The atoms of air
like Uber on a busy day
agitated by uncomfortable heat.
My atoms do not respond
to stimuli in the same way
They have been conditioned,
nurtured to resist, to find
Or you may just say
I have been bowing too long
over an unharvested field
leased out to me for an eternity
to understand when it’s
to believe I could
actually lift my head up
not in expectation,
but with an intent to reclaim
what is mine.
My promised land is not mentioned
in the book,
it’s someone else’s.
I have been dragged
so far out I can’t tell the Star
from the Moon.
Maybe I could name my own
and sail towards it
on the freedom-possessed wind
that rises in my heart.
Mountains mirror my monologues
off the cold, rugged hide
tangle brazenly with the thread
The effort that goes into the untangling
is what really simulates the adventure
A mosquito lies
dead inside a book
I religiously once read
three rows of letters
out in the middle
the red halo
enshrines the body
now on a shelf
the blood smells yellow
around the spot open
a trail of burrows
frequented by pilgrims
the anatomy of the burrows
How thorough the silverfish were!
At night we wander off
To the sea
Beyond the horizon
We wake up
With sands in our eyes
battered and bruised,
used and abused,
deemed as spoils of cultural wars,
donned as pride,
skinned as hide,
held as armour,
pierced as sword (for nothing leaves a more lasting wound),
hugged as identity,
kissed as sorrow,
dreamt as tomorrow –
down the fine mesh
of lives and worlds before you,
to get to you
with hope and a twinkling desire
to be lead
to a place they’ve never been to before
What have we got here?
I see, a quiet, cold night
out of December’s deep freezer,
finely ground desires, cold water
sourced directly from the shore
of doused hopes, a sprinkle of
native sadness, a ginger of a brazen self.
Just let the mix simmer to some sad synth rhythm
and there you have it –
soup for the sentimental soul
Another day, another invitation to lose my way,
But I won’t; I think I know where my heart is.
It gulps in something alien on this loveless shore.
Until it’s high tide, stranded is what my heart is.
I would’ve banished your memories if it weren’t
For the feelings – a graceful host my heart is.
They say I’ll grow wise with every heartbreak.
Really? They don’t know what a fool my heart is.
We could look for the Man of the Book in the Library,
In case you wonder how romantic my heart is.
[Raat ek sailaab layi, hum doob gaye
Phir lehron mein behti ek khwaab ayi
Sahare tinke ke is chhor hum jaage]
I drowned in the deluge last night
And woke up to a warm morning
Might have drifted ashore on a dream
I wish I could come to terms with loneliness
carry it as a scar, a shield, a weapon, an opium-filled pouch
I wish I could learn the art of sophistication
Refine my loneliness and call it solitude
I wish our two loneliness(es) were not so different, I wish
We could share it, like history, fate, the human condition
a city wakes diffused
week two at cluttered quarters
desert under my
my water bottle an erect palm
We own no cooler no AC
instead our doors remain open
we receive among others
tap of sunlight
smudged horizon in 3.5 x 6.5 frame
call of duty
glimpses of tomorrows and yesterdays hongsangsoo-esque in their playfulness
cue for indifferent / friendly tea
smell of night-soaked underwears on the balcony
call of duty
and of course dead skin of the city
settles over utensils shoes chairs
and is wiped
settles for window panes
magazines dictionaries my oxford
fiction and poems
like dust on poems
dust at traffic intersection
under a red moon
sleepy sands in yous eyes
a different city