9.19.2017

poetry: Winters Named After My Mother

In Pakistan, it is widely believed that if you name someone after a person, the former party will inherit qualities of the latter party

Seasons were never nameless in our household / Giving them names — dainty pieces 
of our grace — was a mercy plea in advance / the epitome of surrender / to 
never despise / what's now a part of us

Every year I named winter after my mother / tore her name like a whisper 
and gulped / as winds sharpened their blades to invade our 
homes / murmuring Bismillah / followed by Surah Al-Ikhlas

I was born when summer was still in its youth / before the winter ever 
knew glory / to ever love a season unfamiliar with burning / was to be an 
ephemeral ego / a Sapphire crushed to death

Naming winters after a life that started mine / has always been 
my last attempt / to adore a season too foreign / for bodies arising from flames / the ones 
alive before their first summer died


*Bismillah (Arabic: بسم الله‎‎) is the transliteration of the Arabic word which translates into English as "In the name of God" and is the first word in the Quran 

*Surah Al-Ikhlas is the 112th Sura of the Qur'an.
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8.31.2017

Poetry: Trash Kid's Song To A City With A Conceited Summer

[Trash Kid's Song To A City With A Conceited Summer]

I stepped out of 1997 to a summer twice my age / Together we have floated over 
a city never kind enough / I left with a bag packed with three poems and a name

There / Our voices will always be an urban trauma / Your love will always be a 
season gone wrong / Always — not a word but a sword / That wouldn't ever see blood 

My apologies! / Your ache cannot be of gold there / Forever an uninvited 
guest / This city doesn't carry hand-me-down devastation / Unlike you / Unlike us

Remind me of this city / Of its violent kind of kindness / When the rest 
of us are stepping out of summer / To a season thrice my age 
This poem was produced on a quiet summer evening. I loaded some of Matty Healy's favorite words, a Lady Gaga song and Peter Paul Ruben's masterpiece Massacre of the Innocents on my thinking-mechanism to start working on it. It wasn't rooted with the happiest of material and that is what it reflects. The ache of leaving a city and knowing that city never loved you anyway; it's a tale of coming home and realizing there was never any.
On 16th August 2017, I turned 20. For {yesterday i was the moon}, I had compiled my teenage years' poetry and published it as a collection. Now, a - teen no longer supporting my age, there are many amendments I have to make to grow as a writer, as a youtuber, as a nice human being; I am trying. Poetry is half of me. Half of what I do, what I am, what I have become. I am ready to experiment more with stories, stanza styles, musicality of each piece I write. 

I got this beautiful, hand-crafted journal from sagemarktext (an ETSY store), all the way from Utah. It's my new start. I know every page was sewn with hand, carefully put together. This is what words, too, require. One wrong stitch and everything loses its meaning. But here we are! And there's a long way to go. 
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8.08.2017

yesterday i was the moon (the story so far)

i wrote a book. it is called {yesterday i was the moon} 
it had been in the making for a while. labeled as the most important project in the inventory of my mind, it was a beautiful and terrifying thing. from selecting poetry pieces to writing new ones that would only appear in the book to taking photographs, it has been an experience i cannot put into words.
for days, it was nothing but a pile of papers, a wide ocean of doubts and all of my fears mingling together, joyously. then there were technical sides of publishing where margins on a pdf were more important than anything else in the world and that led me remodeling my manuscript 6 times all over again before it would be accepted. it was difficult, very very difficult.

but as everything started coming together — the proofreading, the index, pages decorated with photographs; all the woes of the process started fading away. a dream was becoming the part of my reality. the poetry was becoming tangible.
i approved it for publishing on 16 july '17 and launched it on 29 july '17. within a few hours of its release, it was already in amazon's  top 50 poetry books by women authors. it also secured 3rd position in amazon's hot releases (poetry). yesterday i was the moon is still in those lists. after a week, it has sold more than 150 copies and it's still going on. i couldn't be more grateful.

i do not have a publisher. nor any team promoting my book for the world to see. it's just me, the screen of my gadgets and you. every day, my belief in kindness and support of the community is growing. sitting in a remote area of thatta, away from the hometown of karachi, i couldn't have thought it would be possible to write a book, have it published and then see it going to the parts of the world i haven't set my foot in.
thank you so much for reading my poetry and giving yesterday i was the moon a home to reside in.

it is available on amazon (prime as well) / book depository / barnes & noble. you can also request it at your local bookstores and they would get it for you (for pakistani readers, you can request it at readings bookstore in lahore and at any liberty bookstore outlet)

if you have purchased it already, please consider leaving a review + rating on goodreads and amazon. if you want to purchase it soon, you can add it in your wishlist (amazon) and to-read list (goodreads), it will help us with ratings. 
in my 19 years old life so far, yesterday i was the moon is a magnificent milestone. there is a long way to go for me as a writer, as a person, as an artist. but the start would always be this pale pink book. always.

watch the trailer of yesterday i was the moon on my youtube channel

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