The Imperfect Portrait

I’m Two Dope

A braggadocios introduction. This character aims to exaggerate how amazing he is, using drugs as a metaphor for his supposed influence.

I’m Two Dope,

I am every drug in existence,

Every pill, pipe dream, crystal, smoke in mirrors,

and the white joy lurking in the shadows.

I’m as sharp as razors used to divide the stash.

I am the comfort before the crash.

The green cash, clashed with dashes of euphoria.

I’m so dope,

I destroy communities and disrupt families.

I turn your thoughts into fiends.

Convert your brain into a crack house.

I will control you,

Even when you resist, I get the upper hand.

You can’t avoid me or go against my plans.

I’m in the air, circling the atmosphere.

With each inhale, I reign here.

With each exhale, I appear there.

The rebel and the righteous, enjoy me in their spare time.

I’m so dope I silence musicians in their prime.

I ruin careers, I cause scandals

because no one can get a handle.

But I have dedicated fandoms on Tumblr.

I’m every retweet on Twitter.

I’m every heart gathered by Instagrammers.

I’m really liked on Facebook servers;

I guess the relationship is complicated.

Yeah I’m Two Dope,

you have to admit it.

Then get admitted.

Because my rehabs lead to relapse.

I run the world in infinite laps.

I laugh at those that try to quit me.

You couldn’t stop me with all the signs, symbols,

shameful implications, and addictions

that your loved ones deal with.

Jail systems, I call your bluff

I’ll take your bars, beat you over the head with it

Then place my bars over yours

So you can’t climb over it.

I’m so influential, I’m your only hope

I’m the new faith, I’m above the pope

Soon I’ll be climbing to heaven on a rope,

and you’ll see me shining through a telescope.

I’m peace on earth on a piece of paper,

taped together by the measure of one’s pleasure.

So like choirs and choruses, sing it over and over:

I’m Two Dope.

In the Night

This poem explores the struggles of a Christian dealing with porn addiction.

I walk down a narrow road in the sun’s absence.

Lost in the midst of constricting thoughts.

Lamp posts pose as ladies in their worldly glory.

Some flicker, others remain steady.

Serpents of tempting devices, ready to offer apples.

And I’m Adam,

this dark evening is tempting.

I try to look forward,

but my peripherals are obstacles.

I’m trying not to fall off,

scrambling to flee lust like

leaves escaping trees in autumn.

Like Joseph reacting to the trap of his master’s wife,

or Samson keeping his hair intact.

Yet I’m wandering into wonders and street warnings.

In a season of singleness and desperation,

I wonder how long I’ve been distracted.

With each glance, I get lost in a trance.

Transported to an Eden of deceit,

not realizing that the sun could come back at any moment.

I forget time exists. I forget why I exist.

I’m fixated on these figures of twisted fantasies,

sensually stealing my vision from His provision.

Decisions that could affect my undeserved salvation.

The inner pain is evident.

How I can be a Christian yet glorify the body?

Not the body of Christ that died for me.

But rather the bodies that would kill my innocence

with each stimulating screenshot and

simulated marriage activities outside of covenant.

Lord forgive me,

for I know of your satisfaction

but I struggle with momentary looks.

I relapse multiple times,

but your forgiveness is eternally repetitive.

I’m thankful for your light that shines in the night.

Your mercies greet me with each sunrise.

So I continue down the narrow road.

Battling to keep my mind sanctified as I walk forward.

All of my Friends

Using an ironic twist on generalizations, the poem deals with the insecurities that arises from social media.

All of my friends are polished instruments.

I’m the out of tune guitar;

the broken string.

The forgotten ear worm squirming in sound systems.

I’m every dissident chord that disrupts listening pleasure.

I’m the washed up, ego-driven musician with a horrible voice.

Always making the wrong choices and belting wretched noises.

All of my friends are spotless saints.

Sanctified siblings, singing psalms of praise.

I’m in a pit of sin, filled with tears and regrets.

Taking Christ out of my crisis,

remaining tortured by demonic devices.

All of my friends are social butterflies.

I’m the caterpillar crawling in the corner.

A loner, a foreigner with his back against the wall.

I’m longing for my cocoon of solitude,

with free food and smooth tunes.

All of my friends are messengers,

talkative creatures with moving mouths.

I still have my prejudices against

stupid questions and shallow answers.

Small talk is never good enough.

I can never muster a clever response

in the moment of a conversation.

All of my friends love me.

Sometimes the feelings are mutual.

They love the person I’m not.

I love to be accepted,

conform to the popular opinion.

Consciously, I could never comply.

All of my friends lack investment.

The businesses went bankrupt,

profits fell into pitfalls, and

the employees went on to better things.

Now I’m staring through the window,

Wondering if anyone would break my fall.

All of my friends might not read this.

Either they are blind to my internal struggles

Or will use indifference for personal purposes.

Focused more on improved statuses,

creating timeless quotes that demand constant attention;

I’m honestly not worth a mention.

Studying ancient chat histories;

realizing I have no time on their timelines.

No news of me, I’m broken from lack of followers.

Leading a host of ghost accounts that offer no accountability.

The illusion of social networking is more than I can bear.

I wonder if all of my friends are still there.

A message to J.

This poem focuses on the first love that went wrong, using the Internet as a metaphor for loss connection.

Abandoned lover, remember your former

boyfriend; whose big brain contained

couplets that included clingy

desires and teenage dreams. Sent via

E-mail, but you must have

forgotten them. You must be too

good for me. I’m still

here, hanging on a response to reach my

inbox. In fact, I

judged myself as the

killer of our internet connection;

Leaving behind dial-up tones and

menacing pop-up messages of

not being able to reconnect.

Only once did I consider

pursuing you again.

Queue the rain and romantic clichés,

remember our interrupted connection as you find another.

Someone to repair your hardware,

take care of your software and

update the old server with a new

version. You were the axis that merrily made my

world go round. Now I place

X’s on circles containing

your face. We are no more than a

zero, nothing at all.

Sea Sick

This poem details a past relationship gone awry, using ocean imagery and extended sea metaphors.

My soul is tied to the tides of time.

I would sail myself, but my soul is not for sale.

Still In the same ship with a navigators mindset,

I set sail on the seas, searching for my soulmate.

So far off from the island.

I set my eyes on the horizon.

Now begins the voyage.

Nervous motions into the ocean.

I suddenly sought romance with my best friend.

All these emotions I dived in,

I was about to die, then

You pulled me into your arms again.

You held me together,

when the weather was furthest from pleasant

But the voiceless winds left me paranoid.

What happened to our connection?

Conversations as deep as the blue beneath us

Became shallow skeletons of rotting fishes

Has this maiden voyage become pointless?

All of my fears became reality,

when you found comfort in another captain

You must not have heard,

But a mutiny occurred.

I lost control of my anger.

The anchor was thrown overboard.

My guard was let down,

now I have cracks in my armor.

Weakened from the turmoil.

Losing my loving manners.

What’s the point of being enamored?

Through all the wrongs, I see right through you.

Harboring a cold heart, I have no sympathy for you.

You moved me in ways that made me nauseous.

Now I’m sea sick.

You slithering sea serpent.

Silent siren, siphoning life forces

I sing sad sea shanties and the storm is imminent.

I see you in my nightmares and hopeless delusions.

A sinking Ark in a Deluge,

I couldn’t save myself from the merciless blues.

Our love is now a polluted ocean,

Surrounded in sickening liquids

Sound foundations, now past restoration.

Like sinful sea dogs,

I hope you drown in your own vomit.

No Correlation

This poem is about another short lived relationship. Utilizing different literary techniques, the poet reminiscences on past mistakes, telling his side of the story. The poet is still jaded from past failures.

I flirted with the idea of connection

But it wasn’t long before that idea became dated.

I’ve gotten mixed messages to no messages.

I was still recovering, going undercover.

Until you found me and restored me to the front lines.

Our love life was like a battle with no end in sight.

And I gladly took the beating of being the person you want to fight alongside.

We connected via Facebook Messenger.

Fittingly, I talked to a face that loved books.

And instantly, I became hooked.

She’s surely blessed but I’m a mess, with her;

I was her prince, but I couldn’t save her.

Because we were both damsels in need of a Savior.

So that devotion made me want to be like her Father and cherish her.

You were my Muse

And I was your musician.

Together we composed songs,

which we sang in the dead of night.

You brought life to my mummified heart

The relationship then soon withered.

Unlike Hermes, I didn’t deliver on my promise

to rescue you the way God did.

And to be honest, I haven’t healed since.

I can still hear your anger and cries.

The piercing sound of your goodbyes.

We had a match of words.

You surely won, as I forfeit before it even begun.

A swing of regrets, interruptions in your breath.

Then you brought the worst yet:

The whirlwind of silence and neglect.

I failed at being your guardian angel.

I’m still battling my own demons.

You’re the end of the world

And I’m the book of Revelation.

It was bound to happen before the pages were even written.

I’m sorry for not being as sorry I should feel.

I’m reaping what I sow, leaving behind weep trails along minefields.

Now I understand the message:

I don’t deserve to be in a relationship.

The Fall

The poem documents the transformation of Two Dope, who starts to fall from his pride and encounters a very special person.

Alright, this is your captain Two Dope speaking.

We should be reaching our destination shortly.

Don’t worry, no need for parachutes or precaution.

I’m confident that we will reach our destination flawless.

Wait, what’s happening?

Why are the red lights flashing?

My altitude should be ascending.

I swore I didn’t need preparations

before I started take off.

Now the wings are flying off.

No, this can’t be my season yet.

Oh, now the engines want to be unemployed.

The controls are stalling,

Waiting on orders from a panicking pilot.

So they weren’t just babbling nonsense

when they told me this aircraft Babel

couldn’t reach the fathoms of space.

Now face to face with my own hubris,

I wish there was a way to reverse this.

Then suddenly, a blast from the past

engulfs me into the oblivion of the atmosphere.

Skydiving to an open grave, soon to meet my Maker.

Gravity’s prisoner, a meteor crashing towards an innocent bystander.

Actually, I think I know this person.

Wasn’t He the man that bore the world’s burdens?

I heard he was blameless, upright, and perfect

Yet the religious crucified him,

And he didn’t deserve it.

I had no scratches, no other reaction

than to thank him for his sacrifice.

For being at the right place, at the right time.

Lord, I am a sinner.

I tried to usurp heaven from you

with my own version of Babel.

Falling from heights like dim angels

that no longer wanted to be grateful.

I wanted no one to be above me.

But now seeing the love you have for me,

I’m done living for my own glory.

I no longer want to be dope,

I just want to rely on your hope.

I am Brother Humbled

The poem introduces the antithesis of Two Dope, Brother Humbled. This poem focuses on the character and thoughts of Brother Humbled.

I am Brother Humbled.

A former wolf with a healed heart.

Now part of a sheepfold, set apart from the world.

The kingdom I serve is not of this earth.

I was saved and sanctified to testify His worth.

My room for growth could use some growing.

Lord knows I’m not divine.

I whine, cut off all lines of sight.

Turn a blind eye to all sources of light.

Then wonder if God exists.

Although I choose to acknowledge it,

It’s believing that makes a difference.

I like when life has meaning.

But not when the definition is meaningless.

And the synonyms just lead to death,

deadly weapons, diseases, and other malicious forces I deal with.

It’s a dead wish or a death wish.

To want something that’s easier than this.

If the afterlife is the last resort,

then I’ll praise God until my last breath.

Praying in order to withstand times of temptation,

while living out every text inside the testaments.

“Don’t do life alone.

Remember your King who gave his own.

Be the humbled, holy, wholesome sojourner

who unfolds scrolls of scriptures

while meditating on His love letters.

Help out your fellow brothers

support your sisters.

And proclaim good news to blind readers.”

I am the redeemed sinner.

I am the flawed saint.

I am the exalted servant.

I am the sanctified remnant.

I am God’s work in progress.

I am Brother Humbled.

Nocturne of the Nerd: the college years

A continuation of a previous piece, this poem details the experiences of being a confused student in a college setting

Five bars of misplaced notes.

Treble brewing, bass shattering vocals.

Halfway through college, a quarter way from adulthood.

I’m an eighth of a whole man, composing

an instrumental for the internal audience.

Here I am.

Inside a dormitory of conformity.

Boys finding their manhood in rebellion,

I simply mature in silence.

The good kid turning away from the madness.

Struggling to keep depression at bay.

Just wait, don’t succumb to the sadness.

My past friendships consist

of distant connections and unreplied text messages.

My major is engineering,

yet I still can’t build a bridge to the future.

Databases, computer architecture, and

coding languages aren’t appealing to me.

I settled on being an underachiever,

A troll throwing rocks at the curriculum.

With mediocre grades and late turn-ins,

I turned into the very student I despised.

I failed my finals for the last time when

I changed my major to match my passion.

I decided to design graphics for a living

and be more professional in my writing.

So close to the finish line,

I guess I needed to start over again.

Now I’m a senior that needs to get a clue.

Because graduation blues

and career gloom will consume me soon.

I no longer want to be puffed up with the knowledge of fools,

being seen as a disposable tool

or a small fish in the hiring pool.

Some fears remain, still outlining my five-year plan.

Lord willing, I hope to play the sound of a whole man.

Flowers, next to Machines

This poem explores the concept of creativity and machinery, and how they clash (and combine) when relating to poetry.

I have a gold mine of talent.

My body of work should be in a pageant.

Dressed in impressionistic fashion

with flair, beauty, and passion.

Exuding extravagance at this fine event.

Eventually all the prize money and accolades

will land in my hands.

I’ll pay it forward.

I’ll give a voice to the introverted.

I tell the creatives to be beautiful in their own skin.

Behold, the balloons and confetti fall!

It is not only I who wins.

I manage the affair.

I’m a body of work that works overtime.

To place you in your position

where you can strut like you have something to say.

There’s no security in beauty.

No guarantees that you will succeed

without me working behind the scenes.

I admit that’s fair.

I’m a body of work that belongs in a garden.

Lying lazily next to lilacs,

sitting still on window sills.

Swaying to the fields,

I arose from oppression.

Son of a bright flower, I was plucked and

thrown into the den of lions.

But I lay safe from the lions lies

Still I rise, greeting the sunshine.

Basking in writer’s enlightenment.

Reflecting colors of nature’s spectrum

that inspire portraits of imagination.

I see your point.

I’m a body of work that takes form in sprinklers.

Spraying waters of wonders and wandering wisdom,

correcting all flaws of human nature.

I’m an overseer of writers’ tears.

I simply pass by and rain everywhere.

Each sentence is given judgement.

Each word drowns in scrutiny.

In the molecules of solitude,

I produce plants grown from hydrated nutrients.

I know my nature is flawed by humans.

I’m a body of work that fits all the lines in a room.

Housing stanzas into separate living environments.

The neighbors are musical notes,

Intricate rhyme schemes, and syllabic patterns.

A merry band of helpful elements

coming together to perform.

I reckon I’m the best thing to happen to words

since literary recordings.

I won’t deny your organizational tactics.

I’m a body of work that is best paired with graphs,

Diagrams, and outlines.

I’m the final draft,

I do mean business.

I’m rough without the right revisions.

I’m tough to write without a clear vision.

I hold captions captive,

As they offer descriptions of their captors.

It’s elementary that essays, proposals,

And presentations require proper grammar.

Without me, the message stagnates.

I’m intrigued by both arguments.

As an admirer of author’s tools, I admit

I tend to separate you two like residents and immigrants.

Yet with you both, my writing transcends

from amateur works to master collections.

Technical expertise, taking the form of artistry.

One creates, the other corrects.

One cultivates, the other contemplates.

One performs, the other presents.

The unlikely duo.

Like metaphors, let’s connect.

Utilizing teamwork to achieve brilliance of language.

Loving (you) is complicated

This poem deals with the concept of love from the perspective of a person incapable of maintaining relationships.

Slow dance, romance, give love a chance

That’s what my heart said

But my mind whispered:

You know what will happen.

So stay slow, man.

Don’t go too fast and

pace yourself away from the past, then

keep yourself open to the potential of a relationship

I stand as a wavering, unfavorable white flag.

A blank page made of rage and

tragedies of unrequited loves

And unwritten regrets.

You offered me nothing,

Yet I can’t pay off these debts.

After writing the 21st love letter and fifth vow,

it got complicated.

Like mails, I lacked emotion.

Just a destination.

I’m too nice, too quiet.

I’m tall enough to be an eyeful;

cowardly enough to be Pride’s food.

You and I live on opposite sides of different dimensions.

A fictional universe that I wouldn’t traverse.

I haven’t read you in a while,

don’t know if you’re worth another look.


All I wanted was your approval.

Assurance that I wouldn’t lose you.

Aspirations to adore you yet,

As usual it’s just a few futile attempts,

a pitiful assumption that we function as a duet.

I’m forever lonely.

I’m stuck with all these questions,

And I don’t know if you can hear me.

Are you still there?

Please tell me you are somewhere.

Don’t leave me here.

Please appear…

Imago Dei

This poem reflects on the glory of God, as well as the shortcomings, benefits, and necessity of being a Christian in a fallen generation. The poem ends with God himself responding to the doubts of Brother Humbled, the pride of Two Dope, and addressing issues mentioned throughout the other poems.

God, I’m your messed up messenger.

You wonderfully made me.

It’s an honor to be an heir of privilege,

A visionary for the Invisible King

The world needs to see You,

But I’m a foggy window to Your glory.

I sought comfort in Pan’s thinking and suicidal thoughts.

I was a deer in headlights,

on a wrong path trying to veer right.

My good deeds are just scuffs on a dirty rag.

Yet You washed my heart clean of all iniquities.

If I’m blessed, it’s Your decision.

If I’m depressed, it’s Your benediction.

Without Your permission,

There’s no other way that I can enter heaven.

This might not be the perfect prayer.

At times it feels like

I’m having conversations with dust particles

while Your back is giving me the cold shoulder.

I’m carrying my burdens, the size of boulders.

Yet You have the nerve

to rain down your blessings for others on earth.

I wrestle with angels, displaying my worth in works.

Am I truly worthy of staying in Your holy courts?

I’m tightrope walking the narrow road

with bruised feet, struggling not to fall off.

Playing nice with my vices.

Viewing naked women as objects.

Bewitching my eyes from the roof of David

to the eternal skies of heaven.

I continually fall short of holding Your pierced hands.

What more do You want from me, a man?

Brother Humbled, mercifully have I kept you.

You are my image bearer.

Whether or not you can bear your struggles,

I bore your sins.

The weight of the world wore me down, but

I dealt the mortal blow to death.

With my final breath, I laid it to rest.

So have your questions.

I give you my Word, I answered them.

While you wanted to kill yourself,

I allowed you to die to your old self.

The same way I signed my own death warrant.

I waged war against the world I founded,

The piles of dust I fashioned out of love and glory.

Just to show you I love you when I said

“It’s finished.”

There is guaranteed victory in those who fight for me.

Just put on my equipment and endure.

I’ll slay your Goliath,

using small pebbles of faith

to obliterate armies of evil into oblivion.

For your debts, I’d endure millions of crosses

to get the point across that you are worth every second.

And for every hour I agonize, you are still important.

No matter the pace of the race,

you are still covered by grace.

You are made in My image.

You are forever forgiven.

You are my Imperfect Portrait.


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