Poems

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)”

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Gardening 


How do I find time?

I left it under the potted plant

Where my neighbor bends upon to smell a flower

And asks me about the full moon. 

He says 

There is glory in the gardens of the others

But here, the slugs ate away all the bloom

And made it seven words shorter

From a love poem

You were willing to write. 

I fight the winds

And grasp his hand

I tell him, I am a gardener of words

–Often other than the unkempt personal pronouns–

I collate 

A bag of off-shoots

Till they look like they have eaten time 

Over which my neighbor once bent upon, sorry,

Right before I unmade him

And went to sleep. 

Image source: hiveminer

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Plate 16. The First Book of Urizen. William Blake

There is a death star

Dramatic in its capital transition

Which rises above my head

Eating my dreams

Of absurd

For the normality of traffic jams

And toothpaste advertisements

 

Imagine if all your favourite poetry

Were to be turned into

A brute of straightjacketed

jaw-aching ‘normal’

sound of the second-hand;

Time without seasons

and sleep without dreams.

 

Of smothering of the consciousness

In the sweaty palms of

Fabric conditioners and slime coloured detergents

That surely leave no stain

And are optimum for steel utensils.

From the naive poet

The Painter’s Daughters Chasing a Butterfly (c1756) by Thomas Gainsborough

I think of the times

When I was a child

I wrote with crooked pencils

To a merciful little girl with a pink umbrella

 

Of what I wrote first

I wrote of gratitude,

Surrounded by the dark cushioning skies

That ate mirrors

To an affect—

That only people who could trace

 the shape that was my shoulders

Told me of the true prophecies 

that I made.

 

Cassandra hung up by her legs;

An underworld

Of imagination

Untouched by the ears of ‘career men’,

I wrote,

till they inflicted me

With an ambition of

Turning wine into water.

The Imposter Syndrome

The Equation of Desire. Martin Soto Climent. Mousse Publishing.

He would always sit ahead of us

In his citric orange T-shirt

Sultry

Against the abandoned air-conditioned classrooms

Made by the Japanese and

Maintained by the miniature birds,

Who often get trapped in lecture-hall limbos.

 

I cannot write him

He’s a plant that does not germinate

Into wishful thinking

Of infatuated hearts, struck by poverty

Of lack.

A lack that begins to define you,

Your illegitimate parent.

 

But here’s a trick, 

Chance a find

you have to look.

Glance upon his quivery brow

Or

the rickety case of criss-crossed legs

That dares to announce

—If just for a second—

The same lack as you

And your

Out-of-the-league desires. 

Northern Winds

Jakub Schikaneder’s Snow (Twilight in Winter) 1899

Then

happened a soft autumn day

where I let my untamed foot fall

off the silk edge of my ordinary bed,

to let it fight with the tarnished wooden door

hunch-backed by a snoring inverter

when past the dust-coughing jail-skins,

there came a ruffle from the

dark of tall surmounting trees

necromanced

nodding outside,

breathing on my ankles,

in all oddity of the oncoming winter.

 

Then I had dug under the culture’s paws

Asked them, of what of the Winter gloom—

That gentleman

So languid upon my prickling skin,

In me,

He had protected life.

 

 

Now

There rests a diabolical caress

Of sandpaper bed-sheets

Till my feet are sore

From the coaling livers of the winter-verse.

Oh, to look for light switches in the dreadful dead-dark,

Paranoid chants that the curtains must not move—

All my sacred pathos intruded

Into the

Red demonstration of corpse-like darkness.

 

Do the old—as the Laker Poet once cried—must only lament what can no longer be felt?

 

Again

In my heart, I invite

The night

I had shut down my famished words

Again, a prayer

To be fertilized with meaning, I ink

I conjure up my sprite:

In the hearth of a breathing cold

The tepid haunt of a sea nymph

Misplaced

Upon one changing breeze of the earth

Colluding with mist,

Into a body of unknown

That I uncloak, even though I am dressed

In great perspiration

I try

Once again

to reclaim the night.

 

Author Notes

I had an epiphany just now. I actually had a dream about different models of ceiling fans today–funny that I must write a poem dictated by the winds.

‘Something watches and stirs in the dark, it is alive.’

Monochrome Ariel


Mare Zebras in floral rain-coats 

flood past Sir Ladyfinger’s ship.
I had never seen so many stripes

Hunkering past the local skirt-shop.

And so my shoes garbled out few vowels to

The ocean-bed,

Hot with pregnancy

Of neither pink nor blue.
 In life

I chewed on sea-apples and grew up an Eve.

Started tying serpents on my neck for boardroom-meetings.

Lended my fingernails

 to a knight upon a sea-horse–

off to the colour-bind land

I went

to wear frolicking babies; 

one on the basin

The other on the stove.

 

Until a mismatched rainbow hatched the monochrome ground

From where I broke

Sea-water

To birth myself again

Again 

In collage. 

In Time


The moment I was clothed in sheep-wool

And put out to bah with crowded language,

I strayed, I strayed

I dug the graves the vultures had ploughed

And made a song to amuse

The charade called joker-faced destiny

 

Marx said you are too good

In markets to run, all the stable boy parades

We ran, we ran

Inspecting the pulps found in the tomato cans

So exotic and bloody, if that be true

We thought we had seen the very last of you.

 

It is a love letter to a reluctant lover

I pray, I pray

Listening through the metallic walls

Into absence

Of history, time and space.

The mangrove older and taller than us all, 

Has never and will never say.