A Night In The City

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The sun has almost set in the sultry winter sky
And to every poets consternation,
Each nook of the city smells like cigarette smoke;
They wonder what they should write today,
A pint down with a burning throat
They walk through the city, to capture life.
The night is piercing, even the hookers have put on modest clothes
And somewhere in a multi-storey building
A girl sings in the dark,
Her drunken voice bewitching the entire city in its merry spirit;
And further down the lane,
An old man collapses, and with a wheezing breath
Denounces his possessions to his son
And he breathes his last in the snow clad streets,
The stars bearing witness to this commemoration;
And a girl stands over the bridge,
Whose coat flips carelessly in the icy wind,
As she readies to jump into the freezing waters,
Thinking desperately of last words that’ll hopefully
Last longer than she herself did.
And somewhere an artist’s fingers roll the joint
After he’s fucked the same guy he did last week,
And the one before that and the one before that,
Wondering if this is what love feels like:
No late night conversations, no meals,
Just two hot naked bodies writhing in passion
And the familiar smell of smoke and sweat.
They all wonder, they’re all living,
And thus the city lives on-
They all wonder, they’re all looking for something,
Or finding something or making something,
Or just being.
The city breathes through their breath,
And the world feels alive, thriving,
Even though nothing is similar and nothing is different
Because it has all happened, it is all happening,
It will always happen
And yet is is never the same- the girl’s voice
Has never sung of that one morning, ever again
And the old man’s son will never know how proud
His father was of him.
And the artist has woken up to a realization
That what he loves has, and can never love him back,
So the next morning, when the moon descends
And the first shy rays of the eager sun wake them all up,
The poets, well, they’ll already be wide awake, with cheeks blued, and hands gritty,
Forgetting to see the sunrise, forgetting to breathe
As they write about the cities they’ve never left,
The cities they’ve never seen,
The cities they’ve never been,
The cities they’ve never owned.

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Update on The World Past Me.

It has been just a little more than a month since I’ve last posted on my blog, and over six months, since I stopped posted continuously. This is an long, overdue explanation for that.

I had trouble writing. The enthusiasm with which I wrote had deserted me, moreover, it felt impersonal. I’ve always written because those were words that I didn’t say, and they needed to be said. They’ve always been from the heart, they’ve always been about things that I felt, or did, or thought; my writing was never about just writing- it was a means for me to express myself.

Lately, more specifically starting last summer, I ran out of things to talk about. I ran out of things to say. I didn’t know what to write. I felt that the one thing that I had with me always had emancipated from myself. What I wrote was a result of my frustration of not being able to write, not being able to feel empty after I’d written, not being able to say what I needed to say. And let me tell you, that isn’t a good place to be. Imagine someone taping your mouth when you are telling them about a very personal event, or not being able to find a recall the word that would say exactly what you want to say and your mind going in circles at that thought and you’ll know what I mean. 

Many of you may also know that it was around the same time that I started my undergraduate studies as an English major in a university about two hours from my house. of course, as a language major, I was also supposed to write a lot. My conviction in my writing only grew weaker, and the feeling of being wordless was engulfing me. I could only write for my courses. I felt that this “academic” writing was draining me of my ability to write, for myself. I wrote, a little, as I said, but they were not writings that I was satisfied with. Their purpose was simple: to keep the blog running. And in that way, an entire semester passed, without me having blogged successfully.

However, last month, at my end semester break, I decided to write anything, poetry , prose, anything that would make me write. And I started a little something. From 11 pm to 3 am, I would sit with a cup of soup or coffee at the dining table in my house, surrounded my a warm blanket and alternate between writing and watching YouTube videos. And I did write; I wrote about 7.5k words in a span of 15 days. I don’t know a lot about these stats, but the important thing is that I wrote. I wrote without deleting every second word and without closing the file in my anger and without getting distracted.

Fifteen days since I last worked on it, I have finally written something today that I am satisfied with, that makes me feel like I’ve done a good job. And it is in celebration of that that I am finally making this post, my first post in the new year that is 2017, that is making me think that yes, I will be more punctilious and adhere to blogging regularly.

Hopefully, this post today will unjinx the bad voodoo that has prevented me from writing, and hopefully, it’ll be the welcome mat for the next, and more frequent posts, on The World Past Me.

A very (late) Happy New Year to everyone. May words always be with you!

 

Thoughts.

She could feel her level of contentment decrease each passing day.

She read things which inspired her, she read beautiful words and of beautiful worlds with beautiful people and the happiness she felt was unparalleled.

Yet, when she sat down to write, words didn’t flow from her fingertips to the keyboard like they used to do before. Instead, she felt a pressure. She didn’t feel the wish to write, rather, she felt obligated to write.

It took two drafts which she never deleted, always saved, before she could produce something good enough to maintain the bar of her poems.

At the peak (and opportunity) of her writing career, she felt that somehow, she had already put forth her best work. The sense of fulfillment, pride and accomplishment that followed every time she entered the post button was hard to come by.

Her mind evaded thoughts, things that she knew she could put to words. Desperation turned to anxiety and he could feel it slipping by, as if the longer she didn’t write, the more it would escape and soon all she would be left with the ghosts of all-good-things-written. She would be a shell. She would be someone who would come to be known as the person who let the best thing that ever happened to her slip by.

The one thing that she was good at, she let it go.

So she wrote. Though it was rubbish, absurd, hopeless, immature; she wrote. She wrote of her block, she wrote of overcoming block, she wrote of what to write about- and when, it was done, she closed her eyes with her palm and would press the “Publish” button.

She made it a habit to write at least five days a week.

Was it sufficient? She wouldn’t know. Did it get better? She wouldn’t know.

For right now, all she cared was for the not let her rust herself. All she cared was for to stop her mind from stopping, because she knew if she did, there would be no one who would stop her thoughts from consuming her.

How To Write When You Cannot

Start. Start to write what pops in your head;
look around you, the universe is your friend,
observe the cold of the air conditioner induce a
shiver, feel the mattress pressing in your arse,
look at the poster on the wall opposite to you
and think of how it became what it was,
look at the books lined up against the walls
and think of how many words they must contain
and how such similar words created such a diverse
magic, look at the table and imagine the legs talking
about the weight of the bags they have to carry,
think about the guitar that lies in the corner
of the room and how it creates magic that survives
people, think about the news you heard that day,
reflect upon exactly how many people in the world
are struggling to fill the same web page that you
are, ponder upon what exactly would have been
going on in the musician’s mind before he shot
himself, and contemplate how the world came to
being- not the big bang and the planets- but how
we came, think about the whore you eyed that day
on the street, ruminate about the diamonds raining on
Jupiter, deliberate on the existence of yourself,
and dammit, just write about the vibe between the
band and their fans in a concert, lord, just start,
just start writing what comes to your head,
and if you do, I can promise you, you will never stop
writing, baby, because the world is a magic show
and it is made for people like you.

Blocked.

The will to write has evaded me. My thoughts are scattered and whatever solace I found in my words has bereft me. The words that tumbled out of me earlier, as smoothly as water from a tap, are today an ocean, and I am unable to build a boat sturdy enough to move against the current. I function these days, like a plane, who is being driven by a source far superior to my own everyday.

I have never found myself so utterly helpless and unworthy. I spend seconds staring at the wall that turn into minutes and hours, and with each passing second the feeling of being a shipwrecked passenger engulfs me. The sole inspiration of writing this post came from a quote I read somewhere, “Start somewhere, anywhere. Write a few lines. Say anything. And see what happens. Don’t think about it too much or make any fancy announcements. Justwrite. It doesn’t need to be eloquent or presentable; it just needs to be written.” (Yes, I was searching for ways to overcome writer’s block!)

Let’s hope I write again, because I really feel like I am worthless right now.