Friend.

I look at these strangers around me, 

faint giggles and jokes.

I’ve known them long enough for me to realise I don’t. 

Suddenly, they fade with the wind, and I’m alone in the room, 

alone with a glass before me.
The curtains let the sun kiss the alcohol in it,

and the bottle shies away.

With my head resting on the table 

and my hand stretched out, 

the perfect drunk, 

I watch the friend I tend to rely on, 

when I have no way with my mind.
I down the drink I was but, supposed to enjoy, because it’s too much to take. My mind is wandering off wildly, and it’s not an adventure. It’s a suicide trip. 

I feel my thoughts suffocate me, 

I feel the silence, the emptiness turn into a rope around my neck,  and I open the bottle, 

consume my cure entirely, 

trying to find transitory liberation.
The last drop of alcohol mixes with my blood 

my eyes turn heavy with the weight of the unsaid and unexpressed, maybe the high too, 

they close after a long time of being ajar,

and I’m finally relieved. It has come to a stop, for now.
Until next time, fears.

Until next time. -WANDERER // E s c a p e s 

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Transparent.

Standing on the edge of something beautiful, 

I watched what made me believe,

that the sun came back for me. 

The wind was rusting through my hair, fighting it’s way into me 

and for once 

I did not feel stone. 

I did not feel the concrete,

the plastered me, that I had created. 

I felt the wind go through and through, 

inside my veins and my blood.

I couldn’t feel my body but 

for some unknown reason, 

all I felt was your fingers wrapped around mine.

My system was nothing,

and all I felt was that wind.

In that moment I knew, 

at the edge of something beautiful

no matter how breathtaking the view was, 

It was never the place that set me free. 

It was never the language the sun spoke to me, neither was it the music of the stars, 

or the random silhouettes of the night and the moonlight, 

but it was always You.

No matter where the place,

You were what made me feel transparent. 

You were what liberated me. -WANDERER / Transparent. 

N o r m a l c y 

I despised the idea of love 

for so long because 

I did not think love

was what the world portrayed it as.

I despised love 

out of my want 

for a love 

that was something else entirely

than what this world had, 

a kind of love 

that did not align 

with the rigidity 

of the world’s idea of love

All the roses, 

the dinners, 

the alluring love songs,

and the scarlet clichés 

to me, became ‘normal’.

Everytime a man 

bought me a token 

of these stereotypical expectancy of love, 

I turned them down.

Not because I did not want them,

but because I was always 

of the idea, 

that love is too beautiful 

to be so oriented with guidelines, 

that love is too precious 

to be so inclined to normalcy.
I worshipped what I thought love was.

A love that was selfless and pure, 

a love that did not know evil, 

one that was not meant for just one person, 

but was simply for every single one we knew, 

a love that is not restricted to the one’s who do good to us, 

but to also and specially those 

who do us wrong.
And as I held everything else in disdain, 

It only opened my eyes wider 

to the fact that this world 

has a love that is only fraudulent 

and so superficial, 

this world has a love that 

is love, as long as it serves its purposes.

It bought me to an understanding

of a terribly sad truth 
that most of us here, 

while we pretend so gracefully 

to be drowning in it,

don’t even know what love really is.

-WANDERER // N o r m a l c y.

Critical Analysis of ‘Negro Speaks of Rivers’ by Langston Hughes.

this is the critical analysis of a poem by African American poet, Langston Hughes and can be reference material for literature students in degree college.

Langston Hughes is a Harlem Renaissance poet, a movement that targets racial oppression of the blacks and attempts to redefine Negro identity, uprooting it from the elite perspectives of the whites through art, music and literature. This revolution began with the end of World war 1 and ran through the mid-1930’s. Through this poem, Hughes throws light on the concept of ‘two-ness’ by Du Bois in a creative fashion by metaphorically symbolising and representing the identity of the black community or ‘Negritude’ with rivers that flow across geographical spaces through the African and American continent but gives another perspective to this concept.

He, through the mentioning of geographically stretched rivers, however, does not imply how the dual identity of the blacks is a conflicting space but his emphasis ranges more, towards the idea that the Americans share a common lineage with the blacks that they highly discriminate.

In the poem ‘Negro speaks of rivers’ Hughes highlights various themes like timelessness and preexistence, racial oppression and injustice, the idea of infinite rootedness through the metaphor of rivers, union of the society and collectivism and negritude. The poem indicates undercurrents of ancient historical rootedness emphasising the idea of timelessness in order to glorify the black identity. It also talks about slavery in terms of racial, but moral outrage wholly.

The title of the poem, as we notice does not include a personal pronoun like the poem does, but gives a collective approach to the community through the word ‘Negro’. Hughes does not generalise but rather, emphasises on the union of the community and its collectivistic nature through this word. However, the speaker in the poem speaks through personal pronouns, a way of indicating that ‘I’ am a part of the ‘negro’ identity mentioned in the title of the poem as if representing the entire community. The speaker in the poem claims to have known ‘rivers, ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins’, indicating through this line the idea of preexistence and timelessness and the timeless wisdom the community possesses as well. The idea of timeless wisdom is emphasised on to glorify the black community, and to provide a perspective of the blacks that differs from the one that the elite whites offered, by claiming to possess knowledge of ‘ancient’ rivers.

Through these lines, the black community is being represented through historical ties and roots, etched into their community. We also see the speaker claiming to have a soul that has ‘grown deep like the rivers’, this line clearly laying emphasis on the rootedness and belongingness to these rivers. Through these illustrations in the poem, Langston Hughes associates Negritude or Negro identity with ancient history and hence glorifies the black community, claiming to have a greater and timeless preexistence, even before or beyond the existence of the whites.

Langston Hughes mentions rivers that flow across geographical spaces, through the America and Africa, symbolising common roots and cores, tracing the common lineage of the two highly distinguished communities. Rivers like the Euphrates, Congo, the Nile, Mississippi spread widely across the two geographical spaces associated with these communities is an indication of the idea of a union of their distinguished identities, that Hughes attempts to create. The speaker claims to have ‘bathed’ in the Euphrates, this could be a metaphor for the ritual of baptism that symbolises redemption and purification further indicating that the black community is wrongly censured to be impure based on race. He also claims to have built a hut near the ‘Congo’ and looked upon the ‘Nile’, through which Hughes traces back their lineage to their home country, their roots and will further stretch the same roots across the geographical spaces by bringing into the poem the rivers the Mississipi and New Orleans that are rooted in the colonisers continent. This stretch of cultural rootedness that Hughes creates by the mention of these rivers across boundaries is a glorification of African American culture and community by indicating its preexistence, as claimed by the speaker in the poem, all through these rivers and as they flow. The mention of an adjective to these rivers as ‘dusky’ provides a basis for the rootedness of cultural identity in all of them. The word dusky is a metaphoric representation of the racist terminology given to the blacks by the whites. By indicating that the speakers ‘soul has grown as deep as these ‘dusky’ rivers,’ Hughes reestablishes Negritude in the colonial geographical spaces in an attempt to glorify the ancient cultural rootedness of timeless preexistence of the black community.