Sunday, February 5, 2012

Poetry From Bombay - Volume 6

Every night

The city droops her sad head

Against the sea


Every night

A bit of the sea

Gets into the city’s veins.


........................................


Inamorata! Inamorata! My deadly troops are out!

Before the battle starts

Before the lights are out

Before the darkest dawn

Let us whisper once again the saddest words we know

Inamorata! My deadly troops are out.


...................................................

The sparrow turns

Into a snake

The snake is a river

The river turns into a night

The night eats into me


And now the night is inside my artery

It’s a river now

And the river gets inside my spine and nerves

It’s a snake now

And the snake gets into my me

It’s a sparrow now.


Thus, wheels turn.


Often, the sparrow chirps in anger

The snake hisses in wrath

The river pisses blood

And the night pours poison through her scented vials

That’s when i know that the wheel has lost a spoke

Or maybe a bolt

I fix it

I fool the fools

I trick the foxes

I kill the tigers

I outsmart the sharp edges


And the wheels roll again

And the sparrow is a snake again

And so on,

Till everything hits the stonewall

And the sparrow reconciles

to its cage.


..........................................................


It’s the same trick everywhere

First they teach you about the big fat dream

Then they tell you that you’re close to it

So many times

That you start believing that it’s really close to you

And then they point it out to you

Something big and tempting

And they tell you that it’s the dream

And you believe in them again

and then they give you that perfect

concoction of greed and need to drink

and they point out at everyone around you

who are drinking it, and they tell you

that if you don’t do what everyone around you are doing

there’s something so badly wrong with you

that you must be shitscared.

And thus, you are shitscared,

and almost ready to drink.


Next they bring before you those who are inside

And these those – they smile at you

Their teeth glisten like neon-fairy-whores and whatnot

And they tell you that one day

Yours will shine as bright

You believe in them and in the shine

And you drink that thing.


The next thing you see as you wake up

Is the inside of the big thing –

Its guts and its intestines

Smelling like something straight out of

The worst zombie nightmare you have ever seen

You look around the slimy dark mass

To see heads of the ones who

Had smiled. They are not smiling now

Their faces are contorted with the wisdom

Of a million years’ bondage and darkness

And their eyes are cold with refrigeration

And you are a prisoner now,

just like them, the entire bunch.

And you are too weary and too fucking trapped,

And stuck deep inside the thick pool of muck

To break free –

Just like them.

The fuckers have tricked you again.


You are born free, and that’s where it pretty much ends


.......................................................................................................


Here i am, chewing the cold beef

Once again, and

Wondering about the state of affairs

of the world.

The beer cans are empty now, rolling all over

whatever little space they have on the floor

My ashtray lies upside down on the table,

Beside the tiny timepiece – and both are

two sad and inconsequential relics of some stale revolution

reminiscing the tough old times.

As i lay half naked, sweat pouring down my back

Snot gathers on my nostrils

Moss gathers on my blood vessels

Armies gather by the gates

Sand gathers on the night

Ghosts gather by ghostfires

Babylon gathers by dreams

Air conditioned wishes curl themselves up for the next bout of orgy

Little fleas and bugs bite their little bites through my skin

I have red patches all over by now,

And i itch as i chew the last bits of the cold dry meat

Wondering about the state of affairs of the world.

Before long, i shall be fast asleep

And i will wonder about the state of affairs of the world no more.


.............................................................................................................


if all the dreams sweat yellow sands and if all the roses burn with the moontide

and if all the fairies gather by the waves and if all the insects crawl to the womb

and if time whores herself to history and if monsters carry thunder on their armpits

and if ships get wings from the butterflies and if blood freezes up by the rivers of death

and if sparrows waltz with gophers and if ivory towers hide the princesses from storms

and if the bells of doom knell out their final dong before the end begins

and etc etc

nothing will change

i’ll be here, scouring the pile of unwashed laundries strewn on the floor for that lost trouser button

you’ll be there, reading about my scouring the pile of unwashed laundries strewn on the floor for that lost trouser button on Facebook tomorrow.


That’s about the only part of me that you’ll care about and same here.

...............................................................................................

Prisons are but dislocated joints

And they lie everywhere, like we lie in coma

Before the machineguns roar, before the canons hum their love.

Prisons lie in streets and cafes, in electricity,

In the never ending rows of death and the dead,

In our false smiles, fake tears and fat sweaty arms,

Inside sad tramcars and the seven colours of dawn.

And they lie in the naked children and in their flowers.

Prisons run deeper into our roots than crime punishment or redemption

Our bootheels wear away and the sun and the moon wither away and it stops raining forever

And all flesh melts away and Santa Clauses fade out in the misty haze

And dusty cities crumble like biscuits between the teeth of a monstrous god

And newspapers burn out in their own heat

And chambermaids lose the last candlestick for their mistresses

And monkeys chip and chatter before the caves beyond National Geography

And something scary loops out from darkness

And my eyes stay gutted to my skull and my fingers stay fixed at the trigger

And sex stays trapped in the cobwebbed instincts of senility

And fatigue drips down the trees and rocks and the forests which weep in silence,

Hiding their hapless misery in their dark hood at night and everything else dies away in distance and logic and reason and duties and senses blank themselves out with the stars and boatmen who operate on river Styx call it a day and Caesar keeps on crossing his Rubicon and Ulysses looks at Ithaca with empty dry eyes and and all sorts of shit keep on happening but nevertheless,

Prisons remain –

In dots-dashes-rainbows, and everywhere in between.

And so do the guards – the same four guards, they watch you like they’re watching you writhing and wriggling in chains behind the iron bars now – their eyes do not move. Their eyes are dead.

But they are there and so are the prisons.

............................................................................................................

Radha, they missed out on her

And left her halfway through, like a masterpiece cursed to incompletion

Maybe she’s a nurse or a nun or a kindergarten teacher or a stripper or a waitress now

Or whatever. All these don’t matter.

She ends like and unfortunate incident

And she’s not meant to restart or resume

For such might impede the progression of Divinity.


Hah.


We can all safely claim to be the referee

Where god and devil play

Vying for a piece of all that starts from the flesh and goes deeper down


Radha, poor child,

She never got the chance to take her shot at neutrality

Just an abrupt end,

And folks who dabble in religion develop on her love and stuff

And intellectuals who analyse epics and stuff and give her the inevitable, infallible cold shoulder

Do their part in driving the dagger deep in.

Maybe that’s what the creator wished

A rugged, unfinished pain, and just that and nothing more.


Who knows? And, more importantly,

who cares?


...............................................................


2 comments:

The City Animal said...

Haha.

But that's not true, though.

Then again, what do I know?

Soumi said...

Wow!That made for quite a read!Disturbingly beautiful!I love reading Salman Rushdie for the same reason.