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Happy birthdayJust as every year, the minutes
leading to midnight were pregnant
with disappointed expectations.
Expectations that carried within them
the knowledge that nothing was going to happen.
I knew those words were coming, but
they felt empty -
just like a lame "take care".
Her intention probably wasn't empty,
but words are like that sometimes.
My "Thank you" was worse,
like a vacuum sucking in the following words,
whatever genuine thing it could've been.
DawnYou sit forlorn, mist lining your faces
Your deplorable, despicable faces -
dull promise running through them
like an unobtrusive strand of hair.
The moon melts into an angelic face,
the stars come together to mend your heart.
Bolted to your seats, tired and dazed,
the perfect sunrise.
But who will mourn your loss?
How will you relinquish your pain?
There are no authors left to
write of such fatuity anymore,
for they're all drudging to pawn off their own pain,
weeping like children, carving into tree barks,
vomiting outside cheap bars, drunk,
penning away in the hope of respite.
So go home, and change that lightbulb.
There is no real dawn.
A poet's crimeI've committed a single crime, far too many times. I hid it in my pockets till it burnt my fingers. I held it inside me, like a mother protecting her child from evil. I nursed it within me till it grew, moulded it into its best form, carved it into my veins.
One morning when I woke, my head remained drenched in a darkness saturated with cries. To have held on to a poem until it finally died, escaping my veins, my pockets, my memory. That is a crime. And I have a history of crime hiding behind my ears.
PenpalYou always write, from
a country that's too far away.
You tell me of your sins,
your relationship with your brother,
your best traits in bed.
You send me coins; I picture you
a different face on each of them.
I hold one to my chest, smell it.
May be you smell like coins. Or
freshly laundered sheets.
You send me mix tapes; I listen in the bath.
I can't read or watch insects surround street lamps,
without you tip-toeing through my head.
Do you dream of unspeakable things?
Does the sound of velcrow somehow comfort you?
Do you also watch railway tracks
converge and diverge, struck by its beauty?
These are things I want to know.
With your every letter,
my fingertips beg to find your face.
Another one, another timeThe stereo is vomiting our every song one by one.
But there is a silence, thick as custard
that tells a story of
two lovers and twenty thousand loves.
You are here with me, listening too.
Climbing on to my collar bone,
licking my earlobe and teasing my every sense,
before you settle, lodged between my ribs.
I think always, of how it would be
if we stayed close enough to touch
but not kiss,
to discover what we loved and hated
before we separated.
I wished that in the whiteness of your room,
I found a space next to you,
just by your side -
to see the world
the way you saw it.
Staring at the ceiling didn't
feel the same without you.
Still, I have no regrets.
I am more fragrant now that
I recognise myself as an entity separate from you.
I reek of my own mistakes,
and bloom alone on dew-kissed magenta mornings.
But one day, we will bloom together once again,
shaming sunflowers and shutting up glottis.
You are yours and I am mine.
One day, very soon,
I will have words to put out here,
At the balconyCups of tea brimming with
fuse with smoke-rings that
leak from our mouths.
I watch them, as they escape into the
yellowness of artificially lit skies.
MuteI made love to you one night
and came back feeling as beaten
as the bus I sat in.
I held on to the frayed seat,
the weight of remorse
bearing down on me.
Staring out the window,
I felt my fingers numb.
Hidden away like a dreadful sin,
I still wait for you.
Come, suck the sweetness out of me.
Drink me, be sated.
Today, you celebrate your anniversary;
and my weakness.
CityCity of dreams
city of profligacy.
Tall buildings loom over me like
hungry vultures over a corpse
Salty waters surge at my feet,
trying to sway me, shake me, and lose my grip.
There is no poetry here.
Words that creep out of road-side flowers
and man-made fountains
shrivel up like raisins under the sun.
Rhyme that drifts in ethereal melodies
falls flat to the ground like
birds shot dead.
People walk about like
weary robots in spurious contentment.
Sweat and grease traded with
There is no poetry here.
The days stretch on like
an ocean of waste,
too vain to be salvaged.
City of dreams,
City of make-believe,
I wish I could leave.
AspirationI visited Rajan today,
nestled merrily on the patio and
shuffling his deck of cards.
His turn had come.
He lived the life of his peers envy.
Government job, lengthy marriage
and three charming kids.
The man has everything they said.
He was happy.
Every afternoon, he sauntered onto the porch
with his dear deck of cards,
asking someone for a game or two.
His wife was by his side
with a plate of pan and
the children never tired of his
story about the May of 1969.
He laughed and beamed
with all his heart,
his toothless smile all but empty.
I smiled and chatted too,
like everyone else.
After all, little does he know that I wish
for a life so unlike his -
where clothes lie folded and
nothing ever spills.
ViolinI remember the day
you told me violins
were strung with cat gut
and that is why
you hated music
(who says that to a child?)
I followed you
all that summer.
I watched you
grow away from mother -
your whiskey held better conversations
and all she did was cry.
We'd sit cross-legged on the porch
and count the horseflies
settling on our lunch.
You would drown tadpoles
in a bucket
surprised they could not swim
and I would dream
of cherry popsicles.
And when night would gather
on the sidewalk
I'd hold my breath
until a star appeared.
Don't bother making wishes
you'd tell me -
stars are dead weight in heaven
and God has cloth ears.
My School Says I'm Worthless (sort of a rant)I'm a criminal because my values aren't their values
And I'm scum to say the least
Because I'm not on their list
Ones who have their lives set out
And drink from molten glory raining down from
School top balconies...
And I have myself left to blame for all the non-attempts
And truancies; the bleak distractions
That help me escape the inviolable test-score stares
Of disapproval that I attract from their
And they're forced to ask me 'Why?
Why are you still here?'
And I can barely say
That I'm afraid to leave.
That I know that no-one knows
Or what they want to be
But unlike those
I gave up
A while ago
And they can't tell me to my face that I'm a failure so they heavily imply
That my lacking presence
And even less impressive
Tendency for slacking off is evidence
That I am stupid and a fool and nothing more than such a waste of resources
And it's a disappointment
That I don't hold their ideals
VesselYour heart is a compass.
Broken, perhaps, but I know
It’s always searching for the North Star.
Which way will your beard point tonight?
DanielYou are vertebrae
reinforced with titanium
that does not make you the lesser -
You’ve got the weight of the world
on one shoulder
sometimes you trip because of it -
you’re still walking
and if things fused wrong
post or anterior
and if things fused out in the interior
your circuits live on
and if your thoughts get circular
or so do your moods
and your mind blanks and you forget -
you’re nervous but strong -
then I’ll remind you.
Because you give me
the backbone required
you’re my Atlas, so I lift my head,
you’re my axis, so I can face the future
because you are vertebrae
reinforced with titanium.
You’re my inner strength.
FallingFailure after failure
A life not worth living
Lost in my misery
Long gone are the good moments
I keep falling
Nothing can save me now
Gone my hopes are
Because He'sHe’s listening
Millions of them.
A flash of red
And a navy hat
No warning – now motionless
With skin turned to shadows.
Black and whiteMy hands are pressing piano keys,
black, white, white, black, white.
You are there, sitting at a distance.
Staring into the Earth, tall grass and shadows and all,
dirt waiting to get into your nails.
The sun here is always either rising or setting.
This is today and that, tomorrow.
We have no in betweens.
A Bloody, Stupid Miracle The day we’d cured the human condition was the day I put a bullet through my head and didn’t die. It was also the day I realized how scared I actually was of death, and after hours of muscle ache from holding that gauze against my open skull, after the wound closed and everything went back to normal, I had myself a good old-fashioned brainstorm. How ironic.
But when summer came, everything had fallen to shit. The air scorched my skin and parched my tongue every time I took a breath. The sun glared down on a rapidly-collapsing world, full of the undying bastard children of cruelty and misfortune. What was one to do when their cells regenerated faster than they decomposed?
My feet hit the pavement, now littered with jagged bits of glass to snap at my toes, thoroughly baked by the blazing ball of bitter disdain high overhead. Today was worse than yesterday. Though I’d often wondered the purpose of it anymore, I
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