Something seems to have changed
in the stress I feel this past year.
It’s not the violent, volcanic
sensation I’ve known my whole life.
It feels more sinister:
slow-burning, with serpentine fuse,
and patiently awaiting ignition.

It knows that in a matter of time
it will go off. It knows that
in the meantime it will chisel away
at me until my bones are but bare
and hollow tunnels.

What seems to worsen it
is the realization that I’m unlearning
stress and meeting it again for the first time.
That doesn’t make it all bad news:
all I need to do is get to know it again,
and in time it will learn to fade
and shut up.

But then it becomes
a matter of when,
and that sobering thought
sets in, leaving me
with that dull, slow-burning feeling
that’s easy to ignore.

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To The Lebanese & Arabs Mocking The Siege On Madaya And Its Starving People

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares:
Huddled in the Anti-Lebanon mountains, Madaya is a Syrian village housing tens of thousands of innocent people who are being starved to death at the hand of…

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Rest in Peace, Lemmy

Ladies and gentlemen the unspeakable has finally come to pass. Lemmy Kilmister, frontman of legendary Rock and Roll outfit Motorhead-aka the God of rock and roll-has finally passed away. Three days after his 70th birthday, the speed freak was finally killed by death.

I’m not going to play the sycophant and sing his praises throughout this post, since I have the great displeasure of not being a big enough Motorhead fan to begin with. But as a metalhead and lover of music, I am still within my rights in appreciating his impact and influence on the music I love.

So here’s to you, you glorious bastard, and to 70 years of hellraising and good music.

Rest in Peace, Lemmy. We hardly knew ye.

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I don’t need to tell any of you about recent events. Everybody else and their grandmother already have, and with the age of the internet there’s no shortage of hatred, vitriol or paranoia that makes you think that the digital aftermath is so much worse than the actual events themselves.

But you know something? It’s times like these that make you sigh in complete exasperation and say,

“To hell with it. All of it. All of the madness, the hate, the ignorance, the resulting bloodshed; all of it. I’m done with everyone and everything here, and you can keep all that nonsense I once held dear with you.

“Keep your nationalism and its watered-down by-product, patriotism. Keep your religion and your faith and all that other superstitious drek. Keep your silly ideals and revolutionary banter on those banners in your closet. Keep your theories and your opinions-they’re all worthless in the long run, anyway. Once you’ve hoarded it all away from the greater populace, bury it under nuclear waste and use the rest as fertilizer so we can all start over again.”

Ever since I was a child I’d dreamed of just owning a plot of land-an island, country, continent or even planet-where my loved ones and I could just live out our existence away from all this madness, but experience has left me numb and very, very cynical; after all, we are human after all, so it’s only a matter of time before some other show begins, and the drama resumes.

I used to say this about Lebanon alone, but humanity as a whole is just one giant disappointment: a black hole of potential being perennially wasted. A steaming heap of filth where wealth and status are paramount while life is just another commodity. If people ask you-the misanthrope reading this who’s quietly nodding in agreement-why you lost your faith in everything and maintain that all hope is gone, simply thrust a history book that hasn’t been redacted or covered in glitter into their hands and have them spend the day reading it.

Is nowhere safe anymore? Maybe in a parallel universe, but for now that’s a question that everyone should be asking themselves.

One final note, it’s interesting how a former empire and one of its most prominent former colonies were both attacked in a similar fashion only hours apart, days after the 100th Armistice Day. I wonder if anyone else has stopped to consider the symbolism here.

Rest in Peace to everyone killed in Beirut, Paris, Iraq, Syria, Mexico, and every other pile of dirt plagued with conflict.

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Adel Termos: The Lebanese Hero Of the Borj el Barajneh Terrorist Attacks

This gallery contains 15 photos.

Originally posted on A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares:
45. The number means utterly nothing, and I’m sad to say that even after today this number will still mean nothing. We’re a country that never learned…

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Amy Conley

You don’t know my name,
or the way that I look,
but I somehow found your name
in a book.

Your number was on it, missing the code,
just as you’d left it when you took for the road.

I don’t know your face,
but I do know your name:
first half is Amy,
the other erased.

Or scratched out, rather;
at least part of it is.

We met at Frederick’s
and only briefly,

and you left only a name and a number
that made me wonder
if we would ever meet again.

It’s been years now,

and now it seems
that our paths will never meet again.

“Such is life,” I feel resigned to say
as I discard that image of you crafted with pen.

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Fear of a Blank Canvas

Porcupine Tree wrote an album titled, Fear of a Blank Planet. It’s a terrific album that’s dark, intricate and thought-provoking, with a rather interesting title. This should strike a familiar chord (no pun intended) with writers of all nature, as the sight of a blank page-be it a word processing program or a sheet of paper- empty, lined, or checkered-is among the stuff nightmares are made of. Who am I to disagree?

Blank pages are our canvases, with endless possibilities abound. This would fill most with joy and excitement, but it isn’t until they actually sit down before them to work that their enthusiasm turns into fear, confusion, and pathological chin-scratching. That Tolkienesque universe that you’ve been carrying in your gut for years suddenly evaporates into thin air, along with every idea that would have given rise to what should’ve/could’ve/would’ve been your greatest creation, or even the literary equivalent of sliced bread.

Did you think you were going to blaze right through that term paper seven hours before due date and in the process come up with a groundbreaking theory that would not only net you an A-plus, but also some kind of award? “Think again, chump!” your computer taunts you as you stare blankly at the screen, waiting for inspiration to grace your somehow-functioning brain at that godless hour.

It’s a curse that everyone who writes is afflicted with, no matter who they are or how often they write. Like cancer there doesn’t seem to be a solid treatment for it in sight. Like fear, the strongest emotion we humans feel, it is gripping and serves only to deter and distract you from your creative endeavors.

But like cancer, again, there is hope-a cure, if you may, to this recurring ailment of the mind. The first thing to do would be to detach yourself from the pale-faced demon: just take a break, walk around town, listen to some music; do whatever it is you do to relax and find inspiration. One of the things my creative writing teacher told me that I think everyone should take to the grave is that inspiration doesn’t just flutter down from the heavens. It hits you when you’re usually in the middle of something, be it a shower, a piece of music, or acting like a monkey at a typewriter.

Another thing to know is that every good writer is a reader. From Mother Goose tales to the latest satirical blog post lampooning some event or another somewhere in the world, you are constantly drawing inspiration from previously written texts and spoken stories; not to mention taking preference to a certain style of writing and add your own touch to it.

There’s no limit to how much you can or should write, but it’s often best to keep things to a minimum. No, I’m not telling you to speak in single syllables. I’m referring to Grice’s four conversational maxims, namely those of quantity and manner. The devil may be in the details, but describing everything down to the most miniscule strand of tweed on a character’s jacket gives Ol’ Scratch more leeway to sabotage your masterpiece.

The creative process is fraught with stress and obstacles aplenty, but when overcome is one of the most rewarding aspects of the human experience. I’m not writing this as an authority on writing: these are a collection of observations I’ve made over the years through reading and conversations. After all, where else would art come from if not for real life?

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Beirut’s Newest Tourist Attraction: A Wall of Shame To “Protect” Our Politicians

This gallery contains 6 photos.

Originally posted on A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares:
Picture via @SalmanOnline. When you think Lebanon’s politicians couldn’t sink lower, they utterly and irrevocably surprise you. Two days ago, when we peacefully protested to defend our right to…

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When We Protested and The Lebanese Government Tried To Kill Us

This gallery contains 14 photos.

Originally posted on A Separate State of Mind | A Blog by Elie Fares:
At 6:00PM on August 22nd, 2015, around 10,000 Lebanese people gathered in Downtown Beirut to protest the country’s overwhelming garbage crisis and with it the corrupt political system…

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New Blog!

Hey everyone, in case you missed it I started a new blog called Resonance Theory in which I discuss findings in research on music psychology. Don’t worry, I won’t be leaving this site any time soon.


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