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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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.

 

love letter #18

I took a bus for the first time by myself
and by myself I mean with a friend that I made a week ago
and I saved the ticket stub. Pressed it between pages behind other pages behind other pages behind other pages behind other pages at the back of the cupboard
except that doesn’t make sense so I just stuck it on the front page of a notebook I keep by the bed.

I took a bus for the first time by myself
and by myself, I mean with a friend I made a week ago and realised I’ve never felt so lonely.
Which is a strange background score to the sound of my friend’s laugh and the echoes of my own.

I miss you
are words I’ve never felt. Not like this, not this…what? Something that whips around my head slow and heavy until I have no words except
the constant litany of I’m happy I’m happy I’m happy I’m happy
which I am
because I took a bus for the first time by myself
with a friend I made a week ago and shared ice cream with

Ice cream that tasted like the future and I swear I was so happy I skipped my way back to class.
I’d never known the taste of missing you.

(it tastes like the glass of water I had at 4 am today)

sounds like every call to prayer I grew up hearing.

Feels a little like heartbreak.

Feels a lot like telling myself the hurricane’s really a zephyr,
like the string lights I don’t put up that have found their way around my lungs, tighter and tighter until all I have is copper bittersweet flowing into them and words can only help if you speak them, I once heard

And what I would give to have the words but all I can offer is the zephyr I’ve wound around copper wires,
and memories of stolen mornings I woke up early just to be able to lie in bed in. Trace the sunrise as it moved across my wall

I did that the day I took the bus for the first time by myself. It doesn’t feel the same, it feels a little like heartbreak.
but

I am happy
and I miss you.

animation3
in which I am homesick and tried to animate for the first time.

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