You say I think too much

Screen Shot 2017-11-27 at 9.19.15 PM.png

so many questions in me have you stirred,
simply by telling me that the world
was not meant to be observed

now I’m questioning why I think
how I think, the whole nine yards
who is thinking, where is thinking
why is it “nine”?
its origin, I can’t recall

is it the buzz of my mind that is the issue,
or the questions it asks –
the kinds that lack quick and easy facts?

but who’s to say who thinks better?
the one who cannot hold in their mind,
a fraction of the content of mine –
the one whose brain threatens to implode
when I ask them, how relative is time?

it’s like saying you love too much,
or you dive too deep –
but you don’t get to the olympics
by swimming just a couple feet

not everyone aspires to be an athlete
or was equipped for what that path entails
so when you tell me I think too much
I wonder, was your brain simply made frail?

but not from a scholarly vantage point
or in a quick-witted, condescending tone
for I simply seek to understand
not to put others in a hole

for who’s to know who has gone deeper
and who has floated highest above?
and is ‘deeper’ truly a curse, 
stop! through my thoughts you shove

or is it an inference from a biblical verse?

but you don’t have time for my antics – look!
a quick distraction has always been
one of your very favourite tactics

how can we get along better, is my question here:
if our minds diverge on such separate paths,
it won’t matter that we’re sitting so near

An existential insecurity

Screen Shot 2017-06-11 at 10.32.09 PM

In the mirror
I look to see
Is that truly me?

They call my name
And I’m left a-stutter
Could I possibly be contained
In a mere 4-letter marker?

I am here now
But before I was not
So where was I then
Before here I was brought?

In the empty space beyond
Or could I have been conned?

And if I was somewhere
Twiddling my thumbs
To where will I return
When this identity comes undone?

Is it selfish to not have children?

Screen Shot 2017-11-22 at 8.11.21 AM

I infrequently propagate strong opinions, but this is one shining exception.

“It’s selfish not to have children.”

This is the most outlandish and hypocritical and insidious statement known to man. Do you not realize that most people’s motivations to have children are completely selfish? To propagate their genes, to “accomplish” something, to follow society’s blueprint, to appease their family, to fulfil dreams through their children, to be seen as normal…. not one of these reasons is because they want to facilitate the conscious growth of another human being. It’s a hard pill to swallow, but if that weren’t true, the adoption rates would be almost as high as the birth rate.

Because if your sole aim is to raise a child, to give a child a happy and harmonious life, why must that child be your own?

The truth is, there is not ONE salient, unselfish motivation to have one’s own child. Not one. You want to experience pregnancy. You want your child to be *yours*.

And what is selfishness? The pervasive thought “mine”, this is “mine”. Me, my, mine. My child.

We have to start to see children as “a child”, not “my child”. Because there is personal interest invested in something that is “yours”. There is inherent ownership in something that is “yours”.

And there is nothing you can claim ownership on less than another human being. You cannot own a child. But most parents act and believe as though they can, and that they do.

A steak through the heart

Screen Shot 2017-11-21 at 9.49.06 PM.png

“I’ll make you a steak”. The phrase rang in my ears like I’d just exited a heavy metal concert. I’d heard it before, from a different man, in a similar situation. I’ll make you a steak, my inner voice repeated, over and over, until I felt sick to my stomach.

It was the same pattern: the man who didn’t care, the attachment I was forming, and the steak that would never be made. Something about steak was the warning sign, the red flag, the glaring X that marked the end of everything. I knew then, when he confidently stated he’d make me steak, that I would never see him again. My head was spinning, trying to decipher how earnest his offer was, at least in the moment. Perhaps he even knew the seasoning he would use, the temperature at which he would cook it, and the texture he’d aim to achieve. Perhaps he knew the drink he’d pair it with, and the song he’d play as he cooked for me.

But it didn’t matter how certain he was in the moment: because I knew the steak had not yet been bought, and that it was far from ever being on the stove. I didn’t digest red meat well anyways, but something about this elusive, relationship-ending steak had always made me want to devour it, to prove that it wasn’t the final nail on the coffin, that it wasn’t the omen of forthcoming heartbreak.

But alas, the plan to bond over steak would always foreshadow an ending. Perhaps it’s because steak is quite literally a bloody, dead affair – a symbol of an innocent life ended for the sake of satiating some base human desire. I found myself beginning to identify with the steak; with its former innocence as it frolicked on a pasture somewhere, assuming it was organic and grass-fed. I found myself relating to its carefreeness, its naïve approach to life before Ken. And then suddenly, Ken decided he needed to eat dinner to satiate a primal need, and the cow was never to see the sun again.

I shuddered once the realization fell upon me: I was the cow all along. Of course, I wasn’t Ken’s dinner, but it didn’t feel all that different. I was just a means to an end – a way to satiate a different appetite, a presumably unappeasable one at that. I hope he didn’t think I resembled a cow, but I digress.

I’ll make you a steak. How that statement haunted me. I wondered what would have happened had I eaten that steak. Would I still need iron supplements? Or would I have been spared of having to visit that condescending pharmacist for all eternity? The iron supplements always caused me pain. But in the end, the steak would have caused me more.

The perils of not knowing what we want

“We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come… we live everything as it comes, without warning.” – Milan Kundera

Luckily – or perhaps that’s a matter of perspective – our actions always betray us. What I mean is, they betray our ability to mask our true feelings. We are not always conscious of an emotion we’re experiencing, and the only way we become acutely aware of something going awry deep within, is by taking note of our actions. It is not until our hands are buried deep in the proverbial cookie jar that we realize we are trying to suppress or deny something negative or painful or overwhelming, something that we do not have the conscious capacity to endure in that moment. We know that we are making the wrong choices when our thoughts are jumbled and our feelings are absent or nonsensical, when we get so locked into a mental loop that we begin questioning life itself.

Screen Shot 2017-11-25 at 11.28.14 PM

“Even the rightest choice can present itself to us shrouded in uncertainty and doubt at the outset, its rightness only crystallized in the clarity of hindsight.” – Maria Popova

When we are at peace with ourselves and aligned in our lives, our actions do not harm us or contradict our intentions. We do not betray ourselves. We do not self-sabotage. Our actions propel us forward, because we know that forward is the direction in which we want to go. But when we are on the wrong path, or veering off the right path, our actions hold us back; they sabotage any progress in that direction, precisely because deep down, we do not want to go in that direction.

“There is no means of testing which decision is better, because there is no basis for comparison. We live everything as it comes, without warning, like an actor going on cold.” – Milan Kundera

But when we are making the wrong choices, or we know something is not aligned, or we get the sense that things are generally offtrack, that is when we begin to outwardly betray ourselves – a perfect reflection of our inner workings. We begin to self-sabotage; we procrastinate, we revel in the moment, but in a way that leaves us empty and guilty and aching. And we know that we are not simply yearning for a break or for some transient fun, because we can never get enough, like an addict searching for escape. No indulgence will satiate us, no enthralling evening will satiate us, because we are trying to fill a void that cannot be filled with anything material. We are trying to use a physical bandage to mask an emotional wound, and pretend like that will stop the blood from gushing.
And what we typically find underneath all of the frenzied action, is overpowering anxiety, as our inner voice is trying to break through to tell us to stop. Just to stop. To stop betraying ourselves, to listen to our intuition. Because when we don’t listen to our intuition, we harm ourselves internally and externally, and we harm others too.


A Mini Enlightenment


“All suffering comes from clinging to impermanent objects.” – Buddhist principle 

Ah, the ephemeral ecstasy of clarity.

There is a special sort of liberation in internalizing the lightness of life. There is nothing heavy about it, this living. It is all temporary; every feeling transient, and every affliction surmountable.

The most intoxicating love will fade, the most harrowing nightmare will end upon awakening. Nothing is meant to stay. That is not to say that nothing can stay, or that nothing should stay. It is simply the realization that all suffering is attributed to an attachment to things that pass – and that everything, including our very consciousness, was made to eventually pass.

And therein lies a paradox of life: everything matters yet simultaneously does not. If you can cup this truth in your hands, if you can hold it without trembling – it will bring you peace, it will bring you joy, and it will bring you back to a life of lightness.



A temporary truth

Screen Shot 2017-11-18 at 4.58.15 PM
I’ll be true to you
if you’ll be true to me
together we’ll make promises
for each other to see
we will hold out our palms
with toes secretly crossed
and we’ll strain our necks
in longing to see
whether the promises we made
will last for an eternity
for we know that just beyond
the gaze we share
could be a pair of twinkling eyes
promising a more captivating stare
and when our backs are turned
and the smell of temptation sweet
our cups of integrity will spill over
as they shake in the hands of defeat


All the things I could never have known

I guess life never prepared me for all its paradoxes. It takes experience to discover that you can be held and feel lonely, be full and feel empty, be excited and afraid all at the same time.

I wasn’t prepared to learn that sometimes it is a person who becomes our home, rather than an actual place – and that when they leave, we can be truly homeless, no matter where we go.

I didn’t know.

I didn’t realize that people would lie the way they sometimes do, or that sometimes someone can mean something when they say it, but when things change, their minds can change. And although it wasn’t a lie to begin with, it becomes an expired truth – for them, it no longer holds true. To me, truth was immutable. That there could be fluidity within truth – I would never have known.

I thought time would always be on my side. But I’ve discovered that while it sometimes takes things and people away from you, it doesn’t take their memories with it. So time goes on unbothered, leaving you with the rubble of all the collapsed structures from your past. And oh, how the rubble will build up – and no matter how far through time you go, it will follow. It’s up to you to sweep it up before it buries you.

This, I did not know.

I didn’t realize that sometimes, goodbye is forever – not in terms of death, but in terms of change. Sometimes you don’t get to say goodbye to a best friend or an old flame, because the change occurring in both of you is so gradual but so sudden that the people you once were disappear before you knew an ending was imminent.

I didn’t realize that every moment would be like a wave, sweeping things away, and washing new things onto shore. And the things it would sweep with it, well, would be lost forever in the vastness of time. And if you stand staring into the horizon, waiting for something to be washed back onto shore, you risk sacrificing forever, waiting.

The impermanence of life, I always knew – but the way an unsaid goodbye would twist into my core, I could never have known.

Published on Thought Catalog. 

To the ones who left too soon

A poem from 2016, also published on Thought Catalog. 

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 7.10.03 AM

Unbeknownst to you, you were on the brink of a revelation
of discovering the enigma that lied beneath the thick husk of her

all the mysteries you will never unravel
all the roads in her winding mind
leading to places you will never visit
harbouring flavours you will never taste

and when the wanderlust consumes you
when it itches at your heels
she will be nowhere to be found

for she will have traveled far beyond your reach
entangled in the depths of her own world
from which you have been forever barred

you trifled with a woman you didn’t care to know
and so you were too quick to disregard
a diamond on a gravel road

the repercussions of your acts, however,
will not be so easily escaped nor foreign to you;
for all that was lost will haunt you forever

it is not with her, but with regret
with which you will come to be acquainted
intimately so

and this encounter with regret
will not be for the casual or faint of heart;
for it will wrap itself around your neck

committed to you forever
tethered till the very end

The blade of a broken heart

Screen Shot 2017-11-16 at 11.05.11 PM

it is our duty to shield others
from our sharpest edges

for of all the weapons in the world
there is none more destructive
than the blade of a broken heart

so I showed you the truth
I let the edges graze your hands
still you asked to bleed anyways

and I tried to make you see
I can’t let you bleed for me