Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sleepshead Bed

They say that in a lover’s bed, 
lies a tiny, little death. 
You think
It is not an endless pit to dread, 
Your lover’s bed 
Is a soft and warm
breeding ground. 

Sleep’s hard to come by in a
lover’s bed:
but not this little everyday death:
You’ll just keep their bedbugs fed. 
Such are the quiet labors of love,
Sometimes we bleed to save them blood, 
sink our backs into broken coils,
wonder if we’ll leave a mark behind. 
They’re sharing their blankets, 
Squeezing me in; 
Surely their bed isn’t just a 
plush, lidless, coffin. 

Don’t invite fear to your lover’s bed,
She’ll whisper in their weary ear: and
Lovers never hesitate to forget. 
Like the tip-of-tongue joy of meals, 
Our fingers tell us how we really feel,
Until our wretched lovers’ broken beds, 
Prevent it from getting to our heads. 

They are morbid lands, the downy, almost pyres
where our lovers nightly retire.
Dangerous places where we willfully
lie whilst sharing our bread;
So what of our own, carefully made bed?
Our familiar sheets will not tickle, 
But we know that even self-lovers are fickle—
So we make a safer bet, that
four hands will more readily suggest
companionship than two

And so we dream, 
As lovers in beds often do
Happily loved until they fall asleep:
A stupor of forgetting 
That love is a gift of giving.
And just like that, in one fell sweep
We’re lying at our lover’s bed’s wobbly feet, 
Prepared to mend the breached orifice
Face the curse which persists: reality must suffice                                                                                               In our tiny, little afterlife. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Translation: Kehne Ko Jashn-e-Bahaara Hai (Javed Akhtar)

Hearsay is that it’s time 
for a celebration of blossoms, 
(some call it spring);
But it seems that today, 
the sight of this 
causes love anguish 
to behold.

A so-called celebration, a
Purely nominal, titular spring, for
What court of spring-seasons 
can proceed lacking the participation 
of such an essential guest?

Yes, when love’s in distress: 
Even fragrance is sullen, 
she shies away from the flowers 
in the garden.
Some grief is hidden in the portiere, 
an unlikely
(but temporarily befitting)
alias for atmosphere; 
whose expansive vacuum has been 
(oddly) thinned by this 
lovelorn circumstance. 

Everything seems pastel, 
The views are subdued, 
The very threads of time are torpid, drowsy. 
Remaining suspended in our hearts 
is lost chatter,
as if to marinate us, tenderize us
in anticipation 
of love’s return to spring. 

How might I articulate my grouse?
I am presently consumed 
by thoughts of how to settle
whether or not I might claim him intimate.

For although we traverse together, 
the distances are between us...
Akin the opposite banks of a single river, 
we do not meet:
We are as aloof from one another as our destination. 
We are near each other, 
and yet, we are not close— 
I cannot consent to this pain! 
This interval amidst us
is a (perplexing) glass wall. 

Everything is tepid,
When love is tormented.  
This fake, namesake
of spring
aggrieves me. 
The tune I’d heard 
is the one my heart had chosen. 
But what strange destiny has time 
chosen to play me instead?

I cannot imagine that he is happy 
while I sit here, desolate. 
Indeed, in our rendezvous
it is as if we are commingled in loneliness.
Isolated together, 
Although we encounter the other, 
we never meet. 

Nothing is impossible in 
this alien springtime where
the flowers blossom without ever blooming.

Our eyes see the spring, 
But our hearts know it is autumn. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

On Perspicuity

Almost true:
A flimsy promise 
I suspect it was known, that
your plan was homegrown

I, a nescient botanist
archetypal fool

You convinced me to campaign
For a weed,
as if, 
it were a flower.
Illusion of ardor 
Hooked to the bait

I did not know that 
Intrigue is everything,
only when it has nothing to hide.
Veneers are like shams that lie on sofa beds
to hide our seminal stains. 
They are not pleasurably mysterious 
like curtains that open to a frank world,
eager for breathtaking. 

Thank you for exfoliating
my naiveté:
I was mistaken, I
Confused inscrutability with challenge.

Even so, 
it is a new age now:
“l’amour nouveau”
We are patrons of candidness. It
flows uninhibitedly, just as natures do.

Mountains are proudly scaled by those who
saw their preeminent peaks
Long before 

trading in for better shoes.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

In Passing

If you will not tarry,
Let me tell you in passing:
A calloused hand is harder to hold

But far more worthy. 

Wednesday, August 5, 2015


Speaking your heart to a cool lover
Is, perhaps, like being skinned alive. 
You are vulnerable, and more than naked 
More so
Juxtaposed by their armored habits
Unto which acid could be spilled, 

You are hardy too.
Or not anymore?
Well, usually, some spilled orange juice
Would not hurt you--
But today, on raw, gleaming skin
It sears.

Are you afraid to pine?
Do you understand the beauty of

which have a way of making
All the world brighter 
Uncovering all its hidden philosophy:
Even a juice bottle will tell you 
separation is normal. 


A bottle of dead fruit-- a bottle!
--Taught me
To think to myself,
When I am crying:
"This is
just to shake it well; 
we will drink
in a quick moment. 
Maybe, if I draw the salt in my body up to
My eyes
It will mix things up inside."

The drink is much sweeter,
For just a moment 
Of shaking it up. 

An aside:
Is that why 
they say 
we must
the moment?"

Living in the moment
Just means 
Remembering that tears 
Make you sweeter. 

Well, I just lived a moment 
cast aside. With you.

Pining makes me reflective
In all these pretty ways
And so 
You are perfect 
Not for loving me,
For my love.

The wisest lovers do not say 
"The greatest love is one that 
lights the sky up," 
They say it makes 
A breakfast beverage richer than 
Red hook's treasure;
And we all know that it's
Hard to be unhappy
In a rich world.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Love in the Time of Climate-Changing Psychobiology

You're frigid. 
I am a desert rose.
Play, repeat:
I'll listen to the songs, but
Cognitively dissuade reason.
My ears won't hear 
Clashing sounds.

Reasons, bitter almonds 
Cyanide in the brain;
Atrophied sea-horses;
We are murdered incrementally
By stress.

Stress, the little pressures as
We take on more and more,
And share less,
Only winter smiles upon those
Who are cold.

And now, it is spring.

I must not wait on a decision already made
Love is a drug; every time we touch 
Oxytocin, vasopressin; and more. 
There is violence in deliberate asynchrony.
We share evenings of hope
Until they are evenings of injury.
Aren't we healers? 

Let us not breed despair. 
I will say that there is something 
oddly self-aware
In studying operant conditioning,
Whilst being operantly conditioned
By your hot-then-cold stares,
Agile fingers; meticulously meted out words.
Indecisive affection. 

This is chemical, as chemical as 
Every grain of sand and flake of 
tightly squeezed ice.
Desert rose, frigid oak,
Neither is a stranger to emotions. 

I forget that even as
The desert sun scorches,
The desert night has frozen 
Many a thirsty soul.
And so a strange attraction lies 

Yes, it lays within me
The dishonest draw.
It's an easy delusion:
Our icy words aren't so cold when we
Share our blankets, sweaters, scarves.

I'll calm myself
For this is a forgiving world: 
with truthful lies, and good thieves;
And endless seas, 
Which give rise 
to not just 
the desert rose,
but also the frosty ice. 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Heart of a Woman

Have I yet,
The heart of a woman?
Lurches, like my stomach as the train
Pulls in, relentlessly
Station after station. 

The heart of a woman,
The calloused heels of a traveller,
The tousled hair of a lover,
The massaged skin of a nymph,
Have I yet
A mind of my own?

The penitent thief:
A good man,
Like most others
Unknown. Invisible helpers
The machine runs, its cogs
are remembered, but not until
They fall out. Have I yet, 
The heart of a woman?
With soulful eyes to see
All those repentant robbers? 

Have I yet
The gritty tenacity
To confess completely?
The hands of a pure lover,
Midas touch to
Blessedly transform all sinful lives
The heart of
A woman who is

The heart of a woman,
Her bleeding conversion,
distorted self-images:
Have I yet,
The power to create life from nothing?
The capacity for such astounding love?

Have I yet,
The heart of a woman?
Grown from the glitter studded, acrylic sweat
of a big-sister, a gentle teacher, a smiling scolder:
And what if I do?
Shall I be a specimen 
Or set precedents?

And how can I count and thank:
All the almost lovers,
All the hands which shared their warmth
and helped me circulate the truth?
Those rueful souls,
Whose eyes saw me from their corners
and passing glances,
With sufficient distance to see the metabolized me; 
When I only saw up-close, 
as a parent who cannot see the new inches of child-bones
The little girl I was originally, 
with a little voice, 
wondering impatiently:
if she has yet a heart of a woman. 

I must also thank,
The lovers of whom I
have meticulous count
For leading my growth and sharing
their food. I don't think
Dinner is a coincidental tradition of courtship.
Some lovers have nurtured me, even if not to see,
but equally importantly, to be
a welcoming home to 
the heart of a woman.

I think I do have one:
a heart of a woman.
A soul that is grown,
no, not fully,
but certainly enough to belong
to a woman.