I’m glad that one old man
remembers to take his medicine.
to speak very little
and the few words that surface,
are sometimes, a solemn source
of sad comfort.
The other day, we happened
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.
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,
the twitching.. in all,
would be rendered
– when devoid
of the animus of consciousness – of the spark of life..
left alone for days, to rot..!!
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
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.
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Despite the suits,
the wheels or fancy shoes,
of your specialized gesticulations,
exorbitant dresses or customized ornamentation,
the fetishized finesse
to glaze evenly each unsophisticated edge,
how much we remain animals,
we act when startled
or smell in a while, if left alone and dead.
gone missing in the branches
and leaves enmeshed overhead, that
allow no light
to enter this place.
there’s movement in the spaces
between your toes, while
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
your hand touches
the searching fingers
of a stranger, for
each to hold the other
in its reckless shelter, and
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.