Saturday, December 18, 2010

Still I Rise

How you feelin', Baby Boo?

Blue, Daddy. Your baby's feeling blue.

I sit in stillness for a long time. Hoping my mind will learn my body's lesson. I sit in silence for a long time, hoping that my soul will at least try and pretend. The weekend of a movie release...damn brother. Good God damn.

There are so many things that I could say, that I should say, and that I really really want to say. But all of them are choked amidst the viscera of my thoughts scattered like gravel in my throat. I feel as if some one's roasting my dreams like marshmallows at the back of my mouth. I drink coffee after coffee, but the smoke keeps coming out.

But my heart's always hopeful, ever optimistic. He always thinks the Heaven's are going to sing my name like a paean, and the stars dance me down a red carpet. Every single time. God, I love him for that. We take hits, we get bloodied, but he never lets me lose that pizazz in my two-step. We're ready man, dancing in the center of the ring. Rumble young man, rumble. Life's a trip, you know you're gonna stumble. Shake off the dust, laugh never grumble. Remember, you're still a lion in anybody's jungle.

This morning I felt blue. Like dark, heavy jazz, played by men with eyes that matched the cherry of their cigarettes. Like how a raven feels watching all the other birds start flying south without saying goodbye. I felt blue. Down in the muddy water, with the Moon refusing to shine. Down at the bottom of that last bottle of wine.

All it took was a couple of smiles from a particular girl. Smiles I hung on her lips for her, even as she was feeling a little blue, too. And the smiles I smiled in return, and a great cup of coffee. And that new Cee-Lo Green album playing shuffled in with the new Kanye West album as I cruised back home on Bombay City streets that must have been cleared for me, in the middle of a Saturday.

And look at me now. Look at me now. Flying up higher than the ninth cloud. Wrapped up close, dancing a merengue with the dark blue of the night sky. I've got my pen acting like it's got my Muse on speed dial. Every word written is another quiet breath towards achieving oneness. I can get lost on any street in any city in any world and still find my way home without any kind of compass. Still I rise even as the fear and the demons swell, and every minute is the perfect cell in a metal hell. Still I rise up on surging, golden wings above an evening tide. At least I'll be able to say I went in there swinging, before I died.

Still I rise.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Blame Me

I'm sorry I hurt you.
You should have called
when you came.
But you didn't
and I'm to blame.
You had an idea for
a perfect night
but it's ruined now and
I'm the cause.
I was supposed to be
where you wanted me to be.
Instead I stayed
where I was.
This is the night
you see me
not half the man
you need. Not nearly.
Mind stuffed full
of me, no space left
for you.
You wanted a castle
upon a hill, I'm a
prison cell without
a view.

Tell me once, more
you love me.
Tell me twice, more
it's true.
Tell me now, that
you still want me.
Because all I ever
wanted is wrapped up
nicely, in you.
I don't want to write
tonight I want to
widen your smile.
You're crying again,
and I do this to you
every once in a while.
Just pick up
the damn phone
darling. I don't know
what I did wrong.
Please. Give me a clue.
You're screaming
"I hate you." But I
know that's untrue.
Blame me for whatever
you want, just let
me talk to you.
Blame me for whatever
you want. Unlock the door
Let me through.

Saturday, December 11, 2010


Every day we fall
a little further.
From Grace we fall
away from all
the comfort in the
shadows under God.
Every day we grow
just a little bit
uglier. Closer to
the Other One we go
laughing with open
Sinners united in
Comedians united in

I am not
happy here in my skin.
I am not the way
I was intended to be.
You are not
as God hoped either.
Slowly rotting apples
falling from
a dying tree.
But as we fall
and rush towards
the dirt and the trough.
At least let's fall together.
And hope that'll be enough.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Natural Mystics

There are long walks
on beaches with purple sands,
with no space between our hands,
beneath a dancing moon
planned in this twinkle
in my eye.
There is music playing
in that ballroom
in the Havana of old
spinning, as we hold
onto the last little
shreds of goodness
in each other.
We who love the Dance
most of all,
Dance like we will
forget it all
come the dawn.
My dear. You.
You write for me
no more letters.
Tonight you choose desire.
Tonight I taste your dreams
straight from your lips.
Tonight you stoke my fire.
We may be the only ones
in a city of atheists
who remember
the names of our Gods.
And as the night runs
to us, it's wedding dress
torn tattered and frayed.
Let us whisper them,
to the darkness and tell it
not to be afraid.
my words come for you
from the heavier, truer
things weighing down
my winged soul.
They don't dance forth
from my laughing mouth.
Tonight they come to you
just to get out of the cold.
They don't twirl around my pen
singing snatches of a song
Marvin Gaye never got to sing.
My words come to me
with leaden hearts,
like old, lonely things.
They come like old friends
begging for forgiveness
for the hurt they caused.
let us shelter them
in the soft spaces
that remain between us.
Let us teach them to sing
in crowded rooms, flushed
with joy, without a care.
Let us treat them as they are
Natural mystics
blowing in the air.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Oh, My Darling. Goodbye.

Farewell Laila. You crazy dog. Farewell my darling girl. There are many words I'm going to say. But they all will be versions of these : I will miss you. I loved you. I wish I had been around more often.

I remember after you were born and all your brothers and sisters had been bought and sent off to what I hoped were happy homes. I remember you, in the corner refusing to cry. Sitting with your perfect little head on your heartbreaking little paws staring up at me with eyes big enough to hold your soul, wondering why nobody wanted you. You never whined. Even when your adorable, exhausted mother got long sick of you and ran back into the freedom of the lawn and shook off her maternal fat. Even when you refused to step out of the shed and into the lawn and join us, your zany family. Even though every night the shed would rattle and leaves outside would rustle as bigger things than dogs brushed against them. You never whined. You stared at the world with those moist eyes - and wondered.

It took me five hours in winter to coax you out of the shed and into the outhouse with the guards. Five hours of inching backwards, whistling and singing and cooing till my jaw ached. You'd wag your tail and trot towards me but stop out of arm's reach. Your tail would wag slower and slower as your expression turned serious. You'd then sit and look around. Ready for anything out here in this little bit of the world that could scare you back into the shed. When nothing came we moved further. And stopped. And continued.

Five hours.

I loved you the second I saw you. I could say I have loved all of my dogs the same. But that would be a lie. I loved your grandfather like he was my own brother. I loved Tuki like he was another. And you. I have always loved you since the first day I saw you sit apart from you horde of siblings and stare the other way. You, whose tail would wag only when I would look up from the others bumbling around my feet as I lay down their food, and our eyes met and I smiled. Only then. And a single wag. A shy little shift. That was all I ever got. But it was always enough.

I hated leaving home. And all of you. The safety, the serenity, the cocoon of love. The smell of the jasmine outside my room, and the incense my mother lit in the house. My father's far too liberally applied aftershave, and the kitchen at noon. I hated to go out into the world and pretend to be an adult. I wish I could have seen you more often, sat with you, learnt all the little jokes you had to tell. Wrapped up in self-obsession and the demands of life, I would always leave.

I will miss you barking reproachfully at me as I return home for the winter. How your tail would be wagging and yet your voice full of anger and hurt. How you would skip away every time I tried to hug you, growling and gnashing your teeth. It would be only after I'd had a shower, when I had leaped into my zany colored house pajamas and t-shirt would you laugh and lick my hand. Because you knew what the pajamas meant - I was here to stay for a bit.

I will miss how you would come and sit by feet at night on my verandah. In the deep, quiet parts of the night we would sit, me trying to write, you trying to get my attention with soft licks of your tongue. And when I would look down, you'd be smiling up at me, tongue lolling, eyes twinkling with the lights from my computer screen. How every couple of words I wrote, you would paw my foot with yours and insist on a belly rub. Enough writing. Time for cuddling. How angry you got at all the new dogs we ever got, because I spoke to them in that voice you remembered but never heard from me anymore. How angry you got with me, because I never really understood what you wanted to say.

Nobody wanted you. Because you were meant for me. I'm sorry I could never take you away with my when I left. I'm sorry I ever left. I'm sorry I ever got irritated with you when all you wanted was some belly scratching and inane cooed versions of your name from me. I'm sorry I didn't love you as much as you loved me.

I'm crying as I write this darling. I will miss you dearly.

Now go bother God.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Talk to me softly tonight,
Let our words discover the Moon.
Let the Stars be our children,
And the Universe curl up in our room.
Let the Sun join us in our joy.
Like a dog running into the Sea.
Let the wind dance with the shadows
As they look down on you and me

Let us define all of reality
as all that exists between our flesh.
Work me for six days, darling
Even the seventh, forgo my rest.
Take me away from Heaven,
Smuggle me away from God.
Let these words be our psalms,
Clumsy as they are, and flawed.

You are the Queen of my dreams,
Sacred lady of my faithless nights.
Dancer amidst the moon beams,
Made entirely of starlight.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Old Fashioned Maniac

Wide awake
at three
in the morning.
Just me, myself,
my lies.
Hope went
to sleep.
Love and I
don't speak.
Does she dream
of me?
Or does she
Does she weep
as I stroke
her old home
at the center
of these
unfamiliar sheets.

No she
does not.
She dreams
Not of me
but of all
she could be
without me
building cages.
I loved her
for loving me.
Never for
the miracle
she wanted
to be
for unworthy

My dreams
won't speak
to me.
My words
went away.
I begged them
to stay.
But they
told me
I lost faith.
That's when
I know.
I needed you
than I
managed to say.
Love me back.
I'm ready to
say that

I'm sorry.
I'm an
old fashioned
Old fashioned
is my love.
Set in my
despicable ways.
But no one
you know
could love
you my old
fashioned way.

Head Scratch

you want everything
all the time
and I want
to give it
to you
but I'm
just a man
and you're
not worth
so now
tell me
what to do

you want
even my dreams
to dance
around you
my every thought
trapped in split
end snarls
of your hair
but you
think of me
only when
you need
me to lift
something heavy

Nice and Sleazy

Ladies and Gentlemen allow me to present to you the most entertaining professional site I've ever had the sleazy honor of being scouted by. This is the bio of a supposedly legitimate modelling agency that has sent me an email looking to see if I need representation. When I checked them out, this is what I saw.

It might seem long and tedious but trust me, it is worth the read. I have cut and copied word, no editorializing and no corrections. This guy really took the time to right this. Nuff said.

Enjoy ----


FOR 'MALE' MODELLING,POSING IN SWIMSUITS & INNERWEARS R MANDATE ; so if u r nt comfortable,plz try b a Doctor/Engineer elswhr or else mail ur THT PICS ONLY FIRST (FOLIO/RANDOM SHOTS by snapping 4m ur cameracell/digicam) B4 THIS WEEK to the Mail ID OR DELETE US 4M UR LIST as v need VERSATILE MODELS nt hving prejudices n tantrums.


Now-a days juries have becum choosy nw and they accept folios bt first they need 2 judge the fitness n casual snapshots in underwears of male models as they need 2 c , in real life in un-makeup raw looks,hw actually they look n comfortable n bold portfolio mein sabhi khoobsoorat dikhte sum photoshops r involved dnt shy n send by snapping more n more ( 10-15 ) ONLY V-Cut INNERWEAR PICS in different poses n locations in ur room frm digicam or Cellcamera

FOR 'MALE' MODELLING,POSING IN SWIMSUITS & INNERWEARS R MANDATE ; so if u r nt comfortable,plz try b a Doctor/Engineer elswhr or else mail ur THT PICS ONLY FIRST (FOLIO/RANDOM SHOTS by snapping 4m ur cameracell/digicam) B4 THIS WEEK to the Mail ID OR DELETE US 4M UR LIST as v need VERSATILE MODELS nt hving prejudices n tantrums.

click frm ur cameracell
random shots
n mail
sweated body is MUST
dnt wax
b as hairy as u cn
armpits n all
n pose in various locations
armpits behind d neck
n all
male models who can't expose and shy like burkha-bride is nt needed in industry...u hv 2 expose n feel comfrtable in swuimwears ..and its a mandate or compulsory 2 take pix wearing only underwears if u cn,mail me those nw so tht v cud check the versatility n boldness or else please delete us frm ur profile....this is wat juries n clients say 2 us....m sorry as v hd 2 put it across forwrd.

& also add us on ORKUT in the ID ( under the name FASHION FIESTA )
...THINK TWICE,ACT WISE !! BEST OF LUCK !!! Waiting fr ur mails !!


i) If anyone says a HI , then revert back to them ASAP as a Hi,Hello,Hw r u , etc ... but NOT like "Wassup" or " Hey ! Who's dis ?"
[ It sounds very rude,snobbish,attitudish,unprofessional and casual]

ii) NEVER call or denote them by the following colloquial casual dialects like DUDE,BUDDY,YAAR,BRO,DEAR,etc. but showing utter respect as SIR / MAM.
[ It sounds very rude,snobbish,attitudish,unprofessional and casual ]

iii) Agencies checks how the models could comprehend their demands or requirements,they should be LITERATE in English & should reply to the point but not bluntly.
For E.G. : If any agency asks for your swuimsuit pics or Bodyshots,make sure you mail them ONLY those , not a mail in which all your pictures are there,like ethnic,casual,Bodyshots,Swuimshots,Formals,etc.As the juries might think that you dnt understand BASIC ENGLISH ,and you have given the juries to figure out the reqd pics from your folios.Always remembr,they have to check innumerable folios daily,so they dnt hv tht much time 2 go thru and choose the demanded pics.So,even if you are highly qualified person,but for your lack of comprehending and shortcuts,you might be landing in their black/bad books as an ILLITERATE model.Because they need not only muscular but WITTY models.Because its you who need to prove the famous proverb wrong tht MUSCULAR MEN HAVE CIRCULAR HEADS.SO,simultaneously increase your wits and brains along wid ur pectorals,abs,chest,torso,Lats and arms.

iv) Never use any morally derogatory or discrimnatory terms or words or any abusive slangs or foul-mouthing 2 anyone,even if anyone is doing fr u.Because,no agency or fashion magnets or anyone frm the film or fashion fraternity will like 2 work wid such models.They sumtimes might run a SCAN or look your profile in FB or Orkut to c hw u describe urself or hw u interact wid ur frndz.And through their tenurity,they cn easily make out a psychic character report about ur behavorial conducts.

v) NEVER malign the reputation or even dnt try 2 jeopardise any of ur ex-company's shoot or meeting experience to the new company ... as they might think,tht if u dnt get selected from them,u might also blacklist their company too , to others.Thats a STRICT NO-NO.Always say good and sugary sweet words for your ex company or any people ( even if u dnt like them ).

Being a guy/girl,its completely natural 2 get attracted by women/men respectively.But,usages of lies while chatting wid agencies tht " i hv 2 go nw fr dinner" and apparently going offline and then chatting with girlfrndz or others are a STRICT NO-NO.Because,if u dnt hv fame,models and ur career is gone.So,first PARENTS,then CAREER and then auxilliaries like partners.DNT MAKE URSELF AVAILABLE.Or else agenices will think u r here 2 make frndz and sexual meetings with girls in the name of frndships and u r nt serious and it might harm your career if they reject to work wid u as u never knw tht all agencies maintain a track record in the industry about all model's personal lifestyles.ONE ESCALATION AND UR CAREER WILL START 2 RUIN GRADUALLY. [ Vide the movie FASHION about the characters of SHONALI RATHOD & MEGHNA MATHUR ]

vii) ALWAYS be puctual in sending mails within time.
[ Or else it sounds very unprofessional,impuctal,not serious and casual ]

vii) If you could not so,then be APOLOGETIC to them and b TRANSPARENT but NEVER EVER GIVE THEM ANY LAME EXCUSES.
[ It sounds oppurtunist and melodramatic as THERE IS NO MARKET FOR UR SORROWS AND EXCUSES,SO NEVER ADVERTISE IT ]

Here a popular eg. : The famous Bollywood Dance Choreographer SAROJ KHAN turned up to the dance floor to teach her students and went to shooting eeven after hearing tht she lost her son that day itself and she said " SINCE I'M COMMITTED TO MY PROFESSION,SO I CAME TO COMPLETE MY WORK AND THEN I'LL BURRY MY SON"
So,u cn understand hw much strictly punctual and professional u hv 2 b to reach the zenith of ur career ? BECAUSE MANY MODELS FRM GRASIM AND GLADRAGS N OTHER AGENICES THRIVE HERE BUT ANYBODY REACHED TO THE LEVEL WHERE MILIND SOMAN REACHED ? NO.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Little Things of the Flesh

Was there music
that night
on the
balcony floor?
I barely remember.


Heaven lies
not in the sky
nor in the books.
You can't approach it
using something
as simple as your mind.
Sometimes I laugh
at the idea of religion.
Heaven was never
hard to find.
It's there,
when you look at me
like a problem
you need to fix.
It's there,
when you cup my face.
And refuse to
move further away,
than two lips.


I can't sleep.
Because you're not
here, in my bed,
keeping me awake.


I used to be calm.
Still water
a crescent moon.
The Goddess flung
you in me.
Like a rock.


Where you watching
me pray?
My trembling hands
my wavering lips?
My eyes that kept
looking back at you?


I dreamt of you.
Today I need
to dream a little
of me.
Let me.


When you're here
I'm barely breathing.
When you're gone,
I can't breathe at all.
There's nothing blessed
about this suffocation.
And the difference
between them.


Even my words
Whom I love
most of all.
Love you more
than they
ever loved me.


My hands used
to be gentle.
They used to be polite.
They used to dance
on canvas.
They loved to sit and write.
Now they itch
and twitch.
For a body like
scented loam.
Now they wait for
you to return.
Like for a parent
coming home.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dissolve Me

You dissolve me
Into the water of you.
You stir my soul,
slowly away,
until nothing remains
but a murkier you.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Listening to "Love the Way You Lie" While Trying to Write

"On the first page, of our story
the future seemed so bright.
Then this thing turned out, so evil,
I don't know why I'm still surprised.
Even angels have their wicked schemes,
and you take that to new extremes.
But you'll always be my hero,
even though you've lost your mind"

(From "Love The Way You Lie II" by Rihanna Feat. Eminem)

I'm lost without you, baby, come back to me.
Don't slam that door, don't you dare walk away from me.
I'll only chase you down, turn you around roughly. Only
So you can shove me against the neighbor's door
and scream at me that I'm never sorry.
I don't deserve you, I was lonely, I'm an ass, stop crying.
Can't you see that I'm dying but that I can't speak
Without lying through my damn teeth. Please at least,
Tell me it's okay that I cheated. Wait, hold up, tie me
to this chair so I don't hurt when you go off on me.
It's you that I love, she meant nothing, really.
I only slept with her to keep you from taking
me, for granted like you've been doing lately.
It's okay to feel something, baby, go ahead hate me.
Just stop running away all the time, I'm all you need baby.
Who else will love you when you're hung over, fed-up, lazy?
Overweight overbearing over the moon crazy?
You tell me I'm going bald, getting fat, so damn ugly.
Then when I turn away you dash into my back, hug me.
And say that "You're the only one who's ever loved me".
Then you take me to my room, push me down, make me
Forget everything I hate in this whole world, except the
way that I treated you these last few days. I pull you close
to me. You touch me like a nurse, wiping me down softly.
You whisper, "I love you", and I tell you that I'm so damn sorry.
Maybe you like to watch me go berserk, break shit and burn.
You like knowing how easy you can melt me down, make me churn.
You like how it feels to stick a knife in, smile and twist and turn.
How can we treat each other so good, and have the best time,
Then drag each other down to hell, before the next clock chime?
I make loving me seem like a crime don't I?
And you're guilty everytime. I say I'm sorry but I'm lying.
I don't love to watch you cry, but I get a sick kind of high
Watching you smile through your tears as you believe every lie.

Psychodramatic So and So

You ever have those days where nothing seems to be going on in your life? Really, you wake up and for some strange reason, your skin feels like it belongs to someone else. There's no great tragedy, no overwhelming crisis, no drama, just an overbearing...nothing. You brush your teeth staring at the stranger in the mirror wearing your face. You have your breakfast, you read the paper full of the usual shit that rains across the globe. Your email account is empty. Your facebook page has one or two notifications but nothing sent to you specifically. Just people who have commented on things you've commented on in the past. Some of them, well, most of them, you couldn't care less about.

You step out of your apartment and the Sun is unhappy to see you, so ups the heat. The wind, that was blowing so sweetly a moment ago, decides it's time to go blow elsewhere. Even the dog in your building that usually leaps into your arms and licks the entire side of your face is strangely subdued, barely managing a single wag of his tail at the sight of you. There's a sense of malaise and lethargy that seems to squat down around you, making everything appear as if seen through a heat haze.

You sit in your home and look around at all the things you could be doing and do none of them. Or even if you do, it's with such a sense of futility or dissatisfaction that you decide it's better not to attempt anything at all.

I've sat at this computer intermittently about six times today. I've refreshed my facebook page, my email about a dozen times. I leaped at my phone when it rang only to have someone attempt to sell me some hair brained scheme to invest in shady real estate in Ghatkopar. I've scrapped at least three pieces that I've been trying to write. One of them was so bad it made my eyes wet with boredom just scanning the first line.

What's missing? Yesterday I was happy for no reason. Today I am not. Am I, are we all, at the mercy of things so infinitesimal that they can affect us so profoundly without even announcing themselves or leaving any clues? What moves beneath the ocean of our thoughts that sends these bubbles up to mess with our surface? What behemoths swim beneath the brine, unnoticed save for the wake they leave behind?

Maybe what I really need is one tight slap. And luckily for me I have a number of people in my life who would love to give me one if they saw me like this right now. Maybe I should just call one of them. There's nothing quite so comforting as the righteous tirade of a loved one towards all your bullshit. I love it. Everytime my mother, or sisters, or girlfriend, or friend starts to lecture me on topics I deserve lecturing, one part of my brain is paying attention, the other is fighting to keep the smiles of joy from my face. They just wouldn't take it the right way were I to beam at them mid-tirade and thank them for loving me enough to slap my ego and sense of self-loathing around like they needed to.

The problem I've come to realize, is that when I get left alone for too long now, I start feeling bereft. See, I'm a psychodramatic so and so. I work my issues out through high drama and play-acting. Nothing rejuvenates me more than making someone laugh with the way I relate my woes with much mimicry and high elocution. I used to be a loner. I used to like it that way. But I'm happy to know that I'm not anymore. I like people, and they like me. And I think I need to stop writing and get out of this house and just run into someone somewhere and make them smile, with me or at me, doesn't matter. Today I need to feel a part of the human race. I can go back to being a misanthropic so and so tomorrow. Ciao!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Silly Rap Song

I need you now I need you
Quiet chaos in my soul let me feed you
let me drive you right up the wall
and make love on the ceiling
you don't understand how I'm feeling, I'm like
Marvin Gaye rewriting Sexual Healing
i'm a puppy dressed in white linen pants
out my mind out the asylum out in your hands
silly rap song this is a silly rap song
stomp your feet pull me close keep clapping along
I'm feeling frisky and when I am I'm full of frisky demands
Shankar Ramen said my love is like a dog understand?
I need to train him not to bite
But I'm off the diggity damn chain tonight
Thought i told you that there will be times
the poet pulls a trigger and my inner tigger rhymes
I'm in and out of my schizophrenic minds, I need to
be in and out of you, filthy damn but it's true
Normal is for normal people baby, me and you
are crazy orangutans caught in a psychotic loop
You were the one that made me this way. You
Can't complain now, baby doll, or train me away
I'm a cannibal out for your flesh, God Lord Jesus Yahweh
This world's full of sinners and I'm its truest Son
Moral as a viper, tequila steady loco with a loaded gun
I have what you may refer to as certain lust issues
Hacchoo! Did I wet you? Let me let the Devil bless you!
Or blow your irresponsibly held wet whistle?
Who let this crazy motherf@*$ guy next to you?
You need an exorcist, girl, to take this tall hex from you.
But for now let's push this whole home to crushed rubble
Let me kiss you on your neck, pick goosepimples off your flesh
with my last shaved, god-knows-when, who-the-f-cares stubble
Tell me you hate me, I'm a frustrating ingrate then hug me
Let the world judge me wrong, girl, you just smile drug me
again and again, do it well do it well, then we do it again
We're going to have a lot of furniture to rearrange
In the morning, for now let's come together deranged
Erotic arranged chaotic massive crises created congrats
Let's make like rabbits skating along on a rollercoaster thats
about to fall off the tracks onto all these other rats
Splat there goes your ex-boyfriend and that other patsy
Hats off to you for getting all my bullshit to move past me
You want me, you want me, I can see it in the way you shiver
cupid ran out of all the love arrows in his usual quiver
so reached into the other right quick, hit your heart your liver
and all the other parts that made them other guys run away quicker
I'm here to take it all girl, even your inner Loch-ness monster stress
I'm here to tell you I need it all, even your need to obsess
about all the ugly little things this world has in excess
but I digress I'm just trying to go half on thirty babies, unless
I am plain crazy and you're not even a little complexed.
Oops there goes the bell, to be continued next recess.
I guess. Yes?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Moving to Argentina

There is a place
where the tango
never ends.
Where the mountain
comes down to play
with the sea.
Where the sky
remembers what it was like
to walk upon the shore.
A place where you and I
have yet to come.
To sands that have never
known the mysteries
wrinkled under our feet.
Where the air moves
ignorant of our scent
but waits for us
nonetheless. Patiently.

There is a place I
wish us to be.
Full of secret sunshine,
nights thick like honey.
Mosquito nets moist
from our tango,
the other one.
The creak of palm trees
standing watch,
and the glow of the Moon,
trying to get
a better view.

Friday, November 19, 2010


I have forgotten
where I was,
when they came for me.
I remember a beach
and an ugly sunset
over a lifeless sea.
I remember the children
smiling, and running up
but never into that sea.
I remember wishing
they could.

That was my crime,
that foolish wish.
And then they took me,
to the edge
where the ocean
comes to surrender.
Where all the violence
trapped in every wave,
powerful enough
to defy the Sun,
and shatter the Moon,
sputters and gasps
and crawls cowardly
up the shore,
and licks our feet.

This is where I am to be.
At the edge of things,
looking sideways.
A broken harp
in unfamiliar hands.
An empty cup
waiting for an
endless sea.
They struck me
with hammers
and left me
cracked enough
to let the Light

They made me burn
down everything I was.
Until all that remained
was the hollow sound
at the heart of every scream.
They broke my throat
and poured in the fire.
And told me the truth.
The words will always come
but never to the strong.
Poets must learn to fly
with broken wings.

I wept for joy
at all the pain,
that I turned into
mobiles of words.
I stood frozen,
upon that shore.
I spoke with the
water at my feet.
And it smiled at me
and gathered itself
and rushed back
into the sea.

My heart broke open
and out galloped
all the horses.
Never to return.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Taking a Breather

Taking a break from writing poetry, or rather trying to write poetry. Everytime I start I think I'm going to crack it finally and come up with something as stunning as "Intimations of Immortality" or "Idea of Order at Key West". And then I start writing, with all the usual distractions littered around and in front of me : coffee, books, newspapers, playstation3, new DVD's I haven't seen, internet, fucking facebook! Only our generation could have invented a disorder like Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. No wonder it was us - can't sit still long enough to finish the least time-consuming of tasks without wandering off into another. It would be amusing if it didn't actually mean that a lot of good work went undone or not even begun during all these periods of pointless and fruitless hyperactivity.

Then I finish a poem and read it back to myself. Most times, I have to put the computer aside before I smash it against the far wall. Other times, I kind of smile, and tell myself it's not really THAT bad. I'm getting better. But every time, every single time, I feel like I've written something just barely good enough to be rejected as the lyrics for the next Taylor Swift song. All my poems sound a little too Pop-y to me. (Note, between the previous sentence and the next I checked my email twice, my facebook page the same, and watched the video for a song I like on YouTube. The prosecution rests).

But when I thought about it, pop music, and started to list all the great songs I've ever heard, I took a little heart. I wish I could write like Shakespeare or Hemingway, and we all should wish for that level of skill and intensity in our work, whatever that work may be. However, it is far more important to discover your own true wavelength. I shouldn't try and write a poem like Wallace Stevens or Charles Bukowski. They had their experiences and their education and their points of view that colored the ink they wrote with. I have mine. And that's a good thing. To mine own self I am true. Plus if you've ever really listened to the lyrics of songs like "Edge of Desire" or "Slow Dancing in a Burning Room" by John Mayer (Yes, that's right! John Mayer), or any Counting Crows or U2 song (barring some of the new stuff. Sorry Bono, you've kinda gotten a little too pop for me), you'll know that there's some real quality poetry out there disguised as pop music. And I'm just giving examples from the really popular stuff.

This entire week I've done more writing that I've been happy with than ever before, not because I've been inspired or moved or anything so cliched. I've written so much more just because I've taken the time to sit down and write. To not wait for some faerie dust to be sprinkled on me, rather just roll up my sleeves and start digging. I know most of the people that know me find my pieces quite "iffy" and hard to get through. One of my dearest friends told me he checks out about line three, everytime. But then there are those who tell me they liked what I wrote. And those very few who say that they understood what I was trying to say. That means more to me than they'll ever know.

Because I don't want to, and have never wanted these pieces to be private or hidden, or about things I don't feel strongly about. These are little pieces of me that I want you to see, because I know you have these same pieces in you. These maybe exercises or literary challenges for me, but they describe things I know more people than me have faced or dealt with or laughed at. I re-evaluated why I actually started this blog and why I've continued to post here. I want to be heard. I want to share what I know and what I see, with whoever takes the time to read it. This is not for me, these words are for you, and they always have been.

So this long ass rambling piece, was me taking a breather. Hopefully by tonight, I'll be playing percussion on these computer keys again.

To everyone who reads - leave a comment if you can. Let a brother know you hear him. Even if you don't like what you read. I'd actually appreciate a good critique.

To all that read and comment - I'd hug you if I could. Thank you.

Now! Where'd I put that damn cup of coffee. Aha...there you are, you saucy beverage....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Everything You Are To Me

Everything you are to me,
Is a blessing I'll never deserve.
It's that surging swell of desire
That hides in your every curve.
It's the way you move when you're happy
All the singing and dancing too.
It's the way your eyes grow softer
Than mine ever do, looking up at you.
It's in the way you smile at me,
Like a parent to a child.
It's how I feel when I touch you.
Like the end to my long exile.

Everything you are to me,
Is the fuel that pulls me along.
It's your face that I see
Listening to the silliest song.
I know somedays you hate yourself,
When you can barely look in the mirror.
And the world tells you horrible things,
Your dreams evanesce in a zephyr.
I'd break the world for hurting you,
Smash every hateful face I see.
But you would only stroke my cheek,
And whisper, "Just let it be."

Hear my words, Morning Star
and know them to be true.
I'd break all my rules for you,
Just the way you are.

Monday, November 15, 2010

The Heart Rain Sonnet

I was walking along
Another dirty street.
Feeling a little riven,
Cracked, incomplete.
The kind of day you felt,
Sick, lonely, and in debt.
Like a hyperactive
Locked in an oubliette.
If this were a business,
This business of life.
I'd probably get fired.
Come back with a knife.

Then I hear it, my favorite refrain.
First peals the thunder, down comes the rain.

November Rain

The rain came back
For me.
So did the Blues.
Why won't they leave
me be?
The fools.
I open my windows
Pick up my pen.
Open my heart.
I listen to the thunder
Enter my bones.
Open my heart.
Blessed are the weary.
For at least we tried.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Too Late to S.O.S.

If you look closely,
Even stars stand lonely.
Burning holes into
the vacuum around.
Signifying everything
but what they are.
Just fury, no sound.

If this is really hell
Then at least we're together.
Except when I look at you,
I keep thinking of her.
Is it just me
Or are we all just crazy?
Love's hard work,
and we're all just lazy.

These aren't love songs
But beggared breaths.
Taken in this city
of quiet deaths.
Puff puff pass,
This pain can't last.
Leave me alone.

Leave me alone.
But be waiting in my bed
when I get back home,
with nothing
but that smile
and that lingerie on.

The song says
You give and you give
and you give yourself away.
But I think we kid and kid
and kid ourselves away.
Lie in little ways.
Settle into familiar
Ugly little days.

This was a happy song,
Then the blues came along.
Like cold, bloody jazz.
Guitars as blue as
Muddy Waters,
Howling Wolf and
his troubled daughters.
Etta James and
her Demons too.
Little light,
Just me, no you.

This is not a cry for help.
No plea bargain for parole.
I don't want you here tonight.
It's too late to save my soul.
You'd only come running,
Ready to face my unknown.
That's why I locked the door.
And turned off the phone.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bandra Bachelor Party

Some try to dance,
Some just stand.
Some dream about things
They'll never understand.
Some don't have the heart.
They linger around my Saturday night
A crowd of people, standing apart.

There's a girl here who wants
To dance but hates all the music.
She moves like an assassin,
Duck your head or you'll lose it.
Every thrust of her hip
Every toss of her hair,
Layered thick with seduction
Barely masks her despair.

There must be people here,
Happier than they seem.
Or am I lost in the fairy dust
Of my own little dream.
We laugh at all the jokes
No matter how bad.
It seems our responsibility
To at least pretend to be glad.

I'm too tired to write now
and much much too lonely.
Saturday night lies dying,
Sunday doesn't want to know me.
There's left nothing to do
but crawl into my empty bed.
And dream of all the lives
I'll never touch, before I'm dead.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Why aren't I asleep?

I convinced myself I knew how to swim
and haven't drowned yet.
I told myself I knew how to love,
but was proven incorrect.
Love isn't a white horse, or a rainbow
or chocolate desert
or a mid-day naked dance.
Love is love. It is not like
any other thing.
Nor would it want to be.
Like a rock is a rock
Your love is your love.
What freaks me out,
Is discovering that,
My love is your love too.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Watch thrown into a closet.

I have no words,
I spent them all
Far too cheaply.
On a dirty corner
near a cigarette stand.
You never came,
So I let them drop,
One by one
Into the gutter
Yawning at my feet.
Are we happy now?
I waited. Me
and my watch
We waited.
My watch told me
to walk away.
But I wanted to see you.
And thought it was
just jealous.
But you never came.
Now I don't wear
that watch anymore.

Solitary Refinement

There are no echoes here,
No wasted breaths
No misunderstandings nor arguments
Neither pleasure nor pain.
There is only me, and my pen
Practicing our old dance again.

One two three, one two three, one.
Quiet is my home, and clean.
Clement is the wind, and cheerful.
I know many words, and learn many more.
I smile even lost in traffic,
In the crowd outside an audition,
Or in line at the grocery store.

I light a candle for my Goddess
and incense for her pleasure.
I smile and touch her feet and
Ring a silver bell to tell her I love her.
I am as wise as the crows,
and still from within.
I light my lamps to mirror
the orange of the Sky,
and let the Sunset in.

There's a perfect cup of kahwa
steaming beside my book.
I no longer have to search
for reasons to be happy.
I've lived in Bombay without crying
and learnt where to look.

I think of all of us
Abandoned in this city,
I know we'll all make it
If we learn to like the jazz.
The Sun rises in our eyes,
It always, always has.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Another Silly Song

Winter rain upon my terrace
Watching bats flit through palm trees.
Like dreamers who like to dance
Like a flower in a field of honey bees.

These days pass by so slowly
But in a blessed langour.
I dream of her even less now
than I ever did before.

Although I dream of her still
a little.

But this poem isn't about her
This is my song for you.
Because you never walk away without looking
to see me looking back at you.

And everytime you touch me
Your soul takes a hold of mine.
And every time I pull away now,
Separation leaves a bloody sign

When you smile I see it all
Even what they seldom see.
I see the sacred secret pain.
That you wish to share with me.

I see your weaknesses
I see the scars on your chest.
I see the tremble in your lips
and that you hate this damn dress.

We're all broken bits of pieces
My baby, you, and me.
But we are what the angels envy,
When they force themselves to see.

Prophets don't come from paradise
They are born bloody and screaming
They don't come to sit in quiet rooms
But to stand surrounded, broken and bleeding.

You say you want me baby,
What else could I possibly do?
You go your way,
I'll go your way too.

(*Last two lines are "The Sweetest Little Song" by my Prophet of Poem, Mr. Leonard Cohen)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Kind of Love Song

I may never be what you needed,
Just as you needed it the most.
Or be even remotely what you dreamt
of walking beside, upon that coast.
Hand in hand on perfect sands,
Watching sunsets parade into the sea.
I could never be all the answers
Just imperfect, insensitive me.
I knew all the words I needed to say
and all the right places to touch.
I knew every little ticklish spot
and all the songs you loved so much.
But you don't want that now
There's no glamour to be had.
You can't sit in quiet rooms with me
Somewhere between angry and sad.
There's no perfection here baby,
Nothing like that at all.
I will let you down, sugar
Or be sleeping when you fall.
I love you so much sometimes
Sometimes I can't quite manage,
Sometimes we're making love
And doing nothing but more damage.
I could tell you I'm gonna try to change.
But you'd know I'm lying through my teeth
Who the fuck are we kidding here, baby?
This is a test we never meant to complete.
I can give you days without joy,
Days you feel ugly and sick.
Days I wipe away every smile,
Days I cut you to past your quick.
Somedays I know you hate me
And could sell your soul for a brick.
I'm sorry for everything baby.
But we both know I'll do it again.
You see I love you, baby
I just can't to do it without the pain.
But I make you laugh don't I
Dance, and giggle, and leap for me?
I can be anything you need me to be
You know your soul pleads for me.
So think of me tonight, baby
Because nothing else seems true.
I'm not God's gift to anybody darling
I'm the bargain He struck, for you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Back in Bombay

My first night back in the Big Stinky Bombay City. And I'm a happy man. How'd that happen? When I moved here from New York, I remember sitting in the plane as it touched down and thinking that I was being exiled from paradise, cast down into Pandaemonium. I stood next to all the people in baggage reclaim crowd like a weeping seraph amongst the other Fallen. What had I done that was terrible enough to deliver me this fate? I carried a fear in my gut that was heavier than all the bags being dumped on the carousel. How would I be able to walk out the airport with this weight?

I knew no one in the city. Every sound it made frightened me. Every smell that came, came to me with a violence my nose was unprepared for. The Sun beat down on me like a judge's hammer, counting out the years I was being imprisoned for. And I wanted to be an actor. A choice of profession that seemed right only to my inflated sense of my own magnificence. How naive and cock-sure could I have been to think that I could make it when so many other equally worthy or more, smashed their dreams to dust upon these raging streets?

I didn't sleep properly for a week. Every night I would paint fantasies upon the ceiling, only to see them all burn. Every night I would lay awake, unable to take a deep breath, like something stood on my chest, right below my ribs. This city told me nothing, it only glared and screamed. It gave me nothing, it only took my dreams and knotted them in the small of my back. Every gaze seemed dismissive, contemptuous, or at the very mildest, gauging. No one looked with softness and serenity. No one bothered to smile truly. Everybody had an angle, and ace up their sleeves, and a big knife behind their back.

It's hard to find love in a city where it's considered a weakness. Hard to find softness in a jungle full of predators. Where does one go to stand in the light, when even the Sun seems a tainted tyrant?

You go within, that's where you go. You dive deep into the heart of you. You find a pool of Serenity you didn't know you even had, in the quiet spaces between your dreams and your tears, fed by neither but sweeter than both. You go within to see the light, you go within to be quilted in shadow against the cold dark.

It is here, in this city of obsessions and despair, and ambition and lust, and hunger, that I found my quiet places waiting for me. It is here, in Bombay, that I learned that I was equal to the task. I may never like Bombay for all it's filth and cracked roads and indifferent officials, and awful weather, and an unwelcoming sea, but for making me a man, finally, I will always love it.

Now I sleep like a baby and laugh like a child. I am what I was looking for, all this lonely while.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Poem from a Crowded Couch

The words have abandoned me tonight
but still you remain.
My incessant thought, my greatest fear,
the shiver in this weary spine,
the fever in my brain.
I've been walking alone for so long
I had forgotten how it felt.
To be held in arms softer than mercy,
drowned in sighs like the prayers
Sufis made when they sang where they knelt.
You're the reason there are temples
where more than hymns are sung.
And the bells chime with bronzed laughter.
Where old ladies smile and clap their hands,
and candles hold more light than suns.
They made me a wanderer, exiled from stillness.
Cursed to stumble room to room.
Chasing mirages under desert stars.
Scorned by the sun, exiled from the sky,
Friendless except for the lonelier Moon.
I should have been born when Khalifs ruled
And poetry floated on jasmine winds
When men held honor in sheathed swords
and saw visions in eldritch flames, as they sat
sucking the juices out of tamarinds.
But here I am, in this city of dirty dreams
and hearts riven through.
Where faith is for sale, and love and honor
mean less than they should. But here it is,
I find myself, lying next to you.

Blessed Lazy Day

Today I did nothing special. I sat at home and read a book. When I was done reading that I read another. Then I felt life was too adult and serious so I read an old Captain America comic book. I love that guy. I had a great breakfast and a better lunch. I thought I'd drink some coffee and later maybe some punch. Buzzed am I, on caffeine and joy, thinking about all the little things that bring me pleasure.

Of course I could complain that there's nothing to do. I have no work to speak of and the universe offers nary a clue. A woman I loved is getting married, a woman I adore thinks I'm insane, and a woman I've barely met is sitting pretty cozy, like a dancing tumor in my brain. Of course I could rave and rant, and complain about all sorts of silly things. But the truth of the matter is I'm pretty darned lucky to be born Arunoday Singh.

And this rhyme scheme wasn't intended, nor does it seem to fit rightly. But I'm freestyling from my soul now, and if the words could rhyme, I don't mind helping them ever so slightly. After all, this here is one of the things I enjoy most, writing, sketching, and perhaps a lot of nutella on a lightly buttered toast. This is the day I shall pick up a pencil and sketch, I've made up my mind. It's been too long since I drew, drowned my sadness in the swirling mist of charcoal lines.

Today is a good day. And I plan to make it better. Like an aquamaniac in the rain, praying we can all get wetter. That last rhyme was a little pathetic, but what the hell? The coffee's brewing on the pot, and the temperature in the room is just swell. Today I miss no one, today I'm happy to be alone. Lying on a couch dreaming, contented sighs shaking loose from my bones.

There are moments that define us, where we discover who we truly are. Then there are moments like these, like sitting behind the wheel of a beloved car. Where the poetry is in the simplicity and goofy smile on my face. Not to be out there pimping my soul, or scavenging for a spot in the rat race. I may not reach the finish line for a while, of that even I'm pretty sure. But I'll cross that mother with a devilish smile, and make her move like heartbreak moves across a dance floor.

You have blessed me Goddess, with this most laziest of lazy days. My curtains twist and dance while the sunlight outside my window plays. And my hopes and dreams decide it's better to shut up and listen to the music. And the future will come when it does, we shouldn't worry that we might misstep and lose it. These moments are precious that's why we call it the Present. Forget the past, forgo the future, lock all your worries in the basement. Today I do the lazy dance, hug my couch, kiss my coffee, and call my book my bestest friend. Today I wish for nothing but more days like this scattered throughout my life, a therapy I'd heartily recommend.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


"In your light I learn how to love,
In your beauty, how to make poems,

You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,

but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art."

There is something truly terrifying about a beautiful woman to me. Something alien and deadly and enigmatic and cold. Her ability to snare my every sense and leave it twitching and snarling and trapped. The way every sound she makes to me seems like a call to prayer. And the smiles, Goddess preserve me, the smiles...

Sounds like bullshit doesn't it? All of it. I've been trying to write this piece since I spoke to her, and all that seems right and proper is the poem by Rumi at the top. I think it's god-damned ridiculous that at my age, a single glance from a single girl can leave me unsettled, pensive and moody for almost two days now.

Was she beautiful? Of course she was. Was she intelligent? Of course she was. Was I charming? Of course I was not. I was like a bull trying to ski on one foot while memorizing the lyrics to a James Brown song and knit myself a scarf at the same time. You'd think at least I would have known to never go up to a beautiful woman and tell her I thought her beautiful. After all these years, you'd think I'd remember. That and to make sure my tongue wasn't moistening my shirt just above the belly button. But you friggin try counting to ten in front of this girl.

Rumi could write a poem like the one above, and all I can write is...But I understand now, Rumi, truly I do. My impulsive lurch towards her is what separates me from you. I'm still mired in the superficial. That poem above will never be true for me unless I stop looking with my eyes. I see only her smile because I am a child, reminded of why I write bad poetry and stared into coffee cups.

There are oceans
we must cross simply to say hello.
Where fears, loneliness, and failure
Are the waves that ever flow.
She sat across a shadowed room,
In a liquid pool of heartless light.
A lodestone for my chaos,
The bloody towel to my every fight.
Across from me and over that sea.
How could she know
what had happened to me
here, on this night?
When she smiled up at me
She broke my spirit and cast it away
Before I sat down beside her
Before I asked her her name
I went to her like a killer to a church,
Hoping to confess, maybe even to pray.
But she broke my spirit in style today.
And took my entire week in her purse
She smiled at me like a child today
And made my charm seem like my curse.

This last piece is mine. See what I mean about bad poetry? Sigh...Goddess bring her before me again, so I might write you another song like this, and make you giggle at your foolish child.


Her scent was all he remembered of her truly. The cut of her face, the alignment of her features, the precise hue of her eyes even...all had been reduced to hazy approximations of beauty, that coalesced into firmer images only when he got high. But even these firmer images of her in his head were all unlike each other, variations on a theme, studies in heartbreak. It seems that Mary Jane, too liked to play with his mind now and then. But nothing had ever made him forget that smell - like a wreath of fragrant flowers on a New York summer day, holding all the other lesser smells : sweat, leather, bagels, cheap perfumes, cigarettes and concrete. Holding all these lesser smells close, and forgiving them their lack of poetry - that's what she smelled like to him. A jasmine goddess standing on a midden heap.

How could he forget that? Half a decade and four continents later and he still woke up some days with her stink all over his bed-sheets. How could that be? Did some mischievous imp dance in his shadow, waiting for his deeper dreams to come, and sprinkle her therein? Or did she herself come to him, in the night, while his conscious mind recovered from the onslaught of his banal days. Perhaps love and desire have laws of their own, that superseded the laws of the physical world. He remembered that old fakir in Rishikesh telling him his newly acquired wisdom, that time they got high under the steps leading to the German Bakery. Love was as much an element of the universe as fire, or water, or earth. Underneath all the badly acted romantic comedies, and the cliched songs, and the bad poetry - was a terrifying truth. It's all real, and we're good and proper fucked.

And that's how he knew that she had entered the room. By scent. Even though he hadn't seen or heard from her in four years. Even though he was sitting in a quiet booth facing away from the door and enjoying the hell out of this little book his friend had lent him. He still knew it was her. His nostrils knew before he did, and as they flared and took her presence in, his heart decided it was a great time to begin a conga beat against the walls of his chest. He had to put the book down and place a hand over his chest and allow himself a moment to be bewildered, before he even noticed the smell. But the second he did...His coffee started to cool in his mouth, he sat so still. He forgot to breathe, forgot to swallow, and only the people sitting facing him could have told him whether he had stopped blinking. He hoped he had, for otherwise the tears in his eyes were being drawn from a different well.

He only shifted when he heard her laugh. The sound smashing through the hiss and chatter of the cafe, sending all other sounds scurrying into their corners like field mice under the shadow of the hunting owl. He heard that laughter and it struck him like a physical thing, like the wave of air and pressure sent out by a detonation, turning the world into a muted, cacophonous, chaotic mess, where one stumbles with skinned knees and bloody eardrums. He reached up and covered his ears, pretending that he was still poring over the book on his table. He hunched his shoulders against what stood behind him somewhere, refusing to be weak and whip around to see her.

That laughter, that voice, that sound crested towards him like an inescapable wave as she walked closer, and then past him towards the far corner of the room. He released his ears from under his ineffectual hands and took a shallow breath through the mouth. His eyes he nailed to the page before him. She hadn't recognized him. He was grateful. He was furious. He was sad. He was one confused idiot, is what he was. Pathetic really, he told himself. The legendary Lothario, the Clown prince of Charm, reduced to a frightened mouse by a scent. Bravo, Sir Gibber-a-lot, bravo indeed!

She took a seat two tables down, facing him. How he knew this he didn't know. But he knew it as surely as he knew that he should keep turning pages after appropriate pauses to at keep up the appearance of reading. But his nervous system couldn't seem to locate his hands, even though there snuggled one, under his thigh where it usually was when he read, and there curled the other around his fourth cup of coffee. He heard her voice talk about her flight to Bombay and the nerdy business man next to her who kept pretending to be asleep so that he could rest his head on her shoulder and stare down her blouse. He heard her say all the things about this city that he had said when he arrived, right down to the sigh and the laugh at the end.

The waiter came to his table smiling and friendly. He lurched to his feet suddenly and almost knocked the fellow aside as he turned away without looking up and dashed into the bathroom. He poured water into his hands and splashed his face once twice and then again. He rubbed it into his feverish skin, around the back of his neck. Then he took a couple of paper towels and wiped himself down. There was somebody pounding on the door. He said "In a minute!" Or did he? He couldn't remember, but the pounding continued.

When he opened the door there was a man standing there with a "fuck-you" expression on his face. He grabbed the front of the man's shirt and slammed him against wall hard enough to wipe it off. Then he leaned in and whispered in a voice entirely not his own, "Patience." Before the man could retort or retaliate, he had walked out of the loo and back into the cafe.

He felt better. Stronger. The incident in the john had pumped him full of adrenaline and testosterone. He smiled at some random girl in the corner and felt flush with power when she blushed. He reminded himself of who he had become. An equal.

He sat down at his table. Crooked grin on his face, careless shrug to his shoulders. He sipped his coffee slow, smiled and leaned back and looked up.

It wasn't her!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tell Me Something

Tell me the truth dear. Tell me how it came to be, that you and I find ourselves, here. Where the illusions crumble and the masks disappear. Where your words are the ropes that will bind me, and your smiles the demons I fear. Tell me why I push you away, when all I want is to keep you near? Tell me why we're all so fucked up, and only seem to get worse, year after year. Tell me something real, love. Something you've held back from every other ear. Tell me the secrets to your garden and what lies in the hinterlands of your soul, beyond who you seem to be and how you choose to appear. Tell me why you say you love me, when I'm everything that you should fear? Tell me why a walk in the park with you, might as well be my life's one true quest, my holy mission into a lawless frontier. If you were a religion, I couldn't be your priest, or your prayer. I'd be the one living in a forest or a cave, a half crazed fakir. Singing songs no one understood and only the birds would ever hear. Writing sacred words with a faithless pen, building stone boats off a desert pier. I thought I was strong. I thought I had it all figured out. Then you smiled and it hit me, that I had never known what any of it was ever about. I thought I had heard it all before, the great songs, the heavenly dances, the speeches from the classics, so pure they would make my ears sing. Now look at me, stumbling with my own name, playing court jester to little men, a filthy squire to a rodent king. I got lost in these streets, with no one looking to find me. Then I ran into you, and took leave of all my other senses, thank you ever so kindly.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Most of the Time

Most of the time
I'm pretty sorted and content
Most of the time
My time walks by well-spent
I follow my dreams
I don't wait for signs
Stay right with it
As the road unwinds
Most of time
I go through the day smiling
Widely, often and true
Even on cloudy days and gray
My heart stays shining
Most of the time
I love all of mankind
Clasp hands and hug friends
Sit sipping on wine
Most of time
I wouldn't change it if I could
When I can't remember her name
and I can believe this lie
I tell myself to smile
after I swallow the pain
Most of time
I can deal with anything I face
Most of time
I can do wharever it takes
Write songs to goddesses
Who couldn't possibly exist
To get my mind away
And set my soul adrift
Most of the time
She ain't even in my mind
Most of the time
I need to remind myself
Forget the snow and that night
As I walked up those steps
To her and her smile
Shining down on me brighter
Than the white lamplight
Most of the time

(inspired not-so-subliminally by my favorite Bob Dylan song, which played on repeat through the evening. Don't ask me why because I can listen to a song I like for hours. I'm obsessive like that)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Another excerpt from "Untitled"

Damn, but this should have been the perfect night. She was laughing at one of his jokes when he thought this. Dressed in a white dress, soft as the light in her eyes, soft as the smile on his face as he watched her, not nearly as soft as her hand was on his knee. If there were words to describe what she was to him, he didn't know them. Save to say that she was beautiful, and to him, she was the most beautiful of them all. Suffice to say that.

The restaurant they were in was lit far too brightly for his taste, but they were in a quiet, comfortably shadowed corner. Their oft-filled glasses of wine half-empty before them, their plates of food eaten and pushed aside. The food was only a pretext for why they were here. If only they could admit that to each other. But then who among us ever does? The buzz of the room, the harsh laughter from some corners, the raucous conversation from others, the clink of glasses, the hiss of the open kitchen behind her, all these sounds served only to isolate them in their corner. Like a cocoon protecting them from the people they were outside this night, enclosing only how they felt about each other. Or at least, that was the fantasy he comforted himself with, the fool.

He listened to her laughter peal through the air between them, as he swallowed down his sadness with another swallow of wine. She came down to a giggle and then a smile and then told him again how she was thinking of settling down. At first all he felt was a curious sensation of falling, as if the floor beneath him was riven with cracks and moments from caving under him. He reached out to grip the edge of the table and took a breath followed by some more wine, which didn't help the vertigo, at all. That's when the anger and the lust and the jealousy swept back in.

"I don't know, I'm just tired of fighting it, I think. I'm tired of running. I think I just need to get it over with already."

She didn't meet his eyes once when she said this, despite the smile on her face.

"He's a really sweet guy, and he's persistent. I mean, he's not the kind of guy I would normally...I mean he's not my type. But then I've always dumped the guys I thought were my type. Maybe, I don't know, maybe it's time for me to just stop running."

He smiled at the waiters passing. He smiled at the idea that while they thought here sat a lucky lucky man, here actually sat an idiot having his heart broken, by the same girl, again. He smiled back, forcing all the male wink-wink bravado he could into the smile.

"What do you think?" she asked, false innocence in her eyes, and a tremulous smile on her lips.

What could he say? Don't do it. Think about your happiness. Think about mine. He's not your type. You don't love him. You've never loved me. He pursued you for two months. I've loved you for a decade. What could he say?

"Oh wow! That's great news!"

He almost laughed at how insincere that sounded. And she did laugh because of the pained look on his face he was trying to cover with a smile. The games we play, they both thought as they ordered more wine. This was followed by some silent staring at each other. Each trying to say everything and nothing with their eyes, caught between ideas of who they were, to each other, to themselves, and to the people who knew them. Caught between all the years they had spent circling each other unsuccessfully and the undeniable magic of their quiet corner on this night.

Why couldn't they be honest? Why couldn't she break his heart a final time and let him get over her once and for all? Why couldn't he find it in himself to reach across and draw her to him, and show her how he felt? Why couldn't he get up and walk away and say "Why did you agree to meet me for dinner if you were going to tell me about this other guy, when you know how I feel about you?" But then again, what did he feel for her? Really? Was it love or simply the result of ten years of longing and unrequited desire? Why did his heart soar when she told him that she had thought often about the idea of the two of them together? Why did she tell him that at all? To see if he would finally draw the courage and claim her lips for his own, or to see if she could still break a piece of his heart so easily?

This should have been a perfect night, between these two fools. But there they sat, going through the motions of eating and drinking and laughing, while the truths that guided them to this shadowed recess in a bright room went unspoken and unclaimed. He wondered if it was the result of the games people his generation played with each other and with themselves that left so many of them alone and lonely and sad. How much easier could it be, than to have the woman of a decade's worth of dreams sit across from him, and smile at him like only she could? How much easier could it be than to have her close enough that every movement of his brushed against her skin, every laugh ended with a touch?

The rest of the night went fast. Or at least he felt it move swiftly. Because all that was in his mind was this girl, telling him about another man that wasn't him, and that she was tired of running. All that he wanted to say perhaps, all that he could have said, he throttled mercilessly under the palms of his once-again wounded pride. He had loved her and he had told her so. That was all he could do. If she couldn't see that, more fool her.

And there she sat, watching him wilt again. All that she had hoped he might say, once again repressed and locked away. Buried under the familiar humor and sarcastic quips, false bravado and paying of the bill. He was still that same boy, she thought. Nothing's changed and nothing will. Was there sadness in her smile as they rose to leave or was it just a trick of the light? Was that the stirrings of love when she looked at him from the corner of her eyes or merely the regret of what he had never been able to become for her?

Who knows? Certainly not the two of them. Look at them go. The perfect pair, walking so close to each other, unaware of the oceans of regret yet to swell beneath them. Learn from them. But who amongst us ever does? Fools we all are...

Thursday, August 12, 2010

This Life This Night

This life, like a playful prayer on the wind, ruffling your dreams like it does your hair. This life, every one you ever loved or ever will, holding you safe in their eyes. This life, sweet Goddess, this life. I was looking for all the things I thought I needed to look for, in all the places they told me to look. I never looked within. Now I do. And I see, Goddess, I see. What I was looking for was the emptiness of looking within. Where the looking and that which is looked for cease to matter. I am the eye and the beholden. I am the lover and the touched, the whisperer and the ear. I am what I never need to look for. This life, this vessel of miracles, this playground of hopes, this is my perfect garden, where I need never need.

I felt it on this night, just now. I felt the universe strike my unstruck chord, and I felt the vibration shiver my soul aglow. I felt my words dance, like mystic dervishes in the dust, raising clouds of it to the sky, like golden prayers from imperfect men. I saw a joy within me, so complete and so pure, as I cannot describe. How could I even begin? My word dance is a fledgling thing, young and unsure. How I begin to describe what I felt, when it felt like a thing beyond the naming of words to clothe it in understanding.

I could taste her, this life. Like the fruit from an old mango tree, that still liked to see children smile. Like the taste of my lover's lips, when they grow still and hungry for me. Like a drink from a fountain in the desert of your own mediocrity, that compelled you to dream again.

I could hear her, this life. Like the song of Heaven, I knew by heart before I was born and made to forget. Like my mother's voice calling me home, and my the sound my father makes when I put my arms around him. I heard her like the sound the winds make, when they blow across your skin.

I realized I was happy today, and forgot to ask myself "Why?" I had blinked and become at peace, from a lifetime of being ready for war. I had sat in my living-room, with the heads of the palm trees outside for company, and been perfectly happy. I wrote these words and felt their joy as I did. They danced for me and I danced with them, around this large fire, this life, like naked savages who had given names to every star and rejected this future. I realized that even in this city, even on this night, I could be happy, just for being alive. Nothing else.

I wish you felt this way, too
And you will,


Wednesday, August 11, 2010


I don't want to think of you
But I hear you thinking of me
So I go back on my promise
and cage my desire to be free.
I wandered from the path
When I heard your voice calling
Only to find you waiting,
as lost as you wanted me to be

So here we are baby, you and I.
Slow dancing on this dirty road.
You want flowers, you want forever
You want our hips to never be apart,
But I'm sitting here singing my blues
Counting the hours until I break your heart

Every step you take within me,
Is not your Love's victory stride
It's a cold and lonely shuffle
This is how I murder your pride.
I see you waiting for me baby
With your poems and your song
I told you that I'm coming
But I'll be moving right along.

It breaks my heart to leave you,
But it's a break that would heal
I fear what your touch would do
To the clay I pretend is steel.
All I have are excuses,
Pathetic yes, and true
Yet every one I utter,
Pushes me further into you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Part of a book...Hopefully one I'll finish

He lay on the damp floor in dark and fumbled around for his underwear. One stubbed toe and three mosquito bites later he managed to get them on and slipped onto the sofa across from her bathroom door. He wanted to sleep, he wanted a glass of water, but the tap in the bathroom shut off and he knew she would be coming outside soon. She’d want to snuggle and talk, or at the very least snuggle. He idly stroked the fabric of the sofa and tried hard not to feel that surge of self-loathing that rose in his throat.

She was a sweet girl this one. Sweet as they came in this city, no doubt about it. And she was crazy about him, or at least a good enough actress to give him that impression. He could hear her singing to herself in the bedroom. He imagined her walking around there in the dark, naked and full of secret thoughts, heavy with the hash still leaden in her limbs.

He stared at the door, even though he couldn’t see anything at all. She hadn’t even turned the light on inside, walking surefooted around in the dark. He thought of the watchmen downstairs and hoped they were fast asleep on their watch. He didn’t want to have to walk by them with their eyes on him. He didn’t them to look at her in the morning and give those toothy smiles. He realized that he really didn’t want to be here at all. Especially not here, on a couch in the dark in the living room of this woman he barely knew, and wasn't sure he even liked, with her dampness cooling on his body. He had thought he was a better man than this. He chuckled at the stupidity and the sadness of the situation. He had no one to blame, but his relationship with himself was a strange one, so he chuckled and shook his head instead.

She came out still singing. Even in the dark she could see that he wasn’t on the couch. She hadn’t put anything on except her panties. There she stood for a moment, a silhouette soft and dark against the pitch. He hoped to god she didn’t want to talk as she walked over and sat down on his lap, her hand on his cheek and her cheek against his face.

“What are you thinking?” she whispered against his ear.

He giggled. He couldn’t help himself. She pulled back and mock slapped him, which only made him laugh harder.


“Tell me.”

“Nothing, really. My mind is numb, and it usually ain’t. Good job you.”

“You want to come and sleep in the bedroom, the AC is on?”

He heard the question behind her question and knew no answer that would be acceptable, so he said nothing and kissed her. She responded with a soft murmur and pressed herself against him. He wished to the gods that he knew what he was doing with her, or even with his own life. Then he could be wise, he could be good, he could be someone he could face in the mirror in the mornings instead of brushing his teeth and showering with the lights off.

It seemed that ever since he hit puberty, there was a need hardwired into his brain, a command code uploaded into his personality – the hunt for a person that could not possibly exist: a perfect mate, a perfect companion. What a ridiculous idea! He knew it was; he was smart enough to know it as part ideology, part Hollywood brainwashing, part English literature seminars, part all the Blues songs he had stashed on his iPod, and part some small vestige of whatever kind of hope he had left snarled around his being.

He should be grateful for the moment, for these sixty-six inches of warm willing flesh whispering in his ear as it shifted and shifted back so deliciously on his lap, for that breath, so sticky and warm, like the smell of a cocoon, wherein all the wounds and the scars were papered over and healed. In a world so cold and unfeeling, where all the people he knew and read about stumbled around lost and rudderless, he knew he should be grateful for whatever warmth he found, no matter how tainted he might feel it to be. But he was nothing if not complicated.

So he kissed her hard and pushed her away. He groped for a good excuse, settled on tired cliché.

“I have an early day tomorrow.”

“I have an alarm,” she replied, masking the hurt with almost enough mockery.

He could feel her above him, still and breathless. He sighed softly, put his arms around her and kissed her again.

“Lead me to your bed chamber, my good woman.”

“You’re a nutcase, you know that?”

“My dear, no have no idea.”

They sprawled on the bed, the covers icy from the well-advertised AC directly above. She snuggled violently for a few moments until she found a position to her liking, during which time she struck him across the face with her elbow. He winced but made not a sound. Pain was better than conversation at this point. Finally satisfied she grasped hold of his arm and drew it over her like a quilt, mumbled something and fell promptly asleep.

As the soft snoring began, he wondered where he could grab a bite to eat this late.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Sunday Morning

I took a shovel and I began to dig for words. I dug deeper and deeper and still found nothing but dust. So instead of feeling frustrated and inadequate I went back to a man who's words always renewed my hopes of one day being able to write something as good as this. One of my favorite poems - "Sunday Morning" by Wallace Stevens. Enjoy....

Complacencies of the peignoir, and late
Coffee and oranges in a sunny chair,
And the green freedom of a cockatoo
Upon a rug mingle to dissipate
The holy hush of ancient sacrifice.
She dreams a little, and she feels the dark
Encroachment of that old catastrophe,
As a calm darkens among water-lights.
The pungent oranges and bright, green wings
Seem things in some procession of the dead,
Winding across wide water, without sound.
The day is like wide water, without sound,
Stilled for the passing of her dreaming feet
Over the seas, to silent Palestine,
Dominion of the blood and sepulchre.

Why should she give her bounty to the dead?
What is divinity if it can come
Only in silent shadows and in dreams?
Shall she not find in comforts of the sun,
In pungent fruit and bright, green wings, or else
In any balm or beauty of the earth,
Things to be cherished like the thought of heaven?
Divinity must live within herself:
Passions of rain, or moods in falling snow;
Grievings in loneliness, or unsubdued
Elations when the forest blooms; gusty
Emotions on wet roads on autumn nights;
All pleasures and all pains, remembering
The bough of summer and the winter branch.
These are the measures destined for her soul.

She hears, upon that water without sound,
A voice that cries, "The tomb in Palestine
Is not the porch of spirits lingering.
It is the grave of Jesus, where he lay."
We live in an old chaos of the sun,
Or old dependency of day and night,
Or island solitude, unsponsored, free,
Of that wide water, inescapable.
Deer walk upon our mountains, and the quail
Whistle about us their spontaneous cries;
Sweet berries ripen in the wilderness;
And, in the isolation of the sky,
At evening, casual flocks of pigeons make
Ambiguous undulations as they sink,
Downward to darkness, on extended wings.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Premiere Night Ruminations

Yesterday night was the big screening/premiere of "Aisha". As usual, it was an unusual and complicated night for me. The storm that lives in the hollows of my bones came out and hammered against my shell like a demon rattling its cage. That heady, almost cloying feeling somewhere between nausea and elation built in me like the sudden urge to run screaming through the street. I think I might have hugged a few too many people too hard.

But the night ended like any night, with me under my reading lamp with a book in my hands. I had picked up a book of poems by Rumi. And as I lay there reading them in random order, my storm grew quiescent and the fever left me. I moved past the need to feel anything at all just because it was THAT night. So rather than tell you what I was feeling and get overly prosaic as I'm wont to do sometimes, I thought I'd share some of those poems :-

What was in that candle's light
that opened and consumed me so quickly?

Come back, my friend! The form of our love
is not a created form.

Nothing can help me but that beauty.
There was a dawn I remember

when my soul heard something
from your soul. I drank water

from your spring and felt
the current take me


When I am with you, we stay up all night.
When you're not here, I can't go to sleep.

Praise God for these two insomnias!
And the difference between them.


We are the mirror as well as the face in it.
We are tasting the taste this minute
of eternity. We are pain
and what cures pain, both. We are
the sweet cold water and the jar that pours.

I want to hold you close like a lute,
so we can cry out with loving.
You would rather throw stones at a mirror?
I am your mirror, and here are the stones.


There is a light seed grain inside.
You fill it with yourself, or it dies.

I'm caught in this curling energy! Your hair
Whoever's calm and sensible is insane!


When I put away the book finally and turned off the lights, I lay back on my bed and stared up at the dark ceiling with its murmuring fan and peopled the darkness with all the lights of my future. And felt good. I felt right. I felt I had deserved the quiet peace of this night, and the storm inside curled happily around me like an old dog, wagging it's tail periodically with contentment.

I am who I was meant to be. More than less, I am the man I wanted to be.


Monday, August 2, 2010

Me and Mr. Marley

Turn your lights down low,
and pull your window curtain.
Ooh, let your moon come shining in.
Into our lives again.
Saying, Oooh it's been a long long time
Got this message for you girl
But it seems I was never on time
Still I wanna get through to you girl
On time, on time.
I want to give you some love
I want to give you some good, good lovin
Oh I, oh I, oh I,
I want to give you some good, good lovin

Turn your lights down low
And whisper softly to the night
That you and I, that you and I babe
We're going to strike flint to tinder
Rub warmth into the winter
When the seconds fall like rain drops
and the winds sighs proudly
When Jah up above smiles and smiles
Letting the smoke of his love curl around us.
I want to give you some love.
I want to give you of that old world loving.
Let the chords change every silence we enter
Let the shadows move like warriors around a fire
It's been a long, long time
And I've forgotten the words to my prayers
I've walked every road and found no destinations
Beside lonelier folk with no comprehension
Of where it was they needed to be,
And why they were here, walking besides me.
I love you, and I want you to know right now.
That I, that I, that I.
I wanna give you some love
I wanna give you some good, good, lovin

This ocean might turn into a potion
For the ills that married me,
When I passed through the doorway
Into this world of your blushes and caress
If you're asking, I'm telling you it's yes,
We need to move like poets moved,
When the ships still sailed and the
Music forever ever grooved.
Turn your lights down low,
Oh let your moon come shinin in
And let this wandering soul

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


I fell through the cracks in my thoughts, down where dreams dwell, like forgotten lotuses on a hidden pond. Into the waters of my fantasies I splashed, like a dog into the azure swells of a Mediterranean shore. As the waters closed around my ankles I felt a coolness that had nothing to with my body and everything to do with my spirit. The waters were now up to my knees, and the coolness had begun to spread upwards and outwards, until it seemed to pour out of the very limits of me. Deeper I waded into that pond, where shafts of moonlight seemed frozen in the air like soft, luminous stairways to heaven, or the dangling arms of an angel reaching down to brush the skin of my face. Still deeper I waded until every hair on my body rose up and hummed like a struck tuning fork, every pore on my body electric.

I inhaled and dove down into the clearest water with the surety of a man who finds himself for even a brief moment exactly where and as he's supposed to be. Down I went into the depths. But the light here grew brighter as if the sun had given up the sky and waited for me below. The light filtered up in the water lazy and pink and the fish swam by and around me with wide grins and winking eyes. I wanted to ask them if I could stay here. As if they could read my mind they laughed, bubbles of amusement everywhere, and swam in joyful loops that spelled out "forever". Laughing with them I swam down, every now and then, twirling this way and that with a grace I never possess in life, down baby, down down.

You can't always get what you want. You don't always get what you dream. But if you try sometimes, you just might find, you get what you need. Down in amongst the verdure coral of my hopes, where the best parts of me stayed, hidden from all the negativity and the filth. Every one I touched pulsed roseate and surreal and full of energy. With each I felt their power become mine, rubbing away the edges and lifting up the defeats. I was beyond happy. I was ME, completely, unashamedly, unbelievably me. What the world never touched, and the girls never hurt, and the swirls of light never dimmed by a jealous crowd.

And then she came to me. My Goddess, my guiding star. My last hope, my only Shangri-La. She wore the face of every woman I've ever loved, or ever will. She smiled like a Goddess should, and waters grew still. Around me she swam like a poet mermaid, a Sufi eel. She held my face, in wide soft hands until only my eyes remained untouched. Into this she poured her liquid fire, her burning life, her fuschia desire. When she kissed my mouth closed I felt her regret, that she must send me away, and make me forget. That we ever swam beneath the Moon and above the Sun, where waters of eternity and Love will ever run. She kissed me until I started to remember, where I needed to be tomorrow and in November. And as I floated away, she whisked her tail.

Then she was gone,

And I exhaled.

Monday, July 26, 2010

While Listening to the Rolling Stones

I can almost hear you sigh,
I can almost hear you cry,
What'll I do without ya?
Where did it all go wrong?
You acted much too strong
Left me feeling torn
With that strange look in your eyes
I was walking down the street
Had another girl to meet,
When my thoughts ran your way
Before I got collected
Brain dead introspective
Need a heart break detective
To tell me what I did was wise
You wanted me not at all
Now angry I don't call
Lord please make up your mind
We can't dance no more
Or walk down that shore
You're not welcome anymore
This ain't no damn movie, this is my life.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Got feelings trapped inside like prisoners on a sinking ship. But even if I free them, we're still in the middle of the ocean and feelings can't swim. Wish I could write better and bleed all of it into ink, and then onto the page, and out of my heart. But I can't. So here I sit, past the witching hour, itching for a cold shower, and a smoke of that sticky sour, wondering why the world keeps forgetting to look my way. Or maybe it's me that's turned away, standing alone in a corner facing tomorrow when I should be talking about today.

Someone told me my writing is pretentious. She was right, but not in the way she thinks. This isn't how I really feel. How I really feel has nothing to do with blogging or writing or words or express-ability. I can't tell you how I feel. I can't tell myself how I feel. Because how I truly feel terrifies me, exhilarates me, leaves me numb and breathless and out of place and confused. It's never just one feeling at one time. How do I begin to write about that when I can't understand it? How do you write about something you've never seen, or describe somewhere you've never been? You don't - you pretend.

But the alternative would be to write nothing at all, ever. And I can't do that. This way I at least try to come closer to the truth. This way I at least try to face this stampede of emotion. This way I at least get to go to sleep at night with a lighter heart and a clearer mind. And I can wake up in the morning and smile when the sun hits my face. Did that sound as pretentious as it does when I read it back to myself? I hope so, because it's not true. I don't want to face that stampede, I really don't think I could handle the truth, and every morning I wake up happy and confused and aroused and disgusted and bladder-full and stinky. And I never smile, I stumble out of bed to wherever the gremlins hid my alarm clock at night and I practice my Muhammad Ali impersonation on the snooze button before crawling back under my blankets face first.

I don't know what happened to the world, to this city, to us human beings. Was it technology, was it Facebook, or mobile phones, or satellite television or designer clothes, or Westernization or antipathy or any of the wonderful things we've accomplished as a species? Or were we always like this? Lost and bewildered and full of false bravado. Or am I just in one of those complicated moods where I can't quite decide whether I love the life or just hate everyone in it? Or whether I should be doing something more exciting and productive than rambling online.

I'm just as lost and confused as anyone out there. Damn but I wanna go where the wind ever blows, cool and soft, ever autumn never snows, and the mountains and the sea are as close as lovers' elbows. A little house on a hill halfway between the surf and the sky, with a hearth big enough to sit in, and in which we'd light a fire every night. And sit close together, all of us who would be there, and drink from our cups, and laugh at our jokes, and smile at the stories, each face warm with the light from within and the light from the fire dancing with the shadows cast upon it. There would be dogs, gentle giants with friendly tongues, wet noses, and eager paws. They would lie at our feet as we sat around the fire, and stare at us and laugh in their own silent, tongue lolling tail wagging way.

I wanna go to a city full of cafes and bookshops and cinemas and promenades. Full of lovers holding hands and pretty girls holding on. Where life moves slow and languid, yet fills you with scents from forgotten gardens just around the corner. Where taxi drivers are full of stories and waitresses full of life. And the restaurants are full of the kind of people that you see in the good movies, and Rita Hayworth sitting in a corner waiting for you, wearing a gown and a smile. A city where cigarettes are full of nectar and fill your body with warmth and vigor, and drug companies are run by hippies who've learned how to cure everything except desire and ambition.

But who am I kidding? I'm sitting in my room, surrounded by the paintings I've made and the books I've reread a dozen times and loved every time. I can hear Laila and Mishti scratching at my veranda door waiting to be let in, so they can lie on my run and listen to my music and wag their tails lazily while I whisper to them about the future I dream about. I can hear my sister's always-too-fucking-loud music playing as she dances around her room and acts silly. I imagine my parents sitting in their room reading their papers and doing their crosswords wearing their love for each other like their favorite shawls on a winter day. And I am happy.

This is not paradise, this is not perfect. But this is where I am happy. Today, this night, this is Heaven.

I wish you could have been here with me.

Whoever you are.

Wherever you may be.

I'm coming.