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Quills On Parchment

"A poem is never finished, just abandoned."

Que Sera

“This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in.”- Pretty, Katie Makkai

On bad days
I wish I looked good.
Brush my hair
so it covers light-catching
sight-catching pinpricks on my skin,
so it falls over my
crease lined neck.

Drag nails over skin to
separate the without
from within.
Create judgement panels
in my head
and wonder if this is whynot.

On bad days
I skim the surface of superficiality
and struggle to stay afloat
of the depths of shallowness.

On bad days
I cannot say
“Does it matter?” when
told I’m pretty.

Over yellow pages

“And when we looked outside,
Couldn’t even see the sky.”- Sleep On The Floor, The Lumineers

writing
is as simple as
hearts beating,
drumming liquid music
through networks
of vulnerability,
breathing life into
temporary spans of spaces,
as simple as the
mechanical thrumming
of hearts running
on hooked wires and
tangled remains.

writing
is recovering
what I’m losing
when I choose to
hold my words back because
i still cannot bring myself
to risk it-
bold and daring, I am not,
and I trust you with my life
but I don’t trust you
not to leave and that has
always mattered more.

writing is rewriting
till I’m so sick of how
I’m feeling
I stop feeling it.

1963

“Everything just takes me back to when you were there.”-When We Were Young, Adele

I’ve been searching everything
we’ve been through
for remaining traces of you.
I found your smile while sitting on
sandy grounds surrounded
by all the people I’m about to leave;
your hair in her words about running away
in the rain from the rain;
the things you said in the blue lines
I’ve coloured into my white shoes;
and your presence in metal boxes
that I miss every morning.

Roots of my Feminism: of remembering and striving to change #2

I do not remember throwing furtive glances into shadows, the hairs on my neck standing up, a presence lurking in the corner, being followed, stalked, like that gazelle on Discovery science, its nos…

Source: Roots of my Feminism: of remembering and striving to change #2

1823

 

Today I felt myself stop again 

to withhold the anger that resurges

with all those memories;

I felt sadness rise like petrified

waves urging themselves to revive.

 

So I stepped across

the rain-soaked stairs

seeking the insignificance of standing

in the open air;

searching for hope.

 

And I came across the depth

of the naked sky, your favorite

shade of the night.

 

Tonight the stretches of

the cloudless ceiling

feel like a dark blanket,

untucked at a corner

through which light

flows in

in the form of reflected sunshine.

 

And something about

this beauty leaves me lost-

I can’t remember what

brought me up here

searching for a star to wish upon.

How to write a poem

wipe the ink off the edge of your nib,
tilt your head backwards
to stop
your tears from falling
onto the page.
you write to blur out the world.
you write to keep your tears
from blurring out the world.
but don’t let them blur out your words
either-
you are more than this
fleeting image,
poised in the pocket of time
between focusing and clicking,
that the poem you’re writing
will capture.

don’t use those notebooks
with paper-thin covers
to sketch out stories,
you constrict your words
between those ruled pages-
parallel lines never meet
but poetry seeks
to allow us to converge at a point.
so write on loose sheets
falling out from notebooks
you tore too many pages out of,
and if your poem is too honest,
you can let her fly away-
don’t shred apart your truth
to create confetti to distract
the greedy hands and scavenging eyes.

how do you write a poem?
i never really knew.
they tell you to just be honest.
i am still afraid to.
how do you write a poem?
by letting moments turn into words
and words turn into moments.
by letting the dots over your ‘i’s
turn into dashes of regret
that spike your words with bitterness
like lime infusing water.

you write by beginning
without knowing how,
because that question has no right answer
or too many to ever find-
because writing poetry is not a process,
it is a discovery.

when you asked me how to write a poem,
i didn’t have an answer.
i’ve written it into a poem now
and i guess that that’s an answer in itself.

-AWWAW

Join-the-dots

(Happy Birthday, Shriya aka my best friend.Thank you for the awesomeness you add to my life(which is,yes,sad and dull and grey without your sparkle in it).You are a maniac with an (admittedly)incredible sense of humour and the capacity to understand and I love you for it. Our friendship is one of those strange things that is just meant to be and I’m so glad I know you-always.
-Shree
P.S.This is a stand-in gift until I can find you something good.Hope you like it.)

For so long,
I couldn’t seem to throw
my old grievances out-
those cobwebs stretched dry
and old before my soul
several thousand eye-blinks ago.

but I chose to wait until they
seemed so emptily haunting
that
I could be sure that no one would
come back to claim them as
hope-
I chose to wait
because appearances are deceptive
but I let them define me.

but now my fingers move
on their own
to brush the glasses clean
of the dust that rains down
on my faltering lungs
-and I choose differently-
I move to fling
my mistakes open.

and a wind breezes
through the windows
intertwines with the branches of trees
to find its way into me,
to find its way out of me
in a breath of relief.

and clearing away the gossamer
cleared away my hesitation,
and clarity shows me where
my reasons
to leave the past behind lie
-in other times
staring out of this window-

and my memories
(4.
blue paint peeling away
to disfigure the white letters
scratched onto the board that’s
a shade darker than the colour
of a perfect sky in his daydreams)

finally fall back
(2.
watching
people huddled up
standing under bus stops
waiting for the rain to subside)

into rhythms
(5.
footsteps bumping up and down
on the asphalt
green and red shoes streaking
across dark grey)

of honesty
(6.
seeing pale reflections of
sunlight
in the dancing beams
of streetlights
falling over my seatbelt
in the night)

I no longer
(7.
that juncture
where it seems like today,
yesterday
and forever,
the juncture that somehow seems
empty of tomorrows)

seek
(3.
the hopefulness of
hovering fingers doubtful
of what they wish
to convey)

to evade
(1.
hearts beating in rhythm
with water dripping from
faulty faucets)-

and you will connect these
numbered dots
to paint yourself pictures
of your own memories
but my jigsaw puzzle
only he could ever put together-
he could always see through
the girl he left standing alone
by her window.

letters to you

as i scramble for letters
to turn into words to turn into letters
i try to write to you,
i look to you
to remind me
of the way you knew
the curve of my handwriting
before my fingers laid ink down,
the way you knew
how my eyebrows would scrunch up
before i bent to set the pen scratching,
i look to you
to strike chords within me,
to send me into dizzying choruses
of words that paper absorbed
to leave my head empty of poison.

in this wave of confusion and self doubt
i can’t help but address myself to you
just as i used to
back when we knew the angles at which
we needed to position ourselves
to keep each other upright.
and i can see in my mind
the startled step you’ll take backwards
when another letter reaches you
after all this time,
i know i haven’t been around,
my replies are a little too short and
take a little too long to reach you
and i know this is selfishness
but in this wave of confusion and self doubt
it’s still you i look to
after all this time.

i hope you open this envelope
that you read this desperate last ditch attempt
i hope you laugh and say “always”
(because we were fellow potterheads
before we were anything else,
because we loved books before we loved each other
and i hope that this love we can continue to share)
and i hope
that you write back with
those answers of yours-
the ones that were
never quite right but never seemed wrong,
truth seeped through those words you
used to pen to me
and i just want to read them written
in your hand once again.

but if time has left your confidence shaken,
if your belief in me has not recovered from the
fall it took when i withdrew from you,
if all the shades of right that we partitioned and coloured
have blurred into each other
then just write to me,
write back and let me know that i am more-
more than
faded photographs of grinning girls
who no longer fit into the same frame
more than january the 17th
and the lack of recognition etched
into your blank expression
more than a liar
more than just unspoken apologies
more than the enough i’ve strived so hard to be.

and if that is too much to ask,
then just write back
write back and let me know that you still remember me
that you spent all this time wondering
why no letters landed by your door
write back to tell me that my twisted sense of regret
is not going to earn me your forgiveness
that what was is was and can’t be anymore
just remind me that i made my own choices
and unlike the prince, i chose myself over love,
remind me that
i have no right to feel as though i’ve been
punched in the stomach every time i catch
sight of your words scattered across my mind.

Choices

“What is it you wish to do with your one wild and precious life?”-The Summer Day,Mary Oliver

One year and a few months from now, I will be in college.

OH GOOD GOD,WHAT?

Cue panic,bewilderment,stricken expressions taking over my face and a complete mental blanket blackout of all thoughts that try to head in that direction(read:trickle into that pit hole).

I’ve tried to avoid thinking about it,but I’ve been racking up the worry and the time I have at my disposal is slimming into ungraspable sections.And so…here is my coerced confrontation with myself:a blog post.

I am terrified of college.When I leave school,I will be bidding Adieu(maybe I should say Au Revoir?) to the comfortable little zone I’m in.My friends and I might be scattered across different states, leave alone the globe.

And-I’m bringing out the big guns here:college means college-hunting.The very term scares me.All ye in countries where letters from colleges arrive at your doorstep,consider yourselves beyond lucky.We here tend to delve into databases full of fuzzy information to pull out possible paths…after which we attack doorways to those paths like deranged lunatics in an attempt to investigate whether said path is the right one.(Or maybe it’s just me.)

Connected with the choice of colleges lies the choice of courses.I think I’m doing Literature.I think.I hope this is one decision I have it in me to stick by.Oh,I’m also growing afraid that I’ll somehow miss college application/test deadlines.

Another question:what if I’m not happy in whatever college I do choose to study in?What if I make a terrible decisions and I realize it much later?

And then there are the questions that don’t really have definite answers.I don’t know if I’m setting myself goals I can’t possibly achieve.Maybe the universities I think about joining are beyond my capacity.My self-evaluation might be dreadful.I may be overestimating my abilities.

Though that reminds me:

“It is our choices that show who we truly are far more than our abilities.”-Dumbledore in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

 

On hindsight,seeing as how I have to make choices here,that isn’t…really comforting.

Worries,worries,worries,worries.I’m even worried that I’m not worrying enough.Surely as a student on the brink of her collegiate life,I should be more concerned about what it is I want to do?

Or maybe I’m way too concerned.

Maybe a year from now,everything’ll be clear to me.

A year and a few months probably seems like a very long time to all but those stuck in the middle of utter confusion.Or those starving in the middle of a wasteland with no access to civilization.Or those who’ve been abandoned by their Wi-Fi.Or-worst of all-those attempting to get a hold of books and music that simply have insanely good copyright mechanisms.

Hoping to write a companion post to this in 2017 that will describe a me with happy conclusions and exciting beginnings,

AWWAW

P.S.On a happier note,today marks the 67th year of our(the Indian) Constitution’s implementation.I might’ve half-ignored that a year ago,but this year finds me more conscious of the largeness of that achievement.Happy Republic Day,everyone!

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