Friday, May 29, 2015

Somebody else

We now sit at the ends of a protrusile table
unspooling the threads of our own stories. 
Earlier, in a poetry reading we placed all our
cards on the table, showing some and 
telling some. Much noise then, as opinions 
got entangled into a spaghetti of nonsense. 
I could feel the tug as you fished me out 
with a sharp and lengthy look which lasted 
as I was reading my offering at that makeshift
altar of formless poetry. The noise drowned out  
as the poets capped their thoughts for the day 
and went home to prose. We remained though
in the afterglow before dissolving our ways in 
the madness of the rush home traffic. 
Communication these days is easy we thought.
Just a matter of buttons here and there. But,
we stuck to the golden rule: no first use policy.
Till sometime else there was something else
and we made our ways to meet somebody else. 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

The center of the universe

I know the feeling of how some people
push you away to the edge of the universe. 
Hard against the wall of time from which
nothing recovers and you can't hear yourself. 
That's a prison from which escaping is tough. 
But I reckon later, there is all else to cheer up
when a poet proclaims that he feels he is the
center of the universe. A tremendous change 
from the edge of the universe into the thick 
of things. I read along and I too am welcomed 
into this center of a universe where,
the poet is already sitting in a quiet corner 
having a drink and feeling more like 
the center of the universe. 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Into the future

When a friend asked me what it would be 
like fifty years from now, I looked askance.
Only to realize that he is a few years younger
and for him I already have my foot positioned
strategically in the door of the seeable future. 
This was sudden but also appeared gradual. 
Building up for quite sometime now, like when 
I noticed my feet were slowly turning into fins. 
The future is already happening I thought and 
avoided any reply and slept over the matter.
But my dreams somehow picked this up 
with their long fishing rods and perfect baits. 
That night, I roiled ahead into the twirl of time 
with the smoothest of techniques without a 
splash even while crossing in a rough weather. 
I am admitted after a long time in the open 
into a waiting room where everybody I knew
was present in the best of attire. They all 
had only one simple and urgent question 
to be answered: what would it be like 
fifty years from now?

Monday, May 18, 2015

Doting on an anecdote

Familial anecdotes never stop in their surge 
Indeed it is difficult even to try and purge. 
Totally unexpected about mom or dad 
And how one day we were all very sad.
The saddest thing, as someone said
is to wonder what mom would have said.
But I tend to support another torment
of wriggling out of that seminal moment. 
The shifting of gears, change of the topic
and the silence between is all very tragic. 
You broach a movie or talk about a game 
but the human chain drags you the same. 
Hands that raised cast a long shadow
Darker it appears the farther you go. 
Childhoods spread out like craft books
Crayoned in happiness as no one looks. 
The work is all laid out for the self 
as we dust the oldest memory shelf. 
The eyes search for something to linger
because every childhood is a tear bringer. 
It is difficult to grow out of this thought 
Only this far even this poem has got. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

To be not

They say one is to be loved for what one is 
and what one will be, and I totally agree. 
But I pause at the thought of being loved
for what one is not and never going to be. 
For example, I am never that clean chested
celebrity whose life is played out in the papers.
And I am never going to be the bearded Indus
man of the unicorn fame who stands his ground 
for millenniums. The virile bull still stomping its feet 
dipped in undecipherable ink. Nor will I ever be
from that line of men frozen in terracotta time. 
Also, there is no ray of chance for me to wander
into a stanza of daffodils dancing in the face
like an inescapable landscape. The oil paintings 
will never drip themselves into some other shape. 
What I am, always takes the back seat of the car 
and darts from window to window to be 
with something gone by. While what I am not
speeds ahead on a road of discontent and I feel
more unrecorded and more grandiose like someone
who is not burdened by anticipatory greatness. 
And someone who is even less than a statistic.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The next storm

There is now a respite from the black rain
and the seeds of hope sprout their leafy wings.
They lift a tree up from the dead of the battle.
It grows moats of strength in the calm that prevails
before the axes knock on its closed doors. 
The roots knife their way far into the forest;
an unseen underground battle rages on.
The sunlight is drunk like never before
and in darkness and silence
the branches grow in strength for the next storm. 

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Collected works


Sliding my hand along the spines of their 
works arraigned for my keen inspection,
I so wish these poets are dead. So that 
somebody, an arduous fan perhaps,
collects all the work and compresses it 
into a neat boxy volume, hardcover is fine,
where the poet's voice lays preserved as
a mummy of a godly king of ancient Egypt
and whispers to me when all else has drowned. 
Wishful thinking is never rewarded. 
Forget even a glance from the fate through 
its bifocals that sees the past and future
of my shallow pockets and a stuffy wallet
that is filled with stubs of unemployment. 
But for now, the price tags stay retracted
like the gears of an airplane that is ready.
Price here is an unnecessary distraction.
The forest of blurbous praise makes it 
even more worthless to a second glance. 
I read a few poems at random and judge
that this could be those befitting, nice glasses
for my new frame of mind that's been a while. 
I queue up hoping for a miraculous discount. 


The poem that opened a window on the shop floor

posed a tough Rubik's challenge at home. 
I had a Rubik's cube already dusting like an alien pod
which can suddenly dance its way into purpose.
As a pixelated smile appears on its face,
I shift my attention to the cracks on the ceiling.
The pricey metaphors troll me and the costly
simile says you are like this, oh wait, not this like that.
The overpriced and underwritten theme leaves me 
staring at a grainy mirror that showed much promise.
The luxurious rhyme appears once in a while 
sitting snugly in his private yacht, decorated with 
drinks and says "I have got it right. Have you?"
"No, I didn't" I reply, muttering about the deal. 
I have paid up my dues for the lazy afternoons 
the poet spent in a public library thinking 
about his happiness and his sadness 
and probably even making out in between 
his breaks to the coffee shop. But what's done 
is done. I see that.  And I am back now 
perched on the keyboard like a deal vulture, waiting
for an untimely event of the death of a famous poet.