in defence of bad art

I think words of longing.
of sand in all my pockets
and the creases of my jeans

of pale trees long gone:
portals to songs and shouts
and paper lights
on warm summer nights
spent fighting sleep

of dust on wooden bookshelves
burning eyes and lazy hands
and records
and records
and records
that serve no purpose
save a quiet joy
I press in between curling pages

of the sound of the earth turning,
and sitting on the cusp of winter

always on the cusp of winter

impossibly young.

 

Yours Truly,

S.C.C.O.P

Loving Like not

 

The Earth didn’t lock into place
upon our arrival;
still and fragile,
hushed in anticipation
of a prophecy writ in molten stone
and stamped into our mortal hearts.

the songs I hum of you and me
are not echoed back to me,
a technicolour monstrosity
in a sea of past forgotten technicolour monstrosities.

so the idea of destiny
in a universe that tends to entropy,
thirsting for chaos,
clamours of a grand design,
of twin lights, of meant-to-be
seem laughably naive.

I was not drawn to you because I was a moth
and you the flame,
because I was Icarus and you knew the way,
or because both our wings were the same dull grey.
Your touch doesn’t echo through me for all eternity,
not when I’m made brand new every few years
(months, weeks, days even)

My heart does not beat away from me,
cradled in careful hands, warm and not my own–
–my heart doesn’t do much of anything, really.
Except ache sometimes when it’s cold and I didn’t know.

I could fall in love with anything
many things,
(even you, sometimes I think.)
There are chemicals that do it for me.

But we can still laugh under a sun that doesn’t shine for us,
dance to beats out of sync with those of our hearts,
paint in colours that’ll fade on paper scraps superfluous.
How lucky to not have anything expected of us,
to still love in a world that will not remember.

All the time we could ever know
ever need
all to ourselves.
Without the weight of the cosmos
on closed eyelids we trace with our lips.

 

Yours Truly,
S.C.C.O.P

p.s kinda choppy but it was written in disjointed parts over several days so pls excuse.

 

MAYDAY

MORE LIKE REPOSE PROSE

…or technically the opposite of whatever Mayday is since this is a post about all the GOOD things that happened this May. So, I guess a more apt title would be REPOSE PROSE (as thesaurus.com informs me repose happens to be one of mayday’s antonyms), but I can’t decide if that would be grammatically correct (and has nothing to do with the fact that it tragically lacks in puns that barely pass off as puns. honest.)

I’m so good at titles.

Onwards:

  1. The most amazing that happened (and it barely made the cut since it was on, like May 30th) was the fact that I met–in person–one of the friends I made on here. Thaz right. I met the modern-day equivalent of my pen pal. This is she. We met and had breakfast and it was wonderful and beautiful and just great. She’s great. Find her on InWords (great website by the way) here.

 

  1. I also got a bunch of paint supplies and bought more books (even though I still haven’t read half the books I bought at the last book fair) and just had a very good end to a month that was otherwise steeped in anxiety.

 

  1. According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), as of May 29th, the renewable energy sector now consists of nearly 10 million people globally.

 

  1. Taiwan became the first Asian country to begin the process of legalizing same-sex marriage. (It coulda been us but society playin’–but hopefully this will pave the way for India to also recognize that love is love)

 

  1. Some corals in Kenyan marine national parks have adapted to warmer waters. Which is amazing news considering the depressing reality of the Great Barrier Reef.

 

And that’s five good things that happened in the fifth month this year.

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There’s a lot of crappy things going on in the news: things that nobody saw coming, things that were predicted by a few and dismissed by the many, things that have been happening for years but only now been able to get the appropriate coverage. So in this day of hyperawareness and (perhaps as a result) desensitization, if you’d like some good news along with the bad, this might be a nice place to hang out on the weekends.

On that note:

Yours Truly,

S.C.C.O.P

P.S The featured image is a picture I took of the Husainabad Clock Tower in Lucknow. Which is just a beautiful city. 10/10 would recommend.

p.p.s The gif is of an actor known as Misha Collins, who is among my favourite people currently in this world, not least because of his charity organisation called Random Acts and his A+ parenting skills. (fun fact: he was allegedly accused of being the antichrist by the Westboro Baptist Church–make of that what you will.)

 

 

 

 

Chick Lit By Rhiannon McGavin

All our injuries rhyme

Disclaimer: I adore her. I hold an extremely biased view when it comes to her work. Which you can find here (youtube), here (official website) and here (Tumblr). I know there has been an influx of poems here lately, but bear with me.
I swear to God if I am, one day, even half as good as her, I will need nothing more in life. It’s best to listen to her perform that poetry herself. Which, for this particular poem, you can here.
This is about women in fiction. 

CHICK LIT

Edgar Allen Poe said,
“The death of a beautiful woman is unquestionably the most poetical topic in the world.”
Except I think that the most poetic thing is the dress that my mom wore in France when she was pregnant.
It’s yellowed with flowers, it stretched to fit her and shrinks to hold me now.
There’s a sonnet in each of my grandma’s old lipsticks, and all the coats that my aunt wears.
Another device in any piece of clothing deemed lucky.
In fact, the poetry is in my neighbor explaining how her parents survived a genocide that spoke four languages,
Or maybe the enjambment sobs in the shower, fruit aisle, and best friend’s car sinking through deep summer.
All our injuries rhyme.
From singing with a sore throat to a mattress heavier than god.
The freckle on my right palm, tracing every capillary popped on purpose and stomach caesuras.
Who else could place scars into genres?
I’ve seen better poems in rising bread than anything Bukowski dreamed of,
That Hemingway demanded, that Sartre petitioned for.
They can excuse scaring women for art, though if you are a scared woman they tie your art back to your crazy.
It leaks through the gallery.
Like it’s crazy how a couple of movies are worth more than children,
as if they cannot see the fingerprints on the film strip.

And I guess it’s a good song but that bass drum sounds like internal bruising,
We don’t dance to those at my house.
The violence of creative men is more of a burning library than a closed book,
and you choose what you want to read.
So I concur that picking graveyard dirt out of my nails is of highest literary value.
So, the most poetical topic is me, slumped on my desk, sleeping through every English class for the rest of the year after my teacher said he didn’t know of any female writers good enough to study.
No one, in that damned mob of scribbling women, was worth discussion,
since we were only supposed to be the flourish, the adverb
the stage he walks on,
the spit on his finger so he can flip a page,
and we can’t bite the hand that feeds us.
Can’t swat away pens that dip in our pretty corpses.
He sweats corn syrup and red dye and needs someone to hurt for him,
but I can stand straight without balancing them on my head.
I have always washed my troubles in extra mascara so they are defined in the spotlight, molded them to hold a rapier for the finale,
taught them how to speak from the gut even when you’re crying, even when the voice shakes, to project.
So all the women who ever pressed their thumb onto my cheeks can watch me live from the back row,
and the ghosts above the theater –
They can see us, too.

 

****

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Okay, so right???!!!!!! So many things to say about this. Like “a genocide that spoke four languages”, “And I guess it’s a good song but that bass drum sounds like internal bruising” and just fkbkhsfhfbj dfhfdjkjkgbkj. 
Feel free to discuss with me, at length, just how amazing this is. 

Biology is also one of my favorites. It’s one of her lighter pieces. Brilliant. As is Hereditary.  And Cheers.
Things That Could Happen To A Girl Wearing Jeans gives me all the warm fuzzies, while also reminding me how I have no friends. FUN.

Just everything she does, in general. I have a lot of feelings about her. Please share in my obsession.

Yours Truly,
S.C.C.O.P

P.S: If you did bother to check it out, how chill is her youtube space, though? I love it. Beautiful.

P.P.S: If I haven’t yet sold you on her, she was also part of a poetry trio called Poetpuff Girls. ’nuff said.

Rhiannon McGavin: Instagram

 

 

50 Going On 100

“I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that.”

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Comfortable silences are overrated.

There. I said it. Or a dude in a song did; either way:

I don’t like to indulge them.

Not when there are a million stars and twice as many constellations, not when the air can smell like the ocean even though there isn’t one for miles and miles, not when we could be laughing or–

“It feels like forever,” she says, eyes closed and hands clutching at the grass. “I feel like we’ve been coming up here for forever,” and it’s strange because she’s never been one for over-exaggerations but maybe she’s not here. “Hasn’t it been forever?” eyes open now but looking over a place that isn’t here, but someplace where that could be true. I shrug.
“It feels like forever,” she repeats, just because she can.
“Maybe,” I acquiesce. A beat. Then, “I’m bored.
“Wanna race to the river?” she asks, and then she’s off as I pull up, slower than I would have liked, behind her, our laughs ringing out as we shoot down the hill.

We have been coming up here forever. The ridiculous ribbons she insists on wearing for no other reason than the alliteration stream out behind her, much like my hair–displaced in a way I haven’t been for well over a couple years now. In the days of sketchy motels and blurry towns, the realization would have sent a jolt of panic up my spine but today (here), the familiarity slides smoothly into a hollow that had gone unannounced until it was gently removed.

I speed up just a little and don’t bother to refrain from gloating.

“Well of course you won, your legs alone could be 6 feet tall, you freak,” she gasps out between breaths once she’s finally at the bank and I shove at her until we both collapse, a heap of fluttery dresses and skirts and slightly torn t-shirts.

What feels like hours, but could quite possibly be mere minutes, pass as we catch our breaths, the sky a washed-out blue that’s so boring but so immensely reassuring that I forgive it for it.

“The Eskimos didn’t have a hundred words for snow, by the way,” I blurt out for some reason.
She’s understandably confused. “What?”
“There’s that quote you like, right? With the Eskimos and Egyptians? It’s a myth, I looked it up.” I don’t know who I’m punishing. If I am.
She’s squinting, “Oh, I know. It’s just nice to think it anyway, is all.”
“Hmm.” I start humming a song she starts tapping out on her knee.

 

“I read once that the ancient Egyptians had fifty words for sand & the Eskimos had a hundred words for snow. I wish I had a thousand words for love, but all that comes to mind is the way you move against me while you sleep & there are no words for that.”

Yours Truly,
S.C.C.O.P

P.S  What’s this??????? not??? a??? poem????
It’s barely like 500 words but hey, it counts!

Confessions of a Retiring Serial Metaphorist (Not To Be Confused With Metamorphist)

I wring out poetry
from used bandages left
by others who bleed poetry.

Words painted gold
painted
pink
purple
cerulean bold.

But I am sick of violets
growing beneath my eyes
they’re not, its skin,
I’m only tired and sleep-deprived.
an unexpected blood-stain
on sleep-heavy sheets
is not an ode to my strength
nor a sin for which to flog me,
it’s only biology.

There are no galaxies in my eyes,
no cosmic rivers in my veins,
at least, none that are not there in everybody else’s.
(Newsflash: The Big Dipper is not my copyright.)

I wring out poetry
from books that are falling apart on my shelf,
from flaky spines and too-sweet pages
that drip honey onto my lips

(But there are 15 of those I have still not read)

I wring out poetry
from flesh and skin
and people who don’t put sunscreen

But I am sick
of hair spun from gold,
of hands that trace lightning into my soul
of alternate realities that come to a standstill when I take a breath
of things that are not me,
or you,
things weighed down with an importance
that does not ring true.

I bleed poetry when I say
I like you,
and think:
this is the place to be.

(within walls that do not suffocate,
and paint that peels
and plants that never flower
but grow a deep green
and weeds that bloom with a defiance
blue
yellow
pink
in places they shouldn’t be.
here, there is poetry
and less of a pretense;
indoor voices unnecessary–

because we’re here too short
to play it cool;
we’re here too brief
to run ourselves hoarse
over things we don’t care about)

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Yours Truly,
S.C.C.O.P
(Simran Can’t Curse On Paper)

ps: I say retiring metaphorist but I mean forced metaphors. I can’t do away entirely with metaphors. An apple cannot simply be an apple, pfffffft where’s the fun in that? An apple is (has to be) cyanide, the death of innocence, the loss of paradise.
A vain hag’s final attempt at superficial relevance.

Every Story But Mine

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i am 23 and singing to a girl
who does not love me-
-but that’s not true i am only 18.
a pretentious witch
who has never fallen in love
but can pretend
and shamelessly exploit
the theoretical heartbreak anyway.

i am 48 and clawing at a nicotine noose
that only seems to cling closer-
-but that’s not true i am only 18.
and smoke may look good in black and white
but cigarettes make my eyes water.

i am 34 and burning the slippers
of a husband who left me-
-but that’s not true i am only 18.
and the burning plastic would
only serve to poison me.

i am 9 and aboard a train
and the man kisses my hand-
-but that’s not true i am 18.
and kindness can be a disguise.
 

yours truly,

[idk man do I even need to sign-off? why am I making this harder than it has to be]