Thursday, August 10, 2017

Bookmark

"I felt Tamara shrinking inside me. 'You're full of anger,' she said. 'I'm full of yearning' I thought. 'Can't you see? I have a toxic case of yearning"

- 'A Horse Walks Into A Bar', David Grossman.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Left unsaid

"We never go places,
I want to see things!",
she said, wincing -
petulantly - like a child
biting into a raw mango.

I thought of the early
morning voyage we
took, south of your navel,
and of navigating my
way to your lips through
the commotion of
disheveled, undone hair.

I thought of the view -
you perched upright on a
white pillow, and the setting
sun casting aspersions all
the way down to your waist -
and of how the high tide
rumbled and then dissipated
anxiously, at the sight of you
carelessly unclasping your dress.

"Can we please go see things
now?", and we did, but I
never told you that your
smells and sighs, contours
and moans; the crevices
of your body, and the
corners of  your soul,
were more novel and more
charming, to me, than all
of the places in this world.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Possession -

they say -
is 9/10ths of the law.

I now possess, a trinket
of yours,
that he gave you
before our time.

Abandoned amidst
gas receipts and
tobacco leaves,
sunken to the bottom
of my sack -
like treasure mauled
by a pirate ship.

Possession is 9/10ths
of the law, they say,
but I don't buy it.

In this pot roast
of love,
Besieged by the transitive
properties
of ownership and
affection,
I now possess what
he bought and
you own.



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Bookmark

“I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famous poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Europe and Africa and South America, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and offbeat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyond and above these figs were many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.”
-The Bell Jar, Sylvia Plath

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Swept

When we say I
miss you what
we mean is I’m
filled with
dread. At night
alone going
to bed is
like lying down
in a wave. Total
absence of light.
Swept away to
gone.

By Hayden Carruth.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Lessons in dignity

Every few months I find myself at odds with who I thought I was a few months ago.

In varied and colorful terms, a host of people I consider fairly intelligent have used several comparisons to tell me that they think that I have an obvious and glaring flaw: I am a fat-head. The reason that this comes right after the declaration of my ever-changing nature is that this is the one thing that has remained constant in my friendly neighborhood psych eval.

You know that charming young man who becomes a drunk brute by the end of the party, when the bar closes? In a real bar, thanks to my mountainous genes, I am never that person (or haven't been since I graduated from St. Someone's College of Blender's Pride). But in the bar of life (I just really wanted to start a sentence like that), I am growing into that person. The unruly slob who accidentally knocks over a gorgeous scotch glass with a thick camelot and looks dumbly at the broken glass, with a ketchup-smeared white shirt, incapable of picking up the pieces.

Enter girl. The archangel of constructive criticism. The patron saint of affirmative action. The scourge of whiners. The defender of all that is good in what we belittle as mainstream. The anti-fat head that the legend would have us believe.

 The problem with normality is that, for most people who read fantasy literature and watch Mafia movies, it isn't aspirational. Unless you attach something to it. A fat paycheque. Two kids. A fat paycheque and two kids. Or if you're really lucky, you find someone gorgeous and petite, with curly hair and a full mouth, who assures you that normality doesn't necessarily mean a resignation from a spirited definition of life. Someone who allows you to do multiple philosophical somersaults so you can reach the conclusion that there isn't really anything troubling you besides the fact that Middle Earth is not really a place and you can't be the Godfather when you grow up. Someone who allows you to create enough of a mess, to want to clean it up. Someone who knows when its time to leave the party; someone who knows to book a cab before-hand and understands the importance of changing clothes and brushing teeth before 'passing out'.

I eat carbohydrate-rich finger food before I drink now, use paper napkins, maintain a regular supply of mouthwash at home and only dance till the music stops.

I have always known how to make an entry. I want to thank you for being the only person I've ever known who taught me a thing or two about how to make a dignified exit.

 My secluded,ever-derisory (limited) intelligence bows humbly to you.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

All grown up

I've recently begun to understand the structure of the process that people call 'growing up'. It's quite simple. The vitriolic resistance for your shortcomings is replaced by a smug delight sauteed in their familiarity. Your vices are glorified, projected on a slick high definition screen of moral ambiguity. And all that you ever held as outdated and moribund becomes inheritance. Family feuds, food preferences, social beliefs and Fareeda Khanum ghazals. Amelia Airheart said she flew because 'it released her mind from the tyranny of petty things'. With all due respect to her passion, it's why any of us work. To grow up. To re-prioritize so as to label 'comfort' as 'no.1'. Comfort has the capability of killing off the strongest of passions. Put money and sex in one basket and love and tedious hardwork in the other, and you'll see basket 'a' knock basket 'b' out of the park. The whole point of working is to lose sight of what is important so as to resent your life when it's beyond the point of redemption. It's part of a larger process called 'death'. Ash ridden, liquor soaked evenings of little relevance become anchors of a ship sailing to a place that no one wants to go to. And you even find a woman to love and a house to live in along the way. And you find joy in little things. And when you lie down in bed alone listening the magical concept of music put to poetry (ghazals) you wonder what makes you happy. What you want to do. What you want to be. You wonder what you want from life. You wonder where you came from, where you came to and where you want to go. And the only real answer that comes back to you is your annual tax liability. Growing up isn't anything like it should be. It is a self indulgent moment where you pride yourself on saving money on grocery by buying the family pack of maggie. It has ironed clothes and corporate cards instead of the grand illusion. Growing up is cowering, depending and losing and being ok with it. Growing up is folding a handkerchief with a dexterity that was up till now absent from your sleeves. As Eliot put it: "This is the way the world ends: Not with a bang but a whimper"