Saturday, March 22, 2014

Labels (Video)

One of my very good friends, Maneetpaul Singh, is incredibly talented with video work so he and I teamed up to create a "Labels" video project :)

Here is the video: 


Labels from Maneetpaul Singh on Vimeo.


Hope you all enjoy it! We'd love for you to spread the love and share the video!


And here is the poem that I wrote for the bookends of the video:


Do not define me by my clothes or the color of my skin
Do not define me by the many shapes that I’ve been in
I am not my weakness or my flaws
I am not the person that I was

Do not condense me to a word
The rest of me will go unheard
And when you see me unconfined
You’ll see that I am not defined

So take this label that I wear
Let it burn into the air
I am not the words that you assign
There’s so much more than meets the eye




Monday, March 10, 2014

Your beautiful mind

I do not care
about the thread count
of the suit you wear
or how much dough you make,
I’m not fascinated
by your imported silk pocket squares
or your fancy steaks

Your stocks and bonds?
I could care less
So you’re a V.I.P.?
I’m not impressed

Don’t tell me about the interiors
of the many cars you own
or how much you paid
for your cologne

I could care less
if you were made of gold
Tell me, how rich is your soul?

I care only for the colors
of the thoughts you paint,
each brushstroke
of what you create

I only want to know
what makes you feel,
your morality, conscience,
and your ideals

I want to know the depths
of your tremendous spirit,
what drives you,
and what you hold dearest

I will define you only by that
which resides in your heart
because that is all that is left
if your world falls apart

I do not care 
for the riches you find
I will only fall

for your beautiful mind


Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Genocide

Bullets pouring like rain
upon holy gold
fire upon scripture
five rivers of blood

a mother weeps
a child screams
a father vanishes

villages set ablaze
wiped clean of life
scattered bones and debris
stain cold gray patches
amidst vivid green earth

sisters raped
brothers mangled

truckloads
of bodies
upon bodies
upon bodies
thrown into canals
flooded by death

corruption trickling down
from the top rung
hiding behind shades of lies
perpetrating a genocide

yet we will forever challenge
the raging darkness
we will not let it settle

ashes, ashes
we won’t fall down



Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Profiled

Wiping the tears from my face
I rolled my carry-on suitcase
into line
glancing back one last time

my parents blew kisses in the distance
I waved back
my heart, terrified
leaving the sanctuary of my home
for the first time
to travel to a foreign land

and as if emotions weren’t running high enough
I was “randomly selected” for additional screening
yet again

I stepped aside as a female officer
took her hands
and ran them along my caramel body
as if I had consented to the humiliation
as if I had a choice

her touch was aggressive
as she patted me down
I looked into her pale face and wondered
if my brown face had set off alarms inside her head
as if the color of my skin meant
that there were explosives hidden in my jeans
or the college sweatshirt I wore

I wanted to tell her
that the weapons of mass destruction
were inside of her mind
and they were destroying my people
with their explosions of ignorance

I wanted to tell her that
I did not consent to be profiled
and neither did the 5-year-old child
that I saw her pull over and search
because her father was wearing a turban

I wanted to tell her that the way she looked at me
was dangerous
because I was sure that not every actual threat
was hiding behind brown skin

I wanted to tell her that though my body felt violated
it was my soul that felt more violated

But she was in a position of power
and I had to catch my flight
so I silenced the rage that boiled inside of me
and let myself become another hushed victim

of a security checkpoint


Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Living in New York

I should be studying for my Contracts final. It’s in less than two days.
But I can’t bring myself to study.

Instead I’m staring at a brick wall.

(This is not a metaphor. There is an actual brick wall in my apartment, and my bed is facing it.)

I’ve never really noticed how beautiful this wall is before.
Probably because I’ve been so consumed with the intensity of my life since I’ve moved into this place.

I love NY. I really do. I wouldn’t rather be anywhere in the world. But there’s two ways that NY can make you feel.

You can either feel like the entire universe it at your fingertips,
like every experience, every feeling, every thing, everything you could ever want is right there, waiting for you to grasp it,
like you never know what could happen, or who you could meet the second you step onto the street,
like your every dream could come true because the energy around you is just so exhilarating,

….or you can feel lost
because sometimes this great big city will swallow you up
and make you feel really, really tiny.

And right now I feel tiny.

I miss really being in the city, like actually experiencing it.
I hate that I live here but all I do is commute to and from class.

I feel like there’s so much potential, so much to be taken advantage of
…but I’m just sitting here avoiding contracts and staring at a brick wall.

I have no time.
I feel like a lot of us New Yorkers are like that.
We never stop on the street to just take it all in. We’re always pacing, trying to get where we need to go as fast as we can.

(Also, if we did stop, people would angrily push past us, thinking we were tourists.) (Confession: I’ve be one of those angry New Yorkers more times than I’d like to admit.)

But I mean, what’s the rush?
Sometimes I feel like this city just has some kind of living intense pulse to it that everyone in it seems to adjust to.

And sometimes I love it, but right now, I just want to make it slow down.

So maybe I can have time to stare at beautiful things, like this brick wall.

But unfortunately, I must re-adjust my pulse back to NY time.
I really need to study.


Monday, November 18, 2013

#Confessions

I want you to know

I’m a mess
coffee stain on my dress lipstick smeared tripping over my heels
kind of a mess

I talk a lot
especially when I’m nervously trying to fill awkward silences

and I’m loud, like really loud
like you’d probably be embarrassed to be seen with me in public
kind of loud

I scrunch my nose when I laugh
and I bite my bottom lip when I’m nervous

if you tickle me
I will go into survival mode

I can’t watch horror movies
but my favorite genre is mystery

I have an abnormally large assortment of nail polish
and I collect jewelry from around the world

I have self-diagnosed slight OCD
and I love to lose myself in inspiration

I can’t cook without blasting music
and dancing around in the kitchen

I rarely leave the house without makeup
because I’m afraid people will see my acne scars

I may seem like I’m a strong woman
but I’m more fragile than you’ll ever know

I’m terrified to let anyone in
because I’m scared they’ll break me

I have dreams bigger than you could ever imagine
bigger than my own life could ever hold
and I hope you want my dreams
because I want to want your dreams too

I want you to know