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He first saw the flyer on the pavement on the train station just as he was about to board the train. It was a strewn piece of paper that kept following him, given that it got stuck on the bottom of his shoe. He picked it up as the sliding door closed. “Free Your Mind With DreamShare" - We can make your dreams into a reality.

Back in the days, DreamShare was still operating in a small, back office, fronted by a flower shop. They needed to test the efficacy of the product on living subjects. So they put out these advertisements. Overnight, flyers went up on billboards of train stations. Nondescript: Wanted dreamers appeared on the classified ads and Craigslist. DreamShare was becoming the underground buzz word.

All participants were required to sign a contract, releasing the company from any responsibilities that may arise from the unpredictability of the results. Some of the side effects cited were: nose bleeds, headaches, slight memory loss, etc. The sensible candidates bolted out of the office before they even got done reading the first page of the contract. The  
ludicrousness of the claim had red flags written all over it. But the other half: the desperate volunteers; didn’t even bother to actually read the terms and agreements. Some of them have not eaten a proper meal in days. Some have sold blood for money; others have just been turned down from shelters and have turned to the backstreets to settle debts. By  the end of the applicant screenings, Dreamshare’s recruits consisted of: the homeless, runaway teenagers, the elderly, and others who refused to declare their occupation.

Jacob was there for an entirely different reason. Two months ago he lost his wife in a car crash. It was New Year’s Eve. He was the designated driver. Everybody had too much to drink. They were on their home from a friend’s party, and still buzzed from the joy of the occasion, when out of nowhere a speeding car slammed into the passenger seat as they crossed an intersection. When the ambulance reached the hospital, Jacob’s wife was pronounced dead on arrival.
 
He used to dream of her right after it happened. Little conversations they had in the bathtub would be spliced with false awakening dreams; then, transposed with scenes from her favorite films that they used to watch over and over again. The dreams felt so real. The sensations of what was happening in them felt so tangible, that when he would wake up  
from these dreams, it would take Jacob a few minutes to process and differentiate his dreams from his reality. Then the realization that he had lost his wife would dawn on him, like a fine blow to the stomach. The devastation would leave him so winded that he would spend the rest of the night crying.

All that Jacob looked forward to now were his dreams of her. By daylight he would be a zombie, walking alongside all the happy, shiny, people. At night, he would allow himself to feel. He started taking sleeping pills to induce sleep so he could come to her faster. But these attempts were hardly successful. He discovered that when he was on drugs, he would have frantic dreams, which would haphazardly turn into nightmares. It was simply best if he would just fall asleep thinking of her, and simply dream of her naturally. One night, Jacob slept but did not have one of his lucid dreams. He simply slept soundly through the night. When he woke up, he had panic attack.  

It dawned on him, that as the days pass, and he slowly start to accept the reality of things, that the feature of his dreams will recede back to his subconscious mind where the other  things are. Unaided by the strong feelings from his wife’s passing; his recollections of her would just randomly disappear into this black void. Maybe, he could still dream of her once and a while.  But as the years go by, he would find it more and more difficult to summon her back into his dreams. Until one day- that one dreadful day, he would simply stop dreaming of her.

Jacob was the very first from the test group to be injected with the nanos. They kept him in a small room that had the pungent smell of sterilization. One side of the room was set up with a long conference desk. There were multiple screens sitting on the desk, matched with various other sundries. There were these space cadet looking men, wearing identical suits and blue ties that were preoccupied with the air of calculations. In the middle of the room was a contraption that resembled a dentist chair. Jacob knew that's where he was heading. Then, a group of scientists in white lab coats came in with a tray of anomalous set of instruments. One of them was carrying a large metallic syringe.

Back then, the way it was explained to them 'guinea pigs', was that the presence of the nanos in their system was temporary. The nanos was said to have a lifespan, a preprogrammed terms of existence. The most they can stay inside of a human body would be seven days. After which, the nanos would simply deactivate. The remains then, would have to be extracted manually. Leaving the dreamer with a permanent scar on the side of his/her head. This is where the needle goes in and out.

Later on, DreamShare perfected the technology and found a way to introduce the nanos into the human body in a very simple, and effective way. And when the company went public, the media lapped it up, like it was the latest overnight pop star. By this time, the term temporary was scratched out of the literature that comes with the starter kit. Instead loaded words such as: transcend reality, the wave of the future, were brandished on the box instead.  

Used to be, DreamShare was a luxury only the rich and famous could afford. But over the years, the company smartened up and downgraded the quality of the goods and massed produced their products. Making it possible, for anybody with an allowance or a job to plug into the DreamShare network. By this time DreamShare YouTube videos, became the new thing. DreamShare hashtags on twitter shortly followed. There were reports too of how some dreamers have gone berserk. Apropos of nothing, a giant octopus would fall from the sky, interrupting the dream sequence. The dreamer would then wake up in a sudden fit. Some users have called 911, complaining of air asphyxiation, and dizziness. These were diagnosed as mild panic attacks. But these incidents, were few and far in between, and were attributed to a small fraction of dissatisfied customers. Anti-DreamShare groups were dubbed as DreamHaters- boring people who preferred reality to dreaming.

It took about 25 minutes for the nanos to broadcast the very first dream images. They had to inject Jacob with a sedative first before they could inject the nanos. The drugs took effect right away. But they had to wait a little bit longer for Jacob to reach REM. state. When the first dream sequence went live, the room of scientists and mad men burst into an applause. Years and years of research, hypothesizing, and funding finally came into fruition.

When Jacob woke up, he had a splitting headache. He also had double vision and a curious feeling in his stomach.  He was informed that he had been sleeping for three days, his vitals were perfectly normal, and that everything went as smooth as butter. He was given a compact disc, an envelope containing his check, and a release form that he needed to sign. What they didn’t tell Jacob was that the nano extraction was unsuccessful. The scientists concluded that it was best to leave the nanos in his brain for good, after Jacob had two close calls.

The same evening, Jacob went home to his apartment, still slightly dizzy, and disoriented. His body was craving to crawl into bed, but he fought the urge. He went to his desk instead, and sat nervously in his chair, and turned on his computer. His left hand had to stop his right hand from shaking so he could put in the CD. Once, he has composed  
himself, he pressed play. Him and Helena, with a little one playing in his childhood backyard was the first thing that came into his screen. He realized then, what DreamShare had done. Not only had they taken the vision of his physical dreams, but the nanos have also extracted the  yearnings of his mind and heart.

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That was the summer the fireflies invaded our lives, talking in a secret language that only they understood. Puddles of footsteps reigned in the street. Boys wet with rain, drenched with the sharp smell of gasoline and dreams piled on the corner of the street shooting marbles.


With summer came the expectation of change. Girls arrayed in delicate dresses paraded in our street, going nowhere in particular. They were simply testing the fit of their new virtue.


There were secrets too that died in the sealed lips of the culprits framed inside the black and white photograph that sat on the table in my living room.


A jigsaw puzzle bitten to pieces caused my room to ignite. Before going to bed, I would gaze at the exquisite night sky and watch as thousands of tiny dark spots formed in the shape of a woman sitting on the moon. Wide awake with the suspicion that things would always be too big for me to grasp. I found my sadness that night. Whenever I tried to speak, untrained syllables flapped like a dead fish in my mouth.


The fireflies left the following week. One kid in my neighborhood spotted them going East. We hadn’t packed our bags yet, hadn’t bought our tickets. Their betrayal left a fire inside of my belly that burned a hole on the map of my childhood.


We still played in the vacant parking lots, in our plain clothes. Without the possibilities of getting out, we embraced our new freedom and the wilderness of our local colors; we exchanged heartaches with just one glance. The kaleidoscope of sounds we uttered which sounded foreign to an untrained ear became our advantage.


I still think of that one afternoon; the yellow sun glistening on our skin, the feeling of confetti in the air like we had been chosen to do something great, silently been given a confirmation that we were secretly special.


But I guess they changed their minds. If only I had caught one.
I blame it on the fireflies.


 


 


 


 

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by mushr
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It was the first week of September,
we mapped our childhood by the sunburns
that peeled off of our skin.


A pair of Dr Martens & tattered jeans
anointed the cool kids.
While we sat in the back
and pretended that we didn't care.
At the back of our minds,
still wondering why
our parents didn't give us better lives.


I couldn't quite look at you,
as you fought back tears.
I swallowed the lump in my throat
and the mishap of being born.


Your friend misspelled
my name on the back of my shirt.
All year long, I had to cover it with tape.


I wish somebody had told me,
that these were the good times,
the happy aches, the baby bumps
onto our better selves.
Maybe, it wouldn’t have left
a permanent scar.


We learned a lot of things that year.
My lack of coumaflaging skills,
you wanderlust, and taste for better things.


One morning I discovered I could write,
my dreams on a cheap paperbag,
and let the wind carry it
out of the orbit of our lives.


We buried our vague disgrace
under the criss-cross
of your shoelaces.
And blamed our aches
and fevered dreams,
the surge of the violent rage
on our sunburns.


And just like that our secret was gone.
I never saw you again.


But sometimes,
when the heat gets to my head
and I can’t think,
my ink still finds you.

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by mushr
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Cherry blossom
dressed in white,
my beautiful warrior child,
enchant me with your April dance.


My heart is dark and heavy
with sullen things.
May I request for you to sing
me hymns?


May I invite you for a picnic?
My little one, my faithful friend
I will be true to you till the end.


I know you have to go soon.
Cherry blossom of my dreams,
I will never forget you.
Your song will outlast,
our strange meeting.


Fallen cherry blossom,
You cover the world with kisses.

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by mushr
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The ink from his fingernails stained her dress,
warning her that one day their story will end.
But she could not stay away,
she could not catch her breath,
though the funeral march played in her head.


He caressed her lips in her sleep.
He wounded her mind with his exquisite lines.
Hi verses, she reversed.
She killed his lies,
when she spoke them out loud.


His deepest secrets, she betrayed.
She scaled the peak of his disgrace;
one hand becomes the knife,
the other touched his lips
as she delivered him to the stake.


She looked at him with pain in her eyes,
and uttered "but, master you have made me this way".
The author smiled before he died,
for his creature has committed the perfect crime.


 


 

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by mushr
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Jim Puffyblooms was a former seafarer, a now vagabond, semi bona fide petty thief; an everyday collector of found things others might call trash, but a little tweak here and there, a little polish on top, and some glue on that spot, and they are now as good as new salesman.


On his way home from his shady business, Jim decided to take a detour to go perusing, on the account of him being new in this town,  after having to make a quick getaway from a jam that he created after an exposed scam. He figured he would explore this new place of opportunity while he was waiting for his broken jaw to heal. Mayhaps, he could even find some ways to make a quick buck.


Jim always carried his trusty potato sack with him. This is where he would keep all his found things, discarded pieces of junk he finds here and there whenever he would go on one of his excursions. Later, like a hocus pocus magician he would transform these unwanted treasures into low quality merchandise that he would then sell in the black market.


He once managed to transform a candelabra into a golden flower vase. Another time on a whim, he followed three giant rats into a dark alley leading up to the city sewer. Just before the rats could set foot in their home, Jim grabbed them by their tails and in one fell swoop, stuffed them inside his traveling potato sack. He later, skinned them and hung them dry and then designed their hides into a fashionable old lady's purse. This one of a kind item fetched quite a sum in the market of illegal activities.


Jim put down his potato sack on the ground and ran down the hill, then hid behind the bushes for a quick piss. When he was out of sight, a little country rabbit discreetly made a beeline for his traveling potato sack; sniffing, shuffling, shopping for some food tidbits that will fit beautifully in his tummy. 


Jim spotted the intruder as he was heading back. He walked on his tiptoes as he approached and then without warning sprang on top of the potato sack. He then, tied the opening and closed it with a pair of villainous rubber bands he kept in the back pocket of his trousers.


Darkness fell on the rabbit, but defiantly, he continued to chomp on the morsel of crumbs he found as he rolled this way and that in his new place of captivity. Potato sack perched on top of his left shoulder, Jim Puffyblooms whistled as he visualized the style of hat that he will make from his latest victim. Inspiration stroked his brain and the vision of a Babushka hat made out of a rabbit’s hide flashed in his mind.  He smiled to himself while whistling and then laughed in a peculiar way.


He stopped at the village market to get a bite to eat.  In one of the eating stalls, he helped himself to a generous amount of boiled potatoes and ham. He put the potato sack next to his right leg as he sat down on a stool; making sure to tap it with his foot after every five spoonfuls of potatoes and ham.


The rabbit gnawed his way out of the potato sack during the second spoonful of potatoes and ham. He made sure just to make the tiniest of holes as to not alert his captor. He then wriggled out of the opening, squeezing his head towards the light, then his body, out of the makeshift prison. Once his feet were back on the ground, he quietly tiptoed on all fours and away he went back to the waiting arms of freedom.


On the fifth spoonful Jimmy Puffyblooms  gave the potato sack a tap, something felt different, he tapped it again with his foot. The sound made him jump, he had heard this sound before, his face turned pale. He knew exactly what it was… it was the sound of a missing rabbit. He checked his potato sack, there was a small gaping hole where the rabbit had chewed and wriggled his way out.


Jim dashed out of the eating stall and staggered into the streets. He looked everywhere for his fugitive. He looked in the trash, there was not rabbit. He looked under the carts of apples, oranges, and pears, there was no rabbit. Finally in blind anger he screamed: Abracadabra -  a colloquial curse word popular with the young‘uns  in the town where Jim Puffyblooms grew up.  In modern times  this would be the equivalent to the four letter expletive frontmaned by the letter F.


Just as he was yelling out this word he also just happened to be picking up a discarded conciliatory top hat that have flown  into the sidewalk to put into his sad potato sack of collected things. 


Much to Jim’s amazement as he lifted the top hat, concealed beneath was none other than the runaway rabbit, who was just as surprised as he was to be found. You see, the rabbit thought he was quite a clever chap and have selected the perfect hiding spot.


Nearby, there were some children who were witnessing this spectacle. They cheered and gasped and applauded with glee. One boy whispered, “It's magic!” to a wonderstruck girl. The parents of the children much delighted with this entertainment provided for their beloved offspring deposited a mountain of silver coins on the pavement in front of Jim and the rabbit. At the sound of the singing coins, Jim and the rabbit looked at each other in the eyes, man to hare and came to an instant agreement. They shook on it, and on the count of three, the two accomplices faced the crowd and took a ceremonious bow; giving birth to an impromptu con, a century later would be reclassified as the iconic magic trick.

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by mushr
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The Magician’s box arrived at precisely 10 a.m.  The UPS guys, didn’t even blink twice when you signed for it. Then together we struggled to drag that thing into your garage. Your motorcycle didn’t seem to mind the company. I on the other hand, had my first bouts of doubts now that our plans were becoming real.  But I couldn’t let my cowardice, spoil your excitement.  So I kept my nervousness to myself, and smiled at you when  you said,  ‘Let’s have breakfast first and take a bath, and then we’ll get down to business of changing  our lives’.


The magician’s box was only supposed to erase one year of our lives. That’s the deluxe package that we’ve purchased, that one that comes with a payment plan. I don’t even know whose idea was it.  But we were both frightened of what we were becoming, so we both jumped at the opportunity of getting a second chance. You wanted to erase just the bad stuff: that night you said and did things you didn’t mean, and I forgave you. We haven’t been able to look at each other in the eyes since.


We knew the risks involved. Sometimes you acquire some other people’s bad memories. When they sneak a second hand box on you, that has absorbed a lot of bad juju. These are called hostile boxes. But the one that we got is brand new.  Your friends reassured us that for the amount that we’re dishing out, we get a brand new box- top of the line, the one with the added bonus: the aural spheres. These are supposed to make you feel real good after, like you’ve been dipping in the hot springs and gazing at Mt. Fuji for hours.  According to these brochures the effects are supposed to last for weeks; way down at the bottom of pamphlet, it also says: side effects of personal lobotomy may vary depending on the individual.  


Then, you took your clothes off without any hesitation, the same way you always do. Pulling your shirt from the top of the neck hole. And then, you undid your belt while looking at me, and I knew for certain that you were ready to do this. Your pants came down like a planned accident. Your boxers, you left on the bathroom floor. Then it was my turn.


There have been rumors flying around  that sometimes the box malfunctions and  people don’t come back the same. While others say that the Magician’s box is simply a hoax, a rip off scheme that preys on the wicked and the desperate. Then, there’s that hush, hush, reports that say some have been known to get stuck in between. But we’re past that now.


You went first. Then I squeezed in. We kissed. Then, you grabbed the wooden door knob and closed the door from the inside. Your last words to me were, ‘See you on the other side babe’.  The darkness engulfed us, and sucked the daylight out of our bodies. I could hear you talking in tongues, communing with some unknown spirits.  And I could feel drafts climbing up my feet and enveloping my body.  Then, there was silence.  I am pretty sure, that neither of us moved. This couldn’t have been no more than a few minutes.  After the din died down, I took my first few breaths. Then I heard a click.


The  Magician's box has automatically opened up its door for us, and is now ready to welcome us back into a bigger, brighter future.  I hear a noise.  A fluttering.  I get excited.  I reach over to grab your hand. But it’s nowhere to be found. Then, I cup my hands to my mouth in horror,  I discover my face isn’t there.  I try to usher a shriek, but no sound comes out. And just when I was about to enter full panic mode,  I see something emerge from our box: a beautiful, yellow butterfly that looks just like you. And just before I could whisper a small goodbye. My consciousness erupts, and I wake up to a different kind of darkness.  I guess this is what they call in between.

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by mushr
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You walk like a wounded cliché
an unprecedented comma
separates you from the others.


You’re in love with the games
that you play in your mind.
In your head you play these scenes
so desperately. An imitation of
a Gondry or a Polanski.


You bathe yourself in red wine,
and transform into an Ophelia
and wonder why there is no
laughter in this room.


You heard irony is back in fashion,
so you practiced these steps,
but failed to deliver perfectly.


You smile like you are the first man
on earth to solve the apocryphal
mysteries of love,
While the light goes on with its business,
You pickpocket every last drop.


Nobody has ever been saved,
who doesn’t know the secret passage
of regrets,
these are the constellations
that greet the flesh.


And bury our memories deep
to where only each other’s hands
can find them.


 


 



~~~~~~ I kinda wrote this as lyrics, but have zero skills when it comes to music. Maybe somebody can do something with it. Cheers.

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by mushr
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This is how it happened.

Yesterday on my way to work.

I stepped on a dead toad….

Your face came/ in a flash

Unbidden memory.

An electric shock/ of sorts…

Buckley, I will never hear

your voice again. So please play

this one last. Soft, so we can hear

the men cry. You become so small.

A stamp or a xerox copy.

You/I never know when to heal.

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by mushr
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I love the chime of imperfect things,
together they pipe the symphony
of broken dreams.

Desires expressed in solitude
become tomes & zeppelins
in our mind's play.

& those hopes that never yielded feathers;
became mothers and fathers instead.
They sang secret lullabies of goodbyes;
never knowing that their children could fly.

& that teary-eyed expression on your face;
glistening like a bowl of fruits.
It tells me where you have been,
& what it took for you to get here.

So hold that look just a little bit longer,
and never be envious of Venus’
icy repose.

The Bo jingles of dimes in your pockets
is better than any rhymes.
My heart can sing to that tune any day.

So carry that music with a smile.
I’ve been waiting all of this time,
to meet you.



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by mushr
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Peter packed his photographs post permission from persnickity Albert- the fabulous, pontificating, palaverous, bossman. Peter was pleasantly surprised with the precipitous reaction of the ants once placed on the qualified quail.

Peter a former philematologist preferred to parade in a poncho when foolproofing the failsafe of his performance. Peter's picture palimpsest was picked to be proudly presented in a pageantry prepicked by Albert; to be passed accompanied with his precious, petricolous ants.  Despite the personificationless passion of the qualified quail; Peter's Panglossian proclivity prevailed.


Peter prepared for the next phase of his plan; which is the petri plating of the ants. Peter plunged the packaged ants inside the front pocket of his pants. Peter's mind was preoccupied with plans of preserving Regina's palindromes in their perfect embryonic state, that he unwittingly made a paltry mistake.

Peter's finger accidentally perturbed the rooftop of the petri plate, which promoted the pandimonium inside of the plastic ant estate. Pascal- the proby president of the perplexed ants colony assumed his partial duty & portentously pointed out to the petrified crowd the way out of Peter's pants.

Peter- the proud pupil's face turned palid in a painstaking way.Perspiring, Peter pronounced in a pragmatic style "There are ants in my pants". Pascal and his prisonmates proceeded to procession down Peter's planked legs. Procuring the picture perfect piratesque escape.


 

 

 

 


 

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by mushr
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                                                                                                                                                                        There was a man Sorrow named his friend.
Together they walked side by side.
One wore a bowler’s hat;
the other a lost man’s coat.

They traveled to every town,
passed by every hill and seaside.

From a far,
the pair almost looked complete.
Their silence almost
sounded like music.

One night, a stranger came
& took away Sorrow.

In the morning the man woke up,
& found that Sorrow had left.
He cracked his first burst of laughter.
He had meant to cry;
but laughter came instead,
and shamed him.

This made him sad.
But sadly, he couldn’t remember
the feeling of sadness,
so the hope didn’t linger.

The man spent the rest of his life
searching for Sorrow,
until he became an old man.

On his last day on Earth,
An old friend paid him a visit.
Sorrow, ever wise; knew that the time
had come for the two of them to be reunited.

At first the man didn’t recognize Sorrow.
But slowly, the old familiar feeling came back.
Sorrow embraced him,
& together they cried.

It was the happiest day of his life.

Then there was nothing more;
but Sorrow.

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by mushr
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I've been trying to do a remix of Shine for some time now; but I could never piece together the ideas in my head. They were just like scattered pieces of jigsaw puzzles. Basically, I wanted to explore the idea of shining as a form of awakening.

I have this line in my head that I would hear over and over again, " Shine, so I can see you. Shine, so I can see you". In my mind, this almost sounds like an appeal from one person to another to shine like a human beacon so they, we, you & I could find each other. I tried to write a poem about this too. It's half finished, and it's sucky, so I went back to this record instead and tried to finish what I started. This is experimental. I kinda literally dissected Channing's beautiful original Shine record. I hope that's okay:)
by mushr
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