Last November, I wrote all November Poem-A-Day prompts against a specific topic – Letters to My Younger Self. It is a chapbook, because that’s the original aim of that month-long challenge – to produce a chapbook for publication.
Obviously, I’m so wasted by work, that come New Year, I’ve forgotten all about it. Of course, I mentioned it in my “New-Year-resolutions” post where I bragged about it being nearly ready. Recently, I’ve found the chapbook’s first draft and I think it’s as good a time to post some of the poems here as any. This one was written for day 7 prompt – occupation/profession. In it, I tell my younger self that in spite of all her heroic aspirations, she would be a drama queen.
My favourite occupation,
And your dream – to climb the fandom ladder
Playing what befits you most.
My lovely queen,
Your regular amaze fits, and your frequent
Pas-de-deux in the variety show
Of randomly selected dramatic media,
Goth black, feathers, glee and dreamy eyes,
Still warm my heart with bitterness
Instead of the fans’ loving glitter kisses
On your diary.
One More Year in you calendar
On the cake and in your passport
One more round of resolutions
We don’t usually observe
One more and yet another
Until we start to wonder
What we did in all these years
That walked by.
I wish I could tell you
You’ll have mastership over your moods
Or even, that you’ll turn
Out to be a joyous one.
But I can’t
Your moods, my moods
Our desperation, this
Pendulum-like sway from fun
The elevator of our soul
Just comes with the building.
One of the most shocking things
I see when I look back to you
Is the shift I made ambition-wise
You’re hearing it all day long –
You’re ambitious, all too much at that.
Friends and opponents are equally
Silenced when they meet your cold
Then, I called it arrogance
The world around didn’t yield
To your ambition.
It shut itself, resources dried
Before they were even tapped.
Naked arrogance with bare womb
An empty can that rattles its noisiest.
You won’t believe when you read this
Years from now, all ambition will have gone
Or transformed in mellowness
All you laughed at – family, charity, generosity of heart
Will drown you and choke you to tears.
The strangest evolution of ambition
Someone recently told me I have no ambition at all.
I am still thinking whether to be insulted by that
Whether that is true, and what to make of it.
Reading back, I see this is a longish
And confusing letter.
You may just ignore it, love.
For today’s poem, we are supposed to take a line from a poem written earlier this month and make it the title of our new poem. I decided to borrow a line from my Day 7 Poem about profession – “Your dream to climb the fandom ladder”
Your Dream – to Climb the Fandom Ladder
Is surely a fine specimen of dream
Dreamt by a teenage girl
Her head in the books and posters of stars
On her walls.
Then we’ll slurp some nasty drinks in a
Swamp of fakeness
Around people of influence –
And we’ll stop amidst our throwing up
To wonder if that is really
What we want.
This day’s two for Tuesday is to write a Love poem or an Anti-love poem. I chose to write a poem about my opinion on “anti-love”.
I can never speak to you anti-love, girl
For love is all that can help you
When you’re down
All you can lean on and look up to
When you lose ground
Even in ages and millennia to come
I can never be anti-love.
His Toxic Rub
Against our skin
Although we knew he was a con
Yet, we closed our eyes to what
Our reason whispered.
How he embarrassed us
We flushed with shame and we were naked
In the square…
For all the world to laugh at us and spit
In our direction.
All that came to pass
There is no scar
But the initial which I razored
On my shoulder.
The oldest oxymoron in the world
“Sweet pain” would fit here,
If it wasn’t so outdated
And so stale.
Who doesn’t love them?
Who wouldn’t care
For a furry, fluffy, cutie bear?
All cuddly toys, your bunny most of all
Use up their fluff in blotting in the whole
Barrel of regrets, complaints, harsh secrets
And the rest of your growing up
To be what I am today
A middle-aged auntie who remained.
Out of curiosity, I searched my poems for my other Teddy-bear piece, for I remember writing one. It turns out it was written for November Poem-a-Day again, in 2013. Here it is, I hope you enjoy, and, well, it does have a different ring to it.
“The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong at the broken places.”
E. Hemingway, Farewell to Arms
I still love the “broken” topic
Just as much as you do
Only, I try to look less like it
For it’s too obvious, and that gives it a bad smell
One crucial point of aesthetics is
You need to keep it subtle
In order to impress.
The noisier, the more vulgar.
And we are anything but vulgar.
And just for sake of curiosity, here is another “broken poem” which I have written for the November Poem-a-day Chapbook challenge, and it’s called Football Haiku. I was surprised by its lightness. Almost couldn’t believe it was me who did write it.
You know how you often look up
To people who are brave,
And standing all bright and erect?
How you often think if you’d ever
Be like them?
Myriads of youngsters imbibing the
Inspiration you radiate,
Looking up to you.
But do you ever think about
The way they feel?
Do they know what they are,
Do they live up to their fame?
Does a brave hero know she’s brave?
And does she feel any different from you?
Getting up in the morning,
Does she think: Today, I’m gonna
Crash monsters, free peasants
And be crowned a queen by dusk?
Or does she, perhaps, go reluctantly
Out of bed
And straight to coffee
Brooding sullenly on what’s to come
And not feeling like doing it,
For, perhaps, she prefers to
Just lie down with her book
And read about the brave
Instead of acting it?
Still, someone has to save the day,