A Suitable Girl

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For when you think I’m too old
To love and to have and to hold
Your Dorian laughs in his frame
As cracks appear across his face

For when you tell me I should cook
And not be reading so many books
Your kitchen sink mocks you
When everyday your dinner gets brutally bruised

For when you chide me for being too loud
And ask me to hold my tongue in a crowd
You know not how your friends oblige
By laughing when you really make them cry

For when you wonder if I’d be a good trophy
Me, with my innate lack of propriety
Your workplace thanks heavens
When you step away from matters of importance

For when you check if I’m “suitable”
If I’m a good enough “marriage material”
Alas! You are not able to see
You are not good enough for me!

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The Red Shoe

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A little red shoe
Is the gateway
To the world
Full of dreams for you

It lies in innocence
Deep in the garden
Of my blooming daffodils
Awaiting your remembrance

A swing set sways
Blown by the wind
Wishing for your company
On this winter’s day

Awaiting your tiny hands
That held on to the chains
And with each rise
Imagined unknown mysterious lands

A lovely dressed up doll
Sits alone at your tea party
She misses the hugs
That kept away the night’s cold

She awaits mundane conversations
Your fairy tale concerns
The view from the dollhouse now:
Everyday is a dark revelation

Perched on my window sill
My cold dark mind
Flutters like that bee
Buzzing around my daffodils

They miss your touch so tender
Their beauty belying the truth
They bloom from the love
Seeping through from six feet under….

The Untold

Riding like a wave

On an endless thought

My pen dares to say

What the mind does not

 

Should we all be left alone?

To strive to greatness

Etch these thoughts on to stones

Just to lift the weight off our breast

 

Stories incomplete and poetry that repeats

Are like a cold gun

They wake you up in the middle of the night

And make you fear an unborn sun

 

Am I still a writer if I don’t write?

Am I still a poet if I don’t rhyme?

Or am I a mere aberration

On the walkways of time

The Writer: Part 5: Tonight


He wakes from his moment of bliss to see what the pen and paper has conjured up this time. Another Story.

***

The room was a well lit white. The stack of books in the corner was beginning to gather dust. The tiny window at the top of the room was merely for the tiny ray of sunlight that stole itself into the room. He looked up for a moment; the rain had splattered the dirt from the road on to the window as if the white of room was fighting against the filth outside. The door was ajar, he must have been waiting for someone. Or something. The sounds of the rain got louder, as if daring him to let it enter the room. He looked up and hoped the glass would hold. The books began to shudder, must be the wind, he thought. It was all dark now. The lights had gone out in the white room. He sighed a sigh, this has happened before, he thought. In a dream once. Only this wasn’t a dream. When the lights came on, the room was now red. All his books were alive. His mother’s hanging in the bedroom, and the worst of all, the babysitter, her tortured body walking across the room, they all came back to him. That little friend, he met at the park, that voice, he was back. It had always been him.
He wanted to get out! Out of this horrendous room, he tried to shout but there was no sound. Even the rain had gone quiet now. Could he not hear anymore? He took away his hearing? That’s how he would never get scared? He looked back around the room. All the horrors of the world coming alive, why could he not hear himself screaming? Was he not able to scream at all? The red was overwhelming now. He had to start listening again; if he could just dig a little deeper and remove the thing stuck in his ear. The pen! He would use the pen to remove the block. He felt no pain as he jabbed it in, maybe he took away my pain too, he thought. Or did I do that to myself?
He jabbed it again and tried to scream and still couldn’t hear a thing. Maybe if I open my mouth wider. He held his lower jaw and started pulling away harder and harder. But nothing happened, the patter of the rain was gone, the sound of his screams nonexistent. It was just him and the red room.

***

The writer reads on with horror as he reads the story, he feels the left of his head go soft and the pen covered with blood.

***

The Writer Part 4: Reality

They found her hanging by the hooks, as if that weren’t enough, on the wall were the inscriptions, “Set you free”
Now in the hindsight, the writer wonders why no one saw the connection. His poem had been published and accolades came pouring instantly. An underground cult was brewing in the town and everyone wanted a piece of his words. All connections were lost until the high school rock band decided to sing his words and dedicate the song to her. She had been beautiful, thought the Writer, would have even been a good fuck. But he only thought of that because his brother would make fun of him. To him, she was like this purity which was staring him right in the eye.
By the end of the night, while she was slowly breathing her last, the Writer was looking for an end of the story. He fondly remembered her smile and her long hair and yet he couldn’t help but write what he saw.
However, he did fight it with reason. “This won’t make a good story.” He told Him. “Write what you see”, said the voice. “But no one will like it.” “Just write what you see.” And as it turned out his stories of horror were far more famous than the baby sitter’s death. He saw it all. Her being beaten up, being hung up like an animal, and wondered…why? Who was the lesson being taught to?
It didn’t matter though. Nothing ever does.
The door opens; the nurse brings the adequate pills. He chucks them to a side. You don’t need pills on the other side of 50, you just need to sit and wait for death.
The sixteenth had made him realize that other people’s deaths never scared him. 2000 books published till date, even stories that happened in a whole different continent. He wrote of the many boys being murdered in Delhi; of the 92 people shot dead in Norway; of the father who molested his child for decades.
He looks at the bookshelf now and smiles. Perhaps they saw it coming. His brother knew something was wrong. The Writer was no longer scared of him. And every time the brother suggested anything scary, the Writer just smiled.
And so it was many years later, on this grey winter’s day, the writer sat down to write. As the words began to form in front of him and he began to put his pen to paper.

The Writer: Part 2

He looks back at the day he wrote his first story and smiles. The books they mock him, like pictures in his mind they come back. Here he was the best selling writer in America and yet, all he ever waited for was the next vision. Every word, every sentence was a new life, a new death.
The first ever story got published in the local newspaper thanks to his mom. She was so proud, they even framed the story. He still remembers the picture up on the refrigerator. The story was your average horror story, a couple stuck in the haunted house by the river, the same one he passed by everyday from school, the same one that stopped him in his tracks every evening.
He wrote of what he saw, his deepest darkest dream, it was no more a nightmare. In hindsight, he probably should have stopped. But it was his way out, his big leap out of this world.
The next day, the baby sitter had fallen desperately ill. The writer making the most of it, wrote the story of two young boys stuck all alone inside a house.
Now, alone in his white room, he wonders, where and when should he have stopped. At which dream, should his pen have said enough. He didn’t kill them, he tells himself. They were just coincidences. Only they were not.
His stories were famous, he was a prodigy. They called him King after the popular author. The writer wondered if he too had made a similar pact. There were no bullies in his life. All the beauty had finally dawned on him. His childhood was now exactly what he wanted it to be. Uneventful. No monsters, no scary voices in the night, parks were a joy ride. In the depths of his room, he poured out all his despair and he smiled to the world, everything was perfect.
His mom could tell, she always knew there was something great in him. So she saw nothing wrong in giving herself to him, like all mothers should.
It was only his sixteenth that messed it up a little. He smiles now wondering if it was love. Can an author love a story? Enough to make it come true. It was as if he knew she was his sixteenth story before he even met her.

That was Anna, everyone loved her even though she perhaps wasn’t the best looking in the room. Her fierceness just took everyone along in her storm. She was mad at everything and yet loved life. It was almost as if she knew no fear. Her story was real. The Writer still doesn’t know if his story came first or the night came after. He tells himself it doesn’t matter. Only it does. 

The Writer: Part 1

He had always been a scared child. Even before he had known of existence he had been scared of things. He assumed the worst when his father drove him to school. His mother protected him of all things evil for she knew there was something about him; something that bordered on greatness and glory. She had dreamt of the best things for him. And, fate as always obliged. Now, 30 years later, Writer thought how true his mother was when she saw all these things for him. He briefly smiled at the thought of his brother making fun of him. “A Wuss!” he would call him, “A pathetic little baby! Afraid of the dark! Afraid of everything!” What irked his brother the most was the friendly ear their mother used to give Writer. “You will never be like him.” she used to say.
Little by little the affections started seeming like a terrible curse to Writer. Every time his mother would take his side, the punishment would reach him in the dead of the night. He still recalls the ugly dark and jeering face of his brother in the middle of the night. The smile widened. How afraid he had been! How terribly afraid of the dark!

“They….will…catch…you!” his brother chided. “They will catch the little Writer and KILL HIM!” The fear paralyzed him. When you are ten, you believe everything your brother says. Writer remembered the days he would hurry under the bed hoping his brother would leave him alone. He began to hate his mother for inflicting the pain of her affection on him.
Years passed under this torture, Writer still afraid of everything wrote of the beauty he was missing. That one day he wouldn’t be scared of roaming the nights and actually embrace the moonlight. He wrote of the thrill of riding the bikes in the parks like other children. He wondered what it would be like to not be afraid of falling. He wondered would his world have been different had he not been scared of making friends in the neighborhood.
Life had dealt him a tough hand, he told himself. Why else would his hands shiver at the mere thought of stopping somewhere on the way from school?
But nothing stays; everything is taken away by time. One fateful walk in the park changed everything for him. The day had gone well, as far as good days go really. His brother hadn’t found the right moment to pick on him; his bus had broken down so he was in fact walking in the park with his schoolmates. He was almost close to enjoying the fine view of the nature that had evaded him for so many of the days.
Suddenly, it seemed like the voices of laughter around him were gone. “You are still afraid. Aren’t you?” someone whispered. “Still afraid of the dark?” he asked. It was his brother’s voice. Only it wasn’t his brother speaking the words. How could he? He was miles away at his football game! “Come with me to the woods and you will never be afraid. All you have to do is ask. Imagine! A life full of power! The power to instill fear in those who scare you! The power to overrule the ones with the jeering dark faces! All you have to do is…write! Spread the word, the stories of the darkness you see! The darkness their minds seek. Come with me and you will be the fearless and the great!”
The writer wondered, could this be real or maybe his forlorn mind conjuring up another spell to cast him off his fears? But the more he thought more he got convinced of the deal. It was almost as if the voice could read his mind! It could tell what he was seeking. The power to make others feel the fear he would feel. The power to spread stories of horror and mystery.

He heaved a long sigh and asked, “What do I have to do?” “Nothing!”, The voice said. “Just write what you see.”
That night, tucked away in his tiny room, he waited in the darkness for his brother’s voice.  The room came alive in the night, emptiness turning it red. With a bated sigh, he picked up his pen and without a thought began his journey.

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