The work below is by Nishat Rahman as part of our MA Creative Writers takeover.
Blink. Blank. Begin.
A fresh page, a clean canvas, a blank space. A place to fill with all your hopes and dreams tailored by your experience and emotions. A place to declutter the life that has been written for you. A place to be you. Only… are you really you?
Blink. Blank. Borrow.
Borrow time, a time that should be mine, but I sit and wonder, is it really mine? Fill in the gap, the hole, the mould, stay in the line but also be bold. Retell a story that’s never been told. An imposter is among us as we go about our day to day, wishing we knew how to stay, to live life longer, to be young forever. A master of disguise, a thief in broad daylight. Building a mask, make it thick, make it quick. Anything that prevents a reality check. Are you really you?
Blink. Blank. Blend.
A pen, your starting tool. Only now it no longer contains ink, but a magnet and wires. Only now the handle is made of wood and the tip is fine fibres. Only now you hold two, one in each hand with no intention to write. But to create in a way that is seen as old, yet gold. Only now the pen is no longer called a pen but called needles. No, a hook. A spatula. A knife. A keyboard. A controller. A pen, your pen, no, MY pen is no longer a pen, yet it still remains a pen as I create a mountain of things that hold no real meaning or value. A gimmick. A replica. A façade of perfected skills. A completed piece sits in front of me, asking one question: is this really you?
Blink. Blank. Fold.
Count your cards, check the deck, for life has many things planned ahead. They say you are in charge of your own destiny. You learn your skills. It is your free will. You make your change, but what if my change isn’t because of my skills. What if I’m a vessel, made to contain others’ efforts and abilities. Copy and paste, to imitate. Nothing I do is ever really from me, because it is not me who created. I’m merely a reflection. Staring at all the imperfections. Is this really me?
Blink. Blank. Count.
Count your seconds, your minutes, your hours. For it is your time being wasted on entertaining a
person who is a jack of all trades, who’s skills are none. But the imposter is among us, undecided on what they’ll do, what they’ll say that may give away their identity as the one who knows nothing yet knows it all. The fear to speak, to be heard, holds on tight to my vocal cords; the anxiety of exposing myself as unfit to sit among the greats, undeserving of any attention from those who paved their own, while I borrowed mine. The question painted in my own wasted blood, sweat and tears. Is this who I am?
Blink. Blank. Bleed.
Go with the grain while making your own. Colour your blank with a palette of your desire yet it is your desire that leaves your palette blank. Yearning for better, for more, left with a shade of indigo and crimson. Anger and frustration, sadness and loneliness go hand in hand with love and heart, pure and magical, synonymous in touch. But never perceived the right way because it is I who made the effort that translated the wrong way. Why are the curtains blue? Because I ran out of yellow paint, dipshit. But that is not what came out, rather a sequence of poetic analysis of emotions and phrases I would never have conjured up myself. My success is not because of me, but because someone else translated better and was able to see. Please, can you see me?
Blink. Blank. Complete.
Pressing the correct controls, twisting, wrapping, folding, beating, mixing the right way, the way I know to be right in order to succeed. To complete your piece with precision, no correction, just
perfection. That is the plan, yet why do I follow and feel like it is not by my hands? Not my time
spent. Not my “talent” taking lead. It simply is not me because I know all yet know none. My
mistakes shining bright, out in plain sight. I fit no mould, can’t be bold, see no hole, just the same phrase being told, “Do better.”
Blink. Blank. Repeat.