My Organic Romance

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I met this girl at the grocery store

while shopping for Christmas

Wrapped in cheap toilet paper

and abundance of cat food

I was sulking at the pompousness

of organic honey on the organic shelf

she asked, have you ever been happy

The question threw me off

Like a clown thrown in a court room

I grabbed the slipping toilet paper

and hid it behind packets of cigarettes

the fragility of impressions now secured,

I thought about the year’s highlights

A storm rose in the climate of my eyes

I’ve been angry, I said

The only thing that was never inspired

neither borrowed nor stolen

From books or lovers or abusive mothers

Happiness is dull, like my father’s shampoo

Safe, unassuming, clinical in it’s purpose

I could feel her burning stare

The kind of look that makes you feel

Like drowning in the whirlpool of a woman’s body

or atleast trying organic honey

But luckily I’d been a floater for a while

butterflying on lakes and municipality pools

Give it a chance, she whispered after a while

Write about singing in the snow

Sing about writing love songs

Love like it’s going to last forever

And last forever,

Like the Milky Way,

Like the Lochness Monster,

Like the Indian Ocean

Like organic honey!

With that performance, she left

pausing only at the vegan shelf

And like always,

All I wanted,

Was to last just a little more

Than I lasted.

************************ photograph by Brassai********************

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New Year’s Eve / Time is a lie

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I hate parties
that end next year
and houses that burn
with promises and
resolutions doused
with cocktails named after
actors and saints or
sex on airplanes
I’m laughing in a corner
fighting my way through
slithering bodies / snake charmers
embraces that seem invincible
kisses that seem infinite
I’m laughing on the ledge
looking at the fireworks
If only they knew
Time is a lie
I was sent here by a friend
who’s drowning in somebody’s face now
their tongues swirling like a cyclone
that is now complete
I get up for a refill
trying to keep the chicken in
that god set free in my intestines
(Hallelujah!)
Mary pours me a double
says Jesus is away
It’s been a busy night
for gods and monsters
I know better so I walk away
If only she knew
It’s a thin line
between gods and monsters
plus i’ve done this way too many times
life conversations with the girl at the bar
the shine in her eyes, the broken star
all she wants is a girl
and a house in green park
And she promises she has a plan
this year she’s done with falling apart
if only she knew by now its too late
for a house, a conversation or a new start
Anyway, eventually, midnight crawls in
like a man that’s impossible to surprise
and the crowd screams
and the bottles pop
some skirts were torn
some fingers were locked
now I’m drunk in a crowd of vampires
and fake fin mermaids
and it’s hard to remember
which year I am in
and it’s hard to remember
if time is a li(n)e

photograph – New York by Nan Goldin

Fix you

I survive the night
on noir films
and leaves of grass
Now i’m getting done
in the back of my car
love notes precipitate
left by acid romeos
mock my dreams
I keep the names i like
for next season
and wait for the rain
to wash away the
scents of women
lingering on my wounds
splashes of nail polish
clawed on my neck

Well, friday’s here
I should write a love song
but tonight everything
sounds like heartbreak so
I’m looking for a chemist
some xanax
some time
to fix you
fix me

February shivers.

It was just a subway ride. Really. But this year around, february seems as lost as me, sometimes rainy, sometimes angry, but mostly lost. Did it lose it’s way between the crushing winter and the promised spring? February, rattling up my heart. February, my wandering lover. February, don’t you see? This is how we’re meant to be. Wandering, wandering, shivering, shivering, till summer comes around and we realize. Oh it was better, so much better, when we were drifting, wandering, shivering in february.

 

You know they say
memories are strange things
I think they’re like metro stations,
disappearing one after another,
blocks of steel railings and hazy tress,
pushing you to where you ought to be
But I wish I could get off on my favorite station,
and stay there forever
Right when the door opens at age sixteen,
I realize this is it,
I want to be in school forever,
the world full of possibilities,
my veins full of life,
looking forward to football every week,
and the prom every year.
when all the books are still new,
and women haven’t lost their novelty.
With the MJ cassettes & a superman cape
You don’t really need anything, or anybody
floating around in that crystal ball
of four chord songs & afternoon dates.
Every little morning sends your body to shivers.
everything is exciting, everything is magic.
But well you know, you didn’t get out.
Your station is here, age twenty two.
Stepping out,the cold city chill does make you shiver
But not every shiver is the good kind;
So you head for a smoke.

The University.

I usually like to write in stolen moments- while waiting for my coffee in a cafe’ or when travelling in the metro, right before I go to sleep or right after I take a shower. But there are moments, more urgent than moments,when overflowed with emotions I have to turn them into words as if keeping them inside would result in a catastrophic explosion, turning my heart into stardust. This is one such piece. Very irregular, very jarring, very noisy. I suppose nothing else would do justice to the last five years. Amen.

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The University

On the walls of a desolate bookshelf,
mostly dust & cigarette ash.
my name conquers
crossed hearts & spiderwebs
but not the pale whitewash.

In between the rickety bed
the steel cupboard
my guitar rests,
stuffed with marksheets and angry letters
home-bound, silent.

I started wearing a tie
till it caged my heart in a box,
answered the crows in the classes,
till my voice died and shrank
to a caw.

The owls heading the university,
I shot in my head, everyday
Then burned the place to ashes,
lit a cigarette from the flames
(Hoot Whoot Whoo Who)
is laughing now?

I’d rather have been a self righteous,
god fearing taxi driver father,
Moonshining my way through red lights,
never failed, never lost.
But as the voice says,
Five years in a hole to a life imprisoned;
What do you know about redemption, son?

Sarojini Nagar Blues.

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Does this sadness have a name?
Seeping through your lavender curls,
disappearing between the crevasses
when our fingers lock,
humming in the background in
a song of memories,
shimmering on the edges
when we spin under our
chandelier of dreamcatchers,
slowly leading the waltz of promises,
to a leap of faith,
smiling through the contrails,
when I’m freefalling in an ocean of solitude,
embracing me with the intimacy
of a buried romance,
and then finally settling in
the whirlpool where,
gin meets ice.
Does this sadness have a name?

 

Image credits- Leonid Afremov. See more of his work at http://afremov.com/index.php?