SELF PORTRAIT AS OWN BIRTH


Photo by Alex Hockett on Unsplash

If two sameselves make
a paradox, then so is my birth;
one roll of the die
with infinite sides.
I oscillate between possibilities
like a speck of dust
caught in vision.
A child of coincidence,
one branch of Yggdrasil,
born to yearn for fruit.
I’d like to reconfirm
my own existence, ensure
that I was some other
unknown in an equation.
I need to verify that there
is a purpose to this permanence.
I’d like to see
the snip of the tether
between this poem and the next.
To be free under a maiden blade.
To be named again and again.

TIME


Photo by Ihor Malytskyi on Unsplash

Time lies, useless as a sword
in the lake. For one, there’s time,
and then, there is passage, as in
come, squeeze the cheeks of
this little tragedy
. Who will offer
the world their breast?
I’m sat, couched deep in tomorrow,
hands on the pulse. Tomorrow I will
flip onto the pavement and pound it
Into confession. Tomorrow I will
flip on the tele and watch nothing,
I will ride down to a cliff and say
nothing. Time waits there, watching
over us all like an empty house.


Truth be told, I still find most of my writing to be horrid or gross somehow. Posting them online is one way for me to try and curb this mentality. I need to be comfortable with the things I write.

BLUE


Photo by Valentine Werner on Unsplash

The taste of dish soap lingers
on the rim of the teacup. You
and I sit at crossroads, legs
dangling over cliffs. This is
an exercise in communication
by proxy, messages hidden
in the fold of an arm. Coltrane
murmurs in the background like
a roommate, and the television
is switched off. This is timeless,
this is the way we freeze-frame
our lives, this is how it’s always
been. Quiet slips into the tea.
Outside, the world loiters on to
the beat of its own heart, clouds
passing strangers, averting gazes
onto the street. Your irises cross
the street too, leaving without
goodbyes. I get up and walk
into another room, empty,
but I don’t come back.
The teacups are left
in the sink, soaking
everything in.

Written for UCD LitSoc’s Writer’s Bloc! It’s a fun workshop where we get to do short writing prompts within a limited time span. Really encourages stream of consciousness-based writing as well! Also, I realise the tea cup in the featured image isn’t exactly the type of tea cup that would fit here but I couldn’t find an image I wanted. Sorry!

INFLUENCE

 


Photo by Ibrahim Rifath on Unsplash

it’s not like they gave
birth to me, it’s more
like walking through
a forest covered in
cobwebs in the deep
of night, it’s when the
village elders check
your body for remnants
and find nothing. this
is when you must be
broken and affixed,
flaws masked with
growth, and there is
the fire of inspiration
cowing, and there is
the hand that moves
without guidance, like
bullets into the sea, like
one’s first knife into an
artery, like the first cry
of a man being born.

Blog time: I have this thing where I’ve always been struggling to think of people who have influenced my writing. Being more a writer than a reader when I started, I guess I didn’t have proper influence during my ‘formative years’ as a writer. While later on, I did find plenty of poets who I drew inspiration from, Siken being a big one, my internal dilemma was that it wasn’t as though all my poetry were inspired by them, and neither was the influence that apparent: I learned to play with spacing from Siken, but I could have done the same from someone else, etc. I feel a bit guilty because if you asked me right now what influences my writing, I feel like I can only say music and I know that should be ok but somehow I’m not happy with it. Perhaps part of the dilemma in finding the influences behind my writing is that it would also help identify my writing style, and allow me to describe it, and that too may be a fight worth fighting.

NEW YEAR NEW ME – Looking Out


Photo by KE ATLAS on Unsplash

Another year, another me. It’s a bit strange – I started this blog as a legitimate blog with some poems from time to time but over time it quickly became a place for me to publish pieces which I could not find homes for, or pieces I just wanted to let loose onto the world instead of being tethered to my notebook.

I can’t say that I’ve changed too much in the past 4 years – I feel like I’m still, at my core, the same kind of person I was, albeit somewhat happier. I do have my demons from time to time, but I’ve learned to invite them in for tea. I’ve learned to find a support network, to be able to rely on others, to be vulnerable and be soft. I’ve learned to relax (somewhat) although the stress of knowing the end to this path weighs heavy.

New Year’s Resolutions – I made some actual ones for once this year! We made resolutions while passing (and downing) a bottle of red wine – so we had to think of resolutions on the spot. I think I made 3 (but I can only remember 2):

  1. To see more, do more, experience more. I’m stepping out of my comfort zone really soon and I want to expand it even further. I want to be comfortable as who I am – I want to grow and grow.
  2. To be comfortable with showing affection to others. I keep thinking of myself as some kind of observer, lone wolf / background character kind of guy and I can’t help but make fun of people and generally avoid my feelings (if any) but this year I’m going to work on that. Last year I had some breakthroughs, even if short-lived, but I’m confident that I can make it this year. I want to be able to tell people I love them without having to go in such a roundabout fashion, I want to be close to people, I want to connect, I want to cross their paths once in a while on purpose, etc.

Writing wise – I’ve been in a slump for some time. I keep reverting back to familiar topics of writing and I have little inspiration to write beyond that. Everything I’ve thought of feels very contrived – especially when I’ve been trying to actively submit my work to journals and competitions. Granted, winning the Arts House competition was great (as it forced me to write 10 ekphrastic poems! wow!) but I feel like my peers were so much better. All of these make me want to write even more – my end-goal is still the manuscript, but can I get it done by April?

As such, here are my writing goals:

  1. To develop something I can comfortably call my ‘writing style’;
  2. To broaden my topics and themes;
  3. To finalise a satisfactory manuscript halfway through April.

One might wonder – who the fuck cares what your resolutions are? You might be a friend, or a random stranger who stumbled upon this blog. In either case, I hope that in the act of posting these publicly, that I can find the courage in my heart not to run away from these goals. I want fulfillment, I want success, I want so much and I know I have to work hard to get those.

COMMUNE


Photo by Milada Vigerova on Unsplash

outside it is pouring,
dark spilling over the sidewalk
like a glass filled with the
blood of something fragile.
you and I are somewhere
in this flood of warmth.
the rain continues to knock
on the roof, a witness
to all of this nothing.
time drips slow. quiet.
you and I will part so soon.

BOXING


Photo by Joshua Jordan on Unsplash

It’s not as much a tussle as much as 
it is a boxing match; the dodging 
and weaving like swerving into traffic.
The reason people must inevitably bury
themselves is the same as why full stops
must be full.  You know the steps by heart:
here is an empty space to be filled. Here
is a name erased. Here is another lie 
for you to be placed in. Graves, too, 
must be full. You are boxing yourself
into a coffin. Your heart is full of mud.
Here is an empty filling to be spaced out,
crossed out, placed outside of the boxes
and the self. Here is a list of instructions
for the heart to erase. Here is the box that
got the trafficker hung, here is the weave 
of an executioner’s mask, the judge’s wig, 
here is the tussle you will bind yourself in,
the bullet you will learn to dodge.



Inspired by real life conversations. I’m back on my bullshit of trying to bang out drafts in a single 10 minute sitting. Old title: “Springboard”