death of a promise (300)

remember the time you promised eternal creativity?

you said there needed to be something to do during the eternity that lay ahead, and so you got into photography. i took up painting, bringing your photos to an easel, repainting them in a dozen ways and sometimes making profit.

i got into music, writing wordless songs and you’d choreograph a dance for each one. at least, you tried to, and we’d pretend the dance was a new one, never seen before. when i searched it later, there was always some equivalent which had been around for three centuries minimum.

then one day you abandoned creative. it’d been two hundred and seventeen years, and people were inventing new creations all the time. you couldn’t go online without finding a series of how-to guides and carefully curated photos documenting every stage. i came home with a new tray of paints to find every trace of your work gone.

on my desk was a note, handwriting barely recognizable – you’d ditched the cursive you adopted in your third decade of eternity, going back to an old blocky print. the note was quick to crumple in my fist, the paint tubes slashed open in anger and paint splattering the entire room.

gone – the symbiosis of creativity was gone.

for a few minutes, there was catharsis in smashing paint jars and burning various sketches. at the end of it, there was nothing left to give away that the apartment was ever occupied – nothing, that is, but for a room stained in a multitude of colour. all the various decorations were gone, two centuries of work destroyed.

i collected my bag and the few items i couldn’t bear to be without; then walked out the door –

abandoned the apartment, and my side of our symbiosis.

shadow of a record (400)

the ballroom is old, crumbling. the walls are no longer the vibrant blue as pictured in my photo-brochure; the marble floor is scratched from thousands of tourists, footprints disturbing a fine film of dust. in one corner is a gramophone, shoved out of the way of tourist feet.

on the far wall is a portrait of a young lady, one who looks a little jovial and mischievous – she doesn’t belong here, in this silent forgotten room. she looks like once she might have been the light of the ball and it’s not hard to picture her swarmed with admirers. it doesn’t seem right for her to be forgotten here.

dusty though the gramophone is, there’s still a small stack of records beneath the table. as far as i can tell it’s the most modern piece of the room. my hands shake slightly as i navigate the disc onto the turntable and delicately lower the needle. here, with a waltz playing, and in my old jeans and t-shirt, i am the most incongruous being in the room.

leaning against the wall, i feel as though i have been transported to centuries past.

the first figure appears when i am dazed, half-asleep, lulled by the rhythm of the music and the utter stillness around me. as i rouse myself, the music’s notes appear to shimmer in the air before slowing, converging into a myriad of gowns and suits.

the girl in the portrait is the first one i recognize.

she says nothing, but smiles – sly, coy, devious. i recognize all of them, but nothing else. her gaze doesn’t take in my attire, so worn and drab compared to her and her companions. as my own gaze takes in the room, i see the dust has been swept away, the marble gleaming and the walls bold. there’s no portrait. in confusion i scan the room, looking on all sides – it’s gone.

she beckons a friend to her side and he seems to understand her silent command; somehow, i’m pulled into a waltz to which i don’t know the steps. the floor sways beneath me, the haze from before back, stronger and brighter. before i know it, several minutes have passed.

disoriented, i select a drink from a tray; my arm is constricted, and my gaze drops to the gown now encircling my frame. her dress, in fact.

she is nowhere to be seen.


the figure is placed
in prominent position.
she stands,
tall and calm –
there is no startling her.

(yell; scream; brush by her _
she has already
checked out)

(she’s still present though.
look long enough,
you will see her flicker.)

steer close of contact though;
she has glass for bones,
silk for a frame.
hold on too tight,
she’ll shatter.

(do you know how
she is?)

the softest tread will
fail too.
too gentle and she will
glass chipped and silk

look, but
don’t touch.
she is life
and couldn’t bear your

don’t give her

NaPoWriMo 30 (stairway)

stand in the
tallest tower,
stairway spiraling at
your heels.
(the railing has never looked
so flimsy)

it’s dizzying
and your stilettos
have never felt so
(your ankle has never
until today)

it’s a lesson
in finity;
in infinity.
cold sleek marble
spins on as far as
the eye can reach.

(psychology suggests you
close your eyes
else you’ll never

the rail is cold to touch,
solid and flimsy.
none too reassuring.
take hold anyway,
trail an ancient

listen, now,
the music is starting.
wait for it –
the record is spinning,
and you’re descending,
and the record spins
on and on.

NaPoWriMo 28 (stolen from creation)

dance in a tempest:
glass, glittering in the air. suspended
then falling.

clatter of broken items
breaking (further) is so
-and darling, this isn’t a
break you can unbreak. if
you are not careful, you may
end up
rebreaking it.

windows, blown inwards –
diamond shower,
cursed with red and

breathe me in, cast
the spell you never
wanted to cast:

the oblivion spell.

proud, now: watch
the chaos unfold,
my heart is useless

the ringing ears stop;
the dark haze-fog of an
indeterminate time

the world is sharper,
perfectly defined around the edges.

the world is stilled,
and you have ruined it.