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For my sketches project, I asked friends to give me material for inspiration. The following poem was one of the responses and I adapted in the best I could into piano form. The space between my bones and the air feels too big In this speculum there are only shards of shame to pierce me and to compress me Until I can fit the mold of perfection With each failure I can feel the whirlpool churning me up and spitting me back into its grave In this casket I will be filled with the balm of perfection To decrease the difference between me and that unattainable god Drinking life and purging sustenance to keep running away and to become the master of failure, until I can control my own flesh In my vortex of thoughts all that are left are dismembered memories of those battles I’ve waged And never won I have sacrificed my organs and veins to the gods above for achievement And still can never win This stalemate for perfection has left my skin rubbed raw with obsession Scrubbing away the blemishes that go as deep as my numerous sins The scars etched in my mind no longer leave any terrain whole My temple demolished in my quest for flawlessness And these lifelines in my palms are fading too fast for me to bring back my heart I’m trapped in a prison of desperation Of escaping from failure but into the fire of evolutionary relentless times I am bound by serrated bindings of always trying to be better, to be the best For the sake of my hell I am evaporating for wisdom So that my fortune can bring me back to my cavern of dead dreams waterlogged with failure I am tired Of praying to the enlightened And hoping for brilliance And shaving off life to make me more clever I am too flawed to please this jury of mirrors And I am exhausted from running into the looking glass and seeing too much and yet not enough I have put labels on happiness and deemed them unimportant Chosen discipline as my scythe to carve out my smile This shroud I have decided upon is my emaciated love Devoid of imagination for the cruel shape of perfection High expectations have created a ladder that extends past the limits of the universe And too many rungs are broken for me to claw my way up And I’m too afraid of the fall that would shatter the safety of at least being above the sea of despair I am clinging to splinters and twigs of ideal If only I could scald away the fear of mediocrity Expunge the masochist and assuage the fragments that might lead to happiness From before the paralysiss of not being good enough rooted me, Deer in the headlights, Frozen in the icy pursuit of perfection.