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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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

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.

betty smith, the youths, and disjointed journals

Dated: 5th September

I have this book I’m reading right now. I started it properly on a flight to the city where my college (!) is and now I’m on a flight back home and I don’t want to finish it. It’s happening just a little too fast and it’s not a small book but it feels like it right now in my hands with the clouds within grasping distance and the distant, waning cries of an infant settling itself into my skin, the seats, my knees.

Dated: 10th September

I didn’t read the book at all this past week and now I’m on a flight to what will essentially be my home for the next five years again. I finished the book. I love it. I feel a little bit like sobbing.

Dated: 4th September

I look at this one blue building, yeah? And I wonder if I’d disappear right now if I could. I don’t know. I knew a couple months ago, but I don’t now and that.
That’s good, though.

There’s a woman in the car beside mine. She’s holding her child’s head up to the sky and they’re both grinning and something blooms warm and golden and happy and I know this, I’ve known this forever.

Dated: 17th July

Or maybe the metaphor hacks and coughs her way onto a bed, falling just shy of profound coherence. Maybe it’ll slip through the cracks and everyone will heave a sigh of relief.

The hyperbole flings itself onto oncoming traffic.
Or. More peacefully. Sinks into blue on warm evenings, deeper and deeper till its elbows rest alongside colossal mammalian corpses teeming with life

And the sibilants draw on the backs of each other’s hands and one hums, and the other chokes on splintered spoonfuls of syrupy joy.

Maybe it’ll fall into the chasm and everyone will dance all night.
Maybe it’ll never return and it’ll whoop for joy.
Maybe it’ll go to sleep and take a shower on awakening.

Dated: 4th July

Today was a good day.
I think I’m slowly losing my mind.

Dated: 9th September

I feel old. That’s silly, of course, I’m only 18. Still, being 14 sounds awfully young.
Maybe I’ll be 70 one day and think of being 65 as awfully young.

Dated: 10th September

A Tree Grows In Brooklyn is a heaven sent.

Dated: 6th August

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you make me laugh but it’s not funny (II)

there’s no one to do the feeling for them

Part I here

The newest people believed some of the stars ought to get lonely all alone in the dark, miles from other souls.

But the stars don’t have souls, you see, the Sad would interject. They can’t feel anything, not happy, not lonely–there’s no one to do the feeling for them.

Who does the feeling for us, then. the Desperate would ask. Where do our souls come from?

The Happy told them they were born from a laugh. A person would laugh, and birth twenty-nine new souls that’d whiz about, looking for someone to claim. That’s what the breeze is. Twenty-nine new souls grasping for a heart to ease. Can’t you feel them? And the Happy would stretch out their palms.

From war, the Angry would say. People would wage wars and kill children and sob and each tear would bear thirteen new souls that’d splitter and splatter and fracture and catch on coat-tails and shoes and glistening pearls and seep under our skin over the years until there’s a respectable enough ocean sploshing out our rib cages and we drown in every song we sing for the children we killed. It’s why we still wage wars. In the hopes, we might grow a soul at the end of it. Of course, they sighed, there is no end.

The Sad weren’t very sure but they thought perhaps a soul sprang forth at the touch of a hand that lays you to sleep, along the curved edges of clay pieces you sacrificed sunrises to mould, from the first drop of ink that spreads across the page.

The Desperate thought perhaps they didn’t have souls at all.

 

A Break

a single manly tear rolls down my paper smooth skin yO MOMMA

I will be taking a break. From blogging that is (and just social media and writing and anything that brings me joy in general? except going biking at the local national park because ey monsoon’s here and everything is green–i saw a fawn playing with a baby monkey and a peacock dancing during a light drizzle and a turtle maybe communicating with a bird and okay so maybe I’m not giving up everything that brings me joy).

giphy

Not that very many people would care or even notice but in case some poor unfortunate soul stumbles by for the first time in a couple months and wonders why there isn’t any recent stuff, this blog isn’t dead just resting. Feel free to click over to some of the older stuff while you’re deprived of any new content.

Not like doing this will even make any difference, seeing how normally I posted maybe once in two months anyway (barring the last couple recent stress-infused months).

But yeah I’m taking a break, albeit reluctantly, but I gotta keep reminding myself this is all in favour of achieving something I want to do. Which is to go to med school. Which I hopefully will next year if I work hard enough.
I’m taking a drop year to prepare for the pre-medical tests and I’ve been known to be distracted by this platform instead of studying so it is probably for the best, even if it will take some getting used to.

I won’t enjoy it but hey this something I want to do so gotta make sure I do end up doing it instead of, to quote internet sensation, faniel towell, “procrastinate on our one shot at existence”.

Whoop-de-do.

 

giphy2

Yours Truly,
Simran

p.s. rice has the prettiest of the plant scientific names: Oryza sativa, as does the sweet pea: Lathyrus odoratus 

p.p.s. rice + Arabidopsis thaliana were among the first plant genomes to be sequenced before the Human Genome Project.

p.p.p.s. carrots were originally purple.

And that concludes your botany lesson for today. Tune in same time next year for some juicy deets on the rich and famous from the sorta-journal I will maybe kinda hopefully keep while away.

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