Almost… not Quite

I spent my childness
Wearing princess clothes
Over bordered pin stripe suits
And I danced to a ballad
Written for people
Who would always be prettier than me
When the first hairs grew
Amidst a failed puberty
I decided on a war
And I fell in love
With every passing stranger who decided to look twice
Twice it took my breath away
Thrice, I was left writing poems that made me regret
Do you understand where we stand now?
Now, that the leaves have withered away?
I packed away my MAC
Bought with tiffin money I saved for years
The matte lipstick has become decoration
Of a lover’s lips
Someone I didn’t even dare to love
But, I cared enough to surrender myself to
And my mother tied me up
Three turns of the rope
As I laid in the garage awaiting the car
But, it never did come, and so I was released
Sans the madness that made me dance so
So, next time a jazz record came on
I played loud guitars and growled
Donned a leather jacket and stood behind
A group of men who decided that screaming at this girl
Who I still love, as a sister now
Was the perfect response for her short self trying to click pictures
I could never forgive them for that
But, hey I was being a man
So, at the 20th cigarette by the Ganges shore
While, talking to friends about love and lore
All while, all I could dream about was poetry and art
Was the mask I pulled
The matte lipsticks and concealers
The ruby red, and translucent
Were less of masks than my words became
Until I was laying across a man’s chest
leaving behind trails of lipsticks
Red makrs that went down the sternum
Right down to a place
Whose name I shouldn’t take
Censured myself to the extent
That outside the home of his
I smoked three cigarettes
As If I didn’t like the taste of sex
in my mouth, on my body, on everything
i wore the t-shirts, but, I loved drapes
So, every time puja came around I wore dhotis
Mom thought it was tradition
it was just being myself
I was never a woman
But, wearing something that flew so seamlessly with my body
Drawing art on my body
Writing poetry quotes acrossed malformed breasts
Highlighting features that they want to be hidden
Hey, I do have stretch marks
And scars from a leg badly broken
Who are you to judge?
And why do you think that I
After all this time would even care
Because I wear glasses and throughout school?
Because you decided grabbing my breasts was a good joke?
Non-sexual, jovial, brotherhood?
And I didn’t realise why it made me feel uncomfortable
Till now
But, I own myself more than I ever had
graded visuals, gradients which go from blue to black
Pieces of me decorated by a boy
Whose love often turned to hitting
And yet, I was happier than I was with you people
But, then I could never be the princess again
Dark umbrellas
Staunch shirts that hid me
behind layers and layers and layers
All mounting up to this shameless
Image of someone who is almost there
but, not quite
Not quite himself
I decided on love by the time I was 17
But, the 13 years kept pulling me back
So, when i shared my first kiss with a man
I congratulated myself on not making my identity a mask
For all these fears and aspirations
I had gathered over for years
So, you know what?
I will listen to Taylor Swift
As much as I listen to hip-hop
And angry ballads written behind garages
And like I danced the shimmy yesterday
While my friend was in the bathroom
And I will again
And I will wear my mascara because that is the only time I was myself
And I am no woman
I have never identified as such
but, I refuse to be broken idols
And I know you like imagery so take this
The diary bound in leather
had charred pages which threatened to reveal all these poetry
That were supposed to be hidden
but, I just flled ink in my fountain pen
I let love in
And love happened

Random scribblings

I would often lie about the worldwide truths
Hide them behind the sensual myths
That were hidden behind the highway cigarettes
I never had a bike of course
I just rode along
And half a bottle of vodka in my stomach
I went on to chant poetry for the masses
Before the bud blooms is there a moment
When it wonders whether the bloom is worth
That is how I felt before sex
because in my family no one touched it
Being touched became this sort of fear
That I ran from for ages
Until half hairy hands fell over my body
And pulled me in and in
So, of course when I lost in the Russian roulette
Played at the riverside with strangers
I said I would suck all of them, if indeed
They would hug me, because I missed being wanted
I still do perhaps, but, touches changed
And one evening drunk at the safest place I knew
Where two gay lovers embraced in the silhouette of disco lights
I was being touched behind bottles and laughters
A buck for the breasts, two for the groins
To have sex, you probably still need consent

I forgot that for a while
While, I pretended that every man I met
Was deflowering me again and again
The asshole isn’t much of a flower
So, I had no problem to pretend
Guess I scared my friends a bit with
Chalk marks written over half covered faces
Can burqas be reclamation or can we pretend
That today you just didn’t want to see me because
I was too beautiful for you
The only intelligent conversation we had
Was when I said I needed to use the Bathroom
And you told me to get out
If you hated me so much in the first place, well
Why try even? I know your wife waits for you
Does she come behind veils and hold pails of water
For you to drink, because for God’s sake I won’t
You see
This other lover showed up at the event and winked at me
I made him buy cigarettes behind a shack on the street
I would have gone down on him, but, oh well, anxiety
Now, sex is like a tree
And I am not much of a John Keats so I tried to keep that at minimum
but, while, I stared down at bald valleys
I realised that I was petty with prettiness
And hotness came at the cost of a burnt rectum
God, am I even allowed to say that out loud
I mean it is fun and all, but, I would lust after a hairy nipple
But, please do not ask me to suck them
It feels cheap
I mean I would probably suck you for 60 bucks but
Oh well, I come cheap in the market where sex sells
Strange that I would advocate for a Marxist treatment of our bodies
I am a petty bourgeoise with my own
but, we do treat others with the love we deserve ourselves
and that’s only because truths are so easy to lie behind
Wooden creaky beds at your home, with that smell
“You masterbated before I even came?”
Oh God that’s a brilliant pun indeed
But, then, I am dancing along the national highway
High, back when I was not on three pills
White and yellow honey, sold at 300 bucks
So, I would need to sleep with 5 people to even be happy
What kind of fairness is that? Oh well you can call the psychiatrist
I tried to, but, he just stared at me and signed “No”
Once in a concert, while they were playing folk music
I decided to do the time warp behind a platform
Think my favourite vocalist saw me, wonder how much would he pay
not that I won’t do it for free
But, at this point that doesn’t matter does it?
Hey did you write down my number yet? The horny kid
pretending to be a slam poet?
Oh well, it’s just 10 digit, give me the call
When you feel sad, or you feel horny
I mean I did do Harry Potter for a while
And apparently all the girls I met
Are either asexual, bi or les
Designated queer whisperer people!
It does take me balls to say that I am not sexual
I mean I did imagine the demon penetrating me
(Don’t you judge me on that mister, you have too)
And his long tongues licking my ear
Poets don’t judge right? So I was kind of a lineart
Turning into colored imagery by his touch
Well, another guy did come into my life
And while I was writing this poem I didn’t know if he would ever come for me
God, my friends would love this
Anyway, so while, I was broken and wounded
And halfway a toy which fit in the hands of a manga reader
He took me in from a bus which felt like thousands of arms
Sex workers don’t really enjoy non-consensual touch kids
And bought me coffee
And a lot of drinks
He says I am 5000 bucks in debt
I could repay by sucking him, but, I think he’s halfway straight
And I have lied to myself enough to know that hurting other people
And hurting yourself, just ain’t the same
So, 21st midnight, when medication, hopefully gets over
I would get drunk with him
I would hug him and tell him that he’s the best
Better than highway vodka in front of a restaurant
Being passed around by strangers for the sake
of a pint of beer anyway
Much better than a whore who didn’t know any better
Better than a lover who broke up with someone
Who didn’t love him back the same way
But, mostly I would still be sexual
Running hands through long strands of hair
And kissing bearded faces
Well, at least till the anti depressants are effective anyway

Virginity : A View From India

The myth surrounding virginity has always astounded me. To degrade a human being into petty categories of “pure” and “impure” on the basis of the sexual experiences they might or might not have implies an objectification that is terribly regressive. I remember a cousin saying, “Would you buy a car that has been used before?” We have not only reduced women into objects, they are consumerist goods, to be sold at an auction on the basis of their purity. It is strange when seen in the context of a changing world which increasingly sees sexual liberation as one of the hallmarks of progressiveness that this regressive notion is rife in apparent progressive groups too, especially in India.

When I was having this discourse in India, a lot of them did not have opinions on the first night in terms of choice, rather, their view was that sex itself is impure. Granted, I study in a place which is not as modernised as my home, and the class factor does come to play. While, sexuality and appreciation is prevalent here (you do find men making uncomfortable comments everywhere, and women do admit to their sexual attractions, however, privately that might be), to speak of it in the open, to open a discussion is seen as naivete. I come from a position of privilege, I have seen people use their sexualities as a weapon as an adolescent and I stand by that. However, in the poor society, the sexualised woman is the outcast, unless, of course, she appears nightly on the TV screen. We would not forgive the ghar ki ladki to indulge in such behaviour, but, the profitable exploitation of a woman by mass media is something we would indulge in. This also is secret, people find it hard admitting, they watch porn, or like masterbation, in that manner at least sexuality is equal.

Inequality peeks through the fringes when the woman who has had sex before is treated merely as a number. The number of people she has fucked, the number of shameful nights she has had. What is so shameful about sex? I have been told that as a person who comes from a modern city, I do not understand. Yet, the quality of the flesh, and the needs are same. We are after all biological beings united by this base same-ness. Whether the maal on TV or the ghar ki ladki, the breasts would not differ so much in composition, and the nerves would still instill erotic imaginations. Not that I want to oppose traditionalist values as a whole, liberation should not mean that you should have to have sex to fit into the world. It merely means having the choice to do what you want. In this society, the choice is subtracted easily, the currency of shame mediating all nteractions between the male and female sex.

The men wish to fuck, they would go extraordinary lengths to court a girl they term “loose” and not shy away from anything on that account. On the other hand, they would choose women who are easily available and dispensable with that knowledge alone. Women are consumerist goods then, and we men are the consumers.

“She is such a slut yaar.”

Easy to say isolatedly, and, easy to categorise females till we are left with categories. “Would you like a Nissan or a Toyota sir?” “Of course you would prefer a virgin, who am I to ask?”

There are myths that obviously need to be tackled here, but, even those myths are so entrenched in objectification of women that it becomes very difficult to give answers without feeling drenched out of everything.

To answer some questions.

No, the woman is not a car.
No the sexual pleasure of yours that you will derive from a tight vagina would not be taken away.

No, a woman is not the number of men she has fucked.

Why the fuck is your ego so fragile?

Shame goes around, and love becomes a currency that is so related to shame that you can seldom tell them apart. I wish I had a solution, but, it’s hard to. Sex education in this country after all should have no mention of sex, and a virgin woman is just easier for them to sell.

To the Woman I met Once

The felt tip underneath my skin
Wrote “Woman” all over my body
before I turned eighteen
And hence, started the blooming
Out of the broken puberty lines
I found cursive lines of black ink
Everywhere I looked,
Whiteners fashioned out of prejudice
Would not make them lose
The heart broke in the midst of stormy shambles
While, I gathered my sunny stock in order
to raise a barn amidst the woods
I kept friendships at the backdoor
However, it shines and it shines
Words spoken could not erase
What was written so inexplicably inside
Women were always pink carnations
Heaped upon one another, frail, shivering
And yet, there was something of a reclamation
In the streets of a town which was sepia toned
So, confessing to myself over a cigarette
In a street where the time halted to a stop
i decided that my body is forgiven
For being so, and the felt tip became film
Showcased to an eclectic audience
On a wooden night where plastic fell
Out of images, I drew out transformations
And paintbrushes became who I was
Not a sermon, more a ballad
Spoken out from hilly mountaintops
Where mercy so immediately merged with snow
That the horses ran across fields
I was a daffodil, among carnations and forget-me-nots
And the felt tip still wrote, but, now
The songs were stories, and I will tell you one
The story of a boy who was born
The story of a girl who always was
And how there were not two souls but, one
How where you come from
Is not who you are…

Amanda Palmer, Asking and Fears

Last week I held myself up enough to read through Amanda Palmer’s “The Art of Asking” on a whim. This came betwixt a horrible week riddled with a lot of life’s complexities, a majority of which centred around an exam which is due on December this year. Being a performer has always perplexed me to some degree, I have never found myself identifying with the spitfire woman screaming her vocals out of a soapbox. I would rather be Allen Ginsberg, sitting in a studio fashioned out of garage wood in the centre of a town that seemed to be screaming out names. Yet. Palmer means something to me, her ideas of motherhood, her fear of becoming irrelevant is something that plagues me on a daily basis. I am after all someone who takes long breaks from my own blog without warning and threatens to not come back, until the heart pushes so.

portfolio_featured_amandaart

You see part of me in consumed too, I have been dealing with these feelings that scare me. I do not know if I am “homosexual” enough for people. I do not think I can be “bisexual” anymore either. I haven’t really been attracted to women in a while. I find myself contemplating over the nuances of what it means to be gay in India, and I think I fill none of them, except for having this strange need for sucking a dick at the end of the night. There is something about the collar bones of a man, the contours of his chest, the slightness of the hair, the veins in the penis that invites me again and again. I confess over tea that I am afraid to open up enough to actually let myself out of that zone of being sexuality-less, because then my vulnerabilities will also show. The reason I turned off the lights last time after all was not because I found my lover to be ugly, but, because I was so sure that I was. I have always hidden my body under wraps and wraps, and it takes courage to open up bits of myself for inspection.

Amanda in this way, represents something that I can never been. She’s a fierce poet who is confident about her body, she invites her fans to draw over her bodies, an act of two-way trust. For me, I hide behind lenses of cameras with words trying to make them feel what I feel in my heart, in my libido. I do not know if the libido would preserve itself over the years, I am terribly afraid of course of being a loner in the world which is tumbling downwards. Thatched roofs are hard to escape, but, I was born under one, and not with a silver spoon in my mouth either.

I feel phony as a writer too, and this only owes itself to the fact that mostly I do not get the time or motivation to write a lot. Battling with depression meant I did not write at all for the most of past few months. I wrote some stories in the centred way that I do, but, those poems sound fake and hollow, withering away before the sand of time could even touch them.

I am panicking.

But, Amanda taught me this. I asked for help yesterday, I have been asking for help all week, trying to get people to rally around me for some of my passions. Maybe, most of them will be negatives, maybe, nothing will come out of it, but, well, what’s the worst thing they could do anyway?