Inspirations: Painting by Ali Alshammari

Preparing myself for a halo jump into the great unknown. No windows in this pressurized cabin. Just the visage of my superiors behind a cloud of cigar smoke and 10 inch glass. Cuban cigars were always a favorite. I find they take the edge off, but when you’re in what is essentially a zero gravity oven, you find more coming off than just an edge.

Thoughts of her flood back to me as Zero begins his countdown to mission start in a boisterous Bristolian accent. Like a triathlete, I’ve trained countless hours for this in both VR and field ops. Numbers on a board mean nothing when it comes down to the nitty gritty however. When I see her, The Boss (a title earned after several acts of bravery on the beaches of Normandy), I don’t know if I’ll have the resolve and discipline to do what’s right. She is…was my mentor. Continue reading

Jetlag by Ali Alshammari

Across from you in a restaurant you read about online,
intoxicated and I haven’t even seen the menu yet,
maybe it’s the blue fluorescent lights layering our skin like anthropomorphic Smurfs,
maybe it’s how our reservation was on a throwback night, complete with loud pulsating 90’s euro techno,
I choose to think it’s the way I’m caught up in you,
we laugh because we only hear the beginning of each other’s sentences before that Aqua song comes on again in a roaring blast,
I don’t mind because it gives me a chance to see your smile, Continue reading

Superpower by Ali Alshammari

Two lions clashing under the guise of cat and mouse,
Occasions where you thought you had me, I’d always find an out,
Sabotaging my schemes, thinking their failure was miscalculation,
Leaving you bread crumbs, ins and faults of my own creation,
A rational person I am not, foolproof isn’t in the cards,
The thrill of the chase is what I long for and the reason I’m scarred,  Continue reading

Video Game by Ali Alshammari

You’d think looking back through the nostalgic lens of youth would mean conjuring up memories of frolicking with cousins and neighborhood kids. You’d think it’d be causing a ruckus and getting away with it the way only a child can. To me, it meant neither of those things. To me, childhood meant being glued to a television stand the moment I unpacked my very first Playstation. The polygonal face of Lara Croft, the blurred purple scales of Spyro The Dragon, and of course the raspy voice of Solid Snake; all seminal parts of not only my upbringing, but how I interpret life, making up who and what I am. Continue reading

Flesh by Ali Alshammari

For Bea, leaving her room was never an option,
She wasn’t driven to it per se, no pitchfork or torch-fire wielding involved
It was a self imposed banishment,
Vitiligo, a disease of the skin had consumed her,
Leaving her spotted with patches of white almost deliberately placed like the work of a master artist’s brush,
To her, losing her dark Barbadian skin meant losing her heritage,
Losing her identity and idea of beauty,  Continue reading

Time by Ali Alshammari

“Do you remember when….?”

“Do you remember the time…?”

Reliving the old has become more desirable than creating new memories. There’s something illustrious about nostalgia. The way the past can be painted with a brush of luminous gold, even though at the time it felt like hot garbage. Getting together with a group of old buddies, talking up a storm, but never actually saying anything. Instead, padding the old bonds that tied you together as opposed to adding to the thread. Why do we do this? We reminisce and recreate through conversation, but to defy our comfort zone like we did when we were younger is unthinkable.  Continue reading