Seeking Sincerity

Seeking sincerity has become
such a chore.
To accept
mediocrity has its own
attraction.
Optimism begins to fester and
slowly rots
until it becomes a
physical weight
in my chest.

Suffocating.
We drown ourselves in
cliches until they
leak through our pores and
create a sheen
of self-deception

Restart. Reset.
Overandoverandoverandoverandover
again.
Expect disappointment and rebound quickly;
no longer assets, but necessities.

We try to convince ourselves
this time will be
different, but
how long until
depleting reserves of potential
and possibility
run out?

How can I decide the
amount of time to
spend searching when
I’m told by
almost everyone
that I’ll find something when I least expect to.
Something;
someone.
This is all
counter-intuitive
when every success story both
emboldens and makes me
question what it is
exactly
that I’m doing wrong.

How many times must I be lied to?
“It’s not you, it’s me.”
“I’m just not ready for a relationship.”
“You’re so great, but…”
Is there some sort of conspiracy
that they’ve all agreed to play the game?
To see if I’ll
chase? If only it
were that easy.

How long before they
begin blending into variations of
the same carbon copies? The same
university-branded drinking photos, the same
vacation spots, the same
pursed beaks, flexing facades.
How long until they start
to run together and I  start
to wonder if there is
anyone
worth getting to know?
Plastic permutations of
the same theme; a blueprint
with minor tweaks that
don’t improve,
just diversify

Soon I parse out and
MAGNIFY
parts of my personality to
try and find some common ground
to make things work;
only when things fall through do
I realize how
unimportant they are and that
I was only injecting air to
fluff them up.
The temptation that maybe
this time will be different, maybe
I will finally
break through
if I stay here a little longer.
But after five years of
disappointment, why would now be any
different?

Over-analyze every aspect.
Was I too interested?
Not interested enough?
Did I talk too much? Too little?
Did I focus too much on
one topic of conversation?
Am I too shallow?
Was there something I
fixated on
in her appearance that
I didn’t like at first
so that’s all I could see,
which in turn soured me?

How much is
my fault?
Is that even worth asking?
All of it.
Why does it seem to be
so easy
for others?
I know I don’t see the whole story,
but
I can’t help but wonder.
I see and
feel and
know
my worth;
why can’t they?

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A Miserable Creature

(A Plea)

There is a creature
that isn’t quite
alive.

Rather,
It simply seeks to
survive,
thriving on what It believes
is owed.

Taking an
emotional tithe and
fabricating frightening fantasies of
intimacy
and growth.

Its hosts can’t
blame
others for
choosing to
live their lives without
It;
but that doesn’t mean they
enjoy It either.

It slithers from
one to the
next; imprinting Its
ideals and
wants and
needs
onto subjects undeserving of
such psychotic symptoms.

It is envious
and apathetic
all at once.

At Its most microscopic, It is not
made of cells, but
interlinked insecurities.

Its very
presence is

paralyzing

and warrants
nothing
but the
destruction of its
desolate form.

(A Dismissal)

But It is necessary for
the protection of one’s
heart.

It seeks to procure for
Its host
in the least selfish way
possible.

It is self-aware,
knowing Its beneficent nature and
sarcastic sadism.

(An agreement)

There is a creature
whose only goal is to
feed on the happiness
of others, and this time

It wins.

In(Re)trospect

The beads of summer
sweat coated your upper lip;
a foil to the chilly
distance of
my heart’s malcontent.
Cheeks would blush.
Flushed.

Your hair, a
curtain of auburn mimicry,
brushed my brow with
each lustful kiss.
Pressure enough to
freeze time.

We marched through
our passion, always
just out of

step.

I wanted what was best; you wanted
me.
Burns and scars forced
me to pave the road to hell.
You never wanted to
hurt me,
just yourself.

How many have I pined after
in your wake?
How few reciprocated? How
could I replace what was
lost?
But a relationship cannot be
built on lies and
no matter how much I wanted you,
it just wasn’t
meant
to be.

I hardened my heart
in the hope of
saving yours.
I left you crying
amid the laughter of children
on that summer day.
Such promise; such potential
gone
because of my best intentions.
So many false starts, swearing oaths
I couldn’t help but
break.

I wanted you to get
better;
and you did (I think).
You met shortly after our split.
A decade later and
you’ve been together
through it all.
For what seemed an age,
I watched from afar and remembered
who we used to be.

Ten years on and we’re different people.
A gold band now tips the scale of your left hand
while the pair of mine remain
balanced.

It seems a
lifetime ago.
It might as well have been.
And the worst part is

I couldn’t
care
less.

The Warrior & The Valkyrie

Who was she that left so deep a mark
upon a warrior covered in scars?
Gather closer to the fire and
allow this
humble skald to
recount the tale.

There was once a warrior
deeply in love
with a woman of
self-professed,
unconventional beauty.
Her eyes were the captured,
cerulean waters
of the fjord.
Her laugh was
the life-breathing wind.
Her silken hair,
the ruddy brown of
freshly peeled
tree bark.

But be assured, such joy
does not last,
and a pest crept into the lovers’ hut
one night.
It passed over the warrior,
knowing that
a far worse fate
awaited him.
The next morning, her
life
was drained as that
malevolent cancer
struck
without warning.
An enemy that even
the mightiest warrior
can not defeat.

Shattered by
grief,
the warrior gave her a burial befitting
her splendor, and
threw himself
into battle with wild abandon.

He could find no consolation
from his comrades,
and on one of the
many
battlefields, he was felled by
another’s spear.
Looking down, he saw
his lifeblood
cascading
from the wound in
his chest.

All thought of pain
left him as
his gaze lifted
with relief and saw
Her;
His love
transformed with
cascading braids of gold
in the visage of
a Valkyrie.
He knew then that
he had been chosen for Valhalla,
where he would
gladly
be a thrall
in her service.

But the Norns had a cruel joke planned,
and rather than
cutting his life’s thread, they
severed
his connection to
the Valkyrie. Just
as she was about to speak
words of comfort,
his soul
plummeted
back to Midgard
into the ruined tissue of
his flesh.

And what did she leave?
Regret and the
backward translation of
lost language
never to be understood.

Finding himself no longer in bliss,
he shrieked a
black song
toward the heavens:
“I will drink of
Kvasir’s blood and
speak
my love back into being.
I will make
a mountain
of skulls to climb
and find you again.
I will carve
my name into
the histories of men;
challenge the
bravest, the strongest, and the hardiest
Until I find one who is
worthy enough to
return me to my beloved.
This, I swear.”

The warrior trekked across
craggy peaks and
dark ravines to find
the Mead of Suttungr;
but mere words were
not enough to conjure.
As an age passed and
drifts of snow began to patch his beard,
the warrior carried on;
hoping to
meet his match.

He continues
his search; a man
aged beyond his years.
But, if asked, this
lone warrior would tell
you not to weep for him;
he has
purpose and the
terminal knowledge of
his quest’s end.
And while his memory
remains true, he never
travels
alone.

The Inkheart’s Prayer

I am enamored with the aspects
you choose to share. Such beauty transcends your
physical glory and
what you believe to be the
flaws of your mind.

Who am I to place the ideal of
my fascination
upon you?
Why should you carry this burden?

I see what you want the world to know, but seek
that which you would hide.
I know myself;
if I could only beg the same from this
Aphrodite who
mirrors your steps.

Haunts my dreams.

Your struggles,
your triumphs, your plans
and regrets
would be a nourishing nectar.

Would that I could do the same
for you. Be the same
for you. Prostrate myself

For You.

I am at a loss, yet cannot cease blabbering in the radiance
of your complexity; the glory
of your authenticity.

Be a balm for the lonely hearts; always.

Know that you brought this man to
slit his wrists and pour forth a

Prayer
in Ink.