Why and other monosyllabic nightmares

Another half-day of mindless scrolling
Another half-day of unfocused rumination
Another half-day of tired naps later,
I find myself pleading guilty
in the court of productivity and optimisation
And so I dig into that bottomless sack of writing prompts I possess:
My life.

But what do I do now?
Now that I've exhausted all those metaphors
that never could convey anything concrete anyway;
I think about writing a poem about the Ice Queen
and not-so-subtly projecting on to her,
I think about how I'm past the stages
of romanticising, and of not romanticising,
I think about all the poems I could write—
Redundant, already crumpled and thrown in my paper-shredder mind.

I dip my paintbrush in my blood
And draw sigils on the floor sacrificing
my body to sadness for poetry,
Adorn the altar of insanity
With the icy tinsel of my frozen tears,
Cover the pebble made of scream stuck in my throat 
with colourful paint, tack some sequins on it
Call it art, present to you
to use as a paperweight.

Here, inside the fortress built of enamel ribs
I put a suction needle in my heart
here, inside the safety of the exhibition gallery 
I have the luxury to air censored content—
if it can be called a luxury, that is. 

I turn myself inside out, like a coat pocket
Shake all the lint and dirt out on paper
in the hope of being restored to my natural pocket-state
(whatever that may be)
But as anyone who's ever turned anything inside-out knows,
you can never quite get rid of it all.

I am not a Gryffindor, my art
is a blanket woven out of cowardly moments
Dyed out of silent vessels filled with nothing and everything
Embroidered with the words 'Passive Deathwish'
as if they mean anything to anyone but me;
My art is this cozy blanket
I'm getting too comfortable in.

My art is the rug I hastily threw over
the mess on the floor before you came in—
Creation concealing destruction—
You knocked,
'Come in,' I said,
You said the rug was so pretty, you wish you'd made it
You left but you didn't know
that the rug's fused to the floor.

Language
is all we have between us:
So much yet so little,
so rich yet so lacking,
Its inventions can heal 
anyone but its own inventor
Or they can spread, contagious,
like the virus I feel, treading borders
too much to count—
Until every work becomes so unique,
uniqueness doesn't exist anymore.
Only loneliness in a crowd. 

Beauty, you see, is only what art presents—
pain is not poetic, nor sorrow edgy—
For all its pure and noble ambitions,
art has an ulterior motive: attention, validation, appreciation
Why else cut yourself in half and indulge the world
in this sensational magic trick?
All the artist wants
is to be seen.

To be seen, to be heard, to be felt, 
Yet I do not want your sympathy
I have no desire for your admiration
for you only see the creation, maybe the preservation,
But not the destruction that lies behind
the bodies burnt in the plague before the renaissance;

You see the rug and not the mess
neither do you want to, and I understand—
Well, what do I want then?
Don't you see? I don't have a clue.
How could I?
How else could this poem exist?

Image by: Aiko Uchiha on We Heart It

Prose-tinted Glasses S1, E3

E1- 1984 | E2- The Handmaid’s Tale

Hello and welcome back to the series which is updated once in six months, where I look at the world through the ideas in a popular book that most of us only pretend to have read. And I subject you to the essays I would’ve written had I been an English Literature major. (Not to brag but y’all gave me an A+ the last two times so I guess I could replace ‘subject’ with ‘treat’ *wink*).

Guess which book we’re doing today. It can’t really be called a modern classic, but it’s not Paradise Lost-old either. You’ll be able to guess; I’ll give you two words: psychology and quiet.

Continue reading

Why nature poems

I'm not saying nature will heal you
The cure, after all, depends on the nature of the wound
But being near a tree can give you oxygen anew

Which really isn't much of a breakthrough
When inside your mind, you know you're doomed
So even if it could, nature won't heal you

But you're so exhausted there's nothing you can do
Cry and relate to the songs that melancholy singer crooned
But unlike a tree, it won't give you oxygen anew.

What's wrong with planning a little rendezvous
With the sunset flowers in the park that have bloomed
Don't expect healing— nature can't do that to you

But the colour of that butterfly can blot out your blue
Even if temporarily, it'll pull out the endless thread of gloom
And bonus: the trees will give you oxygen anew.

This dusky horizon that the sun dips into
Can't replace your shrink; without a ship, you're marooned
Stars, animals, nature— it's not their job to heal you
But that tree can surely give you oxygen anew. 

16th April/ (12/30) / Villanelle

Sorry

Hi, I am sorry I said all that stuff to you
It wasn't me, alright? I'm sorry, please don't hate me.
I'm sorry I didn't tell you this sooner
It was my fault, alright? I'm sorry, please don't leave me.

I am sorry I keep saying 'I don't know'
I am sorry I'm unsure about everything
I am sorry I was dancing in my room two hours ago
And am crying tears of ballpoint pen ink in my diary now.

I am sorry for oversharing
I am sorry for not sharing
I am sorry for overthinking
I am sorry for not thinking at all
I am sorry for being so quiet
I am sorry for sniffling so loud, please go back to sleep
I am sorry for being too lazy, too cowardly to deal with my problems
I am sorry for thinking about them all day long
I am sorry for being so insecure 
I am sorry for believing there's nothing wrong with me at all
I am sorry for being an aloof ice-queen
I am sorry for holding on to you so tight
I am—

Hello, my name is Sorry
Before you make your complaint known, 
Please know I've slashed a neuron already
In compensation for your bereavement,
I hope this little murder of my self
Will be enough payment for my crime?
No? Well you know my name, 
So here's another cut for you, good sir
I hope the blood is red enough?
Thank you, have a nice day!

I am sorry I get triggered so easily
I am sorry I pretend not to give a fuck at all
I am sorry I can't tell the difference 
between what's real and what's not
I am sorry I disappear and stop talking
I am sorry I send you a thousand texts a day
I am sorry I blame the knife
When my bones themselves are double-edged swords
I am sorry I cannot figure out who I am
I am sorry for screaming into the void all day long
I am sorry all I write these days are sad-ass poems
And my blog, my napowrimo, seems like a giant shitpost
I am sorry I don't have a life
But am still living for some reason—
I am sorry for giving life a chance every moment
I am sorry for the six attempts I wear as badges;

Hello, my name is Sorry
I apologise for my trains of thought
That do not have a station
I apologise for feeling the way I feel
You'll have to forgive my brain, you see
It's... er... special, you understand
I humbly apologise, even though it's not my fault
I apologise for my existence
And the inconvenience it's caused you. 

13th April/ (11/30) / Free verse

On mute

Isn’t it fitting
That I lost my voice
Since no one hears it anyway
Screams muffled by a worn-out pillow
Or bouncing around in my skull
Bouncing, bouncing, bouncing, bouncing
Until they lose their amplitude and come out as silence
With imaginary black tornadoes of smoke.

Isn’t it fitting
That I lost my voice
Since no one listens anyway
When I talk to their blue screen-lit faces
Or brains absorbed in conversations 
With people who aren’t boring or perpetually distressed, like I am,
Negative, negative, negative, negative
I lie in the third quadrant, in the undeveloped picture,
A hole cut out into the fabric of the world’s positivity. 

Isn’t it fitting
That I lost my voice
Since no one understands anyway
Even if they manage to listen, they think they do
Curtains stitched out of presumptions
When they complete my sentences, and I just agree
Nodding, nodding, nodding, nodding
Like a bobblehead doll with a hollow plastic body
Brain too tired, too halted to bother correcting.

Isn’t it fitting
That I lost my voice
Since I never can speak anyway
I'm an inefficient steam engine, I consume
Too much and run too little, run out of 
Steam, words, thoughts, humanity
People tell me I'm good with words; but how?
When I can never turn myself into comprehensible language
That'd probably untangle dark threads of fires
Raging, raging, raging, raging
Never certain, ever swaying to unknown cacophonies
Which may be my own creations.

Isn’t it fitting
That I lost my voice
Since I don't have anything to say anyway
This girl is quiet, very reserved, hardly ever talks
One day she'll fall off her high horse, mark my words
Oh no, it's not attitude, she's just stupidly boring
You ask her to talk, make her part of this conversation
All that comes out is vague unoriginal remarks, she seems to be
Whispering, whispering, whispering, whispering
That volume's so low anyway
It might as well be on mute.

12th April/ (10/30) / Free verse

Paper listens

What is so special about paper
So inviting, that you spill your mind
Without a second thought you let yourself scream
As its alluring blankness drinks up all tears
Neither complaining nor probing, ever patient
Moulding chaos untamed into concrete.

It isn't easy to make vague abstract ideas concrete
Especially when you know it might crush you like paper
When your brain's a psychiatric ward, you the patient
Your own body playing cruel games of the mind 
And all you are is these rips and tears
These are all you see, and you can't even scream.

Hush, my dear, they'll come for you, don't scream
Just whisper till your throat fills with concrete
The aftermath of this hurricane is the silent rain of your tears
So you turn to pour them on your single-lined paper
It's the only one that listens, anyway, no one else pays any mind
Like Anne Frank said in her diary, paper is patient. 

That's dumb, it's just inanimate, not patient
Maybe, but at least it hears you scream
Stretches its blank canvas before your yearning mind
Makes your brain throw up, turning vomit into concrete
At the end of the day, all you have is paper
Massaging, inky feelings flowing, until you stop breathing tears.

Your eyes are now empty from filling up with tears
You're lost now— but be patient, you're both doctor and patient
You'll find yourself one day in these rustling sheets of paper
As your pen leaks on them your every single scream
Which materialise into jungles of concrete
For the therapist, another case study, another dissected mind. 

You know this space is which can be flooded by your mind
In peace, no judgment, even though it's so thin it tears
Like you, but don't you see, it's tough as concrete
For it shoulders the weight of your voice, so patient
Displaying the black ink soup crystallised in each scream
So bleed on it, darling, and admire the bloodstains on this paper.

Shape in concrete the products of your mind
All the paper you have will wrap warmly your tears
No longer will you be a patient of an eternal scream. 

11th April/ (9/30) / Sestina


Yeah, yeah, I know, I’m two days late, but I’ve caught the illness-that-must-not-be-named, and no, this is not the ‘new normal’. Say that phrase one more time and I’ll hunt you down, gouge out your eyeballs and shove ’em up your nostrils. Also, who’re you to complain? I wrote my first frickin’ sestina. A sestina. The internet tells me it’s a form poets dread, and I now know why, and I’ve written it while being three different kinds of not okay. And that too not a forced poem just for the sake of keeping my promise of a new poetic form every third day, but an up-close kind of poem. I dunno if it’s a good sestina or not, I’m no *googles who invented this obsessive form* Arnaut Daniel, but I’ve written it, it’s taken me an hour or so, excluding med breaks and food breaks and pee breaks and whatnot breaks, and you have the honour of laying your eyes on it. Just, allow me a drop of narcissism while I’m fresh off a cup of coffee, okay? Let me enjoy this for a moment before I descend back into self-deprecating ‘humour’.   

I and the Sky

On Friday evening, I took my SOS pill—
you know, the Slave Of Suicide one?
I picked up my planisphere obscured 
my phone's torchlight with a finger,
And instead of looking down from my balcony,
I looked up
looked up at him, Orion, the hunter constellation
My constellation
And held on to his belt.

I held on to his triple-star belt
And consulted my planisphere— I was going to try and find
not myself, but other constellations today
like my life depended on it
(because it did) after much trial-and-error,
I discovered I'd been mirroring him all along.

I'd been looking up at my hunter
the wrong way all these years
His bow is on the opposite end of Betelgeuse, you idiot
and that's why you haven't discovered anything else yet.

People ground themselves at the north star 
while stargazing
But I say the north star is overrated
I won't make a single star my guiding light—
my guide is a man made out of stars. 

And that night, I didn't feel my neck aching
(to be slit) from looking up for too long;
I was a child, my playground the night
sky, I learned the names of stars
and found constellations with my Orion—
Canis major and minor, Gemini, Auriga
(Taurus was concealed by the citylights)
I even created my own constellation,
I nicknamed stars;
I and the Sky
shared a lot of inside jokes that night. 

When I was done frolicking through the sky
and sitting back singing Space Oddity, I saw
that the most serendipitous of stars
had also been the dullest—
Very literally, 
In the darkest of nights,
the faintest of stars were the brightest of lights.

River Song had said in an episode of Doctor Who
that you love the stars,
but you don't expect them to love you back—
But sitting there in that chair I felt
The gusts of life through my hair and I realised,
I realised the stars did love me back.

On this day, when I was choking on my own brain
The day I was relapsing into the empty,
The universe embraced me in its galactic arms
caught me in its welcoming palm
soothed me with a forehead kiss saying, Look,
Look here, take out your forgotten planisphere
and today I'll uncloud your eyes,
so you can see all the patterns in the sequins embroidered
in this upturned black bowl that you've been missing.

And maybe it was just the SOS pill
Or the thrill
of finding paintings in the stars,
but in that moment, I felt them loving me back
filling my hollow body with their supernoval cores,
From a million light-years away, I felt loved.
Maybe it's temporary, or my hyperactive imagination,
but I don't care— I didn't pick up the kitchen's sharpest knife,
I didn't need anyone else that day
For the stars themselves had begged me to stay.

5th April/ (5/30) / Free verse

Celestial Reflection

A new day dawning 
A new sunrise 
Is what 'hope' is to you
But dawn is not what I look ahead to. 

For I am the Sky
The ocean that's a different kind of deep 
Arching over this earth
And day is not me.

The Sun illuminates 
This earth. 
The Sun blinds out
My stars. 
The Day blinds out my depths and my shallows,
Clouds over my face and hides
The inky depths of my heart
And paints me a happy blue;
What a nice cultured obedient sky we have here. 

As this blinding light dims out
It takes its pretty blues and yellows with it
And draws back the veil,
And the secret light of the moon
Lovingly caresses my whole being--
The corset was too tight here, my dear
Let me breathe back the life into you. 

The secret light of the moon illuminates 
Me. 

Me, the blue-black darkness that is my soul,
The happy pinpricks of memories that shine 
through this dense fabric,
The tumultous sea of my thought
That sometimes bursts through in the day itself
Blotting out even the Sun
As the clouds rush in to contain the damage.

Me, the blank canvas, the stage backdrop
Where all of life plays out
" 'Twas a good show, Mr Shakespeare, Sir"
Many thanks, thy kinds words delight my heart
Let's dismantle the stage now.