let the young (who know best) be heard by Syar S. Alia

you can listen to this poem being read out below

when someone asks you what you want,
tap two fingers to your forehead
and when someone asks you
what you’re going to do
tap two fingers to your left breast.
mix them up, one day you can hope
your answer is right
every day you can remind yourself
that you know where
your head and heart are
(if not what they answer)

believe in this:
“everything is useful”
for that is how
you content yourself
with scraps.

spend everyone else’s money
waste nothing on guilt, why worry?
direction is a luxury and you
are free to lose nothing,
learn to love nothing,
do it obnoxiously, shove it
in people’s faces, cut a hole
in yourself so everyone can see
the kind of idiot who thinks
joy is pain
who thinks defining joy
will take the edge off of
not having it, but you’re also
the kind of idiot who cannot
tolerate pain, so learn to hurt.
learn to use it like currency.

count all of the airplanes
you’ve ever been in,
forget places
just think about your
coming &
tally these tearaway scraps next to
the graves you have to visit
that you never do, don’t stop
until you have the numbers right

38 5 infinity zero

forget mathematics
forget language, forget art
invest in physics
invest in gravity –
the heaviness that takes you to bed
and keeps you there
the force of a glass paperweight
settled on the years of your life,

you’ve got tunnel vision, baby
except your vision is kaleidoscope
cheap confetti and cardboard
future litter in your eyes
dazzled and blinded
everything you want &
can’t have &
won’t work for.

forgiveness is an old person’s game, so
wear your youth like a badge,
resentments earn you
more resentments,
it’s exactly like
winning a prize.

the prize is next year
baby, throw the race
the antidote to being the age you are
is staying that age forever, lest
you remember that there is more
& more & more to come and
somehow what this is

is bad news.

Feature image is a custom ISSUE collage of photographs by Nina Mouritzen and Shaun Tiong, designed by Syar S. Alia.

ISSUE Thumbnail Syar 2013

Syar S. Alia actually loves birthdays, for how young and bitter she is. She turned 25 on the 9th, and she was really excited for ice cream.

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