Friday, March 07, 2008


it’s almost eight.
they will be here soon.

doing push-ups on the floor,

turning your questions
inside out,

28, 29, 30 ...

trying to undo the answers
you knot me with.

the house

feels heavy,

like a thousand nights
spent sweating
inside a packing crate.

these alabaster walls,

still wet high
with your misty sighs.

my ears,

still blood-warm
where your whispers bit.

oh, this sweet distance ...

this ether between heartbeats
where darkness sows
chloroform seeds ...

and time? time is just
a crafty old river --

promises destiny
down its course,
but drowns our boats
before we even get close.

the door’s flung open;

they are here.

an inspecting wind also arrives
in swirling coat-tails;

they are here.

swiftly, like ants
without existential angst,
they set to work.

curtains curled aside,

the ribbed-iron shutters

spit you out,
off the flower-pot lined balcony,
down into the lily garden,
onto the streets.

slanting sunbeams

puncture the eastern windows,
the pressure of your presence.

this refrigerated togetherness
finally starts to perish.

the bed --


where spiders crawled
on the sands,

where habits teethed
into salty syndromes --

stands straightened,
bedspread conforming,
the mattress blank and shapeless --
a stretch of windswept coast.

where we lay watching movies,

the carpet

is now swept
free of consequence and memory,
out into the cold February morning,

where you stand
framed in the doorway,


into dust distilled sunlight.

and so,

after the kitchen
has had its teeth picked,

after the rooms have come clean
and the corners have confessed
their claustrophobia,

after our conversations
have gurgled down the drain,

they leave

the house

an antiseptic tomb,
a skeleton ship,

and i sit hunched on the footsteps,


turning your questions
outside in,

hoping to find you hiding
somewhere in the folds
of your words,

trying to exorcize
the answers you haunt me with.


~SuCh~ said...

Amazing ! Every bit of it....

musafir said...


Thank you :)

Anonymous said...

Very well written da. I subconsciously inserted the relevant prepositions etc wherever required and read it as a prose and still found it beautiful. Ok I am a philistine so shoot me. But you know I am poetically challenged...
The words chosen were very "pacy"..

I am wondering whether I would have liked this as much if anyone else had written other than you.

musafir said...


Thank you! {beams}

There's something I read about how poetry is just prose with a heightened language {not that it means dropping prepositions, but you get what I mean}

Snce you've confessed your philistine-ness and your being poetically challenged, what you might try doing, purely as an exercise, is to read each line without already jumping onto the next, sort of staying in the now. That way, you might discover that poems say a lot more than what they pretend to say {have I got you sufficiently curious now? :)} ... what I like about free verse is the way it lets you gradually reveal what you're saying, and consequently say more with the same words and lines, something not possible if you're just gonna indugle in straightforward prose. Of course, all this is provided you get a patient reader who humours you.

And interesting last line :-) ... maybe there's something you can discover about yourself in there.

Anonymous said...

Oh when was there even a doubt with respect to my philistinism when it comes to poetry? :) That is no new confession anyway.

Mmm...sure I understand what you are saying about free verse. But you are talking about the inherent meaning of words and how they segue to a larger context. And why cant "prose" do that? One way of calling free verse is "prose with wrong grammar". But why a "poem" for that? Also it could be that poem has come to be "anything that is not prose".

Maybe I am approaching all this wrong. I guess am working backwards trying to rationalize what I think is a foregone conclusion that some of us "will never get it". Even Falstaff's latest post on poetry doesnt make any things better.

Ah I know what you are possibly thinking about the last line. There was a time I could separate the "art" from the "artist". But nowadays I find it difficult. The "Who's" ,"Why's","When's" have taken their just place among the "What's" and "How's". And most of the time it is chaos.

Now does the last line make more sense?


~SuCh~ said...

Looks like a lot of mature talk intersperesed with a lil prose and verse :)

Coming of age, arent we? the quarter centurians. :)

Somehow, your poems bring about a shade or colour in my mind when I read them.. One small plaint would be that they are mostly monochromatic..

You seem to focus on one dominant emotion, and its dynamics.. Would love to see you employ layered emotions and their transcendence...:)

Anonymous said...

i miss you