Cat house

i will take your home away with me,
i will lure it with morsels of dry cake,
and see it trail behind me, purring,
wagging its tail, following me places,
all of Delhi’s dirty bylanes, and bastis.
i will do it because i take what i like,
i will do it by seeing everything of your
room, and choose to never un-see it.

i will put it on my heavy thighs and pet it gently
as I sit intently listening to poetry recitations,
for hours and hours; i will steal metaphors
from the air to feed it; and catch enjambments
to make a string and tie its neck,
keep it tucked to my warm full breasts,
a feline love affair with the house of my lover.

I will also recite poems,
but those written by you,
and read them,
as if they were written for me,

i will find myself lurking like an unwanted shadow
from a lamp post on a half deserted street,
somewhere in your half-broken sentences
and awful imagery.

while something licks my chubby ankle
with desperate irony.

 

 

 

Little by little.

hit me plateaus, so I don’t have
to go in circles around you
or climb your mountainous
peaks, only to find so little
of your skin there.

hit me glaciers, so I don’t have
to frolic dizzy like a mad stream
and erode everything I run over;
you freeze me, so I take years
to melt.

hit me parts of you, so I don’t
wander at night in hunger and
nibble at clay bricks off your house;
I want to stop stealing others’
homes now.

don’t rush into me like a waterfall;
I’ll lose you in the noise of your own making;
hit me like the moon hits the face of the
earth, or the earth hits
the face of the sun,

kissing its dark corners,
every hour,
little by little.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every time you

tell your daughter
to say yes
to that she wants
to say no to,
you teach her
to confuse
her no with your yes,
which seems like a good idea
till she grows up
and forgets to say no
to all the things
she should’ve,

-From a bad daughter.

(because rupi kaur got me thinking. Also read her original poem from which this one is inspired.)

tyranny of pictures

I think that even while one may say that a picture embodies many layers of meanings open to varying interpretations, I think it is the word that rightly spills over its full stops and breaks;  it is the word that expands through its frames; it is the word that always trolls in the park with its friends clashing and rioting, quietly, pensively, meditatively; it is a word that comes to our rescue when we see a picture, and wish to tell someone how much we like it; and it breaks my heart how our words are shrinking. How we cannot just go on and on and on; how we are saying sorry too often to others and ourselves for having talked more than ‘required’, and how our backspace key gets pressed more often when we type; how hour long cultural seminars and debates at literary events at colleges like Ramjas are violently pressed together from both sides and crushed to two lines of rhyming slogans, as if those placards could explain our hurt, our anger, and teach us what we could have learned by attending the debates and discussions that could not take place.
And now WhatsApp will not allow me to ‘write’ my state of mind.

Such is cruelty.

Bring back my words.