Constructing A Poem

There are words dancing in my mind tonight.
The sky composes a waltz that only I can hear,
And thunders with a will to burst open.
We breathe together
And watch as ideas fall and disappear
Like motes of dust beyond the oblivion contained
In a sunbeam.
When I shiver from the inability to see through the dusty panes of my heart’s extent
I do
See that the world is ending somewhere tonight.

My friend rolls all his sorrow
and smokes it with tobacco
Under the night sky they painted over a billboard.
He is bored, so he lets his mind wander
And wonder
if he will be able to count the lights in the windows while he’s falling.
There are twenty seven storeys,
Stacked on top of each other:
Tin cans that rattle
with the emptiness of lives that clink at the bottom
Like small change.

My friend wanted to change the world.
His eyes were set with stars named after every
Child who did not learn to smile:
He went to the beach as one and fell in love with foam,
But try as he might to cup it in his hands
It became the sea and flowed away,
Wanting to be one with its kind.
He now tells himself that his depression had a mother
Who never picked up its calls
And figure skated on the edge of his consciousness
Waiting for the ice to thin.

My friend wanted to win
The confidence of his own heart
To be the voice that fills up the entire room
And leaves no place to sit.

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BarriersĀ 

The writer’s block. 

It’s a big room that reeks of solitude. The door is open just a crack, a suspended beam of sunlight filtering through and making dust motes look like trembling stars. A boy sits by his typewriter, his fingers lusting to stroke the keys. He taps his nervous feet against the linoleum floor, trying to imitate the drum pattern of an old favourite song that he had long since discarded from memory; but which mysteriously reappeared in his conscousness in moments of despair. A dot of light comes to rest on his nose, making him wonder why he cannot absorb its energy. The memory of what he had meant to write eludes him.

The boy flails his right arm in frustration, but the words still hang on to the inside of his sleeve. His gaze runs out the windows and into the vast blue skies, naming the faces he sees in the clouds. He wishes that they would talk back to him.


Introversion.

The street is wide and curves out of sight over a hill. A girl stands on the sidewalk, counting the number of cars that rush by. She listens to the noise of their horns and screeching tires as if it were musical, and lets her eyes follow a certain red Chevy till it can’t possibly continue to. Every once in a while, she focuses her eyes on one of the cars, and loses track of the numbers. Then she starts to count again, from scratch. When the traffic slows, she snaps out of her passive trance, and tries to raise her hand up to signal for a ride. In her mind, someone sees her waving and stops.

The cars keep driving past the girl, seeing nothing. The wind blows her hair over her face, and they are streaked wet with her tears. Her hands are still by her side, for her strings are pulled by something entirely different from her mind. The puppeteer is not her friend.


Love. 

The old brick house stands in stark contrast to its lush surroundings at the edge of a teak forest. It is the solitary red structure in the otherwise unbroken plane of green. A woman sits inside, her wooden chair rocking in sync with the ticking clock. Her breathing resonates in the silence like the heartbeat of the house. Her hands shake as she muses over the past with her eyes open, memories projected in technicolor onto her cataract-ridden irises. A fly buzzes past her arthritic shoulder and lands lazily on a covered dish of food. The people in her dream never let the food sit long enough for the flies to appear. The people in her dream resemble those in the dust-covered picture frame which rests in her lap.

The woman calls out her sons’ names, and is met by the creak of her chair in response. She sighs and closes her unseeing eyes. The people in her dream come home to her.


Death. 

The air is bursting with the sobs of a little boy. He stumbles around, a single syllable fumbling on his virgin tongue.Tears flow down his reddened cheeks and streak his white clothing a wet, salty grey. The faces around him weep for his sorrow, but the sounds he makes are the loudest. Many arms reach out to console him but he doesn’t care for their affections, for the warmth that he seeks is amiss. He moves about, heading for the bright yellow blaze a little ahead of him; but the tall legs of strangers who stand in his way appear like prison bars holding him back. The boy slumps onto the dirt ground, his tiny hands falling to his sides. His sleepy eyes close for a second. When they flutter back open again, they resemble a bursting dam giving way to the beginnings of a flood.

A yellowing leaf performs somersaults with the wind and comes to rest on a stack of neatly piled sandalwood. As the toddler’s wail of ‘Maa’ breaks the pregnant silence yet again, the burning corpse wishes it were alive.

This Is Not A Cry For Help

 

Since the lone wolf has been glamourized beyond realistic boundaries, I thought I’d bring to light what it really is like to be alone and lonely.

 

It isn’t being a sharp-mouthed, black-toting, misanthropic, mysterious creature of the night.

 

It’s breaking piggy banks as a five year old to buy friendship bracelets to hand out at school, and returning with empty wrists. It is feigning illness as a child to avoid going to the park, because you can’t tell your mother that nobody would play with you.

It’s inviting people to your tenth birthday and having nobody show up at all. It’s sleeping through the rest of your birthdays because there’s nothing special about them.

 

It’s being in a group but feeling left out, as if you’re not really a part.  It is having so much on your mind but nobody to discuss it with.

It’s busying yourself with chores and schoolwork and art and music, because there is nobody to hang out with. It’s  knowing that your talents are a by-product of your loneliness.

 

It’s going days, even weeks, without having any interaction with people other than your family. It is the nagging reminder that even your family is stuck with you without an option to bail.

It’s going through preschool to graduation without having any real or lasting friendships. It’s telling yourself that all of it will change in college.

 

It’s watching people enjoy with their friends and wondering what it is about you that repels friendships and close relations. It’s seeing the relationships between friends in books and movies and wondering why you can’t have any even half as good.

It’s an everpresent anxiety about your appearance, the thought that maybe there is something wrong about the first impressions you put across. 

It is having regular breakdowns and crying into your pillow, wondering what is wrong with you.

 

It’s putting other people before you, only to watch them leave and accuse you of indifference. It’s believing people when they tell you you’re toxic. It’s pretending like you prefer being left alone because you don’t want people to pity you.

It’s typing out texts to the people on your contacts list but not sending them because you don’t want to seem too desperate or needy. It’s waiting for people to want to talk to you, in vain.

It’s remaining forgotten till someone needs a favour. It’s never being able to ask for favours because there is nobody you can ask who would be willing to help.

 

It’s constantly feeling like a black sheep, an outsider, a misfit and an imposter. It’s the inability to share your secrets and the musings of your mind. It’s being flippant and making jokes to cover up how you really feel.

It’s brushing off any attention you might get, for fear of getting used to it.

 

It’s making long internet searches on mental illnesses, begging for an explanation as to why you are as sad as you are. It’s the crushing amount of courage it takes to keep yourself from giving up.

 

It’s the inability to get a load off your chest. It’s nothing like you’ve been led to believe. It is just you ending up putting down the things you feel onto paper, reminding and convincing  yourself that this is not a cry for help.