My New Book

My first poetry collection is now available on Amazon. Here is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Loss-Shahd-Alshammari/dp/1631358901/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1433966269&sr=8-1&keywords=on+love+and+loss+shahd

I expect that copies will soon be available in Kuwait. I don’t claim to be a poet, or a writer. This is merely an experiment, as all things in life are. Trial and error. Let’s see how it goes!

Winterson

One of my favorite authors, Jeanette Winterson, has a seductive way with words. Her words have a dizzying effect, and at the same time, make all the sense in the world. She’s an expert on love and describing love:

‘I fell in love once, if love be that cruelty which takes us straight to the gates of Paradise only to remind us they are closed forever.’ Jeanette Winterson.

“How is it that one day life is orderly and you are content, a little cynical perhaps but on the whole just so, and then without warning you find the solid floor is a trapdor and you are now in another place whose geography is uncertain and whose customs are strange? Travellers at least have a choice. Those who set sail know that things will not be the same as at home. Explorers are prepared. But for us, who travel to cities of the interior by chance, there is no preparaton. We who are fluent find life is a foreign language. Somewhere beween the swamp and the mountains. Somewhere beween fear and sex. Somewere beween God and the Devil passion is and the way there is sudden and the way back worse.”
― Jeanette Winterson, The Passion

Thoughts on love

Real intimacy. Real, mature love, is the desire to be with the person you love because you want to. Not out of guilt, pity, a desire to control, possess, or to prove something. I am constantly fascinated by how people express love, and lack thereof.
It doesn’t make any sense when you claim to love someone yet constantly hurt them. And hypocrisy does not fit well with love. To love, you must first honor yourself, and honor your lover’s heart. To humiliate and destroy them, in the name of social pressure/society – that can only be utter selfishness.

I wish people who loved actually understood that love does not obey rules. It does not seek acceptance. It finds its home in hearts, not in fancy houses, big publicized events (wedding ceremonies), and it certainly does not facilitate power struggles. You only learn to love maturely when you recognize the infinite power in human vulnerability, and you embrace it, respect it, and solidify it.

Those who Run away, the Abandoners, are constantly lagging, never catching up. Maybe their hearts cannot handle big, crazy, endless love. I think it’s a waste to have a heart beating, when you continue to dishonor it.

I love you. Those three words are a promise. They cannot be hurled at anyone. And yet words and bodies are sold to the highest bidder. The desire for desire and love is dying, while the struggle for power thrives.

Socks

 

You wake up one day, and suddenly, your feet do not belong to you. They are, most definitely, separated from your body. But no, that can’t be, because you look down, and yup, they’re still there. You touch, and you sniff them. They feel like they have been suffocating under woolen socks for years on end.

Okay, time to wiggle my toes, before I actually attempt the impossible: getting out of bed.

Each toe feels plastered to the other. And, as if they have plotted to work against my brain’s insufficient commands, they decide not to move.

Ugh. Not again.

I reach over, attempting to massage them. Nothing. They refuse to respond. I drag myself out of bed, knowing exactly what this means. Today, my feet won’t be able to touch the ground without feeling like I am wearing an infinite amount of socks. Blood stops rushing to them. And each step towards the door feels as though I am walking through water, and my socks are drenched in mud –my feet are heavy.

I open the door, to call for my mother. I need to tell her that I need help putting on my socks and shoes, because this looks like just another Multiple Sclerosis relapse.

Speechless Rant

I have been bleeding words for the past few months. And now, all I am left with is a few letters from an alphabet I can barely recognize. You’ve robbed me of my love for words. I hate that we shared our passion for literature, for poetry, and for stories. You’ve crafted one hell of a story for us. A beautiful one, no doubt. But you see, I understood you. And I still understand you. I knew the ending of this story. Foreshadowing exists for a reason- after all, I can’t be a literature major for nothing. I absolutely knew you would be the one to leave.

And now you’ve left, and I am left with memories that might as well be a figment of my imagination. I called after you madly. And every night onwards, 2 a.m. haunted me. I’ve begun to despise the number. The clock mocks me, it repeats the same pattern every night, and it is always the same result. You, over there, and me, over here. Neither one of us reaching out. It takes two to tango, but really, only one of us to destroy the other. What you don’t understand yet, is that you have destroyed the part of you that was aching to be birthed, to be born –that part I had held in my hands, waiting patiently for it to come through. I waited for you to come through. Boy, I waited. For someone who has never waited, for someone who takes life two steps at a time, I put every ounce and every definition of the word ‘patience’ into the promise of you. It was merely a promise. Built on words, again. Built on a vision in the near, and the far, future. And I held on, because you promised me, so confidently, that you wouldn’t leave. But that’s only one version of the truth. I held on because I know you need me. You’re not telling the whole truth when you say you’re confused. You can’t be that confused. You’ve unconfused yourself the second you said ‘Yes’ to me.

What’s left now is just fear. What kills me, what really kills me, is that now we’ll never know, just how brave you really are. And I believed in you more than I wanted to believe, and I was prepared to have my heart broken – but I was not prepared for this trauma. I was not prepared to believe that I really had no reason, whatsoever, to believe in you.

if and then

There must be a reason for my masochism, because each and every one of them left me broken, shattered into pieces that I could hardly recognize as parts of me.

Adamantly, I denied my failures, labeling them all as ‘Experimental Errors’ and

dragged my heart behind me as I trudged along the same path, over and over again.

But maybe you should know that when I first heard your name, I doubted both your existence and my sanity.

Being obsessed with ‘truths’ and ‘proofs’ I asked you to simply Speak to me.

I wanted to spill your voice into my coffee and onto my white shirt (ever so plain) every day, every morning.

This made sense to a cynic like me

and I subscribed wholeheartedly to a handful of ifs and thens :

If I could taste you, then I could savor every stage up until that nanosecond, where I can’t separate your bitter-sweetness from my tongue’s numbness

if I could hold you, then I could plunge deep into the holiness of your majestic kingdom (the one you so admirably protect)

if I met you, then I could forgive the Universe’s way of teasing me, taunting me with figments and fragments of you.

And when I do taste you, I fear that I will leave your veins dried out as I drink from those holy waters (because I am selfish, you see, and I must resurrect the fire that used to be me)

and when I do hold you, I fear for your fragile bones in my savage hands, as I possibly fracture them once or twice to fit across our new-found land (yes, our)

and when I do meet you, I fear for your lifelong incarceration in my chambers.

But really, mostly – I fear fearing you, and my complete and utter paralysis in your presence.

Ink

There’s only one way to reach you

I attach syllables and letters,

Yet I stutter through my words

I tell you that I am articulate on paper

You ask me if people like that still exist,

In a time of sexual inflation,

When the spoken word beats the written word,

When sex forgets about foreplay,

When kisses become an inconvenience –

Yes, I still blush when you speak to me

I am flustered and dry-mouthed. I desperately need my ink.

I compose long messages and carefully penned paragraphs

I ask you a million and one Questions.

And I use that same ink to record your answers.

I keep a journal, so that I may carry you around in it, the folded pages embrace all you’ve told me, and the blank ones anticipate all you’ve yet to tell.

You’re wary, and afraid.

And I know we’ve both read more than we should, because there is such a thing as too ideal, as too delved in the world of words.

We lose track of the realm of possibility, of today.

So I pencil in our meeting date.

I wait to painstakingly inscribe my notes on your lips, on your hands, leave you stained with my ink.

And everyone knows how maddening it is to remove ink stains.

But I suspect you’ll want to keep me.