A brick or a stone

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1.
Life is full of bonds and sorrows,
Laden with wretched thoughts.
Yet, what remains is the carnal shame
Of planting ones leg in the vile dust,
And like a wild mushroom,
Standing up on the cliff,
Snoozing,
Regretting,
Scratching one’s sores,
Unfaithful and unchaste!
Like a sick dove pecking its own breast!

2.
Like the midday sun,
Annihilating all sights,
Hiding in a mysterious galaxy,
Your image appears to be more penetrating
Than the arrows of fatal emotions.
Why do you come before me?
The question envelops my whole universe.
Yet, silently flows the dark river
Inside my unfeeling veins.

3.
Ask not what this world has done to me;
Just see my poise when I come in front of you,
Begging for a loaf of bread.
With nothing but a handful of withered life.

4.
From the outset,
Your every thrust,
Blazed as fire,
Tears through my skin.
This cruel intimacy,
These drops of virgin blood
Spread on your doorstep
Are the witness of my unclaimed corpse.

5.
Dear ‘Ghalib’
‘The world is a playground’ as you said
But my heart is not a heart anymore.
It is rather a brick or a stone.

(Remembering Mirza Ghalib, the great Urdu poet.)

Twitter @bibek_writes

I might be the last one

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I might be the last one
to write such a sad poem

of the coming night
like slow sonorous river.

The dogs break the silence
with their raucous barking;

The wind picks up its chorus,
scampering through these darkening alleys;

Shrill hoot . . . hoot . . .
of the lonely owls

is a sad reminder
of the lives we’ve lost.

I might be the last one to walk
through these darkening streets.

In the day — it was such a busy city!
No one knows — at night how alone it is!

How hurriedly everyone left
these alleys of despair.

These streets at night are homeless,
lying down in its thick emptiness;

in its claw-toothed solitude . . . I shall walk
devouring bits and pieces of raw time.

Walk in this valley of death
singing Moonlight Sonata (if you can).

Walk through this wilderness
with pungent smell of fumes,

losing yourself into this leach-greasy concrete forest.
With drooling flesh of your cheekbones,

walk as fast as you can,
skirting the utter horrors of stepped ghats.

We will be faultless partners
in perfect dreams (if you wish).

But, alas, if you do not walk with me
along with my troubled heart,

I might be the last one to walk
with such a sad poem engraved in my heart.

Twitter: @bibek_writes

The Last Wish

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(a guru purnima poem)

first stood on the porch, then
barged into my room,
slumped down on the arm-chair,
flickered through the books
and asked me the difference between
a phrasal verb and an idiom

I gave the answer — honest
but he made his face
and turned sour
for he wanted to fathom
the depth of my knowledge
with a question as stupid as a broken string
swigging down the water from the bottle,
he laughed derisively
skimming through the pages of the blue diary,
he spat out —
“You write great.”
“You are a genius.”
getting up he looked at me
with shining eyes of an orangutan
(like an old loneliness his eyes
follow me into sleep and
whisper stories. I know
it’s easy to give a dead blessing.)

then,
the guru walked out
and slammed the door so hard
that the ground beneath me
started to crumble
and swallow me up

I had the desire to yell
(and  kick his goddamn ass so hard
that he’d never slump on my chair again.)

Twitter @bibek_writes

Birthday 2016

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May 13

I sit all lopsided
in an invisible cage,
watching the wrought iron bars
reduce me in fractals.

My precious black brain –
once a veritable chamber of epiphanies –
now blank as pages of dust in a dark room
floats in the cerebral water of boredom.

Like a twisted handrail,
my face bleeds a broken smile.
My eyes tell an old lie.
There’s murmur –
a soft susurration of voices –
in bogus tongues.

It’s been a month of melancholia
in this Unhappiness House.

Like lampshade of memory,
the past lifts up its Cro-Magnon Skull
and stares at me
with a hustle of fireflies.

All day I stare
the impalpable sky,
the ever-stretching void,
the absolute nothingness,
and hum the sweet song of death –
an ethereal melody –
like a swarm of cicadas.

Twitter @bibek_writes

Life and Death

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(Old poem full of cliches)

All my childhood
I believed I was different
That I could think like no one else
That I could talk endlessly,
About demons and demigods
But I’ll tell you now:
My whole childhood was a big lie.

Like a fairy without wings,
Or a peach without any seeds inside,
I lived leaving holes in the universe
Holes from where darkness seeped out
Like truth.
Like pebbles that kept rolling
Against the hungry tides,
I rolled gathering no moss.

All my childhood I talked gibberish
On and off I thought like a maniac
But now I am silent
Silence is up to my neck
Thick, thick, thick.
I do not think
I am cold
Cold like a glass of beer before sipping
It’s wonderful to see how I
Insert myself between myself and myself.
I scratch like a cat
I gnaw like a mad dog
And lick my own blood
That runs through and through.

Now that I am old and dying
I can hear a scream
Is it a birth cry?
What is it that you find so fascinating
In being born?
It’s violent, you see, our time’s so cruel
With a goddamn baby screaming somewhere,
I feel there’s a bloody birth in the air.
A birth that has once again
Invited the inevitability of
Death.

Twitter @bibek_writes