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Showing posts from April, 2011

CaPoWriMo-17 (To Arsenic)

They say you are doped Into silicon to make my computer run - Thirty three electrons rushing about madly That make silicon's fourteen Lethargic ones sit up and get about; You helped Madame Bovary, Emperors Bonaparte and Guangxu, And innumerable Bangaldeshis Find release from their mortal coils Even as you cured libertines Of the syphilis that shamed them; You pervade my life In paints and polishes And pesticides and pyrotechnics - Creating and preserving beauty Even as you truncate my breath. What would I be with you, arsenic, And what would I be without you?

CaPoWriMo-8 (City of Dreadful Night)

Bodies sweat in the heaving crowd: Hunger, anger, anxiety, thirst Mixing with smoke, diesel and dust, Stranded commuters curse aloud. The night surrounds them like a shroud Their day like all the others cursed Their ambitions eaten by rust Stuck in a jam, their heads are bowed. Microwaved food, conditioned air, Cold water and LCD screens: Building a personal paradise In a suburban nameless lair I make for myself pleasant scenes and dream on till the sun shall rise. (Published in  Setu Bilingual Journal , August 2017 )


I'm fat, bald and sonneteering, Confused, half-bewildered fool, With love's games you're engineering My naivete as your tool. My dandruff does not bother you. You loudly claim indifference To my moustache and tummy too. For looks you claim no reverence. But you do stare at shampoo ads, At supermodels' six-pack abs; You follow all new hairstyle fads And miss no chance for elbow jabs. So do I trust your words or eyes, For what is truth and which are lies?

CaPoWriMo-12 (To HTML)

You are to me bread butter and jam, As also curd rice and pickle; I love the smoothness with which you transmit emotions across oceans, undimished; the way you bring together thousands of citizens to overwhelm aged despots; the way you have made me feel younger as I am a student again learning your myriad ways; the way you unseen, unheard change the way I think, I see, I hear, I know; You only care to come forward when there has been error, sin and wrongdoing, sometimes as little, irritating </br signs, or sometimes as a great epitaph to monumental blunder; HTML, I know not your words, your grammar, your idioms, but you are the tongue that has come to feed me.

CaPoWriMo-11 (Digital Diary)

weren't you in school with me through birthdays examinations parties matches holidays and in college through flirtations examinations break-ups failures hook-ups interviews and in my first job through bosses' anger sarcastic remarks late nights mad clients commuter fights and yet I dumped you for laptops mobile phones email accounts tablets and let you lie in a drawer as a battery-less corpse your LED soul dead forever

CaPoWriMo-10 (motherless andhadi)

mother is on vacation in a foreign country away from son and husband leaving me to do the dishes do the dishes - mind the spoons don't land at the bottom the tamarind doesn't clog the sink the vessels don't clatter and clang and bring on angry neighbours while the clothes are washing the clothes are washing coloured one in first batch towels and undies to go in the next and then to be hung out to be hung out the outer clothes on the balcony with a ladder and a stick and the inner ones dripping in the rear balcony in the rear balcony the broom and mop stand there grumbling silently about the dusty stain bedecked floor the dusty stain bedecked floor piled over with books and gadgets screaming loudly to be re-placed on their respective shelves which gloat and induce guilt about the undone dusting undone dusting and uncooked food and unfolded clothes and unbought groceries and unpaid bills and undisposed garbage how did she manage them all

CaPoWriMo-6 (Pallankuzhi)

Were those your bangles I heard as you wiped your brow or were they the clinking of cowrie-shells as you put them in holes seven by seven? I thought I heard you laugh making an unexpected, clever move or was it the sound of pearls falling, one by one? Was that a cry of victory as you have won the match or was it your honey-voiced anguish never willing to lose fair or otherwise? That was clearly the board tossed in indignant, violent protest and utter denial that you lost; or did you just claim with eyelashes pleading for agreement that you tripped on a floorboard? But there is another game afoot, isn't it - a love game you play with my heart-breaking imagination? ( Pallankuzhi is a popular board game in Tamil Nadu) (Published  in Indian Review, April 2011 )


कुछ यादें, कुछ घन्टों भर की यारियाँ, कुछ बातें, कुछ बहलाती सवारियाँ, छुक छुक करती, हिलती डुलती ले जातीं जब चली जातीं हैं यह रेलगाड़ियाँ

Let none sleep tonight

Let none sleep tonight, this dangerous night, when knives shine in the moonlight and glass shards pave the street; Let none sleep tonight this treacherous night when brother must bribe brother and no woman walk unmolested; Let none sleep tonight this hungry, lonesome night when babes are torn from mothers and fathers denounce their sons; Let none sleep tonight, this uncompanioned night when the sun is a distant memory and a million hearts beat like crickets; Let none sleep tonight this mournful, deathly night when the colour of day is drained and men wander in naked bigotry. This night is as all nights, yet may none sleep this night.

CaPoWriMo-4 (EBITDA for Che)

gaunt jesus face to seduce on sight beret and blazing eyes to cry revolution a million dollars for black stencil design on red t-shirt ten thousand for dyes twenty for cloth and five for printing six million dollars half million in interest another half in taxes none in depreciation and one in amortization two million and sixty-five thousand dollars of capitalism selling teenage revolution Published in Amaravati Poetic Prism 2016

Sadasiva Raya

Sadasiva Raya, helpless prisoner - Dressed in rich brocade and shining ornament - Sadasiva Raya, Supreme Emperor! Though every year he came and fell at your feet Your will was not law in yor own apartment, Sadasiva Raya, helpless prisoner. He chose what you ate, the people you could meet But proclaimed you lord of land and firmament, Sadasiva Raya, Supreme Emperor! To the Vijayanagar no force could beat Aliya Rama Raya brought defilement, Sadasiva Raya, helpless prisoner. When enemy looters pillaged every street All you could do was cry in pain and torment, Sadasiva Raya, Supreme Emperor! When at Talikota he died in defeat Thought you to celebrate, or loudly lament? Sadasiva Raya, helpless prisoner, Sadasiva Raya, Supreme Emperor!

CaPoWriMo-3 (Yellow Banian)

You lie there crumpled Like an abused and discarded girlfriend. dirty secrets we've been in together the sting of cold air on a nude body followed by the searing depression of a testosterone flush hidden forever in the yellow remains to wash away into the gutter you lie there crumpled like an abused and discarded girlfriend you once uncomplainingly stanched nose bleeds burst away pimples dealt with tears and rain and soap and mud covered up signs of masturbation and stuck by me my hot smelly sweaty body when others blanched you lie there crumpled like an abused and discarded girlfriend

CaPoWriMo-2 (Persecution Syndrome)

They think I'm full of naivete they've prepared poison, gun and knife: My name is on a machete. They think I hear not what they say Conspiring to take my life; They think I'm full of naivete. My brothers the first to betray, And so my father, son and wife: My name is on a machete. A game of cat and mouse they play In every smile they hide a knife: They think I'm full of naivete. They say they love but scheme to slay. Among my friends bloodlust is rife: My name is on a machete. But I'm alert by night and day I shall not let go without strife! They think I'm full of naivete: My name is on a machete.