Poem: The Art Of Numbness


   With cross-country wars and economic turmoil, 
   corruption and slavery, 
   and even racism is just around the corner. 
   I also have a battle going on in my daily life. 
   An inner war I’ve been struggling on for a while. 
   There has to be a decision. 
   A will I must cling to. 
   The choices scream themselves to be chosen. 
   So to take the path that only few have trodden, 
   I chose to numb myself.

   2011©Agapin Edrayll
    Image: The Pianist, 2002

The Writer's Disease

Envy “the writer’s disease” (p. 5). She wrote, “It’s desire that causes envy. Isn’t desire the villain here? Yet how to be an artist without desire.” - Bonita Friedman 

Bookstores are my sanctuaries. The scenery of books in shelves calms my very being, and the more closer I get the more in awe I become. I don’t usually pass by the bibliography section but this one time while waiting for someone, I decided to check it out. To my amazement I have never thought I’d be this close face to face with these great writers. I read excerpts of their bibliography from Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, Oscar Wilde, and William Blake. I couldn’t help to feel this unquenchable thirst, this strong desire of envy towards them. And as I read further more I find myself drowning in this sickness that I myself have concocted all along.
Envy is not different amongst us men. We are envious of what we see everyday. Envy of what we don’t have and what we are not. As an artist and a writer, as invidiousness seeps in my veins slowly in minimal doses, it distracts me from my work as it detaches me from my prime goal. The way it crawls and creeps in us is similar to greed which is the sickening feeling of consuming one self. The more envious you become the more it eats you alive. Sometimes it turns you against your works and sooner or later against yourself.
I admire the works of William Blake, John Milton, Milton Friedman, Stephen Fry, and Ayn Rand. I admire them so much that I wish I could write like them. My desire is what causes envy yet I know that desire is the fuel of every artists and writers to their craft. To prevent envy, I must stop desiring. How can I write without desire? Envy as seen in a different perspective could also benefit a writer or an artist, if used wisely it can motivate you to improve your craft. It’s one of the ironies of life, sometimes we could use a little bad to produce something good.

Update: Featured in Definitely Filipino

Poem: The Conqueror

   Today I will claim the wind
   Swim the savage seas
   Mount the brazen earth
   Paint the unyielding skies
   And tomorrow I shall rule the world

   2011©Agapin Edrayll
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