a perfect body, a perfect soul

if you haven’t, go listen to creep by radiohead. the cover by postmodern jukebox is also particularly moving. for some reason, this song has stuck with me through the years, especially the lyric which gives this post its title

“i want a perfect body,
i want a perfect soul”

the first time i heard it, i took it (and the whole song) quite literally. i had a crush on a girl who was by all manner of definition, out of my league.

“i want you to notice,
when im not around.
you’re so very special,
i wish i was special”

to be seen, to be considered, to be validated. to desire someone is really to desire a certain kind of self. and when one encounters perceived perfection, what other option is there but hopelessness? how? how else?

“i want a perfect body,
i want a perfect soul”

“you’re just like an angel,
your skin makes me cry.”

the distinction between the physical and the spiritual has been around for ages. the greeks hated the body, and saw it as a chain that kept the spirit – the real self – tethered to pain and suffering. so when the corinthians asked paul about the resurrection, underlying their curiousity was a deep fear that the physical would follow them into the next life.

how can your skin make me cry then? is this what the tethering is? that something so temporal, so prone to die could affect my very being. that somehow my real self, my real being, was never designed to cry or be affected by the temporary.

but yet here i am crying. still crying. is this not still me? are there not many reasons to cry? and through this innate moving comes forth an irrestible motion; they flow, and flow. to untether myself to the physical is to let go of what has the power to move me, to break me, to mould me – painful it may be, but it is me.

“i want a perfect body,
i want a perfect soul.”

“but i’m a creep, i’m a weirdo.
what the hell am i doing here?
i don’t belong here.”

what does it mean to be alone? one may have friends, but feel alone. one may have community, but feel alone. clearly proximity to other people is not what ‘belonging’ means. what is it then? what the hell am i doing here?

community without purpose is perhaps worse than being alone. for when i am alone, i wander on my own accord to my own demise. yet when we wander with others, we deceive each other other. better that i destroy myself than be destroyed by another!

yet for the most part, it is so clearly better to walk with another. perhaps it is because the only kind of purpose that captures is found in others. encapsulating, endearing, empowering purpose is found when we are in relation to another. it may be to destroy another, to renew another – but always with another. alone? there is no rich, no poor, no strong, no weak, no black, no white. and therein, there is truly nothing.

and so i want a perfect body, i want a perfect soul. not for myself, but for someone else.

i’m definitely over-reading into this song, so take it as you will. there are some songs that move me, some that change me, but few of them get me to write.

back to the start

i strain my soul through grates;
my mind is torn along a jagged ruler.
what are the things i want
that flow and ebb with every crevice
and slip and fall through cracks,
yet rise, and rise again.
what i lack i have in abundance;
yet i love my poverty,
and i revile in the filth outside the house.
how can i be poor, yet rich.
where is the flow of Your love,
to what end is Your love reaching?
i am blind, yet i can see,
the things found in my heart scare me.

fruits of the wasteland

nothing good can grow in the wasteland
where weeds have choked the sky,
stretching out to forge a lie
that yes, upon sand,
upon my own plans,
i can fly.

nothing good can grow in the wasteland,
too far i have tilled, only to look at
ashes left behind.
the brushes i paint with
are strokes of coal
that leave chaos behind. 

nothing good can grow in the wasteland,
i water with poison,
yet reap with eager hunger.
though my fruits they kill me,
i would rather my breath become air
than have it give more life to this death. 

nothing good can grow in the wasteland,
unless You say it can.

let the clay remain with my Potter
be still! greedy hands you fidget in vain.
the Water Forever has come to bring
life, a song of Love He sings,

be still, eager one;

only in His hands,
can something good grow out of this wasteland. 

she could be anybody

gentle sighs,
hugs from behind,
nostalgic sights
we find each other
in the night
at wooden benches
parked between
a natural dark,
artificial lights.
i can only see
2 feet in front
can you see me?
though my steps
are calm,
cold and clean.
i mopped the floor
not long that night
the soap stains sting
don’t get them in your eye.

i was blind,
i am fine, fine, fine
whine, wine, dine, cry


no more
question marks for me,
you’ve brought enough
too many memories

not you or me,
but she.
me and she.

she could be anybody.

blue nights

on nights like these

i sit and stare
at life unfolding
and folding between
a girl who looked the model
but played the pyrrhic queen.
you looked like you enjoyed the misery,
how captivating can pain be –
perhaps when before,
you didn’t feel anything.

i wonder if my brother feels
like how i’d know his every tick
and query about the world –
should he struggle as i do,
or remain oblivious
to more subtle hues.

the colours run us through
on nights like these,

perhaps the sky is blue

for the wind

spoken to the air
out of a heart distracted,
no they were not meant for you.

the pen is laid to rest
since we’ve run out of paper,
we end where we are

not where we’ve been.
though we hope to move,
we never do.

flip through empty pages,
and let the words fall down
from the air they were meant,

but i’ve chosen my currents wisely,
let them flow, let them go,

these words were meant for the wind.

turn back from the fire

what did she season her words with
the salt of salvation
from an unrelenting 
peppering –
they called you names, 
by many names.

your charred skin will not be missed 
they will scrape your story
from the bottom of empty plates

before your flesh turns black.