My poetry needs to hurt like broken shards of glass.
To prod and prick and pierce some more of
Those webs of insecurities you gladly weave…
Like a layer of soot on your skin.
It’s the insecurities that make you do it all.
They are the reason you light 40 cigarettes instead of one fragrant candle that could've calmed you more.
They are what make me dream of dead lilies when bright jasmines bloom at dawn.
They are what make a stranger spew a vile of hatred towards another…
Like a casually tossed wrapper.
Let's not act like we're shitting m&m’s,
When really, all we're eating are…
Insecurities for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Is this what makes you stay up like clockwork?
For spidery bosses who sit on their pot to check your work?
Is this what makes Excel sheets better than sex in the shower?
What makes you push love away because a Zoom call awaits?
What makes you feel like a monster when you are the only one you scare?
The insecurities and pain you feel inside is a spell that won't break.
That’s why, I want poetry to cut across you…
So that from its wounds the jet-black-blood of type O-not-good-enough,
Can flow out. And even though it’ll be far from beautiful,
I promise, you will feel lighter when it’s all over.
You will stop running in this blind race for a little.
And breathe every moment like the first breath of the last baby there’ll ever live.
You will rest comfortably in your skin, with uncomfortable poetry flowing under it.
What are you afraid of?
The hollow eyes from the psychiatry ward?
They’re laughing and making merry…
And yet you, you are so scared of who?
You may think they're fools.
But hey, haven't you…
Tip-toed at night,
Across the hall to the kitchen…
And turned on the lights?
Haven’t you seen a pest, stop dead in its tracks?
It looks at you scared.
And so, do you.
It stares like the mad recluse in the psychiatry ward.
Remember when father was taken to the ward?
We were all so scared…
Looking at each other like the pest.
On every single withheld-shriek-burning-my-insides kind of days.
But he was the happiest we'd ever seen him…
Like the madness was always buried deep within.
Now springing from the glint of his eyes, his tired-bouncy gait,
The thrill in his spine, joy was his only shrine.
He held his soul in his hands…
Offered it to every stranger,
Like it was theirs to take and fly away without a second thought or the baggage of betrayal.
He was a lion and the world his family of little-birds-stuck-in-nests-so-comfortable.
He was a fearless man stuck in a psychiatry ward,
Surrounded by babies dressed as adults.
Breaking norms was in his veins.
So, why were we so scared?
We were so scared we called him a madman but what if he did too?
Looked at us and thought we’ve lost our minds somehow.
I say, let the madmen, the vagabonds, the recluses, the prophets, the nagas1, the clowns, the circus-folks rule.
Let them tell us what it is to be sane, intelligent, brave, and true.
And when they do…
Wake me up dear you.
So, I can tiptoe into the kitchen again and turn on the lights,
Lock eyes with the pest and then…
Just be there…
As though nothing happened.
Let it share as much of the world as I do.
Because the world is as much its, as it is mine...
As it is of the hollow eyes and the brave minds from the psychiatry ward.
Love in the Time of a Pandemic
Tug, pull, bite, devour.
Sweet is for poster girls,
But I am not it, I'm tangy and sour.
We're tucked in away from the worlds...
Of the heretical mystics that came before us.
As the white flag of the pandemic unfurls,
As the apocalyptic futures unroll, we're hanging by a web in the middle of it all.
Stars above, below, inside us, as the sky falls,
Down without a thud, just melting into us.
Feels like it does when gunshots fire from dawn, through dusk...
So close that you recognize the smell of gunpowder than that of another human,
The old and wise curse; they’re ready to rest,
As the young start hypocritical revolutions…
With toys in their hands and anger on their breath.
Demons, humans, animals, souls, beliefs, opinions die a thousand deaths.
And yet all are just crunched-up numbers vanishing into the night...
Our bodies meet amidst shreds of burnt newspapers flying.
Deafening war cries from afar shun and die.
All I hear is your soft breath and I sigh.
Somewhere far away, men walk into parliaments with giraffe heads for brains.
They're peering into every corner with long necks but barely a spine to strain,
But in this 4 by 4 matchbox that's our world,
Where the sky falls, the magic unfurls...
All that matters is you bringing me to life,
Making death and dystopia vanish for a while.
Because even as the world seems like it is ending,
I want you to bite a little hard and tug at my skin.
Because the apocalypse is happening right about this time…
Not out there, but in your body and mine.
If I Were a Rock
If I were a rock, I’d be…
Sprawled on the wet earth, letting a pinpoint of a thought,
Like a sharp droplet of water…
Fall on my conscience rippling me inside out.
One pinpoint of a thought, again, every few seconds.
“You are enough”
“You are enough”
“You are enough”
Falling against the force I use to push myself down…
Falling with gravity, because of gravity.
Days, months, years, generations, light years pass by,
As slowly eroding a particle at a time…
It chisels me like I was molten skin in a silicon mould.
This is how you mould a stone.
With one pinpoint of a thought, falling again and again at the same spot.
Reminding it that it is one thing, and that alone.
Erasing the dust on it, to shape it as the words will.