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Inked Ghosts

I was 11.

A little younger than some of my classmates; and imaginarily less “attractive” than girls who had convex flesh bracing their nipples, or the area between their waists and legs. That was all that mattered then. How old you were. How much fawning attention of the opposite sex you got. How well you could dance. How many people were in your “crew”, the weight of your social traction. Your grades were those things that made your parents buy the things you wanted. Or caused them to compare you to your siblings and other kids.

I was only 11.

And all I had were an interesting mind, good grades, and the ability to strings words and sentences together pretty enviably. So one day I wrote. But it wasn’t what they wanted to read, so they tore it. They also made fun of me. Dancing round me in circles, they chanted. And chanted. Till days became nights which faded into weeks. Till my nights became silent sobs into unyielding cotton sheets.

 

I was just 11.

And I’d finished writing two novels. Short stories, we would now call them. The unpublished beginning of dreams, nightmares, fantasies and frustrations. They became the last novels I ended. Books I’ld write in future became placations. The half-loaf cliché pronounces to be better than none.

 

One day Beau said writing owns me.
I kept quiet. Hated how close he’d hit home. I’d  tried occupying life with other things, to spend time not writing the novel in my head. So I can just stay with my articles and story pieces. The things that don’t cause stirs. That don’t cause anyone to sing my name in lines of derisive chants. That don’t shed pain in bunched pillows…

barton_fink-typewriter1A chapter a day. That’s today’s resolution.

And this is for you like me, with great dreams and haunting fears. Here’s my challenge to us both. That we do not live in fearsome shadows of adolescent mishaps. Because life needs us. It needs our dreams and our tales to truly be beautiful. To reach inked fingers and widen a stranger’s view. To widen their lips till their teeth flash at the sky, soothe their pains, resonate with their spirit… Name your fear and the shadows holding you back. Life is short. Too darn short to not live your dream, and there’s  no better time to start than today.

 

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Of Souls and Shadows

I’m sitting here

In the middle of this debris

Of blood and jagged muscles

Pulsing the beat of the drunk man’s trudge

The demons race

Debating pain and hurt

Whispering dreams and hopes

Madness tethers on this unspeaking frenzy

 

Your eyes tell that story

Of empty bottles and drowned soul

Mine speak primitive tongues

Of broken groans and rising throes

Don’t say tomorrow

That pregnant dream reminiscent of nightmares

No. Don’t shed light

It casts shadows too

 

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Last Night

I was restless last night

My silken sheets troubled

By tangling legs and

Fisting flailing hands

 

I was restless last night

Gasps and moans slipped

Past mind-numbed lips

Tears past shut eyes

 

I was restless last night

Sweat beads popped, strolled

Traced my arched spinal cord

Despite freezing harmattan

 

I was restless last night

Fighting nightmares

Memories of days

Wasted loving you