Tuesday, December 4, 2012

There will always be Paris.

I am reading your lies again tonight- 
They are crumpled up on yellow paper,
Obvious and unflattering,
Like a displaced orphan on the earth’s underbelly.

I asked you to wait while it snowed
In the middle of the ice rink where we met
But these days I hear strange things:
I hear that there is something-
 Something quite special about Parisian evenings
And the women swimming in them and their silk scarves
Their pouts at words like ‘popularity’ and ‘graduation’;
I hear that on the metro, between bursts of music,
People are trapped by how European they are
And they stare into your soul’s balance sheets.
I hear they don’t forget to say things like excusez-moi
Or sil vous plait or cherie while they make you dizzy
I hear they will gladly give up their seats for you
If you are a pencil skirt with a certain je ne sais quoi
I hear that every man who hopes for love
Must walk by the Seine.

I hear that Paris, it is a city made for falling in love,
That there will always be Montmarte
Or the Champs-Élysées, if I pleased.
I hear that while there is Paris, there is love.
But perhaps that is simply because
Pont Neuf dances to a script
Because in French, alone is lonely.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Of men who make life worth living.

Der Wanderer über dem Nebelmeer by Caspar David Friedrich

If someone had told me that I was just like everyone else in my responses to the emotional ramshackle of life, I would have scoffed at them just like everyone else does. And yet between the perplexity of being and doing, the 72 hours he didn’t speak to me ostracised me with the rest of humanity. I stood by Titian’s Diana for hours, wishing for the power to destroy a man with a few drops of water. I thought about duality and virtue and pregnant nymphs. But there is no art or higher beauty in the way your first love can desiccate you by its turbulent absence. You start to question ritual. The kohl in your eyes starts to smudge. There’s a chaotic pointlessness in every cog of existence.

And so it was for me. All day, I wished for him, finding faults in myself which I didn’t know qualified. I was just like everyone else. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. I lost the will to talk and the courage to laugh. I lay around thinking of where I had gone wrong, if I had loved too much, expressed too little.  It was a miserable, miserable feeling. Perhaps it was because my heart was holding on to a summer which was nearly over. Perhaps it was because I had too much time. He was incredulity and he was faith. He harboured the cynicism of a forty-year-old but dreamed like he was twenty. He was German in the daily rituals of life, but with a French disposition. Like a young, sexy Jean-Claude Trichet. But I thought he didn’t love me because it was too difficult. Because I laughed too much, and too loud. And because we were separated by the soft borders of the Schengen area.  And that one haunting thought ricocheted inside my neural membranes till I lost the desire to desire.

At night, I returned to my unsuspecting husband. We consummated as if from a cook book, or an Ikea manual. It was listless, and unpassionate, and brief. He said he would cry if I wouldn’t stop being so broken so I told him that I loved him and he fell asleep in the comfort of what was perhaps still a half-truth. I did love him – I had to - because I could say anything, be anyone, leave him a thousand times and he would still take me back, no questions asked, choosing instead to dwell in the dark recesses of unrequited love.

In the early hours of the morning, I was down to my fourth cigarette and wanted so much to be comforted. Because in wanting both of them, I had none of them. It was jarring. I thought about exemptions from morality, and red wine, and Minotaurs and Fawns uncovering sleeping women for Rembrandt and Picasso. I wanted to be comforted with words and with silences, but where was I supposed to find someone who didn’t question my motives when I sought solace? Where was I supposed to find someone who understood my erratic trivialities? Where was I supposed to find someone who just accepted with a smile that I simply got along better with men?

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Point of No Return (20-02-2011)

Wind in the winter trees, cherry blossoms with no blossoms.
Saturday dusks, blanketed hum drum of crickets, a longing finger along the smooth of skin.
Rain in your city, fog in mine, a soap and water bubble floats across scalded fields

You have come here in pursuit of your deepest urge,
in pursuit of that wish, which till now has been silent,
silent . .

On days like this, I’d spend with you in this room.
You sit on that chair.
The faint light through the frosted acid etched glass on your face.
I’d sit in the rain, opposite to you in the balcony.
You don’t need to get wet, you’ll get cold.
I want you to see me, in the rain.
I’d close my eyes, killing all the noise.
You should keep looking.
And we won’t talk.
For hours

I have brought you, that our passions may fuse and merge -
in your mind you've already succumbed to me
dropped all defences, completely succumbed to me -
now you are here with me: no second thoughts, you've decided,
decided . . .

We don’t need to talk when you are here in this room
You’d understand everything
I don’t have to say anything
Words would be noise
I’m yours and you are mine
Take from me, give to me
Bite me, kiss me, touch me, push me, breathe into me,
I won’t resist anything.

You have brought me to that moment where words run dry,
to that moment where speech disappears into silence,
silence . .

Days like this, you’ll spend with me in this room
I will be everyone for you who was always absent, always busy, always far away
My fingers will graze your knuckles
In the dim of the spotlights, our shadows will touch
I’d close my eyes and steady my breath
You should keep looking
I will let you kiss the sound of my heart beat
I want you to see me in love

I have come here, hardly knowing the reason why …
In my mind, I've already imagined our bodies entwining
defenceless and silent -
and now I am here with you: no second thoughts, I've decided,

When you lie next to me, you’ll understand everything
I will let you taste my tears
I will say the words you’ve longed to hear
You will see how broken I have been under it all
How much in pain, how longing,
And I will let you fix me

Past the point of no return
the final threshold -
the bridge is crossed, so stand and watch it burn . . .

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Avoiding Reality.

As the rubab stirs a high note, your steps become a dance. When it slows down, it becomes the melancholic sighs of your longing. When it stops altogether, it becomes his sleeping breaths on the bed next to yours in a countryside where no one knows your names.

Through celebratory lakesides in foreign countries, and castles which the British don't know how to build, and chunks of tortellini thrown out in a creamy bile, your mind tries to find faults which it can't forgive in him. He is arrogant, but so are you. You love how rudely clinking china offends him to no end. He kisses you in trains full of people because he refuses to apologize for what he wants. He is damaged- that much is clear. But he is also brave, and he puts a strong face though you can see that life has dealt him a very bad hand. He tells you it makes him difficult, and very complicated. He thanks you for tea. He thanks you for every conversation. He thanks you for every kiss. You don't understand how one man can turn everything upside down.

He complains that you are very straightforward. You say one thing, and mean exactly that. That you are kind, because you stroke his hair when he is upset.  That you make yourself too vulnerable, because you sleep with your head on his chest. That you are funny, because you cure migraines with absurd stories. He says he cannot make peace with these things, that he must talk to you less because it's painful not to be able to see you every single day.

But he is scared of being in love- he actively looks for reasons not to be- though he has been with so many before. And maybe that should be a fault which you shouldn't forgive. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012


When you sit upon a ticking bomb, I have been told it is easy to fall in love.

Maybe that is true, and maybe it isn’t, I don’t know for certain. But what I do know for certain is that one very uncertain summer right after graduating, with the impending doom of adulthood upon my head, just when I least expected it, I thought I was in love. It was, as they say, the best of times, it was the worst of times. He was equal parts Flaubert, Modigliani and sovereign debt crisis. When we sat and talked into the early hours of the morning, I didn’t feel hurt over all that had passed, but happy that I had gotten through it all; we both had, the two of us, two separate spheres orbiting two separate universes, united by the concept of conquering odds and the beauty of human suffering.

Then the summer was over and my best friend said I had other things to worry about and much as I hate to admit it, he is right. This man – this perfect, perfect man- doesn’t deserve to be dealt a hand of uncertainty from my very complicated life. He makes me so, so happy and the best I can give him is half a dream. So in an obscure tearoom in the nooks of London’s drenched streets, I am about to go break my own heart.

Can someone please, please stop me?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Cross-stitches that make flowers.


She was a good, Catholic girl from a good, Catholic family and that’s where a good writer would lose all interest. But then she was suddenly nineteen and beautiful and she posed for a Japanese man who brought his ink to Parisian painting and convinced a girl to marry him thirteen days after meeting her by making her a blue corsage overnight. The good, Catholic girl, Jeanne Hébuterne was an artist, but found her fame as Modigliani’s final subject, who painted her with the same wild passion with which he fought with her and consumed her with the same rigour as he did hashish and absinthe. While he led the countdown to his death to tubercular meningitis, she sketched visions of her own death. A gold chain tied their wrists together on the bed he died on. They said that even for a difficult man, he was exceptionally challenging, that she was the chord that bound his passion, understood it and embraced it. She killed herself and her unborn child the day after he died, a poor man, a tortured artist destined for glory.


I want to know the joy of how you whisper, more. I want you to kiss me one day, and not leave after. I have never been this scared before.

You haven’t.

I say to you what Dickens said. "You know what I am going to say. I love you. What other men may mean when they use that expression, I cannot tell; what I mean is, that I am under the influence of some tremendous attraction which I have resisted in vain, and which overmasters me. You could draw me to fire, you could draw me to water, you could draw me to the gallows, you could draw me to any death, you could draw me to anything I have most avoided, you could draw me to any exposure and disgrace. This and the confusion of my thoughts, so that I am fit for nothing, is what I mean by your being the ruin of me." Say you won't leave me ever.

Say you won’t give me a reason to.


Source 1: “A muse is someone who has such an influence on another that he or she becomes the focus and inspiration for that person's creative work. The term has historically been used by men to describe the women that they have been in love with and made the subject of their work.”

Source 2: “A muse's job is to penetrate the male artist and bring forth a work from the womb of his mind. Painters don't claim muses until painting begins to take itself as seriously as poetry. Physical congress with one's muse is hardly possible, because her role is to penetrate the mind rather than to have her body penetrated.”


Sometimes, a fragment of his conversation shrivelled up in my mind before it dissipated, leaving me lost for context and breath.

I want you, but I can’t let myself have you.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

All things continental.

He said that because he was French, kisses were just kisses, nothing more and nothing less.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Love Note to London.

When my baby sister, Emm was three, she used to love the idea of driving on a bridge with cars driving under it. She was a beautiful child, pouty and stubborn, and her wide eyes would become wider still every time we drove on one. Even then I was too sensible to know what a silly thing that was.

One day, my parents were driving us to the sports complex for our school's Sports Day and she was with us. On the way back, they pulled over the car and let her stand by the edge of the bridge and stare at cars for as long as she wanted. She stood there with the world at her feet, feeling like life was finally complete and like everything was exactly in its right place. Like nothing else in the world mattered or could ever matter because she had had that one moment. She was happier that day than I had ever seen anyone before or have since, and that made her even more beautiful in my eyes.

And today for the very first time, I felt like I was her on that day.

Standing on Waterloo Bridge with the cars flowing in utter nonchalance beneath me and the silk of moonlight on the dome of St. Paul's cathedral: that was it. My one moment. I had gone to Shakespeare's Globe to see the Taming of the Shrew earlier. It was a majestic building, and a troupe of actors from Pakistan were performing in Urdu. They played the national anthem on the sitar and I couldn't stop myself from singing it out loud. Too many times, I threw my head back and laughed at the frequently cruel jokes. It was a tremendous performance, and I was proud. Yesterday, I went to Harrod's to look at the golden fetters of life. I was wearing a yellow dress and the Armani makeup artist insisted he must paint my lips red. I let him do it, and it was the most exquisite colour I have ever seen. I didn't buy it because I knew I shouldn't but I dreamed about it last night, so I think I will do it anyway. Three Arab men came up to me and I had to explain to each of them that I didn't speak Arabic and I was not interested in being their "habibi". It was strange. I had never felt so perfect as I did walking down Knightsbridge and South Kensington dressed like a summer dream with sunshine in my hair, convinced that all the happiness in life was one very expensive lipstick away. I smiled at a stranger in the Chanel shop, like it was something so forbidden and therefore delightful.

As the sun went down the carefully designed buildings in Sloane Square, I drifted into the Victoria and Albert Museum for a Friday evening reception for the glitterati, with wine in tall glasses and canapés. I saw an exhibition of British ballgowns through the ages, and a sculpture of Eve running. In the courtyard, someone was playing party music and people got up to dance as life slipped by unnoticed. Sometime during the hours of abundant sunshine, I had pushed someone in the fountains of the newly refurbished Leicester Square, refrained from four scoops of Haagen Dazs, with raspberry sauce and nut crunch, please, and drifted into the M&M’s world to buy a tee, just short of being tempted by Cinnabon. Then, it was time for lunch, and there was the fountain of Russell Square and the determined smell of two best friends and their sons chasing squirrels as we soaked in the end of an era.   

At the Globe today, actors spun in and out of the audience, allowing us for three hours to be a part of their fairy tale. We walked back along South Bank along the Thames, with couples who kissed and tourists who were enthralled by all that this hopelessly wonderful city has to offer. And then there were sunrises on Blackfriar’s bridge, sunsets on the Millennium Bridge and midnights at Hungerford Bridge, just short of Westminster, with the chime of the Big Ben ushering in the start of a new day and awakening every Cinderella fantasy I could conjure from the faint traces of my childhood. Then there was Waterloo Bridge, surrounded by grander monsters, making even the grey waters of the Thames magnificent by the moonlight. And on it I was, for this one divine moment, so happy I thought I would die. Like nothing before mattered or could ever matter because I had that moment and nothing could ever, ever take that away from me.

I could cycle back home then with the cool night breeze on my bare shoulders in alleys dinghy and perhaps someday on the bright streets, or have Snog on top of Trafalgar Square as the Olympic clock wound down second by second, day by day. I could peddle through the hippie stalls of Camden Market looking for an eccentric trifling which I’d never use, trigger multiple allergic reactions by combing through a hundred-year-old book in the British Library or go to celebrate the end of the week in a late evening concert at the National Art Gallery. I could do anything, be anyone.  Nothing and no one could stop me.

I don't know if I want to go back to Pakistan. I know I will, but I don't think I want to. I know that is meant to be 'home', but in more ways than I can name, this is too. It pushes me, and breaks me, and challenges me to be things I had never dreamed of, in ways Islamabad might never be able to. As I walk here in the footsteps of giants, London makes me truly believe that one day I can be one of them too. So next time when I start to lose my mind because life is getting out of control, remind me of how I lost my heart to this tragically beautiful city and that will be all the strength I need to be okay.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

How to disappear completely.

Three white pills and they asked me if I knew my name. I told them. They asked me if I was okay. I asked for you. They looked at each other like they shared a secret. Like someone had died in a car accident but I knew there could be no accident because there was no car. No one said a word. I couldn't smell my own perfume but I could smell yours. Someone's blood dripped into my veins. Three white pills gave me more sleep. You would come when you could and that was okay because you were always gone and I was used to it. Then you were sitting on the side of my bed telling me how disappointed Gaudi would be.  But you were there and that meant everything would be okay.

We were in Hyde Park by the lake. People and swans were paddling like boats. You hated the sun and I loved it. Something hurt and you kissed it without permission. The blades of grass were fresh as the seasons. You said you had great perceptions but no expression when it came to telling me how much you loved me. You could destroy everyone and everything and this wouldn't change. You could hurt me all you wanted as long as you didn't let anyone else do it.

When I woke up they asked me to recite the alphabet and then recite it backwards. We never cared about alphabets so I didn't say a word. I thought about rehabs and about people who went to them. Low-life fools who lived off filthy habits. You were addicted but you weren't a low-life. You were a habit but you weren't filthy. Everything anyone did wrong you could do because you weren't everyone. You were everything. But this wasn't a rehab because I didn't overdose on anything because I wasn't you. They shone a torch in my eyes and I hated it so I screamed. You said it was okay to scream with everyone but it was not okay to smoke. It was only okay to smoke with you.

It was a cold winter afternoon and we were lying in bed. We were watching a documentary about something in the Amazon or life in Bismarckian Germany. We laughed at things that were not funny. An egg became a tadpole became a frog and it was you so I had to kiss you to turn you into a prince. Someone was bombing a city on the television and someone's wife was now his widow. I pulled the blanket closer. And you. You put the X-box on so we could kill all the bad guys in the world.

The sunshine was diffuse through the dull window. Outside was a large garden and a fountain. I tried to move but I couldn't. A woman who looked like a nurse walked in. There were dimples in her smile and her legs were tanned. I asked if I had been in an accident and she said no. I asked if I was pregnant and she laughed. I asked what was wrong with me and she said a doctor would be in shortly. Her voice was calm and clinical. Her breasts were too small. I asked if you had been in and the smile was gone. There was something turbulent about the world. I asked again. No clocks were ticking. Asked if you were okay. If you were alive. My voice became a scream became a wail. I was pulling my hair or hers. Off the bed. Angry. Dying to know more than I had ever wanted anything in my life. Someone screamed you were as alive as ever. My breath came back in tufts. He's okay. He's alive.  Maybe it was the tranquilizers.  Needles in arms don't feel like anything. No amount of physical pain could hurt me like the thought of losing you. There were three men in the room and none of them was you. You had to be okay. I had seen you sitting on the side of my bed and known that my heart was yours forever and ever. Time was still lurking in another room but not ours.  I moulted from one form into another. Pebble under a stranger's feet. Moult into  life as autumn's dying leaf or spring's first blossom. Then a magpie. Then a human. Then a phoenix. Then a stone again.

I found you in the middle of the night sitting in the centre of the road. Pulled over. You said you were grieving. That was all I needed to know. I sat next to you, your head in my lap. I found you lost and in need. Broken and hurt and betrayed. That was all I needed to know. A helicopter had killed your brother. Your grandfather had burned in your house. They gunned down half your family in front of your eyes. Everything needed fixing. Everything hurt. I sat with you in the middle of the road. Our bodies reacted like alchemy. I didn't know your name and I didn't need to. Nothing else seemed enough and you became my world. You said there was so much more but you couldn't talk about it. My lips wanted to shake hands with yours. And then it was seven years later. And I was more in love than I had ever been. I had called you by name, so you were mine. And when you finally crossed through the waters I would be with you and then nothing could come between us.

Don't you see, don't you see? 
You're just the torch to put the flame to all our guilt and shame 
And I'll rise like an ember in your name 

Someone was telling me a sad story when I woke up again. It was about a little girl whose father sold heroin. When her mother said it was illegal or unethical, he would hit her till she couldn't breathe. When she stopped saying it, he saw it in her eyes and hit her again. When he finally went to jail it was the happiest day of her life. Then they let him out and everything started going wrong again. His mouth was filthy and you could see that on his face. Her mother cooked and cleaned and then she was ruthlessly beaten up by her father and then raped. There was a time when the girl could hear her protesting but that stopped. It was worse that she never fought back. Then one day the mother died and a new mother came home. Then came her father's friends with their heroin and their cards and she burnt her hand making tea. The new mother was not cruel, but she wasn't a mother either. Then one day one of the heroin-men raped her. There was blood everywhere and pieces of her torn clothes. The blood was washed off her and the clothes were buried. The man was a good client so no one said a word. Life went on like it knew no shame. Her new mother said it was a good idea for her to be married so she was. Her husband was kind because he didn't sell heroin and he didn't hit her. Then he found out about the rape and he left her. He called her a fucking whore and that was not very kind. She had a baby in her stomach and he died of her grief. Something else  happened then but I didn't want to know.

It was a sad story, and it depressed me. I asked if the girl was alive and they said she was. I asked if she was okay and they said she would be. I asked who she was and they said it was me.

I felt a baby die inside of me and before I knew it I was sobbing like someone stubbed my heart out with their cold fingertips. I wailed like you had done in the middle of the night sitting in the centre of the road. I was scared and I wanted you. You were standing in the corner of the room, with a winsome smile on your fading lips. I called for you again and again and cried and screamed because it was okay to scream in front of everyone else but it was not okay to smoke. I could smoke in front of only you.

I thought my heart would explode. You disappeared like you always did and I couldn't trace you on a map. I asked them if you had been in to see me . I asked them where you were. They said you were alive and okay but you only existed inside my mind and that is why I had never known where I ended and you began. Gaudi would be so disappointed.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012



I wasn't trying to ruin her life, I was trying to make mine better.

Another new train journey and I’m thinking of you again. I sit facing backwards, so I can only see the past. We wanted to share absolutely everything, especially the best bits.  We called it An Afternoon of Extraordinary Delight. No one else could touch it or come near it. 

You can stop. You don't want to. When you want to, you can't.  They plummeted together into the skywalks of shame, into guttural waste and spring's first cherry blossoms, into white builds with green eyes. Someone abandoned a smile on your face.

Here is the deepest secret nobody knows.
Here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
And the sky of the sky of a tree called life;
Which grows higher than soul can hope or mind can hide.
And this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart.
I carry your heart with me
I carry it in my heart

We had a lot going for us, we had found the secret glue that held all things together, in a perfect place where the noise didn't intrude. We had a lot going for us, though it all amounted to nothing. Our world was empty and it was so, very complete.

Anxiety was a full-time job. The more I worked, the less I painted. The light kept us awake all night. Then it was the pen scratching on the paper. Then it was four stitches across your forehead. I put the stitches on your mind, like you put the disease in mine.

With a jolt inside your veins, you could hear Jesus singing. Need to stop. Using. Need to stop. Crying in delight. Crying. Finally. Because we cheated our way into absolute delight.

It takes a lot of planning to stop. And a lot of unintended consequences.

Cold. Feeling so, so cold. Then hungry, then not. More pills to stop. Restless. In stitches and aches. Promise you we'll stop.  Empty, screaming, howling, empty. So angry. Cry into your hands, disconsolate and uncontrollable. Exhaust yourself into faith. Events build up, and we're back to square one. And still you cling to the concept of change.

Move to the countryside, away from it all. Knock out a hole in the roof to let the skylight in. Whatever happened to that beautiful little girl. We just cried together all the time. Together, but always crying. Scared together. But always scared.

When you were busy cleaning up, she was busy moving away. Busy hating the sound of your voice. Because she became you at the same time when you became her.

All the wax was melting on the trees. One night the bed caught fire. He was handsome, and a very good criminal. It was the Afternoon of Extraordinary Delight. Days cruised by like hungry sharks. I want to try it your way this time. You came into my life very fast and I liked it. We squelched in the mud of our joy. Then the whole world tilted. There were flowers on the side of the bed, but the baby, he died in the morning. His heart pounds like a voodoo drum.

A whole lot of surf and bubbles to make it all go away. Jesus was singing again, slipping off my fingers like honey gold.

Promise me you'll stop. Promise me you'll stop before me.

So she was the one who ended up with the nervous breakdown. Sat alone, white building, glass, though you belonged there. I really didn't understand what was happening. Everything was dead. Everything was turning blue. Everything you were capable of, everything you ever needed.

And that was it. The world was full of startling new concepts. I couldn't think. I couldn't breathe. I was just waiting for him to come back because he was everything. He. Was. Everything. To Me.

And then I couldn't wait.

We're spinning again. And he was crying. Said there was no going back. Said it was good to remember how nearly it all fell apart. Said, grab your keys and go.

And then the music changed. 

This post derives heavily from accidental overdoses, transit lovers, Heath Ledger's Candy, deviantart and E.E. Cummings. Reference yourself. 

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Apology


It began, as these things tend to, with a “We regret to inform you”. To break the fall, there was a claim to “careful consideration” in a syrupy, fructose voice.

Processions entered logjam funerals, chanted deeply in sorrow as their own voices drowned within themselves. Classic Chilean heartbreak at a 9.6 on the Richter scale. Zoom out by a scale of 20, voices become quagmires, zoom out further till you find clarity in the fourth dimension. A drop of water, like a painted fingertip, up your spine.

I want to hide out in the folds of your skin, in the lines on your palms forming centuries of mummified madness. Pensive days that extinguish into orange nightmares through which you weep like a scared child. Fall in and out of sleep, coax your way into them, forget that you are Madam X. Forget that the slip of the strap down your shoulder releases floods upon farmers along the Nile. Forget that he alone has the power to hide your deformed fingers into a shower of gold. Undo one button at a time. Move slowly, gently, slowly.

Your inner climate spikes at 104, you eat your telephone, your eyes form spiral digits which he loves on days the crop is purer than the rest. Cradle you in my arms all night, hold you in like a final breath, blow on dusty flowers with broken stems and place them in air-tight jars, and wish for your scent in them.

I have loved you greatly, tragically, like only great men deserve to be loved in books, without a thought of consequence or conscience. The intensity of my suffering is so great because it matches the intensity of my love for you. Forget this, forget everything we’ve done right or wrong, just remember that my eyes are in prostration, except when they rise to meet yours.

I'm thinking of you again. This is so bad.

"I would rather fight with you than make love to anyone else."
True story.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Marijuana wafts.


Cars’ headlights smear into a camera screen, turn calligraphy into bold characters into double lines and forms.

I now know why you do it.

They’re all in false counter-realities and one of them is the protagonist, sipping vast seas of alcohol as if they are morning coffee. Shadow deer and ballerinas and a bad posture forming a red X-ray on your back.

Actually being so happy you think you would die.


Beyond a stir of self-induced unconsciousness, words on pages blur into a beautiful haze, which makes you travel into the secret recessions of your body. In this one moment when all that is deliberately and accidentally wrong with the world ceases to exist, the love you want to forget rises like forbidden fruit. Enter God. Enter stolen lipstick. Enter a deformed face with no anchor whose soul tremors yours.


Goethe’s black widows hang in courtyards of slaughter houses. Intended circumferences become whole circles, deepening into necklines of forgotten traditions. Punishment is for discovered crime, so make mistakes but don’t confess in moments when you’re drunk enough to ask lawyers for justice on Sunday mornings, cup in hand.

You’re writing out the script of the second world war but even when all truths disappear and all realities become fiction, the thought of you lingers beyond all boundaries and dimensions. Everything else is gone and you’ve become everything. Perfect displacement. Perfect mapping of Columbus’ re-written routes.


Perhaps one day I will have the courage to send this to you, a letter you can touch without the stain of my perfume on it to tell you all I wanted was for you to tell me you owned me and then actually own me, Act upon the useless promises of love and become a sound alpha male. I have wanted you always, and will always want you and I will love you despite betraying you and getting consistently numb.

In green sliced disks, a soduku into your secret garden’s darkest lane.

I see your hospital breaks again and I know why you keep going back to it. I now know why your addictions always win. They will win despite all accidental babies so that the only future entry is an exit. We need an earthquake in North-East tail winds.

It’s a simple, stupid love and you can tell them all it’s the most honest lie you’ve ever lived and that nothing else in life makes you feel like this and that nothing ever will. Life may get better, but you don’t want better because this impossible present you have – that's all you need to get by on withering days. No one else who can make you shiver in joy and sorrow alike. You don’t need better because despite misusing and violently moulding her in the broad of your palm, building temples at her feet and stringing your fingers through her toes when she paints her nails, her clothes lying on top of your paintings in your attic, they make you wildly, uncontrollably happy. You can walk away whenever you want to protect me, you can put things on hold till it’s too late and people become nuclear-strayed ghosts of themselves. Then you will one day tell her you never did stop loving her.


If this isn’t love, I don’t know what is.

Friday, February 24, 2012

If I hadn't missed my plane.

That one morning I woke up and realized I was out of love with him. Shit. This was not supposed to happen! How will I ever write again? What will my words be if not vehicles of pain and longing? And who will they be for if not for him?

The morning was too normal for an event of this significance. I could hear the comforting sirens of an ambulance or a police car in the distance through the windows and the useless banter of blue-eyed freshmen. There was someone walking outside, struggling by the sound of her heels on the pavement. Coffee in hand, pacing down her to-do list, hoping someone would take the clothes out of the dryer. Even the sun was out, a dampening force in the perfect picture of a universe imploding.

I thought a few thoughts. Backspaced them in my mind. Thought more. Backspace.

The idea of him was enough to love, but in flesh, his demons were too big. And there were so many things that could fill up the space he occupied, the hours I spent talking to him, or being with him, or thinking about him, or thinking about what he was thinking about. Like dreams and ambitions, and bowling for the first time, and programming little computer games, and discovering what the hell supply chain finance entails, and how SEPA is the best thing ever, and why Basel 3 must be treated with a pinch of salt. It was almost liberating, being able to smoke the occasional cigarette without the hectoring, buying pinchy shoes without the puffing, and ducking kisses from charming strangers in Saturday night socials. It was a good life, except it didn’t have him in it.

I didn’t know what life was like without him, I didn’t want to imagine it because it seemed ugly and cruel and he still loved me. After six years, perhaps some fizzing out was inevitable. Maybe it was worth resuscitating. But his addictions always won. Without fail, he’d be in the hospital for some new sort of overdose which fuelled his artistic passions and helped him paint and amplified his perception.

Now and then I think of when we were together
Like when you said you were so happy you could die.

What a fucking mess. He didn’t even speak my language, thought I was killing my music by studying a degree with actual-world use, asked me to buy a violin without fail after the number of times I had said no. He was difficult and overbearing and full of existential conflicts. Yet he was not replaceable. No one else said the kind of bold, outrageous, senseless things he said. No one else was as flawed to perfection.

You can get addicted to a certain kind of sadness
Like resignation to the end, always the end

And yet, he wasn’t a charming stranger on a Saturday night social. He didn’t make me shiver anymore. That was quite a deal-breaker in my mind.

I'm already writing like I'm on an oestrogen binge.

Get out of my head. I don’t love you.

I think.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Strokes of blue.

It is cold outside to the point of misery. Despite the central heating, the blood in my feet is frozen, making them a grotesque blue-black. My shrink says I exhibit deviant sexual behaviour. He says there’s something very wrong with women wanting to be consumed whole, something wrong with them breaking the music of their bangles for it.

I wait all day for him to sink into his decadent reverie when he returns to me, filthy from the sins of living. I re-live his days, practice the things I'll say to him days in advance, the way he drags a glass into my hands and pours a drink into me. There’s a recession out there somewhere, and employment is hard to come by so they make him work harder though he says there isn’t much to do. He tells me about tax hikes and benefit cuts but these things don’t matter because we’re not a family. Is it wrong to spend your days imagining someone covered in your skin, wrapped around you? Is it wrong that his smell lingers though he goes away for days. He is with you when you pick the strawberries from your garden, pay the bills, and wash the conditioner from your hair. He is with you, when you walk down streets full of running people, with an absent smile, secure in your knowledge of no knowledge. 

Your says there’s something wrong with wanting it so much, wanting it despite never having had it, not being able to walk away from it.

They come in with their contagious diseases, leave a tickle in your throat. There's a faded wedding band imprint on his finger, but never a wedding band. In the morning you're anaemic, but you must get up again, get doused in his favourite perfume. 

Does it feel wrong?
Then it must be.
But I do it without your permission.

It is cold to the point of bitter misery, and both your feet are freezing so you ask him how it will work. He says all else will cease to exist when you finally lie beside him. As if a room can contain all your restrained emotion before it fizzles out with a pop. Perhaps the scotch loosens him up, and he confesses wanting to exploit you. Exploit, a filthy word of manipulation and abuse. Of moulding clay in ugly forms of your liking. Your shrink says it’s classic Stockholm syndrome, he harvests medical terms, you invest in fantasies. You kiss again and again, but not the soft, deeply meaningful sort. He starts speaking about great men, stops, kisses you again. The kind of lips who will never cede control till they will break down completely. It feels worse every time, but you keep going because he needs this sense of power, and frankly because you like it. The scotch makes you an appendage of his physical needs and you close your eyes, because in the darkness, it’s easier to pretend.

Never mind I’ll find someone like you..
He laughs, calculated and cruel. 
There is no one like me.

His mind has wandered else where, and he pulls away from you to do something on his iPad, his fingers so gentle on the touch screen. He puts the gadget away, takes off his glasses and tumbles into sleep. You sit up with his scent upon you, finishing what little scotch is left in his glass.
Sometimes it lasts in love, but sometimes it hurts instead.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Hopeless Romantic.

Two days I disappear without notice and he is back on Valium. One day I will get really tired of this shit, but today is not that day.

Today he will light a cigarette and give it to me and we will puff it together and he will complain how I get the end moist. Tomorrow he will get mad at himself for poisoning me and at me for going with it. When he wakes up, he will remember how we sat on the balcony and he made me cry and I whispered he was cruel but still held on to him to help me keep it all together.

Today, between tequila shots and too much vodka, the clothes will fall off and you will forget that you are his muse, and he is yours, and that loving the idea of being in love is just good business. Making each other suffer because it releases creative hormones into your cerebral cortex, or wherever in the northern region your hormones go before they head south, and then writing out the feeling. You will love and hate and be angry and betrayed in infinite proportions, it will always be discrete and extreme and somewhere between a really good fuck, you will paint a line with your nails and replicate it and it will be art. Practicalities are for another day, as is heart break. 
Today, on the other hand, he will quote E. E. Cummings and that will be enough.

Listen, there's one hell good of a universe next door, let's go

And just like that, you will respond to his ‘let’s go’s and end up becoming too many people, causing a furore in the Louvre, hosting your own wedding in mausoleums, cooking up meals using other people’s ingredients, kissing girls and liking it.

Me - I will finally laugh, and bite back in classic twentieth century poetic fashion.

While you and I have lips and voices which
Are for kissing and to sing with
Who cares if some one-eyed son of a bitch
Invents an instrument to measure Spring with?

Yesterday, he was a shred of a man. A dreg of a man. But today is better than yesterday and it is better than tomorrow. Yesterday you fought against him, today you fight for him so that tomorrow you don’t have to fight with him. Tomorrow, he will be gone and you will hold his creased letters against your heart and weep bitterly to strangers on trains. You will go to a new city, get a new name, a new job and a new life. This city, it will reek of him, and everything that is old will have his name on it. You will write a sad poem, but there will be no pleasure in your darkness, no celebration of it, because somewhere along the way, there will come a point where your words will be for his eyes only.

But since today there’s one hell of a universe next door and one-eyed sons of bitches don’t matter, you will not ask what kind of a person manages to kill a cactus. If people on television are bold with making mistakes, there’s no reason for you to have all the guilt without any of the pleasure. Today, you will put out his cigarette and let him remember the way you smell when you sleep in his arms. Today, when he doesn’t know how to make it right, you will not make him suffer too much before you give in. And today- in this very moment, you will believe him when he says he carries your heart with him, that he carries it in his heart, and believe that he says it because he means it and that's what makes him paint like no one else ever will. 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Let's kiss, the world's about to end.

Did you come for me?
There’s no easy answer to that.

It’s 2012, and the world is going to end, and we’re so sick of another New Year being nothing new but simply more of the old, so we try being in love for just one more night.

I button your pea-coat. You brush my hair. We hold hands over dinner though it makes eating really difficult. Your right, my left. We giggle. You artfully pick up the Kan Poong Gi with your chopsticks and feed me with all the love both of us hope we don’t have. We talk at the same time.

Sometimes, I might make you feel like I do all these drugs because of you, but I don't. I'm a weak person. I do them because I'm an addict.
Sometimes, I get ill with fevers and rib aches, but that's not your fault. I do foolish things to get that way.

Drugs: crossing Valium, Anti-depressants, Lexantol, Cough Syrups and a field of Hash. Some curse of an unborn descendent fell upon him.
Foolish things: never wearing socks and running outside every time she hears the wind too loud or the rain too soft without a coat. Some part of an ancestor’s free spirit never left her.

Do I love you? Truth: I don't know. If I don't, I don't have a reason to paint or like the music I listen to, or long or desire till I think it will kill me or read books with nonsensical titles or like perfumes or rain. But if I do, we’re both going to hell.
Truth: you don't. But life is just easier if you think you do.

For that one night, she cooked dinner. He lit no candles so they could eat to the light of the stars.

When I'm around you, I don't want to smoke up. I don't want to anything.
When I'm with you, the fact that this will never work out stops bothering me. I keep on bringing it up, because when I'm with you, I stop believing it myself.

Later, they modelled a city together: his final-year project. Fought over why there weren’t enough bridges over the river. And thus 2012 began, end of lovers, beginning of friends. By the first quarter, we’ll be lovers again because boundaries drive us over the edge – and always together. I’ve placed a hundred against it, but I’m hoping I will lose.

(This is the official 'Happy Post' for 2012. There probably won't be more of these.)