Human Anagram: A Poem by Marc Alexander Valle

Human Anagram

by Marc Alexander Valle

Nice, quiet, smart.

People have told me this all my life. I don’t know how I feel about those words anymore. I used to hate them, but I think I’m making peace with the fact that I’ll never really get to shake them off.

Nice, quiet, smart. A combination that makes me a rare bird in this world.

Why do we hate being different when we’re younger?

Why do we need so much of the three A’s–acceptance, approval, admiration?

Why does it take so long to get to yourself when you have to live with yourself every day anyway?

The rare bird has few avian friends, but people love him and put him on stamps.

Now I just tried to make a metaphor where birds represent people, but I couldn’t figure what actual people represent in that particular metaphor. I cringed at every possibility, thinking of what readers would think of my writing. So I guess I’m not that rare a bird that embraces its uniqueness yet. I don’t know if we ever really get there in mid-life.

But wouldn’t that be cool to be on a stamp?

Letter To My 15-Year-Old Self (from my 38-year-old self)

Dear 15-year-old self,

You are cooler than you think.

You ask the teacher to use the bathroom just to wander the high school halls. You peak into classes, wondering what the popular kids are up to like they’re having some kind of a party in class. You think they have something special that you don’t, but the reason why they cling to popularity so much is because they’re scared they have nothing at all. And they’re right to feel that way about themselves. You’re not right to feel that way about yourself at all. You’re already cool. It’ll take years for you to see that.

You are spectacular.

Wait until you’re 35 and see what you can do with any writing tool. Most people won’t be able to express their feelings and ideas the way you’ll be able to, and your hardship will be what allowed you to get to this level. There’ll be few friends and girlfriends and party invites and social circles. You’ll have little to no financial success, but you’ll reach depths of thought and emotion that most writers would kill to get to. And it will fill you up inside.

You are wonderful.

No matter how discouraged you’ll get, you’ll never give up on your dream, because it’s no dream. It’s a reality in your heart and in your mind. And you’re heart and mind is your greatest asset. Not something to be ashamed of.

You are an artist.

Nevermind the ones that dress, walk, talk and body modify the way they think an artist is supposed to. That doesn’t make you an artist. Bleeding makes you an artist. Practice makes you an artist. Love makes you an artist. Everything else just makes you artsy. And that’s not cool.

You are beautiful.

People might not look for you on your phone, but they will trust you and the fact that you do not change for the worst. You are a rock. People you know will express this to you verbally and through their actions. They’ll admire your honesty, compassion and consciousness.

You are industrious. 10-word poems, 15-minute-plays, 100-word stories, 120-page screenplays, you’ll try anything, you’ll fail at most, you’ll succeed at some, you’ll be proud of it all. The skills you’ll develop as an artist, a writer and a human being will be the empire that you build and that empire will be glorious, until you say it is no longer is.

You are perfect the way you are.

I can’t tell you if you’ll have the success that you think you need. I still have more living to do on this end. I’ll tell you that you’ll not be Spielberg by age 30 or have a wife and kids and plenty of money to buy video games with. But you will love yourself more. You will feel more valued. And you will know that you are cool.

Not that you play video games anymore. They’re way too immersive these days, and you have more art to create. So keep producing. But you already known that. Don’t you, Marc?

Sincerely, 38-year-old self

Random Thought # 1

The hardest part of being a person is to separate the positive voices in this world from the all the garbage that people have to say.

Which people are trying to help you and which people are talking non-sense and coming from a negative place?

Because you don’t want to be so confident that you’ll give up good suggestions that can help you. But you can’t take in all the comments that come from someone else’s pain, frustration and arrogance.

Many of us are in the positive places that we are in because we listened to people that had our best interest in mind. Our parents, our teachers, our friends, etc…

This notion that we shouldn’t listen to anyone is built on the belief that someone else will hurt us.

So how much do we let in?

Post-meditation Journal Entry # 15

April 2nd, 2018 (Duration of sit unrecorded)

Over the last few weeks, I’ve felt good about myself. I’ve told myself that I no longer need the acceptance, admiration, and validation that I’ve needed in the past. I don’t need to be Spielberg or what I thought I needed to be when I was 8-years-old or whenever those bad feelings kicked in. For the first time, I was shown this during my sit.

An image-feeling hit me a few minutes into my session. I rarely see a person paired with a strong emotion anymore. Instead, I’ve seen many complex three-dimensional objects and designs in the distance of my mind, but I saw the image of a person paired with an emotion once more. I can’t remember what the person looked like or what the feeling felt like, but whatever it was, it confirmed what I’ve been telling myself these last few weeks, I am where I am and I am no longer where I was.

I hope this sit means that I’m free from one more demon and I can breathe without the weight of needing approval from others.

Approval. Brutal approval. Brutal and endless need for approval, one of the worst forms of emotional slavery and psychological torture, a chain tied to an ankle, tied to a rock, a rock that does not erode in time, a rock that becomes heavier.

Weird by Marc Alexander Valle*

People called me weird in elementary school, because I said that I was Superman since I was wearing red underwear.

People called me weird in middle school, because I always talked about movies and used Star Wars analogies to make my point.

People called me weird in high school because I was quiet and would suddenly say something totally irrelevant like “Bill Clinton would have made a good Roman general, don’t you think?”

People would call me weird because I could consume a gallon of spaghetti sauce but hated tomatoes. Because I would drive all around the block to find a stop light simply because I didn’t like left hand turns. Because I would drink coffee followed by a soothing cup of chamomile.

Being called weird doesn’t bother me as much anymore. I figure that being weird is better than being a ‘weirdo’. A weirdo is like the Rain Man of weirdness. I consider myself the Good Will Hunting of weirdness…more adjusted, less irritable.

Weirdness is the state of not being normal. But weirdness is definitely a normal phenomenon in nature. Look to the sky and study flocks of sparrows swarming to and fro, left to right, up and down. There’s always one bird just outside the swarm, trying to keep up, trying to break off.

He’s weird. Maybe even a weirdo.

We’re all weird on some level. Some people are weird on all levels. I’m probably weird on a few levels, but nothing I’m uncomfortable with. Well, except for a couple of things. But if I told you, you’d probably call me weird.

*Published in Lehigh Valley Vanguard

Posted image above by Marc Alexander Valle.