BOOKS | "Milk and Honey" by Rupi Kaur

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Poetry has always found a way to inspire me. I read it on social media, little book excerpts, framed quotations on walls. More often than not, poems are just one of the things that kind of lure me in. When I discovered Rupi Kaur on Instagram, I noticed that a) her feed was very pretty and b) she had a very fascinating style of writing that made me want to go deeper and deeper into the poems she wrote. So when I found out she actually had a book, I made a promise to myself to buy and read it.

Earlier this year, I finally got myself a copy, and I quickly finished reading all of it. For those of you who don't know, Milk and Honey is a collection of poems written by Rupi Kaur. The book's divided into four main chapters that will feel a lot like she's taking you through the different phases of her journey: the hurting, the loving, the breaking, and the healing.

I think it's important to note that this book covers a wide spectrum of emotion, from falling in love to heartbreak, but it also has a few notes on things like sexual assault and physical abuse. With that said, I should mention that this might become trigger warnings for some.

Before buying this, I'd never owned any poetry book, so when I first got this, I was actually pretty stoked. I think it's a very different approach to what is considered art as well, and I like that Rupi Kaur pours her heart and soul into her writing. You just kind of take it with you and feel it as you read the book. The art featured alongside some of the poems were quite fascinating as well.

However, I'll be honest, as much respect I have for Rupi Kaur and her poetry, at times, I did find the book a little cliché. I liked a lot of things about it, but I understand how some would bash on this book saying "it isn't poetry". Upon finishing it (perhaps a little too quickly), I'd already marked all the pages that I liked, but I just don't feel like it made an ~*iMpacT*~ on a deeper level for me personally, which was kind of a letdown. Some of the paragraphs or poems are very heartfelt and beautiful, so much so that it made me admire the book a lot more. But then you flip to the next page and you see that she'd basically taken up one whole page for a tiny poem consisting of three lines. I felt that these pages carried strong messages, sure, but writing down a quote (even if it's a lovely one) and then just breaking it down into three to four lines for the concept of being ~*aesthetic*~ isn't very ideal. For Tumblr, sure, but not for a published, bestselling book.

Aside from that, I think it's an interesting book. I mean, the poet has definitely come a long way throughout her life, and is very brave for opening up so vulnerably in this book. Although I probably was too excited at the thought of having my "first poetry book" that I might have overestimated this piece. I did hear that Rupi Kaur is working on a second book, so I just hope that it'll be in some ways better. Meaning that it'll have more words, and more meaning within these words, and less of a blank space. It's just sad because if you're already given such a platform and you're already a very talented, well-known writer, you should put in as much energy as you can into your art, and I think this book only showcased a fraction of what Rupi Kaur is capable of. I'm expecting a lot more from her.

By now, though, I've come across plenty of amazing writers and poets online, and I can't tell you guys how much I love keeping up with their writings. I've been delving deep into poetry slams (spoken word videos), and also into what I call "Instagram poets" like Nikita Gill and Beau Taplin. I also hope that the next poetry book I purchase will be a lot more satisfying. (I've come across a few recently in the book stores but most of them are very romance-themed, and I'm certainly not a big fan of love or romance books.)

And that is the end of my book review! It's been a while since my last book review so I truly hope this gave a bit more insight! Do you have a copy of Milk and Honey? What do you think of it?
Leave a comment below, let's talk about stuff. :)

Talk to you soon!

a word on anxiety

Friday, April 14, 2017

the golden hour light passes through your window blinds
and into your living room
you're sitting in your home,
and it's quiet and safe

someone's knocking on the door
first softly, then a little louder
and louder after that
you wonder who it is as you open the door
and the second you do,
anxiety is the friend that walks into the room
disrupting what was once your peaceful sanctuary
they sit with you at first and you talk and converse
they start giving you ideas
ones you never really thought of
but how strange, you start to think,
that even as they haven't been inside for longer than ten minutes
it's almost like they know exactly
where you keep your box of insecurities
almost like they know exactly
how to attack you
anxiety is the friend who sits leisurely on that sofa
legs on the coffee table
arms outstretched
a territory

anxiety is the friend who'll keep on talking
to you, about you, against you
their words keep spilling out of those lips
into the air of your home
slowly it suffocates you, but first you think,
nah, i'm just too sensitive
they sit and ramble on
even when you're no longer sitting there
and as they finally leave
you find them coming back the day after
and again the day after that
some days whenever you're gone,
you find them by the doorstep once you arrive home

anxiety becomes the friend who not only sits and talks
but looks around and silently judges
your taste in home decorating
they suddenly get on their feet and paces around your living room
they're the friend who starts flipping through your calendar
"all these things coming up," they scoff,
"how will you survive?"
your mouth stays shut and you just realize
you don't know how to answer that
they're the friend who looks at your framed photos
the ones you took before junior year,
then they glance at you, up and down,
the words come right out as you're forced to hear them,
"so are you sure you don't need to lose weight?"
they pick on your flaws and they tell you what you need fixed
"let's start with those teeth, those thighs,
that nose, those hips, that hair!"
your mouth stays shut because you secretly agree

anxiety is the friend who skims through your photo album,
they point to that photo you took with your friends,
"most of them only pretend to like you, why bother?"
they throw at you only the most bitter words
anxiety looks into your bank account papers
their fingers still flipping through,
"this is how much you make?"
anxiety's the friend who asks about your love life
and tells you they don't think it's going to work
"you're high-maintenance, you know,
i mean who wants to love a mess?"

one day you work up the courage to call someone else
tell them about the uninvited guest that keeps entering your life
you stutter when you say it because you feel like you're losing your mind
but the other end of the phone just pauses then says,
"maybe you're exaggerating."

anxiety is the friend who wreaks havoc in your bedroom
leaves trash on your couch
breaks a glass in the kitchen and calls it an 'accident'
they come and go as they please
anxiety makes you panic about small things
like leaving the car door unlocked
or big things, like seeing your parents die
they watch you fretfully reach for your keys,
they watch you sink into fear
whatever happens to you, at the end of it,
they just watch you and laugh

anxiety feeds you lies
they feed you lies so often, you start to believe them
when they're not there, their words still linger in the air around you
like they'd diffused poison into the oxygen
so much so, you have trouble breathing
sometimes you find yourself suffocating
the warmth of your home has turned ice cold
inside you're numb, and outside you're shaking
golden hour light no longer comes in
you got rid of those blinds, you boarded up the windows
because anxiety told you to
strange, your home is no longer normal
your peaceful sanctuary now feels as
what it truly is without them

you can never un-meet a person
you can't know their name and face, spend time with them,
then tell yourself you don't know them anymore
too late, you do.
meeting anxiety felt the same
see, they're the friend who makes a mess
they leave footprints in the form of fear and worries
when they come the next day, they add some more
after a while, though, you start to understand
the importance of not letting anxiety
become that friend who bullies you in your own safe zone
the importance of knowing which things were true, which things mattered,
which things can and might kill you
and which things that, honestly, won't.

this time, as they knock on your door
you don't let them in
their presence you no longer welcome
you've cleaned up their mess, you finally opened the windows,
it is air that you now welcome, and finally, you breathe

but the truth is, there'll be times where they highly insist
be prepared for the days where they'll just let themselves in
because you see, anxiety isn't a friend you can un-meet.
so honey, here's what i did
i let them in
and as they start to say a few words
i stand in their way before they get to that couch
i grabbed them by the hand, so hard that i didn't care if it hurt
i took them inside and i didn't listen when they said they hated the windows
i found a rope and tied their wrist to my washing machine
you might be asking, why the washing machine?
the reason is because
nobody casually walks into a laundry room
i simply thought it'd be best to place them in the room least frequently used
i closed the door, locked them in, and i walked away
they're still in my house, i acknowledged the fact
but only in the smallest, most insignificant part of it
my days went by and the home was still mine
i stayed far from the laundry room, so i didn't have to hear them
i knew they were there, but i didn't have to look at them

but honey, one day, the day they've had enough
they'll scream.
when they scream, anxiety is the friend
who'll scream so loud you'll feel it sting
anxiety is the friend who will keep banging on that door
they'll even shout your name, they'll tell you they were always right
it was just you who couldn't handle the truth
you stand outside that laundry room, you hear their voice
their words were loud and clear, but from behind that closed door,
the poison doesn't get to you anymore

anxiety is the friend who never stops talking
so i hope as you finally open that laundry room door,
you don't offer them anything but a glance
you look at their powerless pride, straight in the eye, as you finally say,
"you were never my friend."

Monday, April 10, 2017

Over the past few months, I've grown to learn a thing or two about heartbreak. Without diving into the details of it, the war between what you think and what you feel is something we're all familiar with. It's messy and irrational and most times, it makes you feel like you're losing your mind.

At first, I wanted to name this "The Science of Heartbreak". As a logic-based thinker, I thought that perhaps there's a way to navigate around it, a way in which I'd be able to talk about. Like how to find your way through a forest, or how to get your feet out of quicksand. But frankly, you can't offer roadmaps when you're lost. You can't offer solutions when you're sinking.

There is no science to heartbreak. You feel, and think, then feel, and feel some more, and that's all there is. Some people grow numb, others turn to rage, while some shatter to pieces. It's different for everyone. My experience with it has sort of placed me into the "emotionally unavailable" category. Yes, that exists. Don't laugh.

What it means, for me, is that it translates into how I roll my eyes at love songs. (Unless they're Disney songs. Nothing will make me turn away from Disney songs.) and how I grow sick at the thought of relationships. When my friends and I slowly approach the topic of love and "future goals" or their "ideal marriage" (Yes, we have these conversations. Again, don't laugh.), I find myself uttering,
"Yeah, I don't know if that's for me."
I could feel it then. Their eyes were on me, subtly thinking that I've definitely, officially lost my mind. My mind's been in a storm, sure, but I definitely haven't lost it. In fact, I think it's taking charge. Soon enough, the conversation proceeds, I assure them that I don't "mean it", and we laugh some more. They brush it off, and so do I. But it doesn't change what my little heart whispers: You've lost all faith in me.


Love is simple, but people are the most complicated beings on earth. Humans are so complex. We're made of sparks in tiny neurones, abstract codes too strenuous to decipher, a mass bundle of joy and pain and past and present and highs and lows. We're impossible creatures.

My impossibility was made known to me at a time where I found myself making a decision I knew was going to break me. See, the things we choose don't necessarily make us happy, even though they're for the best of us and those around us. And the truth is, you won't always like yourself for it. But I knew well enough to not let anything get in the way. You shouldn't play with other people's feelings just because you're unsure of your own. So when I decided to hit the reset button on everything in that moment, much like pushing everything off of your bed before going to sleep, I knew what was coming.


I have stopped fearing
the breaking of hearts
of homes
of dreams
for when they're broken
something utterly,
completely, hauntingly
can be built
from their pieces
-Noor Unnahar


Selfish acts can sometimes save your life. After momentarily ending an emotionally demanding relationship, and after the strong surge of sadness that crashed into my window sills like a tsunami wave, I finally could breathe. Of course, by ending something tough, I had to go through something equally as tough. But when you allow yourself to be dragged through some stages of hell, at least you come out strong. I may be unsteady, and often times confused, but now, I'm no longer soft, and I don't consider myself fragile. I'm still not sure about whether or not that's a good thing, but we can't apologize forever.

You might see me writing more of these long, full-rant, thoughts-and-feelings, brain-dumping, not-to-be-read-in-the-first-place posts. I'm not trying to share anything. I'm solely writing for my own personal therapy. It's easier when I see my own words.

So at the time being, I'm okay. I'm genuinely okay. I've learned and relearned my tiny bits of lessons, and as with all wounds, it's healing, and as with all things, life still goes on afterwards. My heart might be a little stone cold, but well,

at least stones don't break.

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