Echoes of Disquiet

I’m glad that one old man
remembers to take his medicine.
He tends
to speak very little
these days
and the few words that surface,
are sometimes, a solemn source
of sad comfort.
The other day, we happened
to discover
a mutual guilt…
in possibilities of
a few things
we might have done different… to thus,
have deferred the routes
to two abrupt terminals.. of a kindred loss – in
our divergent histories, that
since then… cannot matter.

 

But it is
at times ..unnerving
to know that one is the last
of a particular kind of blood,
and has failed irrevocably..! to protect those
who had always protected him.

 

Therefore,
it remains
to gaze upon reflection
and search for traces
of faces bygone, where one might
imagine reflexively.. for
the dwindling remainder
of the cherished few… as much as for the self:
how the face, the lowered eyelids,
low breathing, tired arms,
restive legs,
the twitching.. in all,
would be rendered
– when devoid
of the animus of consciousness – of the spark of life..
then
left alone for days, to rot..!!

and
in these forsaken hours
of insomnious nightmare..
can one glimpse.. the ruthless truth
of the nature and eventuality of this raw flesh..
can see right through seductive illusions
of presence… and mistakes
of love and hope.

 

 

From Book IV

What Next?

Is too much
of a bad question
to ask
a thinking-man,
who mostly
spends most
of the next moment
somewhere… in the past;
for the past,
in experiencing,
was… reality, in
reliving is unreality
of dreams…
while a future..
a lone eventuality – in all of now,
is inscrutable myth!
for hardly
do dreams
entail a future.

 

 

From Book IV

Will-o’-the-wisp

It’s strange
how…
in the homelike refuge
of a single inelaborate dream…

it is too easy
to dismantle, on pure instinct,
and thereby dismiss

what you
somewhere.. still
remember to be
the unshakable dominion
of the sum
of unforgiving reality..

as simply, the absurd deceit
of an unimportant nightmare

within a dream.

 

From Book IV

The Mourner’s Writ

It is
to run slower,
to walk
at the pace
of despair.. that
moves to surround
and devour the whole
of what keeps
the mind.

 

It is
to not just be
haunted.. but also
to face
the hollows..
collect
the roar from winds..
patterns from thunder..
to hold still ..the rustle
betwixt cold fingers, and
try
to spell
a picture.

 

 

From Book IV

Empire of Dirt

 

abandoned-blur-bricks-205325

And if you look
a little
closer, the street
had always stretched to the floor
of your living room, for soles
in restless transit. And soon,
we find it is to be left
with less and less, the more
one learns abandon. By now,
you’re used to spectacles
of homes becoming houses and
live farther away, but dwell
in missing memorabilia.
It is nature, in
all probability, that
tells us to leave things broken
when there’s too little left
to make them whole. And the street
will last longer than the strays
asleep on the sidewalk, as our rooms
are meant to outlast us. So,
before things cease to matter,
perhaps
it’s better
to have our own hands
tear down the deserted manors
of our own damage, than
see them annexed
and reclaimed by the lasting reign
of grime and green.

Trains

Trains

Can’t tell
where I’ve been living
for years now, from moment
to moment in precarious enthrallment
of endless chaotic, flickering, fleeting destinations decided
by the fitful eye of the mind, rummaging relentlessly
to submerge itself in warmer waters of safer memories, while feeling them
ceaselessly funnel, drawn unto colder moors of perpetual forgetfulness, oft
confusing some true past
with imagined moments
of surreal, impossible juxtapositions
of disparate times and realities, while
lessons learnt had turned too clichéd to take seriously
long ago, as companion travellers dismounting their common carriage
at unforeseen and unchangeable stops, one by one,
to disappear soon and surely into the rear distance till
part of an indifferent horizon,
one by one,
another after another,
as long and as surely as the rails run ahead and as sure
as some truisms ring that despite all endearment, the traveller
is essentially alone; condemned, where it matters, to never truly return;
destined, when it matters, to never really leave.

Giving Up Again

There are times
when you can’t be brave alone…
after putting up the bravest front
before your dying.

 

There are times
when it’s simpler to escape
the tyranny of your own thoughts
and rampant recollection, in withdrawal
to the most trivial of pastimes
that disengage you from the true present
and disallow the mind to wander
back to inescapable reality
for just… a little
while.

 

There are times
when eclipsing inevitability holds you
mercilessly down in powerless submission
and compels you to take refuge in
i
s
o
l
a
t
i
o
n
from history, the future and
the thinking self.

Book IV

Mr Banerjee

The Magic Man

A parent can be a number of things to a child, but it’s rare to find a heartless parent. Their unconditional care is neither something to be taken for granted, nor feel entitled to, though most of us have always been guilty of making these mistakes. Growing up, my perception of my father was one of mixed understanding. He was considered by most to be a decentred individual who wasted his talent and potential in favor of addiction, a brilliant man of many vices and harbinger of suffering to his family. However, despite his many faults, he was to me a man of singular kindness, who tried to shield me from his own darker nature during my formative years. Upon a time when both he and I were stripped of our guardians, he took it upon himself to set aside his dreams and predispositions, and did whatever it took, within his hard-earned and meagre means, to provide me with an education. Reducing himself to a human being with fewer and fewer needs, he became a bulwark that protected and sustained me in times of dearth, uncertainty, and emotional upheaval, and largely made me the man I am today.

This book was written in the days, weeks, and months following the sudden and unexpected death of my father. The poems venture into inconsolable symptoms of loss, grief, guilt, regret, memory, madness, absurd irreversibility, chimerical conjurings, and reigning despair. You may not find much comfort here, dear reader, if you should so choose to read this book.

Please check the Availability page for more information.

If you’d like to see some of my work, please visit the Poetry page.

A Visit

Visit

Another day,
I tried to figure what I’d say
if we met again, impossibly somehow.

 

It was easier
in the realm of dreams,
where it wasn’t strange that
our home had become
one gigantic, spinning carousel, with
otherworldly light gleaming unto the night,
from its endlessly tilted, snaking windows
that spun faster and faster
as I circled the outer walls, while
our neighborhood disappeared into darkness.

 

And then, I opened what I presumed to be eyes,
to a lit room, with no source of apparent light.
There were shelves, lots of them, with
bizarre tin toys, gizmos, thingamagigs. The ceiling
was close enough to touch, yet not oppressive
at all. And then
there were strings
of tiny, twinkling bulbs along the arches
leading past a door to another matching room, then
another and another till I found you seated, reading peacefully.

 

You rose, then walked me further in, and I said
that I loved what he’d done with the place.

 

He smiled
and kept walking me to the beginning
of another disenchanted morning.

 

Suicidal Deities

grunge

As most
of the Gods of Grunge
keep killing themselves, it’s apparent
that the burdens
of regret and should-have-beens
weigh too heavy on hearts that carry them.
Yet, it doesn’t change
the feeling
that there’s nothing worth keeping
more than the weight of these chains
of being and remaining unchangeably
oneself.

Last Wishes

 

I’d like all my bones
to scREAM HEAVY METAL!! when I die..
as headbanging hoodlums
rive asunder my lifeless corpse, limb from limb.

 

I’d like
my naked meat to putrefy
in rush hour traffic (but far
away from little children), with all
the world and its scavenging animals
powerless to efface the spectacle, the stench from existence!
so you
may witness and
experience firsthand
the futility of prior experience and
the violent indignity of inevitable decay.

 

And
when the worms are finally finished
with their slow desecration of all my flesh,
I’d like it very much
for my baked hair, blackened nails
and the remnants of hollowed bones
—to be used
for creating instruments of loud music
and subversive art.

au naturel

Despite the suits,
the wheels or fancy shoes,
the polish
of your specialized gesticulations,
exorbitant dresses or customized ornamentation,
despite
the fetishized finesse
to glaze evenly each unsophisticated edge,
it’s apparent
how much we remain animals,
from how
we act when startled
or smell in a while, if left alone and dead.

Distant

distant

The nerves keep their habit
of stretching thin and breaking inaudibly,
most pitifully,
every chance they get.

 

And long have I failed to count
the number
of strange persons
wandering the cramped foundations of this cranium.

 

At times, this inward space
is all too little
for me alone. Yet,
a constant foreboding of voices
so imminent that I can forever almost.. hear them,
fills.. fills all my space past brimming!! till
there’s no longer room for me to exist, save
as silence.

 

Near the Village of Sacred Beasts

trees

The moon’s
gone missing in the branches
and leaves enmeshed overhead, that
allow no light
to enter this place.
At times,
there’s movement in the spaces
between your toes, while
you follow
the faintest sound of running water
at an unknown distance. And
as you try
to exert your way
through your surroundings,
there’s too much in the way of
your body, your breath, your voice,
hair, eyelids, nails, teeth, and most of it
is neither soft to touch, nor too still, as
the forest constricts and
the trees close all about you, when
you remember that you weren’t alone
when you got here… in
the melancholy of dying light
of a long-forgotten sunset; but
your bearers couldn’t help
evanescing into the quiet cover
of oncoming darkness, along with
some friends you discovered, but find
much too far away to hear you
now. And somehow,
you feel it isn’t
strange to be unafraid
of a light and palpable hold
upon your shoulder, because
of a familiarity so unconditional
as to flow from the very wellspring
of all things you are
or ever may have become.
But in time,
the abyss eclipses the intellect
and your senses begin to overturn, until
perchance,
your hand touches
the searching fingers
of a stranger, for
each to hold the other
in its reckless shelter, and
persist on
making a way through
this night, the savage brush, toward
the sound of what
you imagine to be a running stream
at some unknown distance.

 

Antisocial Diaries /1/

pexels-photo-220444

No good
at small talk, except
with animals and people I’ve
grown to trust, and see
they mean
no harm. I keep
my distance and observe
how someone acts around
authority, before deciding if
they’re really
worth knowing:
first
comes reading whether their
shifting sounds and varied gesticulations
could somehow amount to an idea
of actual merit
or substance, besides
attempting, by
exaggeration and charm, to
sadly further
their petty, sycophantic agendas.

Antisocial Diaries /2/

pexels-photo-220444
It hasn't
been too long
since a time I lived
out of hiding... yet
now witness all wit
slipping surely
and slowly beyond
the reach of my expression, when
I find that I can't be honest, which
stems from an abiding threat
of dire repercussion, were I
to freely speak the mind. This
world, to a great extent, is
built on bloated egocentricities
that hunger most
for further aggrandizement; and 
for a life of liability
and quite limited means, it becomes
a stage
where malcontent
must! be sterilized
by constant inward rehearsals, until
the paranoid self
may deem it safe for permitted discourse.
But it isn't quick, is 
never easy and rarely works out
the way one imagines, and more often
I find it too late
to come back with a
*socially acceptable* retort, as
the violence of my aborted voice
is smothered beneath an agonized reticence.