A Highlight Reel of Every Thought I’ve Ever Had:

I

If I can’t lift my feet off the gravel,
I will dive headfirst into tarred roads,
chasing every cloud tethered to a puddle,
what’s one cracked skull, I have other bones

–this is not a metaphor.

 

II

I am tired of the weight of meaning,
of: this leaping toad is me,
I am the toad
and the moon is every possible thing I have ever loved
and the persistent buzz of the fly is the herding call
for all of my failures since the moment I slid out of the womb,
which rumble back from distant, foggy pastures into painful high definition
dragging me right with them
into the pit of endless despair.

 

III

Maybe if I talk to myself loud enough
I can drown out the high-pitched keening
from under my bed.

 

IV

‘This is not a metaphor’ I tell myself
when I accidentally send the last blob of toothpaste down the drain,
already ten minutes late.

 

V

sling chicken bones into the parched night,
an offering in return for the promise of rain
(–pass it off as successful witchcraft when it rains 4 days in a row, nearly 2 months later)

 

VI

You tell your friends I am still in love with you,
and I let you because it seems like you need that and it doesn’t hurt me.

A boy trips over air and I tell him I love him
unburdened of meaning
–and then the girl who sits beside me,
and the ruffled crow overhead as I walk home–
I don’t know much about astrology
but maybe Pluto’s in retrograde.
or was it Uranus?
either way, I fling all my affections onto whatever cosmic rock is willing to take them.

 

VII

Buried and planted seem like polar opposites
even though they’re more or less the same thing.
–and I thought I was the first one to ever think of that
but I saw a picture yesterday that basically said the same thing,
only better.
So. are we all ambitious colonizers
bumbling their way into exotic lands
claiming to ‘discover’ them before afflicting the natives of debilitating disease?

 

VIII

It isn’t comforting to be reminded
that things don’t just happen and then dissipate.
it’s all right here in pockets that I’ve given up trying to empty.
sand clings to things
and I cannot tell what grains I gathered at 12
and what at 19
I went to the beach and I will have gone to the beach for all eternity.

 

IX

if I hold my breath for long enough underwater
I won’t ever have to come up
but I can pretend well enough that my lungs crave the touch of air too much
for me to stay here forever
(–most days anyway.
on others, I stay away from the water)

 

X

Dear Raj,
I’m afraid we must cease our dalliances
for I have joined catholic school and am to become a nun
khuda hafiz.
-Simran

 

XI

I used to think I could be a fortune teller
Tea-leaves were the preferred medium;
I didn’t like tea, however.
A dilemma.
mum got me a set of stories from the stall next to the restaurant
whose name I can never remember
(it sounds like rose petals and kebabs, a hint of green)
I read about Musa (a.s) and thought perhaps tea could work the same way.
I hadn’t understood what sets magic and miracle apart
(faith, I think. I could be wrong)
For the longest time, I was afraid of getting into the pool.
the slightest of ripples was a potential miracle.

 

XII

Imagine getting paid to look at the stars.
(imagine getting paid to heal people)

 

XIII

This is my last year of feeling.
I’m afraid I’ll grow up and nothing will ever be beautiful again.

 

XIV

Perhaps I could grow to be a lighthouse:
always in possession of the safe way home;
but only the ships know of monsters;
there is no value to a home I never leave.

 

XV

I have moulded the fat that hangs from my arm
for maximum aerodynamic efficiency,
I could dive off a cliff and nothing could ever temper my velocity
(nothing would ever try to, I don’t think)

 

XVI

I don’t think I bruise easy
though you wouldn’t agree if you were to look at my forearms or hips or legs
I think it’s just:
every time I think I’m walking through doors (or walls or tall, metal benches)
I’m simply walking into them.
(where would I be if I were to keep count of every hurt)

XVII

On nights less gracious than most
I tell people you were born of fire
smokeless,
I am all the bitter brew I need to keep awake till dawn.
(clay hearts break easy)
Happy poetry month! This might not seem like it, but I wrote this over the course of the past month and I don’t think I have anything more to add to it. Also, the image is a sketch from a few months ago. That’s it. Thank you for your attention. 

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fall asleep to the tik tik tik of the universe expanding

Dated: 23rd March, 2018

I…have my anatomy sessional tomorrow. It’s currently 7:03 pm. I’ve been awake since 4:30 am and been studying since. We had regular classes until yesterday. I had a good panic cry around 6pm when I realized I still have all of neuroanatomy and osteology and histology to go over, and I’m not even done with all of the gross anatomy yet, but I decided to stop and take a shower and I’m currently immersed in sweet-smelling body lotion. I haven’t moisturised anything other than my perpetually parched face since the last time my parents gave me a bath, which I’m guessing was probably like a good 13-14 years ago, so this is nice, I guess.

Look, it’s okay, I just have to breathe and do whatever I can, and I will have done my best, because I did try really hard this semester compared to the last one; I’ve been doing fairly okay in the weekly tests, I’m pretty happy with the majority of the test results but none of those will matter if I don’t do well tomorrow and there’s just so much to do.

Neuroanatomy is…it’s. It’s fun but it’s also very overwhelming.

 

Dated: 24th March, 2018

The exam got over at 12:30. I came home about an hour ago. It actually wasn’t as bad as I was expecting, or as bad as it could have been. I don’t know if I wrote as much as I should have, but I barely finished on time as it is, I don’t think I could have written anymore without completely missing some questions.

Physiology on Monday. I’m not looking forward to that. I don’t even know where to start with physio. It isn’t a difficult subject, really, but we’re doing several systems at the same time which makes lectures confusing. Only two of the professors actually pause to recap and it’s just such a haze.

In other news, I’m getting stress zits, which isn’t a big deal–just a mild inconvenience at best but I’ve also lost a third of my hair in the past 2 days! I’m going to be bald by 21!
I! Love! Education!
No, but I really do though. Even though they’re stressful times, I really like exam season—I only have to spend 3 hours in college every other day and they go by really fast and we get 4 days off after. 4 entire days! We have the practical exams on the day we get back, and those include both actual practicals as well as theory viva and discussion—which is where they give you a specimen and ask you questions about it.
So, if you mess up, you can witness their disappointment in real time!

I kid. I’m fairly certain I will mess up even if I know the answer just because of sheer nerves—but that’s okay! The purpose of these is to get us used to it so we learn to keep our cool.
Point is, FOUR DAYS! Plus my practicals only start on the 3rd, so I’m gonna take an extra day off.

 

Dated: 26th March, 2018

I have the physiology exams in 9 hours. It’s past midnight, I’m going to try to get at least an hour of sleep but there’s so much??????

 

It’s done! It’s done, it’s over with. Went…alright, I guess? I managed to get TWO and a half hours of sleep, I’m not even tired.

 

Dated: 28th March, 2018

I had biochem today. It could have gone better, but it wasn’t too bad; I should pass. I’m looking forward to catching up on sleep.
ANYWAY, I’m going home today! I enjoy packing my little handbag for travel so much? It makes me feel so grown up, hey here’s the book(s!) I’m going to read on the flight, and here’s the lip balm and the moisturiser I will forget to use and here’s a gold glitter pen and the little sketchbook and my credit card and passport.

I’ve also had to pack textbooks and notes because practicals (which include theory viva voce) start the day after I come back. But! I’ve also packed the first edition of the chronicles of Narnia (it’s been 10 years since I last read it, can you imagine? Ten) and the first instalment of a 3 part series by Stephen King (the other 2 parts are obviously not in my possession, how else am I meant to continue the tradition of unknowingly stumbling upon a series and causing myself great upset) so I’m all set to lead a double life for the next 5 days!
(the last day is 4/5th waiting around the airport, so I should have plenty time to revise)

I haven’t been home since classes started, which was last September, and I just miss existing in that space so much? Like, the night air is different and the lights are different and I miss the feel of the earth upon walking out of the movie theatre at 10pm with my mum.

7th grade

My heart skips a beat and I grasp on to it by its coattails, firm and unyielding– do not run. Do not run where I cannot follow.
Or.
If you’ve got your mind set. Take me with you.
up and up and up until my feet forget they’ve ever known solid ground
I float and dart and weave in between clouds
you are so tiny from up here
so far from real
I don’t know why I was ever worried.

 

 

Hello Hello! I haven’t been around for a while, during which I’ve turned 19 (!), flown giant kites (well kite. flown giant kite. At the beach! The night before my birthday! Nothing to cure sad and self-pity like giant golden kites at night. It’s in my room right now!), passed my First Semester Exams (The 2nd sems are coming up in exactly 2 weeks), scrubbed off and regrown the skin over my hands 87000 times and collected 6 new cardboard boxes I swear I will find some use for. Also this blog turned four years old.

Resolutions

Maybe this year, I will stop writing in code.
perhaps I’ll tell you I’ve been in love for a long time
with things other than the morning air or the smell of drying paint
maybe I’ll name you
say that your words sting sharper than the knife I’ve fashioned out of things I should have let fade but instead press over burning skin

say maybe I’m only half joking
say grief is a familiar poison I pretend to have the antidote to
(I got it from my mother who got it from her mother who got it from her mother or maybe I got it from my father who got it from his father who got it from his father who—either way)
there are no pretty words to say I spend so much of my time blinking back tears—I don’t like writing tears,
‘tears’ is an ungraceful formulation.
I’ve seen it displayed in crystal vases, but all I have is this old plastic jar that used to hold Nani’s hair cream that she never used. It’s an okay jar as far as jars go.
I don’t think you’ll like it much.

But maybe this year I won’t worry about that.
here, this is the jar.
take it, open it, pour it over your roses or into your bio-compost for all I care
I don’t care.

It’s a new year, it’s too soon to care.
that imitation moonbeam I gave you last week was about sexual harassment.
this soft blue blanket is about going swimming with my sister
this hilarious gif is about crying over being so far away from my family
this china bowl is about being stressed all the time
this green tea is about thinking maybe nothing will really ever make me happy
(except maybe being exactly 11 years and 2 months old, in an air-conditioned room with one green wall, wanting to be a middle-aged house painter with a fridge full of impressionable penguins–which is code for: I frickin’ love Mr Popper’s Penguins)

The jar’s olive green and promises to banish hairfall

 

Yours Truly,
Simran Can’t Curse On Paper

happy new year

the picture is from my aunt’s garden which is currently flourishing so happy new year to the plants as well i suppose.

alternative to googling the opposite of heartbreak

A Step By Step Tutorial

Step One:

sync your breathing to mine
kneel down into the water
drown the way this bee attempts not to:
floating over yellow, dipping into blue until some hand from somewhere
wrinkly and pale and happy lifts you gently, places you on the safe tiled shore
nudges you away from your attempts to fall back into the water you cannot float on

we could trade our glasses, grin into yellow skies now pink now blue now grey
we could float and forget about our bodies, we are nothing more than lazy smiles and burning eyes, the occasional spluttering cough

Step Two:

kick your legs faster once you’ve been quiet for too long
pretend it scares away the sea monsters lurking in the depths of this hotel pool
hold your breath and sink underwater.
boys are dumb and girls are dumb and so is everybody in between and we’ve never been in love whatever

Step Three:

borrow my shampoo and we can complain about how tired we are
we haven’t done anything all day
sing a little louder so I can hear you over the shower

Kadalamma

//mother sea//

I like water better than I’ve liked to exist.
Anger seems a faraway thing amidst the gentle coaxing of my baby blue basin
the cool of this liquid satin sliding across my wrists, running down my elbows
and I can’t even find it in myself to be annoyed at the now damp sleeves I lug around all evening.

I don’t like a soaked hem.

Until its pouring and almost night-time and my best friend’s taxi leaves without her
for the second time in 6 minutes
and we stand in the deluge–a little stunned–mostly trying not to laugh at ourselves
and the umbrella is useless anyway and the water has ascended up to my knees
and I’m cold and we’re laughing and I relive that moment every time my pants trail across a puddle.

In the second grade, we learn about tributaries for the first time
and its strange to think that I’d never thought about where a river comes from or how that brook we caught tiny, tiny fish in with my father’s handkerchief could drown my entire father if he’d waded a little further or how each tributary pierced a different mountain, smoothened a different rock, watered a different country to then roll and dance and skip over and into each other into the great blue.

And now,
every time I see a girl tug down her shirt,
walk just a little bit quicker on the other side of the street
make herself impossibly smaller on the overcrowded bus
I think of broken nails;
of all of us rolling and stumbling and skipping over and into twigs and hard earth, chasing sunsets

until even the sun proves no reprieve–grabby hands don’t shy away from a silly thing as sunlight, or stupid words like ‘no’ or ‘stop’ or ‘please’ and how I’d like for this to be a lesson in a textbook.

Far away and neat,
or theoretical,
or past history.

Humans have gone to the moon and back, and I can’t go to class without my mother warning me against wandering hands on the bus.
A girl cannot be 12 years old without filth seeping into every dress she thought she liked
–or 8 years old or 18 or 59 or dying.

An eternity of trying to fit inside your ribs, in the hopes that we might go unnoticed,
fall through the cracks,
seep into the earth,
evaporate into the sky,
rain down over glittering blue. Far, far away from those sharp rocks
we spent entire lifetimes trying to smoothen.

settling deeper and deeper and farther and farther
dancing in every dress and jean jacket you made us despise,
lipstick darker than the blood on your hands,
skin adorned with only the darling bruises we acquire from living,
singing,
and waiting
for your corpses.

 

the kids are all right

double mint cold to soothe your mortal bones

I got a face potion on, hair potion on, hand cream giving my formaldehyde-abused hands some much-needed reprieve and I’m taking a little study break.

Adjusting to this sort of a study routine and this vast a coursework is difficult, and I didn’t do the best in the series of tests we have every week, but I did pass in all of them so I’m hanging on. By my fingertips, sure, but still.

I had some bad couple weeks a week ago; I got sick one Monday and missed a test and an entire day of class and that gave me a lot of anxiety and it was just a lot of ‘hey maybe I’m not cut out for this’ and I felt like everybody else wasn’t having as difficult a time keeping up, but friends are good. Friends make you realize that you’re not in this alone, and everybody feels like everybody else is doing much better than they are and it’s normal.

There’s a learning curve to this whole thing because school was mostly messing around and now I’m studying things I actually want to be studying which means I have to put in an effort now, which is something I’d forgotten how to do, and I’m allowed to take my time. When things seem like they might be getting too much, I remind myself that grades aren’t everything and I shouldn’t place my self-worth on my academic performance. I could be a terrible, boring, untalented, unkind person and still ace the exams.

Another thing about college is that you can’t help but feel a little insignificant–just because there’s just so many people and the professors are still only getting to know you and it’s very different from the sort of atmosphere high school had where everybody knew everyone and you felt like you were heard. Not that the teachers aren’t always available and willing to listen if you do approach them, but I did feel a little alienated. I’m going to college halfway across the country from where I grew up in, and the kids here are different, and while I have a solid group of friends, I still do sometimes feel like a stranger on the outside looking in. But I felt that way when we first moved in the 8th grade as well and then I made some of the best friends I’ve ever had and we’ve stayed together for 5 years so I’m guessing that feeling will pass.

Speaking of things that will pass, time is going by so fast. I haven’t painted or really written anything these past two months even though I keep telling myself I will on some weekend. I have classes 6 days a week, and then Sundays off, but I have a test on a different subject every Monday so the weekend feels more like a study leave but I’m managing. I pulled an all-nighter this week and then got maybe 3 hours of sleep for 3 consecutive days because I had an Anatomy part-completion examination on Friday and all the tests are held alongside regular workdays so you have to keep up with the daily portions while studying for these, and even though the test didn’t go very well, I’m okay with that because I did as much as I could and there’s always the next test to do better in.

I then slept for a solid 8 hours last night, so this past week has been good.

We have our first semester exams just before Christmas, and then I get 3 whole days off where I don’t have to study anything before we start with the second semester and I’m very excited for that. I’m also super excited for the 3 months long break we’ll get at the end of the first year after the university exams as well. Its only like 7 months away.

So, yeah I had a rough patch briefly and I’m kind of struggling with time management and someone gets yelled at, at least once every day, but there are also girls who swoop in and put your hair up before the teacher notices when it comes undone while you dissect, and frantic, collective, last minute gross anatomy diagram prep an hour before submission that makes you feel so good once it’s done on time and you can all laugh at all the silly panicking, and hanging out with people you don’t even really know post-exams on the top floor, laughing and bonding over shared sleep-deprivation, staring at the trees and blue rooftops and feeling like the only people in the entire world.

The only thing I’m really worried about is feeling like all my youth is going to be spent on tests and classes because and I’m not going to be drawing or painting or writing until I’m suddenly 32 and wondering where it all went. But I’m sure once things settle down, I will learn how to juggle academics with my more creative pursuits (which currently have been relegated to the occasional hurried verse at the back of a notebook between classes, and sub-par pencil sketches) and everything will be okay.

Getting all that out felt nice. I shall now go and shower and then prepare for the biochem exam I have tomorrow.