Art

Finger-painting a queer state of mind. 
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Music

Reflections of a woman-of-colour and her journey with decision-making ever since childhood.

Poetry

#1 Uncomfortable Poetry
Uncomfortable Poetry
00:00 / 02:29

My poetry needs to hurt like broken shards of glass.

To prod and prick and pierce some more of

Those webs of insecurities you gladly weave…

Like a layer of soot on your skin.

It’s the insecurities that make you do it all.

 

They are the reason you light 40 cigarettes instead of one fragrant candle that could've calmed you more.

They are what make me dream of dead lilies when bright jasmines bloom at dawn.

They are what make a stranger spew a vile of hatred towards another…

Like a casually tossed wrapper.

Let's not act like we're shitting m&m’s,

When really, all we're eating are…

Insecurities for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

 

Is this what makes you stay up like clockwork?

For spidery bosses who sit on their pot to check your work?

Is this what makes Excel sheets better than sex in the shower?

What makes you push love away because a Zoom call awaits?

What makes you feel like a monster when you are the only one you scare?

The insecurities and pain you feel inside is a spell that won't break.

 

That’s why, I want poetry to cut across you…

So that from its wounds the jet-black-blood of type O-not-good-enough,

Can flow out. And even though it’ll be far from beautiful,

I promise, you will feel lighter when it’s all over.

You will stop running in this blind race for a little.

And breathe every moment like the first breath of the last baby there’ll ever live. 

You will rest comfortably in your skin, with uncomfortable poetry flowing under it.

#2 The Madman

What are you afraid of?

The hollow eyes from the psychiatry ward?

They’re laughing and making merry…

And yet you, you are so scared of who?

You may think they're fools.

But hey, haven't you…

Tip-toed at night,

Across the hall to the kitchen…

And turned on the lights?

Haven’t you seen a pest, stop dead in its tracks?

Hush!

It looks at you scared.

And so, do you.

It stares like the mad recluse in the psychiatry ward.

 

Remember when father was taken to the ward?

We were all so scared…

Looking at each other like the pest.

On every single withheld-shriek-burning-my-insides kind of days.

But he was the happiest we'd ever seen him…

Like the madness was always buried deep within.

Now springing from the glint of his eyes, his tired-bouncy gait,

The thrill in his spine, joy was his only shrine.

He held his soul in his hands…

Offered it to every stranger,

Like it was theirs to take and fly away without a second thought or the baggage of betrayal.

He was a lion and the world his family of little-birds-stuck-in-nests-so-comfortable.

He was a fearless man stuck in a psychiatry ward,

Surrounded by babies dressed as adults.

Breaking norms was in his veins.

So, why were we so scared?

We were so scared we called him a madman but what if he did too?

Looked at us and thought we’ve lost our minds somehow.

 

I say, let the madmen, the vagabonds, the recluses, the prophets, the nagas1, the clowns, the circus-folks rule.

Let them tell us what it is to be sane, intelligent, brave, and true.

And when they do…

Wake me up dear you.

So, I can tiptoe into the kitchen again and turn on the lights,

Lock eyes with the pest and then…

Just be there…

As though nothing happened.

Let it share as much of the world as I do.

Because the world is as much its, as it is mine...

As it is of the hollow eyes and the brave minds from the psychiatry ward.

Image by RepentAnd SeekChristJesus

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What it means to be old, attractive, female in India. 

Published by The Phosphene, a quarterly art and expression magazine by South Asian queer youth.

Image by Erik Mclean

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