Of Bodies

// Of Bodies

Do you think that bodies are
like bended rivers, unexpected
gusts of violent desire rushing
forth from the hidden folds of
dark curves and darkening moles?
Do you clutch these moles
like you clasp the craggy edges
of a mountain, when falling in
your nightmarish vision of death?
Do you think I’m here to save you?
Do you think I will if I were?
What changed in twenty years
that a dimpled elbow transformed
from a little girl’s hand they’d hold
when she crossed the road to
the hand of a woman you need to hold?
Do you think that bodies are
cheap shimmery glass-gin potions
of magic you’d bottoms-up and forget?
Do you think I’ll allow you to forget?
Do you think I will if I could?
What changed in twenty years
that they can no longer stand the sight
of her chest which they together
made sure would never crack?
Do you think a body is a torpedo
you can arrange to explode at a distance
from you, sans the singed embers
of grief and burning smell of anger?
Do you think a body is the unfolding
of a poetic image through a meandering
meadow, slivers of your ghastly revelation,
concrete, precise, measured, revised.

Do you think I’ll reveal you?
Perhaps, I will

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curtains of desire

curt.jpgThe helm of my mother’s saree,
the waning and waxing of her skirt,
grandmother combing her grey wired
mythic tales into meaningful combinations,
pickled petticoat
discoloured with history,

the comings and the goings
the cruising along their fenced orchard,
under gulmohar sky in April’s explosive red
“breeding lilacs out of the dead land”
in December; burning memories
of deserted lovers in autumn;

anchored on the same spot
growing into a thin curtain
in rootless fluttering,
rootless suffering;

like a window
letting it come
letting it go

Chambers of history

niz.jpgAround the octagonal
Nila gumbad in Nizamuddin
I will find 8 ways to love you
That will stand the test of time
Since 1625,
On cold Christmas eve
overlooking Humayun’s Tomb
anticipating the dargah
I will love you
chipped desecrated
desperate blue
hung between history and death.
You can love me back,
Or else there’s
the ghalib street
a desolate walk away

love in the times of …

Last was September
the 18th 2016,

In a churlish desire
I found you slathered
like ideas on my
cinnamon hit
filter coffee,
refusing to go down
the dry throat until
acknowledged.
Had to whiz through
the coffee house
in SDA market
and make quick love in the loo,
used up all their tissues.
The places you chose to remember me!
It’s January now
And cold, very cold,
and silence alone
wraps itself on my tongue
frozen in uninspired immobility,
while you warm other people’s beds
who now write better poetry!

sea of change

But to never punish yourself for your inability to open your fist and throw into the sea the dismembered shells, damp mud, twisted twigs, shards of heartbroken moon, rust eaten ships that will never sail again, unresolved rhyme schemes of incomplete poems, memories so out of context that you feel you can put a frame around them and gift a stranger you’ll never call back, because we’re living in the past, all of us. There’s only one intimacy we can truly claim to have enjoyed, if at all, which is that of the past, like newborn authors, always pouring out their lives into their works, almost on the verge of writing autobiographies, almost telling everything at once; because there’s never going to be a ‘what’s next’, but only ‘I remember’

the wrath of words

39 was the number Ernst Hemmingway revised his A Farewell to Arms, and 20 will be the years between Arundhati Roy’s two novels. Words not written with the haste of a canteen manager in the wee hours of usual business day, but planted saplings, exploration of a lover’s body, the sun taking an entire day to swell and shrink. But they ask “Aren’t you published?” Such contempt for poor, blameless unpublished words? Disowned. Derided. Unwanted unproductive lot of this city’s crazy love for confirmations; giggles of the underbelly; mockers of ambitions. Perhaps, because unpublished words are not any less than premarital sex, lethally, coyly, defying (in the dark hours of lust ridden, pleasure soaked pages of secret diaries) the forces of the CONTRACT. Dark horses of the
race of a longer kind. Unpublished words are the daggers jilted lovers use to kill their murderers, a quick and clean business. Unpublished words are the fittest answer to this world’s obsession with certifying legitimacy, nobility, right to be, and an uncanny power to Kill.

But Orwell,
Could tell,
All words are equal,
But some words are more equal than others.