A Ship Called Pandemonium

I keep borrowing the next second

when all I can afford is the present

You keep forcing your rhetoric

while I fake attention, stoic.

 

Do you listen to your own advice

Of monsters and mice

painting dreams with lies

staring death down with glass eyes

 

Ants can love too you know

microscopic intimacy

minuscule proclamations

lilliputian wedding bells

 

The snake, it hisses

Life is more afraid of you

than you are of it

the snake, it kisses

 

Beech wood, teak wood

anything but driftwood

I can build a sail

but will you tax me for the wind

 

I’ll row till I’m through

far away from you

far away from a maddening

world, a saddening sight.

 

Sail your ship

they said

but always into the tide

to be swept to death

is martyrdom

they said.

 

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Evolution of an Ailment

Like how some scents stick in your memory

because they remind and some because they erase

Some gestures just echo sentiment

while the limbs move to appease and reject

A constant surge of emotions like an unending

car crash with you as the windshield

Here comes plunging the plenitude of our existence

into the silent platitude of nothingness

If you can set the arteries of my city on fire

then why not the veins of Asgard with desire

I can only tell you what the constraints

of your morality will allow me to

I can only hope for the cure to lie

within your jurisdiction, for this ailment.

 

 

Sound of Sin

Sinner I am
For chasing your smile
for riding away
to dance in the darkness
I was a silhouette
you were a heartbreak
all I saw was the night sky
stars peppered it
you embodied it
you were a tightrope
I couldn’t find my balance on
I slipped and swayed
but you held me
with your voice
then let me fall
and when you told me
you’ll be leaving
I didn’t think
you’d be going
so I woke up
to my own reticence
embittered by longing
emboldened by loving
I woke up
to find you losing
your golden dreams
your twisted sins
Now I’ve learned
to avoid the chase
but when I knew you
it was never a choice.

In memory of

Could we trade the next gush of wind for your soul’s return

could we end all sorrow with your laughter

could we go back to the beginning

to when forgetting was a passage

forged from brighter memories.

Can tomorrow take her back to you

can you wish upon the next shooting star

from the bed of roses you lie on

wish for just one more day

just a few more minutes

for her to tell you.

I was absent in my presence

expecting assured tomorrows

I ran away as soon as I heard

I had to use the night’s darkness

shroud myself from the guilt, numb

I didn’t feel pain , just emptiness

just a void where snatches

of our conversations

of conversations about you

spiraled, hurled through my continuum.

I drowned it in the sound of the sea

the vastness of the sky

the grains of sand

each one stuck to me

like the words you never heard

the love you never had.

She’s broken but strong

she deserved to know

who they were, what they’ve done

maybe in a parallel universe

she knows and it’s all okay

and there’s no coffin

and no tears

no silence

and no fears

Maybe one day she’ll know

and when she does

I’ll be there, kuku

I promise you.

Silence

Do you know how loud it is
the sound of silence
it deafens and drowns
each passing sound
seconds into minutes
flowing into my aging river
where you drown in my silence

I’m not unable to hear
I just hear the quiet
louder than you ever could
louder than I wish I would

You write down words
to tell me that a bell should ‘clang’
and a plucked string
should sound like the letters ‘ting’
You feel only certain frequencies
but I’m the ‘specially abled’

For me a bell can go ‘plop’
and a guitar can sound like
a warm cup of coffee
our mother’s sobs would sound
like a crumbling phoenix
that rises from its ashes
when she smiles

I could tell you
the hands of a clock
don’t tick, they sound
like my heartbeat
I could tell you
that our father’s laugh
sounds like Orion’s belt
on a clear night sky
I could tell you
if I knew how

You hear sounds
I hear silence
You hear noise
I hear quiet
You hear colours
I hear the canvas
You hear matter
I hear space
You hear riot
I hear peace
You hear me
I hear me

Sometimes my ears
hey lift their veils
and they listen to you
and the universe
they tell me you sound
like a honeybee
buzzing, prancing
from flower to flower
finally settling
in my arms

I make you scream
and touch your neck
I make you laugh
and hold your cheeks
Now I understand
the resonance of joy and pain
the vibrations of you vocal chord
how they should have been
reflected in my ears

I’m your Beethoven
your musician gone deaf
your artist gone blind
you imagination gone wild

When you sing, I hear you
I see your every inflexion
I feel your crescendos
I notice every note you hold

They pity me
that I will spend
my existence
in quietitude
these fools who fear
death and the unknown
But I shall exit
just as quietly as I came
because one of my
senses transitioned
a long time before
the rest of me
was ready.

Blood On My Hands

Do you see her writhing in pain, slithering like a slippery noodle twisting through chopsticks, fingers outstretched one second, curled up, knuckles red, the next?

“No fever? See a doctor, drink more water”

Water made her throat run drier, she could imagine its walls like the floor of an arid, cracked desert that’s long gone, no flood or prophetic Moses could heal it now, for the sun would take away what was given in a second, leaving behind a thirst that would stick to the roof of her mouth like the plastic feeling of dried up glue on a child’s finger.

“Blood in your phlegm? See a doctor, drink more water”

Blood is not news to a woman; blood is a ritual. Blood is the alarm bell that goes off to remind her twelve times a year that she is, still, a woman. Her indifference was a constant, to nosebleeds and coughed up blood, both painless, both signs that the veins that sewed our flesh together are not the work of the finest tailor.

“Headaches, exhaustion? See a doctor, drink more water”

Throbbing, like the first night, except this time there was no pleasure involved, it was everywhere but there, there was no duty-free guilt and no stupid giggle to end the pain. Her head throbbed, her arms ached while her legs went limp in protest and her chest was drafting a letter of resignation. White flags everywhere, strewn all over the bed, crumpled tissues filled with the inheritance of her times.

“Still alive? See a doctor, drink more water”

Not dead yet, beyond it without having passed it. A convenient bubble of nonchalance that excused her from having to care about the living, they were alive enough to care and to protest those who didn’t. She didn’t know when to bring her bubble down, she didn’t know where reality ended and her feelings began, where pain flowed into life and stirred the waters of victimhood. All her smiles were subterfuge, all her screams only rehearsed echoes.

The doctor gave her water and a strange white pill.  She lies crumpled under a bed of rust coloured leaves but they say she’s happy now.

 

Undone

Come undone for me
Don’t tell me that you sing
sing me your loudest secrets
your softest pieces

Come undone for me
Don’t tell me that you dance
dance me your stories
dance them one by one

Come undone for me
Don’t tell me that you paint
paint me your mind’s sunrise
and your heart’s sunset

Come undone for me
Don’t tell me that you cook
cook me your fondest memories
your mother’s best, your father’s first

Come undone for me
Don’t tell me that you think
tell me things that make me think
tell me riddles, put my mind in a maze

Come undone for me
Don’t tell me that you sin
Rid me of my qualms
Rip me apart and sway me

Come undone for me
as I undo
the threads
of my soul