Dear A, How are you? I know you're not doing well, and neither can I. You turned twenty two months ago, and it's summer break now— Youth and time: the perfect combination, right? But I know you resent your twentieth birthday with the same seething passion you could never love me with. I know you resent it because after that day, you stabbed your soul so hard that its shriek shook the heart you'd strung up on a torture rack, and your soul hasn't sung since; Not like it used to do, not like it was supposed to do with the vodka-spiked tea of youth running through your veins I can see it's mute; your blank slate empty of creation littered with your torn-up hair instead. To tell you the truth, A, I've been devoid of creation too. I can no longer seem to create pretty things so I've turned into a vulture for them: I scavenge for beauty now, Blacking out words in old newspapers to dig up poetry in that manner you hated Hunting for bits of paper and shiny little things to assemble in my scrapbooking journal in that 'aesthetic instagrammy' manner you so despise And I find that discarded beauty in my broken house so that I'm arms deep in its cracks, fingers fumbling for fulfilment Even so, I am glad; at least I'm not scavenging for sadness like you used to do. Do you still make your 5s like squiggly S's, A? Because you rented room 505 for a lifetime in the hope that someone would read it as SOS, And your yearning is a poor veil for the love you could never afford yourself so you look for others to spare some for you— Perhaps that is why you chose to break yourself so you could kintsugi yourself back in place, Be better, stronger, more beautiful, more artistic but still not something that hunger could be satiated with. The other day I heard you load the gun of adulthood to shoot your dreams in the head And sharpen your paper knife to cut lines in their fat greasy thighs. I know because I found the bullet holes still sizzling the bloodless cuts (you could never cut that deep) still unhealed on the body in your backyard— Now a body, because you could only create on the fumes of despair for so long before the fuel ran out. Didn't I tell you, A, your suffering had no meaning in the first place? You thought you were a sinkable ship but it turns out you're doomed to float forever. Let me help you float undoomed. Because I may not love you now but I want to, by god I want to love you. So let me rip the band-aids off healed wounds and gently peel the bandages off pits of blood to check on their state Because I see you, because I am you, because I perch in your stabbed soul and I may not be the hope Dickinson told of so fondly but I certainly have feathers, although small, I do have the spark that could light your way to get that heart off that black rack— A will-o-the-wisp, if you will— I'll teach you to arrange the pieces you thought you'd lost along the way in that scrapbook manner I like, and it will all make sense.
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.
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
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
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
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
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.
Teenage Bathroom Stalls
“No, doc, she doesn’t have a diary
To padre, she won’t confess,
No clue as to why she’s so bleary,
I’m starting to fear she’s depressed.”