Monday, December 29, 2008

Searching 'god's particle'

I often dream of
longevity
words and
metaphors
are my aphrodisiacs
I need a retreat
where I can hear
you with my eyes
and see you
with my touch
where you are there
and not there
where I thirst
for words and you,
gazing at the river
from her silted edge
like a Narcissus.
Here in these shores
the phantom of
love allures
and beckons
from the depths
to devour, possess
and destroy.

I dream of
de-weeding me from
your terrains
laden with landmines
that explode
I may step or
step-over your body.

Mine has ammunitions too
those retakes of my pasts
embalmed on my skin
where lunacy is pleached
to rise a mushroom cloud;

I need excuses
to excuse myself
I need your madness
to warp and cleanse mine.
For a while, love,
let us barter our pasts,
let negatives
cancel themselves
in the large cauldron-
collider of our memories
and sadomasochisms
which rule to
destroy us to create
that 'god particle'
which can never be traced
even in our subatomic
existence, or our
inane complaints
of our histories
and childhoods...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Moments of Absurdity

This moment of absurdity
you touched my arm holding a glass
half-filled with liquor, ice cubes
Tears rained down like deluge
There was absurdity, when I looked at you
and you stared back unsure of the hidden
vibes in the big-eyed, bovine stare,
startled yet not scared, more surprised
at the joy tomorrows held, or else how did
love curdle to hate within split seconds?
Won't there be a truckload of smiles
tomorrow, preluded by today's sighs?

Then
when I counted those yellow tiles,
the wallpaper, interspersed with white,
I lost count always at ten in my inebriated
gaze, when you sat near me, didn't I miss
your camaraderie by a whisker, ruled
by runes of delusion and self pity??
In another moment of absurdity I drained
the scotch sieving ice with my teeth and
saw my breath mist the rims
I tried to spell 'v-a-c-u-u-m', then
walk in a straight line,
each toes touching the other, measuring
my steps and I knew that vacuum
could be like the vapor left by
the sighs of the bereaved, in this heat
even a tear drop turns to air in a jiffy.

Then
I emptied ice into the sink, washed
my glass and trundled upstairs,
hardly able to contain the beauty
of words I wove to etch
out the pain conjured from life!

In the final moment of absurdity
I hit my pillow with my verses
and felt happy how I could transform
tears to words, and words to verses,
in my drunken trance, I slept with
my Machiavellian manoevres to script
the triumphant saga of survival.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Physical travails: Geographies of love

After Tom C. Hunley


I do not feel guilty about
Remembering the day when
I was a virgin in a clumsy dress
And you sat me on the soft
Sofa and sealed my lips with
Yours and told me it was a kiss
I wondered why you laid
Your arms limp on my waist
Not sure of its next move
As the music crept up
In tune with the unsure
Decrescendo of our innocent love
Like the faltering heartbeats
Of a man yearning to live

Today, when not innocent in love
You kiss me against the mesh
Of my resisting teeth, like them,
My bones also bear the trace
of my upbringing as they melt
down my shoulders with your touch
I “mmmed” not knowing how to
Translate love, lust and fear
All bundled into one
It is like a journey to the
Unknown, the excitement of
The geographic travails
Engraved on my body, as
even my entrails belched with
The knowledge of an impending
quest. I could just close my eyes ,
explore you and feel powerful
at the same time when explored.
When not lost in those games,
while kissing you for instance, you
probably didn’t know that in my
“mmm” or my lack of articulation,
or the flutter of my eyes,
I bury my truth that I desire
not to live, love and die alone

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It wasnt long ago
I started forgetting
names, dates and faces,
I started writing verses
left them forgotten
on windowsills, tables
piled with papers, ah!
the garbage of my mind,
never to find them back

I have this strange dementia
you see, I repeated to doctors,
they said its memory loss,or
amnesia when i lost currency
and wandered penniless in the
well-crowded streets, stacked
and resourceful, brimming with
movement and practical life.
I sank in the crowd, with my
lonely thoughts. i wander my
house alone like a ghost with
vague memories like years of
soot in an ancient chimney

It so happened that I tried to
cleanse the sea, the streets
and the dusty leaves, sucked in
all the muck till they sank
deep into my quagmire self.
sessions that give a tantalizing
glimpse of madness never help.
the madness that never stays
but comes and goes, like a lover,
or the music that stays, enthralls
and leaves. probably this music is
madness too, like the cosmic dance
that looks still to human eyes
or the pack of cards neatly piled
or the algebraic illusions
of measuring the world
the madnesses that come and leave
amidst chaos
that rattle like rain at night
that shine on my nape till it burns.

You silhouette my skin,
pull me into the sensual world
senses that I own and disown
that sanity which dissolves
like ice candy, only when you
whisper love in my eager ears...

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Impotent War song of Saleem's Children

A Requiem for the 70s Generation

Lost in snores and palliatives
my generation seek solace in an
illicit touch. Companions, found
for life, tire us as we down vials
full and sob at the embarrassment
of our matrimonial disasters.
Shunned by gods and demons alike
we live our pre-lapserian dreams
with noose-tightened-napes.

Born cursed in the seventies, caught
in the smouldering streets of slogans
and spiritual peregrinations, nation
building and the hippie deluge
were lost on us, the Beats looked
angels without a cause when cynics in us
sprouted wings. We saw those revolutions
of bloodless daring drench our dreams,
in a new era, we stood helpless as
posterity surged with a violent speed.

They were a few, we were awed
by our own mavericks who dreamt
of the moon and scaled the poles.
Tubular railways to electronic
chips won our wide-eyed applause as
we used them with unease, till the
world urged us to expand to its pace.

For us, the children of Emergency,
jittery to the core, guns or blasts in a
distance and the sickly sweet shell of
relations scare our wits off. A frigid
generation caught by the virility of our
pasts and future, we sob at our plight,
break down when jobs whisk pass us
into the hands of a confident future.

We, the Sinais, children of surrogate
paternities, break all Commandments
and Sermons of the Mount, covet our
neighbours spouses, woo them clandestine in
virtual and real, even in the thick of cynicism,
we search for that illusive paradise that once
denied entries to our illegitimate selves.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Unsung chalices

Lost in our virtual/real
simulations, one rainy day you
whispered my name, evaded a puddle,
toyed with pebbles, traipsied home
dreaming of the fragrance of my hair
finger-combed with your desire.

the rain sings nomore
its foreplays, the droll and
chatter, drench your skin

you moistened earth's loins
till water carried the seeds
and tipped them off to the sea

Dont denude the silts
built over ages, torrents
drowned those earthy pleas


* * * * * * *

Today, over the doctor's table
your eyes rained over the
patches of my cloudy thoughts
I watched you with a chequered
mind full of evasions and lies
my puerile excesses and sins
were too holy to be
cupped by your cognizance.

* * * * *
I let you soar
in abandon
without my clouds
shading your lids

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Rain-drenched Morning

A rain-drenched morning
the first kiss of sun on my skin
was the touch we stole in
the darkness, I wished time
stayed frozen till the world curled
back to its orgasmic atom as fast
as it expanded, I could have
tossed back my hair and inhaled
your soul from your mouth

I saw you, my intimate
stranger, when your self poured
into every corner of my being
I could have stayed still
and let you own my scent and
brand my skin with your warmth.

This rain-drenched morning
I have no complains, no regrets
I saw your sun mirror the glint
of joy from my dewdrop eyes...

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Omerta: on All Soul's Day 2008

The weed smoke smelt
Frankincense and myrrh
reminding the legend

Two generations honeycombed into cellars
I adorned the granite tombstone
with roses, carnations and asparagus

Not forgetting the jasmine
my grandfather carried in pockets full
visiting his patients'putrescence and poverty,
Flowers strewn like blood
over charred granite.

My romance with summer ended
we sealed our pact
with promises of silence

I scurried to the shade
and the joy of
leaning to my own shadow.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The Remembered Story of a Forgotten Accident

Barricades of the sidewalk
were still dented, as trucks
rushed past the street.
A few months back
a tipper hit a couple,
who locked sleeping kids
at home before they were
surprised by their own
blood spilled on the road.
Neighbours unlocked the kids
guiding them to orphan hood
as the ambulance chugged in
with bodies well hearsed
for the last rites of the flesh.

I taught my children the
young ones of animals,
made them learn cygnet,
leveret, a calf and fawn
words that I have forgotten
or refused to learn, while
my son snuggled to my folds
And grunted like a cub, said
he was one, rubbing his nose
on me, the proud lioness
A toad nuzzling my tadpoles
I looked at my own blood
the innards of my soul
surged with an ache and joy

Children must have stood still
with volcanoes in their eyes
that veiled the pain in the
moment sensing sad mists
devouring their childhood sun…

Monday, October 27, 2008

An Ode to Bodies: In memory of disappearing women in Kerala

With a tradition pressing on me and a culture constantly
begging difference, there is a sea of words between you and me,
incommunicado, between the mantle and the crust.
My body stops at my skin, the tunic that wraps my flesh
and pores, the garb becomes all, the material and the essence.

I still cannot talk of my sisters without a quiver.

**************************************
435 missing, 350 found raped, mutilated, traumatised
(can a woman also be destroyed and never defeated?)
50 orphan corpses, smudged by the black milk of decay
that inches from breasts to limbs, creeping over the wombs
billowed and blackened beyond repair, rot spreading to the
marrows of those bodies which were young and supple once.

Stats of bodies branded by desire, beyond rescue

When puberty cut them a bloody cleft
Did they celebrate womanhood too,
or cringe in the corners watching those
stains spread bearing the burden of
organs growing like cancer?

In the brushstrokes of blood on their body’s canvas,
love bloomed like flowers and promises, later splattered with
violence and lust,
woman, didn’t love betray you?

*************************************
I resent you, woman. You are the self that I had not lived
except in betrayals. I loathed you when lost
in ambition, spat upon you while jailed in 'knowledge',
but you are the one I fought for in the streets,
shouting slogans and spewing pap, amidst applause
I talk about you in the lectures.
But when I know you as my skin, My material and essence,
My alter ego, when you become me, you move
Me in some dark cranny of My Self. I abhor you again when I
find myself fade away like you, like a carrion flower which
leaves behind just the memory of youth and the stench of decay

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Poetry for sanity sake, Cantos one and two

one : professional hazards
My version

Carrying an ancient body about thirty odd years in a primitive
forest sunned over millions of years or in a classroom thrust upon
mankind a century back, was more dangerous than it seemed.
Initially, one had to bear the pugmarks of resentment from younger
bodies, supple and eloquent, caught in the gibberish of modern times .
"Love the forest", we constantly hollered, "learn your lessons",

their version

when they chimed in 'we love animals more than foliage, these greens
and books even hurt our eyes, and obstruct our keyboard-groping
fingers, we prefer concrete jungles, multiplexes and convenios
to this primordial tussle of roots, leaves and ancient classrooms,
limited by the frames used by a confused generation, sandwiched
between the old and new', they said with the casualness of snapping a
branch off the tree, then scanned the elephant corridors with interest,
the slush of rampage and the foot marks, the commotion of the leaves
and broken twigs, 'these chaos interest us, tear the classroom down,
brick by brick, and then we will guffaw at our creative zest of pulling
down the order your confused minds have made sans conviction,
dressed in designer shoes and backpacks, you cut a poor figure than
inspire, you join us to shed a few extra pounds, and assuage your
guilt of eating carcasses out of your polished china, picking food
carefully with knife and fork, not leaving a clink of metal kissing
porceline,or you teach to learn a few facts yourselves, learning lessons
by rote or by retching out jargons you learn from textbooks and book racks,
gathering dust for years, don't we know that, call us cynical,
but your forests and classrooms limit us with leaves , foiliage,
books and your diffidence that adds a flourish to them all.'

* * *
two : personal hazards


Wondering like a child, I waited for the passage of time
To grow up, not knowing that graying meant death as well.

The familiar fishes of my waters, wore an English garb
as mackerel, tuna, seer fish , anchovies and pearl spots,
sometimes they reminded of an old man gaping
at lovers and the mackerel crowded seas in a tattered
old coat in the humid coast, where the fishermen hauled
their empty nets into the sea and pulled out a song from
her depths. My mind thinks in stranger tongues
dreaming of coral reefs atop the snow caps, its groins
and valleys overgrown by deciduous forest that flows into
the placid lakes of an alluring blue. These landscapes
when blend in the palette of my mind maps smudge the
brush strokes of colours and then turn to a bleached white,
as pale and clean as a shroud, the peace that buries
the corpses of memories, pasts and even the present….

Solution

Come to me, let me be your ghost lover and
i'll teach you how to love me and win me over...

Thursday, September 25, 2008

A Lunar Dream: A Scientist Crossing the Railway Tracks




For Dr. V.A

the child asked if the moon would drop
on us like a soft wafer from the sky

He pedalled hard

the wind whipped up a cloud
rested on the crescent moon

I saw his moon-eyes
When he sang Clementine like a child
The ditty rained dreams in numbers
Digits, pictures of payloads


Our fancy girdled
the luscious lunar skin

Moon the sinner, Moon the saint, weaned from earth
though capturer for some, princess' thumbnail, lover's muse.
Moon bears the burden of our dreams and sins.


He crossed a railway line
gently pushing his cycle on the tracks

from one Lagrange point to the other
Eyes in search of Verne's dream
to soar and sail to the distant moon

The scientist on his biped

Pedalling to the moon, his cosmos

The wheels turned and turned through
Asteroid gutters of tarmac streets…
He pedalled hard

A letter to a mallu, if you can take it




Don’t be struck dumb by words; don’t be offended when I call you a mallu,

A mallu is no nigger, aren’t we god’s own children? Do you doubt it? Don’t we get

into puritanical spasms when we talk sex, and pretend we don’t make love to create children?

Don’t we still debate what clothes suit our mothers and daughters? Even take wives to the lingerie to

choose the bra size and of course the prize? Once, didn’t one of us forget the wife , remembered only the cup size,

indicated with the rounding of the palm, the information and the innuendo, didn’t the gesture

both tickle and make us go bonkers about it? Didn’t we dream of huge bodies of women,

their breasts, and their butts,
and mound them nude on concrete in parks and beach , for men to

look and children to climb and play?
And who cares when tardy women and simpletons blush behind the

structures, what do they know about ART anyway? Don’t we stop our daughters playing with boys after

pubescence, so that their hymen be preserved for the man who buys her in the market with chunks of gold

and a fortune, stolen straight out of the bribes we shore against our salary ruins? And don’t we let children

be children, even if their rear becomes the apple of a tourist's eye in the lovely sands of Arabian sea

where we built our empire of dreams, fringed with palm fronds and that sensuous ayurvedic massage

oil gently oozing from the small of our necks to the back to the crevices of bliss? Have we not built our dreams on this dome of illusion?

And if the tourists are distracted by the peddlers of the sea, supple urchins, let them earn their bread any way,

do we care as long as our purse is not cut? Don't we still talk Marx, Althusser and maybe Agamben?

Once a Red Prof in a Red Univ in Delhi proclaimed that even toddy tappers spoke Gramsci in our midst,

didn't we really shock him out of his intellectual shoes?

Aren't we proud of our borrowed knowledges, sometimes don't we even spew them out on the faces of hapless dimwits?

Some even tail our magic flute, open eyes, with hooded minds. Don't we love that crash and crumble

when a capitalist automobile smoulders to ruins? And don't we hear the hooves rattling the streets

Ionesco' s rhinos trampling the sodden streets, heading towards the vaccuum of an ignorant bliss

bless the animal, don't we, when we feel our hides hardening and a single horn sprouting from our snout?

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The story of a bomb blast

I am glued to TV, I want to walk away but
I cant, a reporter bellows over blood spilt,
shreds of flesh mangled with metal and
mobile phones.He repeats his lines,
his tensile agility, falsettoed with fear,
concern and other lofty feelings.The camera
focusses on dustbins, detained suspects and
men at large, policemen cordon off blast
sites, doubtlessly officious and dutiful,
The lens remembers a chathouse torn to bits,
dismembered bodies, populous markets previously
bombed to silence, the death toll. The paranoia!

My son watches TV too, how much ever I want
to insulate him, he knows there's something
so 'real' about this 'live show' much more
than all the animations and reality shows he
is addicted to. His fear unsettles me so do his
five-year-old-queries about bombs, bombers and
mangled scooters. About blood and death, he
tails my muffled footsteps, questions about
'bad' men bombing 'good' men and why 'God'
does not punish bad men as his mother tweaks
his ear for a wee bit of mischief. Phone rings
as a nervous sister-in-law tells me that my
niece missed it by a whisker. Tremor creeps down
my belly, this very niece who missed Tsunami by
half an hour, in Marina, heard the blast rock the
streets from her office wall that rattled and
rattled for another half an hour. Half an hour
between life and living, she has seen it all.
Home is silent, cheers stolen from three children,
two parents numb with a sense of doom. I go about
my business, clumsily smoothening bed covers,that
I normally leave for my maid and worrying about my
child's queries, naggingly asked many times by my
adult self. My husband packs his bag, a weekend
vanishes with a bomb, a lump in my throat when my
son asks again if the debris be cleared and swept
to order the next day. Tomorrow, ma, will the sun
shine,tomorrow? A new toy distracts him. Knowing
my incapacity to hold on to reactions for long,
I rush to dine,
as hunger prevails my senses above anything else.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Chaos Theory

Vapour is a dream, a thought-cloud made
by the sea where water freezes like an
assasin's heart in the basalt depths.
When the sea couples with the land,
a butterfly flaps her wings fogging
those satellite eyes.Weather can only
be read like lines in the palm, when we
predict seasons,like a dervish in trance,
I am tipped off the stub like ashes,
I fall with a with a flap then split
into many coloured selves, coral reefs,
flotsam and breathing planktons,many blues
driven to the estuary with froth and frolic,
celebrating my chaos which take to wings.
I rise up pubescent, evey time decay
conquers me, chaos maketh me...

Friday, August 29, 2008

I want to make you weep





As a poet, I want to make you weep
may be its a duty officiated to me.
One day I came to Arhus to see a sea gull
run down by a callous wheel,
as a traveller my fastidiousness did
not bend down to mend those broken
wings, their flaps like choir, I heard
from old fairy tales which I pass
from one son to next like acne,
a birth mark or skin colour,
I stood and watched the bird
bloom like a carrion flower on the
tarmac as cars screeched past the streets


I want to make you weep for
I did not see the Tollund man
but heard Hamlet's tale, not a sorrowful one,
and saw his tomb faked on stone, a tourist
fetish hewn on a sprawling field
ploughed for winter crops. Rosenholm,
where Rosencrantz lived with his
splendid sons, opened to a room
where he slept alone or in company
my guide didn't say. The tapestried
wall where virgin blood curdled to
impenetrable mortar hid the secret
of his daughter's forbidden love,
hidden in her womb, her sacrifice
shielded the nobility's want for honour.
She may be walking the corridors
even now yelling her lover's name,
pleading to her father not to kill*.

They told me that Rose and Gulid
were neither crazy nor guiless and
old Hamlet lived a good six-hundred
years ahead, hale and hearty after killing
his father's killer and I loved the crafty
bard yet again, only wicked men can weave
moving tales from quotidian life, take me,
rife with tales of bullets from the hills,
a sack full of granny's lies, only I can
mix them, like an 'pothecary or a witch
call what ever you may, in a cauldron
of truths and lies in small proportions to
make a credible potion of verse. When I look
at the mirror after that, I see that
I do look a witch with a bulbous nose,
thin lips that curl to smirks or smiles
at my will with matching eyes that plead

but, I think I wanted to make you weep!

* Rosenholm, Rosencrantz's castle, was built in tune with the Danish superstition of sacrificing virgin blood as a symbol of sustaining the impenetrability in a newly build castle. For Rosenholm, Rosencrantz's daughter's blood was sacrificed to fortify its walls, but the inside secret was the fact that she was killed because she was pregnant with her lover's child. The castle is believed to be haunted by her even now.

A Nightmare come True in Denmark

Not the skin hues, not alienation or the angst of existing, not the neatness or the technological traps or gadgets that deceive at a click, like the toilet latch that turns green and red, in and out of danger, not the reign of reason not the smoking six-something who looked Arab and Somalian, not the smooching couples on the streets, whose passion grows on approaching steps or racist riles, I love my colour I dare say, like I love my hair, or eyes, a little narcissism looks good on me like the red saree i wear and definitely not the food, the way i wolfed down cured ham with relish, and salads swathed in cream, cheese and mayonnaise makes my mouth water for more.

But all i dreaded was the paper, rolls of paper in the loo, its rough chafing on my rear and the memory of water on my skin.At last I did it! I papered my rear with an ease, and sat with unease, tensile on a soft seat, like a bird ready to fly, trying to overcome my traveller's block of wiping my smalls with a piece of paper :-)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

it's a silent August.
at night flowers
dont bloom, the air
smells of waiting.
you are stealthy
to invade me
I do not see
you but i feel
your joy and sad
misty evenings

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shadow Harvest

In the middle
where shadows
converged, their
skeletons stretched
as they moved apart
and no longer bore
the brunt of flesh
one could no longer
be the centre,
or the sun, horizons
vanished in the dusk,
slurred by the sea and
nettled by the night



bones strung on
onion heads
clothes looked rags
no matter what brand

Shadows were alike
but in their blotched
irregularities, trees
hung on them like
giant feet stomping
light and movement.

shadows
pried on
presents
and pasts,
foresaw
future
flesh and blood
looked unreal
in their game

I walked past shadows and their
obsession with death and details

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

let pen speak the rest

the world in three dimensions
as we see is one thing,
another to fold earth
into a piece of paper
measure its contours
and crevices, then look out
from the window to see men
walking in slow motion
to sense life in its
atomic miniscule
even emotions are sprayed
as particles around without
you realising it even.

when thoughts creep up
like beanstalks towards
heavens wanting to cheat
the giant god out of his
wits and money bag, words
demure, either you wax
eloquent or let silence speak
through seasons, the gust
and the leaves that fall
on railway tracks that
beckon horizons. there you
see an old man pulling a
trolley over a gob of spit
that shone like pearl
studded on tarmac roads.
you can call it aesthetics
and let pen speak the rest

Monday, July 14, 2008

Being turned down is something
like a cloud not allowed to rain,
It’s no joke, the cloud hangs on
perspiring without end
to be honed into the hour glass
of eternal time, to be forgotten
easily as the wind blows
It hangs like the poppy smoke
endless laughter turning to
droplets, thirst growing
into the marrows of being.

Not surprisingly monsoon
failed the coast this year
*****************************

Monday, July 07, 2008

Five years after my grandmother died

When my grandmother died
my aunt remembered her
clad in a yellow sari
kneeling on the pew
with a stream of sunshine
gently silhouetting her skin
My aunt remembered the halo
the church and the shine,
the brightest memory ever
salvaged veiled by a deluge of tears

Living in memory was absurd.I was
living in the present with a foetus
in its trimester. Mittens, napkins,
baby lotions,the anxiety of labour,
pain and sutures in the wrong places
The unborn was my future, the corpse
my past, Living in the present between a foetus
and corpse, committed to my future,
I tried not to remember


After five years between two children
an abortion, padded with wads of
flesh, I dredge the silts
of my past, a dry river in waiting,
to touch a pebble, the memory of
a chick perched on my grandmother's
toes, shook off with a cocky twist
his ruby snood falling over the crown,
squinted on her skin, pecking her blue veins,
a worm swathed in a thin film of
earthen flesh, frail bones and wrinkles.

After five years, I do not recline
supine, ruing over seasons
the showers and summers,
I dont remember my past just in
flashes of remembrances I feel my
skin flinch at every peck
as my aunt broods in a corner
hallucinating my grandmother’s
body clad in a yellow sari
touched by the last rays of the sun.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Dreams Unbound

This
is a
bad poem
(disclaimer:
i dont write
good poems)
particularly
bad, so bad
that maybe its
a poem for you?
i know its hard to
please your senses,
propriety and finesse
how much ever hard i
try i look for that
spark of approval
in your eyes, like
a child waiting for
the judgement that
will either make or
unmake her dreams, oh!
@ @ @
I listened to the
poet who sang
how many years
it would take for us to
realise that we arent
that bird that
reclaims life
once burst into flames,
That was a live voice
on pod cast, poets
who lived years before
were ruffled too
by the wind,
the wind on the reeds
the wind that
passed words
shattered like pearls
in front of an
unforgiving crowd!
A motley
that chime and control
praise and deceive!

a door opens
only to be swung
shut again, as the
feather burns down
ashes to ashes
dust to dust

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Eating an Apple, Listening to America

So many poets in America
happy and framed smug,
intellectual scintillations
in a tepid world.
So many prizes in America
from a thousand dollars to fellowships
book grants and endowments

I too celebrate your poetry America!
I listen to your poets,pod casts

I bite into an apple, reach the core
nibbling every scrap of flesh
before spitting out the pip.
Pip-pops from my spout, hurts
my thrift, as I read through
more and more prizes
(hunger steadily growing in),
for Scandinavians, Chicanos,
Americans Black, White and Red
for translations, Pod casts
and regional poets,
some prize winners
wore the very same smile that charmed
the Black and White that framed them
with high resolutions, perfect angles
starry eyed, lip sticked, blazered
an excellent pair of well-set
teeth that continuously smote all
benevolence out of this world.

Night Compositions


I need a vision, to ergotise
myself to see a purple sky,
or tree full of stars, almost always
there's only a wild patched sky
that turns shocking blue
leaving behind just a transcience

when poetry thumps at my ribs
and escapes through my breath
shreds of memories I pick up
from blurred visions
are tipped into my ken
as erratic letters, words
meandering on dark gloomy
nights while a solitary fan
whirrs and poetry pamphlets
strewn allover become something
more complex than words, they
invade more like a passion
than anything else, say like
the intensity of intercourse
the ebbs, flows and the final
heave when pen stops, spurting ink
into the innards of my blank sheet


peace hereafter!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Love in the time of Moral Frissons: An Evening in Museum arboretum

Where have all the lovers gone? I wonder taking my evening walk around the Museum arboretum every day

Here, somewhere behind the high walled buildings, history sleeps in the canvasses of Ravi Varma and Roerich and in a few specimens of pre colonial artefacts

shored and preserved in glass boxes. They wear down, tear, fade and emit a mildewed smell, day by day, year by year

Varma’s ‘Shakuntala’ is also fast fading; her poise of removing thorn to take a clandestine glance at her lover does not look poignant anymore.

This city has buried her lovers, once they used to hide behind the bushes moaning at every touch, a kiss and smile

Now the police have muffled all the moan, they say it pollutes the crisp air washed and starched to perfection

By the wind and the leaves, the twitter of the birds and the canopy of bat droppings that manure the greens

I listen to hip hop with headphones plugged into my ears, to those voices seeking help from spiritual communities all over the world

A voice rapping, imploring cosmic connections to annul his unwise bondage between violence and frissons of calm

I longed for lovers, their ruffling behind the bush, sighs, raptures, these virtuosities to shatter the moral façade of the city

The city of old men and women who shy away from holding hands as this man walks a mile ahead of his woman,

The carefully groomed sentinel holding the invisible strings of her chastity belt, keeping her in control through

tantrums and disorders. Ah these women! He gasps and turns back with a lecherous grin, gazing at her still-so-firm-tits

Even at dusk, the Museum is alive with health watchers; walkers like me throng the place chasing love out of its den

Health should survive love and love should die a natural death as age progresses, and silence should hush all words

We grin with a nod, killing words, our hurry makes us go round and round the outer reaches of the museum wall

Inside a wall a lion sighs a yawn, inside another Varma’s brushstrokes pale further

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

(P)reach me

I am still in my shell
uncracked, cocooned
they tell me they
will lead me to god

i tell them I have
found many on my own
in beads, prayer wheels,
books, idols and
in fervent prayers. in hate,
in lust, actions
spiced with virtue and vice

they tell me
its the black god
reflecting my mind


i tell then again
that i saw music
i saw senses merge
in my search for god
i have seen envy spread
its fangs, and desire
overtake propriety
in my search for love


they tell me
I am a sheep
gone astray

I tell them
I have seen
Baptists and Catholics
fight over me
and i stood like a wolf
lapping up their sap
I tell them that it
tasted so human
unlike the Christian blood

they look at me with hate
and tell me I am a
devil with a cleft foot

unburdened by sermons
I am on my own again
uncracked,cocooned
AND wary of god!

Monday, June 09, 2008

An evening with Leonard Cohen

An evening with Leonard Cohen
and a Spanish friend, Antia

Cohen says nothing

There's an eye of wisdom
glistening through
the innards of desire
when soul flies
from love to love
flowers to flowers
it becomes a song
filigreed with sadness
an archway to an
experience of being
so human, so inane
begging pain
in my bowl of being

Antia nods and croons
"You bring me lust
in my hours of sleeping
when I wake up
I find you sleeping
I am keeping count of you
I am keeping count of you
your hurts and gashes
and how I routed you
with the weight of my being"

Cohen smirks

I wake up to Antia’s old tape
as Cohen fades behind my bedroom drapes

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

An unborn neonate

II slurped first
then drank
greedily from
the same well
I drowned
my daughter.
thirst sated
my peace is sleep-
induced, rocked
turbulent , clammy
like death which
waking hours erase
from my dreams.

A dead child visits
me at nights, as my skin
chafes warm against
my living son.
I can only imagine
how it is in the depths
plummeted into the dark,
echoing the feebleness
of a life that
flickered to die,
you were a refrain
hummed and stifled,
oh my daughter!

I watched you,
legs akimbo
I was rational
to kill my desire,
my foetus yoked
in by tenderness,
membranes stretched
thin on the skin
I saw you, albumin
wrenched out of my
innards with scissors,
forceps and talons of
resentment of my mind
I saw you as a bundle
of blood and blue sockets
‘your eyes that were pearls’.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

love poems
speak to me
a language
long forgotten.
is it wisdom
or cynicism
that make me
condescend
or bitterness
brewed out of
the sweet potion
of love?

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Tribute to the God of Small Poets

write atleast
two lines a day
read read
read even
the most unread
then beautify
filched lines
and thoughts.

seriously, even
when you grin
you look a poet
from head to toe
and in this country of
poets and demigods
you are swathed by
a whirl of
incense smoke
though many people
would fail to notice
your voice muffled
by whisky and
music irresistible!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

the girl
who talked
nonstop was
an adult now
towing the
silence of words,
of woods unknown
And memories
Inerasable
like the vision,
seen through
a film of tears,
There yet
not there.

Saturday, May 03, 2008

A greater part of me
died a natural death
living a normal life
cushioned with a job
loving kids as a normal
mother does on normal days
teaching them the
bare essentials of life,
alphabets, numbers
and good manners
telling them a fairy tale
a willed erasure of turmoil
that tag along with tales for kids
shooing them when they
squeal ‘shit’ with glee
and gloat over the forbidden
wait for the work every morning
with those punctualities
which hardly come by and seep
into my shell tanned and
licked by books and the tropical sun
not so humble a scribe
looking out to find tarmac
taper into the greens
which rise as hills in the
near horizon, clouded by dreams
and melancholy that
foddered muse
once upon a time.
once upon a time?
Often fairy tales
tell you the violence of your
not being a "sleeping" beauty
or a Cinderella whose
delicate toes could "fit in"-
to live and love ever after?
a prelude to unhappiness
from surfeit of happiness?
burdened by bodies
and metaphors
in tales and real life
don’t I need those illusions
of a perfect household
to cage my so-called free soul?

Monday, April 28, 2008

Migratory effervascence

migration
winged the sky
this late evening
patchy clouds
drifted
to targets
unknown
birds soared
in unison
fondling
the nape
of ocean’s
horizon

Friday, March 07, 2008

a star dies quietly
somewhere in the darkness
sans supernova.
can you see that?

my small world
my piece of sky
my sand stamped on paper
measured with chains
my protons in
the gaseous brew
of expansion...
I cling on
to my boundaries
my moralities, my miniscule
worth space in the
face of immensity
that we dare not fathom.

Big Bang is God!
MATTER matters

and a miracle - gravity
in a split second-
holds me to my narrow feet
my world firm on the ground

Dont I know,Im
detritus on the swirl
in the never-ending
face of enormity?

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Grass-scapes Transplanted from the Hills to Hyderabad

friends, acquaintances and fellow countrywomen and men

Hamish Sharma
a beef- eating brahmin
from Churachandpur
a Nep who had
never seen his
ancestor's land
(nor does he care!)
ran away from
a home raging with
madness and love
took to arms and
magazines, he watched
the underground
armageddon
one night, till his
dad's students ,
(not so bright ones)
fellow cadres with
death dancing in
their angelic eyes,
stole him out
of the dungeon
hid him in his
'baba's' school
warned him
how a return meant
a free-ride to
death, guilt
and ruddied nights.
Years later, he thought
he heard gun salutes
fired in the air for
the very same cadres,
not so bright ones....
Death indeed smiles
endemic
in the hamlet of
Teenhazari,
Churachandpur

Sharma smiles too
disarming many
a girl, even now
he narrates how
his pious lover
could not make out
grass from nicotine.

* * *

Thangjam Shimrey
bore the brunt
of split yet equally
strong identities:
Naga and Meithei.
He dreamt
of his homeland
of yore, he carried it
on his fingertips
(casually plucking
the guitar strings)
even in his eyes
while crossing the
forest stream
charming his lovers
Back in his dingy hole
in Hyderabad
he thought of his
lover from the highlands
his promises
of the lowland
lad, which were
made only to be broken.
Diwali crackers
sent him a shiver
down the spine
as he broke down
reminiscing the hills
the dry fish
and bamboo shoot
with pork,
the vale of Shiroi-
that transluscentl lily
nascent only to his hills
and the girls with
slender waists
and dancing steps.

He tried
not to remember
the games boys
used to play
with crude grenades
whizzing past his ear
and the cold slap
of water on his skin
when older
boys tried his
manhood in the
Ukhrul's winter river.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Serenading PN?

Dear Pablo,

I know you died years before I was washed down my mothers gullet, still I could make you my own for a night, may be for days and days and cage you to my whims .

When you came pleading for love, I kept you buried in books which I fished out during tedious trips, crowded counters and empty restaurants to blend with your effervescence; my voyeurism pored over your passion and politics, the strange alleys where you watched them copulate and die in each others arms, their promises and spasms that last and die in a minute .

Only you triumphed, you had the last laugh of the final creator/ destroyer, though I had you hardbound and fastened to me to tell you that it was you who painted the moon for me .
Yes, Pablo, sentimentalism is my forte
shall I rant more, almost in your lines?

For instance, I wear for the world
a pedicured soul
sometimes I wake up at night
to find its time to write something
or nothing at all.
in unearthly hours
after drinking life to the lees,
which often taste of guilt
and lover's tears,
night punctures the confidence
that day dons on you,
a shattered wine glass you would say.

Was it you who told me
how life tastes and
smells of the sweat of the man
who snores near you,
who etched pencil strokes of love
soon to be erased by time?

In fact, there is absolutely no
violence in normalcy
no pain, no grinding teeth, just
a stupor that lulls,
an ignominy that stays like a nag,
only at times do we tout a single line
of verse , a dead neonate
on sleepless ,
endless nights....

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

One day in the Life of Madame Marinowitch

Ah! Brave New world
Of centralized air conditions, PPPs, director meetings coated with the soggy taste of biscuits, washed down with tea scalding my tongue.
Endless discussions on syllabus, optics, combustion, spectroscopy, vector spaces
Gobbledegooks
godknowswhatbullshit!

Ringa ringa roses
Pocket full of poses
Husha busha
We all fall down

The violence rhyming right from our childhood in London bridges falling down and Jack breaking his crown and Jill tumbling after, taken to lecturehalls ( to podiums, our spaces of revenge and spite) teaching the art of articulation, grooming students like race horses, policing, reining, hoodwinking them to phatic dialogues and other hypocritical niceties of life. ie;
how to smile and smile and be a villain

Then we etch their life on a graph with a curve, with a standard deviation
Hoping not to turn them deviant


mind is like clay
Mould! Mould! Mould!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

British Library is Closing Down

we left our books
uncared for
in our courtyard
to die termite-ridden
in tropical rain and shine

* * * *
I visited
the graveyard
mourned by generations
fed on books, cassettes
journals and all
those bracers of knowledge
which slowly graduated
to CDs, e books,
trapped in I-Pods
and gismos of nano technology
to cater to TOEFL, BEC
abbrevations that would
bring success overseas.

BRITISH LIBRARY IS CLOSING DOWN

Empire's last attempt
to erase a emory
so embarrassing
from small towns that
nurture, whitewash
and 'maintain' colonial hangovers
small towns that dreamt of the Raj
a White man on a
saddle and stirrup
the staccato cadence of horse-
hooves disappearing on
padded boulevaards

BRITISH LIBRARY IS CLOSING DOWN

Now, when we remember just
the visuals and muffles hidden in books
caught up on saturdays
and evenings on weekdays
intellectual dates with books
have also ended with a whine
with e media on our finger tips
Print shipped away to
shores of London matters
less and less,
though a few dissent.
Bibliophiles are numbered
like black strands on
an octogenarian's head!!


This is the way an empire ends
This is the way the empire ends
This is the way empire ends
'Not with a bang but a whimper!'

Friday, January 04, 2008

Anglers in Simsang


Limbs, arms, the eyes that spot,
cast nets with a crinkle and frown.
A swish, a wave
enmesh emerald green
with hungry arms;
They row and seek
catch a single fish with a million baits.
Sweat fondles river...











Photograph by Seema K K

By the River of Simsang: Meghalaya


Braided by night;
side locks lapping her banks
Simsang hummed a tune
to my catamaran dreams
hemmed in by wind's eerie howl.
With stony, chalk-pebbled eyes,
I, an old man, voyeur*,
watched her day and night
* for Darwin A. Sangma, who is the caretaker of the river near Siju Caves in Meghalaya
(Photograph by Seema K K)

To Lao Tzu: An Apology for being a Traveller

no fixéd plans
no intentions to arrive
yet, a traveller
writer of verses
springing
from a superficial self
words
jerk out in an tongue
strange to me.
words paint
confusions of mind
no fixéd tracks
paths winding
into the labyrinths
of mind’s irresolutions
no pearls of wisdom
just letters, meaningless
scored on paper
living to tell
the pain of being.

You tell me, my love
that my eyes wander
my tongue skirts taunts
how do I match you?
your queries
don’t have my answers.
You echo me!

Epiphanies in the Train, Train(ed?) Truths?

yawns
aching hearts
incessant
droll of chaiwallahs
puddles in paddy fields
echo the sky
shadows on still-water.
etch and wash
on nature’s canvas

I live a surreal dream
In the moving train.

our silence
discomfort
buried deep
in the books we read
dangling conversation…
landscapes pass
unscanned from
the window sill
mangled men
line up for a coin or two
eunuchs cat walked in pairs
as men scrambled
to their dens
and train closets.

you kept your
eyes away from me
I tried to read
with mine
glued on you!

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

mea culpa

the way you stab me
then leave me at the mercy
of the waves
lapping on my toes
spraying my brows with
tears, and salt
i deserve it love, mea culpa
the love hate you feel for me
are like the dark circles
around my once beautiful eyes
beauty veiled with
decay's shroud

booking counters
reservations
black tiles lined gray
a barking woman
with a computer
endless travels
seasoning my flesh
pickled in trains and trucks
i take this violence
with a tenacity
with a wisdom:
pound me with semen
or emotions, its all the same
i wear gold bangles
after five years
and look at you with desire...


mea culpa i was born
mea culpa i belonged to you
mea culpa for the promises sugar-coated with desire's edge
mea culpa for the instincts mistaken as love
mea culpa for being the Jekyll-Hyde i have torn myself
mea culpa for the lonliness, sighs, wanderings of the mind, insipid dreams, desires
mea culpa for moments of sincerity for the tears for passion never disguised



but remember
we forgot
our drowsing dawns
woven by a whisper
a touch
your warm skin
sheathing mine
our pounding hearts
your passion reaching out
to be redressed by
my desires shell

mea culpa for memories and cloying fidelity....

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