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lemniscape//my childhood is a mint infusion



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396 Reviews



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Points: 27
Reviews: 396
Thu Aug 23, 2018 11:17 pm
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Pompadour says...



[some memories, some stress relief, and too many emotions. a poetry project,]


- day one -
i am ten years old
and morning is cold on my eyelids.
i sit on the ironing table. outside
the palm trees swivel their heads in the rain,
and water trickles steadily into the gaps
in the apartment complex's stoned pathways.
this is where i spend four years of my childhood,
gasping for breath in monsoon's hyper-inflated lungs.
this is that part of my life where i always felt
like the wind was bound to carry me somewhere far away.




cold calloused hands, march shrubbery and we are
inevitable in the coming of daylight. loose-lipped sighs,
stones hurled over the edge, quick steps and a pond
like a pool of mercury ebbing into the horizon. the red
bleeding out of the bulb is not alcohol, mum,
it is a caustic coming of age story draped in leaves and lace,
where one is constantly leaving and another
consistently left behind. it is the colour of the sun
as it trickles down the sky's jutting chin, the colour
that erupts on my tongue when i gnash my teeth too hard,
when suddenly all that is is all that is and is forever screaming.

we are inevitable in the coming of daylight,
broken thermometers crushed beneath the sky's bare feet,
heads strewn awry like a kite's runaway thread, endless loops
and twirls and smoke in guttered lungs. cold
calloused hands, march shrubbery and all that is
is all that is is inevitable
in the coming of daylight.
How to format poetry on YWS

this sky where we live is no place to lose your wings
  





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396 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 27
Reviews: 396
Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:45 pm
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Pompadour says...



scattered sleep-deprived thoughts that i cannot put into translation/cannot express well as it is.

-day two- [he will not take my hand//when he needs it]

it strikes me sometimes that . i am not my brother .
that i may be older . that i may be calmer .
that i may be more adept at handling things .
than he is .
but i am twenty years old .
i am my parents' oldest .
i am not nearly as wise .
or as kind as i would like to be .
but tug the end of the string . and i am
what i am not . am not
my brother .

،مجھے اندازہ کبھی نہ ہوتا کہ میرا بھائ بیٹی نہیں
اور نہ ہی یہ کہ میں کبھی بیٹے جیسی اوقات نہیں پا سکتی۔
دراصل میرے خاندان میں خاموشی ایک درندہ ہے
اور کافی باتیں ایسی جنہیں سمجھنا اتنا آسان نہیں۔
لیکن کچھ لہریں یوں آکر آپ سے ٹکڑتی ہیں
جیسے آنگھن کا شجر سامنے ، اور پاؤں تلے سمندر
اور سمندر تلےہوش، ہوش ایک پتھر
جس کے ہاتھوں پر پان کی رنگت مہندی لگی ہوئ۔
اور مہندی بناۓ نقش جن کی سمجھ مجھے نہیں۔
بس یہ کہ میرے نانا میرا سہارا نہیں پسند کرتے
جیسے کہ ایک درخت کو اپنے پاؤں نذدیک پتھر پسند نہیں
اور جیسے میری مدد ہی اناء پر داغوں کی فہرست قائم کرے۔
،جیسے سڑک کی ہتھیلی پہ پان کی رنگت مہندی ممنوع نہیں
جیسے میرے بھائ کی ہتھیلی مؤنث نہیں۔
How to format poetry on YWS

this sky where we live is no place to lose your wings
  





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396 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 27
Reviews: 396
Sun Sep 02, 2018 7:31 pm
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Pompadour says...



-day three-

i am bent straw in glass half-full
of thoughts swivelling in the wake of constant
life in menopause, not stagnant but never
seeming to decide which side of the border
i should land in. morning pallor and duskdrawn eyes,
i am forgotten landscape--i am first to forget--
and old photos we hide in the attic
for fear that those memories pulled up
will create bad ones.

i am nineteen years old when i get my blood screened
for the first time, O negative, and my mother jokingly remarks
how they must have picked up the wrong kid at the hospital,
because my blood type is as much anomaly
as our joint effort to wade through waters
too murky with past rains, too torrid, too
insignificant to bring up as conversation on humid Sunday mornings.
my entire life i have been told
that i am not old enough for certain conversations.
that i am better off ignorant--but only half-ignorant,
because i will always hear half-baked accounts
and mull over them endlessly, until they ferment
and turn bitter under the sun's hot glaze. until i
break down in my own dissonance, cave in
to incomprehension, blow the dust off old boxes and
once more, put them back where they came from.
because my entire life i will never be old enough.

i am glass half-full, bent straw, light refracted.
i will not create bad regrets, only
good ones.
How to format poetry on YWS

this sky where we live is no place to lose your wings
  





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396 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 27
Reviews: 396
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:23 pm
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Pompadour says...



gestal?gestell?

always somewhere in between
somewhere in always between
in always between somewhere
always suncrushed, hold my hands to my ears,
ears worn out in the sound of voices cascading
and i am somewhere here
or there
but never knowing either.
How to format poetry on YWS

this sky where we live is no place to lose your wings
  





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396 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 27
Reviews: 396
Tue Jan 01, 2019 10:34 pm
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Pompadour says...



summer's lease -

i would often compare my poems
to summer days, to leaky faucets and cold shower skies
and humid beachtown maladies. my words, i said, were cold and clear,
a kind of tempestuous imaginary that shook the earth when it walked,
like some Queen Nefertiti with her rattling jowls
searching for sweet mango feerni in monsoon.
my poems would be sweet mango feerni, i bartered. they would be
bittersweet and mango-strange and heavy, cavernous skies,
and thunder rolling in a gymnasium above our heads. my poems would be
bombastic, stylistic jewels, sheesha-lined umbrellas, Cine de Italia découpage.
they would use words like découpage.
and they would taste like pickled garlic on rice--tangy, but familiar,
but not. they wouldn't be poems about me,
but about the world, and how the world should be,
and why it isn't that way, because i didn't really have a life to talk about.
i didn't think i'd ever have a life i wanted to talk about.

my poems do not try for arcs anymore.
my mind has settled into always-quiet, into always-tired,
into always-bills, always-work, always-i-must-work-harder,
or i-must-sleep, or i-think-i-really-just-want-to-die.
i think my poems try less to become--so long as i can breathe;
these days, i am just content with being.

at least, i think i am.
How to format poetry on YWS

this sky where we live is no place to lose your wings
  





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396 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 27
Reviews: 396
Wed Jan 02, 2019 10:54 pm
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Pompadour says...



barfi - epitaph

prologue: my family has winter bones, wears shawls like heroes' capes,
plays cards at the dining table, does magic tricks with toothpicks,
loves its daughters like it loves its sons, is porcelain-painted,
incense-infused, all manners of sophisticate, all manners of placid,
all manners, all placid, all thin sheet of ice over a frozen river in March.

we love our winter bones.
we love barfi.

i used to think the word came from baraf,
or barfeela, that shirt-soak, ice lizard, quintessential childhood bad feeling
whenever my mother's gaze turned glare, turned hot ice,
turned sickly-sweet sarcasm and dismay plunging down my throat.
barfi--only later i came to associate it with
ice-cold condensed milk, spontaneous celebration, the unease
of knowing that happy is not truly happy, that an ice palace
looks beautiful only until you are inside
and realise that ice means winter, and stiff bones,
and automaton people.

barfi--last minute yellow box tucked underneath my mother's arm--
anniversary mithai, she says dully, and my heart breaks
for the way her eyes are quietly screaming. it is as though
some totem pole has snapped--some switch flick, some glass shatter,
some magazine rip, lip tremble; i have never seen
my mother cry, not in the twenty years i have known her.
my tears always freeze in my eyes these days, i tell my friends.
it's like i don't know how to cry anymore.

'for emotional repression, apply suppository.'
my family is a family of doctors: cautious, law-abiding,
careful to love, careful to show it. my mother says
i cry too easily, over the smallest things.
maybe it's because i never cry over the big ones.
i am all automaton, frigid movements, careful words,
incoherence, spluttering jalopy smoke-chute covered in hoarfrost.
please let me say the right thing.
please just let me say the right thing.
splutter, tremor, switch flick, ice snap.
it's like i don't know how to cry anymore.

nobody wishes anyone a happy anniversary
in my house--nobody brings up the fact that it is unhappy,
or has been, or that we never talk about it.
only my grandfather takes a bite out of the cold, cold barfi.
it is shaped like a heart.
i think it is apt. it is shaped like a heart
nobody wants to look at for too long. it is shaped like a heart.
suppository shoved down your throat, whispers in split rooms,
heavy-burden knowledge and fears no one wants to admit--my family
loves its winter bones. i am careful when i talk about it.

please let me be right when i talk about it.
please let me be right when i talk about it.

epilogue: my family wears winter bones, but they would
rather not talk about it. all my heroes are dead, broke their necks
skidding over ice, drowned
in a deep sea reservoir for memories--all manners, all placid, yells
gurgling in their throats, screams welling up, throbbing
in their ears--
but i would still rather not talk about it.
but i would
still
rather not talk about it.
How to format poetry on YWS

this sky where we live is no place to lose your wings
  





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396 Reviews



Gender: Female
Points: 27
Reviews: 396
Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:20 pm
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Pompadour says...



-has not updated in forever, but oops. maybe this will help me get back into writing ... slowly-

. it does not rain in karachi, except when it does

cupfuls of stale silence brewing: storm stagnant
and sky-in-mouth bedtime stories. midnight
breezeless air, i-have-forgotten-how-to-breathe air,
i-have-forgotten-how-to-find air.

wayside walk, a wait, and the sky
splits like a rotten orange, cracks open
like a skull crashing into hell’s grate,
lightning-whip, tea tray clatter in an open cavern,
and words fall readily from our open mouths.

when it rains, it pours,
it pours,
it pours,
it pours.
How to format poetry on YWS

this sky where we live is no place to lose your wings
  








The emperor is rich, but he can't buy another day.
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