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.

Hunted

At times,
I find myself running
away from all the things
that remind me of you…
or more,
the ubiquity
of what is now the absence
of your shelter.

 

 

It is,
as if to attempt
escaping a labyrinth
of chasms.. left
inside this body,
and struggle
to slither off
this build of hollowed bone.

 

 

Can’t run for long..
and there is no place
to go to..
to save the remains
of the mind,
where respite is lack
of consciousness:
to slip into,
past your living pictures
that wander
about this head..
and
tear away!
with a distinct.. echo
of your distant… searching.. call.

 

 

No solace
lives
in memory.

The bad
is that
we never ..imagined.

The good
is what is lost.

 

 

 

From Book IV

Gauze

It doesn’t help..!
this irate
and bitter writing in powerless agony.

 

Like alcohol,
it doesn’t dull
that ..sinking
feeling one gets
on disinterring
an indispensable
image..
that no longer
exists
in places
other than the heart.

 

At least cheap
whisky, in a while,
fogs the senses
and knocks you cold… while
..a metamorphosis of despairing thoughts to disquiet expression..
in contrariety,
keeps you waking
and alert
as in excision without anesthetics,
at times… with words
to stopple
too much bleeding.

 

 

From Book IV

Like Father, Like Son

Down the lines
to slow
estrangement… till
I’d move into
a one-room apartment
close to work
and closer to travel, with
barely a window, hardly a view and
seldom have it mopped, but
have those shirts
dry-cleaned and routinely pressed,
reread escaping books,
revisit reruns and
stranger passing screens among
the angles.. each
wall makes
with the same ceiling.. and
in time, get restless and visit
a whore
or two – which
I’m not sure you
did, but
only get lonelier… to turn
to the reeds, needles and white;
then quit the drugs,
then give up whisky,
then stop smoking and
try
starving
from time
to time to test
how much I can take, though
I doubt I’d be able to do it
as well
as you did.

    
No saints
you and I, but
each of us
belonged… to
a woman, whom
we mistreated
in our different ways, as
they did
in theirs, and
it seemed
that everyone learned
to live
by themselves, though
it’s us – you
and I, who couldn’t
or can’t
care or smile
as much
for ourselves
at
all.

 

From Book IV

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

The Perfect Blue

The idea
of Paradise, as
a place
where the ideal
is reality… seems
something we’d like
to imagine
as going somewhere
that was dreamed or envisioned,
or once, really was.. immaculate…

   

and some place
we usually know,
can no longer be
as perfect, on arrival
there.

   

   

   

The last time
we saw each other,
we spoke
of his childhood
in a boarding school,
where mornings came before
the sun, at times
before the break of dawn
and then,
there was routine for some
chosen, in clearing dust
from prayer halls, and watering
the stretches of flowers that
lined the grounds, before
the other children
were up.

    

    

    

I assumed
it must have been tiring
to rise so early, each day,
and then do that much work,
to which,
to my surprise,
he said
that he used to enjoy it,
and explained
that the feel
of fresh, open air…
that bathed the body,
and the gleam
of that dim, first light… that
illumined the skies
would allow
his young mind
to be lively! and
free…

   

   

   

It’s difficult
at times, to tell
dreams from reality..
but I know
I asked if he
would like to revisit
those faraway gardens
once again… one
early morning, with me
this time.

   

Or was I..
just waiting
for the next time
I’d see him..
and only dreamed
that I had already
asked..?

   

   

   

Someone told me
that life
is supposed to be
a procession…
of
unbearable passing..
and I claimed that it would’ve
been better
to never have
existed, but once
one does…
there’s too much
to try
to hold near, to simply
go away…
until we bid adieu
to Heaven… that hides
in the impossibility
of complete return
to the elusive fulfillment
of some mysterious places
on this uncaring earth.

 

 

From Book IV