they expected praise or rewards in the next life for their actions, they possessed a selfish incentive, however irrational. Even martyrdom can be selfish if the individual in question is giving his essence for something that he cannot live without. But what of the man who is truly selfless? The man who deliberately denies himself happiness with nothing to achieve? Who lives entirely through others and for others? Is he even a man at all, or an instrument, passed from person to person in a sea of faces; used, abused and discarded as an empty shell with no voice left to plead for mercy?

   As adults now, most of us can recall when our parents before us introduced the figure of Santa Claus into the Christmas season. As we aged, we came to realize that Santa Claus is a mythological creature, much like fairies and talking snakes. But, for years, our guardians did everything they could to convince us otherwise. They demanded that we surrender the initial development of our rational minds in order to trust them. At such a young age, we were more susceptible to gullibility, but, fortunately, as we grew older, our parents generally confessed the truth. But what if that never happened? What if you wandered to the foot of your mother and father’s bed in the wee hours of the night, your toes chilled and your pajamas wrinkled around tired skin, to ask: “Is Santa Claus real? Tell me the truth, I can handle it,” only to have them insist: “Why yes, of course he is!”

   One must never underestimate the potential psychological damage of having an unstable parent who proceeds to impose his or her delusions on the dependents in subordination. This is the story of such a child, a little boy who was brainwashed to believe that he was destined to die for the world after serving years in its shackles. This is the story of Jesus Christ.

   In understatement, at the time of his birth, adulteress women were not taken kindly. They were slaughtered publicly. Mary, the mother of Jesus, would have been shunned, denied access into the local Synagogue, even killed if she had revealed the true circumstances of her pregnancy. As a self-preservation mechanism, she told a lie to her husband, who was not the father of the child in her womb, and to her village. She told them all that she was still a virgin to mortal men, but that she had been impregnated by God. Therefore, the boy whom she would later birth was declared a Messiah. It was a fairly unoriginal tale; in fact, it had already been used to describe Horus, Mary’s inspiration.

   Jesus was raised with her anecdote rammed down his throat on a regular basis. It was not to be doubted, not to be questioned or implored, because if he disbelieved his own identity as God’s son, he disbelieved his mother’s purity. In an effort to make the deception more realistic, a purpose had to be applied. Mary knew that Jesus would come to wonder why the Lord had taken her, leading to further suspicion, and so she developed a preparation to rationalize the matter. Jesus had grounds for living: he would develop the one, true religion. He would save the people from their corrupt nature as sinners, and his bereavement was resolute from the beginning, when one of the three wise men, supporters of Mary’s claim, gifted the youngster with a crown of thorns. Some children have marriages arranged from their conception. Jesus had an execution.

   Throughout his life, Jesus was made to suppose that the way to perfection, the just and good way, was unremitting sacrifice. He preached the message as his mother preached it to him, and there were many who accepted, because it sounded attractive enough. If you create a herd, because that’s what they were: brainwashed cattle, and train them to put others first, you are safe-locking existence. Their labor is desired, because, as the instigator, you are among those “others.” Of course the little animals want the larger ones domesticated.

   In time, there were those who opposed Jesus as well, whether for philosophical and theological reasons, or simply because they knew the truth about Mary and were disgusted that the product, a bastard child, had grown to be an icon. For whatever impetus, Jesus was presented with the ultimate proof of his divinity. He was asked to die for his followers. Desiring nothing but to live up to his family’s expectations, certain that what he was doing was correct, Jesus did not protest. He allowed them to nail his hands, his feet, to the wood of a crucifix for the whole world to laugh at. The pain was excruciating, and Jesus did cry out in utmost anguish. Then he gritted his teeth, eyes brimming with tears, and he spoke no further ill against the attackers with sadistic intent. If this was what his father wanted… Oh, help him, Father.

   But it came to pass that Jesus realized that he did not wish to expire. In the mob of colors, of abrasive cackling, pointing fingers and cowering believers, he was filled with fury. Why should he perish as entertainment? Why had he wasted years trying to help these imbeciles, these ogres?

   “My God! My God!” He screamed to the sky, “Why have you forsaken me?” And, with a clap of thunder, Jesus Christ died in vain, the product of repetitious insanity and ghastly substratum.

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Research Paper: On Psychopathy

It is vital to differentiate in between psychology and philosophy. Regrettably, much of the diagnosis for psychopathy is outward. For example, the deceptiveness and illicit conduct are products of a root: a biological materialization that presents itself in the brain, which can be observed. Fortunately, the DSM-V working party is recommending a revision of antisocial personality disorder to include “Antisocial/Psychopathic Type,” with the diagnostic criteria having a greater weight in character than action. Although unused in diagnostic manuals, psychopathy is still widely referred to by psychiatrists and the like.

Psychopathy is illustrated by features such as superficial charm, poor judgment, failure to learn from experience, impulsivity, substance-abuse, promiscuous sexual and manipulative behavior, pathological egocentricity and incapacity for love, lack of remorse or shame, poor self-control, juvenile delinquency, and criminal versatility. However, substance-abuse, promiscuous sexual and manipulative behavior, juvenile delinquency, and criminal versatility are more action-oriented products of psychological mechanics.

Of these, the poor judgment, failure to learn from experience in terms of handling repurcussions, and impulsivity stem from a lack of dread for consequence, as the psychopath is generally divorced from castigation. In a trial with Dr. Hare, it was publicized that when psychopaths’ brainwaves were observed, during which time they were aware of an approaching, painful shock, they were not largely altered. This is much like the fear-conditioning paradigm with reference to amygdala damage (more later). Impulsivity is defined, according to the World English Dictionary, as portrayed “by actions based on sudden desires, whims, or inclinations, rather than careful thought”; it is a behavioral quality that contains numerous, distinctive workings, and a huge constituent of mania, addictive, conduct, and attention deficit-hyperactivity disorders. I must again refer to Dr. Hare’s shock-experiment.

Although it was fathomable at that prepubescent era in knowledge that the psychopath’s brainwaves mightn’t leap at electrical threat, having not deduced it firsthand, it was absolutely expected that, after a good zap, they’d tense for the next round. Except, they didn’t. Impulsivity-related psychiatric illnesses are branded by arrears in working memory. The links in deficits haunted by those wielding any of the above suggest that recurring damage may lie beneath their aetiologies. However, a psychopath is able to learn from experience through reason, if he is not mentally blighted.

It makes sense to have the phenotype, per se, defined – the physical appearance as an analogy – but a separate category must exist to classify the agnosia behind psychopathy.

    ‘Agnosia’ is a general term for malfunction in attaching appropriate meaning to objective sense-data. It is used most regularly when the primary sense organ involved is not impaired, but this is not the case here. Emotional agnosia of a variety is still arguable, as psychopathy’s manifestation is simply a failure to integrate certain knowledge with emotions as a result of an array of neurological variances that are still being studied. Some of these include a reduction in prefrontal and right superior temporal gyrus gray matter, and prefrontal damage occurring particularly in the orbitofrontal and dorsolateral sections, along with greater neuropsychological deficits on measures sensitive to orbitofrontal dysfunction.

The dorsolateral (DL-PFC) serves as the highest cortical area liable for the connection of sensory and mnemonic information. Issues with the DL-PFC may result in problems with affect, the experience of feeling, social judgment, and the facility of lying. Research suggests that using transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), a method of depolarizing or hyperpolarizing neurons with rapidly changing magnetic fields, on the DL-PFC can interfere with a person’s truth-telling.     The orbitofrontal cortex (OFC), on the other hand, is involved in the cognitive processing of decision-making, and receives projections from the magnocellular, medial nucleus of the mediodorsal thalamus. It is also proposed to engage in the connection of sensory information, affect, and even expectation, much like the dorsolateral. In particular, the human OFC is thought to regulate planning associated with rewards and punishments. Reconnaissance has been conducted on humans by neuroimaging both controls and those living with OFC damage. These studies reveal that the OFC is activated during intuitive coherence, and its destruction leads to a pattern of uninhibited behavior, encasing excessive swearing, drug use, and poor empathizing skills, whilst the superior temporal gyrus is used in the perception of passion in facial stimuli.

More mutations found in diagnosed psychopaths include a decrease in amygdala, posterior hippocampal volume, and an exaggerated structural hippocampal and collosal white matter mass.

    The amygdala and hippocampal complex interact during poignant situations by amending both the encoding and storage of hippocampal-dependent memories; dependent, because the hippocampus is crucial for the consolation of long-term memories by means of several protein kinases. The hippocampal complex creates episodic representations of arousing merit and influences the amygdala to rejoin. Thus, in the previously referenced fear conditioning paradigm, patients with amygdala damage did not show physiological fear to known threats. Ironically, those with only hippocampal damage presented the opposite reaction, in that they expressed a physical response, but could not intellectually identify its cause. Therefore, the amygdala and hippocampal possess unique purposes, but operate in harmony.     On top of that are adjustments to the paralimbic system, a group of interconnecting structures troubled with the processing of emotion, and the anterior cingulate cortex, which is credited with the modulation of emotion, motivation, and error detection. As with formerly mentioned parts, it pertains to decision-making, reward anticipation, and empathy.

This data suggests that psychopathy is allied with brain anomaly in a prefrontal-temporolimbic circuit, i.e, regions involved in emotion and expansion.

Naturally, then, psychopaths are more venturesome, because they lack inhibition, and they do not experience overwhelming remorse or fear. However, it is a fallacy to state without exception that the psychopath is a criminal, or even that he must proceed in a certain manner. With this assumption stems the prejudice that the psychopath is “evil.”

If one manages to attain a high rate of independence, self-esteem, drive, and is consistently able to act rationally, whatever abnormalities he may possess are irrelevant. On the quest to wellness, introspection is necessary in order to discover limits, and to grasp imperatives. Psychopaths are stereotypically apathetic to the practice of reflection and may hurt themselves along with others, but nothing in their make-up prevents them from being capable of intelligent deliberation in regards to development, should it be proffered in a diverse modality. Additionally, professionals must first establish the rigorousness of their symptoms, to see if they can be reversed. If progress is nonexistent, conversely, the psychopath should not be demonized. A cure is no longer the end to be sought, but an adaption seems practical.

Allow me to distinguish these terms. “Cure” is to say: a reverse in his dispensation. When psychiatrists attempt to cure psychopathy, they attempt to instill empathy; to coerce the psychopath into feeling what, frankly, he is not wired to feel. When this fails, the psychopath is cast aside as uncooperative and untreatable, yet it is key in the pursuit of health to embrace our minds as they are, because they cannot be rebuilt. In some cases, occupational therapy or speech therapy can improve agnosia, depending on its etiology, but, for all practical purposes, there is no direct treatment. Instead, we are to focus on correcting our interpretation and behavior. “Adaption” is to say: rather than telling the psychopath that he is spoiled goods, consequently ostracizing him for his urges, it would be to the field’s benefit to listen without immediate condemnation, and to spotlight on both recognition that the psychopath is indeed a specific way, that he cannot help it, and that he has the potential to excel, regardless.

Joshua Buckholtz, a graduate student in psychology, pronounced to the media that “a hyper-reactive dopamine reward system may be the foundation for some of the most problematic behaviors associated with psychopathy.” Dopamine (DA) is a catecholamine neurotransmitter commonly paralleled with enjoyment. It is used in the prediction of success, motivation, and cognition, and released during positive experiences, such as intercourse. Researchers at the Vanderbilt University employed positron emission tomography (PET) and functional magnetic imaging (fMRI) to measure dopamine release and the brain’s reward system. They discovered that both were heightened among those driven by psychopathic personalities. Likewise, people with high levels of psychopathy had almost four times the amount of dopamine released to the amphetamines administered during a scientific test. The obvious conclusion is that psychopaths are driven to pursue reward, but not restrained by apprehension.

    For egocentricity, the Free Dictionary describes it as “a. Confined in attitude or interest to one’s own needs or affairs. b. Caring only about oneself; selfish.” Since the psychopath is devoid of empathy, this is the expected effect. The psychopath can like others, but, emotionally, he likes them in relation to himself, thus the asservation that he is without connection. It is the resulting, chronic ennui which causes him to chase after stimulation that is so troublesome.   This information is important, because it provides statistically normal persons a fascinating insight into dealing with psychopaths. Rather than advising them against negative experiences, such as prison, they must encourage positive ones, like freedom. The psychopath is inherently selfish, and, if he desires to do what is best for himself, he must stress the importance of setting goals, and avoiding a pattern of reckless indulgence, because it is easy for him to do so, given the absence of reticence or realistic hesitation. It is momentous that he be made in tune and self-aware. What’s more, the psychopath’s lifestyle would be dramatically upgraded if a safer method of satisfying his quest for piquancy were unveiled, because the void within him is neither of his culpability, nor something which can be sensibly ignored.

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Poetic Insomnia

  Drink in the poison of sanguine absolution, with silent protests and palpitating fingers. Weary limbs hold her down like the hands of a stranger, but her mind is more awake than ever before.

   The sun has been locked away in the vast expanse of dawn. It is too early to announce the morning, for the only scintillating effervescent present reflects off of the great pool shimmering aloft. The moon swims before her as she wipes diamonds from her eyes, and the light is raw in payment for a desperate struggle against sleep deprivation.

   Every muscle in her body throbs and aches, so that she has become aware of herself as divided into planes, according to the split, individual lacerations. It is a sensual torture, because she knows that it could end with the sanction of her intimate surrender. If she were to submit to the covers, her collective entity of enkindled nerves would sigh mercifully in rapture. Instead, she forces herself to stare out the open window, and to feel the bittersweet agony of sheer exhaustion.

   The icy wind holds a surge of energy. Its movements are rich and full of enthusiasm as they elevate her tenderness to an entirely new level, propelling the gray shutters about in hostility. Under the ebbing effulgence, the structures appear ancient and wise with their large arms outstretched, billboards and streetlamps, searching for something to grant this chapter significance.

   She could not imagine a time in which the city did not stand here, magnificent and perfectly erect. The heavens are heavy upon her apartment balcony, and the air is crisp. The night could swallow them all if it so desired.

   A remnant of light emerges to violate the ice: to caress, delicately, and to leave trails of warmth in contrast with the strangulating breath of winter. Because of the freezing temperature, she is overly aware of each spot where the sun kisses, where it touches, as one would be aware of fingertips, tracing the skin; complete serenity. It strokes the skyline, like lavender lace, and floods her room, rippling to the surface in its final culmination as the closing curtain to an extravagant performance.

   Long, vertical lines slice through the air. Towering powerfully without fear or objection, they devour any prospect of existence beyond their reach. These buildings are men, standing tall as particular units. Each lone figure strives for prosperity, with his head thrown back to imbibe the heat on his face, his ego flexed. They climb beyond the clouds, beyond the limitations of brotherhood, gobbling up space and the unknown with a single demand: to grab the brightest visible star, and to wrench it from the sky.

   There are others – more skyscrapers bursting from the soot. Erupting as warriors, they climb higher, higher, to a beating battle cry; to a song of victory. Consuming the land with a sense of belonging and the rectitude to rise there, isolated in time, as rigid as the stone which was ripped from the earth, drilled by the hands of workers with sweat on their brows, fingers quaking around the vibrations of their equipment: massive machines, churning the foundation. They are an extension of those human arms, emphasizing the glory of the architects who fashioned this sweet melody, solid to the conviction of a single principle.

   Nourished in the amber glow, she loses consciousness.

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My Ballerina

Arrested by grace; a shudder of pain and pulchritude as she treads upon broken glass, head held high. Delicate limbs amplify the fragility in contrast to the strength of her pounding legs. With her palms outstretched, she offers a body to the world, knowing that it cannot touch her in this moment.

With the appearance of prowess, each movement flows into the next. From the fluid lift of an arm to the thrust of her weightless structure, balanced upon narrow toes, her patient apathy for the rising symphony is increasingly obvious. The progression is effortless. She does not see the audience. She does not hear the music. There is but one command: to annihilate fear, and, by art, she has succeeded. At last, blissfully free, and nothing could ever touch her again.

Her skirt flies about carelessly in a rush of lucent auburn; it serves as a heroic tribute to the playful autumn leaves beyond the theater’s embrace. She experiences a piercing veneration for the stage as it supports her prancing feet, a veneration for the air, as it whisks by, graced by an elevated face, and a veneration for the lights in their illumination of nude skin, burning with an unquenchable fire.

The warmth, the happiness which surrounds her and holds them captivated, comes from a single, genuine love: her self-esteem. The introverted understanding that she is her own person, and that, no matter what hardships lay in wait, no matter what they do to her in the years to come, or what trials may subject her mind, she has something that they cannot steal. For how could she feel anything but exalted, being what she is, with a vision for the future? A vision that is hers, and hers alone.

They may take her home, her clothing, her possessions in the night, but they may not take her reason, her ability, or her pride.

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Success is Imminent

   His jaw line was sharp and hardened with maturity over the years of his intellectual growth. It was miraculous to witness the visible evolution in aesthetics subsequent to a change in philosophy. His corrected posture, posed and confident, made an infinite difference. As he admired his model, however, he attested to the stretch ahead.
   His eyes, a blend of hazel which looked green from a distance, were saturated with sentiment. And yet, if she were to say this aloud, it could not be understood. Laughter would ensue – “what’s the punch-line?” because his face knew no sadness. No drama, and no depression. The guilt-inducing emotions were non-existent. However, he could be moved by aggression and endearment. He could be brought to his knees by his temple of reverence, of awe, of ownership; of what must be deserved and won.
   His hair was like fire: thick, and violently red. Of all of his features, he loved his hands the most. Today, those hands had been put to work, shaping and breaking the clay against rough palms. His angular shoulders shifted with precision and expertise, and the visualization was more glorious than any angelic depiction.
   The woman would never bow her head in church, would never kneel before an altar, but, with him, she felt a profound sense of religious adulation; of salvation, almost. He was no angel. Darkened by the earth’s sun and strengthened through tribulations, here was a creature who was not reluctant to be, as was his birth, man.
   At any given instance, something had to rupture, but she enabled the impulse to escalate in confinement. Her expression was a lake with the immobility of glass; an unbroken surface, or the unchallenged equanimity before some massacring storm, prepared to burst into explosion. Although their sharp silence screamed of profanity, he remained at peace, bathed in her grace.   She wore his gift upon a slender wrist: a watch of chains, binding time and pushing forth the waiting game. An unclad collarbone was exposed beneath the thin, orange sheet, which she excused under the pretenses of a robe. The royal colors were endless, not dissimilar to her legs as they stretched over the bed. The sheet was thin and barely acceptable. It opposed her skin like another man, flowing over and mating with silky, rose covers.
   Her cruel eyes were shut; her lips, partially opened; her face – closed. Concealed by the hair that enveloped her merciless features and swallowed them alive, she was bound by the ticking of his clock as he sculpted the clay, apathetic to her genuine body but feet away.
– – –
Indigo waves rush through eroded rocks. The points, piercing the surface like daggers to a fluid pulse, untouched by the emanating currents, are sharp and jagged around gnawed edges. She sits in the dirt, her long sun-brown legs absorbing a cool aurora; toes playing in the tide as guppies flock to them curiously, murmuring secrets against soft flesh before gracing it with lively tails as they scatter onwards. Her eyes are portions of the atmosphere, captured for decoration.
   A khaki notebook upon his lap, he watches this unfold, unconscious of his adoring stare, and equally averse to breaking the connection. In the corner, he sketches an outline of her silhouette. She gazes to the stars, seeing nothing; lost in thought as the spring mist signifies a memory sinking upon the municipality, under the rising moon, conquering the terrible hues of lilac.
   Without explanation, she slips into the water. The conflagrating, searing twinge, and the tremor of muscles decrepitly quivering as her body is ravaged, as she collapses within the bearing as a face drowned below the surface, where he can no longer see, is torturous to defer, but the fury is her maximum splendor. A moving current cuts through the arctic river, the surface of which masks a concealed beauty: the deadly maturation of knowledge hidden inside the head of a naked woman, ripping through the forgotten whispers of twilight.
  Her unabashed determination to the future translates history into a potential for restored and elated beginnings, and so, out of respect, he stands back, waiting for her to rise again.
– – –
   Like a rabid animal clawing its way through, you’ve come for me: my lover, the repressed. Sleep, I am not avoiding you. I swear. There is much on my mind to pull us apart. I know that you will wait on me again, patiently beckoning. Sleep, you are so familiar when you take me in your arms. You ask not where I have been, although a foreign taste delights my neck.
     Your embrace is one of recognition and of warmth, a juxtaposition when contrasted with the cold of my skin. Sleep, I apologize for my absence. I am stricken. I know that you want me, lifeless and still. Take it now, because the dawn’s judging eyes will spur further resistance.
     In assurance, you step aside, motivated by the knowledge that eventually, I must return to you; certain that I cannot live without you. Helplessly, I concede.
     My gown of black silk, weary upon a form fierce in stature, lies cold as granite in the pale moonlight. His pondering stare grants the impression of soul-searching, and I know that, prying into my face with an unprecedented intensity, searching for something  evident in each movement, he sees more than this flesh. The wind teases my hair, and our eyes are engaged. Mine convey a message: I am not ashamed to expose myself before you. I have nothing to hide.
     He tempts me, darling, for again, we share a night of restless tossing, and, again, I am with someone else as you lie alone, a vicious smile, self-induced torture, unbothered by the revelation of my incessant destruction, but perhaps taken by the limits to which we push ourselves. You have always recognized what I am. Maybe you are excited when contemplating the frustration by which skin is meeting, or by the prospect of my body, unmoved in his most frenzied pursuit – It is not as you expect: I will rise to life. It is not a matter of controlling me, but of destroying the presence of inhibition; of personal dominance. My grotesque reminiscences are to be restrained and liberated in paradox, so that the resulting grandeur may attain its rightful glory. He is too gentle to help me. I am still unconquered, will always be unconquered.
   I curl up beside you at the end of hours, my head supported by your hard chest. As I am held in arms that know me, too tired to protest further, I sleep in comfort with the steady rise and fall, to the sound of your heart’s supremacy.
     A battle fought for years, one finds it hard to surrender. It is important to remember that I am not losing, and that this adaption is a triumph unto itself.  A triumph over myself.
– – –
   The dusk is a living creature. Each vehicle racing down the wet street provides it with rich respiration. The mechanical titans slice through the night, cradled by fragmentizing eruptions which clap like thunder, swallowing the consistent rhythm of nocturnal hours. The remaining laconism of their absence is enhanced, so that her every word sounds alone in the suffocating quietude, clear and penetrating as a recurrent initiation, again and again.
   Her brown boots have created a comforting beat in collision with hard cement, and the thuds dissolve into pearls as puddles cling to their elevating motion. He heeds, simply to survey her movement, for he likes that she is going somewhere, and, in this instant, that they are going somewhere together.
   His voice could never be familiar, because it is not to be possessed. He won’t be owned, and she is separate, even beside him. It has been remarked that in her presence, people feel continually unaccompanied. The right men, the good men of esteem, are liberated, whilst the guilty cower, smothered and trapped beneath the brutality of steadfast standards. Their two figures walk with straight backs and arrogant shoulders. It is enough to catch second looks from those whom bustle past, hunched over and cold, but she addresses the weather with pleasure. Although not fond of it himself, it is hard to resist that rare, dazzling smile when she laughs, allowing streams to drip down her loose, black shirt, exposing both shoulders with shameless disregard for conventional modesty.
   Running water is a constant outpouring of energy and good health. It represents regular and reliable progress. There are those who will hide from it, fearful of disrupting make-up and hair, but she holds her arms open, as if to say of the whole damn city “take me. I am without regret.” The road is linear and definite. A destination has been determined, and now it is only a matter of progressing towards that goal.
– – –
   The wind was bitter to her hair, blowing about and dancing alongside the challenging fiend like a blur of sunlight in the dark of night as the glowing waters illuminate golden strands. Her eyes were level, looking to the battle with an intensity unmatched even by the pounding of waves, colliding against silver sand and pulling back to taunt the shore with promises of undisclosed satisfaction should it follow into the massive expanse of black, untamed sea. Her palms were pointed toward the torrid exchange, leaving her body assailable, but her countenance did not share this predilection. She displayed an intrepid audacity, innocent to humility and distress, as if she had the might to fend off such a barbarous demon of fluid power; as if she stood a chance. And yet, she did not resist. She would never deny herself again.
      The war continued with the slap of waves and rock, followed by acute retraction. Had these been men, surely the stone would fall, stripped, overcome by the secession of blows, offering no sanctuary or shield. The combat sequence continued endlessly, rather than let her tension escalate. It was a free passage of truculence, consenting to its presence; the release spawned from total admission.
    Not surrender, but the recognition that it must be done. Forget the wind and its howling malediction. There would always be ongoing strikes as bits of shard material bit into her bruised arms, carried in gusts of freakish opposition, but she didn’t care to acknowledge it. There came a time when you couldn’t, and she chose to focus her attention on the grand performance ahead.
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A million stones against his skin. A million times he chose to win. The battles, hardships self-imposed. Reactions to his moral code.

Drowning in a sea of gray, convictions broken – romance fades. Pragmacy and practical, replace the ideological.

What’s easy now is not what’s right. If it’s good, it’s worth a fight. The struggle as you risk it all. Solid as the others fall.

Pleading, screaming – “just accept.” Apathy helps them forget. But not the one who walks a path. He chose it then, will make it last.

Uncompromised, alert, alive. He asks no pardon in their eyes.

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The Pressing Storm

I listened to the thunder, and I saw the lighting flash.
I look on with wonder as the clouds and planet clash.
The battle of Arcadia meets our very own Earth.
In a fleeting flash, they connect: the sky and the turf.
The bolts of luminosity strike down, like fingers reaching for the world.
Next to that beauty, I am projected; captured in a whirl.

Despite the danger of this raging storm, I am not afraid.
Nothing else matters, and so it comes to fade.
I am alone with my precepts, the roaring of the sky.
Fearless, freed, confident – grounded, pensive, lithe.


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The Real Monster

   He has berated our dreams and He has robbed us of our identities. He has taken away our words and stolen the possibility of protest by support of the victims who believed themselves free. He advised us not to hate, and He declared that our purpose is to submit. Because this was consistent with our general indoctrination on human impotence, we trusted Him.
   It was easy to be His pal, for He was not selective. He forgave us everything, and He told us to mourn the perpetrators who encountered misfortune. It was demanded that we give to those who could not earn, because it was not their fault that they were stupid, weak, broken.
    To be sufficient was evil. To be in want of money was grand. To need charity made you an instrument in God’s blueprints. We sought enchantment through your hardships. The selfish were scorned, but we were reminded not to judge the guilty, for they were to be lamented.
   He took our hands and He bit our wrists and He drained us dry. The shadow always wore a smile. He wanted to help the world. An ideal, pretty on paper. Fools. Imbeciles. Monster – the real monster.
    He instructed us not to “lean upon thy own understanding.” It is a Bible verse, and so it had to be right. And then we knew in our heads, not our hearts, that something was off. We hid from confrontation, for indeed, it is the nature of our standard.
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