In a sphere, in a cage
In a personal hell

Man caught within beams of light
screens slit a soul


The only door dark of sleep
Days blur a week


Memorable but indescribable
when you fever a dream


I, adrift at center
like you
and this cage spins

Sweetest Before The Rot

Strawberry is a freak among fruits – a bunch of seeds shooting from a hollow sugary crystalline center to the surface, with their tightly packed stems acting as fibrous deposits of juice. It feels like a civilized pineapple at times, and it goes bad pretty quickly. I wish for a day when humans have selectively bred strawberries to be the size of a bag of chips. Anyway, here are a few lines about my war with mold, over strawberries.

In rot I chase
the strawberries
the sweetest;
silly monkey
always seeking
sugar and puzzles.

Drunk on sweetness
crazed he writes;
my foe is rot
where mold resides,
with mold I race
for juiciest prize.

.

Relics

In a cupboard, on the third rack, lie his things in a zip-lock bag. In that bag are the objects he had always had on him. And slowly as the illness took over, these things got left behind at home, one-by-one, taken off for an x-ray visit once and never worn again. But a few were taken off of him on his last day, the bare essentials he had just used a couple of hours before the last minute. Whatever little a man can really own – a watch, spectacles, a shaving razor, a brush, a tiny book with the thousand names of Vishnu, prayer beads and some rings. Spectacles, yes, those were the last thing he would have consciously used and touched.

In a cupboard, on the third rack, lie his things in a zip-lock bag. In that bag there is a cheap gold watch, which ticked on for a while, and the quartz ran out of power a couple of months after the funeral. The family might have come close to donating it away but they couldn’t. But among these inanimate things of the dead, frozen in that day, there is something alive. The leather straps of the watch still have his smell, soaked in the salt of his work, not so easy to diffuse away. There is a fragment of his presence in this airtight bag.

In a cupboard, on the third rack, lie his things in a zip-lock bag. In that bag the essence of a man humbly outlives himself – a watch, spectacles, a shaving razor, a brush, a tiny book with the thousand names of Vishnu, prayer beads and some rings. Left as if he had just been here and would be back from them. Someday, however, these relics will be trashed or given away. For all relics are lost to time, our pains are to preserve a lingering memory – like life in a photograph, like putting things in a zip-lock bag or a tomb, preserving until there is no one left behind to remember.

Chaos: Decay

Decay

The burst of life at all levels

Brighter than a pyre

Livelier than a grave


Decay

A never ending part

Of me, as I live.

Of mine, when I die.


Decay

Feared forever

The reset of order

The reorder of me and you.


Decay

And now I am gone

Not pickled in a ditch or a jar

Away from static tombstones


Decaying

Free on the ground, under open skies

At ease with all chaos

Of life – in me, below and above.

Driftwood Polystyrene

When the oceans rise and the floodwaters come rushing into your big cities, I am optimistic that the plastic in the oceans, what we passionately unify and outrage over, will be what keeps us afloat.

I am confident that the last man alive will sail to the higher grounds on the ark he made from Starbucks straws.

Ho Gayi Peer Parvat

An attempt at translation of one of Dushyant Kumar‘s most well-recognized poems.


 

It must,

This glacial pain of the mountains

Must melt,

An outpour Gangetic,

Something pure and holy.

 

They must,

These walls, these concrete curtains

Must tremble,

Behind them we yearned

for quakes, not storms

 

It must,

In streets, alleys, cities and hamlets

Must march,

Every corpse, as the living

A dance fervorous.

 

They must,

These times

Must change,

In this influence,

My only offence.

 

But she must,

In our hearts

Must burn,

This fire

If not in mine, then in yours.