Saturday, October 13, 2007

All the things you don't know

this being my humble attempt at writing juvenile, schoolgirl emo poetry.


You don't know, I've been
playing with knives here. You
don't know. A game I keep
on repeating, impro-
vising, building on and on in different
words and moves, trying
to reach the bone
marrow, so it hurts; and I still
can't feel my insides throb
against the blue blade
in response.

In the car beneath your window
I've been choosing my men - some
with their fingers long, like music,
a few with eyes like deception,
some of them like shamans, raising
the dead with their words; crawling,
aching to touch.
The charade tires me sometimes.
In the car beneath your
window, I sit and watch
your mother, your baby
brother who smiles like you, slow,
infectious like poison, he dares, and I
despise his guts. In this car
beneath your window, I've been
waiting for you to come pull the blinds,
on a powercut evening so you can see
the sky behind me is purple. On a power-
cut evening, a candle in your
hands, your eyes flickering light. Your eyes
like deserted streets, like the dirt
in your soul, the fertile
dirt I want to mix into my
body and become
flowers, trees.

When these books these bars this Friday
night music fail, I've been
keeping my eye on you, swinging
your way down the corridor
the sun right behind your head, your hair
wild, flying, your body
like wildflower-
beds, you become the fuckin' Saviour - the boy
with the red guitar.

And you don't know, I've been hallu-
cinating nights here, entire nights
of writing mad poetry to you. You don't
know, boy-child, protected, adored,
that I walk through the shadows at
dusk, streaking them violent
blue, waiting for storm.
You don't know.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

(Too chaotic to have a title)

You live like a song inside my head.
All loves are not meant for eternity - I have
lived you, I have inhaled you like
poison till you were nothing but music
and sin.

Goodbyes are harder. I don't want to
hold your hand to the airport, kiss
you off to other people's dreams. I
will steal you away to the untamed heart
of the Bundelkhand, to the red stone
ruins of primitive temples, I will
mix you with earth and ash till your body
blazes like the midland sun.
I will chant your name to the rocks
and thorny crags, till you
are a nascent god.

But now, I have returned
to the town I was born, to the dead
end of the street, the decrepit
house of my parents, the familiar stench
of whiskey and clutter and tuberose and
no love. My days are spent
like a stale newspaper. On wasted, hungover
mornings, I am a caged animal
in pain, when the circus
tents are pulled down. Blinded by thirst, I claw
and claw through this numbness, till
my whole consciousness is only
the bass of your voice, the universe
folds itself into the shape of your
tongue, your words my only

I don't even hear the words. It's your
voice that fills my fevered brain
and lulls me to sleep.

I tremble.

I cannot remember how far behind
I lost you, how long ago. These midnights
frighten me. Hold me against
your chest till these hallu-
cinations pass, hush me when my frenzied
words break into terror, terror, I can
take no more. Whisper your name in my
ears, until
faith is reborn.

like a song inside my head.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Notes from another city

written, in bits and pieces, at night in a hotel room at bangalore, between the thirteenth chapter of the master and margarita. it's not entirely fiction, for i didn't make up all of it. neither is it quite faithful journalising, and it has nothing to do with literature. well i can possibly call it a letter. of the sort i used to write to people i loved, before we walked away and became cooler and forgot everything.


So let me take you down that alley. Off the ever-bustling road, the business district, away from the English-speaking cosmopolitan crowd, far from the crowd, on an afternoon of clouds and no breeze. Your mouth is red from gulping wine since the morning in the hotel room, alone, in your underwear, deliriously reciting neruda to the patch of rainsky from the window. Your throat is dry, your lips parched, you long for a stretched-out kiss to moisten your stinging tongue. So let me.

This city is very green, unexplored and green, it makes you drunk. Those cool shady patches that you discover, where you sit for hours singing, drawling lines from dylan and leonard cohen, in your drunk voice, your eyes distant like a madman. Here, you don't understand the language they speak. Yes, they will possibly answer back when you address them in the universal, formal tongue, but when they speak among themselves, all you can register is the distinct music of how the words fall, quite differently from your own mothertongue. And you adore it... it's a strange kind of freedom - this not having to hear, know, understand what you don't need to. Not running the risk of spoiling your perfect afternoon by the sudden furious urge to punch the face of the guy in the street who just passed a remark about your woman's breasts. Not experiencing that nauseating feeling of overhearing the people at the streetside shop whisper about Bong wankers as you slurp through your food. It's freedom. You love the way it tastes in your mouth, you savour it till it's intoxicating and sweet.

And so let me take you down that alley. Off the ever-bustling road, the business district, away from the English-speaking cosmopolitan crowd, far from the crowd, on an afternoon of clouds and no breeze. Let me take you down that alley, to that hidden, special book shop in the corner, down its dark, high firstfloor shelves of old musty volumes... there, under the gaze of rows of yellowed Petrarchs and Byrons and Beowulfs,

let us make love.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Lovenote to a stranger

why have you drifted so far away
from my body, the scent of your sweat
faded from my teeshirt why have you
slipped away so silent so cold beyond
the words the walls the reach
of grasping fingers the animal
thirst of blinded hours

The demons have choked in my head, the doorways
lost. The streets where your breath
swelled like the ocean wind, filling cries
of seagulls and unborn children in my head... the streets
have been devoured by mist, as if
they never were. As if you never were
the ancient god
of storms and frenzied prayers
and secret shrines; as if you never
spread the night sky around my shoulders,
your body - feverish, bright - burning like stars.
Tell me why I can't
recognize your name anymore, why your body
has become a land I have never tread - my streets
devoured by mist, as if they never were.
Why did you let me drift
so far away
that I cannot return?

For I still
nurse the ghost of you
in my mind, like a hidden madness, an
imaginary wound... so far, so
unreal that nothing
can ever touch you
no love
no tears
no blood