17 November 2016


I try so hard to search for poetry in all the corners of dreary afternoons, and my head fills with questions like a brimming bowl, too much, too much, too much, all I have are the words and they are too little, too little. Suddenly everything that was compartmentalised comes together in a crashing and toppling, all the separate boxes of desire and fear and anxiety and theory and literature and ache, all of it is here and none of it is here -- the too-much-ness and vacancy of it all -- and I am left both wailing on the ground and also here, on my chair, perfectly still. Well, if you want to know, here are the questions: where does it begin, and where does it end -- this crazy romance with the words -- this wild hope that the words will fix it all, will pin the monsters into little black alphabets and leave me free -- what do I do with this hope, do I believe in it, can I afford not to? Why must my sanity depend on putting everything in a box, on understanding understanding understanding, unravelling knowledge that I can verbalise and somehow control, organise according to date and time and colour? The knowledge of chaos has not permeated through my thick skull -- or perhaps it has, and that is where all the fear stems from? I try to live my life like an exquisite, thick, work of art, layered with detail and craft -- so much to dig through, so much to understand and unravel -- the notebooks, the fragments, the empty boxes, the facebook posts, the pictures, the sequins, the bookmarks and forgotten tickets. I am my own archeologist, memoirist, observer, devotee, biographer -- I am my biggest project. I do this, I live like this, and then I have the gall to ask -- why, why am I so afraid of death?

Afternoon sun lights up fragments of my room, of the corridor, of the grass, in bronze shadows and gold lining -- it is what keeps me hopeful even now, at the onset of winter, when everything seems to be falling apart. The internet confuses me, excites me, leaves me bleeding -- is there anybody out there, listening? Should there be? I write and I write and I write, I craft my life out of my flesh and of the scraps around me -- I hide some of these stories in the folds of my clothes, and I roll some into fragile glass bottles and toss them into this sea, with hardly a second look for the aches that shattered against shadow-black rocks. I scroll and scroll, read something beautiful in the strange forest of the internet, and sigh. I listen to Iqbal Bano and Noor Jahan sing Faiz and I try not to cry, try to hold the vast gaping holes in my chest shut, try to survive it all.

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