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

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.)

 

 

 

 

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)

giphy2

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]

Dreaming Boy

I will not write in green.

There are no adventures for me.

No films with watery sunlight.

No sea-worn glass on a pebbly beach.

No pirates to sing my praise,

no evil lairs that I set ablaze.

 

But no matter.

There are worse tragedies at play (they say):

The birth of a man.

 

‘The boy is gone’,

they cry,

eyes warm and too bright.

And it echoes into the tearful night:

the boy is gone.

 

–but the girl was never even born,

and her story lies blank.

No grand tales in golden lettering,

purple leaves or dark blue dreams.

No crown to place atop her head

or cape of torn, worn sheets.

 

what is a boy, but a young, bright thing

scrambling to love what it can.

what is a girl but a dangling string,

once taut, now barely seen.

 

Broomstick cowboy, won’t you stay?

Bless this land with songs of play.

Dreaming girl, won’t you wake?

Don’t you see the things at stake.

 

Yours Truly,

Simran

Or Burn This Out

 

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I’m not lazy. I’m not.

But how do you explain to someone you can’t manage normal life when you can barely even dredge up the motivation to breathe, or eat; or not be so miserable you’ve crossed the point of comfort and simply rearranged atoms to make space until it’s firmly woven into you.

How do you even begin to tell somebody you can’t even manage to regulate your own happiness, that you haven’t been able to do that for years, that every time it comes back, it’s a little stronger and a lot more familiar and not any less easier.

“I’m sad” sounds equal parts overdramatic and gross understatement and so so silly but it’s the truth and how do you tell someone you feel like an absolute failure for it but you just can’t right now, you can’t.

How do you even hate yourself a little less? Cut yourself some slack? ‘Cause you can see it logically  sure, but mind and practice are two different things and both are out of commission lately and you need to get it together, this is an important year but you can’t. You’ve barely been holding it together for 3 months and then the universe decides to go ahead and screw you over a little more as if you need any more reason to be pathetic and sad and pathetic and it is so silly it’s laughable–if every laugh didn’t sound forced and fake and empty, like you were shredding up your lungs just to torture it into giving up that basic, basic sound.

Tone down the self-loathing, man. It gets old.

Anyway, point is all of it sounds like I’m just making excuses but I’m not. I want to be able to just function and I want to not be such a flipping mess, and I want  to be able to explain it to you in terms less weak and confusing. But I can’t.

I can’t get out of bed, and it’s such a fricking cliché, and I can’t find it in myself to care, I can’t keep telling myself this isn’t happening and that I’m good when I can feel it heavy and thick and blistering all around me and it’s so amazingly pitiful and I am so done.

I say sad and I say miserable but there are different kinds, like when your dog dies and it sucks but that kind of sadness is one that grows inside you, born of healthy feelings and normal responses, warm and not nearly as self-destructive and then there is the kind that descends over you like a blanket that you wrap around yourself in ways you can’t remember later until it feels like it’s just spun itself into your skin, a physical barrier between you and everything around you, filtering out everything until all that’s left is shades of muted grey and crimson–and why crimson where does that even come from and grey is such a fricking cliché — and it’s foreign and alien and familiar and what does one even say to that.

It is so messed up to describe any sort of sadness as flippin’ “warm” of all things but I speak in relative terms. It’s warm in the way the lump that surges up in your throat eventually goes away, and your eyes may be scratchy but you feel like you’ve been scrubbed clean, like there is a new day and the last one sucked, sure, but this one doesn’t have to. It’s warm in the way that you don’t find yourself drained and empty and pathetic, but just upset and exhausted while being secure in the knowledge that it’s temporary. It’s warm in a way the other kind of sadness isn’t, in a way that doesn’t leave you satisfied and avenged when you don’t eat or get out of bed or attempt to make things better for yourself. It’s warm in a way that doesn’t compel you to self-sabotage in ways nobody else notices.

The other kind is just plain cruel. Shaky hands and dim rooms and self-loathing.

I’m not lazy, I’m not making excuses, I’m just incredibly, terribly off.

(And I am sorry, I am, but I don’t know how to fix it)

 

Yours Truly,

sign-off

 

P.S I haven’t been around for a while and I apologize for that. I also apologize for coming back just to post this depressing thing but I really needed to just get it out. Thank you for putting up with it.

 

Vun, two, ha ha

You wonder sometimes if you’re just a dramatic brat so starved of any sort of personality that maybe this is just something you drummed up to be interesting. You’re not sure whether that thought comforts you or makes it worse, because if it is simply something you cooked up, then you could end it just as easily. There was never any definitive reason that made things turn this way, so maybe it could be something you came up with while bored. You’re sure of that some days. On the bad ones, you’re not.

You felt what you felt and even if there had been no basis to it, no causative event, it was still real. Tangible. Something bitter you could always taste at the back of your throat and feel weighing down behind your eyes and on your wrists. Something heavy and oppressive and uncomfortably silky that fashioned the jagged lump that was permanently lodged in your throat.

For a brief while, you thought it had gone away for good.

It hasn’t.

There are good days, that turn into weeks, and then months. Months where you genuinely believe it’s gone. But then you’re reminded of all the ways it’ll never go away.

You do things to try and cheer yourself up.

But that slimy, sour mass of a mini black hole that seems to have set up home at the base of your stomach sits stubborn and powerful as ever. Scoffing at your pathetic, weak, whimpering attempts at retaliation. You debate giving up.

Not in an everything sense, but little things. Little things that are never noticed by anybody else but weigh warm and heavy and suffocating against your skin. Little things you gently set on the ground and then on fire.

You think it’s hilariously stupid how those little things ever even mattered to you.

Lie on your bed and breathe. And stare at the ceiling and sleep. And when the sun’s out, get out of bed long enough for a few quips and obnoxious laughs and once the house is essentially empty because everybody is at work or school, climb right back in and lie on your bed. And breathe. And stare at the ceiling. But don’t sleep, because sleep is a break your body seems unwilling to take.

The sun is setting and then you are asleep. Soft sheets and soft pillows and soft sighs.

Wake up a little later on in the night to a quiet house. To muted light coming through the window and through the crack under the door. Sleep is a break your body is unwilling to take.

Lie on your bed and breathe. And think of all the times you laughed so hard it hurt. A stabbing pain at the base of your jaw, the side of your ribs, gripping your stomach–uncomfortable and painful. It’s unfair that you laugh and your insides twist and break and give way as if they weren’t built to accommodate a joy this vast, a happiness this loud. Yet your body is perfectly content harbouring a black hole, nourishing a discontent that should have been too much for it to take. A star is dying inside of you. Made of matter compressed and pushed into a tiny space. Everything that wasn’t right that you inhaled anyway, nestled amidst organs and arteries beating red and steady–enveloping it in a warmth that is yours to be loved with but is swallowed by that swirling fog at the base of your stomach.

Your body is a traitor, and your mind even more so. And you don’t know what to do. How to teach it to be more welcoming of delight and less so of misery.

So lie but don’t sleep. Or think a little too deep, lest your heart goes the way of your dreams–hacked and torn out of existence in the absence of sleep.

Yours Truly,

sign-off