The Pulse

It is pulsing.




Gaining momentum.

Too thick to let go.

And so it throbs.

A reminder of an incessant knocking

At the bottom of your spine

That won’t back off.

(You can squeeze your eyes shut until you  see stars on the ceiling of your eyelids)

But, still there.

And you live with it.

Your cross to bear.

See? There is so, so much in a name.

It is all the difference.

It is the difference between that which we call a back ache,

And the pulsing.

Mind numbing, abacinating, scamperring

Effing pulse.

Counting and Discounting

Let me discount the ways,

Memory by memory, little by little –

Let me go back

To the before the beginning of all the counting.

I discount the way

Men go in search of their lost coins.

I discount to stitch my lost pieces into a quilt for when the counting gets tough.

Let me discount so that I can start counting again.


I see the women of my generation violated by madness;

Objectified, groped, raped.

Asking for it because their cleavage was visible;

Asking for it because they covered too much;

Asking for it because they wore red lipstick and eyeliner;

Asking for it simply because of the vagina they seem to possess –

Envying the mighty Penis gods.

They dared smoke and drink. They dared call themselves huMAN.

Being put into their place – beneath his feet;

At his mercy – smiling, cooing, blowing him kisses.

Denied justice upon the failure of character test.

Taught by their own mothers to suck up to the will, and  fancy of their husband

Taught to never speak out –

When daddy hurt them;

When the Neighbour uncle pinched them;

When a leech was too drunk to keep it in.

Muffled, when trying to speak up

“Ah, Carl, while you are not safe, I am not safe.”

  • The opening line is a rip off from Allen Ginsberg’s opening line of his Howl: “I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked,”
  • The ending line is a direct quote from Howl.

The Red Damsel, and the Grey Witch

The lachrymose windows held a blurred world of colours in them. These colours seemed to be in a state of constant movement, and no two colours were the same. She would have killed to store those colours in little bottles – to watch them endlessly. And yet, because she was powerless, she could do nothing but, sit by the windows that held the world of colors in them, separated from them by the weeping glass, and watch them get on with their lives.


Suddenly, like waking up from a deep slumber, she got up from her seat and strode into the next room to take a look at herself in the mirror. She stared at the mirror, scrutinizing the her in the mirror trying to figure out what colour she appeared to be. She had hoped to be a bright red that screamed “I am alive!”but was greeted by a jeering grey, mocking her. The more she stared, the more she became convinced that the grey was holding the crimson beauty a captive – a damsel in distress in the tower of the wicked grey witch. The red damsel begged to be set free – it was as clear as broad daylight.

There was no time to waste. She quickly looked around, and found a razor. A razor was more than enough to save the damsel, she reckoned. She cut a long streak along her arm; long enough for the captive to escape. The grey witch howled in protest, but she didn’t pay attention. Must have been the effect of being locked up for a long time, the red damsel was a bit hesitant to come out of her refines. But once she tasted freedom she let go of her inhibitions and flowed out and defeated the grey witch.


She took a look at herself in the mirror once again. And this time she was not disappointed. She was red – a dark pulsing red. She was finally like the other colours in the world  the windows held inside them.


If I were you, and you were me, would things be different? Would you close your eyes, and look into yourself that is me, and see that I am a wandering soul, always in search of the words that skip me by a breath? I close my eyes, looking into myself that is you, and I try to see your missing words. I am thinking that maybe, My missing words are your words, and my words are your missing words. Puzzles. And I wonder of what it would be, if our missing words were to find each other. 

Thinking About You, On a Lazy Afternoon

I am writing this on a lazy afternoon,

When the rest of the world has gone on a siesta.

All this while, I can’t help but picture


Reading my words – probably on a lazy afternoon, very much like this one, with that half smile waiting to burst out of your lips, if you would just let them. It is because of the uneven shape of your upper lip, you know. You must probably be craving for a hot cup of coffee. I am right now. Craving for a cup of coffee, that is.

Are you picturing me writing this, huddled in front of my laptop, in my mum’s kitchen? The way   I am picturing you reading this, in my mind’s eye?I certainly hope you do, because right now, I can’t seem to get you out of my head. This is all about you. You, my dear friend, are the protagonist. You must be reading between the lines right now. There is nothing between the lines, for you to read here. It is all out in the open, if only you would open your eyes and read.

Oh, I think you should know –  My hair is braided right now. And the sunlight renders it a shade which is somewhere between dark brown and red. My sister told me so. And I am smiling – wide. 

The Question is: Who Cares?!

Ashley Barboza

Life, Love.


media | politics | dissent

the Antimuseum in Paris (and beyond)

antimuseum photo blog by Yann Gourvennec

This, that and everything

Contains words like humour, quirky and offbeat.


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