Thursday, October 28, 2004

Mothers and Lovers

My poems are chained to lovers
Talk of lovers spirals me
Into a land of similes and gregarious metaphors
Words flow into my cupped hands
Easy as sympathy
But when I think of mothers
Of quiet days spent on the beach
Moments gazing, together, at a violet sea
I think of a blankness flatness
No storms, no upheavals to scrawl
My mother and I
Infant child adolescent
We've been through all as one
I carry her brand
As difficult to transcribe
As love.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The Idea Slob

To dip myself into ideas
To bathe in them
To clench them, roll them
crush them in my fists
A thick sticky mass of dark molasses -
To smear and gulp and swallow

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Need a Gun to Stun

8 p.m. Outside PVR. My friends are late. I have just emerged, disoriented, from Ansal Plaza, and cannot stand the thought of being closed up in yet another artificial, glutted microcosm. I decide to walk around and explore Saket. Did you know there is a Durga temple right next door?

A bus zooms past, with a brassy “kya, chalegi re?” floating down at me.

I am suddenly all greasy and black with an impulse to punch that man’s face in – only he is far ahead on the bus as it zooms away.

8.25 p.m. I stop at a yellow-lit bus stop to check the time on my cell phone.

Two boys walk past, one of them leering at me. I lock an angry gaze with him. He, at the top of his voice: “kitni haseen thi woh.”

Too late for me to grab him by the collar and shake him up unless I run, run after them.

If only I had an immobilizing gun. I could have pointed
a white beam of hatred
a metallic beam of paralysis
at these cowards, walloping them down on the floor and keeping them pinned there, giving me the
minutes needed to march
at them.
Smack them across the face.

Monday, October 11, 2004

The Playback Predator

A half-circle of five
(contingently more)
waiting, watching
our eyes on you
contemplative, greedily
We drink you in
Our meat
You fidget in your seats
slightly wary
not liking this business
of the unknown
Our eyes butt you
hungry to begin
till you rise to the occasion
accept the challenge
and speak.

Playback is a form of improvisational theatre where (usually) five actors, along with a musician and a conductor, enact stories and experiences shared by members of the audience.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

In Small Pieces

I fall in love with them
every time we share an ice
a smoke
a crazy midnight ride;
dance under smoky magenta strobes
a newborn's rapture on their faces;
travel, insulated from strangers
the two of us our only allies.
I fall in love, briefly
they're mine, my men
and I theirs
in small pieces.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

skins barely touching

we sit in enthralled intimacy
mine going up in woodsmoke
a natural perjurer, my skin
looks just as ever
its emotions screened
all the singeing, charring
below the surface
no sign of the woodsmoke fuming silver
rubbing against my neck
shoulders, mixing in my breath
hood-lidding my eyes
sitting so close to you
almost touching
it spirals - can you see it?
can you, at least, smell
the woodsmoke rising from my skin?