Remembering to Remember

I’m listening to music that is all levels of bad. For one thing, it’s Australian. For another, it’s from the (very) early 90s. AND it’s a girl band. Singing pop.

But I’m honestly loving it. The music reminds me of that incredibly pure time in my life – when I was living in Sydney with my mother and two sisters. I say pure because I don’t have to filter it of upsets or crises – minor or major – to really enjoy the memories. I just remember being… happy. No ‘buts’. Just happy.

This was about 20 years ago, and as worrying as it is to be able to say that about any point in my life, I remember it all so well. I see the memories like old polaroids – over exposed, with a fading sort of hyper colour, but still retaining the simple pleasure of the images they’ve captured. Polaroids should never go out of style. But I digress.

I remember the smell of a sunny weekend morning, walking to the shops holding my mother’s hand. We’d buy candy at the newsagents. My sisters and I would stare longingly at Tilly’s, the art shop, hankering after the glitter and coloured pens. If we were good we’d get VHS videos at the rental store – one I remember in particular: ‘The God’s Must Be Crazy’.

I remember planting that bottle brush tree outside our house with my mum. She taught me how to pat the soil around it and how to water it every now and then – although it was usually her watering and me playing skip with the hose. I remember how it grew over the years. Now, 20 years later, it is a massive tree, bursting with fluffy red flowers.

I remember the corner-shop just up the road from my place. My mum would send me there to get danish pastries and baklavas when we felt like indulging. Sam, the owner, who I think was Lebanese or something, used to slip an extra danish in the bag for me and give me a quick hug before letting me trip on back home. That was before the weight-related insecurities, when I was too young to know what dieting and carbs and calories even meant. Every sweet that touched my lips was savored without an ounce of guilt mixed in with the ingredients. Ah, heaven. Continue reading Remembering to Remember

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walk-around city.

Rain, by Deshan
colombo,
i wish i could walk around you.
on a whim,
on a fancy.
on a silly dream,
to wherever you’ll take me.
.
i wish i could walk your streets,
and get to know you;
take pictures of your secret places,
your three million hidden faces.
.
i wish you weren’t too hot,
too dangerous,
too dirty.
all good in a man – but not in my city.
.
i want my city to cool me down,
be my hiding place,
be rough but clean shaven;
i’d like to take my city home to meet my mother.
.
colombo, i wish i could walk around you.
i wish you were big enough
for me and my dreaming.
big enough for a secret smile to go unseen.
a guilty laugh to go unheard.
for a whisper meant for no one
to be lost in peace.
.
colombo, i wish i could walk around you instead of hurrying
from one indoors
to another
to another
to another.
i don’t want to know you from my house,
inside my chauffeured car.
nor locked in sanitized office spaces.
.
i wish i could feel the skin of you,
warm roads on cool nights.
i wish i could for hours
sit unburnt by your sun,
undisturbed by your irresponsible sons.
i wish i could watch you in the open.
and i wish i could smell your rain from the outside,
me inside you;
my nose wrinkling free
instead of through a sliver of open window.
.
colombo,
i wish you would clean up for me
but still stay irrepressible.
i love your personality
but i want to blunt your razor edges –
just a little.
.
i want to trip along your tree’d avenues by moonlight.
take me to your favorite places –
you show me yours, and i’ll show you mine.

.

colombo,
i wish you’d let me
walk around you.
i know you’d clean up nice.
(edited by Deshan Tennekoon)

Ode to Yoga

8 am, and it’s an effort to crack my eyes open to the sunlight streaming in from my transparent curtains. I fumble around for my phone – I know I’ve left it somewhere, either under my pillow or on the growing pile of books beside my mattress. The time tells me I should get up, but I grumble with myself. It’s a Sunday, I should be able to sleep in… Why can’t I just sleep the day away?

I know my answer, but at this moment, I don’t like it. Cursing my tendencies to make resolves and resolutions in moments of weakness, I grumpily unfurl myself and stumble to the main house to wash my face, which is streaked and smudged with make up from the night before. I stopped wearing make up a while ago unless I have a wedding to sing for or something, so I am immediately aware of how it feels, caked and stale on my face. Ugh.

Back in my room with a fresher face but still-sleepy eyes, I walk over to my computer, check my mail, smile at a message from my big sister and then look for the GERI_YOGA icon on my desktop. Ah, there it is.

I start it from the beginning, but quickly pause it so I can get myself ready. I wear a headband on my forehead so my fringe doesn’t flop over into my eyes, loose shorts and a looser tank top, and fix a thick blanket on the floor to protect my knees – which, I’ve found out, are really weak. In the end, there I am, looking rather frightful, but nevertheless, ready.

I press play. Continue reading Ode to Yoga

Meat

The pigs wait. Fat pink hides slap against one another as they jostle in the heated shadow of their pen. There is no sound outside but death stagnates the air in their nostrils. And when the door opens, panic aids their capture.

Out front, a woman wrinkles her nose at a smell no one but she picks up. The unbearable stench pulls bile into the back of her throat. The Ashram owner welcomes her to his home of tranquility and tells her there will be pork for lunch.

She runs out to vomit as another throat is slit.

And the Ashram sits, bathed in a constant cooling breeze, pretending to be at peace.

An affair to remember

She aches for me, and I for her.

The day passes in a haze of impatience for light to leave the world to darkness. For as soon as the shadows fall, my little girl runs to take me to her bed.

And under crisp, rustling sheets we watch each other: she, as I dance for her within my glass confine, in all the glory of my fluttering illumination; and I, as her entranced eyes grow heavy with sleep and finally close on the day.

It is a love unlike any other that I have ever known.

Rufus

My sometime imaginary lover, he rocks me on the violin. He calls me baby for hours, drawing out the word endlessly; playing on a libido already aching for lazy summertime lovemaking. And he makes poetry of chocolate, of little sisters, of circus magic and cigarettes while I only half-listen, and smile.

* Written while listening to Baby by Rufus Wainwright