is to see
how it’s not a good idea
to get too attached to things,
as they change for the less
But somewhere, just I
can hear a child crying
to go back
I keep telling myself to ignore it, as
it should’ve been dead by now.
at small talk, except
with animals and people I’ve
grown to trust, and see
no harm. I keep
my distance and observe
how someone acts around
authority, before deciding if
comes reading whether their
shifting sounds and varied gesticulations
could somehow amount to an idea
of actual merit
or substance, besides
exaggeration and charm, to
their petty, sycophantic agendas.
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.
and kept walking me to the beginning
of another disenchanted morning.
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.
And if you look
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,
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.
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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