“roads of the twenties”
Artwork by Jess Van Baalen
1 - life_lately.jpeg
From looking at tiny blinking lights.
Sometimes they are the first thing I see when I wake up,
and the last thing I see before falling asleep.
Sometimes they are colourful, sometimes they make me laugh.
I get to see pictures on them, many many pictures.
But lately, that’s the only thing I see.
I get to know the world through images.
But that is the only way I do.
And image after image
I navigate through the tubes.
Sometimes they are intriguing, sometimes they make my cry.
With more frequency I realise where do my memories come from,
they are of course from some images I see online.
Comfortable inside my echo chamber,
at home in my algorithmic neighbourhood,
where everything I see,
agrees with me.
Sometimes they inspire me, sometimes they make me lie.
I never imagined this is how it was gonna be,
but also I cannot imagine
how the fuck can we break free.
I once met a muleteer,
she was giving me a ride.
And I’ll never forget what she asked me;
“Will you still be doing this,
till the day you die?”
Sometimes they control me, sometimes they drive me mad.
Sometimes they hurt me, sometimes they bring out
the worst part about me.
2 - Against the wind
Like an itch so itchy
that you ended up harming yourself with all the scratching.
Like a buzzing in the right ear,
a dissonant piano played by the biased randomness of the news.
Like a fight for independence from a drunken pilot,
a pilot who already threw away the steering wheel
so it doesn’t matter what you do
the plane is crashing.
Like a word you are sure you know,
but cannot seem to remember
and is escaping fast from your mind
and now is making you anxious
and you are now ruining Christmas at the in-laws
because no one likes you when your anxiety kicks in...
Like being very hungry
and all you have is mouldy bread
and is past 11pm
and you go to sleep with a headache
and your friend text you saying you are a bad friend.
Like losing touch with your family as a result of a relationship
that didn’t even worked out.
Like being afraid of intimacy
because you know what lies within it
so you tell yourself is better to be alone
until its not
and you have no other choice but to be alone.
Like knowing someone that doesn’t want to be this world any longer,
and it doesn’t matter what anybody says or does,
their mind has already made the choice.
Like seeing our home be destroyed before our eyes
and you check your bank account and is nothing but red numbers
and there’s more diseases
and there are more femicides
and there are less answers
to more difficult questions.
Like when the military industrial complex gets richer
and the only way they can do that is by instigating war.
Like when there are many angry posts online
and while the internet is real
it can easily disappear.
But reality cannot disappear
reality is being re-lived everyday,
it is that sudden knot in your stomach,
that you cannot make go away.