Why you shouldn’t date me

I read too many books.
So, life isn’t as interesting.

Or maybe it is. And I’m not.
Interesting or interested.

I can deal with languages.
But not with conversations.

I seek drama on the page.
And bring it to relationships.

I don’t buy gifts.
I don’t give surprises.

I don’t even remember dates.
So, I don’t forget them either.

I cook enough to survive
But not enough to serve.

I walk through most chores
But not run many errands.

I play chess, sitting alone by myself.
I meditate, sitting alone by myself.

I bite nails. I nail scabs. I sweat a lot.
I don’t buy clothes or accessories.

I don’t stream TV. I don’t go to movies.
I don’t play videos on my Chinese phone.

I don’t order in. I don’t dinner out.
I don’t drink drinks. I don’t eat meat.

I don’t like entertaining guests.
I don’t like entering as guests.

I don’t treat myself so well.
I don’t treat loved ones so well.

I don’t earn anything useful.
I don’t learn anything useful.

I look at the sky and murmur.
I talk to stars and clouds and rain.

I look at the mirror and sigh.
I talk to my self, my muse, my voices.

I write.

Selina

Before the inky cat could tell,
We got on her a jingling bell,
So, now at all if she would dare
And saunter in without a care
To steal a lick of creamy milk,
We’ll catch her by her scruffy silk
And take her to the garden grass
To show the bowl of burnished brass
In which we’ll leave her dairy drink,
Beside a plate of plastic pink
In which we’ll leave her meaty treats,
Which no one in the fam’ly eats.

A Weariness

A weariness infects my world.

Contagion, your art is viral now.
It moves so many well beyond,
Beyond their dreams and best laid schemes.
Yet, moves it not my weariness.

A weariness infects my veins.

My blood is still C-negative.
A sea of trouble parts to show
A reddened arterial road
Away from hearty destiny.

A weariness infects my breath.

My oxygen is high enough
To think it still imparts me health.
Combustible it is as rage.
As obstinate, as impotent.

A weariness infects my thoughts.

My tongue excites no mercury
Beyond the normal level marked.
My speech is, but, mercurial.
It makes a bond to break a bond.

A weariness infects my calm.

My nails are chewed up cuticles
Which spew anxieties in a spit.
I file the ragged sharpnesses
Before I scratch my other itch.

A weariness in…fuck my life!

I haven’t got maturity
Enough to bear with stoic strength.
A poet I am meant to be:
Condemning, cursing much at length.

Nindo

I run no venture, nor no trust,
Nor am I employed. I must
Admit I only volunteer
To spread a little fun and cheer
At places for the elderly,
And help them get some clarity
On how to raise their capital,
And leave them better capable
To manage their accounts and books.
At times, I volunteer with cooks
Who daily whip up filling treats
For children on the city streets.

I’ve traveled throughout India
By freelancing for media
In every UT, every state,
Through times of love and tides of hate.
I’ve lived with many families,
To listen to their tragedies,
Immersing in their daily lives
To see how India survives.

I read, I write, I quiz, I learn.
Yet there is more for which I yearn.
I’m walking with an infant gait
Upon this path, I dedicate
The future chapters of my tale:
To serve the old and young at scale.

Walking on Globes

His fingers walked across the globe
Through Delhi, Tokyo, Vancouver:
The road not taken in the sky,
When two diverging careers
Had made him choose his family.

He was the age I will be soon.
And on my road, I see a sign:
Two arrows splitting up ahead.
The stakes are same. The choices same.
Decision likely to be same.

Will I in forty calendars
Be walking on augmented globes?

From a Traveling Art Salesman

Dear W,

I dub you a pundit of puns.
Your pungent writing packs a punch
And punctuates my punishing role
That punctures out my very sole.
With stakes so high, I have no beef
With well-done cuts from masterchief.
It’s rare now, but they’d leave me raw
When I couldn’t follow Murphy’s Law.
Your play on words then works on me
As if it is origami
With manifold advantages:
1. A compass for my lost wages
To circle round and find my purse;
2. A ghazal couplet so di-verse;
3. A gentle cup of charity
For one who has no proper tea;
4. Exciting whys of algebra,
Algorithms, et cetera.
My monkey mind needs husbandry,
Punctilious buffoonery,
So thanks for how your punctual jokes
Arrest me like a painter’s strokes.

Why I don’t talk much anymore

The quieter I am through the day
The more I save for Slumber’s Forge,
Where all the things I have to say
Are cast in verse from Meter’s Gorge.

There’s little that I need to do
Except behold a fantasy:
Imagination’s set to brew
Upon the Flames of Poesy.

My words are dipped, tempered in full,
And hammered true by metaphors
That make the meanings pliable
According to the metered verse.

So all I have to work on then
Is test the balance of the weight
And with the mallet of my pen,
To gently tap and set it straight.

The days I spend in talking, though,
Become my nights of penury.
And Slumber’s Forge has naught to show
Upon my morning inquiry.

A Finite Jest

Approach, approach, my worried friend.
Approach with comments constructive.
You think my feelings should be so?
Then tell me open, pretty please.
I welcome every word of yours
As welcome every bee-sting is:
The pain for me is passing, but
I know when once your sting is lost
Your time with it is forfeit too.
And has the tragic Hamlet not
Enlightened us to profits of
Delay in gratification
By virtue of deferred revenge?
So is it such a folly that
I choose to act in madness now
Within a drama of my dreams?
For I, the prince of dense remarks,
Will soon condense a brevity
To fill the hollowness of hearts
Which steam from freezing tragedy.
Until that day, mock all you may
My surfeit manic lunacy.

The Ocean and the Sky

1.

She loved the ocean.
She spent months in deep sea,
Atop a titanic metal straw
That tankers sipped oil with.
She loved hydrodynamic metaphors.
Her poems were letters in bottles
Bobbing along sharks and dolphins
And plastic islands of use-and-throw.
Her angry sunset dissolved in brine
And precipitated again at dawn
With a calmer colour on its cheek,
Profiting from a good night’s sleep,
While she drowned in dashboards
From one dawn to the next day’s dusk.

I loved the sky.
I spent months in open air
Among perfumed leaves that carried
The fresh fragrance of inhaled stories.
I loved aerodynamic metaphors.
My poems were kites on yarns
Flapping along crows and cranes
And exhausted clouds of pipe exhales.
My nights blanketed the cold sky
With a moth-eaten bedsheet
Whose orifices swayed in the breeze,
Ever so gently, never too much,
Twinkling the light that passed through,
Twinkling again in my starry eyes
As I wrote down what they told me.

2.

She often dove under
To understand the primitive
Evolution of our modern nature,
Hidden deep in our layered spirits.
She loved the quiet underneath
So much that she’d angle low
Even on buoyant occasions.
Though, when her refracted reality
Seduced her into treacherous currents,
Or, when the pressure got too high,
Her inner gyroscope centered her,
And brought her to an even keel.
Soon, she’d slowly surface again,
Periscoping with silent insight.

So, when I landed in her life
And shredded her level sea
With my reckless rotor blades
Without ever touching it,
She said she loved how I hovered
Through a pressure far lighter,
But far more temperamental,
Offering little resistance to the pull
That threatened to crash my soul.
She loved how I could lift her off
And take her places, securely
Strapped in, but yet so free,
To witness the vast generosity
Of the primordial soup underneath.
She also enjoyed my little game
Of sculpting nimbuses into characters,
And sending them on different paths,
Nimbly pitching and yawing around
Far above the clutches of real life.

She said she could even strip
Herself from her ocean home
And go see our parent lands,
So long as I was there
To pick her up and carry her,
And pull my own weight too,
For she would have to push back
In waves of loving ferocity
To erode the shoring resistance
We knew we would meet.

3.

The rocks on shore stood firm
And cautioned us against us.
They asked the girl of great depth
And the boy of airy worth
If on our magic carpet rides,
We both forgot to remember that
The ocean truly meets the sky
Only at the horizon –
That infinitely elusive illusion
That has doomed many a romantic?
Everywhere else they merely touch
Each other on the surface,
Tension keeping them apart.

We rebelled against this design.
We stormed the land together,
Uprooting heavy trunks of tradition.
She tried her all with all her might
To tsunami into me and stay.
I tried my all with all my might
To typhoon her up and hold.
We managed, together, to declare
That we’re a force to reckon with.

In all that storming, all that energy,
Who we were was changing fast.
The calm and depth and freshness
We loved so much in each other –
Sacrificed or traded off or bartered,
Depending on whose word you take.
She no longer noticed when I lifted her
For that was now the expected thing,
But when her depths pulled her back,
She said I had let her down again.
I kept cursing my ungraspable being
Or protested how unfair she was,
And I raged the more, to lift her more,
But she was scared of my thunders now,
Scared of how her self darkened in me
Charged up now, discharged again,
Its flashes dazzling reality.
And so one night, she bid goodbye,
And retreated into the doldrums.

4.

They talk of the calm before the storm
But never of the calm that follows it,
When people pick up their lives’ debris
And question the comic-book reality
Of alchemical collateral damage,
Of shielded lives now shattered,
By Ether’s patch-eyed Wrath,
By Nature’s one-eyed Fury.

I take my gaseous self now
And try to fill some quieter voids
In someone’s frothy morning coffee,
In someone’s spongy weekend cake,
In someone’s tired bicycle ride
On a three-day dirty oxygen diet.
And though I cannot know her now,
Though I know not what she does,
I sense my blues mirrored in her.
I know beyond a cloud of doubt:
She will always cradle a bit of me
In tiny bubbles throughout her self,
As I will cradle a bit of her
In tiny vapours throughout mine.

You are Here

I find myself in cul-de-sacs
With buildings tall around my spot
Preventing data services
From reaching Maps, which doesn’t load.
I’ve lost my way to confidence,
Even to ask of those around
The route to get to somewhere safe
To somewhere with a WiFi strength
That stops the spinning wheel of life.
Though, was it not dependence on
Instructions from a trusted source,
Without the use of common sense,
Which got me to the cul-de-sacs?
And yet I seek the comfort still
Of answers at my fingertips,
Without discerning on my own
The merits of decisions mine?
And yet I ask a stranger’s voice
Encoded with the knowledge of
The masses pouring their insides
Into the brain decentralized
In service of the masters few
Who mine these private pourings to
Extract the excess wealth of all?
So, where am I, the actual I,
Beyond the bios, pics, and texts?
My Maps is not so helpful when
It points an arrow, “You are here.”