--may 27, 2024--

look for patterns in chaotic & ‘random’ events, experiences, behaviors, etc. these could be in nature, in our own emotions & actions (or inactions), in the structure of a city, in a computer, in a body. do these patterns uncover an underlying order or meaning? are they coincidental?


city of the damned


You haven't seen life
till you've seen the damned
wearing scraggly beards and unkempt hair
Hopes dashed in the roadside sand
where they scrabble in the grass
to find forgiveness in the flowers
or in the past
In the heart of the city pulsating maroon
or on the firmament in the heat of noon
with no poets long gone
to show them the path.

--May 13, 2024--

write about evolution and devolution. how do we unravel & re-ravel? think about what histories our bodies & communities & species & worlds are made of.


Metamorphosis


I stumbled upon a lake one day,
its surface glimmering and bright,
And when I peered into its depths,
it gave me quite the fright.
What I beheld within its reflection
left me quite distraught.
For in its murky depths I spied
all that I was not.

Calm and composed as the surface above,
Alluring is the tale it tells,
As it suggests with an unassuming faith
That I'd be better off someone else.

I peered at that spectre
For ages untold.
In the glaring summer sun,
In the winter moonlight’s cold,
In the vain hope that some part
Of that vision I may hold.

Yet when at last I left that trance,
To my horror did I see;
Despite my lust to be something more
I was still the same old me.

No visions or yearning can churn the flesh,
Mould the viscera into iridescent wings.
It's a labour of love and immense courage
To teach your heart to sing
A tune all of your own.
                    

--May 6, 2024--

consider ‘trace elements’-- barely noticeable things and what they change. think butterfly effect! are their effects expected & small or disproportionate? is a ‘trace element’ an extra bit of DNA? is it some milk in a loaf of bread?


"Petty Concerns"


Littered throughout the past,
traces in the grander scheme,
are scars that run deeper than wide:
Fissures that run farther than time.

A past wrong corrected
yet another neglected
as though weighed upon a scale
balanced on the razor-thin
edge of our soul.
The injustice of the gun or the bloodied knife
outweighs the strife of a wounded life.
                    

--Apr 29, 2024--

write about or use asymmetry in your writing. what is the intrigue in imbalance? maybe work with different-sized stanzas or long, long sentences followed by short ones, or think about how no two bodies are the same, nor two halves of the same body, or how the feeling of a painting shifts with where the objects sit.


letters to friends


Where  once  grew  the  lush  Eden  of  our  love
teeming with birdsong and earthly delights;
life  weeps  for  our  callous  disregard,
contrite over the weeds that populate
the beds where flowers
grow poor.
Yet perhaps if
I abandon my blinding conceit,
water the beds with patience and care;
perhaps if you deign to let your light shine,
allow love to reign again where contempt took hold;
the wounds of our parting may begin to heal once more.
                    
I  regret  all  those  times  I  didn't  listen  to  you
Till I pushed you towards avoiding me too,
Till  words  lost  their  weight
conversations their soul,
till vapid contempt
was   all   that
got through.
Now if you refuse
I'll  listen  to  you
and curb my pensive heart
that aches yet with the hope that we may
start anew…
                    

inspired by Eastern Wings by George Herbert

i tried to explore how lack of reciprocation and asymmetry in a relationship (platonic, romantic, etc) can spiral into a disintegration of good faith, with hope that with understanding and empathy we can mend these gaps

--Apr 22, 2024--

explore on the softness & blurring of edges—dawn/dusk, the place between sleep and wakefulness, transitions from youthfulness to adulthood and adulthood to old age. what do those borders & changes feel like, look like, smell like?


Precipice


From above: a plunge
forsaking all you hold
to behold what becomes of you.
From below: a path
diverging perhaps from a halcyon lost.
Free will at the cost of what you freely forsake.

Yet as I stand at this precipice anew
unlike the dozens of times afore,
it threatens to be something more 48 beyond this opaque, one way door:
An affront to all I hold true.

Yet as I brace myself for the fall,
the above and below collapse
into this infinitesimally tiny abyss 54 where I recognise with a fearsome bliss:
There is only me and this precipice.
                    

--Apr 15, 2024--

write a piece that uses all or most of this pool of words– glisten, slow, starlight, fruit, molten, calm.


pelt of darkness


That man walked along this pier today,
his gait certain but slow.
Each evening that passes has brought him here
since as far back as I know.

Darkness, like cashmere for the guilty soul,
soothing his conscience and easing his bones,
as he gazes at the pelt of starlight
certain to lead him home.

But for now he stands, in this moment of calm
as the glistening waves roll idly by
churning the water into misty foam
stretching out eagerly to meet the sky.

Whatever the fruits of the day may have been
as well as of days long past,
the aimless visitor casts a glance
and finds a forgiving host.
                    

I missed molten. I didn't know where to put it tbh. I find the nighttime to be very comforting. It makes one feel less vulnerable. I tried to channel that feeling here.

--apr 8, 2024--

try to make your writing as silent as possible. i know it's a weird prompt-- don't take it too seriously. have fun. what does it mean for writing to be quiet?


INVALID CHECKSUM

Corrupted Bytes

Troubleshoot
The people remain silent:
The poet sings alone,
barely over the static
and the hostile drone,
hoping to be heard
by a distant few.
                    

FAILED HANDSHAKE

retry
The poet remains silent:
that's nothing new.
The weariness of now
or woes long past:
Seeds we never sow
and leave in a bag to grow rancid
or saplings we seldom grow.
                    

NULLPOINTEREXCEPTION in

lines 14 to 22
The people remain silent:
That's nothing new.
But the poem must speak
over that noise,
speak to them and to you.
But the poet within you
remains silent for shame
and forgets to give
the poem a name.
                    

I'm not sure if I was really able to adhere to the prompt this time or if I'm satisfied with the execution but it did make me think about a lot of stuff and I'm grateful for that

--Apr 1, 2024--

explore the concept of time in your writing. play with the idea of how we perceive passing time [linear/cyclical/all at once/not at all] and make it weird and surreal, or maybe go more classic & write some fun time travel/time loop fiction. how does time shape us?


Ashwathama


This curse cast so long ago
though it feels to him like yesterday,
does it feel to Him like yesterday
that cast it when
all of time is to Him a play.

Unseen to all, the shade wanders on,
living an eternal moment of pain,
an instant of hunger and bone-weary ache
for an eternity of solitude, bearing no name.

Not without sin was he in this perdition
yet how could He have known
the agony and pain.
It is unworthy but of a god
to live a present eternal,
ceaseless, while remaining sane.

Of this static march
what sense must he make?
What name must he give
to the wind and the rain,
when he himself has lost his name?

How would He of countless names
who exists in all and all in him
find anything more than divine justice
in a condemnation so grim.

And when at last, at the end of time
when He ceases to be, to be born again,
perhaps the vagrant comprehends the breadth
of all existence and his own.
And when the relentless stampede of time
slows to a halt for seconds few,
perhaps the stream that flows through him
begins its march anew.
                    

Based on the character of Ashwathama from the Mahabharata and the punishment imposed on him by Lord Krishna, i.e. to wander the earth covered in sores and plagued by diseases, unseen by all. Exploring the different concepts of immortal temporality for a god and a sinner.

I don't mean to antagonize Krishna with this. His knowledge of all events that will transpire makes him a uniquely interesting character, some of which I tried to channel here.

--Mar 25, 2024--

try writing in the second person. address your audience and sit with them as you tell your story. see how this direct connection affects how you write.


Half of my Soul


Only one plays now at this game of two,
playing half the notes we used to.
With half the syllables I call out for thee,
for the 'partner' who was half a 'part' of me.

Do you hear me now, wherever you may be,
connecting the fragments of this broken plea?
Do you spot the hope within this sea of malaise,
in tones so base, that only you can raise?

Or did I demand too much in my foolish haze?
Do these words weigh upon you like a wicked daze?
Do you fear now to act upon my cue?
You owe me naught, you've nothing due.

For this maze of despair is mine to get through.
                    

I'm at a point in life right now where I'm having to say goodbye to many old friends, probably for quite some time. It's made me contemplate the way our identity is composed of interlocking social relations, like puzzle pieces.

--Mar 18, 2024--

write a piece in which you blend two physical senses. maybe focus in on the taste or shape of words, or the feel of an old memory. imagine & sink into those sensations and see what comes up.

cw: death and allusions to afterlife


Fragrance of Recollection


I went to that lawn for
half of my life.
How'd I never notice the hibiscus in bloom?
How'd I never get to love the bonsai pots
and the well trimmed hedgerows
in the dawn-bright loam?

Now in the faint scent of recollection
there are notes of lilies and ferns in the lawn.
Like a perpetual stew in a boiling pot,
I keep on adding
to these memories long gone.

Is this how it'll feel
when I cease to be?
Looking back at a world
far larger than I lived.
Hearing the colours and tastes that I missed
yet held within all the same.

And when I depart, I'll keep watch.
Savour your sights,
gaze upon the flavours of your plate,
feel the birdsong at the break of dawn
ripple across your skin.

And so I request of thee:
please also keep watch for me.
                    

Recently left my school and had to visit to collect some documents. Had some thoughts about it. Also thinking about how different people's perspectives recontextualize situations and make the world more vibrant.

--Mar 11, 2024--

explore a life cycle in some kind of writing. for example, you could use metamorphosis, diapause/hibernation, paedogenesis [very weird], puberty, the salmon life cycle, the amphibian life cycle, or something else entirely! you don't have to be direct-- just start here and get inspired.


Anya-vāpa


"Anya-vāpa"
Sown for another to reap.
Bereft of your care,
a gift of despair,
this curse her only heirloom to keep.

"Anya-bhrita"
A voice within her
beckons her to sin,
to rid herself of her "kin"
who never was
and never could have been.

The little bird answers
though not with her holy song.
The world still
pitch dark to her,
She just wishes to belong.

But her answer comes in violence
as the eggs and bones crack open below.
Carving out her place in the stranger's throng,
for they were aves of carrion
and she a bird of song.

"Anya pushta"
And yet she continues to be fed.
And yet she opens her beak to feed.
No allegiance to bear,
no sense of creed,
innocence now a distant dream.

And so the accursed divine persists
and the cycle starts anew,
in the stranger's coat of coal or schist,
adorned with the eyes of blood-red hue.
                    

The brood parasitism of the Asian Koel.

--Mar 4, 2024--

take time to explore different structures of whatever you like to write. for poetry, consider writing a pantoum, ghazal, or abecedarian (some of my favorites). for an essay or fiction, consider writing vignettes, something in epistolary form, a diptych/triptych piece, a frame story, or a circular narrative.


The People's Times

Felt, and yet felt by whom? Why must we enact this song and dance, til' bitter gloom and the malaise of our own words drown us, As we clip the claw and file the fangs of the truth that surrounds us.

Felt, and yet felt by whom?

Why must we enact this song and dance

til' bitter gloom and the malaise of our own words drown us,

As we clip the claw and file the fangs of the truth that surrounds us.

I'm here, beneath you, 50 feet in the earth, choking on the damp soil, begging to be heard, But all that will reach you are these sterile words.

I'm here, beneath you, 50 feet in the earth

Choking on the damp soil

Begging to be heard

But all that will reach you

Are these sterile words.

Here I lay stripped bare before you now, whilst you cower beneath your layers of shame. As you reach into my flesh with these gloved hands of yours, you feel diseases within me you still won't name.

Here I lay stripped bare before you now

Whilst you cower beneath your layers of shame.

As you reach into my flesh with these gloved hands of yours

You feel diseases within me you still won't name.

From behind the paper trail I plead with thee. Heed my words, hear my plea, just let me be.

From behind the paper trail I plead with thee.

Heed my words, hear my plea,

Just let me be.


I chose to focus on the structure of newspaper articles, with the many flaws and idiosyncrasies it possesses. Truth be told I have been made genuinely angry in the past by journalistic cowardice, and I hope I've channeled some of that here.

Used: Newspaper Clipping Generator at fodey.com

This marks the end of the weekly compositions. Or the beginning, if you're looking up

Below I may write stuff for the weeks before I joined, so be aware that they are not composed with time constraints