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  • chudley_cannons 44w

    the druxy and the delicate -
    an unusual study in decay

  • chudley_cannons 49w

    (�� 'Garden of Eden' by Emile Mosseri)

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    Day 1: I peel the skin off an apple

    I hum about my knife being blunted by the poem I’ve been working on for the past three months. Only it isn’t. It cuts through my mind just as sharply - a random visceral squelch coming to me in the clamours of a Wednesday evening when I should know better.

    So instead I hum about dicing the fruit in neat cubes of an inane set of notes, imagining infinite tangents seething off the fan overhead; they slice the kitchen into thin slivers of a puzzle I might someday try to put together. Only I don’t. I don’t suppose I ever could.

    I peel the skin off an apple and the glistening flesh is just that. Flesh.


  • chudley_cannons 51w

    that moment when icarus
    is both a simmering story
    and an overused trope.

  • chudley_cannons 93w

    // Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen (and sometimes, such as on days like these, sung by Jeff Buckley) //

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    What Does Silence Sound Like?

    In this one, I am somehow looking to myself
    for myself and the things I say come back to me in muffled echoes. They travel with timid wonder across a bitterness that separates me from my memories; they whisper to the old stones of how I talk in riddles too much.

    We remember the moment when a poem tried to unfurl its garb so it could pretend to be a song -- a collective clamour of disjointed verses, each wanting to be heard over the other, only to culminate in white noise.

    We pull apart the crumbling edges so the crevice is now a void and it's comforting to think how easy it must be to build something tangible where there exists nothing at all.

    There is a warm connotation
    rustling here between the lines.
    There is also a delusion.

    And it smiles as you try to staple saddle-stitches on all the wrong pages -- as you fumble to bridge gaps between sundry worlds, wanting to find the one where your name does not carry a foreign lilt on your tongue.

    We remember the day that lives within forgotten walls and behind a forgotten door when origami folds helped us wade through the bitterness that separated us from a blurred past.
    But the coup de grâce floats in as my poem
    that lingers, grasped in the controlled ends of its truth, still believing it can be a song.

    In this one, I am not a song -- in this one, I look to myself with an imagination that is absolute but not invincible.

    - Abha

  • chudley_cannons 112w

    turns out it's that time of the year when even stale bits of sentences get entwined in that trifle called a writer's block for me, so here's a task for you all --

    i'd like you to mention a word or a phrase in the comments' section - basically anything that you'd want me to write on - and hopefully, i'll be able to rise up to the challenge within an acceptable time-frame!

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    a sunlit boulevard,
    a theatre of despair

    the walk is a string of aimless, staccato footsteps
    and the twigs strewn across the path cut
    into trembling ankles as if unsure of
    what it is that they have to be today -- 
    it's been a long few years of being dead, they say,
    but the stillness doesn't haunt the ones who
    understand it. 

    the wandering is a selfish excursion towards 
    a redemption you should never have sought, 
    and the words you write sometimes feel like
    an unrelenting battle of vowels on a foreign tongue.
    it's been a while since they gave up on
    looking for a roadside kiosk where they can hide
    until they are discovered by those who need them.
    they still often find him sitting on a swing-set 
    in the abandoned park across the street;
    his gangly limbs are tangled like a clumsy verse of iambs
    and he forgets there's no child in them anymore.

    and yet, the meandering is not without its precisions;
    the art is not a narrative to be sifted through --
    it must be dismantled carefully in the early hours
    of a deceptive morning and under a rising sun
    that mocks the way you cannot look past
    the peeling metaphors to find a face.
    you're a fool if you think the heart
    doesn't know when to succumb. 
    and to whom.

    - abha

  • chudley_cannons 117w

    of winding paths

    i begin with moulding out the end and 
    lose myself somewhere in the process -
    it's like taking the strange power 
    of a hushed refrain and 
    wrapping the poem in its warmth.

    i'm a seven-year-old cocooned in my blanket
    on a cold december night - she opens the book
    carefully, flattens out the cover page and
    clears her throat before she starts talking of 
    people who could once hold off entire boulders 
    as if they weighed no more than feathers.
    of people who would throw themselves straight 
    into thundering clouds, never to come back.

    eleven years later, i thumbed through bits of
    text i couldn't decipher and thought of how
    i knew nothing about whispered lullabies simply
    because i was told that we shouldn't
    whisper our stories.
    that our words deserve more than just a
    mundane recitation that ends with your
    turning the last page.

    so i look at the old woman 
    sitting on the pavement
    chewing tobacco
    under a hazy overcast
    and from somewhere through the 
    underwater blurb of a distant memory, 
    she walks in and tells me to 
    picture those knobby hands shaking 
    as they work thin, wispy hair 
    into flowerless braids.
    i look out at swaying branches only to 
    feel her standing beside me, 
    holding me by the elbow
    as she talks of people who tried to
    swallow the winds whole, only to end up
    like phantoms having nowhere to go.

    she opens the book, 
    knowing that i stopped
    reading it a long time back.
    that all the stories i know now are the 
    stilted conversations that i leave mid-way,
    the bridges that i burn while holding on
    tightly to their charred remains,
    the voices i take on, striving to find the 
    right one before the sound dies off.
    the only stories i know now stare up at me
    from behind bleeding newspaper clippings.
    they taste of statistics that 
    clog your throat but somehow
    you cannot turn away from.
    i look down a spiralling staircase and can see
    the young girl who had to chop her hair off
    to smell freedom in the air that she breathed.
    i look through the mosaic of a broken mirror
    and watch as the boy brings a cold hand up
    to his blue lips and gazes - numb -
    at his screaming mother whose arms
    clutch at his dying heart.

    and so she opens the book again,
    knowing that i won't be able to go 
    any further without her tales.
    knowing also that i probably
    won't hear them all the same.
    i study the refrain skeptically one last time
    trying to forget the bruised faces
    and the strangled cries,
    trying to convince myself 
    that i am not a lost cause.
    that the only poems i can read now are 
    not sculpted in the lies i tell myself everyday, 
    hoping to believe them as others do.
    and that believing them does not remind me
    of her whispered lullabies on 
    cold december nights when she said 
    that our stories cannot really be whispered - 
    that they deserve more than 
    lonely syllables fidgeting sleeplessly
    only to rise the next morning
    and finding her gone.

    - abha

  • chudley_cannons 120w

    la vie en rose

    (also: the smile that is a memory)

    the first time i heard the song, it felt like the poem that plays out in my head on a loop for days before the stage starts to crumble around its edges and the curtains are ripped to shreds by an anxious wreck because no tangible piece of art should have that much power. because nothing that is true should be allowed to break me.

    it was deceptive in its simplicity - 
    it was in the ridges of my fingertips long before i could bring myself to understand it. it was like you, so real under that bright february light, your hands warm to touch, until dusk waded in and night came with its whispers - so seemingly innocuous, so frightfully unknown.

    callous eyes cannot find the dunes in silence and thundering crackles against the roof say that the rain cannot fall up, that my parted lips won't utter a syllable until the story is trying to wind up the epilogue in a hasty mess. you sing in a voice that feels so much like home - the notes meandering past doors that creak with the slightest movement but you aren't afraid
    and with you, neither am i.

    the first time i heard the song, i cried in the twilight of my room. it felt familiar with an uncanny certainty, like eons merging into people -
    like names melding into innumerable faces for that one moment to arrive at the awning of a sly symphony, where the string quartet fits so perfectly with the composition - where the ballad paints a picture and that picture is you.

    no tangible piece of art should be given that much power. nothing that is beautiful should be allowed to tear me apart.

    - abha

  • chudley_cannons 120w

    and there goes the poet (again)

    (the prose refuses to introduce new
    characters at all after a point, on paper)

    the cadence of a clichéd rhyme wrapped
    snugly in an essence of your own--
    we write to know ourselves better,
    to understand the world as it falls
    and ebbs - as it tears into the cocoon
    that we've spent ages crafting out of
    nothing - or so we say.

    (the stage is lit in a fiery storm - there stand
    twelve puppets - there breathe twelve plays)

    you take from the picture the only way
    you know how - as it becomes one with
    your own. you take from the writer the 
    thousand words that stab your heart
    and weave sinews of your own - singing
    a soliloquy to eager ears - and deaf.

    (the bookshelves might topple any moment now - 
    i think i saw them crowding around drowning
    pages in what could have been a dream)

    the child crouched in the corner whimpers
    a strangled lullaby - she somehow wishes
    herself away and alive, both at the same time;
    it is months before she says a coherent word--
    we write to know others better, to coerce
    the soul out of its void so it can speak
    a little louder. 
    a little more.

    - abha

  • chudley_cannons 121w

    somehow, the rain knows you too

    the prelude says that stories have to begin a certain way; that my words are incomplete if the stars cannot find themselves wandering in an infinite spectrum between the pauses that they leave behind.

    i tell them that my writings don't know of much beyond the desire to find their own bit of earth - that my skin is too melded in my poetry for the moonlight to peek through.


    an ode to the little joys that fill you with the guilt of trying to be happy when the world is falling to chaos - i write on broken bannisters and smoking stonewalls, wondering if your eyes will catch on to the inky serenade.

    it scares me sometimes - the thought that you'll find me one day and there will no longer be a verse to help me hide.


    a reverie of the forgotten and what good is a song if it cannot make you cry? midnight is a tender dream and the voices inside sing quietly to my heart - i'm floating in a blank space, in a sequined haze - a stilted barricade looking for just the right way to break apart.

    i tell them that my writings are no more than skeletal imitations of the grasslands that call the artist out on her ruse - that you cannot simply sift through the lies without getting to the truth.

    - abha

  • chudley_cannons 126w

    the songs they sing

    look at a flower like it's the first time you're watching it bloom. the wind tries to kiss away the tears that find their way down your chin and in the curve of your neck - it was a burning sunset trying to hear the whispers of an overused poem, hoping you would listen too.

    look at the creases around your eyes as if you've never stared into a mirror before. the wings jut out of your back like a misplaced mesh and the scars on your chest bleed in unspoken words. it's been two years and three months since i fell in love with the thought of wanting to know every memory of yours and ended up forgetting myself.

    look at a simmering flame as if you have never seen it burn down a forest; as if the anger in your voice cannot match mine; as if my indignation is a surprise in a picture you painted so carefully. the lilies hum along as your eyes try to find in them colours that do not exist - look at those flowers as if it's the first time you've seen them wilt into nothing.

    - abha