The Mourning Morning Crowd

crowd

Who are these?
Why do they walk here in the dawn?
Flickering shadows,
Drooping their tongues from their jaws,
Frowning empty eye sockets in the skull?
Who are these?

Dawn is breaking open like a fresh wound,
Bleeding thick red; their heads tumble with
Screaming, horrid, dreadful bogusness of tears.

Cowering mutely facing the sky,
O these evil lucks!
Walking alone in a lonesome crowd
Turning away, deserting life,
Crossing the boundaries,
Trampling the earth
Under their tread
Who are these?

Walking in a mourning morning crowd,
Along the blood-lined carriageway?

With thunder flame of pain
They ignite their own silver skulls
And let it burn good
Because they know –
The day will be troubled with storm.

Look at the chasms round their fretted skulls!
Bouts on bouts of pain –
But, ah! What slow relish.
Surely, the living have perished
Walking hell; who are these hellish?

What’s with all the rapping?
The ungentle tapping?
Tapping on the road –
Some familiar sound of
Cadence of footsteps on hardened life.
Are poltergeists announcing their presence?
How long will they morn this deathless death?

Who are these mourning morning evil lucks?

Twitter @bibek_writes

She

image

she arrived in a taxi
completely drunk

it was
one of those days
when I worked
at the corner shop
I stood there
fixing an old piece of furniture
and looking at her
in her rumpled state

empty, she echoed
she was a museum
without statues, without murals
nun-hearted and blind to the world
her face, a featureless,
fine Newari linen
but, she smiled
and she was only thirty one

I looked her
like a silkworm
looking at a mulberry leaf

shoring up the middle of her life
I know, she’ll die
at her strongest
yet the most beautiful time.

Tobacco

image

(First appeared in Republicá.)

She often goes to this little coffeehouse
to sit around
drinking cups after cups of espresso
smoking cigarettes after cigarettes
near a glass window,
which welcomes the afternoon sun,
flickering through the half drawn curtains.

This is her best place to drink and smoke
because all the people
who come here
seem perfectly normal, or sane
and they all sit quietly
as if afraid of making any noise.

Across the street is a book shop
wherein a man sits all day long
taking drags on his cheap cigarettes
and expelling the smoke slowly
his face is helpless blue and vacuous
as if painted in copper sulfate
and he doesn’t like the eerie silence
of the coffeehouse.

she sits quietly and drinks
the strong black coffee
nobody bothers her
she bothers nobody

as the sun outside
does a mad dance like Shiva
she flips through an old copy of The Bell Jar,
the contours of her face fluctuating
like a  jellyfish
under the halo of serpentine smokes.

All day long
she reads and smokes and drinks.

and I love the smell of tobacco
on her lips.

A can of tuna

image

(Initially published in Republicá.)

My eyeballs are red and hot,
hot like a pair of fireballs
blazing inside my sockets.
My mind is boggled
with heavy dose of insanity;
something creeps up and slithers
inside my marrow.
Is it the dying embers of hope?
I do not know.
Is it a quantum of sanity leaping forth
from the vast dungeon of insanity?
I do not know.
One day I feel like it is a point,
dimensionless and stagnant
while the other day, it feels
like the universe in itself,
expanding across its infinite boundaries,
radiating and annihilating.
But why is it so?
I do not know.

My mind—for all I know—
is like a can of tuna,
individual sized, slimy, and unpleasant:
like flattened jelly, dark-red and watery self
like plasma, seeping at the sides of viscous block.
When I try to knock the insanity off my head,
the watery soup smears on my knuckle
and then I slide one finger into it
to the depth of the nail.
The top creases and some of the red fluid slops up over
the jagged lip of the can.
It feels so sickening.
Unpleasantly so.
Like a mad man playing with his own feces.
Red soup and blood
seeps and slumps,
and slithers over two pieces of dead fish
I try to throw it over,
and wash it off in the basin
but it stares back at me
like a bug-eyed monster.
The can of tuna feels like the universe in itself,
with watery soup expanding and radiating and annihilating.

I do not feel like eating.
I do not feel like living.

bibek.sanchar@gmail.com

Father

image

(Initially published in Republicá.)

I never understood
Any of your endless calculations.
(You added my future and subtracted my past.)
Nor did I heed to
Your remarkably few words.
(Our little reserved sort of communication.)
We’ve always been set apart—miles apart
Like shores running downstream;
Looking at each other,
Furious and dubious,
Of what life may turn out to be.

You wanted me to be a beetle
On the china plate of a leaf.
(A sod of vomit lay all around.)
I must feed on myself
I must suck my own blood—else,
I will die—you wanted me to be a stick insect
As small as an atom—
An impolitic dead beetle,
Only to be dismantled by the hands of Time,
Carried by a line of ant coolies,
Eaten and stored for winter.

But I was a disturbance
In your mirrors of Dreams.
My eyes were red and raw—spilling over.
You blinded me with
Your lights of ignorance
And I tasted the malignancy
Of the leaf
With my blind eyes—
Effacing the memories of time—to zeros
Shutting my life to nothing.

Father,
You weighed down
Like a Gestapo boot on my brain,
Killing my hope that lived on
Without sustenance.

bibek.sanchar@gmail.com