Elegance and Jamais Vu: Prose Poetry

Oh, darling, I see you. I see you radiating like a kaleidoscope of aurora lights during the witch-hour, staring into the mirror for a little bit too long. A little bit too long. You gaze at your curves like they are swirls of sundae gourmet in your isolated hostel that rot during the quarantine. 

You scrape your nails tracing the circular loops that veil your hungry bones, scratching the cloak that shields the wormholes of your heart. Oh, that damning breathtaking melanin cloak from the lost vintage cardigan collection. Lost in the castles of stigmas, over steamed in streets, and dry cleaned with turpentine by your own people. They say that the tailors who stitched our skins were singing protest slogans loud like the Hot 100 Billboard Chart. I wonder if its true. I wish it was.

Making ugly and disappointing faces when you look at yourself has become muscle memory, isn’t it? You look, you look. You look at yourself like your body is a crime scene and you plead guilty to exist. 

They compartmentalize us into caskets and call it treasure chests, re-branding old “beauty” tags into “elegance” because times are changing you see, women are talking, they have fortunately realized that we have a voice. 

But your elegance is not what dietary magazines and HD glow products tell you. Your self-esteem is not defined by them. It is not grace and ‘exquisite’ etiquettes. Too fat. Too skinny. Too tall. Too short. Too dark. Too pale. Too pimply. Boobs. Boobs? You look like a kid. You look like a middle-aged woman. Your dress is too long, No, its too short. Baby, they started critiquing your novel, before you even finished your story. Their marketing strategy is a paradox, as long as you are at home in your skin, you are building a wrong home. So, they show you dreams of 5-star hotels and you check into them every day until you forget how your home smells like. You become homesick for a place that only resides in your repressed memories. 

You remind me of a crazy fifteen-year-old who played with kitchen knives in crystal salt bubble baths. Flowing between blood baths of giving up and soap lathers of holding on like a cliffhanger in the last episode of season 1 on Netflix Originals. I wish I could visit her with Doraemon’s time-machine and wrap my arms around her like I am the touch-starved imprisoned sister of Sherlock. Fold her into me like a thousand golden paper planes, stroke the back of her head, and let her cry until her insides are parched and then, kiss her braids that she finds so ugly and tell her that ELEGANCE IS REBELLION.

Rebel, little girl. Rebel like your vocal cords are made for war cries and revolutions that have been gagged with diet pages for too long. Rebel like your eyes is the color of the bird’s before it pounds on its prey, winged or not. Rebel like your skin is made for little heart doodles and ink pen tattoos of your name. Your skin is not a dog-tag of numbers from weight machines and measuring tapes. Rebel when a fucker on the road calls your ass cute and tell him it sits on courtrooms chairs and brings down misogynists and homophobes. Rebel so much that your hands quiver with satisfaction when they let go of the time bomb of beauty standards because your life does not depend on them. Your desires are not their desires. Show them how the hues of your ambitions smolder so brightly that bonfires go rogue and bring jungles down.

You will fall in love with your elegance someday and when you do, throw a house party and call it “Learning to Love” and tell the ghosts which reside in the casket that they are not invited. 

Someday, you will learn to forget your muscle memory, trim a pixie cut and color it sea-green. Someday, you will wear your melanin cardigan and caress it as if it were a newborn lamb. Someday, you will throw your two arms around yourself and hug yourself tight. For existing, for being you, for clicking the next episode of season 2. Someday, you will say your name like a prayer and the way you roll your tongue will make Goddesses yearn to name their firstborns after you. Someday, you will realize that you radiate like a kaleidoscope of aurora lights. Until then, be elegant. 

Maybe you will realize that there are study partners at your party who desperately wish that the blood in your mouth was theirs, who will call you in such an endearingly silly way that you will finally know that your name feels safe in someone else’s mouth. Yet, keep being elegant, little rebel. 

They say when you look at a word for too long, it feels wrong like you have never seen it before, it is called jamais vu. 

Task: Explain jamais vu in a sentence.

When girls look at their bodies for too long, jamais vu hits them. 

The fifteen-year-old stares at me with aurora lights in her eyes, tear-stricken skin. I whisper in her ear, “Be elegant, little rebel. Be elegant.”

//”Elegance and Jamais Vu”// Enigma

Copyright © 2016-2020 Enigma. All rights reserved.

Picture Credits: Google Images

PS: I remember writing a piece on elegance a few years ago and I was only a baby writer at that time. But the sentiment somehow still remains the same even though now I can say I am a toddler. Here’s the link if you wish to read it: Elegance isn’t Beautiful

9 thoughts on “Elegance and Jamais Vu: Prose Poetry

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  1. Yet again.
    Yet f-ing again I go through a rollercoaster of emotions because of your powerful writing.

    “Oh, that damning breathtaking melanin cloak from the lost vintage cardigan collection”
    I can’t fathom how your brain works out such stunning word combinations and metaphors like pleaseeee.
    Melanin cloak? Brilliant.

    “You look at yourself like your body is a crime scene and you plead guilty to exist”
    This is another example of your stunning control and creativity with your words.

    “They compartmentalize us into caskets and call it treasure chests, re-branding old “beauty” tags into “elegance” because times are changing you see, women are talking, they have fortunately realized that we have a voice. ”
    THIS.
    I can’t emphasis enough on the message in this and the way it is worded.

    “as long as you are at home in your skin, you are building a wrong home.” This is the sad conditioning of our society.

    “I am the touch-starved imprisoned sister of Sherlock.” THE SHERLOCK REFERENCE DITKGZYSOY
    I wish I could give you a real hug because my touch-starved self is sad too.

    “Rebel like your skin is made for little heart doodles and ink pen tattoos of your name. Your skin is not a dog-tag of numbers from weight machines and measuring tapes.”
    These two lines are made for each other. They complete each other, they compliment each other.
    They build each other.
    I freaking love your representation of numbers from machines and tapes as tags and name tattoos as the uniqueness and the elegance in just being ourselves.

    “Rebel when a fucker on the road calls your ass cute and tell him it sits on courtrooms chairs and brings down misogynists and homophobes.”
    If only you could see my face the moment I read this.
    PREACH THIS because god wow. Cat-calling ain’t complimenting at all, infact it’s just obscene, makes the one being cat-called uncomfortable and straight up harassment ughh and that too from misogynists and homophobes? Even the thought angers me.
    This line… I read it so many times. It’s the most aggressive, quick and perfectly worded shift of power and control of the imagery in one sentence ever and it’s phenomenal.

    I also wanna say out your amazing use of italics here. The repetitions and the italics and the way they’re spread throughout the prose adds more to its beauty. They all hold it down and tie it to reality. They linger and resonate, like echoes of words spoken in real life.

    I also am irrevocably in love with ending. I started reading it and was so engaged in the messages in the words that I’d forgotten about the “Jamais Vu” in the title and then it hit me really hard right in the face in the ending.

    That ending is THE best tie-in of a title and the singlehandedly the most creatively satisfying I’ve never read for a prose.

    God, you’re freaking amazing E.
    Like always.
    Keep writing such phenomenal pieces!

    Sending you purple hearts and really real virtual hugs!
    ~Megha 💜
    PS. Jamais Vu is special since it made us realize we’re trash for the same 7 men haha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Dear M, every time I read your comments on my piece, it leaves me with so much insight and warmth as a consequence of the loveliest of your comments.

      Even reading this piece makes me feel vulnerable to a very large extent because it is the reality we are living in today and I feel so miserable and so helpless on days when I see women succumbing into the whole mirage of beauty standards.

      The idea behind writing the lines which accentuate the fact how “allowing” and “accepting” that women have a voice is a vogue idea as if we weren’t a part of the society or had a say in it when civilization began. I really just try to convert this rage into satire every damn time because it infuriates me so damn much.

      Aww! Here, the biggest of the panda hugs to you. Don’t stay touch starved, it is super unhealthy.

      Funny, how we are judged on the basis of number cause literally screw numbers. I think I have said a lot about it in the piece itself but every time it just makes me more and more angry.

      You know, the world is doomed when media starts popularizing the idea the sexual objectification or cat-calling actually is a beauty standard. Like your soul, your body is not beautiful unless you are being harassed, how fucked up is that is just beyond my thought process (pardon me for swearing but I literally cannot find better words right now)

      Jamais vu has always held a special meaning in my life because of the song and yeah you are right, it was the same song that brought us close and nurtured our friendships in a way that I could not have imagined.

      I am so happy and filled with love and honour that you enjoyed reading this piece. Every compliment, every feedback and every insightful thought from you really strikes a cord to my heart. Thank you so much, M for being so supportive and kind. It means a lot to me.

      Truckloads of love and power to you,
      Enigma 🙂 💜💜💜

      Like

    1. Hey Shayra,

      Thank you so much for your lovely compliments! I am so happy you enjoyed reading this piece. I owe my gratitude to you for always being so supportive and showering me with the loveliest of comments and insights. It really means a lot to me.

      Stay happy and healthy!
      Stay gold!

      Enigma 🙂 💜💜💜

      Like

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