Category Archives: Poetry

Solipsism

– Dead Poet

Emptiness is all there is;
That and my consciousness.
So I fill the void with all of you,
And hope and love and loneliness.

I am the centre to everything,
The master of all creation.
And all I see and write and do,
Is but my imagination.

How do you know, what’s red for me?
For the same could be green to you.
Everything will be what I want it to be,
And never know if it’s at all true.

 

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Zen and the fidget spinner

– Loquacious Llama

i
like
my
fidget spinner.
i really do.
it’s not a
perverse
atavistic fascination
with childhood,
at least that’s what
i tell myself.
i just like it.

if you asked me
what it looked like,
i would not say
distant and dark,
like the tenderest of nights,
and there’s flashes of silver,
like the moon on the waves
lapping at the shore”
i’d just blurt out, in the most
vulgar, apathetic tones,
it’s black, really,
but that’s not important.”

if you tried still to probe
further into this fertile ground,
if you asked me, say,
what it felt like,
i would not say
supple and light,
feline almost, like the
goddess bastet herself had
slunk into your hands
when you weren’t looking.”
i would simply remark, in an
offhand way,
it was smooth and like really slick, you know,
when i first got it, but now it’s all
loose and jiggling around,
falling apart, really.”

and if you chose to
pursue your line
of incessant questioning
further still,
if you asked me, reasonably enough,
how fast it went,
i would not say
faster than
a thousand thirsty horses
galloping through the desert
in search of a well”
i would say,
and you would hear
the longing in my voice,
it’s nice and all, i mean,
does the job well and everything,
but i wish i’d gotten the next
model up, just the one
slightly better than this one,
that one, that one would have
been nice. but this one’s fine too,
really, i like this one just fine
the way it is.”

and yet, if you pressed on
with your uncomfortably familiar
queries further still,
if you asked me
if it made too much noise,
i would not say
just a little soft sound,
like the chirping of the tiniest
of sparrows, you have to
almost strain to hear it sometimes.”
i would say,
lightly pressing my temples,
it’s crazy, it’s like there’s
a whirring sound in the air
everywhere i go, even when
it’s nowhere near me
at the time.”

yes, i find it peaceful,
cheering
and,
generally speaking,
healthy.
and no, that is not
the probable autism that
dwells beneath the waves
surfacing,
i would not say to you, for instance,
some say it is salvation,
some call it nirvana,
others shangri-la, maybe
it’s just your very own personal paradise,
just yours and no one else’s,
endlessly.”
i would say,
exasperated at how difficult it is
to get a simple concept through
to you,
i just like my fidget spinner.
and that’s all there is to say about that.

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When I Move Again

— From Under The Rubble

Oh yes, I recall,
Little sparkling beads
Spread atop the skies
And a little frame underneath, lightly hopping
Rhythmically on the tiles that lay,
To the beats that set the days of infancy forever anew.

Oh yes, I recall,
That shifted frame, towering over
Those tiles that lay, no hopping just passing,
No beats, just signs, signaling and signaling and signaling

The hopper soon crawled across the lane.
For the skies didn’t change,
But still the beads got lost,
Heavier and heavier, that silly towering frame
Just forgot to look up again.
There had set mist, and then blinding fog

Just when turmoil set, the slouching frame
Caught sight of worlds yonder
As a swift flew by, swiftly alright!
‘So light, so pure, so swift’, the frame thought.
Following which, over himself, a heap he felt.
That foggy world felt distinct,
The sparkle was felt again, somewhere it was,
though still out of sight.
Laying and laying I had waited long,
It was time,
When I move again

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Untitled

– Baleful Basilisk

 

I saw a pothole

Right there! In the middle of a lonely street

Surrounded by the most beautiful scene

My heart would dare to see.

Or my nightmares allow.

It was a little dirty at the edges,

Rough, with such bravery

As decided martyrs to no purpose preach.

 

I laughed at the irony,

The pinnacle of uniformity

Was the piece of difference

And my heart broke as it felt

This might not be tolerated.

If you quite get what I mean?

 

What if that was the whole point, the pothole?

And the water splashing in the rain,

With the promise of a whole new biome

In a crack we don’t understand

So, then we were the drones,

Not able to see.

Sometimes ‘repair’ is destruction

And loss of faith belief.

 

Then, of course I had to do

Something terrible, you know?

The way I always do.

Run and jump! Like a fool.

Mother said, ‘Be careful’

But I was always crazy

Everyone said so.

 

I had a back thought,

That I would slip at its edge

Not as if it could happen

But with the quietest acceptance

That it must…

Though I could be quite the athlete

And this was hardly athletics

And I waited with the half-anticipation of a child

Who loves the first few seconds

Of a disapproving scolding,

Before the aftermath strikes

 

I was a mad fool

A chipped, unstable pawn

In a game of perfect pieces.

Allowed to survive as a variation

Just in case.

For the first time, I rationally felt

My part was still gently played.

 

And usually I fall with such control?

But this time it was on my face.

Then I was the pothole,

And for a few seconds

That would never pass

The weight of humanity

Would pass over me.

I tried to contract my lungs

And suck in water like some would gasp for air.

 

And then mother came

I just was lifted up

Through no volition of mine

And the pothole, a kindred spirit

Soon to be destroyed.

Left behind, as I went away

A walking mechanism.

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Happiness, conquered! – Sweet Summer Sweat

– Nature’s Natural

Passed three hours of the merry rain,
Scaled four miles of the woods’ embrace;
I neither winced nor shrugged at the helm,
Victor, I, rose in the hills’ praise.

The green leaves hummed in the land’s tune,
The moonlight shimmered in its bliss;
But the banal chirp in the wind,
Returned me to the old abyss.

From heavens above it ushered,
For someone’s prayers had been heard;
Twinkling speckles veiled the Magi,
Before me was glee, in the mud.

Long ago, I had made a choice,
The pursuit of it, to pursue
Love and joy in my mundane life;
For paths to happiness it knew.

Scraped the brown off the glistening box,
Cleansed with my dripping merriment;
An angelic lever turned left,
My gaping mouth, over I bent.

No rains, no woods; No waves, No hills
Shadowed the poet on his way;
Returned he to his new heaven,
Down in the dust his prized gift lay.

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Half-chub poems

– Anonymous

Je te veux

(my times with)
you remind me
of listening to Satie
and watching the sun go down;
clear, alluring, expressive notes
separated by long, achingly ponderous lulls,
silhouetted against the dying of the heavens.
and, if you will permit me
the indelicacies of one
so boisterously drunk on you
and the violent, naive joy
in being serendipitously alive
that the notes will induce,
I will confess that
I, disliking vulgar crescendos
and bombastic codas,
sometimes wonder if you too will
slowly and gently fade away from my life;
one soft note shyly vanishing into
the deepening hues of the sky
before the next, softer note can take its place,
half-remembered, half-forgotten,
until the last note lingers on in the stillness that follows,
shimmering, translucent, ephemeral,
it arrives far too early and
leaves behind far too much yearning.
and yet, it does far more justice to you,
i should hope,
than these hollow adjectives
and unnecessary nouns of mine
ever can.

Harassment (this constitutes it)

I once met this girl
who smelled like stale cigarettes
and fresh coffee
and every third person in the bus
she had, no doubt, ridden that morning,
all rolled into one.
I was new to the city
and had gotten caught in the rains,
and stood before her in the
metro station,
melting into puddles,
and she asks me, in broken Bengali-Hindi,
(Bhindi if you will)
if it really was raining that hard outside,
adding a wink.
I, not understanding the
subtleties of that
cunning linguistic gesture,
said no, it really was,
which seemed to fuddle her somewhat,
but she soon began a merry, loitering chat,
the kind only total strangers seem to have,
about her college, and her guitar-playing on
lonely moonlit nights, and her shady side-business in
gold that kept her in alcohol through the year,
you know, saccharine slop like that, and
though I was listening,
half-listening,
a half-dozing bull in the shade of a hot summer’s day,
and my eyes wandered like the flies bothered by its tail;
flitting from
head to shoulders to
extra-thick slippers to
her jeans, and peeping out,
peeping, winking, giggling,
from under her jeans,
were panties pink.

Not a sleazy black or red;
not the lacy, light pink of air-headed Disney princesses;
not the flustered hot pink of an extended adolescence;
just cotton pink;
practical, pragmatic pink;
the pink of bougainvilleas, inexpensive and easy to maintain;
the pink of two girls in class, mutually uncomfortable in English;
the pink of blushing village brides, applied with unsure, loving deliberation;
the pink of a winter sunset on a crowded beach; sweaty, breathing pink;
the pink that seems to consume all of time, and all of my thoughts;
that sort of pink.
Fun yet reasonable; impishly rebellious; wistful, sighing pink.
And though I would like to say I kept my eyes
where they were supposed to be,
that would be a little unfair to the hoary, lecherous mongrel that
snarls and dreams as it frolics on its back in the grass of the mind, quivering in pleasure, and…
but you get that, right?
Of course you do.

So then I resume talking, dripping, slurring,
using the word ‘pink’ a little too often and emphatically,
when her train arrives and she asks me
if I was heading to the memorial,
and I realize
I’ve been waiting on the wrong side all this time,
quite to my surprise and dawning sorrow,
and must bid those panties,
those petulant, passionate, pink panties,
a tear-brimming farewell, and she doesn’t
notice or mind too much,
and we part-
familiar stranger and strange familiar.
Fare thee well, pink cottons,
may you flutter ever-free.

And everything nice

She told me
that it was absurd that
she lived in a world where
she could basically subsist on sugar,
and have just mango shakes and ice cream
for dinner,
lunch,
and whenever else she liked,
and thick, syrupy candy,
before and after every class,
and misri every night, at her desk where
she sat and tried not to get distracted too often,
and bitter, dark chocolate
on special (but not rare) occasions,
just sugar, thickening her blood
and turning her hair brown.
It was absurd, she said,
that all that sugar was
placed like that
in brightly lit fridges,
and marketed and packaged to
look so good in those brightly lit fridges,
if we weren’t supposed to have any of it.
It was absurd, she said,
to be expected to resist
the steady advance of sugar,
rising over the
centuries and
untrustworthy economies.
(“and pirates’ rum is made from the same stuff too! See?”)
It was absurd, she said,
to ever deny all that sugar
to a middle generation like us
stuck in meaningless jobs,
living enchained by our own wills;
just semi-solid sugary blobs
of squandered possibilities,
destined to have no impact
whatsoever.
And it was absurd, she said,
of me not to have assumed
she’d been doing so already,
in an exercise of free will,
and for a while now, too.
(“You said I was a sweet little girl, didn’t you?”)

That night,
I saw a painted dragonfly,
white and yellow,
being carried away by
crimson ants
in oozing chunks
on the stained bathroom tiles.
I stood, mind numbed,
(by the sugar?)
and watched them all through
their drawing and quartering,
until there was
nothing left
of the silver-winged albino
apex predator
but another suspicious dark
stain on the floor.

She had been
standing on the lawn
in front of my room
when it happened,
grinding her teeth
in silent, righteous fury
because I, quite obviously, hadn’t
been listening to her.
As she ground them and
debated kicking me in the toes,
they suddenly splintered
into paper-thin shards
of sugar,
white dust clogging
her throat,
and as I watched,
her lips and eyes and hair and legs and fingernails
crystallised into sandpapery-white
sugar, and the more delicate parts
crumbled like old glassware.
We smelled her,
all of us around,
and tasted her, when she came
apart; her face frozen in inward terror,
eyes bulging;
she cracked up the middle,
and collapsed into
windblown white piles of powder
and large, sticky, yellow-white lumps.

I haven’t been able to have
anything sweet ever since.
maybe it was the dragonfly,
maybe it was the way
the mess and canteen owners
exchanged meaningful glances
on seeing it happen,
(did you have it with your coffee this morning?)
but I just couldn’t stomach the
thought anymore,
and had to quit the stuff, cold turkey,
and that’s the most absurd thing of them all!

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A Thirsty Cloud – Sweet Summer Sweat

– Nature’s Natural

Lurking behind the veil of wisdom,
Thinning himself into the damp air,
Floats high above the hills’ teeth,
A thirsty cloud.

The piercing gaze of the land
And the unsaid solemn prayers,
Rises with the heat of the below,
Relinquishing his tears.

The sun’s scythe shears at his back,
Droops down he in fatigue;
Riding alone on the cool breeze,
He smiles his way through.

It’s the shade not what they care,
His sight meets with sneers.
Thus, lurks behind the veil of wisdom,
A thirsty cloud.

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