Girl

I say it enough.
Out loud and in faint whispers.
Scrawled in ink on pieces of picayune paper.

I breathe the word.
Even in the callouses of my fingers and the stubble on my legs,
I channel the very pneuma of the notion as I understand it.

A girl, I say to myself,
Is a contradiction,
Drifting between the innocence she was and the woman she wants to be.

Brilliant, cautious, and fractured,
A magnificently fucked up creature.
A paradox, really.

Just like a hurricane.
Or a monument.
Or me.

Have I convinced you yet?
Good.
For I don’t think I can quite get myself to believe.

(This post is an afterthought. Read original post here.)

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[Feature image via: Silvia Grav]

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Dirty

We both sweat
like weeping candles
lit and left forgotten for hours

Our flames burn high and bright
our pores sob
in the strange tongue of desire that our mouths are too busy to speak

“You’re so dirty,” he says
his breath hot and wet at the back of my neck
his palms rough and greedy at the curve of my hip

His words drift in the thick air around us
hovering
until they reach me

I hear his voice
it echoes in the movement of my blood
settles in my bones

I want to scream

I loved him with everything I knew and everything I didn’t
love leaked out of my pores
and onto the clothes I would soon shed for him.

Because I wanted him close
close enough to feel it cracking my bones and shattering the paradigm of my thoughts cataclysmically
the way it always did

But there he stood
embracing me
while he made love to a notion fed to him by an ecclesiastical spoon known for ladling deceit

Take me from behind
take me in the earth
WHY TAKE ME AT ALL
if I’m dirty?

I loved him with abandon
almost to a fault
so despite myself
I let him paint on me his filth
make me dirty

[Featured image via: Cesar Biojo]

Tea

Thunderstorms, he said,
should be endured at home,
with a cup of tea.

Perhaps a crisp chamomile,
or a cool mint,
or an arduous green.

He smoothed his tie,
the shade of passing autumn,
as he said this.

His breath heavy with decay,
the decay of marrow and being,
his words hot and hovering, like steam.

I brewed several,
teas strong and muddy and sweet,
poured into little cups of ivory.

When they cracked,
the tea would bleed,
like the spill of desperate words on a parchment.

The scent assailing, unforgiving, and penetrating,
mixing with his breath on my skin,
punishing me.

I watched the benign liquid shapes,
as they imploded against the window,
trying to reach their kin leaking slowly down my broken cheek.

Thunderstorms, he said,
should be endured at home,
with a cup of tea.

Magic

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Let me set the scene:

It’s loud. Loud enough that you can’t hear the clinking of ice cubes as they’re plunk plunk plunked into the glasses, bathing in the whiskey/vodka/vodka and cranberry.

And it’s crowded. Crowded enough to feel like your thoughts are being interrupted by another’s, the traffic of drunken/rushed/excited thoughts is as thick as the impenetrable queue at the bar.

There is chalk on the table. On every table. They must doodle with it during afternoon brunches, with the summer air and the corny flair of sundresses. They sit ignored now, the pieces of chalk, some are stepped upon, like discarded cigarette butts.

But,

I see them. I see some things, not everything, some things that I bet you don’t.

I say some things, that you bet I should not.

And I listen. I listen to the tap tap of your foot, the squeak of the chalk against the wood, the words that float in and out of your head– unsaid and misunderstood.

I’m a girl. Just one girl. I don’t want to wind you up and bring you down and turn your head around. I’m not that song, the song with those words.

I’m your reflection. I make you smile and make you want to be good.

There are creases on the cuffs of your shirt and chalk dust on your fingers as I take them in my hand.

The noise goes away. The chalks, the voices, the plunk plunk plunk of ice cubes into the glasses, bathing in whiskey/vodka/vodka and cranberry.

 

I smile. Smile in a way, in a voice I know you hear:

‘You say chemistry, I say magic.
Let’s not allow semantics to destroy this moment.’

 

Where Is The Way Out Of This Labyrinth?

Dali
“Where is the way out of this Labyrinth?”
I asked the anarchist, the wise rebel,
He handed me a revolver and said,
“Here’s your answer kid, it’s either heaven or hell”.

The man who painted his dream,
He gave me nightmares, took my sleep,
I wonder if he ever got out of the Labyrinth,
I wonder if he was ever happy.

The beauty here is distorted, but beauty nonetheless,
The clock is liquid in my hands.

“Where is the way out of this Labyrinth?”
I asked the Pope, he who worships the Almighty,
He smiled with cold eyes and said,
“My child, you mistaken this pain for Purgatory”

(Inspired by the quote from Looking For Alaska.)

Bleached

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Blindfold my fears,
Pour me a cup of memories.

Let’s warm our skin,
Watch it glow under my infernal fury.

Let’s make silly rhymes and sing,
Forgotten melodies.

Let’s make love to the dark,
Let the silence harvest my being.

What’s left of us afterwards,
The debris and broken murmurs,
They will take it apart,
Bit by bit,

Our memories
Erased,
Our thoughts
Bleached.

To Sylvia Plath – I Can’t Hear My Heart

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Dear Sylvia,

I was sixteen when I read The Bell Jar.

I remember thinking how your voice felt like it was being carried into my blood vessels, echoing through them.

I remember thinking that if I listened close enough, I could hear you in my heart.

I can hear you in my heart, but I can’t hear my heart.

I try to listen to the brag of my heart, Sylvia. But it’s too loud outside.

It’s too loud inside.

I can’t hear my heart and I can’t hear the sound of my own thoughts in my heart over the noise.

You know what it’s like?

It’s like talking on the phone in the movie theatre. The voice is so close, right here, right next to my ear, but everything else is louder. So it doesn’t matter how close the voice is, I’ll never be able to hear what the voice is trying to tell me. I’m just going to be sitting here, in the dark cinema hall that smells of butter and stale popcorn.

And if I shout?

That’s the worst part, Miss Plath.

If I shout,

The silence consumes everything.

If I shout,

The silence is loud. No, it’s deafening.

I want to hear the brag of my heart, Miss Plath. I want to know that I am.

But sometimes, it just takes too much effort to simply be.

I wish I could get rid of the self awareness that comes with being.

Then maybe I could hear my heart.

Did you ever have trouble listening to your heart beat?

Did the strain of trying and trying to listen heighten everything else but the typical thudding you anticipated? Did you hear muffled whispers instead of the illuminating echo you seeked?

Did the chaos consume the answers—the answers you needed, needed, needed—as well?

Then that makes two of us, Sylvia.

And maybe there are more.

Maybe we must join our hands and close our eyes and synchronize our breaths and listen together.

Perhaps then we will hear that odd thudding. And the wise echoes that come with it.

Or perhaps we should just stop listening.

 

Yours,

Anupama

She Was A Rainbow

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I saw a girl who once lived
She was a rainbow –
With colorful skies and a pot of gold

I saw a girl who once laughed
She was her smile –
She wanted love and little more

But she was erased
She lost her face
She had nothing to say
And none saw her again

Until the day she found her name
And she said:
I’m a contradiction!
I’m a hurricane!
I watch from a distance then I sweep you away

You say I’m a wallflower
You see me a blank canvas
You paint on me your dreams,
Put me on display

I saw this girl the other day
She was a rainbow –
With all her flaws and queer ways

She turned and smiled
I fell back into my oblivious haze

To Emily Dickinson – Life After Death

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“How dreary – to be – Somebody!

How public – like a Frog –

To tell one’s name – the livelong June –

To an admiring Bog!”

Dear Emily,

There’s a hollowness in your words that makes my chest feel like a gaping black hole.

They are full of impossibilities, etched with the fear of oblivion. Sucking in the electric emotions and flinging them into the unfathomable black abyss.

They say they found your work after you died. All those brilliant poetries children would one day loath as they were taught to interpret them in school, their unrefined thoughts conjuring a vague image of you as a nineteenth-century emo.

They say that’s when you began a new life, a new legend. Breathing through your words, thriving on the sensations we felt when we read them, as yours remained forgotten whispers in the dust.

A life after death.

But you never wanted to be somebody, did you? Because you were already dead.

You felt dead, like you lived inside the black hole in my chest.

You had always felt the color flaking off your soul as it grew dormant and stale, the color that wasn’t dulled with age, but with loneliness.

Did you daydream about your funeral? Then grow angry because you were still stuck here, where no one could see you. You didn’t want them to see you, no.

But, sometimes. Only sometimes,

As you sat near the windowsill, looking at the rose that would be your muse, the delicate teacup in your dry fingers cracked and you couldn’t breathe because you were tired of everybody not seeing you—everybody unseeing you and you wanted to yell I’M HERE GODDAMNIT, I’M ALIVE.

Would you be glad, knowing that they see you now?

Or,

Perhaps you would still be unhappy, as you disintegrate under the surface of the earth.

Or perhaps,

You are simply oblivious.

Because you knew. You always knew, what it was like to be dead.

It’s like you lived the second you died.

Or did you die the second you started living?

Dear Emily,

I hope you know now,

For someone who never seemed to have the affinity for life,

You made a lot of us feel alive.

Yours,
Gauri