we’ve come so far;

Prompt Credits: Nandini Varma.
First line is from Fink’s Sort of Revolution.
we’ve come so far; it feels so real.
but i have trouble convincing
myself.
sometimes i think of how all this
is an elaborate dream.
packed with colours, sounds, smells,
orangeish pink skies with low horizons,
and an eerie believability.
shipped back and forth.
my sanity hinges onto me by a single fact:
my imagination is not so good.
this delirium won’t listen to its own voices
for fear of losing ground.
and i am left hanging
on an airplane of long tears
that carry both loneliness
and anguish.
forever–
in transit.

Fatal Catapult

Some days I wonder why

Life is so unfair.

Why tragedy hits few,

So severely, while only

Nudging the others

Softly.

And on some others

When I hear that a distant

Relative rammed his bike into a truck

A funeral procession in

The house opposite mine with its cries

An acquaintance loses a parent,

I am forced to see that

Death is unfair too.

That Death narrows his eyes worse

Than Satan does, to

Pick and choose his next playmates—no,

Not the ones he lifts with Himself,

But the ones that remain behind and I—

I wonder if I live in some bubble.

Where the blood bounces off its soapy surface

Where the screams are muffled

By noiseproof lullaby walls

As I drift off to sleep

Blind to suffering.

When people in my third

Or fourth social circle

Friends of close friends, legends

I do not follow

Creatures I have only once made eye contact with

On to the other side

While I switch TV channels on my indifferent couch, and whine

Of my puny troubles,

That the maid hadn’t arrived, or the

Wi-fi was a pain,

Or I couldn’t find my pair of jeans, as if

All of it were happening not

In the same World that I inhabit

As if I were immune to

Hate-crime, as if I was

Vaccinated against power, as if

I possessed the Elixir

That could kill Death

And on days like these,

I wonder

If Death is simply taking its

Sweet time to pull back the catapult

As hard as it can

Aiming

To destroy, juicy

And well; waiting

For everything I love

To assume the right positions

Until it is time to

Let go.

 

Pop Culture Clones

I dislike how pop

Culture crawls its way into

Our lives, replacing

the diversity

Of our collective existence

With flimsy, uniform images

As our hairdos grow

Freakishly familiar, pairs of scissors

Clip the exact same patterns,

The needles drill

And pierce

A thousand holes into

Who we could be.

The posters on the wall

Whether we choose to text or call

Our menus, the funky nail paints

Bowties, ringtones and eyeliners

Patterns of speech, they fixate

In—like, the same places

The dots after words come

In exact numbers

As pop culture goes on to dictate which

Emoticon responds perfectly,

No more; no less.

Definitions

No longer derive meaning from

Vocabularies of our own

Slang is a mass-authority

If you do not subscribe,

You are still a machine.

An incompetent illiterate arse,

Incapable of rebellion, your

Individuality attacked from

All direction

What you really like

What you really read

Is immaterial as long as you

Stack your shelves with delicious McDonalds that

May or may not be stale

And you’ve lined your kit with wax strips

Of assumptions you need

As long as you

Do not explore, do not experiment, do not

Plunge into the thrill of the unknown to

Find you

Here’s an algorithm that will

Tell you what you love because

Nobody knows you better—

Of course you can choose, we’re beings

Of free-will, it draws out a

Well-filtered map of options

Green or blue?

It forgets to tell you

That the value beneath remains

Cryptically uncreative

We are dull clones of each other

I can hardly distinguish

But for the names, that make us two,

From a newsfeed full of clutter

One from the other,

Pictures of the same pose, repeated

With a rote hashtag yolo

The jokes, the memes

All painfully B&W

As if brainwashed by a voice,

As you slowly forget

That you could be someone else

More deeply you

That you are made to be vividly different from the

Rest as each snowflake against every other

As each colour in the rainbow

As each set of fingerprints etched on a palm

Against every other that has or will ever be

As each language in the throats of seven billion people

You can hardly even see

Through the blinds of conformity

The morphed reflections of similarity

Yelling so clearly that

This is who you are meant to be

That this is you in your element,

That a million hushed up

Now unknown possibilities squat

In some authentic corner of you

Hoping to see the sunlight

Hoping to outshine you

Hoping that they will,

With you be someday

Synonymous.

Onward to Silence

If you know me well

Enough, you will know, that

I am noisy.

 

My brain sounds like

A lone mosquito in your bedroom

On a quiet night

When you are desperately trying

To fall asleep.

My thoughts are tiny,

Excited fish jumping out of still waters

Creating ripples that will soon die out

The moment they plop back into crippling oblivion.

 

And you will know, that noisy

Does not mean talkative; when my withdrawn

Existence, and my sworn loyalty

To the corners seem

Contradictory, my anxiety still throbs

And you can hear my fidgety, paradoxical heartbeat

Cut the supposed silence into a thousand pieces

While my naïve, impulsive words

Fall at the listener like a half-ripe green apple, with a

thud, my almost-profound gibberish

Its sour, unsettling aftertaste

Swims in my mouth, like emptiness.

 

And if you can, knowing this,

Bear with my lingering mad echo

That sounds like a toddler, now

Acquiring the pleasures of language,

I will soon learn to talk; with my vocabulary intact

We can then

Resume to discover

The lost applause of silence.