‘Maps of Eyes’ (Poetry published on Vocal)

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‘Maps of Eyes’ (c) A.R. Minhas 2019

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The Love I Expected.

I never expected to be loved

There are some shortcomings

And here I am

Still

Stuck in a glue trap

“Flesh imbued with pain.”

Heart doesn’t care anymore,

It barely pumps blood

And I hear it

Function like an abandoned beehive

Dust gets in your eyes

Flecks of honey distributed for hedonism.

And

I stare

Into a white tar pit

Evidence of Red Lipstick on the end of a cigarette butt

Craving for a hit

Nicotine oppression

A dream someone had dreamt before,

But the Queen pushes me away.

“These lungs aren’t going to immolate themselves.”

Ash trapped on my beard

The tower is burning

The entity free falls

No soft landing, tainted by love.

Ribcage is a prison,

And I’ve been institutionalized.

Leave my scrawl marks behind,

I don’t have any good memories to share.

(C) A.R. Minhas 2019

Novel: Confessions of an Abortion Addict – Excerpt – Part 5

This is an excerpt from the novel “Confessions of an Abortion Addict.” The novel is still in progress and this excerpt might not be sequential and will be subject to additional editing. Please provide feedback. Thank you!

 

The room was a vacuum of white static. A giant corridor in a hospital except without the smell of disinfectant; it smelt more like a perfume counter of a department store. This is the beginning of your new life. There are other would-be actresses that Virchow, has lured with a promise of fame and stardom. The other girls come in different sizes, but they have the same age: under 30-ish.  Old man craves young flesh. Practicing lines, pouting lips in Vanity Mirrors, Refreshing make-up and they have brought with them the dreams that are about to be realized. I adjust my yellow dress that I’ve worn after my agent’s continuous pestering and pleas to look presentable.

I have my hair down, from what I can see in the mirror at the opposite end. It looks matte black. My skin also feels darker because I didn’t feel like going too heavy for the make-up. I’d really don’t like being here too, but my agent insists that ambition is the key. You have to make things happen.

 

“I love the yellow you’re wearing, it really compliments your skin tone,” the girl next to me says.

 

“Oh, Thanks!” I said, and it took a moment for me to realize that she was talking to me. No one had said a word to me this entire afternoon, except for maybe verifying that I was on the audition list. This girl was very peculiar; for one thing, everyone had come with portfolios, their bags and of course they were all dressed to reflect their own particular set of assets.  While she was wearing a low-cut, plain white tee, black leather vest with spiked studs, a multitude of scarves and accessories, on a skinny frame with a heavy dose of mascara which made the blues on her eyes feel piercing. “I love your get up too,” I try to mirror the compliment but it might have felt a little insincere due to the long pause.

 

“Ha-ha, please, don’t lie. I know I’m underdressed, but my agent forced me to come here,” she gently strokes her serpentine red hair.

“That sounds awesome—you have anything else lined up?”

“A couple of things. Plus, I’ve not heard anything good about, Virchow. One of my friends was telling me that he makes the girls take off their top and chooses them based on the color of their areolas.”

 

“Really?” I replied. Don’t listen to the competition, June…she just wants to see you walk out that door. “Don’t get me wrong, he doesn’t have a very sparkling reputation, but that’s low— even for him…just out of curiosity what color does he prefer?”

 

“Apparently, he really likes nipples to complement the rest of the breast, so they become camouflaged.” She says in an indifferent tone. “I have darker nipples anyway, so I’m already out.”

“No offense but if that’s the case why don’t you just walk out right now?” I ask her with a bluntness that I didn’t even know I had in me. Yeah, tell the truth.

 

“Well, it’s a rumor, and in this day and age everyone makes up their own rumors. I just want to see who is bullshitting me, right?” She says that without blinking. “Oh, by the way, my name is Sally, Sally Chrysler. Not like the car, please don’t make that joke— I probably should change my last name— anyway, you can call me, Sly. You might remember me from such classics as Prairie Shark, Wendigo: the awakening and of course Who brought the lumberjack on my fishing boat, eh?”

“Ha-ha,” I couldn’t help but chuckle at her, it was a little difficult to keep pace with her thoughts. “Hi, Sally…urm…sorry, Sly. I’m June, June Husk. I’ve also only been in Canadian Movies, mostly. I did some stuff with Tcherkov, but as it was pointed out to me by my Agent, for me to ‘make it’ I have to go to Hollywood…well nice to meet you.” I palm her hand and she goes for the cheek-to-cheek, and we end up in between a low hug and front-on spooning.

 

“Nice to meet you too, June. I can’t say, I’ve seen you in anything…but you look familiar but here’s hoping this is your big break.”

“I hope so too,” I said with a heavy sigh. There is a long moment of silence between us, and the long gap is filled with Sly’s intermittent whistling.

“Hey, once you’re done do you wanna go out for a couple of drinks?” She says in her pattern of blurts.

 

“Umm…I have to be somewhere after, but we can go out sometime later this week.”

 

“Great, by the way, it wasn’t meant as a date or anything—hmm…I just like to you know network a little bit.”

 

“You really are awkward aren’t you?” I replied, smiling back at her.

 

“Yeah, you noticed?”

 

“Yes, I did,” we laughed, and for a moment we forgot that we were sitting in a hallway filled with anxious starlets.

 

“June! June Husk!” A voice bellowed.

 

“That’s you…go! go!”

 

“Thanks!” I leaped up, pirouetting across the rows of starry-eyed, doe-faced hopefuls. She gave me an air kiss and stuck her card inside my purse in a flash. I swore that I heard her say, all the best, as I rushed towards the assistant who called me.

“June Husk…nice name.”  He said holding a clipboard close to his chest.

 

“Thanks.”

 

Previous Excerpts:

Novel: Confessions of an Abortion Addict – Excerpt – Part 4

Novel: Confessions of an Abortion Addict – Excerpt – Part 3

Novel: Confessions of an Abortion Addict – Excerpt – Part 2

Novel: Confessions of an Abortion Addict – Excerpt – Part 1

Confessions of an Abortion Addict

 

 

© A.R. Minhas 2017

Sometimes, it’s okay to die

It falls to you

That place last night

 

Remembering a past life

The moment a chemical was released

 

Nicotine in the air

An Orgasmic coffee

The sip to stay up all night

 

Ruminating on your shape

The wetness of lips

And a pause of Sativa’s breath

 

The moon’s fullness desired you

Worshipping the instrument of my birth

      It’s ok to die        now

      It’s ok to die

 Sometimes

 

I can still remember

It’s hard to let go of such thoughts

To be obsessed with your repression

 

And maybe after my consciousness is gone

Then I will forget

But for now

 

It’s there

It’s always there

Your face reddened

 

And your body a map of teeth marks

Triangle etched on beauty spots

Strands of saliva dripping from nipples

              Irradiated

     Stares

                                Longing

       Another cruelty

                            Summer brings a new style of fucking

Throat burns blue smoke

 

King of ash

Tap the last strain of smolder

Cum with certainty, and transcendence

Recreating myself on your belly button

 

An eyelash juts out

The thighs offer a refuge from the coldness

 

And these fingers will make contact

“You’re dripping deep oceans.”

 

Womb or watery depths

There is no dispersion of oxygen here

And no distraction of life

Just darkness

And whatever it is I am.

 

© A.R. Minhas 2017

Novel: Confessions of an Abortion Addict – Excerpt – Part 2

This is an excerpt from the novel “Confessions of an Abortion Addict.” This excerpt might not be sequential and will be subject to additional editing. Thank you!

 

I arrive at the doorstep of Ossington, somehow alive. I hand him the tip and say “thanks,” dripping with sarcasm. The shops are different, displays of nude mannequins and smell of ancient chamomile tea. The streets are narrower but the threat of finding new possibilities is endless. I didn’t realize how much my feet hurt after I had touched the ground again, but as long as I can walk— it means nothing is broken. I hold my purse over my right shoulder, adjusting my blouse at the seams, stretching the flowers, and burying my phone within the confines of my purse; I use my bottom hand to balance it…stepping lightly to get the blood back in my legs.

The bar was having an open-mic spoken word event. I could hear it through the opening and closing of the door.  This was one of my favorite places… serving tapas, food as minimalistic as it can get—which was perfect since I had landed the part and I wasn’t going to let that opportunity slip away by eating too much. Though I’m already very skinny…you never know these things. My agent would’ve agreed if she was here.  I scan around the room, characters miserable around the bar stool. Low-light and the feedback from the mic easily drowning out the music of clinked glasses and drunken laughter. The space was dark, lit only by small candles on the tables… I manage to see Sly, sulking in the corner stirring her fruity drink. She is wearing a beret, brown leather jacket and an eclectic assortment of accessories. I sometimes wonder how can she move around without misplacing parts of herself. The moment she sees me she outstretches her arms as if to escape her sockets. There is a man in the background pouring his soul out talking about his life but I can’t hear him. I walk towards her narrowly avoiding the rude waitress giving me stares reserved for dingleberries.

“You’re finally here!” She said, with a wide-smile which was odd because of the dark shade in her eyes and the new streaks of blue and red in her hair. “I thought I’d be stuck here listening to people drowning in their own self-pity…of all the nights you had to pick this one.” She blows her bangs, resting her small face on her fingerless gloves.

“Hey, let’s swim in it…”

“Stew in it! I’ve already spit it out…pwaah!” She makes a retching noise.

“Too much vodka in your Orange juice?” I asked, giving her a little wink. I had to repeat again because of the feedback.

“Mind you it’s a cocktail…so I’m sure there are some more citrus fruits involved,”

“Right, did you order any food… I’m starving?” I look down on the menu, which was basically an Arial Black font print out, stuck on a clipboard.

“So why do you like this place again?”

“It’s hole in the wall, and it has personality…kind of like you, kind of like me,” I smiled.

“Touché,” She said sipping her drink.

A waitress arrives wearing a tank-top and a vest and blonde ponytail; I think it’s the same one who I narrowly avoided.  She might have one of those faces that can only scowl. I didn’t recognize her; even though, I did come here often I wouldn’t consider myself a regular…I still was surprised that this place was still filled with unfamiliar faces. High turnover is expected in the food service industry.

“Refill?” The waitress asked Sly.

“In a minute, my friend will have a rum and coke though…thanks” Sly said. “O wait she’ll have the Philly cheese steak and tempura shrimps,” The waitress looked at me in confirmation and not wanting to offend her further I nodded.

“Coming right up!” She departed.

“That is your drink right?”

“Yeah, it is now,” I laughed not wanting to break the image of an easy-going gal. “Thank god the portions are almost bite-size.”

“You know you’re not like the other wannabee actresses that I’ve met before,” She says gulping down the remainder of her drink but still keeping the corner of her eye on me.

“How so?”

“You carry yourself with an air of dignity. You know? I see that you are sensitive, but you are confident…quietly confident.”

“That sounds almost like a compliment,” I said looking at the melted wax accumulating in the container.

“Trust me it is…”

The drone in the background stopped and the inconsequential man who was standing in the makeshift platform surrendered the mic to a tall, well-dressed man with slick-back hair and sunglasses. He might’ve been the MC.

“…And give it up for, Mike Anderson,” He said, jutting out his right hand to lukewarm applause. I obliged just due to my closeness to the stage. “And up next it’s umm…Mr. Adrian X.” The small space gave a little courtesy clap.

“Let’s see If he has anything interesting to say” Sly says, she is drinking her refill. I barely noticed that my drink has arrived.

 

“Yeah, let us see,” I take a small sip of my drink. A small spotlight captures his head, a beard contoured with long wavy brown hair. He’s wearing a plaid shirt with the sleeves rolled up…he looks nervous.

“Hi, I’m Adrian…Adrian X. How are all of you doing, tonight?” He said almost not wanting to hear back.  An echo of whispers. “Well I’ll guess later….anyway; this one’s called ‘Your body is a Dark slip of Road’.” I take a large gulp of my drink.

 

“Oh! Friends she destroyed us

On that Dark slip of Road

With that stare, Her body

In the dark we traverse

On that slip of road

Our memories

Altered by touch

The chemicals spilled

With caution

Oh! Friends how can you resist that?

I’m lost in her tresses

She even put perfume behind her ears

So I can find my way back

To that smell

That smell that guides me

It arrives before her

My nostrils are expecting them

Expecting her…

That smell

That ineffable smell

That ineffable feminine smell

Like roses burning, soothed only by morning dew

Like milk on the verge of being spoiled

That ancient smell draws me to her

Fragrance of mammary glands

Secretion of dopamine

Serotonin and Explosion

Of the nerve endings

That receive her. Interpret her.

The eye that receives those images, link to a permanent form

That existed before I was born

That smell

That Dark feminine

Smell

I smell it always on that dark slip of road.”

I don’t know how but my food was prepared. It was presented and I absent mindedly bit into the breaded shrimps. I couldn’t move my eyes away from the stage.

“That is all, thank you”, He awkwardly dangles the mic, but he’s showered in applause. Even Sly, mouthed the words ‘wow’ out of her face filled with shrimps.

“Amazing—a little short but still… pretty impressive” He said, taking control of the mic and patting him continuously on the back. “That was, Adrian X… give it up for that performance!” He escapes as fast as he could beyond the darkness and gets lost in the small crowd.

“Do you wanna go next, June?” Sly asks.

“I don’t know…maybe after a couple of more drinks,” I said, unfolding the napkins to clean my mouth. I take one more swig.

“You know that drink is a creeper…it’ll get you if you drink too fast.”

“That’s what we’re here for right?” I laughed; I’m feeling it since I haven’t eaten anything today.

“Yup, that’s why we’re here,” She said moving here head and breaking eye contact.

 

© A.R. Minhas 2017

Novel: Confessions of an Abortion Addict – Excerpt – Part 1

This is an excerpt from the novel “Confessions of an Abortion Addict.” This excerpt might not be sequential and will be subject to additional editing. Thank you!

 

          It’s been 27 years since I’ve been trapped in my own head. I went to walk on the streets that were familiar, but it’s been too long since I can remember what it was like to transcend. Everything I can remember has been stained by time and memory. Altered by it and ultimately become indifferent too; it was always like that. I look at people as objects in a petri dish. I observe them— the way they laugh, hold conversations, the stares that linger too long and hands that get rebutted ever so softly. I do this because of my craft; I want to be an amazing actress. I’m sitting in a great Hall with other travelers who are waiting for their trains, to go elsewhere, somewhere they were destined to go.

            I see the hug of close friends, lovers and how they are so easily replaced by other people on the waiting bench who too are waiting for the same relationships to enter through that platform. The great Hall has a large dome-shaped ceiling, the lights on the scaffolding provide a mauving effect, smell of recent construction— sawdust floating in the spotlight of the sun… a clanging of metal that has a strange blue ring. Suitcases half the weight of their carriers. Men who look like they have been war torn by life, women who carry themselves with litheness. Shopping bags, hair curled buns and the little wheels making sounds like small locomotives. The voices reverberate, and the pool of conversation gathers into a flood that spills everywhere.

             I go out to smoke. The corner is unlittered with cigarette butts, and I leave one behind with my red lipstick marks, showing that I was there. There are large faces of buildings that look down on me; it’s the feeling of being looked down upon that gets you. Bloated with empathy, my feet yellow-calloused from walking around in these white flats, I hobble around the block, the cars rush by me… Doppler Effect in transit. Pedestrians, jaywalk with deftness that I’ve never possessed and the homeless sit on corners—peripheral curiosities, becoming a part of the city landscape rather than living, breathing organisms. I feel guilty of that thought, but I let myself off with a slap-on-the-wrist. I detach myself walking upwards, and then I catch a glimpse of myself in the green-tinged reflective glass windows of the I-trade building; I can’t help but look. The black flowery blouse, my tight jeans billowing with my body and finally hair untethered in pristine spring weather and the ever so slight curls caressing my face; skin unblemished and proportionately tanned. ‘There were a lot of reasons to smile’ I tell myself to provide excuses for my unearthly grin. As I get closer, the sun dips at that angle which gives life the color of fading polaroid pictures.

“Lady, get some info,” this tall, dark-skinned man said. He was waving flyers with crescent shapes stepping in and out of my path. He was wearing glasses that blind men wear and his scarred white stubble, made him look even more malnourished.

“No, thanks,” I said in my barely audible speaking voice, but my open arm wrist protest along with my head bobble should be more than enough disinterest. I’ve learned to ignore men with flyers. You might think they’re giving you ‘info,’ but they only waste your time. I’m beginning to realize the city, surrounded by a mass of people does make you a little cold and callous but at the same time perceptive of people’s naked interests.

             Getting closer to Dundas, I walk avoiding the subway grates; I might also be avoiding them because I fear falling down further… there is a lingering smell of baked bread floating through the open windows, the steam howls from the belly …the raging of the union southbound line, trembling with unrestrained ferocity. If you look at the pavement closely you can see the small shoot of grass jutting out of the corners. I’m getting a little woozy because I’m also noticing the bubble-gum carcasses and bird-droppings forming small bulbous protrusions infecting the street… like diseased skin. I retrieve a cigarette from my purse, and now it’s dangling on my lips…. I’m going pass the theatre near Wellington Street; I’m not sure if I should do theatre? Nonsense my agent would say and she would berate me about thinking too small. She isn’t with me today; she might’ve finally been satiated by my victory to not show up. Sppt! The lighter fidgets like a fire-dancer near the square, I hear the four toned announcement: ‘Walksignisonforallcrossings’. There was a certain buzz in the ear as if everyone was excited that I was finally meeting, Sly. She was insisting to meet up after our audition and I guess I finally had a reason to celebrate. I wonder now if I were to celebrate my accomplishments, do those accomplishments diminish as I celebrate them, I wonder if everything becomes much of the same. Everything eventually becomes old. I hail a cab.

“90 Ossington”, I say depositing my purse on the other seat. The driver moves with a sense of reckless preciseness; moving his head supernaturally, as if to have an omniscient view of the streets. He was darting across traffic manoeuvring around logjams barely avoiding the cyclists, pedestrians that were unlucky enough to find him in the way of his path— I was sure he had at least grazed many of his would-be victims. In that 30 minute drive I saw my life pass by several times.

Please read the original short story:

Confessions of an Abortion Addict

 

© A.R. Minhas 2017

And it gets Weirder

 

Don’t you think it’s weird?

That the color is red

And its redness depends on how you see it?

 

Weirdness                              Compounds

(Entropy of life)

 

 

I have found that facts don’t surprise me anymore

I believe that anything is possible

And no one is genuinely concerned about anything

 

 

Your pretend outrage

 

When I held your hand

Recoiling,

 

Like a defanged snake

The thighs were another matter

 

And the kiss between them

“Made you blue didn’t I?”

 

I felt your petals soft as melting ice cream

“It’s the thirst after, that gets in the way.”

 

The bite pressure has to be just right

A mold for a dangerous mouth

Belching fire and blood

 

Gums giving up because of a recession

The longing for unrequited Vitamin C

 

“I can make my fingers dance.”

Inverting them in the right places.

 

So you see them in the mirror

And it gets weirder

I do a very good impression of me.

 

Scratch marks and all

Eyes in the opposite direction

            I’m still

It’s getting weirder

                                                                     And I can still surprise myself.

 

It gets weirder

 

and I feel myself changing

 

And I’m still motionless

 

Ear Cartilages drooping on foreshortened peaks of wisdom

Ballooning Belly Button

And an ironic short temper

 

It’s a strange day

 

Just to be alive

Like always.

 

 

 

 

© A.R. Minhas 2016

That Moment

There is a moment of

Peace

 

You just have to find it

For a moment or two

 

Peace

 

Just                  have               to…

 

Khamooshi!

 

 

I’m obsessed with

That moment

 

Where we hold onto each other

 

For a moment or two

 

Just hold onto

 

Silence!

 

 

No one is around

And here is the moment

 

Barely             grasping           onto

 

The gentle slip of it

 

                                                                                                  A  Subtle Capture

 

 

And I never hear  about that moment again

 

 

That moment

 

Of

Pure

Silence.

 

 

© A.R. Minhas 2016

 

I used to sing love songs

I used to sing love songs

 

And now there is no urgency anymore

I’m fine without it

Like a second cigarette

 

There is no need for it anymore

 

I used to write poems of love

But now death is more comfortable

Its silence making it easier to breathe

 

I have no intention of giving you that

I have no intention of being sentimental anymore

 

I used to blame the world

And then you

 

But I have no need for that anymore

I would like forgiveness for my naiveté

My childlike passion

 

I have no right to sing love songs

And neither do you from hearing them out loud

 

 

I used to sing love songs

And now whatever is left will be

Silenced.

 

© A.R. Minhas 2016