Thursday, April 24, 2014

chrysanthemums in summer

cold breeze comes from far away
lights of city burn low
light of mind is cold, frozen
across the prequels & sequels
one fly burning on edge of body
three cats dead in the hunt
the shadows won't let the city be
the sparrows won't let the tigers be
that's where it all boils down to:
circle out the mirrors
smash through the mazes
build the mausoleum of time, 
brick by brick,
till it all comes crashing down

then you seek, in vain, for the crumbs,
you pull out your raw eyes 
for they have seen it all,
they have seen the sun and the moon bleed
they have seen the stars turn into demons of relentless grief
they have seen the cold, sharp space
between the blade and the wrist 

but when they saw children from lonely shores 
as they stole oranges from pockets of lovers lost in salt & sand
and sold them to the wise clown on the other side
of the river,
the god of your kindness knew
that you had to scoop them out of the listless sockets
and free them from the ghosts that scream up this mad dark storm 
each time you kneel before the haunted altars of mercy and misery

and thus, finally, you see the bridges as they burn 
and the insects as they get fatter by the hour
even Oedipus, loser, had seen them thus.

and then you move out,
hug a huge, ancient tree
and weep
for the tides shall heave 
their songs of sadness 
yet again, and the little dogs of love
shall hold Shakespeare in their tiny paws
and wag to tender tunes of Aladdin and other timid trivia
yet again.

but you know all these
even the rain does.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Phone didn't ring at 10:30 phone rang at 7:30

hands come out of head at night
the half-sunk project
of memory and medicine
because we abandon one sunset
and dart towards a million sunrises
our nostrils breed machine-fumes, electric durability
our men and women glide along the smooth, glassy surface
at times it seems as if their feet don’t touch the ground
their shadows don’t fall on river
their tigers don’t rove the wilderness and wildernesses
their tigers aren’t naked enough
their tigers will drown when the flood arrives
and dark waters rise
till there’s nothing but dark silent water.

party at the empty wagon
the drinks are strong
us gamblers, we’re ready
dreamers die and doers get bored
their medicine isn’t memory yet
their great Doc has starved to death

thus, you’re all blue, and social
and all ways are easy to take
children sit on Tree of Death
and weave the tales of world
in moments between the barrel and skin & flesh
frozen in flashes, like eternity ever were
your eyes, ah, your eyes
surprise. surprise.
(NB: The primary disease is so commonplace that it isn’t much of a disease anymore)

let’s go
where your sounds become colours
owls break free from clouds & trousers
let’s be polite as we stand in queue
waiting for the unwritten bulletin
and believe that the world has a huge head
and a pair of huge hands will come out of it
and sweep this filth away. all before the rain.
weather reports arrive from August, September,
hissing for deliverance, like birds,
choked, as they ever were,
to wake to unbelievable infinite Universe. But first, proceed,
hug your shadows and hug them tight
long is the way and tough is the fight
where the sun wears a crimson bun
the moon has robes of sleek silk
and Mama Death, she keeps her hair open
and makes certain concessions for the hopeless
and the hounded – as they eat the stars,
gouge out eyes of blind gods and eat those eyes too
and eat the pencil-marks on the edge.
Thus the meal is complete and wholesome
we wash our faces and sail ahoy
and toil hard to make cutlasses out of question marks
and behead the haters of the heart with them,
blood rises with letters of love, rises to eat
strong heads of primitive, absurd mountains in starlight
but the journey is essential –
pining, as we ever were – wet crows in cornices
to surround all seats and flying thrones with watercolour, goatmilk and new turns on old bends
reach Liberation Inn
the Innkeeper takes mercy as rent
the glasses are full. Women sing soft songs of defeat
Tiny red lamp glows on walls, hide portraits of many who died
to reach and of a few who reached to die:
in kind, golden forgetting
with holes in pockets and brain
all because the third obstacle, as we were told
shivers in green and violins
but the tellers have reached the fourth one now
but their signals do not reach here,
in this dank porthole,
where I don’t hear you,
can’t see you,
turtles turn into shadows of tigers
and tramcars turn into balloon-tailed almost-epiphanies
but some half-starved postcards, screaming for relief
sickened by friendly monsters who stand still and nod
hide their eyes from pictures of clouds and snow –
pretty enough to bring a teardrop or two forth when the engines get silent
pretty because sullen frangipani blooms
and all levees and fortresses get breached. Our children shall win one day.

There was an Emperor who proclaimed:
‘give me every brick in the world and I’ll make
a palace so big that it will have everything. everything.’
he was given every brick and more
and he got the palace built.
Unaware, the lost ship returned after 20 years
The Captain who was old and weary
saw the palace from far away. He got the cannon aimed at it
and fired the seven salvoes that remained.
And then the ship drifted far away.
The Emperor is still around
He’d hidden in a hole below the ground
he’s used to the darkness
and now to him the hole is the palace
and it has everything.
I have a map that leads straight to the hole.
the ship was never seen again.

Another king was Belshazzar. He was silent.
Much darkness was borne by light
we who have no faith, nor hope,
we who play with dead bulls, pelt stones at fiddlers on roofs
we who lack in style and permanence, attack windmills,
take love for politics and politics for love – doubted the sounds
slighted the furies, coveted the satin and the satin-dancer –
we haven’t seen hourglasses except in infrequent museums
we don’t know Belshazzar and it doesn’t matter,
we don’t know of the monstrosity that dances in soft sharp silence
when the world sleeps, of the castle that rises from the swamps that once
was a river in mad rage on sultry lonesome summernoon –
we who have created sincerity and have adapted to such & other creations,
having known to rule and be ruled, to love and be loved,
to ignore warning signals until they fall in place with the bigger blueprint –
we will step down from our pedestals now
we will hide our faces in the pillows and weep
thinking that no one can see us
thankful for invisibility, that the skies & oceans are blue with our poison
gets easier to accept this way, houses of hunger & history fill up.

certain dogs that live and die
sit behind me, aware
when it’s quite & still enough to expect prophesies
we run out of bullets and adverbs
prisoners of stone and flesh guard all ways of exist
happy judges hang upside down from moon-balloon
but their laughter hangs far away.
all in all, a bit of a catastrophe
like ink on paper,
sun on sunflower
rivers on fire
et cetera.
but the dogs are calm, they wipe their faces with soft white towels
and even share bananas with me.
their mercy makes me move
their mercy makes the world move.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Caterpillar Empress

Caterpillar Empress, she wears her jewels
And she moves in voices that haunt the city
on the other side of her mirror
There’s another mirror within
And the lonely and the blind, they look at her
when the world tucks its head within her soft belly
and weeps in fond flows of silence
She is the Caterpillar Empress
She wears a million moonstruck shoes
And I marvel at her wisdom
And I don’t seek for the volcanoes in her body.

But there’s yet another mirror
It shines blue when ghosts come out
And chain their hearts to her form
And then the vision the viewer and the viewed
find out their crypts
and become one
And maybe the world weeps a bit too
Or maybe it doesn’t
But how does that matter?

She rains her love on turtles of time
as she struts along the canvas of our hidden, empire
standing, often, between the seasons of want and rain
when eyes touch, like petals, her wisdom
the sky and earth
dancing between the nerves and mist
circled by the southern breeze
to carry her wisdom from star to star
And thus, I roam.
As these proud centuries of famine and machine
ravage the clocks and gasp, amazed
at these tiny endless quests.

Caterpillar Empress rises through time
like Venus through the waters of love
and fishes make love and birds of the heart – stabbed by the hunters
of dream and vice – they chirp a bit, or maybe they don’t
my mind is my body now
and her body is her mind
And thus, our whispers dot the humanly nights of this world.
No one knows where her palace lies
No one will hear the shrieks of the last bird when it dies
No one will see the last star blanking out.
Thus, she hides her bullets
from the monsters of kindness who adore her face and
make love to her all day and all night
till the new exodus
and civilizations of sunset as they usher
new blue rose of mind. (Whose mind?)

Meanwhile, Doctor Love, he moves from town to town
in his withered brown coat
and with his empty black suitcase
where cold centuries paint dark faces
and hot centuries paint bright faces
He’s an angel too, though no one has told him that
but when it rains on him sad music plays from the skies
because the lonely and the damned, as they
wither in prisons of gold and dust,
they cling to his coat, and the Empress knows it
too. And we all know it, though no one
has ever told us about it.

And then in another beautiful dream,
they meet and they kiss, the Doctor and the Empress
they really do
A flying saucer wheezes past the ears from other sides of windows
and flies fly in from faraway shores of twilight
carrying news from lost sailors – they say they are well
they have found a lost kingdom on the other side
and there are purple faces of green locust-men
and blue faces of red women of olive and thirst
She is a real empress now,
she takes off her sapphire ring
and puts it in a glass of blue wine
He is a real Doctor now –
he takes off his shoes
and flings out the history of the world that lay buried there thus far
A little songbird with curved maroon beaks
picks up this tune,
makes pancakes out of it
and carries them to the blind gods of machine
the haters of the heart fall silent in this hour.
They are real Haters now.

But then, rude sunlight takes you to another lost city
that lies limp by the empty sea – all gray and stunned to ceaseless silence
like broken violins by broken automobiles;
Rabbits freeze in foglight and stay frozen till forever begins & ends
the silk and honey are dead and gone:
(you know all about it –
that perfect cadence  of forsaken umbrellas on cobwebbed penthouses
the dark vines of deliria and disenchantment
that crawl up your chest to choke your throat,
and then the river she hides her aura, homeless,
to count the deaths and hopes of yearning,
there’s salt and stone-chips in your pockets now, Phlebas
you look out for your Empress, you call out for your Doctor
You stand before the stern judges of rock and lacklove –
you don’t find her there, and he’s roaming in the wild zones of ancient dusk
looking for those billion little pieces that never were
you hear that huge pink baby crying in the woods,
she’s crying because everything burns and thus everything’s false;
but you don’t see her, you see a dying cat instead
The cat has lived enough
Thus, the hunters are on prowl yet again