100 poems/52 weeks challenge’ 2018


Image Credits: Grahan by Pulkit Kamal 

In the city of heart,
cold weather like an honest storm,
wrenching your face like
an old lady rowing a boat full of
people peopled by
forlorn eyes.

An irritant in the eye
and a knife in the navel
the curtains on the window
and dust in the mouth of the dead,
land, oh land, you Eliot’s maze.

To be doomed upon the platter of friends;
As soon as the starving ghosts sat to eat in the graveyard,
their food turned into the stones of sea,
my food, a pen.
Hunger is endless.

Another cold day of May,
a tree oiled by the witch under the Peepal
like a girl possessed by the devil,
and I am sleeping,
but not “sleeping”,
I simply can’t open my eyes.

But sometimes an odd spark in the wind,
brims me up
burns the fallow lands of my mirthless men
and for a moment,
just for a moment,
I can remember again.

Memory is a pill
One must take every night before bed.


A pinch of stars

The words called me

I rinsed them with the left-over repression

And wondered if the sneeze she let out

Was a symphony of sympathy

For me?


I said god bless you

For he had ruined me

When I thought my heart, my love

Was made tender through a suspicion of affection.


‘Suspicion of affection’ are ghosts

That make you believe in unnatural things like:

Mother who loves her child

Father who sings lullabies

And a dire Jupiter pregnant with life.


Things turn upon themselves

And worlds are all upside down.

I fetishise one smile then,

When its tongue is smothered by suspicion of affection,

I let him caress me, indifferently,

If only to let the warmth out.


Picture credits: Laura Makabresku : “self-portrait with my dear Husband (Kraków, 2015)”

The becoming

As wilted as you are,

It splatters

On the walls and look–


there is so much gore

and still

there is so much more.


I had to order a drilling machine

Or else the music will fall in the pits

of my seismic mind,

Is this what a stroke feels like?

The applause of losing sense

When you break

You break,

The blunt ends of reality

As the horizon folds and assemble around your forehead

There is finally a permanence in the clouds; says:

there she treads unfed


Into the oblivion.


I hear the never-saying so much

I became them.


The trees, the ice sitting in my refrigerator and a sullen end of my toe,

I throb

But I say no more.

Sea songs

Art: Arnold Böcklin, Villa am Meer

In a sea

Larking in Lurking

Melancholia—my sea song

So many subtle screeches

Pluck the weeds out of my hair

I have to be somewhere else

A place with no-one else

Perhaps under the sea

I no longer want to be me


I put a hand inside my lungs

Give it a saviour plunge

Let the sorrow leak

Death is a water-imagery


Why one must cry, if they should?

To whom they must cry, if indeed they should?

When I cry to a star

The stars don’t see me

They have eyes for million other babies


Sucking sweat

Bloody hands and a homeless bed


So I said

So I sung

Like the letter ‘S’

I’m an unfinished



Only sea must–

if it should

Only sea must–

if it could


dissolve me.