Peace Labor May

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‌As long as you are unhappy, you will keep on buying. You are never pretty enough. You are never strong enough. You are never confident enough. You are and never will be, enough. Desire! Desire for more! Buy to beautify, buy to strengthen, buy to fake, buy to lie to yourself – I am more beautiful, I am stronger, I feel more confident. It lasts a second, a minute, a day, or even a few. You are enough, but for a moment so brief, you barely notice. Then start the chase again – there is always, always, something to improve, beautify, fake, resize, optimize. You pour your creative drive, your life's energy into the chase – there, there, behind the corner, that ephemeral dream of happiness, fulfilment, that illusion of feeling whole, complete, enough! But you will never be enough. You are not created to be enough. You are shaped needy, always hungry, for food, love, affection, recognition. I am human and therefore I need! I starve, I suffer, I bleed need! Give me! The pleading child in you forever cries for attention it had not been given, when it needed it the most. And so you are stuck in the forever chase of buying promises of happiness, knick knacks of confidence, souvenirs of strength. As long as you need, the capitalist is satisfied. He, just like you, always needs, always craves, expands, until his very own vastness suffocates him, and you, and all of us. There is no winner in the capitalist chase. No end goal, no paradise, no rest at the end of the long road. Only, the ever-changing dream, the cloudy vision of the non existent victory, and the poisonous reinvention of one pervasive need after another.

When sadness encompasses you What do you do? When emptiness is all what's left How beautiful are you? When darkness nearing is closing in How often do you pray? When madness dances round your head What is it that you say? The ends Beginnings Chaos stop When nothingness prevails When hopefulness A cruel joke remembers To exhale. There is no mask No blanket thick Enough to hide from you That time has come To see the world Without the glasses blue. Forget to breathe There's no release To fight it is to live For revolution stand alone And see the people cease To be another To be alone To be away from you The people are And always will Be you and in them is The secret The unveiled truth The past, the future Now! Never alone Never behind March, march With me And my people's song!

I am sweet And I am ruthless I am kind And I am cruel In my veins Runs some amok I sprint there And I sleep walk I am mercy And I am justice I am vengeance Ghost of shame I am human And a monster There is beauty And there is guilt. I am tired And ecstatic I ride waves Of dopamine. I am manic And pragmatic I learn history And recite pain. You, too, comrade Contradictions full of Human nature Or some other shit. Not to calm down Not to settle Calls within us Something else Not greed, not fame Not money, nor gain Deep inside here Calls us out.

As I am revising my views on dialectics, as I am pondering upon my understanding of communism, I notice my limitations, I notice my reductions – I still strive for constants, I still cannot fathom the vast complexity, I want to make it smaller and easier to process. The solution is obvious – time. I, like most, need time to process, I cannot jump to the fullest possible understanding of communism right away, I cannot force my mind to skip all the necessary parts of this intricate process of dissecting the whole into its parts, again and again, until each particle is small enough to be examined under a microscope. And then, assemple it back again, put it back together, to see that the whole is always bigger than the sum of its parts, somehow. I often, too often skimp, penny pinch my time; faster, faster, screams my wounded inner child; we need to do it faster, that's how we prove we are capable, that's how we prove we are smart!.. And I see, again and again, that faster just plain and simple doesn't work – I jump to conclusions, I feverishly paint with the largest brush available, and I stumble, and I falter, and I make unnecessary overgeneralizations, and I simplify to the point of reduction. And I say, “Darn! I did it again! Too soon, too soon! I should have given myself the time, I should have!..” And yet again, I will stumble, I will rush, I will end up in a convoluted mess of half-heartedly conceived ideas, of half-processed truths and fully formed misgivings. So, why do I relate this to you today, this simple narrative, that can be reflected in one universal axiom – take your time, don't rush into conclusions? Well, as usual, I do not wish upon anyone the slight I have endured myself; I wish sincerely, to spare you this small grievance – please, my dear comrade, do not walk this unsteady path of wanting it all, and wanting it now. True knowledge, true understanding, WILL come, but you have to foster it, create favourable conditions, nurture it, and be patient. How boring, scream my insides, how banal! But, alas, tis the truth, nurture it, let the quantity expand into quality, or keep to the painful pattern of soaring high, and falling low.

Why don't people like you?

Oh, yes, give me all your assumptions, your stereotypes, your opinions which you have formed in five seconds. Oh, wait, don't. I am interested in human interaction, not in useless banter, not in “I have a right to spew nonsense”. I don't give people “opinions” on them. Because I don't have opinions of them, usually. Because I haven't received enough data on them. And if I do happen to start thinking something about a person – it is often trauma speaking. Trauma loves to rely on stereotypes. Trauma is amazing at insulting everyone and everything. Trauma voice learns to protect you – but in ways that consider no one else, but you. And you know what kind of protection this is? Maladaptive. You feel further away from others when you are surrounded by stereotypes, when you have a label for everyone who ever crosses your path. You may feel separated, alone, frustrated – you, a complex human being, encircled by paper people, all of their steps predictable by your all-knowing brain. Oh, wait, they do something out of character? Now you are even more frustrated, bewildered: why, why are people not like you? Why don't people like you? Well, perhaps, you have to start examining the evidence. The easiest is to start with oneself. What do you know about yourself? Where does this information come from? Childhood, adolescence? Who shaped your perception of yourself? What scared you before? What scares you now? If you honestly partake in the process of learning yourself, slowly, very slowly, you will begin to see how the tangle of incomprehensible bits and pieces unravel – and perhaps, one day, you'll see with the eyes less clouded. It is a ton of work, though, and you have to engage in honest analysis of oneself. It is much easier to keep spewing nonsense at strangers, it is easier to keep your narrow definition of everything. But don't be surprised if loneliness knocks at your door. Don't be surprised to be wrong. Don't be surprised to be disliked. Or, maybe, try learning?.. Learning the complexity of the world, all the intricate nuance of the ever-changing, always evolving living beings, that cannot be sliced thinly enough to examine them closely enough. Understand that to understand the human world, you have to let it be, outside of yourself, outside of the universe that has formed in your childhood, that was meant to be easy to digest and predictable. Understand that to accept other human beings, you have to accept them whole – and see that their whole are inseparably intertwined with the complexities of the world around them. You cannot untangle the mystery of humans, of the world, but you can become one with them – by seeing that you, yourself, are a product of so many little incidents, so many coincidents, so many chances have met in your being alone. And in this complexity a paradox arises – the more you see the nuance, the more you see the simplicity. The unity, the wholeness that has always been there, not some ominous spirit, or an indifferent energy, but the collection of the myriad of molecules, always moving, always rearranging themselves; and in this dance of microparticles, we are all stuck, alone and together, so complex, yet so simple. Connect with yourself, honestly ask yourself, and give an honest answer. And in this honesty you'll see, most likely, surprisingly, a lack of violence, a lack of desire to control and manipulate, and an ability to adapt, change, together with the tides of the waves of history – let yourself, firmly, but gently, be moved, and move them yourself – the movement is never yours alone, but ours. In our collective stirring, we humans, have performed amazing feats of wisdom, courage, innovation, we have changed, and changed the world around us. But before we all see the unity of our opposites, before we all acknowledge that our only constant is change, we will forever separate, forever vibrate in a rhyme that is distractive, to ourselves, first and foremost.

Desensitization... Of sleep precious Deprivation Fragmented identify Ego weak Pieces of imagination. Starving Impoverished Rise, my generation. Who are you, child? What are you? Where are you? When are you? Why are you? Peace, peace, child No need for complications We'll buy you...a thing, child To soothe your sick damnation. Sleep, sleep, child In your dream there is no Provocation. I'll sing to you, my child And you'll forget The pain of the nations.

Militant altruism

When I first heard the phrase “militant altruism”, I felt averse to the thought of “forcing” one’s kindness upon others. I envisioned bossy plump ladies grinning manically, as they fed you soul food and preached resilience, asserting their suffocating warmth upon your weakling ass. I saw their gleaming eyes, frenzied with utmost concern and care; I heard judgment in every word, every breath effusing out of their powdered pores; I could see that to them, anything was fixable, anything could be remedied with cake, and after you’ve cried your share, you are supposed to get off your lazy ass and do something for others.

And I realized, as time went on, that I was projecting my own mistreatment and trauma onto the walls of the proverbial cave – the pain of the scared child, ripping its soul out, so afraid of the same thing happening to her again. And I realized that just because the scary bossy ladies do exist, it is no guarantee I am to become one; it is no promise or prophecy of kindness always reeking of aimless sacrifice, always profoundly painful and stoically psychotic.

And in my slow trauma processing, it dawned on me, finally, that true kindness and humanity ARE NOT judgmental. That kindness and humanity WILL NOT be forceful. That it DOESN’T have to hurt to receive or give kindness. That there is no shame, no hidden agenda; that I do not have to play hide-and-seek with myself and others to experience human compassion. That in my recovery I DO NOT have to trample another; NO ONE has to suffer for another’s sake.

Do you hear me? Do you hear me, my little child, my little forgotten baby?.. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO SUFFER. Kindness is not suffering. Kindness is not sacrifice. Kindness doesn’t hurt. Those are all lies a deeply wounded child’s mind can invent for self-protection. Those lies are told by traumatized who cannot free themselves from the nets of the past suffering. Those are lies!

Kindness feels good. It feels so freaking good to see other people’s faces radiate with joy. It feels so freaking good to hear pleasure in another’s voice. It makes you want more of it. You feel so full, your heart feels like it’s bursting with joy.

Kindness is never scary. It is never cruel. It doesn’t hurt you to “spare” you worse pain. Kindness is never demanding. It is never violent.

The only violence of kindness is its never-failing ability to prevail. The violence of kindness is in its avalanche of unstoppable waves of possibilities. Kindness has born humans. Kindness has made us who we are. And it is not exclusive to our species, either.

And I am no longer afraid of my own kindness. I am no longer afraid to shed my protective layers of cruelty, insecurity, pain endured alone, fiery vengeance, and cold-hearted malice. I am willing to display my vulnerable human core that is filled to the brim with kindness.

And one day, you and I, my comrade, my solace, we will join hands in our soulful wish to share the kindness with another. And we’ll illuminate the world, as the new dawn will approach us, the dawn of human, the dawn of compassion, the dawn of communism.

The Fox Woman

Beauty… Is it bright red lipstick? Is it shiny sparkles on your cheekbones? Is it a flawless complexion?

Are your lips full enough? What is the shape of your nose? How wrinkly are your under eyes?

Are you tan enough? Are you pale enough? How much do you weigh? What is the perfect ratio of your hips to your waist?

How profitable is your body? How much for your hair? Your smile?

Do you walk like a dreamy illusion follows behind you? Do you have a spring in your step? Are you smiling? Is the arch of your neck visible when you flip your hair?

How lustrous are your teeth? How perfectly moist, but not too wet, is the parting of your lips before you round your “O’s”?

How trim, how slim?.. How well, how effortless?.. You, you, the pinnacle of femininity, the oracle of fertility, the dream, the prize, even the simplest smile of yours will suffice…

Suffice to bring the knights on their knees. Trembling, they will be willing to die, for you, the ultimate prize.

But what is it? What cloud dares engloom your radiance? What has stricken your face with dismay?

Oh, you... You are just human, aren't you? You cannot keep up the spectacle for long, can you? You have to sleep, to rest, to cry ugly tears, to wash off the dust of your body as a mere mortal; you are a mere mortal!

How could have one mistaken you for a goddess? You are just an earthly scum! You breathe foul air; you consume, sink your pearly whites into the flesh of another; you produce waste!

How dare you pretend to be a woman? A woman is sacred! An image of her is forever engraved into the heart and mind of any worthy man! He can recognize her anywhere, anytime! And you…you are a fake! A pathetic imitation of the holy image!

The woman’s body is not her own. Never. It is a vessel, it is a home. To many, but not to her. She is blessed, she is revered. But only if… only if.

Only if she dares not to pretend to be another. Only if not she imagines a will of her own. Only if not she envisions her life for herself. Only then she is sacred. Only then she is true.

And if not, she is a fraud! She is not a woman, but a delusion, a madman’s delusion! She is the fox, the liar, the ruin of man! Beware of the fox-woman, the creature who has chosen her way instead of the reverie of true femininity!

A true woman is alive through the man’s will, man’s power, man’s mercy. Not a woman like you. A woman like you is a desecration to the man’s senses. Damn be, the fox-woman!

Damn be your willful ways! You claim, you dare to speak, of words like, freedom and words like desire. How brazen, unthinkable! You are not to have desires of your own, and freedom? What do you need that for? What are you going to do with it?.. You get plenty of leisure time! You get to partake in you little feminine “activities”. What will you do with freedom?

Freedom is the forte of men. Men have fought, for thousands of years, for freedom; freedom to bear responsibility, for you, the woman, and for your children. And now, you, you, for whom millions of men had perished, you want your own freedom?!

The fox-woman knows no respect or regard for the sacrifice of the past. She cares of her own selfish comfort alone. We need to restrain her, for she knows not what she dares to dream.

Put the yoke of womanhood back on the lazy's back. She needs to remember her pain, her original pain, with no silly comforts of modernity. Give it to her as she deserves it. No pity for the fox-woman.

The Rich…

Golden toilets?.. Bentleys, Hammers?.. Servants, mistresses? Chandeliers?..

What is rich? Is it a million? Is it a yacht? Haute couture perfume on your Chihuahua?

Cruises, the Maldives? Nanny for the children? Expensive boat lessons? Silly ball dresses?

What is opulence? What is affluence? How much is too much? Who will be the judge?

I have pondered the rich. I have examined the evidence. Here is my report:

Rich is not how much.

Rich is how little another has.

Rich is how much you can force

Another to serve you the most.

Rich is not just luxury

Rich is who cleans your loo.

Rich is who bows down to you

Rich is about power, not the debut

On the red carpet.

Rich is comparison. Rich is contrast. Whose driver is the most literate? Whose dogs eat the most caviar?

Nouveau riche is eeww. Who feeds the dogs caviar? How tasteless! Not the caviar, it’s pretty salty. What the Maldives? So tacky!

The cabin in the mountains, château in the Swiss Alps. Healthy children, healthy boundaries. Piano and cello, lessons at five. Biscotti for the tutor, he likes his tea mild.

What is status? How much does it cost? Can you buy it in installments? Do stocks count?

Does rich make you happy? Do you cry in Swarovski? Is your loneliness broken by a healthy dose of Moet?

Do you defecate diamonds? Does your skin feel the breathing, of the thousands toiling, so you can tan without fear?

Does the silk of your pillow ever whispers the hexes of the spinning and weaving, tales of poor and of woe?

Do you cry in your bathtub over the fate of your children? Do you ponder the afterlife? What'd you pay to the priest?

I have given enough of my time to the rich. I am deluded no more by the silly sales pitch.

I have covered sufficiently the capitalist lies. No more dreaming abysmally of the profits to rise.

Join forces with fellow men, your comrades and mine. Don't believe dem stupid lies of the rich being fine.

Everything changes, constantly, continuously, nothing is ever the same. For much of my life I longed to be solid, constant, a monument to virtues, to intellect, to sameness. I denied my fluidity, and therefore, humanity. Somewhere deep within, I yearned to be a robot, predictable, every step calculated. I wished to understand, to decipher the mystery of life, to reach conclusion, solid ground, utmost meaning of things.

I failed to see that this rigidity has grown out of fear, some of which I can explain, get to the roots of, and some – can't. I longed so to be good. To win the game of life, the game where rules are perceivable, intelligible, tangible almost. At that stage of my journey, I was frozen, not only by fear, but by prejudice. I had to follow the path of the “good”, and it must have been clear, must have been fathomable by my human mind alone.

As I suffocated myself in the corsets of ever-emerging rules, I have grown so stiff, so immobile, that the slightest touch of the unpredictable, the unknown, the soft and human, had me shiver in the agony of both bitterness and fury. What silly nonsense is soft, and spontaneous, and unapologetic for its existence?! I had to crush it. I had to will it out of existence. I had to desire hard enough so it disappears, utterly disintegrates, vanishes, for it failed to comply with my rules, my wholesome view of the world, my perfect universe. And as I silently screamed all of the undesirable “isms” out of existence, I slowly started disintegrating myself. I felt like a sandcastle, washed away slowly by the incoming waves. My rigid sand particles, solid and sturdy, gave in to the unpredictable movements of the water.

I was so afraid to swim. I was terrified into devastation. How, how can one float, how can one give in, and just “be”? This is imperceivable nonsense! You cannot just be! You have to build, to fight, to clench, to suffer, to drip blood of your human self-sacrifice onto the altar of perfection, the slate of the unmerciful Virtue; you must carve yourself anew, and emerge, a stone monolith, of goodness, and peace, and all human passions overrun, dead!

As I denied my watery descend into the vast ocean of the unknown, of human, I clasped at my sand and shrieked to be left alone. My descend was not graceful. As I shakingly clinged to my obsessive desire to control and stifle, I happened, in my frenzy, to look upon the reflection of my countenance in the water. A bewildered, utterly lost, devastated with grief, contorted in agony, face stared at me, and the delusion in the frightfully bright eyes has struck me, and from the deepest cave of my subconscious, where I buried my humanity, something stirred...

And now I float on the water of humanity on my raft made of the shuttered delusions of childhood trauma, neurodivergent sensitivity and hope for rescue. I float, my body taut with anxieties of the past, afraid to let go of the rules (leave me at least a few!..), still dizzy from the frenzy of disattachment from the shore. But as I float further and further away from that shore, I see the shapes of it dissolve, as a mirage of my pretend safety and predictability dissipates, and the emptiness of the ever-lasting ocean surrounding me enclasps me. And as I stare fretfully at the smooth expanse of the primordial ocean, as I search, in vain, for solidity of safe shores, I glimpse, occasionally at the surface of the water beneath. And what catches my eye, and holds my bedraggled brain's attention more and more are the glimmers, the reflections, the shapes that emerge and disappear before you know it. And in these shapes, more and more often, I begin to notice, the ones resembling my own.