Optimism Assistance Application

Thanks for applying for optimism assistance.

Your results will depend entirely on you, because how you see the world is really your own business.

Please carefully read the questions below. If you have any questions about the questions, simply #readitagain :

1. How broken, now, is your concept of stability?

a. Did anything change since COVID-19, or had it been cracked or shattered previously? Did it happen all-of-a-sudden, or was it broken down gradually, with civility?

b. What hopes did you have (if applicable) that were just grabbed, test-tubed vacuum sealed, and sent to a lab,

only to be returned with the worst of news – that all of your dreams are terminal – did this give you the blues?

2. On a scale of 0 to 1, have you yet to find out

that the real ‘invisible enemy’ is our own society, specializing in human grindout?

 

Please provide your answer(s) in the box below. Be advised, emojis are not allowed.

Please adhere to the conventions of standard written English, and also remember to say it with your chest.

Applicant Response:

1. a. Each leap year is more depressing than the last,

these microcycles of tension, division, seem to outwit and outlast,

it reminds of me seeing the wheels turning on conveyor belts of tanks from wars’ past –

flattening the earth, conforming the dirt to gridiron tracks, filling the clear skies with brown gas –

the biggest war MachinE is the one that leans

into our emotions, our Deep fears, shootIng grAppling hooks onto our heart strings –

it’s hard to ignore when life as you know it is a live production, a chaotic stage

where fuel is poured on fires, but you get thrown out of the theater for burning sage.

1. b. I can’t wait for peace to be the norm, justice to be served, and harmony to be the culture. Prejudice? Done, buried!

Later on I want to look back how hatred took on love, but love won, and hate was over with, outmatched, overrun,

but I’m not excited, nor naive –

I say “I can’t wait…” cuz that’s never how it’s gonna be.

2. ‘1.’ Yes, I know.

– RSM.

It COVID be Worse

I’m one of the lucky ones that can honestly say it could be worse. I catch myself complaining to myself about boredom, not being able to see friends, and all these first-world problems that has come up these past few weeks, but it very much could be worse.

If I had a medical job, or was an essential worker, or was laid off, or was a senior, a parent, a caretaker, homeless, or more than one these at the same time – I don’t have a lot to complain about. I’m faced with one of the best case scenarios – a test of patience. A challenge of how to use my free time with limited options. That’s it.

I want to find ways to to help, and I’m trying, but what I keep hearing is the best way to help is to stay home, don’t socialize, don’t go out if you don’t need to. It feels pointless, useless to think that just staying home helps, until I hear about people on the beach being responsible for further outbreaks and reckless behavior being a liability to others.

So if you’re young, able-bodied, and are bored, ‘stuck at home’, just be stuck at home then. You’re helping. This is your challenge – it’s different for everyone, and it’s yours to rise to, for your sake and everyone else’s. – RSM

Circum Romani

It’s hard to hide ‘the crazy’, it’s bursting at the seams

as our fearless, brainless ‘leader’ yells, rambles, and screams;

It’s a multi-ring circus with the clowns up front,

Disregarding all the crowd’s needs for their own wants.

Waving shiny banners, having us all play along,

Everyone’s hand over their hearts- singing the same song.

We outdo our Gross-Embarrassment-Product, every day,

DC-Puerto Rico-China-Syria-Ukraine,

And you can’t just blame the main idiot for all the pain,

Oligarchy is the team, and oppression is the game.

Sports are a distraction, TV and movies have been

the-opiate-of-the-masses, plus religion? Man, we’re strapped in.

The Roman Circus used to give bread to the crowds,

events free of charge, and the Romans roared loud,

they would cheer when their victims were killed and dragged away.

The Roman Circus never stopped – the show goes on today. – RSM

The Joys of Civic Duty

Lemme get uhhh dozen talking heads with a side of fries,

Pointing-screaming-yelling telling off all the other guys-

-something Wise, like the owl on the blue bag-of-chips,

everybody’s speaking heavy, but they’re not saying shit-

Tired of the tired lines fed from the big rectANGLEs-to-our-heads, entANGLEd-in -our-heads!

I don’t think it matters who I vote for, honestly,

I wanna be a believer, but the bullshit bothers me.

The world is way bigger then a red and blue bina-ry,

But it is what it is, every single prima-ry.

“I don’t want to be involved, no, not at all,”

But I’m compelled-by-some-spell that I should vote-no matter how small,

Bubble in my scantron, take my quick picks,

Slide my vote in, DM it to my district-

Now my “waste of time” light’s already blinking,

aaannnd back to my cynical way of thinking. – RSM

To The Young Woman With The Red Vespa:

I feel your pain.

You tried so hard, and it really was a shame.

The way you parked so fast, clipped off your helmet,

and grabbed everything from under your seat in under 5 seconds.

And when you took off running, I kinda knew the deal-

sprinting down the bike lane in wedges – shit was real.

I heard and saw the train that just came, opening it’s doors, going my opposite way-

and everyday, a straggler or two has to run for

the train heading downtown at 7:34-

She saw the grand silver snake hissing, about to head out,

she had parked her red Vespa 3 blocks away, but was still 2 blocks out.

She turned on the jets – hair and backpack bouncing around,

It was her for whom the train bells tolled, and as that infamous sound

rang, she became Usain Bolt in a jean jacket and bangs-

darting across the street with wreckless abandon,

she had to catch this train, no ‘buts,’ ‘ifs,’ or, ‘ands.’

“She’s so close!”, I was (secretly) cheering for her now,

watching to see if she caught her train as I walked down

the very same street she ran past, knowing that feeling so well-

trying to catch a train, hoping it doesn’t glide past.

She made it to the steps of the Metra Station platform,

halfway up, hustling, this is what she ran for,

I’m on the edge of my seat, but I’m actually walking, to the station’s other side,

crossing my fingers, hoping that she’ll make it,

And then the doors close.

I see it before she does, and as she rounds the last set of stairs, my heart sinks.

She stops running, and walks the rest of the way up – breathless, defeated, and probably late for work.

Half a flight of stairs and 10 feet of train platform is all that made the difference-

A fateful little stretch of distance is why the woman with the red vespa missed her train,

despite her unwavering persistence. -RSM

10,594

Our own lives don’t seem THAT long, to us, anyway,

until you quantify your living time different ways,

instead of 29 years and 24 hours,

that 5-digit-long title is my age, in days.

We measure long stretches in years, Earth revolutions,

but how much different would it be, how confusing,

to measure our age in Earth rotations,

adding 1 every day, through all our trials and tribulations?

“New day, new me!” Not a bad way to think

as we wait to turn 7,665 to have our first legal drink

and then later on when you hit 11,000

it’s all about marriage and babies and houses.

And before you know it, your youngest just turned 700,

and 36,500 is a celebrated summit.

Time can play us hard with so many tricks,

it’s easy to forget that its all measuring sticks,

An illusive quantifier that compares and contrasts

the duration of all things that have ever come to pass.

So as long as time rules, and charts up our existence

I don’t mind undermining it’s norms and pretenses;

I’ll keep the whole ‘new day, new me’ thing in mind,

cuz tomorrow I’ll be 10,595. – RSM

Life is just screens

I, apologize in advance,

For, the health of your eyes and your hands,

Thumbs, are busy, they’re doing their dance,

On the dancefloor of our touchscreens, and,

The river of time has eroded the borders

when it wasn’t social, it wasn’t normal

to just stare at multiple screens everyday

with a record of what I type-browse-do-or-say!

Life is just screens, and digital records,

with so much detail, it just leaves me breathless.

Smart home assistants are listening in

and so is your phone, so sophisticat-ed.

Radio signals, LED lights,

gentrifying the air every night,

I don’t resist it, just keep in mind

the way that humans keep bending space and time.

Our bodies react, pupils retract,

Whatever you post on the internet, you can’t take back.

Convenient and fast,

built to cost you money, but never to last.

“Nowadays, tech is so great! World at our fingertips,”

or so they’re saying.

But upgrade your knowledge and just keep your guard up,

And don’t substitute something else for your brain. – RSM

Buzzer Beater

Running, running, running,

half a block down, I hear the train rumble through headphones blaring,

scaring, whizzing by old ladies, taking their grandkids to school,

my own backpack clapping against my spine as I fly down the hill,

up the stairs, MetroCard in hand, swipe it at the turnstyle,

turn a hard 90 degrees, I hear through the breeze rustling nearby trees:

“This is a Manhattan bound 2 train, the next stop is-”

jumping upstairs 2 by 2 with toward the 2 train the 2 doors closing I reach the platform,

and race for the doorway, like my feet haven’t met enough of the floor today.

Ding-doong. Already warned to stand clear, I throw my body into the open space, and just

barely beat the closing doors, as they seal shut on the first try, and into the sunrise and

working day, the barely open eyes of mine and fellow train passengers ride. -RSM

Fall Back, Spring Forward

So the time for rhyme has climbed through the grime

of despair and clarity has shone through the calamity,

singing and dancing along the streets and the beach

means Summer’s on the way and it’s here to stay, but

a personal war cannot be forgotten, a powerful enemy

slain and put in chains, making every blooming flower

a sweet reminder of a personal victory so fervently fought for.

What a horrible Fall, only to Spring back up after a long hibernation.

All is in order and the horizon has no sign of the sun setting, or letting

the demons of Autumn return to rule so unrighteously.

Frightful were those times, but they have since passed, and although left us weary,

leads me to heavily believe in the fruits of slingshot theory:

Hard times don’t mean the world is done,

couldn’t be further from the truth;

Hard times may hold you back for a time,

Only to spring you forward, into the sky, through the roof.

What Music Does To Me

A light string strummed on a cold day,

A percussive mastermind strikes

while sitting on the hard pavement.

A playlist on Spotify sets the tone

for the rest of the time that passes along

before the sun sets and the moon plays her song.

 

A band on stage captivates the crowd

as the young women flock to the forefront.

Moshers behind them let out their aggression

while the sound guy takes a drink to forget past transgressions.

A million minds in their own little world

as music activates their soul’s ear.

 

I sing, I dance, I play some myself

whenever I feel that time allows.

I yearn to float like a rain cloud that pours

so when I feel the music vibrating my bones

I spill my heart out on the people below.

When they feel my rain drops they will know

what music does to me.