Photography Poetry Writing

August 10, Side B


We come alive at night with the treble low and the bass high.
Spend the first hour driving around aimlessly because we can.
The lights all neon like in color spread across the streets carried by rain water.
And after a cold streak I turn around and speak in a possessed whisper:

Life is a dress up.
Life is a constant struggle to mess up.
Life is how you dress up a wound in front of people.
Life is a 2 hour test you study for 16 hours.
Life is a random occurrence made deliberate.
Life is a deliberate purpose made accidental.
Life is the three words said to a person out of desperation.
Life is the hesitation to say the truth to said person.
Life is a talk with a lack of macho emphasis.
Life is too much emphasis on too few sentences.
Life is pretending to be okay when you’re not.
Life is pretending to be hurt when you’re okay.
Life is a movie hall filled to capacity.
Life is a provoked state of brevity for the hasty.
Life is not having to worry about people’s ears.
Life is a bite of expensive pie only meant for your mouth.
Life is a drink from the river we all drink out of.

The bowling balls are getting heavy
I’m about to leave in someone else’s clothes.
Were we ever meant to be? is a redundant question.
Yes, once in a time of pressure and spontaneity.
The only thing we agreed upon was we were both frightened.
I must’ve convinced myself I liked you on purpose.
And that’s how I found myself by accident.
Too many stops for gas on the road to the destination.
If no two roads are alike, then why should I map my path to another person’s life?
Our fears keep us up at night.
Our hopes keep us up tonight.

Anxious, and terrified but alive.

By Ashish Seth

Philosophy Photography Short Stories Writing

June 1, slimy shiny orange red brown organic something [Absence of Fear]


A landscape of ash and smoke and embers of flame dancing in the air around heaps of shrubs on fire. Tree trunks rolled over, shift back and forth in the wind against tree stumps. Soot and dust and desert. A sky with an orange glare getting brighter red near the circle of the sun. A little way ahead of us, at a hole at the base of a hill, a fox pokes her head out and licks the air. She bobs her head up and down. Then coughs. Then whelps. Then belches out a slimy orange red brown organic something that splatters on the dirt. She shivers. Licks the air again. Her nose twitches. Sneezes.

I crouch to my knee and motion her towards us. She sees me and stares. She stares for quite a while. My brother taps my shoulder. He looks at me and shakes his head. I look back at the fox and stop motioning her. She’s still staring. I look into her eyes and the closer I look, it’s as if I can see her raised eyebrows, her black pupils. Like she’s sad. Like she’s angry. Like she’s been weeping misery. A long time.

“That’s just you thinking all poetic and melancholic like,” my brother tells me, reading my mind. “The fox doesn’t think like that. It accepts everything on pure instinct and adapts. It’s pure instinctual adaptation. Instinctual adaptation doesn’t complain. It has no conception of animal rights or any idea of a natural order of things. It just lives on.”

“But does instinctual adaptation absolve me of any sense of responsibility for all of this? For what we’ve done?” I ask.

“That’s just your mind guilting you for not preserving life the way it was when you got it. Change is more natural than things staying the same. We can’t be afraid of change. We can’t be afraid to change things,” he tells me.

The fox goes back into her hole.

I poke the dirt covered earth with my finger. It crusts and crumbles. I look back at the fires burning all around us, oil geysers spraying out like lawn sprinklers, tree branches igniting in the distance like firework sparklers. I check the oxygen levels in my suit. I look at my brother and say.

“Is this what life becomes in the absence of fear?”

By Ashish Seth