Sunday, October 30, 2011

Every Beautiful Day

Lyrics by Awolnation, "Sail". Original poem by Rajshree"

Every beautiful day will be tempered with crap
It doesn’t make the day any less beautiful.

The sun kissed her chest and face as she drove
(the song with its bass, the antithesis of lilting, “This is how an an-gel cries”)
            Still, the fear of how she would get through another day when                   the days weren’t so beautiful burned.
(The song broke through, “I made it in my mind because”)

Winter is coming and the cold. Will I get out of bed?
Winter wasn’t always bad.

She told him, at one point you must have liked costumes or trick-or-treating.
            She imagined him as a little boy freezing in the cold, but excited             with his pillow case, going out with other hood boys walking                   from doorbell to doorbell laughing in stride then the way he does             now as a man walking from bar to bar.
            She imagined the crisp air stinging his little boy cheeks red, and             what it felt like when he finally came home – surprisingly hot                   inside – divvying up his candy with his brother.

Wait. That was her Halloween.
            Those memories were hers and she gave them away to a boy                   who wasn’t little
(“Blame it on my A.D.D. baby”)

The edge of winter scared her.
            She did used to love Halloween, and taking walks in the night                   with her dad on Thanksgiving and Christmas
            - listening to her dad's antithesis of lilting breath
            - smelling the jasmine blooming and the clean so-cold air that                   would nest in her hair
            - at peace because then he wanted her there
(“This is how I show my love.”)

Winter did used to have beauty in it.
Somewhere in time something went wrong.

Winter was now cut with bleeding depths of salt tears.
(“Maybe I should kill myself”)
How did this come to be?
(“Maybe I should cry for help”)

And still in the truth of it, her heart danced
            The crap doesn’t make the day any less beautiful.
(“Maybe I'm not listening”)

To behold her was to see a woman’s heart open and laughing and                   beautiful
            As she cries and laughs, laughs and cries
(“Maybe I'm a different breed”)

Friday, October 14, 2011

Child of an Immigrant...

Being a child of an immigrant, people don’t quite understand a few things. For me,

It means tomorrow, when I launch my own small press, a press that promotes “integrated diversity” in the face of this weird political climate and increased racism, classism, ageism, the only family who is going to show up is my younger brother and my nephew.

It means I had to fight to get into college, and fight for everything I’ve done and everything I have… on the plus side, everything I have is unquestionably mine, and everything I’ve done is to my own credit.

It means growing up with expectations, not being given any clear idea of how to get there (fine), but further, actually being hindered from getting there.

It means, when I left a mentally abusive marriage, I was told by my mother that I’m an embarrassment. Eventually, I was told by my father that I am no longer welcome in their house. They couldn’t take the pressure of my pain.

It means that I understand. I don’t hate or begrudge my family… Instead, I help other people who need help… I’m a mentor, a teacher, a confidante… I’m helping to pave the way for young men and women who come after me.

It means I am tired of being marginalized by my home culture AND marginalized by American society, and through my small press, I want to help other people’s voices be heard.

It means I will fight for others the way no one ever fought for me.


Wednesday, September 28, 2011


- drifting in my open windows alternates, the smell of night blooming jasmine, stargazer lilies, cigarette smoke, burning car oil. Much different from Santa Barbara (salt, ocean, flowers), Danville (flowers, water, cut grass), India (sweat, smoke, petrol, flowers, spices, dust, evaporated water or stagnant water - together better than you think - triggers memories).
- I really hate cigarettes
- there was a fire in the Haight yesterday. I just read a woman's first hand account blog about it
- I'm glad I have renter's insurance. Good for her she can rely on family. I can't.
- 2 of my dumb neighbors smoke. It's a non smoking building. We all got notices that the smoking must cease because they drop their ashes everywhere. they still smoke. the stairwell still stinks.
- a friend of mine's upstairs neighbor whose partner died last year, died himself... while smoking... burned his place and my friend's place was a slush of smoke, water, and sludge.
- What should I grab? if there's a fire...
- maybe I should stop wearing this lace nightie to bed because you can see everything. but I like that it keeps me cool and warm at the same time. not too cool, not too warm. I finally found the perfect thing. and I should stop wearing it because if there's a fire, I'll be out in the night in it standing among strangers.
- my dad's voice comes to mind. when I was eight, "you're a passenger in a car. the car is in an accident and is submerged in water. how are you going to get out?" what do you mean? that could happen? is my silent question.
- dad again. when I was nine. "there's a fire in the house in THIS room [that room, every room], how are you going to get out." great. I have to worry about this now too??
- what am I going to take if there's a fire?
- these fucking smokers better not fall asleep while smoking. fuckers
- why do smokers who smoke in their cars roll their windows down? if they like smoking so much, they should keep all that smoke to themselves rather than letting it out on the freeway where it comes into my vents and my lungs. 2nd hand.
- what about the pictures? my documents? my irreplaceable Indian clothes and jewelry that should be in a safe deposit box except that I'm still in transition?
- again, these fucking smokers better not fall asleep while smoking.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Empathy. A curse of wisdom. Understanding and feeling bad for the person trying to screw you over WHILE they are trying to screw you over.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Let me die - Draupadi's plea to Karna

I die a little bit every day without you... still... At the crossroad between whether you'll ever come back, or whether you'll let me die completely so that I may start anew again. Youth - too naive to value and trust what you and I both know exists. Suns set, moons rise, my heart is in my throat... Clink the glasses, drink the wine, and harbor myself in the shelter of my own design... And you? Lost in indecorous vales of your benders, your pain is waiting. I won't be there to catch you, love.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


It’s not what a good woman would do… Sit in a mass and partake of the drone, “Onward Christian soldier…” The song turned from her throat.

Unable to imagine “without”… What it would feel like without. How else could she breathe without?... Tears spilled from her eyes as the perfected smile shielded her true intentions with the sons of farmers. It’s not what a good woman would do… sit in mass and partake of the drone, “Onward Christian solider…”

Friday, May 27, 2011

Ebb and Flow

Bare at the shore's edge...
Water floods our goosebumps,
pulls the sand from beneath us...
Headiness, spinning
a lovely rapture.

... then the yearning
unembraced for a moment
impatient with time
We anticipate the next wave,
to heal the gradual unbearable

Never will it be the same...
never leaving the same traces on the shore,
always leaving us stranded in cold wet sand.

But there will be another...
the next...
always another...
to replace the one who left,
and the one we left behind.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What's something that people do in traffic that really bothers you?

It bothers me when she drives a big ass SUV and stops unexpectedly in traffic - just at the moment when I reach down to crack open a window because I'm burning up - and after I pull over - because I hit her - I say that she stopped unexpectedly and she asks me, "didn't you see all the cars were stopped?" and I say, "actually, no I didn't" when I really want to say, "Are you FUCKING kidding me? I'm not Wonder Woman and I can't see through your fucking big ass SUV!" And, I look at her car and mine and wish her Happy New Year in Feb and hug her because there is no damage... I didn't expect to smell her clean blond hair and her clean dark work suit - But then my neck hurts the next day and I didn't exchange information because with all the crap going on in my life, I don't need my fucking insurance in on this shit unnecessarily... so I drag my butt to the chiropractor with my aggravated whiplash - yes, because I already have that from the last rear end accident I was in 20 years ago.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


She didn't think anyone saw... She lifted the teacup and flicked her tongue against the glaze to dab the drip there just before bringing the cup against her lip for a sip. A slight gesture indicating she savored it. But he saw it. She knew he did because his eye sparkled when she looked up. And now, after smiling that smile, he moved across the room toward her. Stopping here, there for small talk. They both knew he was plotting a line for her.

All because of a quirk, a flick of the tip of her tongue while she savored her tea.

Today, years later... Now that he was gone, she paused at that drip on the side of the cup and remembered his eyes sparkling, his arms around her, his smell... she shivered, put the cup back down not having had more, gathered her things, and gaze low, traced a line away.