Lightheaded

Did you ever see the world
upside down?
You tilt your head backwards
and stretch it back, back, back
until your neck feels like it will snap
any moment
and that’s when you notice
the view.
The view
makes you
gasp
everything looks surreal and wrong
like a morning dream
where you know you are dreaming
yet believe everything you see.
Why does the sky look so different
when it’s below every
thing else
why do you feel like floating
in space
why does the air feel
so dense
why are your thoughts making
no sense
why does your head feel
so light
and dizzy
and light
and so damn dizzy
like nothing
is real – except
this moment – and you
don’t care – and you
are giddy – and you
don’t care.

You get your head back up
and feel even lighter and dizzier
like you’ve escaped space
and entered ultra-space
where time is warped to infinity
you feel like
you’ll fall
any moment
and your thoughts
have lost all sense.
All the blood is rushing down, down, down
from your head
like there’s a river inside you
and you don’t care
where it takes you
you’re ready to crash
you’re so damn ready
to crash
into whatever sea
is waiting.

That
is how you make me feel.

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Tragedy

What a waste it would be
To fall in love
And not write pages
Upon pages
Of poetry
To have a muse
But fill no museums
With art
To not have your sleeves turn red
From your bleeding heart.

That would be more tragic
Than to never fall in love at all.

But here I am
Staring at a blank page
And wondering where all the words have gone.

I escaped a black hole but it left me angry

You once told me
no one understood
your sadness
the way I did
while we were talking about
dark matter
and the paradox of infinity
and later I was thinking how
your soul holds enough darkness
to hold back all the
gravity in the universe.

While you explained your theory
that everyone showed only
a false projection of their personality
and no one got to know
our real selves
I remember thinking
you were too broken
and someday you’d need
a therapist
and I remember wondering
how would you ever find someone
who would get your puns
and laugh at every lame joke
the way I did
and you said
connecting with a human
is the rarest thing
in life
and maybe I shouldn’t
take it so lightly
and I laughed it off
because I had a whole list of
connections I’d made.
But later I realized
it wasn’t the same
later I realized
maybe I’ll never
connect to anyone
the way we did.

 

Every time I pass by
some place we’d been to –
the rail-side slum
near my house
that we had surveyed,
or the enormous office complex
where we had judged
corporate slaves
and argued with each other
over pretentious coffee
and lunch meetings,
or the empty streets
near your house
where we had walked on a cold night,
or the creepy place
full of scrap metal
in some corner
of our university –
every time I pass these
I tell myself
I’m not drowning
I tell myself
I’ve learned to swim
I tell myself
this nostalgia
will go away soon
it will turn to dust
and drop off my skin
like rain
I tell myself
I carry my own umbrella now
and I remind myself
sharing an umbrella
only left us both wet.

Two months ago
I took my brother
to the arcade gaming zone
where you and I
had laughed like maniacs
and I wondered
why I kept blanking out
every few minutes
why the games felt
so shitty this time
why I couldn’t brush off
the sound of your laughter
from the folds of my sleeves
and the anger
ate me up
the anger
burned my bones
the anger
drove me insane
but I wasn’t sure
who I was angry at.

At you –
for making me open up to you
although I never wanted to,
for calling me at 2 AM’s
and asking me to cure your insecurities,
for telling me
my voice was like
dry leaves in Autumn,
for telling me
I felt like home,
for leaving scratches on my soul
and tainting it for the person
who deserved to find it spotless,
for saying I was the only one
who understood you
and not noticing
I never said it back.

Or at myself –
for not leaving
the first chance I got,
for noticing the way
you ran your hand through your hair
when you were nervous,
for drinking in
every single word you ever said
like a caffeine addict
finding her morning latte,
for seeing your bloodshot eyes
under a midnight sky
and not getting scared,
for laughing at your jokes
even when they weren’t funny,
for enabling your addiction
of making people sympathize
with you and using them
as your emotional trash bin,
for seeing how the darkness inside you
sucked up my sunshine
like a black hole
and still not leaving you soon enough,
for leaving a suitcase full of
pieces of my soul
at your house
despite knowing that I
was never going to stay.

 

One day I hope
the anger will die down
and perhaps I
will forgive
both of us
but tonight
the anger
burns like hell.

Le Untitled Fiction – Part #2

As you get closer to the man, you see him disassembling the tent with quick motions. His back is towards you, and he still seems to have no idea that there is anyone in the vicinity. Just when you are about ten feet from him, he suddenly turns around. You freeze. A flash of panic passes over his expression, but he quickly recovers, and his dark eyes narrow into an enquiring gesture. He drops the edge of the tent from his hand and starts walking towards you with long, slow strides. For the first time you notice how tall he is: a little above six feet, give or take.

When he has crossed the distance between him and you, you still haven’t moved a bit. He clears his throat.

“Err… I don’t mean to be rude or anything but, what are you doing here?” he says in a flat voice.

“I could ask the same to you,” you surprise yourself with your calm tone. You feel your thumping heart gradually slowing down. There is something about him that makes you feel relaxed and safe. Instead of wanting to run in the opposite direction, you look straight at his eyes. He speaks again.

“Okay stranger, let me rephrase my question. How did you end up in the middle of this place out of nowhere? I know for a fact that you don’t live around here because if you did, I would have run into you at least a hundred times by now.”

“So you live here?”

“Near here, yes.”

“Alone?”

“Am I the only person in this place capable of answering a question?” He does a dramatic eye roll that immediately makes you think, if he knows when to do an eye roll then he must have had contact with human society for at least some part of his life, which means I’m not dealing with a Tarzan case. Phew. Which then makes you think, oh well he was just speaking with me in English, I think that is enough proof that he wasn’t raised by monkeys and bears. By this point you realize that you have been staring blankly at him for several seconds while having a conversation with yourself, and you still haven’t answered him.

“You’re right, I don’t live here. I mean, what kind of a person lives in the middle of a forest? No offense to you. The thing is, umm, I don’t actually know how I ended up here. Yes, I know, super weird. And creepy. And not believable at all. But that’s all I’ve got.”

He stares at you as if you just spoke a bunch of gibberish that makes no sense.

“No, seriously. I don’t know how I came here. I think I lost my memory or something. Maybe I knocked my head against something?” You laugh out and realize that the man isn’t finding this the least bit funny.

“Do you have a concussion? Can you feel any pain?” he asks with a calm seriousness.

You instinctively reach out and touch your head. You realize that you haven’t felt any pain in your head from the moment you found yourself in this place, neither have you found any signs of an injury. The man seems to read that from your expression.

He gives a slow nod, as if coming to a conclusion.

“Is there anyone with you?” he asks softly, although he looks like he knows the answer.

“No, just me.”

“Okay. Come with me.”

He goes back towards the tent, which is lying in a mess, and starts to gather it up. He asks you to hold the corners and with your help folds it up and then rolls it into a neat, small pile. He reaches out and grabs a backpack that he had taken out from inside the tent before he had started disassembling it l, and ties the tent with the bag. You have a thousand questions running through your head but decide to hold them in for a little longer.

He straps the backpack onto his shoulders and starts walking towards the direction from which you had come.

“Um, wait, where are we going?”

“Hunting.”

“Hunting?”

“Yes, that’s what I believe I just said.”

He is walking a few feet in front of you with confident steps that can only come from someone who has passed through this path many times before. You force yourself to keep your questions at bay. After all, this man could possibly have killed me by now, but he hasn’t. So he must be trustworthy, right? Unless he is going to the den of his fellow smugglers, or murderers, or pirates. Well, not pirates. Unless this is an island. You look around in sudden panic and after some observation decide that these trees aren’t….island-ish enough.

A scratching noise breaks your train of thought and you find the man sharpening a short, wooden arrow and putting it in a pocket-like pouch on the side of his backpack, where at least a dozen more arrows lie. He then takes out a small bow-like thing that looks like it was carved by someone who had a major grudge against conventional bows and had decided to invent a style of their own. You wonder what other weapons of mass destruction he is hiding in that innocent looking backpack. As if on cue, he brings out a street-gang style pocket-knife. He turns back and hands it to you.
“Just in case,” he says as if that is enough explanation, and starts walking again.

You feel the coolness of the metal against your hand. There is some rust along the edges. It looks several years old.

“So…what are we going to hunt?”

“Red Deer.”

“Oh. Okay.”

A few seconds pass before you speak again.

“Why Red Deer?”

“My wife felt like eating it.”

“Your what?” you almost stop in your tracks.

“Wife,” he chuckles. There is a slight amusement in his voice, as if he isn’t used to saying it.

You try to connect the dots – all the information you know about this strange person so far, and form somewhat of a story inside your head. You decide to test your theory out.

“So let me guess. You and your wife came to this place – in the middle of this forest – to spend a vacation. For going through some self discovery or that kind of crap. You live in a posh apartment somewhere in Sydney, or New York City, or whatever, and decided to spend the summer out in the wild. Like that guy Alexander Tramp. In that movie, you know? That’s what’s going on here. Am I right?”

“They made a movie out of it? Wow, what a miss. I read the book a long time ago. Always imagined how awesome it would be if someone made a movie about Alex Supertramp.”

“So I’m right? You’re on a vacation?”

He is silent for a few seconds.

“No. We’re not in a vacation.”

He says it almost…sadly. Or perhaps you just imagine it. You spot a few Red Deer in the distance among the trees.

“Then what are you doing here?”

He takes an arrow, holds the bow straight, and checks the strength of the bowstring with his fingers. He slows down his steps and looks around with alert eyes.

“That, my friend, is a long, long story. Don’t worry, you’ll hear it some time. Let’s catch our deer first.”

After at least half an hour of waiting and several missed opportunities, he shoots an arrow that hits a red deer right in the neck. He runs towards it as it falls sideways. You follow behind with trembling legs. This is the first time that you’ve watched a hunt outside of National Geographic Channel.

He holds the deer down and runs his hand along the back of it’s head several times, which, strangely enough, calms it down and puts it into a sort of daze. He then takes the pocket knife from you and places it at it’s throat. He silently mutters something and then slashes it’s throat in a quick swipe. You jerk backwards in shock, and stare aghast at the blood pooling under the deer’s head. Within a few minutes, all it’s movements stop.

He looks at you as if suddenly remembering that you are here too.

“Don’t worry, that is the least painful death possible. It died quick.”

Your are too disoriented to help out with the cleaning. You sit at a distance and wait as he partially skins the deer and prepares to carry it back. When he is done, he hangs the deer around his shoulders above his backpack, and starts walking back.

Once again you start walking behind him.

“Will there be any more hunting?” you ask warily.

“Not today. Not in a while, actually. This little fella will last for some time.”

“And where are we going now?”

“Home.”

Revolution

I don’t remember in which grade
I learned the word “revolution”
But I remember
That once it entered my lungs
It never left my veins.

I read about Joan of Arc
In my Children’s Illustrated History book
And for nights I dreamed of horses
And enemy lines
And burning stakes.

I read that Alexander was 19
When he looked at the Macedonian throne
With determination blazing in his eyes.
I was the same age when I realized
That the biggest territory to conquer
And the hardest state to revolutionize
Is a human heart.

And I knew I would become the army
You never saw coming.

Perhaps I won’t be the Renaissance
That takes 3 centuries and
Thousands of pages
To slowly alter your mind.
Perhaps I’m the 3-day raid that burns
Your Senate houses and villages
And sets fire to all the corners
Of your soul.

I’ll be the Arab Spring
That breaks decades of dictatorship
Your tyrant mind has over your heart.

I’ll be the October Revolution
Letting my Bolshevik army tramp over your capitalistic desires
Until I paint all of your skin red with my utopian social justice.

I’ll be the violent mob of peasants
Burning the houses of British impostors
Who told me to plant blue seeds in my soil meant for green.

I’ll be the French Revolution
That promises you liberty and rights and social reform
But only after drowning you in a bloodbath.

I’ll be every book
That you burned in the name of your self-made gods
And yet couldn’t purge from memories.

I’ll be the city of Jerusalem
Being ravished by Crusaders night after night
Only to be reborn the next morning.

I’ll be Khalid ibn Walid’s army
Wreaking havoc among the mightiest forces you can gather
Till every corner of you thrives under my new civilization.

I’ll be Socrates with Hemlock in my hands
Waiting for the death of my body
And the birth of your mind.

I’ll be the children of Israel
Running through the middle of the Red Sea
And watching the waves crash down on the psychopathic autocrat in you.

If you want me to
I will keep going down the timeline
And unravel every piece of history you have in you
Till every bit of your existence
Is scarred by me.

But forget all of history
And civilization

I’ll be the very first spark of fire
You lighted by mistake
While shivering in a cold, dark world.

I’ll be the first spear you threw
The first word you spoke
The first rule you broke.

What I mean to say is
Once you crash into me
I’ll revolutionalize
Every inch of you.
Once you find me
I’ll ruin you
Forever.
I’ll be
What warms you
And I’ll be
What burns you
To ashes.

What I mean to say is
I’ll be the Big Bang
That God caused for breaking
The silence
Of your universe.

Empty Glass

Some nights you can feel
all the oceans
and mountains
and hot burning stars
inside your head
surging and
quaking and
pulsing to
break free and explode
and fall onto the pages
of an unwritten book
or into the nearly empty glass
of life
by your bedside
that’s tired of holding
a void for so long.

Some nights
you wake up.

Accidental Art

The abstract art
formed by fallen hair
on white shining tiles.

The dragons and castles
made of white clouds
in afternoon skies.

The dancing figures
made of water blobs
on a green bathroom floor.

All the accidental art
in every corner of the universe
waiting in ambush
to take my breath away.

And yet all I can think about
are a pair of black, black eyes
devoid of color
yet full of all the shades
that ever existed.

Sketching A Soul

Have you ever noticed
That the biggest adventure in life
Is gradually getting to know a person?

It’s like doing an elaborate sketch
Like those tutorials, or your kindergarten drawing books.
First you draw a bunch of shapes –
A circle here and a rectangle there,
A few lines on the sides.
Then inside those you draw more complex shapes
Polygons
Soft edges
Rounded corners.
Now you have an outline
You start building on it.
Now you add details
You add and add
And just when you thought it was enough
You add some more.
.
.
.
You know their name
Age, height, color
Their bachelors major
Their second language.
There you have the shapes:
A circle for the head
A trapezium for the body
Rectangles for the limbs.
Isolated, disproportioned.

You read their 3 am thoughts in vague facebook statuses.
The edges start softening.

A short conversation about where they bought that book from.
The arms are taking shape.

A philosophical comment on something seemingly deep that you said.
Jawlines appear.

You see some art they created.
Shoulder blades and pectorals and fingertips emerge.

You hear their voice reciting words of God
Or humming a nostalgic tune.
Biceps get shaded, knuckles are highlighted.

A few months in, you know their taste in books
What videos they watch on youtube
What philosophies they hate
What they say when they’re excited
How they look when they’re nervous
How often they smile
Why they smile
How they smile.

The details are rushing in
Like rain.
A dam has broken and you’re drowning.
Your pencils get shorter and your eraser is wearing out
From drawing and erasing
Sharpening and softening
Shading and highlighting
Too much.

Every conversation
Adds dimensions you didn’t know existed.
From 1D lines to a 2D sketch it’s suddenly a 3D sculpture
And before you know it
It has popped out of your sketchbook and started walking through air
But no it doesn’t stop there
You see layers after layers of
A Homo sapien
Turning into a human
Turning into a person
Turning into a soul.
Physicists might be talking about a 4th or a 5th or even a 10th dimension
But you know there are over a hundred dimensions
Because you’ve seen them all
In this sketch.
.
.
.
If you’ve never noticed this journey
Despite going on it so many times in your life
If you haven’t felt the poetic beauty of
A human becoming a person
I hate to say this but
You’ve missed out on the biggest surprise
That God has left for you.

Because every new person is a mountain to climb
And by the time you climb a mountain
You are not the same person anymore.

So please don’t tell me about how much you want to travel the world
If you have never traveled through
A person.

My Favorite Sounds

“What’s your favorite sound in the world?” you ask.

On Fridays, it’s the sound inside the masjid
When everyone’s clothes rustle in sync
As their faces touch the ground
In awe of their Creator.
It’s less of a sound and more of a feeling
That slowly fades into the euphoria
Of finding the purpose of life again.

On most other days
It’s the crunching of dead leaves
Or the rattling of keyboard keys
The roar of a fresh breeze
A very very loud sneeze
The ‘ting’ of a text message
The rustling when I turn a page
The splash of a waterfall
The clamor in a shopping mall
Thunder right before the rain
The rhythmic chugging of a train
The revving of sport cars
The silence of a million stars.

But at nights
It’s the imaginary laughter
Of an imaginary person
Drowning the rest of the world away
Turning into a blanket
To wrap me in its cocoon
So that all the cold I’m afraid of never finds its way.

 

Switch

There’s a light switch
Constantly being turned on
And off
And on
Inside me.

Flick.
Too much noise in my head
Flick.
A void in my soul.
Flick.
What a colorful universe!
Flick.
Full of black holes.
Flick.
I’m laughing like a maniac
Flick.
Talk to me and you’re dead.
Flick.
Let’s go for a run
Flick.
I’ll just lie in my bed.
Flick.
Pretty shop windows!
Flick.
Grey metal gates.
Flick.
I want to go home.
Flick.
I want to escape.
Flick.
I make garlands from words.
Flick.
I tear them off.
Flick.
Butterflies in my stomach
Flick.
I don’t believe in love.

 

Hobbies

My hobbies include
Staring at the sun
Walking through glass
Playing with fire
Running into tsunamis
And placing my heart on windowsills
To savor the adrenaline rush
As I watch it fall.

Bittersweet

Some days
You’ll have a bitter taste in your mouth
From something someone said
Something someone didn’t say
A memory coming out of nowhere
The thought of a missed chance
The guilt of living too less
The guilt of living too much
The guilt, guilt, guilt, guilt
For anything and everything
And something and nothing
And more.

Some days, you’ll feel every atom in your soul
Weighing you down
From the guilt of existing.

And you’ll know how it really tastes
To be alive.

Campfire

You
are like
sitting by a campfire
in the darkest of nights
and the softest of breezes.
As warm as I could get
yet not warm enough.
And as I slowly drown in this cosiness
i know i can never get too close
without burning myself.

Horses and Dreams

There are so many things I have to tell you.
Like how I rode a horse this morning
How it almost jumped off the bridge we were crossing
How good it felt to hold on to its smooth mane
And to recover from the anticipation of falling.
How disappointed I was when I woke up
How shaken I was at the realness of the dream
How I can still feel it’s smooth neck
Brushing against my tensed skin.

There are so many dreams I have to tell you about
Dreams that no one cares about
Dreams only you would hear about
Dreams that help me go on
Even on sunless mornings.

Like that one time I was looking for a key
Hidden under layers of reality
On some cold night covered with vivid constellations.
And under the stars I felt like I saw you.
And although I couldn’t remember how you looked
You’d never looked more perfect or true.

Someday I will tell you all about these
All about every thing I ever dreamed
While your eyes get​ heavy with sleep
Your voice gets blurry and weak
And we’ll dream together
Of all the horses
We never rode.

Dark Matter

You’re a pixelated reality
A handful of insanity
A trigger to some vanity
The unuttered profanity
That threatens inhumanity
An uncalled for calamity
That drills through my sanity
Falls before no immunity
And pulls stronger than gravity
Drenched in its naïvity
And merciless audacity
A rebel ‘gainst felicity
A display of monstrosity.
A people-less community.
The darkest part of this dark city.

Like dark matter
You shatter
My gravity.

The Shift

And one day,
Something changed.
Something in the universe shifted.
As if a long forgotten veil had been lifted.
The winds seemed to shiver in awe
Of the new life she had been gifted.
No one else noticed.
No one had to know.
Perhaps it was the soft, ultrasonic laughter of the angels
At the mighty way their Lord answered a shabbily constructed dua
Of a slave drowning in sins.

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