Friday, October 24, 2014


I wonder what it is to kill a life
Sneaking surreptitiously into the clinic,
With fear, sometimes shame,
At other times desperation.
Fending off uncomfortable questions,
“Married?”, “ Unmarried?”, “Love?”, “Drunk?”.
And then scalpel and metal,
And a life which could have been
Ceases to breathe.
I kill dreams every night,
One abortion past midnight
That’s what my appointment diary says.
In bed when I see the distant blinking of the stars,
I throttle and sigh for the astronaut I couldn’t be.
The aeroplane that flies away
That somber thunder from its engines,
Assaults the evening by the Thames,
That I willed myself into believing
Would be mine one day.
With every squabble
I cease to be the man I wished to be,
Fading like half remembered dreams
Which walk backwards into oblivion.
Every day I kill myself, bit by bit,
Amidst screaming hawkers
Grumbling housewives
And stumbling principles.
In the half shut eyes
Of a sterile revolution,
Little by little,
I give myself up.
And like cars rushing at GET SET GREEN,
Days whizz by
And my dreams crawl towards their premature graves,
And a life which could have been
Ceases to breathe.

The Nightmares Have Begun II

This morning it had me again,
The cancerous vision of dates,
Ranks, marks, counseling.
Spreading like rumours into my soul.
These visions, they devour me,
Like guilt, like carnal desire.
I am afraid now to go to sleep,
Lest, watching like a hired assassin,
These dreams jump out from the alleys
Those which I have kept shut,
Like a neighbourhood abandoned during a plague,
Or a ship quarantined at the harbor.
But they will appear, these dreams,
Who lie waiting,
Like old age,
Like death,
Certain to greet me
With an embrace.

The Nightmares Have Begun

Finally the nightmares have begun
Generally it grapples me,
Like the sudden drop in mercury
On a late winter afternoon.
It is like sitting for the mathematics exam
With an inscrutable question paper,
As inscrutable as the Gods.
Or being tied on the deck of a ship,
The sea licking its tongue,
Mocking the vessel.
The waves as big as ego,
And as destructive as pride,
Raging towards me.
The night sky as dark as desire.
And then the dream is over.
Like the conclusion of a good short story,
My mornings are punctuated
By the three dots of an incomplete dream.

Silence II

If I were to paint your silence,
And how loud it could get, or how poignant,
I would fall into the trap of repeating clich├ęs.
I would say that your silence is louder
Than the minutes spent looking at the phone,
Waiting for it to ring.
Or the silence that descends upon a neighbourhood
With a sudden power failure,
Lights going out of the eyes,
Lights going out of the ears.
I would be in danger of saying,
Your silence is reminiscent of
The one preceding a storm.
But your silence is worse,
Like a bad dream it seems unending.
Like what lies between two mountains,
Or what follows when one suddenly hangs up the phone.
Or even what one sees in the blackness,
Pouring over a well.
Your silence is a serial killer,
Claiming its victim with bullets of words unsaid.
Or every stroke of choosing to ignore.
It is like what lies between two planets,
The void that keeps them apart,
Keeps them locked in a distant embrace.


As irritating as,
A doctor’s handwriting,
The sound of a drilling machine,
Incessant dripping of a leaking tap,
The promises in the year of election,
A garrulous woman with her repetitive tales,
The right word eluding you,
Running out of change,
New clothes not fitting,
Bad grammar,
The muggy sunshine after a downpour,
Someone completing a joke before the punchline,
You are all this and more.