I Started Looking In The Mirror Less

A few years ago I would remain in the eye of my own gaze,

With my ego tugging on my mind, saying “Look again! Just make sure.”

So every vein of opportunity to be so vain

I looked in the mirror, a lot, and complained, and made changes

until my appearance in reality and my mind was the same.

 

Exhaustingly unscrupulous, taking sooo many selfies,

compulsive on my pursuit of perfection, so ruthless,

I was never truly happy and knew this wasn’t healthy.

I pass a window that reflects and have to slow down, stop and check

if my collar looks weird on my neck, or if my pants look tight, or too loose.

Hopefully there’s nothing on my face that shouldn’t be,

so I take quick picture to see something my eyes couldn’t see.

 

Enough was enough, one day I decided to delete my Instagram

and to not hold my looks so high above all else, I took a big step

and I started looking in the mirror less. I didn’t get any uglier,

I let my hair grow and it didn’t look any funnier.

I could tell when I felt bummier and my nose felt runnier.

I didn’t need a constant reflection of my image to reflect on the fact

that narcissism is a good-looking way to constantly self-attack.

 

Perfectionism stems from insecure origins,

like a good catholic who feels like they’re full of sin

or a parent who shuns their child’s success,

and then the child feels like they’ll never win.

The mirror was my best enemy, my fakest friend,

my physical editor which never liked the ideas I pitched.

 

I started looking in the mirror less and less,

until a whole day would pass as I would pass by

windows that reflect, mirrored walls,

and even neglect the looking glass outside of bathroom stalls,

And to my surprise, I didn’t look grotesque or wrong

as I came home singing one of my favorite songs:

 

“Vanity, stands naked at my door…”

I sang as I saw the mirror in my room;

an old friend greets me with a smile.

 

He looks happier than before, I haven’t seen him in a while.

He’s better off, just like me, for leaving vanity outside.

 

 

Rain Hails And Love Reigns

The rain hails in figurative and literal terms,

a kamikaze attack in the billions, as the streets get cloud bombed

and all the birds take a break from singing their love songs,

Lovers-no-more wonder where they went wrong,

Seeing only through their rear view mirror,

and their most recent turn, instead of the road ahead.

 

As the rain falls, so do the lights,

and lovers find themselves in each other’s arms

while getting lost in each other’s eyes.

The rain only hails to lovers on its way to the stage,

playing a consistent, smooth tone during its performance.

 

No matter how deep, how wondrous, how intense,

the rain gently caresses the ears of listeners,

sending emotion through the air with every drop.

All who hear and see the sky so grey and unclear

perceive the feelings of raindrops as they do:

 

The stillness of peace, a gentle sadness,

a melancholy holiday, ruined by a dark cloud’s madness.

Emotional wifi, these raindrops are.

 

With each seemingly insignificant stream of precipiation,

we are connected to nature, and feel our moods accented

as goosebumps rise on our skin, and a feeling of cool wetness settles

the water from above refracts our feelings

not unlike a glass of water, or a pond below refracts light.

 

Lovers can’t be starcrossed with dark clouds in the sky.

Real love has the patience to see the storm through. – RSM

Life and Times

Much has changed since the times of over-sized clothing,

A style choice now I look back at with loathing.

Experiences chosen when I choose to reminisce vary,

some bad, but most good, a few are just scary.

 

It’s really those strange nights I can’t recall

that make me wonder how it ended, and what started it all.

Boys will be boys and kids will be kids,

and teens will be teens and everything in between

and everyone loves to think about those times

and then whines, like “Why are those good times gone?”

It’s because good times that never end are only found in happy songs.

 

Age is the universal oxymoron,

the only thing that makes the young want to be older,

the old want to be younger, everyone in between

feeling as if they’re already at either extreme.

 

I take my age as it comes, in years, and in all 26 and 3 months of mine

I’ve learned very much and forgotten even more,

but experience is what kept me yearning to learn more,

correct mistakes, and instead of drown in sorrow,

to make my own life great.

 

So as time treads on, unrelenting by the minute,

I’m grateful for all that I see before me.

For all that life has given me in this time,

I’ve gained happiness from it,

although not void of sadness and despair, far from it.

 

Your life is in your hands, as well as in your eyes,

See it and handle it as you like.

I prefer to describe my life and times in rhyme,

just as beautiful as the sunrise, this life of mine. – RSM

Ambitious Anxiety

It is in the light that we wish to stand,

urges suppressed, trying to keep our bad memories purged and repressed.

Speaking like a politician on Election Day,

nervous like hell but praying it’ll all be okay.

 

It is in the light we wish to shine, and make our lives brighter,

illuminate those around us, be a smile to see with happiness to reflect.

Some shudder at the thought that some days we forget,

and hope to never be the perpetrator of neglect.

It is in darkness we feel guilt, shame, sadness,

as we throw darts at the bullseye over our own faces,

little do we know this bullseye is spinning in our minds

like a hurricane and those darts are missiles being dropped

on our emotions and self-esteem by our own conscience.

In darkness we try to forget by remembering

that 1 time out of 100 we made a noticeable mistake,

and mark that as a the beginning of the end, our fall from grace.

 

When our time to shine comes about, anxiety can surprise us.

Our mind does a search of “How many ways can this go wrong?”

faster and more thorough than Google ever could.

A side effect of success and progress can be high stress.

A mind on edge thinks everything is an all-or-nothing test.

 

Remember why you’re here,

learn to love the way it looks when you see yourself,

and the way it sounds when your own voice meets your ears.

“You have a right to be here,” as Max Ehrmann confirmed.

Don’t think of life as ‘Win or Lose,’

because no matter what happens, you live and you learn.

Who Am I? – Poem from 2010

I found this poem while going through an old notebook from college. I wrote it when I was 20 years old as a junior at St. John’s University. I intended it to be a spoken word piece, but never performed it. It’s interesting to look back at it now, over 5 years later from 2010, a time when my identity was forming in many different ways.

Who Am I? – by Ruben Muniz

I am who I am, I am who I was, and I am who I will be.

I am my family, my friends, and all my associations.

I am who I am! Do you need a further explanation?

There’s more to me than the eye can see.

I am who I am, nothing more, nothing less,

and who I am is me.

 

I am my family.

My family comes from Puerto Rico, so I must be Puerto Rican,

But I’m from New York, so I guess I’m Nuyorican,

But when I’m outside the country I’m Ame-rican.

American, if you will, born and raised in the USA.

Puerto Rico is under the US’ flag, so I guess I’m American either way.

 

But what is “American?”

Does anyone even know?

Puerto Rican is a mix of Spanish, African and Taino,

Among a dozen other nationalities brought together

by war and political irrationality.

Question: does nationality make personality,

or is it merely a formality?

I prefer the latter to the former, others disagree not so discreetly.

No matter how I put it, if I say it harshly or sweetly:

I am who I am, I am who I was, and I am who I will be.

 

I am who I am, nothing more, nothing less,

and who I am is me.

 

I am my friends.

I am the kids who I grew up with;

Many of them have become the young adults that are my friends today.

I associate myself with good people, so when people ask about my friends

I have no bad things to say.

This doesn’t go without exception, and it all really depends on perception.

Is she doing well? Is he a bad person?

Which actions improve the reputation of someone?

Which actions cause it to worsen?

 

Nonetheless, I am the kids from my block.

I’m the kids from my high school, both the nerds and the jocks,

I’m the young adults from my college, in New York and Europe alike.

I enjoy time with new friends, even more so with old friends,

but my best friends are my life.

I am who I am, I am who I was, and I am who I will be.

 

I am who I am, nothing more, nothing less,

and who I am is me.

 

I am my associations.

I am a New Yorker, I am a Bronxite.

I am the apartment building I lived in my whole life.

I’m a high school graduate who goes to college at St. John’s

I’m a brother to my sister, nephew to my uncle,

cousin to my cousin, and a son to my mom.

 

I used to work at Key Food on my block,

and at Cold Stone in Times Square.

To a few girls, I am an ex-boyfriend…

but I’m not even gonna go there.

To some I’m good, to some I’m bad,

to some I’m happy, to some I’m sad.

Right now I’m my dad’s son,

One day I’ll be my son’s dad.

 

I am me by association.

Whether it’s a person, a thing,

my home, or ancestral nation,

I am who I am, I am who I was, and I am who I will be.

 

I am who I am, nothing more, nothing less,

and who I am is me. So who am I?

 

To you, that depends on who you are,

and how you see me.  – RSM circa 2010