Originally a private collection written as a form of self-reflection, it is now being publicized as a manner of revealing my innermost thoughts and a tentative first step toward becoming a writer. The overflowing thoughts of a sixteen-year-old fit into words and stanzas, paragraphs and verses. I cram them into broken poems and strings of words threaded together by an array of artistic nothingness.
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Poems & Short Stories
By Luxi Xu
AuthorHouseCopyright © 2014 Luxi Xu
All rights reserved.
When we are children, we imagine ourselves as pure, unique creatures that will one day possess the universe and understand all mysteries in life. Oh, how wrong we are. Life will forever lead us on a pointless chase, teasing and cackling just around the corner. We are like fallen angels with broken wings that we drag behind us as we stumble and trip on this arduous road called life. We are like shadows that rely on the light and are unable to move, robbed of our free will, stuck forever in the midst of brightness unable to morph or escape from the form which we have been sown upon. But what if one day we escape from this maze? What if we are able to break free from the shackles of life and the burden of society and are left all alone. Left lost and out in the open. All roads are gone but your wings are still broken, the voice that once led you will never again be heard and the silence is suffocating. The light has disappeared and you are immersed in darkness, the chilling darkness where you become blinded and forget your true form. And suddenly you yearn for the tantalizing cruelty within life's words and all the times you were still able to get up on bruised feet after being shoved to the ground. You find yourself missing the ability to feel pain and realize that even though you are not pure, you are not unique and will definitely, never ever know all the answers of the universe; you are happy living in complete oblivion. Why? Because you are a human.
Your Voice is just a mindless sound, if you don't make it your own.
Tyranny is to set a bird free after breaking its wings and calling it mercy.
My body was heavy, I had no will left, my breathing grew strained with the effort of just standing. Sweat dripped down my forehead and tittered on my lashes before slowly running down my cheek to rest at the base of my neck. If anyone walked in now they would say I was crying and they would ask what was wrong, if only they knew. I felt completely numb; all my strength had been sucked out. For a second I considered wiping the sweat away but gave up the idea to instead hold on tighter, I couldn't afford to let go, that would mean letting go of my sanity ... I wonder how much time had passed. Minutes? Hours? Days? My muscles were firm; they would once in a while twitch in protest to the excessive strain that I put on them. Suddenly I was reminded of a science lesson I had had before my life changed forever. The teacher had told us that our heart was the only muscle that would never get tired, that would always work relentlessly for the rest of our lives. I couldn't help but laugh at how wrong he was. For right now, every single cell, every fibre of my being was slowly falling in exhaustion, my heart beat slowed, it tired of working, it tired of feeling, it tired of hurting. I could feel it arduously pumping the blood around my body, desperately trying to make me live another day. The pressure was immense and I could feel when my heart trembled in fatigue and pleaded to be left to rest. Its last efforts to fill me with adrenaline, its methodic ba-dum, ba-dum, ba-dum, as it screams out at me to not give up. But it couldn't hold on any longer. So I let it shut down, I relaxed and took my last breath. Then, I just let go.
More often than not, I find myself on the brink of destruction, just to be brought back. But lately I've been really lonely, and the stress has gone from a tickle at the back of my throat to a pit of fire in the heart of my very being. I want to cry. I want to quit.
That moment when you understand that whatever you do, you will never be as good as them. That moment when you just stop giving a shit is the moment you will fall, and when that happens, nothing will save you. Nothing can.
You have convinced yourself that there's nothing to do and life has something against you and is set to make you miserable. So you trudge around day by day, waiting for it all to end, looking at others with longing. "They're so much smarter," you think, looking down at your pummelling grades. "She's so pretty and skinny," you think as you pinch at all the fat on your body and remember the obvious stretch marks that cover most of your skin.
You scrutinize everything you do and compare yourself to others, unable to understand why you can't achieve their level with their ease and grace. You become plagued with thoughts of jealousy and envy, you become unable to sleep thinking of all the things that you could have done better, all the things that went wrong. And a tear slips down silently as you regard the brilliantly dazzling world from the outside, as you stand there unable to share the sweet taste of victory.
Then all that sadness and jealousy turns into anger, where you hate the girl who is pretty, the boy who gets all the grades, your parents for not caring, but mostly yourself for being a whining little bitch. So you become frustrated and enraged with these turbulent feelings that you don't understand and don't see others experiencing. And yet again you are different, you are falling behind, you are weak. Because you have feelings and you are affected you can't be strong, you can't be their equal and will never ever surpass them in anything.
So you stay the way that you are, unable to improve yourself, too proud to admit it, too tired to care anymore. The bitter tears and tight feeling in your throat, the knot in your stomach and the growing, throbbing headache. All of that comes with the awfully familiar feeling of defeat. I taste it every day and I just wish it would go away.
Day in and day out I begin to realize how frail and ridiculous trust and love is. I begin to realize that if I was to suddenly disappear from this world my memory and feelings would only linger for an instance before being blown away by the strong winds of time. Then my soul would become lost as my anchor is wretched out of this world to throw me into the sea of death and float aimlessly towards my end. The more time I spend in this world, the faster I realize how unnecessary it is for me to stay. How little I am needed or wanted. How easy it would be to leave unnoticed.
Dreaming was a good thing right? Being able to imagine things, to discover our deepest darkest wishes. It was good that at night we couldn't lie to ourselves and we could see the truth, right there in front of us. Then why did I hate it to the point of refusing to close my eyes until I collapsed of exhaustion? Why did I wake up screaming and in tears, terrified of reality?
They say you stop dreaming when reality becomes better than your dreams. But honestly, that never happens, at least, not to anyone I know, not to me.
My dreams always had you in it, somewhere there, offering me warmth and this happiness that I knew I could never find in this world. So I hated the you in my dreams for it, I yearned for the one in real life to offer it. What do others dream of? Rainbows? Butterflies? Happiness? I dream of a dark world with a pinpoint of light at the end, and I walk towards it, and there you are, hand extended. You want to help me. But as I walk closer, I become hesitant, I become scared, and your smile melts away, your flesh melts away, and a skull grins back at me.
I am nothing. In my dreams or in reality, my presence is not wanted, my existence is merely practical. In theory, I am no one, I am nothing but a shadow, a shadow lurking around the focus that is everyone else, a figurant going around the main plot, whose existence isn't even noticed or needed for the show to go on.
I am a shadow that cowers from the light, and who without it would cease to exist. My light was extinguished a long time ago. I couldn't quite say I'm alive, it was more like ... I merely am. People go to their dreams to escape, to lose themselves, I go there to try and find myself. Whoever I am, wherever I am.
In my dreams I run, and trust me when I say I am not even close to an athlete, but still I run away, towards nothing, towards where I belong, towards nowhere. I hear a voice, 'Take care of yourself.' It echoes on and on, but why should I? The moment I stop taking care of my body, of my health, that will be the end because no one else will, and then I can gradually disappear into the shadows. I can find peace, I can just die, unnoticed, unmissed.
But you won't let me will you? You won't ever forgive me. I know you won't miss me but I would break my promise if I were to go away. I wonder why I even bother keeping this promise ... My health doesn't concern me, my wellbeing doesn't concern me. My mental state doesn't concern me; I lost sanity a long time ago. I'm just an empty shell. Discarded. Useless.
Love is a complicated thing that will take a lifetime to forget, an eternity to understand, but just a second to fall into.
I just sometimes feel so empty, and my heart hurts, and I just don't want to exist anymore. I don't know how to fix it, but I wish someone could make it go away.
Like a raindrop in the sea, I create a ripple that is gone as quickly as it appeared. Unnoticed, weak, unimportant, forgotten. Like I'd never existed in the first place.
Lately I have spent whole nights just staring at the ceiling, I can't fall asleep. My eyelids are heavy, my head throbs and the whole world keeps spinning. But my brain wants to talk to me and I am forced to listen, to its doubts, to its ideas, its theories, its ambitions, its plans, its regrets, its memories and everything that I want to just shut out. Even when I manage to finally close my eyes and drift away, I'm haunted by these eyes that stare into my mind and a Cheshire smile that shines from the depths of my soul. I don't know what it is, but when I am in my troubled sleep I can hear it chuckling away.
I awoke frozen and my heart beating at a mile an hour. I'm scared everyone will know who I am. Last night I was finally able to sleep properly, yet even with all those hours I was drifting in and out of wonderland where I was chased by a giant feral beast who clawed at my legs as I scrambled through forests. It growled and roared in fury as it came thundering behind me, but that wasn't what had made me wake up in a cold sweat. I woke up when I felt a warm gentle hand slowly caressing my hair; it cradled me in its arms and rocked me slowly back and forth. It whispered poisonous words in my ear and spoke to me telling me of my darkest nightmare and showing me my deepest fears. When I tried to run it tightened its hold on me and started to squeeze, I screamed and it squeezed me tighter, I screamed louder and it just kept squeezing until something went crack. And blood was spewing everywhere, I was choking on it, I was drowning.
When I woke up my eyes were already open and I was taking in large gulps of air. Still only 4am. The moon stared in from outside judging me in my state of paranoia. So I went back to sleep. When I awoke again I was in a maze, this maze looked more like a street though, a merchant's street where there were many old fashioned clothes stands, fruit markets and blacksmiths. As I walked around the corners the hustle and bustle seemed to die away and all there was was the banging of one door on rusty hinges, getting closer and closer. Then, I saw a huge gate in front of me that just led into darkness, so I tried to turn around, but as I turned, hundreds of pairs of hands came down on me and dragged me into one of the back alleys.
There, my clothes were ripped off and I heard lewd remarks and the voices of men's disgust at my appearance, yet their hands never left me. And I was crying and shaking and I could not free myself. Then I heard the rusty gate open and a roaring fire came gushing out, destroying everything in its path. I sighed in relief as I saw the men turn to ashes, I had been saved I thought, until I started to feel my skin blistering and bubbling. It blackened and I could feel as my arm disintegrated and disappeared. I woke up drenched in sweat. Even in my sleep I couldn't get any rest from my brain beating my self-esteem up. Even in my sleep I couldn't be at peace.
I feel an inexplicable sadness right now. It's almost as if I'm drowning in tears that will never fall and the chains that wrap around my heart are slowly squeezing it, squeezing it.
It's almost as if I am crying out for help, but every time a hand reaches towards me I am rendered paralyzed and my mouth sown shut. It's almost as if I am running from a monster that forever remain hidden in the shadows and I have no choice but to stand alone.
And I'm just sad, and it would be really nice to drown in some real tears that would wash away this unsettling mood that hovers over me like a poisonous mist suffocating me and muffling my screams.
Crying is something that I always hated to do, it's something that I believed only weak people do, people who have no control over their lives and emotions. Sadly, I'm that kind of person.
When there is the slightest tug at my heart strings, my throat tightens and my eyes well up with tears filled with a thousand incomprehensible emotions that can't ever be put into words. And this happens very often, trust me. However, I realize now that that can't really be called crying. What I'm doing, is showing my frustration. When I'm about to blow, when the pressure is just too much, I let a few tears slip and wash away the stress. It doesn't pain me, it doesn't harm me. It's the good kind of silent weeping, where I stand there, fire burning in my eyes and my jaw taught with fury.
Thinking back, I hadn't truly cried in almost a year, I hadn't cried properly since I realized that I was ... well ... me. But ever since that day, ever since the day I shut myself in and vowed to not cry again for the rest of the year, shit had been hitting the fan again and again. But I took it all, I took the shouting, I took the beating, I took the accusations and the poisonous threats. Yet at every injustice, I thought I broke that vow, as they walked away and I tended to my wounds, either physical or emotional, a few tears would slip. But those were tears that held a promise, a promise that one day I would get revenge, that one day I would show them I was better than all of this.
However yesterday, yesterday was the day everything just fell apart. On the 30th of December I finally broke that promise I had almost managed to keep. Funny ... So close yet so far away. I didn't even cry for a good reason. I simply broke, I don't know. I broke.
Like a feather falling on top of a large trembling pile of boulders, that small detail finally made me tip over and everything came crashing down on me at once. My anger, my sadness, my despair, my betrayals, my failures, my insecurities. It all rushed into my mind and not being able to hold it in any longer, I let go. As a wordless wail that echoed through the house, a wail that mirrored so much anguish and pain, despair and defeat, the sound of a wounded animal begging for death to come faster.
The sadness was unstoppable and it rolled off my cheeks in big fat tears. I cried. It was the kind of crying where the light had gone out of my eyes, where I don't care what people think of me, I just have to let it all out. So I howled in loneliness and sagged against the wall, breathless, every cell in my body was livid, ready to lash out at anything that came close. Then, after I have no more tears left and could only sit there and whimper, curling myself up as small as possible, I felt relieved. Because everything feels OK.
It was OK to be weak once in a while, it's OK to just let go. Compared to the silent weeping where my heart would throb and my mind would cloud over with thoughts of blood and massacre, the kind of loud, explosive sobbing session that I had had only sought out warmth. It was the kind of crying that said the person had nothing to live for, the kind that said the person had fallen one too many times and couldn't stand again.
But here I am, standing again. Strangely enough I feel refreshed, with a killer headache and a runny nose, swollen eyes and scratched throat, yeah. But I'm better. So crying doesn't make us weak, I was wrong. It makes us unbelievably strong.
Excerpted from Vulnerability by Luxi Xu. Copyright © 2014 Luxi Xu. Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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Table of Contents
ContentsWriter's Note, xi,
Cut Off Thoughts,
World Through My Mind,
Lives Worth Living,
Love & Longing,