Brimstone Roots

fire

The mind repeats its
natural cycles of entranced retrospection, and
caught unawares, and unmoving,
I fight,
I struggle,
I shiver,
I shake,
I writhe, as perhaps
some primal and formless instinct for self-preservation
seeks to scamper.. to flee.. to somehow
escape.. to somehow outrun this
unrelenting circuit…
in
austere terror..!!

   
In vain… I try
to calm
the cornered animal, driven
far beyond its bearable thresholds
for panic,
pain, self-persecution, and paranoia,
telling it
that this is somewhere
it must learn to live…
as this isn’t somewhere
it can run away from, because
it couldn’t bear to leave here either…
this apocalyptic mindscape
of unending eclipse and disembodied shadows..
a state fated to be subject, evermore,
to quotidian submersion and violent welling..
surely and unavoidably,
as the lasting remainder of something
far too precious
to abandon…
and
far too harrowing.. to face.

   

A Reunion

Pessoa said
that to write
is to forget, and
I didn’t believe him, until
it started to soothe
the burning
of times bygone… which
were now meant for revisiting, at
times in rain, and
among other opiates, words, as tunnels
or doors
to inhumed realities; and
it somehow
was more pleasant
to remember the loved absent…
at the best
of what they were…
until.. a long-lost photograph
of a long-dead, old man,
retrieved the lifeless face
of your father – my friend, our guardian
left almost as in weeping.. from
what I know
was so much left unfinished… but
what now.. impossibly feels.. from
a sorrow grasped
before the living: when
once again, I’m cut wide open.. as

   

you turn
to the mingling of your sources, and
whelmed within their realm of nonbeing,
you appear now, to me, betwixt
the living and motionless figures
of your two grand guardians… poised,
in my mind,
before and diminishing a great darkness!

    

with they,
as now you,
at the most beautiful
of what remains in memory…
with me? left here – behind and alone to envision you all
and suffer
on my own;
never
to say
goodbye.

 

 

From Book IV

Elitist Listener

Is finding
music
that, for a long
few minutes,
fills
the hollows…
that
one cannot
touch – inside…
enough
of a reason
to stay
alive?

   
There are
many
more important
ones, where
the well-being
of another
becomes
of more
consequence
to you, than your own.

   
Perhaps
a child, for whom
his Dad
gave up his drugs
and
worked hard
to give the delinquent
an education.

   
Or a personal purpose,
as a brilliant and unsuccessful doctor
rereading repurchased books
of Pathology,
to redress
an age neglected,
in the waning hope
of restoring
an out-of-reach laboratory,
and dying
of a heart attack
at forty-nine,
confused.. and alone..
while
the kid, now a man, the
one thing
he wholeheartedly cherished…
was out
making money
somewhere in the big fucking city!

   
For those
who do not believe
in fairy tales
and have seen their share
of futile trial
and cruel death,
it suffices to say
that
they often find
little reason to feel
that reality
was ever directed
toward
anything good,
and… eventually has
no meaning, other
than sadder memories.

   
And
in this capricious state
of the definite
and oncoming nature
of unpredictable
and irrevocable loss..
perhaps,
discovering pointless music
that makes you think
such pointless thoughts,
is as good a reason as any… for
lingering, pathetically, here.

   
For all reason,
in time,
disappears..
in one inescapable vacuum..
and is rendered
unknown,
unknowable,
null
and
void.

   
While the ravages
of mortality
tend
to take the shine
away
from dreams,
it is, or still feels
wrong
to take
one’s own life,
as long
as there are those you’d hurt,
were you
to simply
go away.

   
Someone
had once
asked
my father
what he wanted
his son
to be, when I
grew up.
To this,
the M.D. Pathologist
replied:
“Alive and Happy”
…and that
is what I’ll
try…
to be.

 

 

From Book IV

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.

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