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Poetry Corner

Introducing a new series of poems by Julian Matthews. Julian is a writer and Pushcart-nominated poet published in The American Journal of Poetry, Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Borderless Journal, Beltway Poetry Quarterly, Dream Catcher Magazine,  Live Encounters Magazine, Lothlorien Poetry Journal and The New Verse News, among others. He is a mixed-race minority from Malaysia and lived in Ipoh for seven years. Currently based in Petaling Jaya, he is a media trainer and consultant for senior management of multinationals on Effective Media Relations, Social Media and Crisis Communications. He was formerly a journalist with The Star and Nikkei Business Publications Inc


By Julian Matthews

There is a meme going around that says,
“You are not the main character in someone else’s story,
you are the main character in your own story.”

I disagree
I think you are not a character. Nor a story
This is not fiction nor netflix
nor tiktok nor copycat poppycock

Although, I am starting to believe you might be        poetry

I get that few people get you
They are not equal to your complex equation
You are not the sum of your parts, nor are you whole

You are the genie in genius, the us in jeezus
You are a peripatetic prophet of parabolic parables
You have more crossed lines in you than your pierced palms
And your best ones have yet to learn handstands,

or test the net in trapeze flips
You are line breaks after the stanza bonanza
allowing space to breathe in    and breathe out
before the breathless triple spin

You are a meditation in escapism,
the hypnotic slo-mo tracking,
the pause before the applause,
the joy-maker in a joyless world

But you are also tears
crystallizing on your own screen
You click Share and melt into other screens
and the world cries back with you in teary-double-eyed emojis

Yet, you are not a meme nor a loop
of screechy lip-syncs of oh no! oh no! ohnononono!
a repetitive broken record of scratched dreams,
fake filters and cringey “cute” challenges

Yet, you are the skip of the pebble,
the ripple and the twirl, a dervish dancer,
soaking up tiny pains in ever-widening concentric circles
’til all this heartache fades and just disappears

You are a wave in the time-space continuum,
beckoning us from afar, like an old friend,
greeting every ending with new beginnings, coming
even as you are going

Oh poetry, you are not anyone’s toy piano,
long forgotten, or gone to parts unknown
You are the newly-discovered lost concerto,
here to awaken souls like phantom limbs,
in perfect legatos and lucid crescendos

You are the spirited turntable in the corner
that comes to life all of its own
A needle
Do you hear the music?
It’s our song
Let’s dance

First published in Lothlorien Poetry Journal, USA, edited by Strider Marcus Jones

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