Stranger City

Stranger City

Stranger City, your wide roads
With unexpected turns
Gave glimpses –
A kaleidoscope of déja vu.

Your sunsets and long shadows,
Bathed in filtered rays
From orange curtains
Of forgotten days…
I look up, at towering skyscrapers
And dream of plunges and conversations
Doused in mirth and menace;
Will this crippling fear of vanishing hands
Not leave my side?

Stranger City, with your dazzle and
Flattery,
Like some new raiment mirrors crave
To reflect –
You will soon turn into rags and ashes
And haunt in-between my fingernails.

Do you know?
How in the middle of my heartbeats
I have tucked in memories
Like the sands of time;
And the waves are drawing them in.

Your fireflies and billboards
Are blurring the lines between
Myth and reality
Your foreign tongue makes noises
You call language
I try to hold on to strings
To make sense of.

Each minute, a recollection,
Strung on the threads
Of infinity.

Stranger city, I’m a stranger
In your roads and rendezvous and rainy skies.
I’m a stranger with a strange taste in my mouth
I cannot get rid of.

4 June 2017

Ellipsis

Ellipsis

Storms.

I’m gulping mouthful of lies,
Clinging on to a fistful of hopes
Like dew drops on mangled spider webs,
I’m decorating my

Sores.

Each night, when I pull over
My thin sheets
I’m trying to hide
My invisible scars
That won’t stop resurfacing
In nightmares of old cassette reels,
Crammed of delectable

Heartbreaks.

Old habits swing on uneasy strings.
Broken clockworks sing no tune;
At wee hours of dawn,
I’ve forgotten what
Ambiguous skies look like
Since fear made me
Close my windows.
Every autumn, I’m
Erasing your imprints from my

Blackboard.

Dithering,
As showers in Spring
I’ve lost count of months
And your name is a distant
Ring, woven of forgotten thunderclaps
In untimely rain

22 April 2017

Tell-Tale(s)

Tell-Tale(s)

All my silent cries
Are two edged daggers,
Peeling the walls of
My throat
One swig at a time

While the stars danced
To vile tunes –
My melancholy was the crowbar
To force open
The drawers of self-loathing
And anxiety.

Purple nights crept up
Behind old walls
Of shadow puppets, playing out
Ghastly scenes in past tense;

You dwelt comfortably
In plagiarized tales,
Mimicking my skin;
Each night
I find myself,
Renewing the lease
Of your stay.

When I run out of metaphors,
There is Famine –
Gnawing,
At the cornice of my
Failed charade,
Or making love
To the tunes in my head –

I cannot tell.

22 March 2017

 

(Motel (2015), Clem Crosby Image courtesy Pippy Houldsworth gallery)

Midnight Letters

Midnight Letters

Orange sunsets from crumbling porches
Take me miles away
To lanes, doused in perfumed memories
Of old books and damp walls.
Like dust specks on spider webs,
I have decorated my fermented thoughts
With arbitrary imitations
And follies,
Pretending they were of imperative consequence.

How long does it take,
For a memory to go stale?
Even paper boats come with
Expiry dates.

I’m an accumulation of cities
And I cannot wipe away
The stains
That clings on to my identity.
I am a slave
To this symbiotic equation;
I cannot dissociate from this obsessive need
To feed off your existence.

Don’t be afraid
When I’m uncontrollable on some nights;
I take time to recuperate
From nightmares;
For they have me pinned down at gunpoint,
As they sew their shadows on my back
Like a black cape.

18 February 2017

(image source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/248894316882654168/ )

Answers

Answers

It’s 2.30 AM
And I’m struggling to find
Answers…
To questions that have built a home
So deep underneath my skin that
My bones have turned into a basement
For hiding
From midnight panic attacks,
No better than carpet bombing in a war-torn city.

Yes, I am a city trying to recuperate
From the ghosts of my past
That left bloodstains on the walls
Of my blind alleys.
For when there is a war
Raging
Between your rationale and its stubborn counterpart,
You are the muted spectator,
Being mutilated
Nonetheless
Struggling to make a choice.

In the dark room
Of silent and unconscious movements,
The sighs drenched in stupor are
Like familiar faces in a boisterous party.
And my rugged breath exhaled like melodies
Out of tune
Is desperately trying
To fall in sync.

I’m Alice, trapped in a Wonderland,
With a motley set of minor characters,
Rehashed from drab idiosyncrasies.
For the grin of the Cheshire Cat is waning,
As are the effects of the drink I took a swing of.

This is my Wonderland
And I’ve lost control
Of my realities.

11 February 2017

Home

Home

But for a rusted lock.
A broken door.
A shattered pane.
Are you willing to forsake
That which you have been calling
Your home
Down to this day?

Yes, I still hear the winds at night
Wheezing noisily.
I hear my pillows whisper,
‘She let her dreams leak
And succumb into moist patches;
Who sleeps like that
Next to enemies each night?
With nightmares warped
From sun-danced dreams?’

But believe me when I say,
That I tried to sew them
With threads of self-indulgent beliefs.
Though I knew;
I could see the bursting seams.
How could I not see?
Scattered toys with sharp ends,
Piercing my feet…
Familiar walls with peeling paint;
You cannot paste them back
Or collect them like memorabilia.

You sweep them.

Under the rug, maybe?
Until next time…

How do you desert a place
You called home?
A home, assembled from skin and bones.

21 December 2016

Lights Out

Lights Out

The billboards with their fluorescent glow
In a City of dark bends
And dingy corridors;
The light flickered in its
Fragile case, sellotaped and glued
Tiny sparks like broken glass
In the sun.

I’m trying to hold my head
High above the waters
In a space punctuated with semi-colons,
Reeking of bitterness left by
Unfinished sentences with serrated ends,
Evaporating into a jailhouse
Of four walls.
I’m inhaling the same
Over and again.
Exhaling, a putrid mix
They have christened as
My resentment
Because you can cover up a mess
With a fancy drape
And pretend it is non-existent.

Flickering lamps of unsteady flames
Painting hallucinations on blank canvases
Of patchy whitewashes.
Behind peeling wall paints,
Peeps countless bundles of
Laughter, in fragments
Grievances and boredom
Collected like soot
And burnt out matchsticks.

I walk though empty rooms
In the darkness,
As the last light wanes

Out…

27 October 2016