Birth and Death.


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Sweet child of mine,
Only afterbirth crept out of me
Capturing my absolution
In a soaking white light
Fracturing it into darkness
And then trailing behind

For this lifetime
You will follow me as I swallow
Lessons. And spit them un-learnt
Onto the pavement of life
Or for eternity I will
Grapple with your ill gains
Think about those spasms of pain
When I beget you

I had help, dear
Dreams aren’t born still
And sadness does not follow
From the acts of a single woman
They are conceived collectively
Sometimes forced upon you
After long battles under the summer sphere

Remember that I will always speak
With the bitterness of my early twenties
Who needs heels and sparkly dresses when
You can twist and turn from heartburn
Rise and fall in spirals, and proudly
Carry stretch marks from your wretched cowering

And hence, sweet child of mine
As you traverse mountains and seas
(or maybe even galaxies)
Remember, I will follow
With a host of dead souls.

 

 

Choices


What does it mean to choose? What is our aggregate, as we go from day-to-day making decisions about what to hold close, what to reject outright, and what to let go once it is no longer valid to our lives?

Everyday
In my choices
I engrave an understanding
of the structures of this world
And my mind mirrors an acceptance
permeating thickly across every room
that I am– this strange, magical form
With its conceptions of time and space
Mingling in and out of jungles of thoughts
Grows firmer with every new day
As a result of these
Choices.

The Story.


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Let me tell you a story today.

There was a girl once. She thought dreaming big meant a big, warm, sun-kissed house with huge white, smooth walls with no cracks or stains that could be windows for monsters in the dark shadows thrown by night. These walls would be like an empty canvas and the windows that were punctured onto its surface would be so wondrous that they would magically enhance the properties of light until it would bend and twist and turn and fall on each and every surface of the house. No shadows would form on any surface within this house.

And there would be no paintings on the walls with imaginary people staring down their crooked noses upon the house’s inhabitants with their malignant eyes, no corners or attics or staircases or bookcases for ghosts and goblins to hide, there would be strange sounds of leaking pipes or creaking wood or crackling fire or the strange drifting voices of shadow people who secretly dwell around and outside every house.

And outside the house…why, nothing would exist outside this wondrous house. No buildings or cars or roads or trees. No wind or birds or bears. No hate or pain or loss or fear. No. Other. Human. Being.

 

The little girl was very happy dreaming about this beautiful house inside which there would be absolutely nothing to surprise her. The space would be entirely her own. Colorful rugs and books and crayons would appear when she wanted them to. They would disappear when they began to haunt her. She would be fed and clothed. She would be healthy and…happy. She would be blissful.

 

The little girl continued to grow this little house to suit her needs. She added slides and flowers and birds when she was lonely. She tore them down, and tore down her memory when she was afraid they were bearing down upon her fast. She made art but erased it as soon as it were done, before she could identify the patterns of pen and paint upon her book and start to feel them and feed them and be fed by them.

 

Then one day, on an unusually cold summer morning, without a single warning, somebody picked the entire house from over her head and…walked away. It was a beautiful clear day outside. The sun was shining and she loved it. But there was something unpleasant against her skin. It was the wind. It brushed against the little bristles of hair on her hand and whispered the first tidings of a painful world she was yet to seen. And then, just like that, she was plunged into reality. There was the honking of cars and the bellowing of smoke and the mooing of cows and the chirping of birds. But most of all…there were other people.

 

Hundreds upon hundreds upon hundreds of people. Everywhere the little girl looked, they were there. And they weren’t just still figures so she could stare into their eyes, ignoring their physical manifestations and unravel their identities with a single word or thought in her brain, and let that haunt her psyche. No! They moved. They talked! They loved and hated. They were hurt. They were in pain. They were speaking to themselves and to each other in a myriad of different languages with connotations and dialects and enunciations she could not unravel. They were weaving and threading stories, they were meeting and breaking apart. They were thrusting into each other, mentally and physically and spiritually. They were tearing themselves down, one atom after the other.

 

The little girl didn’t know what to do. She ran to the closest human and tried to explain to her that she had a house. A beautiful white house she couldn’t see anymore. She tried to ask him if he would help her find it. But the little girl realized that this human could not understand her. He looked at her and heard her and tilted his head to one side as though he was puzzled. But he wouldn’t help her. The little girl didn’t know why.

 

She rushed from human to human, asking someone, anyone…to guide her home. But now, something even stranger began to happen. The more she talked and stayed, the more attuned she became to the noise around her. The void she had missed so badly was now just a throbbing sweet nostalgic pain inside her. She was getting used to these people. Their chaos and their mayhem was becoming her own. But that wasn’t enough for this strange new world that she had suddenly entered. Oh no. These people she barely knew had begun to thrust their heads and necks and arms and legs inside her. They were merging with her and they were slowly engulfing her. Were they becoming her? That could not be, because she was just one and they were so many. She drifted around, wondering whether they too had fallen out of their own beautiful little houses.

But they had forgotten, she realized with a pang. They had forgotten what their houses had been like. Was she too, meant to forget? She couldn’t! A sense of panic and sorrow started to grip her. The more they thrust into her, the firmer she became in her angst. She was floating aimlessly in a sea of creatures who were just constructing realities as they went. There were too many of them. They were full of too many thoughts and emotions. She did not want to be a part of this world. She wanted her house.

But she couldn’t find it. She searched every corner of this world she was in before she realized that that house was gone. At least for a while. There were ways to bring it back to her, or bring herself back to it but she did not have access to those ways!

In the meantime, the world around her had made her almost entirely its own. Her body felt different now. It had smells. It moved differently. It weighed different. She hated it. But she could not remember what it had been like before so she could not complain.

Her mind felt different too. She could no longer make and erase things at will. Everything she said and did was written in stone. If others had thrust themselves into her at first, now she too was thrusting herself back into them. She didn’t know if the things she thrust into them were parts of herself or remnants of what had been thrust into her. She didn’t know the difference anymore and she couldn’t tell the pieces apart.

But even as she moved and breathed in this strange world, she was constantly uncomfortable. She knew pain, fear, guilt, hate, disgust, angst, misery, helplessness and anger now. She knew what they felt like to her and she could almost smell them on other people, she could almost tell what it felt like to them. And that was unpleasant. It made her cringe. It made her remember her beautiful little house.

Years have passed now. The little girl is probably no longer little. She still feels that way on the inside though. She doesn’t know if the house ever even existed! She has lived in this world long enough to forget what she missed. But still, more often than not, she feels that overpowering sense of sadness…the patter of rain on the pavement outside, the cry of a little child, the aches of her own heart, the chaos and madness of people whose paths and stories crisscross each day, as they thrust into and out of one another causing all sorts of miserable emotions. They don’t let her forget. She sees the world from the eyes of the little girl in that long-forgotten house and as long as she can’t let go of that house or let go of this world, a part of her will continue to scream invisibly.

PS: Disclaimer! The white house does not represent heaven, which I do not believe in anyway. The white house is not a good place to be in, for it is devoid of everything that gives us expression. The white house is a dull, boring and possibly unbearable place to exist in. Its manifestation in my life is probably a substitute for safety and love, free from every negativity- an actual impossibility.

World of Broken Glass


I never knew my singing highs
Were born on flimsy waves
Of maddening thoughts that rode
The deepest sighs of life
Seemingly calm in their expression
But filled with tirades of gloom
Galloping on fields of wind- and
Fearless above this world of broken glass

Hello, world! I’m welcoming 2016 with a post after months. I hope to continue my saga of poetry and the occasional bookworm-ism (a term I just coined).

 

On your Birthday, Sylvia: In Confession


http://www.the-declaration.org/?p=2282- Quiet Songs by Cindy Song I thought this summarized Sylvia quite well, also , this page contained images of other women I adore, who suffered from the curse of their own minds

On your birthday, Sylvia, I will not write you a poem but be brave enough to confront words the harder way- prose. Like you, I struggle with prose, recognizing how much harder it is than summarizing in a few lines of poetry, the breadth of the entire world. People would write you tributes, I’m sure. But I don’t think even those would have made you happy. You would have questioned yourself and them, and nit-picked through their glowing compliments to dig up the occasionally scantily-clad or well-shrouded criticism and sat with tears running down your face, wondering why you weren’t perfect. But that is not what I am driving at either.

There was something inherently designed inside you that I can so clearly recognize- the ability to see everything through a lens of intense emotion. The world you constructed revolved around you and yours; is this narcissism an important component of your mostly-confessional style of poetry? I think so, Sylvia because without it you would have been at a loss about what to write. You did not know anyone or anything better than you knew YOU, and you could not. Had you been able to look beyond your own dark pool of thoughts or changed your lens of examination, you would have found all the reasons in the world to get out of bed each morning and be alive in 2015 (and be less of a legend perhaps, in my mind) and write, write, write a lot more. You would have polished your art, striven harder and suffered from the classic curse of a creator, lived through heartfelt misery and channelized it into your writing in ways you perhaps couldn’t do. You would have been a legend of another sort, Sylvia.

But then I wonder: what if you hadn’t? What if your greatness only came from your inability to look outside your bubble of grief? What if, without it you were an average schoolgirl or a plain professor who wrote book after book but did not catch the imagination of a whole new genre? This is interesting to me because the reason that killed you was the very reason that made you. I ponder over this long and hard, losing touch with my reality when I think of the gratification that can be received from holding on to sadness. Sadness is like an anchor, without which I wouldn’t discover the wreckage of ships at the bottom of my sea. I would float unattended on top of the ocean, see fish and land and beaches, people, the sun, and an occasional dark storm. But I wouldn’t know what it felt like to have the pressure of the deep sea resting on top of me. I wouldn’t see the crevices at the bottom and the fantastic creatures that linger there. I wouldn’t understand the legend of sea monsters and merpeople. I wouldn’t find the occasional nugget of gold or a well-carved block of wood from a long-buried shipwreck.

I tried to look past your acerbic excerpts, Sylvia, at the truly knowledgeable things you said. I couldn’t, and I stumbled with refining my own definitions inside my head because I was starting to be consumed by your story that ended inside an oven. I can scratch the surface of melancholia but waves of hope and good fortune wash me against the shore of people and places I am able to fall in love with all over again, and I keep alive and I keep swimming on to the next destination. That is where I defined our differences, that was where I defied your glorious, shattering mentality. That is where I fail to be the kind of writer you were.

But I can still feel envy the way you do, and I can still hate the things I love. I can stretch myself until your moods become my own. I don’t.

And so, on your birthday, I wrote a confession of my own. I can imagine you reading through it and thinking, ‘this does not hold a candle to what I am capable of writing.’ And I would believe you . But I would go and read something the next day and feel this same emotion myself. And then I would bury it under a mountain of ‘what ifs?’, knowing that I can only write in short patches of fervent passion and do not have the energy to expand it into anything more concrete. I berate everything that seems ugly, including myself. I wish people were better to everyone else they knew, including myself on both ends of this spectrum. But who would they be better or worse to, because the moment I touch other people I explode into a growing mushroom of complications that force me to turn and run before I destroy myself and them. And then I wonder if these creative metaphor are anything more than gross exaggeration, because at the end of the day I am breathing, fighting, emerging, moving, sometimes crawling forward.

I know, I have always known, that all I am is a writer. Everything else is worthless without recording this journey of pain and that is what I do best.

And to commemorate, a stolen montage of some  Sylvia quotes:

Truer words have never been said https://fictionandflowers.files.wordpress.com/2013/11/sylvia-plath-quote-fictionandflowers-wordpress-com-why-do-i-write.jpg

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Half-A Poem and Some Chaotic Prose


The sun was sleeping on her belly while
The trees roared songs of distress
Powered by an ancient magic I
Inherited in my bones
I could hear them, see them, but when I spoke
My voice came out in wisps of smoke

I was nothing but the sound
Of rising motors bearing south
Beating beauty with my baton
I drew my own creations
I swallowed summer, spring and fall
And wrapped the dead in shawls of winter

It has been a long time since I wrote prose. I feel lost underneath my sea of thoughts; prose did not desert me but I slowly and steadily deserted prose, my first companion and the listener of my dreams and desires, and fears and fires. I am in another country, and happy and sad at the same time.

At times I am hit by the power of the world’s hostility and it blinds me to everything else. I question my capability to right the wrongs I see; who is to say that they are wrongs at all? All my definitions of them are in my head, and all I can do is write them down through the deepest abstractions and glide along, hoping someone would pick up where I leave off and feel the intense desire to do something, anything. But who is to know which “something” should be done, out of the thousands of somethings down there.

I left this poem midway because I started writing it on my phone and thought I would complete it on the laptop but when I finally typed it out here, my mind was a blank slate again. I hope to satiate my strong desires to stay in the center of large cases of books, picking the pieces of my heart through the prose and poetry others have laid down. Whether or not they are dead or alive right now matters very little but what matters is that they once were and that they once felt what they wrote, or pretended to feel it, or thought very sincerely that they were feeling it whilst in reality, they were not. I marvel at their writing and wish I could absorb it. I would be lost if I met them in real life and I wouldn’t say a single word, letting silence do my talking for me, but on paper we become best friends.

And, having been forced to refine my words on paper these past two months, I now see how chaotic an exercise my blog is. But I love it all the more for it. This raw energy would be lost, the moment I start to edit the things I write. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, of course, but thank heavens for the wonderful, joyful ability of writing whatever-whenever-however, and putting it out into the world, all the time pretending the only one who can hear you is you yourself.

The dimensions I create appear and disappear at will, but while they are here I embrace them, making the most out of the madness. This is why I love the things Charles Bukowski says, so unapologetically.

Empower


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How could he
For even a second
In the incongruent corners of his mind
Where rusted and derived, the devil roars
Think-speak-act as though I were
A delicate wallflower
Under the wings of a sweeping storm
Whilst I, half-broken and delusory though I am
Had spoken to the soft pain
That wounded my soul
And taught myself how to laugh at it
And flirt with it, and toy with it
And sit still underneath its lingering gaze
But never stopped my often childlike
Sometimes engrossing attempts
To empower myself?

Story


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I’m writing for you
Flat on this bed of concrete
A story that evaporates
When my footsteps on dust are gone

I’m writing for you
From the sole of my feet
A story so intense
I may lose my own mind

I’m writing for you
On the canvas of the sky
A story so bizarre
It will shatter when I die

But all the cracks on the ground
And the gaps in my thoughts
Aren’t enough to make me stop
I can’t be anything but this
Staggering mess of complexity
Waiting for a story of my own creation

Keeper of my soul


I have known love and heartbreak in
All its colors and forms
And chosen you
To be the keeper of my soul
For the unmatched brilliance of your moon
Shining on my wide-awake chasms
Reminds me everyday
That true love exists
In silvery strands running through
These ebullient rivers of sorrow