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THE HISTORY OF DECADENCE: A BACKWARD SYMPHONY IN THREE PARTS

(Dedicated to Boredom and to the Ego)

Atindriyo Chakrabarty

Part 1: NEARNESS and FETISH


1) Love Poem and Hate Poem Love Poem Hating is easier than loving Every asshole can hate But most people cant love. What they think of as loving is just an extension of their selves. Hatred, unlike love, comes effortlessly, even to me. And this is largely because many things and many people can be hated with all the bitterness one can possibly summon and bitterness is an obedient slave, eternally ready for your call. But few things and fewer people can actually be loved, and love is a difficult worship. In short, Hatred is an easy state of mind Whereas it takes guts to love. And not many can accept pain as natural. But I can love and I have loved and I will love and I am proud of it. ............................................................................................................................................... Hate Poem Consensus with lions is easy as it comes from within But that with foxes shows incapacity to think or stand for the self The sad thing is that the ones you see screaming themselves hoarse for consensus are foxes with ill-developed guts. Mostly, they have had it all easy throughout And mostly, they know dick about the individual. They are good at harming, at loving their egos, at hating others egos And at whining about how they have been deprived They cant create or recreate or understand But they can procreate foxes a million foxes to scream with them They cant listen, but they can say To them what they say are the canons and commandments. To them, Art is craft Alternatives dont exist Life is pimping for procurement of fattening things Fools are those who rush in where angels fear to tread and trade The world is the way they see it power is something to be afraid of fear is something to worship,( though in secret) statues are things to emulate compromises are deities

restraint is necessary poetry is a clichd adjective and big is finite. They are everywhere, and they are the diseased ones And the disease is spreading fast Because the germ that causes this can mutate faster than the mind And can adapt to every climate and in every atmosphere. These foxes will try all sorts of tricks to get you on their side and they know many. They will want you to bark, yip, yelp and screech with them In total union and perfect harmony And if you refuse, youre up for the guns and canons and sticks and other things they are proud of possessing. Their system works on fear for punishment which they think is good and required They cant roar. Theyll never roar. And their children will never learn to roar but will be happy that they have not learnt that, because roaring, as these children will be taught, is bad. These children will grow up to be foxes like them I feel sorry for these children Beware of the foxes, if you are not one already. And as for the lions, most of them are dead And the rest have gone away. There are no lions today. Those of us who are not foxes yet are just that not foxes yet. ......................................................................................................................................................... ............................. 2) Nine Little Angels in Chocolate Wrapper Rags Sharing cigarettes with strange old men Looking for jobs out in the sun And consoling myself with facts of eventuality, inevitability etc. Half of me pretends intellect and tells me that rejection is essential for the soul The other half doesnt care for the soul or for the sharks, it doesnt care for the sun, the moon or the mother, or for anything at all. At times I wish that the sky or the earth would eat me up, or I would eat them up I close the panes, pull the shades down and draw up the curtains Everything becomes static, time included the dark matters of my Universe start kissing all velvet monstrosity Sunflowers take lessons on truculence (I remember how my mother used to tend the Dahlias once.) Fairies with fangs make love to one-horned shadows Blizzards run through destitute neurons

Dead swans float on dead lakes Symphonies march through this dreary nakedness Angels bring in cold points of view Arrowheads shimmer in starlight Ghosts sit on my brain Ghosts sit on your brain Ghosts from my brain fight with the ones from yours City streets are city streets Nights are lavender, silk and kiss Nights are television sets blurting out their own frozen and well-preserved ideas of the essence of communication and of communication of the essence Frogs shake off Blue Shakespeare from the hurricane's wagging tail And wolves leap up with the flames And these are just pictures I am talking about. And why the fuck am I talking about these pictures? And who pisses at sincere sadness? What blasted sorcery is this, anyway? Trudging through the grimy accounts of warfare, crime and dead children tires the intellect out; The intellect wants a soft verse, a flat note, a conception of beauty, profane tears and some honey after the bitterness. The intellect wants to remember Mother The intellect wants to build a rainbow bridge to the flesh. Hah! The Goldfish says Hah! And once again, trumpets roll out into the canvas (another picture Hah!) Barricade the cows. Barricade the moss. Barricade the footsteps in light. And why the hell am I writing these? I think because I am tired of sharing cigarettes with strange old men, looking for jobs out in the sun And consoling myself with facts of eventuality, inevitability and all necessities. I want to sleep and dream of gophers with saintly green eyes I want to observe sparrows with white bellies and black beaks I want to see stallions in moonlight I want an erection that will tear open the darkness I want to wonder whether god lives in the mountains I want the windows to ask the flags why I want the dogs to chase the clocks away But I know that none of these will happen soon enough Trains will never cry for Harold Hart Crane And busses will never set cities ablaze by roaring out wildly for Flaubert And pollens will never embarrass the demons And people will never shed their dreadful skins

And love will never match up to hatred. So, I am depressed. The night is killing me, The days are dragging me through dagger and dust; I hope someday I'll be swallowed down by a huge Blue Whale So that I can sit straight inside its stomach and write my honest letters. Three Tunes for the Cathedral and a story for the House of Dead Initial rejection is expected Thats how the body reacts To poison And to antidotes. Besides, the more battles you lose, The stronger you grow Till that day comes when youre just too damn strong To lose any battle. ......................................................................................................................................................... ... The multitude, the herd Is highly interesting Observe closely An entire mass composed of a million crawling, writhing, moving dots Now magnify on those dots individually: The first striking feature that youll observe is that each one looks similar to the next The second feature thatll hit you pretty hard is that each one of them operates in similar fashion through switching of buttons. Theres one button that makes them love and theres another one that makes them hate. Again, theres a button to make them happy and one to make them sad. And so on. And thus they regulate themselves and the others and the entire flock with buttons regulating everything they say or think or feel or do or do not do, controlling the fact that they are there. The third feature, and this one will disgust you, is that each one of those dots, when magnified sufficiently, looks very much like you. The fourth feature that will shock you to core is that now you are wishing that you were like them, You are wishing that you too could operate like them through switches and buttons. Because by now you are sure that they never get distressed, unlike you. They are all welloperated, and theres no inconvenience involved in this scheme of things.

And the now comes the fifth feature that you will notice, and this might break your heart though it didnt break mine: That the only thing you have learnt and realised through this observation is that they are there and you are here. ......................................................................................................................................................... ..... Pass the night on now, pass everything thats in it The star thats Hemmingway if its watching me now, The star thats me is watching it too And both the stars want it this way. Pass the night on now, and pass its blackbirds too I leave the streets and the yellow huts And i enter the oldest forest that ever was For my home lies deep inside. Pass the night on now, and pass the ringlet moon And take your trips to the hollow land But dont take the one of fright Had Hamlet been a machine, he wouldve known why. Pass the night on now, and pass those heavens on fire And pass its little eyeballs and pass its pinned up skin I feel like a reptile among the monsters But im closer to the rough surface Pass the night on now, and pass your love to me I can make a boat out of it, or i may eat it up Pass the night on to me; ill grasp its rainy throat And when its dead and cold enough, we shall have much fun. ......................................................................................................................................................... . Poetry From Airport Its huge Theres a long corridor leading to the escalators and there are people of plastic and steel sitting liptight on chairs of plastic and steel, with electricity also of plastic and steel burning the whole place up in its cold fire. It all seems strange now. And even the huge glass doors seem to be frozen for a long long time And how on earth can so many people not talk? If it ever wakes up, this entire place And goes roaring and charging on towards the sea Wont it just be too damn great? But theres only so much greatness one can imagine. I just hope that this demon, now asleep

Rises up soon. That would be the only form of greatness which is greater than hatred and yet conceivable. ................................................................................................................. However lonely and silent and still might i become among the multitudes that kick their way through the sidewalks right upto the dead-end be it home, office or whorehouse or shithouse or stations or just plain fucking nowhere, However deathlike and pale might i become among the little signs of light and mascara and wilderness gone astray and concrete monsters and buses that seem like ill-sculpted rhinoceroses lost and aimless in the forests of plainly lost passion in bedsheets and curtains and tears and trains that can perhaps heave their sadness up and way beyond the chimney-fumes and the sea, However cold and eternal might i become in the statutes standing through the haze and eyeing the wisdom of the day and the lemon-tinted mayhems that dot the borderlines of sanity and wisdom with contemplative bitterness and candour of a lost grandfather by the fireplace I will never be a mannequin because my gaze can never ever be as fixed and as theirs are, and my cheek can never be as cold as theirs and, ah well What the fuck am i even talking about? ............................................................................................................................. My haiku was burning for whatever it was worth. ................................................................................................................................ Yes, its that hour of the tiger again A shapeless form, a formless shape, whatever Nothing concrete, just an hour Lost in caves, lost in the ancient wilderness Lost in eyes that burn the dark. And nothing else. And this too, shall pass.

...................................................................................................................... Finally, some sound but its shit Some guy playing some trash on his laptop and is listening to the same crap again and again Whats he thinking? May i call him Plebeian? May i call him anything? Does he have a woman waiting for him? Does he have anyone waiting for him at all? Or is he the only one doing all the waiting? All of that is besides the point The point is that the night was dead till he opened his laptop-lid And i think nights like these are better dead than alive if this is the only choice of life it has got. ................................................................................................................. Violin Partita 3 in E JS Bach Im listening to it now The whole of the airport and the city and the entire big black night is listening to it now. And little fairies with fires on their wings are circling the music. Things seem smooth and easy for a few seconds like a soothing ride through the first rains And then, like a sudden jolt, the pain makes its presence felt. And music can be so cruel at times. The fire-fairies have blood and murder in their eyes now. The night seems like a hungry wolf, the city seems to be drowning in its own sewery guts And the airport is but an icy knife making its way deep inside everything starting from the skull and spines and moving on till the endless ends. And then, yet another jolt. The music stops. The ride is over. Go home, kid. Go home to the void now. .................................................................................................................................... Wish there was a space where i could let it out let everything out And yet not be accountable for it. So much accounts and accountancy eats the brain up. I just wish i could spit fire and poison from my eyes and mouth and everything else and i could burn everything and get burned. And i could sleep for a few thousand years after that. And wake up like i woke up when my mother poured me down. Honestly, how much can we eat without taking a crap? And if we check too much, wont the farts be too damn unbearable? ........................................................................................................................................................ Seventeen brutal waves opened me up

They stabbed me all night long And theres blood all over my chest and belly and over everything else And with each stab i felt a bit of flesh leaving me A bit of whisper knocking the woods though the oldest chimes and other open spaces And every wave had a crown of empty bitterness, and nothing more And i sought to survive. And maybe, just maybe, I sought the pain as well. ......................................................................................................................................................... . Strange places these are. Strange people, all as dead as the next one and a bit less dead than me but strange nevertheless Ones coughing is lungs out right now, and the other one, he smells like a rotten fish and yet smiles at times wish i knew who taught him how to smile. And all of us are doing what we do best. We are waiting, all of us! ......................................................................................................................................................... .. The greatest genius of god, if one exists Lies in nakedness. Nothing, no cities or countries or civilizations or springs blossoms or treachery of the hours or phantasmagoria or whores tits can ever possibly match up to it. The truest glory lies in nakedness. Naked people, naked streets, naked houses, naked euphoria, naked solitude, naked gamblers, naked roses, naked everything stark, divine and naked. This is where real beauty lies. ......................................................................................................................................................... .. A touch of eyes, an occasional smile of familiarity, an oeuvre, an outraged hour, a slight shade for the butterfly wings All you require to prim the void up. .................................................................................................................................................... Animals in sunlight All jostling for security All mourning the tides

At war and at peace all Animals in sunlight, all, Praying for things to get easier. For a high chair, For some light to seep in from beneath the desks. Animals in moonlight Strange voices, strange tongues Children and their playthings Dropped from the Chariot of Fire All paying their dues to the enchantment To the bittersweet, to the flesh And to the confluence of all hateful endearment. ......................................................................................................................................................... Sitting at the smoking zone with burnt out lungs and parched lips My laptop and my world spread out before me Occasional nods at passersby Occasional catching of glimpses and bits of conversation Each and every conversation meanders like a smokey ageless snake Which begins and ends in the same void, like everything else. Forms, both human and humanoid, moving all around. They are talking about safety now. And they were talking about equality sometime back A glass door between us and the rest of the world, Outside, theres a huge piece of flesh dangling down the great roof of the world. And the people inside, myself included, Once we go out, well make a mad dash for a piece of that piece And well kick and punch and stab each other, we will raze and gun each our down, and we will bomb the guts out of one another as we race for that piece. We will burn the world out and we will leave ugly scars behind when we go all for a dig at that one piece. Until then, its just us inside, all smiles and nods and smokerings and bits of the aimless chain of words that bind strangers down when at peace. .................................................................................................................................................... I opened the newspaper On the front page it was all about how everything is going down like a limp dick On the mid page it was about how a baby got his skull ripped out in some war for oil or land or whatever And on the last page it was about how some gamers gamed their game and about an actress getting married to a hoteliers son. Honestly, we all knew that these were happening much before reading all these At times i wonder, the question of utility notwithstanding, Why dont newspapers burn down in their own wrath and leave bits and pieces of their bile and entrails for us to pick up and create our own stories and histories?

........................................................................................................................................................ Machine place, Smooth edges, smooth walls, smooth floors, smooth people, Everythings perfect, and everythings as lifeless as perfection can possibly be. What the fuck am i doing here? ......................................................................................................................................................... . Im a mammoth in the twilight now I am looking down at my children far below I have seen the world when it was young And i have heard the first sound and i have seen the first light I have walked through all the roads and across all the horizons And soon, all will be put out, whiffed away with one stroke of a hand Just the bit of the wick that remains And in the flickering twilight i see my children below, I see the earth, it smells of mother now. It shall rot away, like mother, like flesh. Like everything that is there and everything that is here. ......................................................................................................................................................... .... All dazed and sleepless Dirty clothes, dirty mind, dirty hands, dirty intellect Everythings just too damn fucking dirty for pleasure or convenience I was off and away, far far away from where my home is And life was tough in the farawayness Just a few hours to my own bed. Private propriety seems comforting at times And i want to sleep for the rest of the eternity thats left in me. Yeah, that is all. That will be all Curtains, curtains please. ........................................................................................................................................................

Part II: From a DISTANT CITY


1) Sabbath Its the same trick everywhere First they teach you about the big fat dream

Then they tell you that youre close to it So many times That you start believing that its really close to you And then they point it out to you Something big and tempting And they tell you that its the dream And you believe in them again and then they give you that perfect concoction of greed and need to drink and they point out at everyone around you who are drinking it, and they tell you that if you dont do what everyone around you are doing theres something so badly wrong with you that you must be shitscared. And thus, you are shitscared, and almost ready to drink. Next they bring before you those who are inside And these those they smile at you Their teeth glisten like neon-fairy-whores and whatnot And they tell you that one day Yours will shine as bright You believe in them and in the shine And you drink that thing. The next thing you see as you wake up Is the inside of the big thing Its guts and its intestines Smelling like something straight out of The worst zombie nightmare you have ever seen You look around the slimy dark mass To see heads of the ones who Had smiled. They are not smiling now Their faces are contorted with the wisdom Of a million years bondage and darkness And their eyes are cold with refrigeration And you are a prisoner now, just like them, the entire bunch. And you are too weary and too fucking trapped, And stuck deep inside the thick pool of muck To break free Just like them. The fuckers have tricked you again. You are born free, and thats where it pretty much ends ....................................................................................................... Here i am, chewing the cold beef Once again, and

Wondering about the state of affairs of the world. The beer cans are empty now, rolling all over whatever little space they have on the floor My ashtray lies upside down on the table, Beside the tiny timepiece and both are two sad and inconsequential relics of some stale revolution reminiscing the tough old times. As i lay half naked, sweat pouring down my back Snot gathers on my nostrils Moss gathers on my blood vessels Armies gather by the gates Sand gathers on the night Ghosts gather by ghostfires Babylon gathers by dreams Air conditioned wishes curl themselves up for the next bout of orgy Little fleas and bugs bite their little bites through my skin I have red patches all over by now, And i itch as i chew the last bits of the cold dry meat Wondering about the state of affairs of the world. Before long, i shall be fast asleep And i will wonder about the state of affairs of the world no more. ............................................................................................................. if all the dreams sweat yellow sands and if all the roses burn with the moontide and if all the fairies gather by the waves and if all the insects crawl to the womb and if time whores herself to history and if monsters carry thunder on their armpits and if ships get wings from the butterflies and if blood freezes up by the rivers of death and if sparrows waltz with gophers and if ivory towers hide the princesses from storms and if the bells of doom knell out their final dong before the end begins and etc etc nothing will change ill be here, scouring the pile of unwashed laundries strewn on the floor for that lost trouser button youll be there, reading about my scouring the pile of unwashed laundries strewn on the floor for that lost trouser button on Facebook tomorrow. Thats about the only part of me that youll care about and same here. ............................................................................................... Prisons are but dislocated joints And they lie everywhere, like we lie in coma Before the machineguns roar, before the canons hum their love. Prisons lie in streets and cafes, in electricity, In the never ending rows of death and the dead, In our false smiles, fake tears and fat sweaty arms, Inside sad tramcars and the seven colours of dawn. And they lie in the naked children and in their flowers. Prisons run deeper into our roots than crime punishment or redemption Our bootheels wear away and the sun and the moon wither away and it stops raining forever

And all flesh melts away and Santa Clauses fade out in the misty haze And dusty cities crumble like biscuits between the teeth of a monstrous god And newspapers burn out in their own heat And chambermaids lose the last candlestick for their mistresses And monkeys chip and chatter before the caves beyond National Geography And something scary loops out from darkness And my eyes stay gutted to my skull and my fingers stay fixed at the trigger And sex stays trapped in the cobwebbed instincts of senility And fatigue drips down the trees and rocks and the forests which weep in silence, Hiding their hapless misery in their dark hood at night and everything else dies away in distance and logic and reason and duties and senses blank themselves out with the stars and boatmen who operate on river Styx call it a day and Caesar keeps on crossing his Rubicon and Ulysses looks at Ithaca with empty dry eyes and and all sorts of shit keep on happening but nevertheless, Prisons remain In dots-dashes-rainbows, and everywhere in between. And so do the guards the same four guards, they watch you like theyre watching you writhing and wriggling in chains behind the iron bars now their eyes do not move. Their eyes are dead. But they are there and so are the prisons. ............................................................................................................ Radha, they missed out on her And left her halfway through, like a masterpiece cursed to incompletion Maybe shes a nurse or a nun or a kindergarten teacher or a stripper or a waitress now Or whatever. All these dont matter. She ends like and unfortunate incident And shes not meant to restart or resume For such might impede the progression of Divinity. Hah. We can all safely claim to be the referee Where god and devil play Vying for a piece of all that starts from the flesh and goes deeper down Radha, poor child, She never got the chance to take her shot at neutrality Just an abrupt end, And folks who dabble in religion develop on her love and stuff And intellectuals who analyse epics and stuff and give her the inevitable, infallible cold shoulder Do their part in driving the dagger deep in. Maybe thats what the creator wished A rugged, unfinished pain, and just that and nothing more. Who knows? And, more importantly, who cares? .

2) Reticence and Reticulum I was at the zoo today. I could relate. ............................................................ A great white hand Waved goodnight Another one Came closer, Called. I drew my gun I didnt know That It fires backwards The next thing I remember: The Black hand Waving goodnight The White one Coming closer, Calling. ............................................................................. The first time i went to school I was scared The first time i went to a whorehouse I was scared The first time i shot myself I was scared The first time i woke up I wasnt I dont know why im saying this Maybe too much of the same shit fucks the brain And roses freeze up in November.

..................................................................... I want a window one bigger than the world One from which i can see the moving lights And i can see the owl staring at me for i dont know how long And i can see the city turning into a leopard at midnight With dark black spots in the yellow blaze And pouncing at the midnight And pouncing at the sea And pouncing at the ships in horizon And pouncing at endlessness And pouncing at me but the window is to be stronger than the city and i am to survive the city and i am to survive its yellow blaze and dark spots and i want it to see me surviving but for all these to happen i need a window bigger than the world and sadder than the dusk and lonelier than the owl outside and more aimless than the shooting lights because when i am sad and lonely and out of shit which i quite often am i want to look at it, and outside at the owl and at the lights. ............................................................................................. Sparrows fly in to my brain Every night They chirp They have things to say i guess And the cat sitting close to the clock stares at the sparrows in my brain Will it jump at them? And the huge black dog at the door Rests its jaws at its paws And stares at the cat For an eternity Through the fog Will it jump at the cat? And one by one The stars disappear And there are little holes in the sky now Blacker than the night

And from each hole A gun comes out And each gun Points at the dog Will they shoot at the dog? I am God so i need to save them And so i drive the sparrows away The cat walks away, disgusted The dog falls asleep, bored And the guns move back out of the holes, relieved And now the sky is dark and blank And so is my brain And i think they are one and the same. ............................................................... Words are life With raging flames, With heroes riding out against the storm With clocks fighting for a piece of time With trains asking stations to back off With the boozers asking flowers to bloom With the madness waiting in fear At laundry rooms and cafes and volcanoes and at the great beyond With speedboats cutting through the heart of the sea and shooting straight At the horizon With rats peeping out of the sewers And looking at the great big city. Words are life Words can look at the awe in the rats eyes as they look out Words can breathe the sadness away from the mountains And can bring more sadness to the death of poets and cougars Words can piss at the eyes of god and can cower under flophouse beds fearing the thunderbolts once the act is done Words can roar out the glory of Lord and wait for some favour from the great one as He tramples out the vintage Im not saying anything new and im not saying them in any new way either All of these have been said and done before Words have often been used to pat their own backs and scratch their own bums Nevertheless, without them i would have been way worse off than i am And the skies and the earth would have chewed me up and have shit me out and i would have been flushed down into a putrid sewer one that would have been far closer to hell and away from the soothing sea-breeze than the one in which i am rotting now. So, i am writing these words, and these words are life, And they dont care if you approve of them or not. And as i write, i hear the dogs barking

I hear a car screeching. i hear the whistle of the ghostwalkers and this woman (whom i knew from when she was a girl and i like her though i liked her more when she was a girl and now shes doing her best to resist the shit that the worlds been trying to put between her ears like the world always does and i wont say that shes doing a good job but i am sure that shell learn with time) texts me and asks: what do we do bout the void?. Had i had a reply, i would have given that to her. But this is where i stop and this is where words and life must stop and are forbidden to go beyond. I cant use words to answer the question and i feel imbecile powerless and dishonest. Or maybe someday ill learn to use words and shapes and symbols and characters and syllables and forms and all other lookable-hearable-thinkables as weapons and wage my war against the void. And then ill get my reply for her ready. I hope she waits. I hope words wait. .......................................................................................................... After typing out the previous poem I was thinking of how much i love poetry and of how much i can give everything away for it When all of a sudden i realised that i needed to take a piss And so i took out the key to my room removed my luggage and opened the door and was locking it from outside when a great grandfatherly voice from inside my head asked me: if you have to choose between dying of this pain in your urinary bladder and poetry which one would you take? I said, poetry, any given day Now the voice asked: are you sure? I realised that my urge to pee has increased at least fivefold and that its really hurting now I said yes and i really was sure and as i entered the washroom (which, by the way, is one i have to share with all the other boarders here and is at the other end of the corridor from where my room is) and as i let myself go and felt the pleasure of the pain going away, the voice asked me again: and would you choose poetry over this joy? and i said yes, trust me, i mean it and sincerely so the voice smiled (i wonder, can voices smile? That one surely did) and said: its okay. Take it smooth and easy, let life be; things will fall in place

to this i said: no, poetry isnt smooth and easy and its not out there to let life be and its not something that falls in place and its meant to remain out of place forever. Poetry is cruel and i am ready for its cruelty. The voice has not said anything in return yet. (Or maybe it said We shall see. I dont clearly remember) It was a warm lonely voice. I dont know how the speaker looks like, but he seemed to be just like the voice: warm, lonely and placid. ..................................................................................................... It was a relatively quieter day than most I didnt drink last night which i mostly do before holidays I woke up at nine in the morning which is way earlier than the usual time i wake up on holidays And i took long walks by the sea and felt the breeze against my face It soothed and cajoled me a lot and i felt at ease and at peace with the world at which i didnt have to take my claws out and gnash something i have done so often thats not even a thing to write or think about now. And when i was returning home, the skies had gone from faint red to dark My hotels at the second floor of a very cold old rundown mansion And i had to walk up the rickety wooden staircase It was then that I came across a middle aged man, more old than middleaged with what seemed to be a six day stubble at the landing. He was pale and thin, with a slight hunch and the grains of his stubble were mostly white. His clothes were dirty enough for him to avoid the tag of affluence But clean enough to dodge that of rubblehood. And he was trying to open the lock of the collapsible gate of the first floor With a bunch of keys that jingled out their rebellion Even the lock was resilient and stubbornly silent. But he managed to unlock the gate with some effort and did to it what Moses had supposedly done to a sea once and entered the first floor lobby and locked the gate from inside It was a cold, damp and dark lobby just like the one at my hotel on the floor above, except for the darkness and it had doors on both sides, just like this one but unlike the one at my hotel, all those doors were locked from the outside with what seemed to be really heavy and rusty locks, and, evidently, the rooms which were hiding behind those deathlike masks had not been inhabited by any human being in the recent past. The other major difference was that unlike the hotel lobby which has the bright blessing of electricity, the one downstairs had got only one bulb and that too at the far end, and it gave out a faint yellow haze

So this man, who, at that point, seemed to be as lost and as faint as the bulb, entered the lobby and he disappeared inside the dying yellow. That was when it came to me Mindfuck It followed me to my room And since then, it has been staying with me and from the look of things, it doesnt seem to be in any hurry to make me renounce my position as the host it has been here for what seems like an eternity now and we have become good friends without sharing a single word or sigh or cigarette and we have been looking straight into each others eyes. I cant read anything from its gaze and i dont think it can read anything from mine either and each pair of eyes is as fixed and as stony as the other. Its as if both of us are looking into a mirror. ............................................................................................................... Everything you do Stems from A feeling Of loneliness Everything you dont Are children Of the sacred Mother You never knew You had. The circle of light Is small All you see Are faces in the valley Rotting Like dead fishes And you do whatever you do Because you want to Look away. And things you dont do Are for the trashcans to store up For when the heavens open up And the circle of light becomes redundant You will be charged less for your symmetries And extra for your shit You believe in this Because they told you to do so And you believe in them Because they are sitting on the other side And you must obey the ones On the other side

Because those on the other side know things which you dont. The candle burns out The circle is gone now And now the ants crawl to your bedsheet And now the wolves come closer And now you know why. ......................................................................................................... I didnt tell her, but that night i dreamt of zebras. The moon was shining over the forest. The moon was NAKED because she doesnt need her robes in wilderness. A snake sprang out of my head and went for the dahlias Flowers were burning (and contrary to popular belief, they dont smell good when they burn) A red line moved across the sky A hunter shot an arrow at a deer but he missed A sailor FUCKED a fisherwoman A night died in the cold A snowflake glistened A city shed

a tear for the night which wrapped me as i slept and dreamt of the zebras. By the time i woke up The night had died The arrow was stuck to an oaktrunk The hunter was walking HOME dejected The deer was lost in mist The sailor had sailed AWAY from the fisherwoman The flowers were burnt. I wont tell her but i still have her earrings. hidden safely from the world in a drawer And I had never dreamt of the zebras again And i wont ever dream of them

again. The next dream I had was of me sleeping inside my MOTHER And dreaming of the F L E S H. (A dream within another, a life inside anothers. Theres a sense of security in all these for the inner ones.) Maybe i will tell this to her someday, That the zebras have gone away That the earrings are the relic of a red line that had passed through a city which had cried because a snowflake had told her that a night was DYING while the moon had gone to the WILDERNESS and a snake was approaching the D A H L I A S. And maybe i will tell her that my mother still wears the bitter robe of D E T A C H M E N T. ............................................................................................. 3) I Eat Neon

My rooms at the far end of this long corridor And there are several rooms on both sides each with white walls and each as tiny as the other And inside, each room has pale yellow walls and each has a vacuous man inside Who stares at their television set or at their newspaper or their paperback or laptop screen with the same blankness with which they walk and talk. And each one has to get up early in the morning and Monday mornings are like hell to each. Each has a woman they want but cant get because had they had the option to get her, they wouldnt have stayed in this semi-flophouse. Its like this hall of death, and its really no different from any other place. ..................................................................... And this is for all of you out there who write or want to write Stop theorizing. Itll take the life out of your words Like a sharp switchblade Takes blood out of heart and the guts. Itll trap you to the valley of the thirsty dead Who can see the stream flowing by and who can hear it too But cant get any closer. Take pride in the fact that You are the God of the empire you create out of your words. But stop calling it names For words, i tell you, hate being called names They are meant to be just that words And nothing more. And once they get pissed off with you Theyll depart you Forever. So for heavens sake, get real and stop borrowing overcoats from other people, other times, other worlds and other lives And just be honest to your words. Thats the only thing they ask from you honesty. .......................................................................... There was one whom i loved and who loved me back so much that i couldnt take it And then there was one whom i loved and who i thought loved me but today i doubt And then there is one whom i love and who loves me too but from behind strange a haze of colours and shadows i can never reach. Gah im running out of bullets fast and soon ill be heading for doom or surrender or oblivion or maybe the valleys.. But i think i will stop thinking of this and shut my eyes and fall asleep fast asleep And ill dream of forests where the lions roar And of rivers where the piranhas await supper And of children who play from dawn till dusk without worrying about these damn bullets and this damn pain. Why the fuck does it not go? ........................................................................................................

In order to survive You need to sell whatever sells And to look out for your back Therere people ready to stab you. And angry mob. A hell in fury. Sell whatever sells your life means more to you. Sell your dream, sell the cold feast Sell your friends and enemies To those on the other side Cold people, theyll buy if you advertise well Theyll eat if you cook well And your prayers will be heard (of course, for a reasonable fee, duly levied, to be duly paid.) (and, given that there are so many things you pray for, dont expect all your prayers to be heard) Roses bloom in gardens You see the guru dancing You see birds getting shot You see the redeyed red Its coming for you. Evade it. Run faster than the mob And dont trust anyone all are assholes ready to gut you out. Just sell whatever sells. And youll get through. ..................................................................... Its strange how different you feel with the lights switched on than when they are out. Youre a slave of your senses And they are the only weapon With which you fight with boredom and the blue And your eyes are the king of them all They can win you kingdoms and take you places But once you take the light off them You feel too helpless to deal with devil and the waves, To save you from drowning. .................................................................................................................. She says i can eat up the yellow void I cant seem to see much of it

Just yellow walls and yellow shades And thats about it. Theres a yellow whos going abroad and one who deals fast And theres one that hangs from the walls, A Van Gogh imitation that cant hide much pain with the curtain of beauty Theyre all down today and so is the moon As we live from one station to the next Both having their names painted in black on yellow boards And God who is supposed to be yellow Strides from shore to shore in yellow slippers and the sands are yellow too And she who sees yellow in the void i supposedly eat up Is going to find a way out soon Through the mountains of dawn And shell see much yellow but not much of the void Thank heavens that i dont get these visions like she does And i see things the way they are And i eat things the way they are And i shit things the way they are And i screw things the way they are And i pretend to be the holy of my world With my yellow kingdom in the concrete yellow zone Between mist and the mercy of starlings What splendid yellow beaks they have! Birds, supposedly, of the void. ............................................................................................................... Neon in the streets Soldiers in heat Rats in trashcans Praying for the love As i settle for the crumbs From follies And Bad investments he was too rash But he couldnt have hurt a fly They say. Banal saints too lonely for words Too silent for the world Centuries in mud. We wait. Rain rain He ran for his life

Thus the story goes Of the knights of these nights As devils chip through the bulwark And perfection with its velvet sabretooth Its there. Monstrous reptiles crawling through the night Dead girls walking the sidewalks of historyland Priests chanting the carnage-hymn Pale nuns of the dark stripping down before the unicorn Gladiators striding the clouds between thunders Skeletons clapping as the flesh shows its final trick before the stage vanishes. Burrows glowing in strange green Everything catching fire. Theres a big round hole In the sky Where the moon was supposed to be. And a couple more In the skull Where the eyes were supposed to be. THE HOUR OF THE FORMLESS TIGER APPROACHES. I stitch no fairytale Of games lost and won Of People in the alley To sleep the deepest dream And seize the endless time Rain rain They made it to my brain It was an Autumn Leaf It was the Chariot of God I stole I lied I was real. Flames leapt up and grasped my throat I saw flowers in the flame I saw moths by the lantern I was chained

It rained And it rained more. ................................................................................................. 4) Back to the Laundry At the end of the day, It all boils down to Blinking idols close to the hummingbird Who know that you cant feel beyond yourself And everything else you do is just a part of the curtain To hide your void. ......................................................................................... His Majesty the Ego well preserved, well nourished And now that im all alone and mostly naked inside this tiny room Its stronger than ever. And Its getting stronger and rock solid every passing day It preserves Itself well and It lashes like a wild cobra when hurt It finds Its way out through my words, mostly And It glistens like a knifeblade in moonlight And soon enough, It shall break through these sickly sweet walls and the roof And It shall find Its way out to the mad world all ready to take on other Formidable rivals other Egos, other Narcissuses other Dreams. ........................................................................................................ The lady in the counter Knows of your hapless sorrow She nods her head as you pass by the counter She is not pretty but shes plump Her lipstick is too loud for her mundane face which has the candour of a hermit But she knows of the falseness of the loud lipsticks And the truth of rents and electricity bills And so, if in names uttered through trusty lips And in faith through strange violins of sad jesters You find yourself chained to the rocks If you think of Hydra or of the goats If you think that truth will come to you through sadness and failure Look out for plump ladies in counters with mundane faces and loud lipsticks They know about the pain And when they nod at you, Though its not the Sybil revealing to you the contours of history On a much lower scale its the truth of grocery and electricity bills Of trudging through the sidewalks which are wearier than you Of employment exchanges Of being shot down by the sun the moon the stars and the world Of broke players by broken pianos Of hopeless climbers of broken ladders Of this intelligent design of gut-belly-dick/pussy-heart-and-brain

Of urges desires and pangs bookmarking your loneliness Of smiles slithering like plastic snakes Of the sudden warm alcoholic rush of happy amnesia and greatness Of trains stopping on empty stations And of a million other cheap brittle bricks that make you up And of the rusted old beams that support your pillars though you dont know for how long That she nods at. Try and nod back when you can For you too know of her falsity and truth the same way she knows of yours ........................................................................... Its five past eleven in the morning and i have just woken up Its a Saturday today, and i was drunk in my room last night My room has no window and so i cant say if theres bright sunshine in the world beyond I have a massive hangover and i can feel the blood rushing through my temples And theres not a drop of water to drink. This pain, like many others, is real I had a hectic week. I am trying hard to impress the ones behind the desk So that i get a job through this internship. And so i drank a lot last night Alcohol takes me away from the plasticity and brings me closer to the elusive crazyass blackbirds Close enough to try and touch their beaks and wings before they fly away to the next branch I called up the one i truly love and we were having a nice conversation before my phone ran out of balance. Thats the trick of the world. You can communicate only if you have enough money, and theres no exception even when it comes to the one you truly love. The place I am staying in has a washroom which you need to share with fifty other boarders It reeks of their sweat and excreta, its floors are black with all the dirt of the holy world Im cool with all that, but when im drunk at midnight, it seems miles away So i decided to pee in an empty bottle, but i got the laws of physics all mixed up and sprayed all over the 7 by 5 by 10 feet room. And so the floor, the luggage, the unwashed pile of laundries and even the bedsheet is wet. Even the plate i ate my kebabs from got its fill. And somehow during my complex manoeuvre I have managed to turn the dustbin upside down and now there are cigarette butts and bits of rotten onion from last weeks salad and random pieces of paper and ash all over the place. The bottle i tried to pee in is rolling over the unwashed laundry like a sombre proof of crime infallible and always there observing my every little movement, judging me in silence i guess Pandoras box might just look like this when it runs out of shit. Im running out of shit too and im running out of it pretty fast. I just wish i would have sprayed my piss all over the world instead of just my petty confine. And now im sitting on my bed which seems like an island cut off from the rest of the world by a vast ocean of lonely filth. Im lonelier than ever now. I had to give my clothes to the local drycleaner i had some urgent work at the local bank which will close in two hours because its Saturday today and i had to go to the local cybercaf to shoot a few necessary mails and catch up with the virtual society i inhabit at times. But the drycleaner the bank and the empire of photons seem far far away from me know. My head is aching like hell and i cant do anything about it. Its as lonely as it can get. I am pounding on my laptop keyboard with mad vengeance now, and i dont know who or what i am warring against. Or maybe its just the intoxication of words and of spaces between

words that keeps me going in times like these. This madness doesnt help me to escape from or to forget the pain. On the contrary, it brings me closer to the pain, it helps me to accept and reconcile. And this shit, i tell you, is bloody real shit. I know. And theres nothing much you can do against reality once you know. You can fight with the wolves, the moon, the world, and even with the gods. But this stuff its just there and thats about it. And you cant escape because it comes chasing after you everywhere. Victory and defeat are for fools and philosophers. ................................................................................ 5) Binary Gurus Flesh melts away. Faces and bodies melt away. In 0s and 1s our minds and feelings and consciousness and the great unconscious slither through the channels of being To reach out and to share, to communicate, to know and to live. And soon we will get to touch and breathe and eat and excrete and screw through 0s and 1s. The fun part is that we dont need curtains and masks to hide behind anymore. And we dont need to throb. Its all in 0s and 1s. .............................................................................. I move closer to words and letters With little white spaces between them. I move closer to the mortuary and further away from the mountains. I remember the mole above my mothers left eyebrow I remember the snake that poked its head from inside the lid of my trashbin and showed its great black eyes and a little forked tongue in one of my many dreams. I walk through streets and alleys The streets are mostly named after famous people with their 99 discomfort forgotten and 1 glory remembered by us the ones with 99 shit and 1 libido. I remember that the essence is to survive and i was taught the same. Everything they told me inside and outside classrooms meant one and only one thing that the trick lies in surviving, that they wont teach me the trick coz we all need to find our own shit out and no one can teach that. I remember darkness from alleys and coffins and horrible smelling coffees and stale beer-breath of my co-boarders and of my father. I remember my father, and of all his compromises. I am supposed to get ready for some more compromising. All or nothing is for people who get streets named after them. At least something is for us who walk these streets looking for ways and means to procure the least bit we can. And so i walk. I smell sweat from the fleshy breasts of whores and i smell rotting flowers and insects and chimney smoke. And theres a picnic out there. And theres an engagement party there. They exchange rings, words, communications, letters, saliva, statements of work, infections, understandings, happiness, sorrow, smiles, frowns, love, hatred, glances, fuck, and whatnot. Theres a man whose guts dropped out of his wide open asshole while he was facing something he wouldnt have faced had he had the option. And thats another thing. We dont have the luxury to choose. That is for the all or nothing folks and for the rich sons of bitches whose farts smell of Chanel Number Five. And yes, there are roads named after revolutionaries and days named after revolutions. And I was taught about those names, those dates and the stuff those names did and the stuff that happened on those days all with the disclaimer: you are not like them, you are weak enough; dont you dare put any mark on the calendar. Its all about intelligent designs and intelligently designed designs. And if some smartass quips that its the historians,

or worse, historys fault that we are not there, they put some extra potent stuff on the injection meant for him. And a few more petals for my blood. A few more flies for my open wounds. I see my eyeballs hanging down from hooks stuck on the grey wall of centuries. My eyeballs are red. I am leaning against the weight of time. I see the empire in her navel. And wolves leap out of her vagina. And their eyeballs are red too, red enough to glow in darkness. And a bit of eternity stretches beyond the white and the red and the yellow. And wombs and graves and mortuaries fill up. And offices, prisons, hospitals, bars, brothels, cafes, latrines, madhouses, schools, airports, taverns, bottles, glasses, stomachs, shapes, lights, darks, forms et cetera et cetera fill up. Mothers, fathers, brothers, sisters, others, balloons and shops fill up. Dust gathers. I walk. I feel my backbone rotting away, guileless, cold, ugly like me. If i die, nothing will change. I think of death often. Its like a caterpillar. And suddenly, i throw it all away. Now, i find myself alone, i find myself howling at the moon. And then i realise that i am naked, and they can see my warts and wounds in the sharp shrill scream of electricity. Its all there. Right in my sack, and theres no way i can get rid of it. I cower. I walk. ................................................................ Wish i had a knife one whose edges are sharper than the bitterness of memories And whose blades are longer than the trail of dust that follows the haunted wagon in the hamlet of the dead where a carnation blooms by each grave and where the lame play of rebirth of flesh and imprisonment is never re-enacted. Wish the knife would go deep into the heart of silence and make it bleed all its dark poison out Wish i could drive the knife inside all these nosey pricks who are worms and vermin just like me, But unlike me, shall never accept that or reconcile to their lack of spine, all those who think that their digging through the dung is something special and unique and that they can be worshipped as heroes if they pee on others who are not like them. These creatures deserve a taste of the real knife instead of the mutual pretence and bumkissing. Had i had the knife, i would surely have given them some ideas about the real shit and instead of the second hand one they are fed through books, teevees, websites, movies and music. Alas, i am fed on the second hand same shit and i am no more a loser and no less a lifeless piece of junk than them, and hence i can never have the knife. Its for the ones who wade through the real muck, and not for fake lousy dickheads like me or them. .......................................................................................................................... Mother, could you fend me from the sharks? Could you teach me how to fend myself from the sharks? Mother, were we apolitical enough when i sucked your nipples? Did we know where we stood? Mother, were we far away from the edge of the cliff? Were we far away from the kingdom of vultures? Mother, did it snow inside you when i was blind? Was it cold enough for the nine moons to pale away? Mother, was there music when i climbed my throne?

What tune were they playing? Mother, whats the link between the void and the flesh? And what happens when it snaps? Please dont mind the questions And theres no compulsion to answer Its just the wind wheezing through reeds, just a shadow of my self. Sincerely Yours. ............................................................. 6) Neanderthal Switches The worst day of your life is The day You realise That you are not a genius And nothing close to one. You sit in this little room in a cheap hotel With the lights off And your laptop spread out in front of you All wired out and lonely, just like you You pour the last drop of beer And bite the last bit of whatever you have As some asshole in the room next to you Mind you, a loser, no less than you And a rebel, no more than you He/she/it gazes straight at his/her/its teevee and its blurts out loud And he/she/it is watching and gaping at the same shit that Will never happen to his/her/its life, namely, a movie Where the rich girl lets a poor guy struggle for her, Prove to her and to the whole world That hes a hero, a superman, The One And so she marries him and lets him screw her whenever he wishes to (Of course, the screwing part is implied) Whatever. The poor asshole guzzling this shit down Knows that this will never happen to him And yet he/she/it watches the rot. And he/she/it rots Every day, melts away And no one remembers the misery Of being Of the other. Ive never met a genius, a prophet or anything like that All the boarders here, And all the people i meet

Are made of the same shit And will rot away all the same You know it, and so do i. But the worst day Is when You know That you are no better Than just this A being that eats from his/her/its mouth And shits (and farts too) from his/her/its anus And spends the rest of the day to gather sufficient resources to indulge in All these activities, and in a few others, Such as sleeping, fucking, being the other one And not The One. And you are stuck. Here. Right in here. And so am I. .............................................. I have noticed That the majority of life Comprises of waiting. And I suck at this And so do you So lets drink to that. ................................................... From inside my room I cant communicate with the world No internet, the phones fucked up So its like this ancient cave The only difference being That i cant look at the stars rolling out their dumb prophesies If i go out Because the moment i step outside Its people and mannequins and waves and everything which I cant communicate with. ........................................................ So I went out with this broad And we checked into this hotel We fucked and we sucked And when it was over She got dressed. She looked out of the window. And she said the suns rising I was hard. I heard her. And my thing went down And the sun rose. ...................................................... Im sorry I couldnt send you my half-baked revolution Like i would have liked to I couldnt wear my hat Or climb mount everest like

You have wished me to So i smile the sad smile of failure Like i have seen my father smile When he couldnt afford mutton on Sunday mornings And had to settle for chicken I have practiced that smile so many times That its reflex action to me now And i settle for Compromises Instead of the revolution. ...................................................................... You have never lived until The moon breaks you down And you see your mother in the flames And the stars speak to you And the stars speak to you. And you have never lived Until you feel your guts Clotting up in blood and shit Inside you. You feel, and you think And you chase the dogs to horizons Until that time You have never lived. ..............................................

Part 3: PRIOR DISTORTIONS

Of Relentless Birds, Flatulent Jokers and of Aces of Spades There are people who refuse to accept you the way you are People who sit still and sombre like scary huge statutes With their scarier and huger shadows looming over the world you inhabit, the world where you eat and drink and shit and fart and fuck and talk and laugh and cry.

They observe you. And they wait for you to make your first slip, which, mind you, has to be one in THEIR eyes. And once you fail them, they will hack your guts out with their machetes And walk away in disgust, leaving you in your gooey mess with fresh blood and flesh all around Beware of them they are the judges among us. All of this is fine, but the real shit begins when your sense of what is right and wrong differs from theirs. And the worst shit is when you see someone close to you becoming one of them because the transition between anger and grief is a bitter one and the one between grief and void is terrible. ............................................................... Change amazes me Everything changes People, love, hatred, expressions of love and hatred, dreamlands, ambitions, faces, masks, the colour of the sky, the way one feels et cetera et cetera obviously, its pointless to list all the things that change. theres a part of me that loves all the change but then theres another that sucks at dealing with so much change its easier to see a flower wilt i guess and when that part of me that refuses to accept all this change hits out against the changing order it strikes back, and badly so. Meanwhile, the other part of me breaks into a sinister smile and the sun rises like it had risen yesterday. ...................................................................................... i am not an animal so i get hurt at times. i am obnoxious and pretentious So i pretend that i am not hurt and i keep on walking i am not a machine so i get tired at times but my poise is too precious to me so i pose as the tireless one and i keep on walking i am not perfect so i misunderstand and i get misunderstood at times but i love my ego way too much to allow it to wield so i let it kiss my ass and assure me that nothing is wrong and i keep on walking

i am not a great poet so i write for catharsis at times but i have told myself of my poetic glory so often that i believe that i am a great poet so i fake detachment from the words as i write and i keep on writing. ............................................................ And a few hours before daybreak the entire neighbourhood woke up to the deafening sirensound of the ambulance Before long the police arrived And then the media And then politicians And so on And so on. The story spread like wildfire Even the horses he used to bet on, the cards he used to play, the mugs he used to drink his beer from got to know of his tragedy from the other bettors, players and drunkards. Earlier that night The policeman who had investigated him was fucking his girl as their cat purred by their bed The doctor who had operated on him was fucking his girl as their cat curled up at its rug The reporter who had covered his story was fucking his girl as their cat crawled out of their room The politician who had assured his neighbours that everything was alright was fucking his girl as their cat stared stoically at the fireplace Meanwhile, at the kitchen-floor of his apartment, he was writhing in a pool of blood His girl and their cat were lying at the bed with their stomachs, guts, intestines and uteri ripped out And at the kitchen-sink lay a bloodstained knife and a pair of freshly cut balls. And the next night The horses slept at their stables The cards rested at the tables of their owners The mugs lay dry and upside down at the shelves of the bars And the policeman, the doctor, the reporter, the politician and their respective cats did what they had done the night before. .............................................................................................. An Ode to ChaaNd Sadagar The moon is half dead and all the ships are sunk Returning, like a squirrel in snow watched closely by the stars, You listen to the mountains as they sing out your grief And you listen to the leaves as they chant out your cold wrath. You are returning home now.

Aware of the inevitability of flesh, With memories of the empire toppling before your eyes and recollections of faces that haunt the pale shadow of your feverish dreams, You feel like a spirit lost in the ancient forest trapped by oaks that stand like astute sentries; You see the last gods departing from the realm which was yours once, You hear the dirge of your fellow-losers, You run from the frozen wind as it shoots sharp arrows at your withering ribs, And you know that all is lost. And you know that you, who had left home in search of gold, who had ran wild through the seven seas like forest-fire, who had sailed beyond where the light meets darkness, who had the sun and the moon and the world by his side for a while had found what you sought to find, and had gambled it all away. You are returning home Naked, burnt and destroyed. Were the stakes too high? Did they draw faster than you? A serpent raises its hood and hisses from inside your hollow, and the night bleeds for you; And, as you beat your retreat, dejected, waiting, for the thunderbolts to strike you down, and for all your hatred to engulf the world you reach a river and you see a strange boat that shall carry you across for a dime. But you have no dime, and so you kill the boatman and you row across to the other side to realize that you have not lost. It back comes to you like a rapture that floods the veins of a dead man who springs up from his grave and rushes to light the strength to live. Now you know that you have nothing more left to lose And you know that your children will grow up to become strong and brave And they will gamble once again. And perhaps, they will win. And thus, we carry the crosses of our fathers and mothers through the squall and the tides, through a million dazzling strokes of lightning, through visions of rainbow trapped doom, through put out candles beside pianos, through music choked off by gunshots, through flowers eaten up by black insects, through revolutions twisting the rubiks cube time and again, through hoisted skirts pulling us to the mark,

through silently suffering prisoners bound by blood and chromosome, through greed, caprice and wisdom, through toasts raised to the fervent mortality of being, through the worship of instincts leading to pain and bodhi, through the cobwebbed void in which we are doomed to keep on swimming, and through the consummation of acceptance, we carry them. And we place our cards, just like our great ancestors did, hoping to win. If we win, we raise the stake and we decide to deal once more. And if we lose, we hand out our burden to our children dreaming of their future victory. And our children do the same thing when their turn comes. Chandradhar, I salute you Not because of your bravado or vanity, But because you managed to pull your ace out when it mattered most. And, unlike us, you knew it while you were doing so. The strange thing is that, in your case, your children actually managed to win. But that is beside the point. <ChaaNd Sadagar happens to be a folk hero from the poetic lore of MongolkabYo- a tradition which developed and flourished in Bengal in the period between the late 14th/early 15th Century to mid 18th Century AD. He was a sailor who was said to have rebelled against snake Goddess Manosha and is the protagonist of the Manosha-Mongol poems, several versions of which survive today, including those by Kana Horidawtto, Biprodash Piplai, Narayan Deb, Bijoy Gupto and Ketaokadash Kshemanando, among others.. i have developed my poem from a certain portion of the legend, and i have deviated from the original legend so as to construct a tenor, (if it may be called one that is) which is completely different from the theme of the original folklore as it exists in various narratives of the Manasamangal poetic tradition.> On Happiness and Destitution This is a wasteful, tiring day, and i have seen many like this Same old everything, doorbells ringing once a while Thinking of how my father and mother will always be within whatever i see and how i see it, given the fact that the i came out of him and swam through her to find my nest inside, and of how i slept in the darkness my last unencumbered sleep. And thinking of faces i have seen before,

Of the desirability of warmth from the senses Of how i want to watch a soothing movie with Florence Nightingale some day Of women i love and of women i want to love. Its not ennui or staying up all night and drinking that makes me this, And its not carrying time like a crucifix or a pushing gigantic rock uphill only to see it roll down These things have their strange way of slithering their way in The worst part of living is just this, being here And the worst thing about leaving is to see your faithful dog staring at you until he becomes a part of the horizon. No new music in the laptop, feeling too lazy to get aroused at anything And here i am. And the weatherman just said that it might rain in the evening That will surely make the night sadder than the day Just like the moon is sadder than the sun. .............................................. Are you reading Bukowski right now, just like i am? Are you scribbling your thoughts down? Are you gaping at the splendour of ugliness as well? Are you as ugly as i am? I havent seen you since the day i left you by the fountain You were reading a book, with pictures of sunflowers in it And the previous night when you fell asleep after we made love I saw the moon pouring down on your forehead I kissed you forehead, i remember And i slipped a letter inside the book which you had planned to read by the fountain the next day. But that day, i.e., the day i left you, you took a different book with you. I loved your whims. And so i left you. One has to leave what one truly loves. Did you read my letter? I havent seen you for a long long time I miss you and i miss the tiny mole between your breasts And i miss the poster of Al Pacino which you had gifted me once and which i have lost. But the best part is that, i miss your ugliness That was what drew me to you, because it reminded me of myself My mother was beautiful, but, unlike her, you were ugly Thats why i loved you as much i love you. ......................................

Conspicuous, like flesh, we walked down the dark corridors And we fought with open knives And we drank, and our remorse was far too great to hang on to And our heads were filled with every bit of junk we had fed ourselves And one day, it was time to leave So we shook hands, and we left And then, when the entire city got flooded We met, once again You were with your girl I was with my dog. The girl and the dog died halfway through And we knew that we had no destination to reach However, our paths were different. And so we parted again, And we shook hands once again. ..................................................... The light From my poetry Revealed to me your curves. And what else can i say? Tell me more. If youre my mother, i shall fear my words If youre the empress of my adolescence I shall refuse to bow to you But if youre the dark i aim to reach some day I dont know what ill do. Maybe ill kneel down to pray Or maybe ill attack the stars with my dagger. ...................................................... The germ that caused my illness can be found everywhere From bleeding skies, burning cities, from bombers who cry and poets who kill without remorse From drawn up curtains and from skirts pulled up From vast and vacuous spaces inside our thoughts That germ can creep up from anywhere, anytime And once it infects its victim things start getting bleak and dry Words become desires and desires become words

And then, one day, the transformation is complete And you cant make one from the other And things get serious. And when the great doctor comes, you see him and you know that he can cure you But you dont want to get cured And so, the sight of him standing there and staring at you repulses you. But he persists. Its his duty to do so. You expect the doctor to pull out a nasty looking syringe from his bag But he merely walks up to your window and throws it open And he points outside As you look, despite your reluctance, you see that all the people outside are suffering from the same disease. you get mad at the doctor and you get ready to punch him But by the time you turn to him You dont find him there He has left the building. Or maybe he never came. And then you look out again to find all the people smiling at you surely you are happy, arent you? theyll ask Surely you are happy, and so are they. They never had any disease, and neither did you. In extreme cases, you can blind yourself before the doctor arrives But the moment everything gets dark, the germ dies out on its own. So, as you can clearly see, you are bound to get fixed, one way or the other. ........................................................................ 1) Beautiful Naked Things Waiting for things to fall in place Waiting for all this boredom to somehow disappear Waiting for the next train, the next letter, the next strong drink, the next good fuck And some more waiting And there you have: An entire civilization stretching out to the horizon

And rain is a rather stupid metaphor for many things. .................. To be up all night drinking and writing and listening to music and watching porn and jerking off thrice and G-Talking with random semi-known people who remain up all night drinking and writing and listening to music and watching porn and jerking off thrice and are as lonely and as soulblanked as you isnt much of a statement. Its not about angst or phlegm or hyperreactive and distressed loneliness on any such shit. Its not even about appreciating the gigantic tits that used to haunt your teenage dreams. Its a form of wisdom we gain over the ages. And things get cold all around you. And you realise that you are getting older and that things that used to excite you once fail to do so now. And your Rebellion is weak and cold and it sleeps by the fire. And that before long you will get your nine to five and your reserved pussy and all that your parents had once told you to procure for yourself before they are dead. And so, you are up all night drinking and writing and listening to music and watching porn and jerking off thrice and G-Talking with random semi-known people and you realise that you fit into a certain type. That makes you happy because now you know that you are not unique. And, like your parents and teachers and other well-wishers have told you, maybe in not as many words, being unique is an unhappy state of being. And now, you are happy. ................... Once, when i was in high school, I saw a kitten being run over by a bicycle. The cyclist sped up and fled, but the kitten did not die, At least not then. And then this girl from my school who used to wear braces Picked her up and got up on her car. I never had a crush on her, but i was in a good mind to see what happened to the kitten My parents could barely afford my education and so having a car was out of question And so I took the bus home from the opposite side of the street. I never saw her since that day, and i was told that she had left India with her family.

Almost six years have passed I have never left Calcutta except to travel or to intern occasionally and I am studying to be lawyer I have seen at least half a dozen lame cats since then. A few weeks back, i stumbled across her profile on facebook. She doesnt wear braces now and, as her profile picture suggests, She has a really pretty smile, or maybe her dp has been photoshopped with great care. She is back in Calcutta now and is living in with her boyfriend somewhere in this great city. It seems like she is a photographer or something, and her boyfriend, who is also on facebook, is a dentist. I sent her a friend request which was duly accepted but we have not communicated. I still have no crush on her and i am still curious to know what happened to the kitten. But of course i wont ask her because that would be slightly awkward. ..

A Story of Two Sore Losers Another one of those school stories. I seem to be reminiscing a lot these days though I am not that old Anyhow, I was a backbencher and so was this other guy We didnt use to talk that much, Neither of us were much the talking type We had our share of problems each And both of us sucked in studies and would barely pass the exams that too by cheating in various ways. Anyhow, we were one of the earliest ones to start smoking, And after classes we used to light up one cigarette each as we walked to the bus stop. Again, without much talk. During one of those walks we saw this charming lady, presumably in her early twenties, walking side by side with what seemed to be her boyfriend. As we stood and observed,

they entered the fenced compound of a house And we saw her unlocking the door. He winked at me, and I said fuck as we resumed our walk. Both of us had a grin on our faces for a few seconds. It began to rain that evening and I masturbated in my room thinking of her and of myself in place of that asshole whom we saw with her. And as the semen came out, my world seemed to throb with glory hitherto unknown and bugles of a strange victory seemed to roar out of the sky and resonate throughout the world. Its not that I hadnt pleased myself before that and frankly, I have done it at least a few thousand times since then if not more, but I have never been able to recreate that particular moment. It was totally unique. The next day in class as I recounted the experience to him, he told me, to my sheer astonishment, that even he got the very same feelings. Both of us were, to use a word which was a recent addition to our respective vocabularies then, mindfucked. We had never seen that girl since then, even though on numerous occasions, we had stopped right outside the fencing of that house on some lame pretext or other. Then, on the last day of our annual exams, we had a huge fight. I dont remember how it began. All I remember is that he called me a lousy prick before he gave me my black eye, and I called him a piece of shit before I gave him his. I was in no mood to hear from him during the vacations, and I am pretty sure that the feelings were mutual. Then, on the last day of our vacations, I was returning from my aunts place and the good lady had given me some money. So I decided to have alcohol for the first time in my life and so I entered a bar. I must admit that I was very nervous at first and I thought I would get nabbed for underage drinking and would get thrown out,

and that the police and my parents would get to know of this. But with a few shots of stiff whiskey, I warmed up. By the time I came out, it was evening. After walking for quite some time I felt like having a cigarette. I had one on me, but as I searched my pockets for the matchbox, I realized that I had left it in the bar. There were no shops nearby and, being tipsy, the idea of walking up to the main road again made me feel like throwing up. And then I saw him standing before me. He offered me his lit cigarette to light mine up. He seemed drunk as well, though, evidently, he had had his fill somewhere else. He gave me two pieces of information, and I still remember those. The first one was that his father, who, by the way, was also an alcoholic, had lost his job because of drunkenness and hence he will have to drop out of school And the second one was that his father had taken up a driving job at that girls place and he had gone there with his father. Apparently, the guy who we thought was fucking her was her brother. We didnt talk much, and he walked away. I have never seen him again. As I was walking home, I was still drunk, it began to rain. I remembered the rainy evening when I got that crazy feeling while thinking of her and masturbating. Even I had a sister. But I didnt give a flying fuck. And the thought that I will have to sit beside a new backbencher from the next class did cross my mind during the walk. Honestly speaking, I didnt give much of a flying fuck about that either .

I Can See You Hanging (But do I see an Elephant?) Its easy and its all written down Of where children play and clowns clown around

And bluebirds sing and buxom thighs await the next hand to stroke them We all need miracles, And we run the machines by the hour And we get paid And babies stumble out into the light And grow up. Its all easy and its all written down Like deep fear progenies trace our tracks Like deep fear it all begins and ends with clocks As cloakrooms fill and mortuaries fill And we learn our grammar, maths, history and other stuff and we fill out the forms and put our signs and seals And we count our money and we kiss and we fuck And on Saturdays we drink and on Sundays we fight our respective hangovers And at times we bow our heads down And we pray And we bump into lost friends and lost lovers at bus-stops and cafes, And we pretend sincerity. And we count the days And we get bored And we get bored again. And tired too. Its all easy and its all written down And its all been charted and chalked out beforehand by some lame plagiarist motherfucker. Mind me, I dont blasphemise Its not god or destiny that Im referring to Its just the way things stand. And things stand pretty strong, things stand on solid ground Foolproof and well insured. Just pay your premiums and grab that bread and those pieces of ass and thatll do.

And as we wait for the next glass of whiskey We move from one honour to the next. And we move on. And glasses keep on getting empty. And thats pretty much it.

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