Poetry

Groundwork 


There is benign strength 

In my poet’s legs

To keep my words

From falling off in a dishonest dance routine

Noted among people

Who even served worms 

in gourmet,

With candlelight.                               

                              

      
I pity 

the words stuck like phlegm 

in their throats

Dying in the purpose of throne-making 

for a self in state of decline,

Reciprocal to

Each bite in the name of ‘taste’.         

              
                
Then in death

There is always a radioactivity. 

The charged words bump against the glass

Like a moth or a housefly

Like a lover or a businessman 

And at last

The mind breaks with its own ambition. 

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Vanitas

Mariano Peccinetti, Mount Moon


As I must grow old 

And wilt

With the laws of gravity;

The horror is surreal

Of balding the moon off her throne

Into the sterile. 

How is that they must define us as a lack 

And in the same breath

Call the lands which could not bear the life

A null 

A void? 

So must I be

Either empty or full?

I wish I was easy as the glass. 

Automated

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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. 

Set of words 

Let me read you
 the opposite of poetry.

I pull out a letter knife 
And toy with red-lettered words
Till I no longer have a thirst for the apple juice
Or the Antarctic sky.

Whatever comes up
The blood or blues
I gulp it down with white wine
Until my feet are cold, enough for sleep,
I dream 

And then I weep in poetry. 

Ebb

 

My father sleeps at the edge of the bed adjacent to a chair. Upon that chair, there sits a man with a dark horse-shoe jawline. His collars have little lilies, scattered across the cloth in some harmony. Whenever I visit the room to take out one cold water-bottle from the fridge—cool water is the lady of the night—I see this man with his inhuman straight back, staring right at me. I freeze for a second and then look at his unblinking eyes in the shimmering yellow light of the fridge. You may ask, what is new here? If you were to sleep next to an old shoddy window; sure you’ll see the nearby tree growing out a hand in the beating wind, too.

The difference between you and me, however, is that you get under the covers and say oh, but it is the mere wind, oh, it is the mere rain. I on the other hand, invite the monsters in. I move the refrigerator door just enough to let that tall man’s eye glint in the dark as he sit like he’s been sitting there from the beginning of time. There is an art in conjuring monsters from the nothing. After all the man in my father’s chair is nothing but my dead grandmother’s handbag—not there for sentimental purposes but mostly because things move around in my house with certain amnesia. And in the society we live in, I have become interested in things.

Either people eat them up or some nook drag them down where house-objects retire and dream till their owners are left to do the same in the graves until after all, someone new develops a fancy to these ghosts. Or worst, being munched into paper mache is one way to go. If your things are you, then you better hope you’re not getting picked up for that.

I do that sometimes. I imagine the life of objects fast forward to hundred years. What if there are more survivors than just cockroaches. All these inanimate things that have a sacred river in which they all flow, sometimes caressing each other or other times, singing campfire songs with joined hands. A blue handkerchief wiping off the sweat off a red wallet. Their masters despised each other when they were alive, but here we are.

Rivers into a sea.

A plethora of dead people’s objects. Enough to keep me awake in the dark.

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.’