“Dry Rivers” – Nayana Nair

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The river is finally running dry.
I heard someone rejoicing to hear this.
What is a river without it’s water?
I am told it is money, it is development,
it is more money.

Another colony, dozens of businesses springs up.
There is nothing to be sad anymore.
I walk on the roads trying to trace
the skeleton of what is lost.

Now, I know the names of few more rivers
that are nowhere to be seen on maps.

The numbers of such ghost keep increasing.

There is a language that no one cares for.
There is a city that forces everyone to leave.
There are words that don’t sound fancy anymore.
There is an accent that needs to be exorcised from tongues-
the identity of what we are is a secret,
something we can be killed for.

But it is the season, the world
where rivers dry out beautifully,
where aches turn into anger, into revenge,
into art, into denials,
into search for something new.
But rarely does it turns into tears.

How is it we have so much to lose,
so much that is already lost
and yet have so little to grieve about.

“What I Remember (26)” – Nayana Nair

I covered up myself up-
hiding the pieces,
hiding the glue,
hiding the knife close to my heart.
There is too little time
and so much to be disposed,
so much has to be kept at the bottom of the stairs,
under the sheets,
under the hand that cupped my face
so that no one could say with certainty
whether I am laughing or crying or thinking
about the hands that will never touch my face again
or wondering why I can’t move away
or keep away from mines and alligators
and magma and my fearful heart and dark wells
and palaces that never sink or get ruined
completely and green roads of past and red
destinations in my hands and love for colors
that will not love me back and following the one
with tearful eyes and the thoughts of some end,
any end.
All this extravagance,
so that no one could see my see through my real feelings
being eaten up by imaginary words and scenarios.

“Anomaly of the Art Class” – Nayana Nair

I row my heart
to the moon you drew,
the one you colored in green
ignoring every reality,
for which you got an D,
for which I lost a part of me.

I no longer hold onto the poems filled with dread-
dread of rejection, of future, of finding myself eventually broken.
I see something that you have left behind in me.
Something that still burns, still lives for a reason.
Something that is much more than an art class with disappointed teacher.
Something that helped me hug back the blue parts of me.

I row my heart
to the moon you drew,
to the world I traced
with my own brave hands.

“Not So Bad” – Nayana Nair

he sings the most beautiful song.
so beautiful
that the sky becomes a reflection of the heart
that he can barely carry in himself.
the words on his lips
they break, they sound different,
feel different,
they sound like the first cry of a baby-
the violent coming to life.
they run and collide and shatter
against the rough indifferent surface
of this dying world, a not-so-bad world.
he becomes a not-so-bad singer.
as he runs out of breath and love
someone places a coin of gold in his hands.
he means to feel grateful for this compensation,
but all he can do is hold his tongue, hold his tears.
hold his bitterness in himself
and sing another song dreaming, waiting
for an honest reply, a genuine care,
an understanding gaze in return for laying bare his humanness.

“Something made up” – Nayana Nair

now that we both are standing lost
at this market to sell our heart.
now when you are just a silent mural,
i feel like pretending to miss you.
in fact, that is the only thing i do.

every day, i write something
that could make a better monster of you.
every night, i get better at shedding fake tears.
our love looks like a lost cause even now,
but it looks more beautiful
since there is nothing real about it anymore.

“it is all fiction”, i tell them.
“i am a liar”, i shout.
but they love me anyway.
they love me the way you should have,
you could have, it was the easiest thing to do.
there were so many easy things,
things that will never be easy again.
since, i have chosen the most ridiculous way to live
and the most difficult the way to die,
the only non-pathetic way to die in our love.

“incoherent” – Nayana Nair

i looked best dressed in incoherent words.
everyone assumed that i am drunk on something.
everyone assumed me to be an artist for that.

any word that left my mouth
was just another way to pronounce self-doubt.
the only way to stay and run away at the same time.

the way i speak,
“you are beautiful” and “i hate you”
sounds the same.
the way i speak
“i want to die” sounds same as “i love you”.
my name sounds same as any other name.

what is the use of having this name
that no one calls.
so i sign the heart of my temporary admirer
with “tear”, “snow”, “goodbye”, “sleep”….
with other sad beautiful words
that cause less hurt than my name.

“I Close Another Window” – Nayana Nair

i close the window that must be closed
a hope that must be dropped.
the flame of love, the hand that holds me,
scalds me, takes me to new places,
makes me sit under a trees
with another unusual bright fruits,
asks me to cry like i did before,
paints me, calls me beautiful,
feeds me compliments, but just enough
that my tears won’t dry.
leaves me in lonely rooms of a rundown hotels
with the promises of tomorrow,
another town, another tear to paint.
as he disappears at the end of the street,
i close the window that must be closed,
a hope that must be dropped.

“Lucky” – Nayana Nair

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I cannot digest
all that I read and find to be true.
Some portion of every beautiful art
hurts my heart.
All the tragedies and even forgettable bruises
could have been a play set under crimson bloodied skies
but they are not.
They happen in spaces that looks like the one
we might have passed through unknowingly.
They happen under the smiling sun
to people
who are supposed to read depressing statistics in magazines
and tell themselves that they are fine as long as
they are lucky by comparison.

“Faithful” – Nayana Nair

original

The pictures
you posed for,
stayed faithful to you,
in keeping your grief
bottled up,
only to be spinkled in your art,
that glamorized the pain,
which was in fact hard to bear
and harder to name.

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-In fond memory of  Kim Jong-Hyun

(your absence will be deeply felt, may our love and care follow you to whichever world your soul is in)