Aug 25, 2008

Bike Boy

I went to pick up my bike today after work. It had been sitting in the bike shop for over two months. I had taken it for a tune up just before my trip, not knowing I would be overextending my travels. The guys from the shop called me a couple of times while I was away, wondering where the hell I was. I felt bad since their little bike shop didn't have a lot of space. But knowing they'd be making money off storage fees lessened my guilt. I approached the shop and suddenly got self conscious. I remembered the cute guy who worked there. Nerdy Bike Boy with green eyes and beautiful tattoos all over his arms. I smoothed my fringe bangs and put my straightened hair into a pony tail. I walked a few steps, stopped, and took my hair out. I looked at my reflection in a parked car window. I wasn't yet used to my new haircut. I slowly made my way to the front of the store, discreetly, but Bike Boy came right out and greeted me. By my first name (which to my surprise he pronounced perfectly). We chatted while he got the bike. He kept asking me questions about my trip, extending the conversation. I held it together. Didn't stutter or trip over myself. Except for one dorky comment about his tattoos being "beautiful." (God. Who says that??)

The shop owner ended up giving me a deal. All the while watching my interaction with Bike Boy. The flirting was over the top. Or was it? I don't know. I just remember playing with my hair so much it started to frizz. We all talked for a while longer, I told them about my writing. They talked about bikes. Eventually I made my way out the shop, walking my bike slowly, steady. And a few steps onto the street, Bike Boy ran out and told me I should come back in a week so he could oil the chain again. I smiled and said thanks. And I continued walking. Slow. Steady. Trying not to trip. But knowing damn well how bad I was tripping. I don't know what I am so afraid of. When I became so hesitant. When I became an impediment to myself. All I know is at that moment, in that instant of instability, shaky legs and all, I felt alive. I felt good.

Aug 17, 2008

On the Cusp

My birthday falls on the summer solstice, which means I was born on the cusp of Gemini/Cancer. All these years I never took into account just how much of a Gemini I really am. I did a thorough chart reading recently, and realized it's true. So true it's shocking. A Gemini/Cancer: perpetual state of inner conflict. A feeling I can't really explain. You just have to be a cusp child to understand this. Someone told me we learn stuff like this at certain points in our lives. When we're ready? When we need it? Transitions? It's certainly not a coincidence I realized this at a time when I'm truly coming to terms with who I am. And really appreciating myself in every way. My inner conflicts and all.

If you happen to be born on a cusp, check this link for a brief breakdown.

Aug 8, 2008

White Turns to Gray

I thought I had it figured out. My thoughts on True Love and the ridiculousness of the concept. There's no such thing as the one. There are many. We fall in and out of love. Lovers come and go. But with or without these people, we still live love. Because Love is something within, and beyond us. We can never reduce it to a person.

That's until I spent the last 2 hours listening to Bilal with a friend. We sat in the car, by the train tracks to chill (like we do every time I'm in town visiting), and we listened to A Love for Sale. Letting the album play over again. Both of us in our own world, negotiating situations. Or trying not to. The music surged through me, melting my skin into itself.

I had heard this album so many times before. I didn't understand why it was having this affect on me now. Maybe my heart had been too open lately. I sat there intoxicated by Bilal's falsettos, his beautiful screams, my insides twisting into themselves. I was overwhelmed by a sense of wanting. And I tried not to think about someone. An unexpected. (Un)welcomed. Circumstance. A new breath. Miles away from me. Promise of a beginning. But what about the promise to myself. To not trip all over the place. To not smash my face into pavement. To not fall hard.

what if I can't undo this?
circumstance. love.
but I need this breath
more than he knows.

(Dammit Bilal. Your music affects me.)

Aug 4, 2008

We Breathe this Air Thick

I recently reworked a poem about my father. It was finally where it needed to be: it was honest. I didn't write around how I felt. No wordplay to hide the underlying emotions, the layers, the heavy layers. The piece was not an ode. I didn't write it to honour my dad. I wrote it to capture the essence of a complicated relationship between father and daughter due to traumas beyond (and somewhat in) their control. It marks a lack of communication, and the complex ways in which we all feel (felt) love for those we have (had) layered histories with.

The poem for baba holds an intricacy of emotions, a simultaneity of conflicting feelings. Because that's how we live: with coexisting (and often contradictory) realities, multiple truths. And if I am to live my poems, I must be true to that. To myself.

I shared the poem with another poet who, after grilling me on minute details of the piece, asked if that was all I had to offer to my dad. Initially, I was offended, and slightly hurt by her question. Perhaps her relationship with her father was not complicated. Regardless, something about my poem triggered this person. So I told her this was all I could offer: honesty and unconditional love. And what more can we offer our loved ones?

We write for so many reasons. To release. To breathe. We also write to honor our experiences with honesty. To acknowledge our multiple ways of feeling and being within given moments in our lives. Poems gesture (the sentiment of) such moments. And that poem for baba is one such moment within the larger poetry I am living.

Aug 2, 2008


Live Your Poems.
(thank you S for passing on these words. and for reminding.)

Aug 1, 2008

Views on Marriage

Auntie #1: It's a natural thing. It's what people do.

Mom: It can be a separate thing from love altogether.

Auntie #2: It's a contract.

Grandma: I'm slaughtering another sheep for you to find a husband.

Me: ...
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