The job of a poet is to live a life no one wants to live. You scream and cry and degrade and embarrass yourself in a way that makes people stay away. You must experience the depths of loneliness like no one else has; be great at words, yet terrible at telling the ones closest to you how exactly you feel.
And yet, the words you write must make people feel the gentle kiss of sunlight on a winter day. When they read you, they must feel less alone - this irony is a poet's greatest tool - and they must feel loved in a way you never have. Evoke feelings you wish you'd be feeling, and you know you've done a great job.
Ocean of wisdom churned
Cosmic secrets free.
Earth atop tusk,
Half-dark, half-light, endless fight,
Ax, bow, and plough,
drench the soil, find the way
Order from the fray.
Dusky love's hue,
Cowherd's flute in skies anew,
Peace and love to all.
Dark horse, prophetic,
Karmic click, world's end, poetic,
Another new beginning.
These haiku refer to the Dashavatara of Vishnu, the concept of which is reflective of evolution and the cycle of life in Hindu Mythology.
My greatest misfortune has been that I couldn't be anything but seventeen in 2016. Now, I know that no amount of money or doing would address that, but perhaps, with some money, I could set myself to the task of addressing everything that being that age in that year caused.
It would take a while, holding as weak a passport as I do, but I want to get myself to New York City. It would be a long journey, and one, I imagine, punctuated by constant nightmares of what he had done to me, and how I would've known better if I'd just been a little older. I'd take a bus from there to wherever in the middle of nowhere he was living. Then I'd get to his house, ring the bell, and spit in his face when he opened the door.
I cannot imagine the rest of the trip being anything less than fantastic.
And with the story on the page and the money left over afterwards, I'll finally get some therapy.
Recipe For You
Catch a ray of sunshine,
Mix it with laughter's sweet honey.
Then slowly drizzle in morning dew
From a thousand mountain flowers.
Don't forget the raw mango tang, and
Some pepper flakes for heat, of course.
Add a pitcherful of hope. Yes,
The whole thing. Fold in happiness,
honest love, and the expectation
That bad times and mistakes
Won't be remembered too long.
Pour into a tube and shake. Then,
Look through the other end, into
The kaleidoscope closest to what feels like you.
A million attempts in
At making something like you, I find
There is so much more to discover -
Maybe a lifetime's worth of ingredients,
Maybe even more.
How do you define ‘family’?
Having gotten used to being confined to my room while my parents wordlessly watched on TV whatever my dad had chosen for the day, to say I felt uncomfortable when my boyfriend told me we had to leave his room to have dinner with his family would be an understatement. Forced to sit down and actually talk to people instead of hiding behind a task, I found that I could be very talkative indeed. When I found myself looking forward to dinner, my heart hurt for all the dinners I would have to eat without family when I went back.
My parents and I were born to parents
Who told stories of a homeland left behind
In a language trickled down.
One generation’s nostalgia turned
Into another’s endless summer vacations.
Some of these tales I forget. Some I let trickle further down -
Those were the ones, I think
They told more than once.
I speak to a delivery man who hears an accent.
He tells me we share two other languages
So I needn't go to the trouble of talking to him
In what I grew up thinking was my
Mother-tongue, language of a land I’d never known.
All I’m capable of coming up with
Is an unaccented laugh.
To claim the land I grew up in as my own
Is acceptable to none. For I've belonged
Elsewhere all the time I've been here
And elsewhere when I'm there; elsewhere
All the time I speak my language,
And elsewhere all the time I try to belong.