Friday, December 30, 2011

Home for the Winter

I sit upon my verandah,
And hear Ambika sing to the night.
She thinks no one is listening, so she sings
Offkey and joyful, under laughing starlight.
I see Akriti smile.  I see beneath her smile.
I see her force her demons to their knees,
And watch her dance, hear her giggle,
And say "I love you," like one who believes.
I see my parents smile at each other,
Through the flickering of the winter fire.
I feel my father's hands rough but gentle on my face,
I hear my mother and her kitchen choir.
I sit at that round green granite table,
With light coming in from the south and east.
And I eat the food I've loved for years.
Feel my wanderer's heart be at peace.
There is magic here in this forest,
Beside this Lake where I'm never alone.
Where an old champa tree whispers,
Welcome home, child, welcome home.
I dance with the Lake tonight,
Under the light of the crescent Moon.
I hear the Winter laugh and tell me,
"You'll love again, boy.  And soon."
The Goddess comes to me there,
While we dance under gulmohar trees.
She tells me to learn what love really is,
From this Lake who'll never reach the seas.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My Poor Homage to Cohen. Again. Yes. But I Can't Help It.

Forgive me Leonard for this affront.
But I'm trapped between hope and sleep.
You stranded me again upon that shore,
A thousand kisses deep.

You were my perfect love,
My harbor of perfect sleep
You were the war I would have fought.
The secret I would die to keep,

You came to me that evening.
Wearing flowers in your hair.
You broke my heart sweetling,
With the sadness in your stare.

I tried to find the words to say.
While you threshed me like so much wheat.
But you'd hold them against me any way,
Even here, a thousand kisses deep.

I was the rolling stone you stopped,
But I guess I'll be rolling along.
The universe is my darling now,
My Goddess full of hope and song.

You made me pay every bill,
Even asked for the receipts.
I loved you like a blind man loves,
The sun after all the rain and sleet.

It's over, yeah, I know that now,
And I'll go but not in defeat.
The wind brushes across my embers now,
Stirring me back to my forgotten heat.

A woman came to me tonight,
Like a desert wind carrying the rain.
And she made me laugh and wonder,
When she would make me laugh again.

There was beer and cigarettes,
And so much music in the air.
And joy danced across the balcony.
And hope was suddenly everywhere.

Flower of Muscat, desert lilly,
Last thought before I go to sleep.
I wonder if we'll be allowed to go,
A thousand kisses deep.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

"SHOW ME THE PLACE" by Leonard Cohen

I know you know I love this man.  Words fail me, spirits grow joyous and uninterested in expressing how much I do.  Here are the lyrics to his newest song.  Here is the joy that I'll carry for the rest of the day.

Listen to the song by clicking on the title below.  Read these words.  Call your lover, and tell them you love them.

Show me the Place 

Show me the place, where you want your slave to go
Show me the place, I've forgotten I don't know
Show me the place where my head is bend and low
Show me the place, where you want your slave to go

Show me the place, help me roll away the stone
Show me the place, I can't move this thing alone
Show me the place where the word became a man
Show me the place where the suffering began

The troubles came I saved what I could save
A shred of light, a particle away
But there were chains so I hastened to the hay
There were chains, so I loved you
Like a slave

Show me the place, where you want your slave to go
Show me the place, I've forgotten I don't know
Show me the place where my head is bend and low
Show me the place, where you want your slave to go

The troubles came I saved what I could save
A shred of light, a particle away
But there were chains so I hastened to the hay
There were chains so I loved you like a slave

Show me the place
Show me the place
Show me the place

Show me the place, help me roll away the stone
Show me the place, I can't move this thing alone
Show me the place where the word became a man
Show me the place where the suffering began

For Mansi, Who Sometimes Looses Faith

I heard it in your voice today,
The echoes of that familiar ache.
When you're tired of walking,
Still unsure of which road to take.
Pushing all of your troubles,
Down the road like a stone.
Let my hands so full of calluses,
Keep you from pushing it all alone.

Rest here awhile my friend,
Beside this friend, under this tree.
Bring your many books,
Close your eyes, let your spirit free.

You've been walking so long,
With not a respite in sight.
One foot in front of the other,
Every step another battle to fight.
You're holding on to your courage,
Like a blind man to a stranger.
Every dream you have is filled,
With doubt and fear and danger.

Rest here a moment my darling.
Let this fool make you smile.
Rest here in comfort darling.
I'll watch over you awhile.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Written While Listening to "Tekno Love Song" by CocoRosie

I'm a jailbird to your music,
A bird pushed by your breeze.
I'm the water in your cup,
I'm the pilgirm on his knees.
I'm the laughter in your mouth,
The cause of your wider smiles.
You're the burning in my stomach,
The jury for all my trials.
I'm a wanderer in your desert,
A hero in permanent exile.
I'm the lover you won't claim,
Except every once in a while.
I'm a clown in your circus,
The opening act in your show.
You're a run away truck,
I'm the man who moved too slow.

I'm a jailbird to your music,
I'm a criminal in your prayer.
I watch you in your sleep.
Even when you're not there.

I'm the leaves in your autumn,
The wind beneath your wings.
I'm the gorilla in your experiment,
Watching inexplicable things.
I'm the sinner in your religion,
The heathen in your church.
I'm the bull in your china shop.
The gargoyle on your holy perch.
So it's too late now darling.
All of the magic is gone.
They packed up the circus,
And took the musicians along.
I lingered out of some habit.
I lingered to say goodbye.
I lingered by your bedside,
To hear that old beloved lie.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Come Home To Love

I walk through streets,
With metal grills
Over open shutters.
Where hate sings,
And Love stutters.
Lonely I walk,
Back from your street,
Burdened with another
Promise to keep.
Lonely I walk,
Away from you.
Because you sit
Much too afraid to
Make it through.
Sit with your fear,
Sleep away the guilt
Bury every sin
In the perfection
Of your quilt.
You want to pretend
That you're perfect.
But the only one
You seem so to
Is me.  Can't you see?
But you want me
To walk away lonely.
Or you want me
To wait patiently,
While you figure
It all out.
One or the other
The other or the one.
Every smile is a knife,
Every word is a gun.
And we're bleeding baby,
Are we happy now?
I need to shed this anger,
But I don't know how.
Because I can see you,
Sitting alone, unsure
Confused, unable
To do right anymore.
I can hear it clearly,
When your voice breaks.
Forcing yourself to face
It all by yourself,
No matter what it takes.
Come, silly girl, come
To these tireless arms.
Come home to my Love.
Let these shoulders of mine
Shelter you from doubt,
From fear, from harm.
I try my best to understand
What you're going through.
But I don't know 
How it feels to be you.
This isn't the end,
It'll never be too late.
Be an Ocean of love,
Pulled by the Moon,
Of my boundless faith.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

We Run From Sunsets

We run from sunsets,
Into the arms of the Moonlight.
Abandoned by the Sun,
Breathless in the night.
Quiet in our heady joys,
Deeper than we seem.
We run till we shine,
We get what we need.
We are the motes
In every sunbeam.
The dancing hearts,
In every seed.
We are the lovers,
Who brush across you,
Like whispers of poetry
Spoken wetly in your ear.
We who have left
No ladder unclimbed,
No star unreached for,
No sky unsigned.
We who love
Long after Love has gone.
Because Love left a whisper
Wrapped in the chords
Of our favorite songs.
I know I take it too far,
When I see you walk away.
I know I say good night,
But what I mean
Is why can't I stay?
This is a terrible love
We carry in our silence.
Cut by the edge of desire,
Victims of the heart's violence
We who are patient,
We who never let go.
We who remember
Our innocent Decembers.
We who smile,
Like the children we were,
And shall ever be.
Me who loves you,
You who turn away
From how much you
Love me.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Hollow Comfort

I tried to ease her pain.
But everything I said
Only saddened her more.
He broke her heart.
What I could I say?
You are perfect as you are,
Sounds so silly,
When the one you love,
Can't seem to touch you
Without leaving a scar.
I told her to forget,
I told her it's all about you.
I told her all the cliches
As they were told to me too.
He broke her heart,
And she wondered why.
We sat in her empty house,
On the floor by the window,
She had sat and cried by,
Before I came.
What could I say?
It's your fault
For having a heart that big,
In the city of the heartless.
It's your fault for giving more,
Than you could live without. 
What could I say?
Yes I understand.
Because I'm going through it too. 
Yes I understand,
How it can leave you full
Of hate and hurt.
But don't see as he never did,
See what I see when I look at you,
I see everything that heals,
And loves without fear,
Loves what really is,
Instead of what it tries to appear.
See yourself for the miracle you are,
See yourself as I see you.
And you'll see it too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Nights Like These

On nights like these,
You don't need to count 
Your many blessings.
On nights like these,
They sit across from you
And sip your tea,
And smile back at you.
On nights like these
This city lifts it's tired arms,
And wraps them around
Your welcome faith,
And your heart,
Who never wavered,
And never will.
For the hope in your heart,
Steady then, steady still.
On nights like these,
I remember I love you,
More than I want to.
More than I should.
But no more than
I was meant to.
On nights like these,
You realize quietly,
Every friend is a poem
The Poet recited,
Especially for you.

Bloodbuzz Bombay

Send me home,
To what remains of me.
Send me away,
Before I disappear.
I was empty
Before you came.
Send me back
To the emptiness of me,
Now that you are gone.
There are stars
Shining for you,
While my comet streaks.
There are constellations
Hidden in the galaxy 
Of your hair,
While my fiery trail,

Trails away,
Back into the void,
Like an exile.
Send me home,
In a swarm of dreams,
That hold happy thoughts,
And the sound of my laughter,
The way it used to be,

Before the first wrinkle
Was etched under my eye.
Before I saw you smile,
And pick up your purse,
And walk away,
With the tea I made,

Unfinished and cold,
In a cup on the floor.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

A Prayer on this Night

It was you,
On roads rutted with hatred,
On miles lonelier than the moon,
Each step a struggle,
Another prayer unheard,
Another battle lost.
It was you.
Beside me, behind me,
Around me, inside me.
When the Devil sang sweetly,
And the angels all sighed.
When Potential pleaded 
Once more with me,
Before it curled up and died.
It must have been you.
I couldn't have made it this far.
These dreams surely can't,
Belong to one as wretched as me.
These aren't my words,
This isn't my voice.
This is my soul echoing,
With the clarion of You.
There are things I'll never do,
Things I was destined to.
But whatever is left to me,
I know I owe to you.
Goddess Bright,
Everlasting Mother,
Hand on my cheek,
Blessed Shelter I seek.
I kneel here tonight,
Even though you forbade me to,
Because this smile on my face,
Is my prayer to you.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

On This Quiet Night

Let me sing for joy.
Let me write the songs
That don't take me away.
That anchor me like
Happy ships
Resting in a perfect blue bay.
Let no other thoughts but these
Come surround me .
And let the sound of this music
And this forgiving wind,
Play with these easy breaths.
Tonight the stars seem not
Afraid, of this frightening city,
And it's unflinching stare.
There is magic in the wind,
And secrets captured in smiles.
True words go by unspoken,
But are heard all the same.
Let your practiced caution go child,
Be fiercely, softly, untamed.
Take wing like a prayer,
Be the wind beneath yourself.
Be your own soaring flight,
The end of your long pilgrimage.
Write your own songs,
And sing them on the balcony.
Let the Goddess come and say,
Sing that again for me.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Listening to Murdoch and Dylan and Cohen

So tonight
I wrote this song for you
And I sang it quiet
And I sang it low
The closer I wanted to come
Was every step I took away
And every smile tonight
Struggles to me from afar
You think no one understands
Like I don't understand this guitar
But I'm going to take lessons
And learn six flamenco chords
To set every poem to
And these poems won't be for you
Most of the time
Maybe you should cry
A little
Maybe you should try
A little harder
Maybe I should shake my head
and swear this is the last song
I write for you
Except the ones
I won't admit are
So I'm trying to put it right
So I can love you with my heart
But all this trying has twisted
Me tight
Maybe I should walk away
Maybe that's a start
I'm so tired
But I can't sleep
More than my usual four hours
I try to find a voice
That doesn't leave these poems
Like shadows of you
I try to find a voice
That's entirely mine
I want to write the heart songs
For the dreamers like me
But you don't really care for music
Do ya?
Whatever else you may have thought
I only did what I was taught
And even though it all went wrong
And I'll never see the Lord of Song
I sang it once, my imperfect little



First Night Back in Bombay

It’s been more than a month since I’ve been in my apartment in Bombay.  Six weeks I wandered my beloved American streets, remembering each of my childhood dreams.  Reuniting with friends I haven’t seen in half a decade almost.  Never have I spent a better month.  It was everything I dreamed it would be, and more than I needed.  I feel whole again.  I feel like the man I was supposed to be.

Long walks into the Haight in San Francisco, across the Golden Gate Bridge and into Saulsalito, watching the happy people jog and play with their dogs, and enjoy the California sunshine.  Sitting with Boris and Vera in their cozy little home, watching them joke with each other, and tell me again and again how happy they were to have me with them, and to see in their smiles that they meant it with more fierceness than people express anymore.  I remember the food - ceviche at Fresca, sublime tenderloin at the Cafe Florio, the monstrous, devilish, delectable burritos at El Farolito in the Mission, and in Papito on Petrero Hill, the divine Burmese at Burma Star.

Then in New York, where the largest pieces of my personality were molded and cast and polished to a shine, where all the cool people live.  To walk down a different avenue everyday, from Central Park to the Villages, from Harlem to High Line Park.  To sit in Irving Place Cafe everyday with a handful of notebooks and the new collection of poems by Leonard Cohen, Bukowski, and Collins, and Lorca.  And to write my own, sipping large cups of perfect coffee, and pretty girls walking by, some of them kind enough to smile at me.  And nights out with friends who may have become workaholics and serious by day, but still full of that whimsical fire that drew us together in the first place.

And now here I am, back in Bombay.  When did this place start to feel like home?  When did this wanderer find such contentment in a city so difficult?  It was you, my darling friends, and your love, that made this place feel like a home.  Yesterday was a joy beyond anything I have felt.  The food, the drum circles, the deep long laughter, the music shared, the stories exchanged, the hugs so warmly given.  It was you.

I am happy.  To be back in Bombay.  To be back to all of you.  To be back in the circus, dying to put on my clown costume again.  Oh please baby please baby please, set me to act again.  Give me another shot at some modest immortality. 

You whom I was born to love and be loved by.  I want you here with me, whoever you are that will make this shattered poet’s heart beat steady and true.  I want you here with me.  I want to make you tea on this moonless night.  I want you to sit on my kitchen counter with your feet swinging and your eyes unable to blink back the brightness of your spirit.  I want to take our cups of perfectly brewed Qawah, and sit out on my balcony.  There, far above a city full of people all looking for somewhere else to be, with you is where I want to be.  Overlooking my restless neighborhood I want to sit with you in perfect stillness and silence, wrapped in the blanket of each other’s smiles.  And we shall sip our tea, side by side, close enough to touch, mere breathless moments from it.  I want to play you some music, that I’m sure you’ve never heard, and some that you have and loved deeply all your life.  I want to put some music on that's gonna make you wanna love me all night long.

All that you see, all that you read, all that can't do right, all that I fail to do, all that I try to, all that I fear, and all that is good is me - waiting.  Hurry up.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Poem That Drove Me To My Knees

It was cold today in New York City, and I was not ready for this song.  But it came to me and left me breathless, and I've been choking ever since -

"LIGHT AS A BREEZE" - Leonard Blessed Cohen

She stands before you naked
you can see it, you can taste it
but she comes to you
light as a breeze
You can drink or can nurse it
it don't matter how you worship
as long as you're
down on your knees

So I knelt there at the delta
at the alpha and the omega
at the cradle of the river
and the seas
And like a blessing come from heaven,
for something like a second,
I was healed, and my heart
was at ease

O Baby I waited
so long for your kiss
for something to happen
oh - something like this

And you're weak and you're harmless
and you're sleeping in your harness
and the wind going wild
in the trees
And it's not exactly prison
but you'll never be forgiven
for whatever you've done
with the keys

O Baby I waited
so long for your kiss
for something to happen
oh - something like this

It's dark and it's snowing
I've got to be going
St. Lawrence River
is starting to freeze
And I'm sick of pretending
I'm broken from bending
I've lived too long
on my knees

And she dances so graceful
and your heart's hard and hateful
and she's naked
but that's just a tease
And you turn in disgust
from your hatred and from your love
and she comes to you
light as the breeze

O baby I waited
so long for your kiss
for something to happen
oh - something like this

There's blood on every bracelet
you can see it, you can taste it
and it's Please baby
please baby please
And she says, Drink deeply, pilgrim
but don't forget there's still a woman
beneath this
resplendent chemise

So I knelt there at the delta
at the alpha and the omega
I knelt there
like one who believes
And like a blessing come from heaven
for something like a second
I was cured, and my heart
was at ease

Monday, October 24, 2011

Manhattan Lullaby

Oh take me home this evening.
And heal me with your touch.
Wipe my mind free of thoughts,
Of her, her smile as she left, and such.

You see she broke my heart,
Right down to the original dust.
She ground it down so slowly,
Between her tenderness and lust.

Leonard Cohen's voice follows me,
As I wander Central Park.
I should have stayed away from her.
Been smart right from the start.

Even after finally returning,
To a beloved New York street.
I find myself waiting on every corner,
To hear the sounds of her feet.

Ah, forgive me.  Where are my manners?
I know it's frightfully rude.
To speak of another who doesn't want me,
While we're picturing each other in the nude.

So patiently you've been listening to me.
And been so generous with your smile.
Let's finish this whiskey together,
Let's be worth each other's while.

I promise I'll never say I love you.
I've been told my love's a lie.
So take me home this evening,
And sing me a Manhattan lullaby,

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Soul Vacation

Bless this man I call my friend and the excited giggle, jiggle, wiggle, as he watches me cross the street.  It's been five years since we've seen each other, and clapped hands twice.  We do that now like school children on the first day of a vacation.  And hug tight enough to make passersby stare and walk bemusedly by.  We do the reunion dance, incoherent joy in our hearts, drunken shuffle in our feet.

When we separate we stare at each other.  Searching for signs of the befriended boy, in the men we see staring back at us.  We walk to a great Latin American restaurant called Floro De Maya up on Eighty Third and Amsterdam.  We saw "It's good to see you,  man", at least five times before we reach.  We reach out and clap shoulders and rub backs as if making sure this isn't a dream.  How many friends do we have that can make us feel like this?

Oh Goddess, bless this food, and this wine, and the smile on our waiter's face, as listens to our jumbled, playful speech.  We learn the origins of all the new wrinkles and every new crack in our hearts as we eat.  I eat what they call Half a Chicken, and every bite makes a believer out of me.  And I thought of you darling, I thought of bringing you hear on a cold New York night, cuddled up in a taxi.  But it's a passing thought.  Because tonight is about old friends.  Tonight is about feeling like the boys we were when we met each other for the first time.  Remembering our hopes and our grand and silly dreams.  Dreams that we never gave up on.  Dreams we continue to achieve.  I look at him and see a fellow dreamer, that may have grown wearied at times, and raised his head to the sky and felt an emptiness looking back at him, as often as me.  But here we sit, laughing, rejoicing, toasting to the undying of our Light.  Bless this city upon this night, and the seven glasses of single malt whiskey we are about to drink.  Each.

We linger over dinner, no where else we'd rather be.  Who knows when I'll see you again? he says.  Just before planning a trip to come and see me in India.  And even if he never makes it, even if it's another decade before we manage to meet.  I'll remember this night and the joy I was able to give this man with the very sight of me.  How many friends do any of us have that can make us feel like this?  Oh bless us all Goddess with the gift of such friendships.

After dinner we walk down Broadway.  Shuttling stories back and forth.  And laughing at them all, with wonder, with concern, often spitting up the coffee we're sipping.  We walk like brothers, two men who couldn't look more unlike each other.  How did we ever deserve this?

Bless our tired, cracked, wearied hearts, and all the lessons they've learned the hard way.  Because despite the pain and the worry, and the heartache, joy returns to them as swiftly as the sight of an old friend.  It crashes against us, like a happy surf against the beach.

Boris, Bharat, Diony, Justin, Rahul, Sahil and Stuart.  I don't know if you'll ever read this.  But I love you all.  With a ferocity that I only ever feel, when your arms wrap around me.  Thank you for making this one of the greatest months of my life.

And I'm only halfway bloody through!!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Santa Monica Symphony

Sounds of the surf,
Crashing against old, stubborn piers.
Sounds of the parents,
Dashing their pride against stubborn ears.
And the People of the Sun,
Shrieking in the splash of cold Pacific waters.
And the gulls fighting the pigeons for crumbs,
Like mothers and armies of prodigal daughters.
The quiet sounds of new lovers sighing,
Moist and heavy saying nothing at all.
The clamor of old lovers falling away,
Like tired leaves in the winds of Fall.
The babies gurgling with wonder,
The little girls begging to play on the beach.
The bells tinkling on the yachts,
Moored as far as my eyes can reach.

Young fishermen dreaming,
Of the fish yet to be caught.
As they lean back against the rails,
And lay their poles upon the boardwalk.
The handsome one cracks a joke,
And the older one laughs into the wind.
They clap each other across the shoulders,
An old Spanish song they begin to sing.
Then they turn their gazes north,
And stare at Malibu across the Sea,
And their eyes pool with so many hopes,
Glistening for all the world to see.
The hushed murmur of cars,
On the Pacific Coast Highway.
So unlike the cars where I come from.
And fleetingly I miss Bombay.
And the sound of my own laughter,
Rises to join the symphony in the air.
There is so much music in the world,
In the little things, anywhere, everywhere.

It's 4 a.m. and New York won't let me Sleep

I lay upon the floor,
Under an open window.
And the chill of the autumn
Came in to share my bed.
We lay together in silence,
Listening to the clamor outside.
Twice the sirens wailed,
As trouble walked the streets.
A pimp slapped a woman,
She implored and begged,
Then cursed as he walked away.
Her heels beat their weary beat,
Down my still busy street.
Somewhere in this building
I heard old lovers quarrel.
Somewhere in this building,
I hoped new lovers found love.
I stroked the calluses on my feet,
And smiled at the memory
Of every step I had taken.
The air grew colder,
So I threw off the blanket.
Casting off the memory
Of Bombay and her violent sun.
 I remembered a song,
"Sorrow found me when I was young,
Sorrow stayed, sorrow won."
But it's hard to feel sorrow,
With Autumn giggling,
At the same old jokes.
And New York City, my love,
Standing vigil outside the window.
She leaned in and smiled.  And said
She had seen the things I had done
Since I was made to walk away.
She heard my stories,
She wiped away my cares.
She traced her fingers across
The scars on my soul.
And she told me she was proud.
Some roads she said,
You cannot walk without,
Paying the toll.
And she stroked my brow,
Like you used to.
And she called me the name,
That you used to.
And she told me to forget,
But I still missed you.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Anticipation of Love by Jorge Luis Borges

(Undoubtedly one of the most tender, poignant, and heartbreaking poems I have ever read.  A real literary treasure.  I am still lost in the joys of rediscovering America and all the people who thought they would never see their tall, clownish friend again so I have not had time to post my own works, which are being written and edited on bits of paper, ticket stubs, and napkins, as always.  I just have to collect and compile and present to you.  But until then...)


Neither the intimacy of your look, your brow fair as a feast day,
nor the favor of your body, still mysterious, reserved, and childlike,
nor what comes to me of your life, settling in words or silence,
will be so mysterious a gift
as the sight of your sleep, enfolded
in the vigil of my arms.
Virgin again, miraculously, by the absolving power of sleep,
quiet and luminous like some happy thing recovered by memory,
you will give me that shore of your life that you yourself do not own.
Cast up into silence
I shall discern that ultimate beach of your being
and see you for the first time, perhaps,
as God must see you -
the fiction of Time destroyed,
free from love, from me.

Monday, October 3, 2011

America, My Love. I'm coming.

It's been three years since I've been in Bombay.  Almost five since I was living in America.  Goddess, it's been so long that I forget sometimes the man I was there.  I forget what the steam felt like coming out of the manholes at night on those suddenly deserted New York streets.  I forget the taste of a two dollar slice from the shops that stay open all night long.  I forget Central Park in Spring, with all the beautiful girls out walking their beautiful dogs, and the young couples finding themselves breathless and awkward under the laughing trees, and the old couples sitting quietly together, and how they'd look at each other and smile, a lifetime of love and understanding passing between them.

I forget San Francisco and it's manic fog, and the bells on the street carts.  The feeling of hanging out the side as they trudged uphill.  And the ache in my legs from walking up and down those steep, steep streets.  And the smell of that Senegalese restaurant down the street, with the grill men outside, sharing a laugh and a cigarette.  And the breakfast burritos from the Whole Foods across the street, and the feel of Solomon in his feline joy, asleep on my chest as I awake.

And tomorrow I catch a plane, and I try and wipe away three years of Bombay stress and Bollywood heartache.  Remember the joy of who I was, and see the joy in knowing who I've become.  Tomorrow I return to the country I love as a man.  I'm filled with so much hope, and positivity, and anticipation, that it's making me afraid to go to sleep.

This trip is sorely needed.  Somewhere over the last three years I strayed from who I was meant to be.  Not in a grand, disappointing way.  But in the way of a pilgrim who stumbled from the path for a moment, lost in the laughter and the lust and the allure of a roadside inn.  I need to remember who I am outside of acting.  I need to sit in my favorite coffee shop in Gramercy Park, and write for hours.  I want to sketch everything that I see as fast as I can.  I want to walk from Harlem down to the Villages and then back up again.  I want to see the street corners I stood as a bouncer, stamping my feet to keep the cold at bay, as people went laughing inside.  I want to stand where she and I waltzed while I sang Sinatra's "It Happened in Monterey" badly.  I want to walk past the restaurant where she told me she was leaving the country to go home across an ocean for good.  I want look through the window I saw her getting into that cab, where I didn't move for an hour afterwards.

Tomorrow I fly towards a friend who's face will light up like a child's to see mine.  Tomorrow I'll learn again what that kind of friendship feels like.

I have so much hope and so much to discover.  I have so much love, in this weathered and bruised heart of mine.  Goddess fly with me.  Keep me in the Light, keep me in the blessed shade of your arms.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Stream of Consciousness Poem

There was a moment,
As I took the illegal turn
Onto my street,
The one I can only take
When the good people
Are sleeping weary and deep,
When I thought I saw you
In your car, behind me.
And you followed so close
All the way to the last turn.
I told my heart to stop,
And looked again,
Just before the road rose
For home.
But the road was empty.
Like this car.
Like this room.
Like this heart.
Like this poem.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Stream of Consciousness Poem

And I just get confused sometimes.
Surely that's allowed.
And I say the wrong things,
Now and again.
Between your smiles and
The tears you'll shed again,
I just get turned around.
Somedays we're standing in the light,
Others we turn away from
Each other into the dark.
Somedays you reach for me,
As I'm walking away.
Others I sit wondering,
Why I never know
The right things to say.
But today, I remember.
And the sunshine reminded me of you,
As did the percussion of the wind
As it beat through the palm trees.
And the smoke that curled
Like a dancer from my mouth,
Looked a little like you,
Dancing through my room.
And I get angry sometimes.
And I'll punch a wall or two,
But I brush your pain away too,
And I mean it when I say,
I love you.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Inspired by The National's "About Today"

Today you couldn't stay.
Even after a perfect night,
I had to watch you,
Walk away.
What could I say?
What words did I know,
That could keep you,
Beside me today?
Tonight I'll have to just,
Close my eyes.
And hope that I sleep,
Like the dead.
You called me today,
And told me about your day.
The things that made you cry,
The things that made you crazy.
You called me.
How close am I to losing you?
How close am I to losing me?
How close will I have to get
To the bottom of it all?
How long can I pretend,
That I'm okay?
Can I ask you to stay?
Just for a while?
Can we not be,
These shadows we've become.
Let's be free,
To give and to take.
Don't walk away.
Say that you'll stay.
Even though it'll hurt,
And there'll be some pain,
And there ain't no easy way,
Say that you'll stay.
Because you want to.

Lyrics to "ABOUT TODAY" by the National

Today you were far away,
And I didn't ask you why.
What could I say?
I was far away.
You just walked away.
And I just watched you.
What could I say?

How close am I to losing you?

Tonight you just close your eyes,
And I watch you,
Slip away.

How close am I to losing you?

Hey, you're awake.
Yeah, I'm right here.
Well can I ask you about today?

How close am I to losing you?
How close am I to losing?


Tonight I saw one of the greatest movies I have ever seen in my life - Warrior.  I urge, I beg, I threaten you all to go and see this exquisite portrayal of desperation, and love, and pain, and regret, and a fighter's undying spirit.  Seldom has a movie moved me with such implacable force.  I wept like a child watching the scenes between Nick Nolte and his sons Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton.   I exulted like kid watching a fight for the first time on television during those balletic, beautiful brawls between the fighters.

Tonight I was reminded just how great a profession I am a part of.   To say this film was profound in its powerful performances, it's riveting action, it's heartbreaking and poignant portrayal of a broken family would be nothing much.  Nick Nolte take a fucking bow.  How do you bring such pain and perseverance to a role of a recovering drunk, and a war vet, and a fight trainer, who drove away both his sons and now wants to make amends so badly?  Tom Hardy you need an Oscar.  You really really do.   Joel Edgerton, welcome to the big leagues my boy.  Welcome.

Goddess of Cinema, patron Lady of my Pilgrim Pretender's Heart - thank you.  Thank you for reminding me once again, that I am blessed to have been allowed to stand here an actor.  I will work harder, I will train tougher, I will feel deeper, I will laugh loud and deep, I shall weep until the tears hurt, I will love this world with a warrior's heart.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

My version of Leonard Cohen's I'M YOUR MAN

(work in progress)

When you want to laugh,
I'll put on a hat,
And sing a song for you.
When you are shy, I'll go
Alone into that store,
And buy a thong for you.
When you want apples,
I'll climb a tree.
When you want tender I'll
Bury the beast in me.
I'll make you happy,
Baby, you know I can.
Say it with me,
I'm your man.

If you need a tower
To shelter you from harm,
I would stand tall for you.
Any crime you had to commit,
I'd raise a false alarm or,
Take the fall for you.
Just think before you walk away,
It might be the wrong season to.
And if you need to let it all out and cry,
I'd give you good reason to.

If you ever get bored
With my positions,
I'd read all of the books for you.
If you ever pushed
Away your plate unhappy,
I'd kill all of the cooks for you.
If you're feeling naughty
I'll get the cuffs.
If you want to spank me
And never hear "Enough!"
Take your ruler in hand.
I'm your man.

I know things didn't go
According to your master-plan.
You said it would work,
Now you say it can't.
When you're feeling lonely,
You slip in my sheets.
You call me to pick you up,
Then walk down the street.
If you need a lover or a friend,
Even here at the end.
You want it to be me.
Well, here I am.
I'm your man.

Ah you're burning all the bridges
That I might have crossed.
And you're changing your mind
With every coin you toss.
And I have to understand.
Because I'm your man.

Find another man.
To give you all you want
Exactly when you want it.
Demand any kind of kiss,
I'll tell him where to plant it.
Break down and cry,
At the drop of a sigh.
Come over to my house,
And drink my tea.
Then tell me you want
Some distance from me.

This ain't love
It's a damn disease.
The first symptom
Is wear and tear
On the knees.
Anything you disliked
I tried to change.
Even the things that
Sounded a little strange.
I shot my good sense,
Bludgeoned my pride.
All to get back inside.
Damn it, damn it, damn.
I'm your man.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Thoughts in a Bangkok Traffic Jam

I thought of you not at all today.
Until the sun started to set.
I thought of you then, I'll admit,
Watching the dying of the light.
Now I shall think of you no more.
I shall gather up my things,
Those pieces still left of me
And learn to wander again,
Happy by fire and starlight.
I shall make a gypsy of my heart.
And pilgrims of my thoughts.
And my words shall be my minstrels.
I shall sing my happier songs,
In grand apartments on dirty streets,
And little castles built from blushes.
I'll sit at hearth fires with the good folk,
Who were strangers when I entered,
But will be sad to watch me leave.
And I shall give them the happy songs,
The ones I wrote for you.

Far From Over

Love, patience, and time.
These are the important things.
And you say this to me,
As if needing each other were a crime.

Space is what you really need,
Enough to face your confusion alone.
But every time I try to walk away,
You make sure I cannot leave.

Please tell me we aren't addicted.
Let's say it was love and now it's done.
Let's walk away fast and easy,
Before we're left broken and twisted.

I don't want to want you to hold me,
I know I helped put that tremble in your voice.
I try so hard not to cross the shaking distance,
You try to keep as you scold me.

And I'm full of cliches today.
Full of easy rhymes and obvious words.
But what use are these words really?
They couldn't get you to stay.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011


It's all much too much,
For me tonight.
Wicked games we play,
No end no respite.
We hurt each other,
Between smiles.
We hold each other now.
While sharpening
Our many knives.
It's all a game,
And I'm all in,
Even though I know
I cannot win.
I left my pride
At the door.
And my heart scattered
Across your floor.
I felt the pain
My friend held back
As he hugged me,
And asked me,
How you holding up?
I saw you look at me
Out of the corner,
Of your eye.
And I couldn't
Do the smart thing,
And look away.
I feel like a fool.
And this isn't,
What you want to hear.
You who've listened
Far too much.
I'm sorry.
Tomorrow I shall return
To a comfortable light.
But it's much too much
For me tonight.
I need to beat this,
This strange addiction.
To brush against you,
For that familiar friction.
You are mine,
I was yours,
Why did we fuck around?
You are the only one.
You were the only one.
And I know that
I really shouldn't stay.
But no matter how
Many times I say it,
I can't seem
To walk away.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011


I shut the windows
Against the noise,
Of all the people in the street.
I shut the windows,
Against the Desperate,
Screaming and shouting,
And dancing like devils,
Caked in the red powder
They keep throwing in the sky.
Hoping wearily,
That this will be the year,
Their God finally notices.
But the rain falls,
Harder every night.
Still they walk,
Still they dance.
Still I sit,
Upon my lonely balcony,
Wondering why
I am not there,
Down on that street.
Let the god not notice,
At least we're dancing,

On Swiftly Healing Wings

It was such a great day. I woke up feeling like a king. Breakfast was perfect, and I felt too good to walk myself to the gym and worry about what I was looking like these days. I had the Rolling Stones playing loud and free, and the crows dropped by to smoke cigarettes and conversate upon my balcony. They blew smoke rings into the wind and laughed proudly at me and my happy morning. "We've all had broken hearts", one of them said to me. "We've all been knocked out the sky, left stranded on the ground, with no power in these wings to lift us up, not for a while. But the right wind will come, and you're wings will be ready, and you'll take to the sky like our brother, and soar. Patience young squire. Your wind is coming."

I'm sitting here waiting. Not doing much at all. You see I'm waiting for her to think of me too. Because I'll it know when she does. My heart will actually shift inside my chest, like a comatose man's fingers. I'm waiting in case she calls me. I don't want to be asleep when she does. How pathetic do I feel? How lonely I am. And she can read this. I hate that she will, and I hope she will at the same time. Equally. We're all such bewildering creatures, we humans. Can someone Divine please just smack us a clue? No? You enjoy the unending drama and entertainment, don't you Watcher? It's pleasurable for you, to see us shamble through all this pain and confusion, watching our fleeting moments of joy flickering like candles on a darkling plain? Well take a good look at this smile right here.

I am happier today. Tomorrow, I shall be happier still. Every day is a present and I really live it that way. It's just I'm doing it alone. I got used to having her lying there on the couch, smiling up at me through her sleepy eyelashes, beckoning me to her side. I would sit on the floor in front of her, and rest my chin upon the same pillow as her cheek, and see how long we could go before we kissed. It was never very long. That's what I miss most. The looking up and seeing her there. She made heaven not hard to find.

And it's hard not to call her. It's harder still not to answer when she does. You can put distance between yourselves, you can try. But love cannot vanish, love cannot be destroyed or transformed from one state into another. Love waits, love insists, love is the reason science will never outdistance faith. Forget the God particle, fellows. Someone get looking for that Love particle. I wish I was strong enough to walk away clean and wipe my mind clean of her. I wish I could forget. But I know that even if I did, one day I'd find myself standing on her lonelier street with no idea how I got there.

I've been sitting here for three hours doing all sorts of little nothings, waiting for my phone to ring. Twice tonight I thought it did, and leaped up to answer it. Once it was someone else, and the other time it hadn't rung in the first place. That one scared me. How much of ourselves do we have to give away before the other tells us it's love? How much of our happiness resides so casually in another's hands?

But should that mean we should regret loving someone? Should it make us hesitant the next time? I think not. When love comes around again I plan to leap off the cliff after it, broken wings be damned. I've learned so much now. I've felt Love's caress. I've glimpsed the higher truths hidden behind this imperfect flesh. And if I was worthy of it once, how can it not come to me again?

You were my favorite habit, you were my coffee and my tea. But I'm going to keep walking darling. I can't stay waiting here for you. You've got your own journey, one you are anxious to begin. I wish you luck, my love. You know I do. And if our paths are meant to cross again, nothing would make me happier. We'd do it all better, we'd show them how loving is meant to be done. You cured me of anxiousness and faithlessness. You cleansed me of self-doubt. You showed me I was capable of the greatest thing a man can manage to do. I'm just sorry it couldn't have been with you. But let's not worry about each other. You've got a beautiful home waiting, and I'm going to find another you.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Do Yourself a Favor

The feverishly religious and their militant hopes are thronging my street, besieging this castle of solitary splendor with their clamor and their annoying pipe horns and their constant shouting that has no doubt caused the very god they're praising to plug his ears with the divine ear plugs and roll over in his bed muttering very ungodly things.

But here I sit, nursing a swiftly mending heart and a truly divine cup of that nectar that only serves to prove the presence of the Divine - coffee. Yes, it's my holy sacrament along with Bourbon biscuits and a leather couch. Praise the Goddess of my quiet nights! drown out these hooligans and their cacophonous celebrations I have been doing what any self-respecting New York souled boy would do - playing really really loud music. Even my neighbors are happy. So I thought I would share the playlist with you, my darling friends and followers of this man's ramblings.

1) John West Feat Pusha T - Lovely : Came upon this quite by accident and have been playing it on repeat ever since. The voice, the production, not to mention that delicious girl in the video. Sweet Lord o mine. Music is the only real magic left in the world other than a woman's caress whilst listening to said music. Enjoy me hearties.

2) Cassie Feat Fabolous - Radio : "Shook Ones" is one of my all time favorite beats. Just pure hip-hop knocking through your speakers. And although this song isn't perfect, I wish that Fabolous had some more bars to bless rather than give over to the only mediocre voice of Cassie, I must tip my fedora to the effort. A very very decent song. Worthy of being played this night.

3) ACDC - Thunderstruck : No one needs to be told how powerful a good ACDC song can be. They have and can still shake you all night long. This song was reintroduced to me by Pushan, one of the truly more spectacular humans I've had the pleasure of befriending. A man whose musical tastes and refinement actually exceed my own. Trust me. Play this really loud and I guarantee you'll be starting bar fights and speeding and smacking asses in no time, no matter how blue you might be.

4) The Game - Ricky : For hardcore lovers of Hip-Hop only. And if you've ever been curious, give this a listen. The R.E.D. Album recently released has been something of a disappointment. The Game clearly isn't trying to fix his flaws so much as cover them up with proper production and lyrics but fair enough. At least even in a mediocre album he's able to come out with such a banger. I love the way they used the audio from John Singleton's classic "Boyz n da Hood" and that beat...that beat be sounding like it's been performed by an orchestral pit of silverbacks and Odinsons. Shit gets the people going, son. Louder louder louder.

5) Drake - Marvin's Room : I'm sure most of you've heard this before. I really really like both the song and the idea of it. Many of us have drunk dialed or called our exes in the depths of the heavier emotions looking for something we can barely understand. When the loneliness and the feeling that our lives have lost foundation and we're adrift in a sea of self-indulgence and self-destructive impulses. This is a song I relate to right here, right now. Worth a listen even if you don't like Hip-Hop.

6) Alexandra Stan - Saxobeat - Cyrus Sahukar and Satyadeep Misra, this one is for you brothers of my soul. Just listen to the song. It'll shake the dance out of your clogged arteries.

7) Miles Davis - Chocolate Chip : If you don't know who Miles Davis is...sigh, oh the humanity. Find out here. Do yourself a favor.

8) Asa - Baby Gone : All my friends have heard this song and loved it. Which is usually the most critical acclaim a song can get, because they are all people of highly selective, highly eclectic tastes. Asa is one of my favorite soul singers whose self-titled album and the newer one "Beautiful Imperfections" I highly recommend. But listen to this song. Again a song about heartbreak, I know I know, but I'm in that kind of month. But so gorgeously sung that it transcends the heartbreak that inspired it.

9) Jay-Z - Public Service Announcement (Paul Nice Remix) : Good God Almighty that is one bomb-ass beat over one of the best of all time doing his thang thang. Hip-Hop I love. Enough said.

10) Cassie Feat Jadakiss - Make You A Believer : This beat just friggin BANGS. And Jadamuah earned his paycheck. Definite grinding club banger right here.

Friday, September 2, 2011

In Repair

What more can I say?
What more could I do?
I ran out of hours,
Waiting in the dark for you.
Oh, the flesh was willing,
But it's never had a clue.
We were headed for trouble,
I knew this to be true.
Thank you for tonight,
And the love we almost made.
You fell asleep after saying,
You were happy I had stayed.
I was a pilgrim for your love,
And you're not the temple for me?
I'm in the middle of your street,
And the rain's falling so unkindly.
I'm snarling back at all the dogs
I'm watching the cars drive by.
I'm a mountain to my friends,
But I feel like ash on the inside.
I became everything you wanted,
I was better, I really was ready.
Now I'm not sure I'm fit to drive,
I can barely blink steady.
Too much smoke in my lungs,
Too many shadows in my mind.
Too many hours left in the night,
Too much love to just put behind.
Found all the right words to say,
Only I said them far too late.
I'll try to leave all my furniture intact.
I'll be strong enough not to hate.

You came over to tell me,
To try and make me understand.
But I knew before you even spoke.
In the way you took my hand.
Then you cupped my still dry cheeks,
And promised you didn't blame me.
Oh I tried to find the right words,
But what I said did nothing but shame me.
I tried to stop speaking and make some tea.
But I just kept saying I was sorry.
I thought if I stirred this cup just right,
You'd remember the love you have for me.
You made me promise not to hurt myself,
I laughed until I hurt everywhere.
I should be so much better,
But I'm in repair. I'm getting there.
I saw the sun shine finally,
After days of torrential rain.
And my sister made me smile today,
Told me she loved me, then told me again.
They're dancing like devils before their idols,
All the hooligans in the street.
And you're telling me to keep the faith.
That's there's a plan, stay upbeat.
I know it's all true. I'll get better,
Get it together, get my heart repaired.
But for now I'm feeling broken,
As broken as I'm about to make this chair.
I'll be building castles in no time,
Dancing like the dervishes do.
I shall say "I am happy".
And soon I will be, too.

But tonight...

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lyrics to a Great Song

Most of the time I'm clear focused all around
Most of the time I can keep both feet on the ground
I can follow the path, I can read the signs
Stay right with it when the road unwinds
I can handle whatever I stumble upon
I don't even notice she's gone
Most of the time

Most of the time, it's well understood
Most of the time. I wouldn't change it if I could
I can't make it all match up, I can hold my own
I can deal with the situation right down to the bone
I can survive, I can endure
And I don't even think about her
Most of the time

Most of the time
My head is on straight. Most of the time,
I'm strong enough not to hate
I don't build up illusion until it makes me sick
I ain't afraid of confusion, no matter how thick
I can smile in the face of mankind
Don't even remember what her lips felt like on mine
Most of the time

Most of the time
She ain't even in my mind
I wouldn't know her if I saw her
She's that far behind
Most of the time I can't even be sure
If she was ever with me, or if I was with her

Most of the time
I'm halfway content
Most of the time
I know exactly where it all went
I don't cheat on myself, I don't run and hide
Hide from the feelings, that are buried inside
I don't compromise and I don't pretend
I don't even care if I ever see her again
Most of the time

Bless you Bob Dylan. Bless you.

Do Yourself a Favor

This one, me hearties, shall be to titillate your cinematic erogenous zones. This is a list of movies I'm dying to see, and think you should be dying to see as well. For those of us in India, let us pray some of these make it to the cinemas here without being butchered by the pudgy hands of a highly unskilled, graceless censor. For those of you abroad - you lucky lucky bastards.

1) DRIVE - the new film by Nicholas Winding Refn (who directed the brutally awesome "Bronson", another gem you should DVD immediately), starring the supremely gifted Ryan Gosling (who I'm glad to see is getting more deserving work now) as a Hollywood stuntman who moonlights as a wheelman, whose life is imperiled when a heist he's involved in goes south. The soundtrack is lush, the acting is superb, the reviewers I've read were basically drooling all over their popcorn the entire film. Do yourself a favor, do not miss this one. (and anyone that thinks "Transporter" after seeing this film is a douche)

2) A Dangerous Method - David Cronenberg and Viggo Mortenson, one of the more exhilarating director/actor partnerships since Scorcese and DeNiro are back with a film about Sigmund Freud, his friend Carl Jung, and a very fetching Russian woman who likes to be spanked. After "A History of Violence" and the ridiculously good "Eastern Promises" I'm dying to see what this duo serves up. And also they've roped in Michael Fassbender, whom you'll remember most recently as Magneto in the "X-Men First Class" movie. Another supremely captivating screen presence who has been waiting in the wings for his time to come for a long while. We're all glad its here, especially my sister who has asked me to club him over the head and deliver him to her doorstep whenever I can, thanks.

3) Warrior - Been waiting for this film for a minute now. I love Tom Hardy as an actor. I think he's got wonderful physical presence and capabilities, just watch the aforementioned "Bronson" to see. There's a reason he's been cast as Bane, the man who finally breaks the Bat, in Christopher Nolan's "Dark Knight Rises" film. And a movie about mixed martial arts with a tortured father and his two fighter sons story thrown in. Hand me that popcorn baby, and turn off that damn cell phone or you'll be getting missed calls in your stomach.

4) The Thing - One of those cult horror/creature features like Aliens and Predator that we all grew up watching and loving and having strange dreams about is being revived but as a prequel to the events of the eighties classic. The story is about what happened to that first team that dug the "Thing" from out of the Antarctic Ice shelf. This is guaranteed to be a fun watch. Not all films have to be blockbusters or win Oscars. Some are just to remind you of all those childhood days that you watched movies wrapped in your father's blanket, peeking through the fingers wrapped around your face at the incredible things on the screen.

5) Like Crazy - I love well done romantic films. I really do. I'm not afraid to admit it. A great romantic film is like a poem, full of deeper meanings and soaring joys and the heart-clenching sadness that squeezes your will and wisdom into fear. This is a story about a British college student who falls for an American student only to be torn away from him when she is banned from the U.S. for overstaying her visa. I think it's a very poignant and relevant issue in this increasingly accessible and yet xenophobic world. How does love survive Homeland Security? Does Homeland Security even understand the word? Do they even care? As someone who has lost a nascent, but powerful love to the vagaries of visa laws myself, you can understand why this film is on my must-watch list. That and the trailer has my favorite cover of "Can't Help Falling in Love" by the ethereal Ingrid Michaelson.

6) The Rum Diary - Hunter S. Thompson + Johnny Depp = Fuhgidabowdit! Anyone that misses this movie is a chump. I've been wanting to smack Johnny Depp for his last couple of outings and have stayed my hand at the brilliance evident in this trailer. Enough sailing around the Caribbean or getting overwhelmed by Angelina Leave-Them-Kids-Alone Jolie. Get back to the acting Johnny boy.

And on the musical tip. If you haven't clicked on the Ingrid Michaelson recommendation above, do so. Then play this hugely fun song complete with a charming video called "The Understanding" by the Jones Street Station. I've just heard it, never heard of the band before. But I'm going to find out and let you know whether they have more under the hood than this one gem.

And finally just for me, turn your speakers up way too loud and play this until the neighbors call the cops, preferably as you're getting dressed to go out clubbing or meet your lover. Get's the people going. Always has always will - "Thunderstruck" by ACDC.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wicked Games

"Bring your love, baby.
I could bring the shame.
Bring the drugs, baby.
I could bring the pain."
- The Weeknd

What is happening to us? Why is it suddenly so hard? Everything I do makes you upset, everything you say makes me angry. We kiss and hug and make up and then hurt each other again, and again and again. This ain't no way to love, baby. This ain't no way to be. Why can't we go back to the time I remember, where all you wanted was to spend time with me? Can't you see that I'm shaking so hard I could break the world? This is my heart you're cracking. These are real tears in my eyes, girl. Can't you try and understand? And every time I try and tell you, you tell me I've done the exact same thing to you. I've said I'm sorry, how many times do you want me to say it again? Let's stop using what he did to each other as an excuse to do the same damn things over and over again. For everything I say, you have answer, that I did to you too.

I'd drive through this city twice for you, top to bottom, I want to bring you nothing but joy. I want to hold you in my arms, away from these hungry people, and raise your spirits up so high. Why won't you let me? Am I really such a monster, am I really so difficult a man? All I want to spend is time. All I want is for you to want to, as well. And when you say you want to see me, don't tell me you suddenly can't. Of course I'll get angry at that. Damn it, I'm allowed to. And if I made you feel that way once, why didn't you tell me so I could make sure it never happened again?

And after a night like we just had, after a day like today for you to send me a message that says "You're right, and I cannot say anything to make you feel better, just know that I am not wrong either and I'm sorry" - WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO SAY? You say it's not my fault, so why does it always feel like it is? You say you're not blaming me, but your face says it anyway. If I hurt you, I'm sorry, if I was confused, now I'm clear, if I was hesitant, I'm so sure it hurts. Just please, stop punishing me for making you wait. I just want to love you. I just want to love you. But I can't if it's so damn difficult.

Let me in. Let me through. I'm standing in the shadows of every door, waiting for you. This is love, it shouldn't hold so much pain. This is truth, it shouldn't feel like a law we're breaking. This is you, I should be treating you like a treasure. This is me, I'd burn down the world if it hurt you. Why are we hurting each other? Why are we here? Me on this damn laptop, and you surrounded by people you'd rather be with than me, and still sending me messages.

I just had the kind of night where the laughter was deep but the pain lurked a lot deeper. Where the cigarettes were all unwanted and nightmares will come hunting for the sleeper. What happened to the man I used to be, who walked so tall? When did I become the man who wants to set fire to it all?

Love me or leave me. It can't be difficult. I don't want it if it is. I don't want to keep making you cry. I want to love you from morning to sundown, until the morning star finally abandons the sky. I don't want to sit alone at home and smoke a cigarette I shouldn't, punching pillows that did nothing wrong. There's only so much a heart can bear, for only so long. So here we are, darling. On opposite sides of this city. We could have been something amazing. We could have...sigh, shrug. Pity.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Do Yourself a Favor

Right into it my friends...

1) Do listen to this song by Jack and White. To say nothing about the lady's lovely voice, I love that she sings so truly about love and desire in this cellphone obsessed generation. Our phones have become the repositories of our faith, the gateways to Love, the instruments of our heartbreak and we can't do anything about it. We're all addicted.

2) This is a new discovery. Never heard of them, but played it tonight, on a low night and felt uplifted and renewed. Then I played it again. And again. Enjoy, What the Water Gave Me by, Florence + The Machine.

3) Whatever you do, DO NOT watch the new Conan movie. What absolute, and egregious drivel. How dare they get my hopes up by promising to retell a wonderful character's story on the big screen, and slap me across the face. Robert E. Howard is turning in his grave fellas. You took his lifetime of work and pretty much wiped your soiled bits with it. Good job.

4) Do yourself a favor, take the woman you love and kiss her long and kiss her slow. And don't pull away even when your lips do. And whisper you love her. That you'll do better, even if it's a lie.

5) Watch this trailer. I've been reading fantasy novels and comic books since I can remember. All my secret dreams happen in worlds with no technology, the crack of the reins, the feel of a horse, the weight of a sword, and the gossamer smile of a forbidden woman. So for me this shit right here, is like drugs to an addict. The Immortals, can't bloody wait. They better not do a Conan on me.

6) A lot of hip-hop heavyweights have released albums this past couple of months. A lot of hype and a lot of chest-thumping. All to mostly disappointing results. Let's really face it, Watch the Throne was a disappointment, The R.E.D. album is too damn safe and thus sub-par, and the Carter IV is just plain doo doo. So do yourself a favor and get your hands on Kendrick Lamar's mixtape/album "Section80". Here's a man who has a completely unique sound, and a wonderful lyrical gift, and the ability to talk about more than the number of girls obsessed with his penis, or the cars he rents and pretends to own, or the jewelry he gets on referral. The two songs I recommend you hear first are Keisha's Song, and Poe Man's Dreams. Enjoy...

7) And lastly here's a enticing new TV show that starts airing by the end of September. If you loved Human Target and similar shows this one shows promise. And it's got Jim Caviezel who is bad-ass. Check it out here.

Stream of Consciousness

Tonight was a night of lingering laughter and sudden sadness. Tonight was a night where even the truest smile seemed a little forced. Tonight seemed a stranger to me, sitting in the corner and staring at me. I saw a woman dance tonight in a way so alien to my own rhythm, in a language I could not understand, to a style my eyes could not decode. And yet it was beautiful. Mythology and grace twisted around the twirl of an ancient gesture. Lifetimes of pain, and oceans of joy held in the bat of an eyelash. She danced until I began to understand, the reasons for my mysterious melancholy, she danced until my every demon sat still. And yet when I could have gone up to her and told her what it had meant to me and given her a sliver of the joy she had given me, I sat in a corner hoping she would notice me. What a strange creature our mind can be to our soul. So inexplicable are the things we do, so inexplicably does our mood shift, divorcing us from a simple moment of contentment on a whim.

Tonight was a good night, despite my best efforts, thankfully. I had a car full of friends on a long, monsoon drive. The music that played was good, and the stories we told were all funny. The table was thumped often, and breath was caught more than once. We hugged each other goodnight with a gentle gratitude, for bringing such simple happiness to each other. The food was divine, and that last cup of coffee a panacea. And yet for a while, whilst everyone else was laughing through another anecdote, I faked a phone call and went outside, to stand at the edge of the rain. With a pocket full of confusion, and a heart stumbling to an unfamiliar song.

I tried to lift this one up. You can see that I tried. I could have lied and written something different. I could have pretended. I do that very well. But I wasn't up for it. Sometimes you need to go to the edge of your inconsequential abyss and laugh at yourself. Sometimes going down is the only way you begin to flap your wings.

Lay me down in your boudoir and fill my lungs with your breath. Take off your clothes slowly, in increments of heaven. Take me away, from the pointlessly dark. Tell me you love me. Tell me I matter. Please. My thoughts keep stumbling towards you, like refugees.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Do Yourself a Favor

One of my dearest friends told me today, that I should take some time and put recommendations of all the things that interest me on this blog. Share my interests, because some of my interests are highly...interesting. Movies I've seen and loved that you might not have watched, music you might not have heard, places you might not have been. And the idea resonated. I love poetry and all my stream of consciousness work and I love that you read it. But it was never my intention to turn this into a purely literary blog.

So...Do Yourself A Favor shall be my new thing. A list of things you need to see, do, watch, get lost in. Enjoy.

1) The Weeknd - an R&B artist from Canada who's been putting out songs on the Internet as mixtapes that, too put it modestly, are revolutionary. Such a lilting, high voice, that could have been annoying if projected and used badly. But the man knows how to croon and put together his music. Plus he's got lyrics like this - "Bring your love, baby. I'm going to bring my shame. Bring the drugs, baby. I'm going to bring my pain. I got my heart right here. I got my scars right here." Do yourself a favor, my friend, click this and turn out the lights, and call your significant other over slowly and kiss 'em long and slow to this song called "Wicked Games"

2) Frank Ocean - another Internet R&B artist that is doing exactly what the Weeknd is, which is slowly but undeniably introducing a fresh new perspective and sound into conventional R&B as we know it. He's got such an odd delivery, like a rapper that can sing, with his almost stream of consciousness lyrical style that it spoke deeply to my introspective soul. This one is a deep deep favorite right now. Queue this next and don't stop kissing your lover - Novocane

3) Saw a film tonight that absolutely devastated me with its power and performances. It's called the "Devil's Double", directed by Lee Tamahori whose previous works include the stunning survival thriller "The Edge", the bond film "Die Another Day" to name a few. But all those aside, this film, about the true story of Latif Yahia, an Iraqi soldier who is chosen by Uday Saddam Hussein to be his body double and 'brother' is a stunning portrayal of power and corruption and psychosis. Top it off with an jaw-dropping performance by Dominic Cooper and this is one movie that you absolutely, absolutely have to watch. To those in the West, get your ass moving, and to us poor unfortunates in India who get to see only a fraction of the wondrous cinema out in the world, somehow the God of Cinema sent this film to us. It's running right now. Open a newspaper, get online, get in the car. You can thank me later. Check out the trailer here.

4) I've also recently started rereading George R. R. Martin's "Songs of Ice and Fire" series. I remember picking it up at the Harvard bookstore during my first weekend in America, far away from everything that gave me strength and security. I remember finishing it nine a.m. the next morning in my dorm room. I had read the entire thing in one night. It took me a few minutes to get the feeling back into my legs. Imagine the Lord of the Rings during the War of the Roses period in England: knights, beautiful women, power politics and intrigue, a land so rich with history you'll get amazed it even fits in a book.

Beautifully deep, accessible prose, and a cast of characters so replete with monstrous flaws and tender vulnerabilities that I dare you not shed a tear or two when they fall, and pump your fists and shout when they triumph. There's a reason that books will always be better than any movie could ever hope to be. Treat yourself to something magical and fantastic. The tired airport paperbacks and the serious novels can wait awhile.

The first book is called "The Game of Thrones". Do yourself a favor, pick it up. Winter is Coming.

Oh, and for the literally challenged, HBO has turned it into a rather magnificent TV series called 'The Game of Thrones'. The first season just finished so the thing is out there for the procurement.

5) For all Indians to read about their country and it's current battle against corruption. Click.

The current anti-corruption storm in India is highly amusing to me but for reasons that are far from what you think they are. I'm loving how wonderfully orchestrated and organized the furor over Anna Hazare and the UPA government is and not many people seem to notice. Maybe I'm just a conspiracy nut, but all this is looking too damn convenient to me. I mean children in the street know it's political suicide to arrest someone like Anna on the morning of the commencement of his fast before he even gets to the venue of his protest, a day after Independence Day. You really think that the people who orchestrated all of this were blind to it. You think after all the game playing and maneuvering that politicians have been doing for years, that they're going to be that stupid? Maybe you do.

And Anna Hazare's blind supporters amuse me greatly. They're so adorably militant about things they don't really understand. They understand the need to rid ourselves of corruption, but I don't think they understand the stage upon which the war is being fought, or the all the players on the field either. And that's a dangerous position to be - it's called being cannon fodder. I don't deny the man's charisma and his drive and what not. But putting a gun to a democracy's head and making them sign a bill isn't much different from a stick up. It's Gestapo tactics, even if it's being done to rid the country of corruption. A democracy already has its checks and balances on power in place. What should be done is to improve and clean up those current checks and balances, not introduce a Supercop committee that will sit atop all government decisions. And you mean to tell me that whoever gets to sit on the Lokpall committee will be incorruptible all the time, every time? Come on now. Getting down and dirty is what human beings do best. But I'm no political scientist, what do I know.

I pray this country gets a break and a chance to regain it's once magnificent soul. But until then I'm going to enjoy the free entertainment.

Hope you enjoyed some of the things on this list.

Have the memorable kind of weekend.

In the immortal words of Big Boi and Andre 3000 of Outkast - "Get up, get out, get something. Don't let the days of your life pass by. You need to get up, get out, get something, how will you make it if you never even try?" Shiiiiiit. Why don't give that song a listen too. It'll get you going.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Stream of Consciousness

Some nights are blessings we could not foresee, coming upon us least expected but oh so welcome. They fall over you like sluices of the cleanest water. They remind you how much joy hides in the banalities. Did you know that coffee has the power to heal your soul? Or that the evening breeze carries within it the secret of secret flight? The palm trees in front of my balcony are old Sufis. Wise in their silences and joyous in their sway and their rustle. Blessings they are, friends I will have to say goodbye to soon as I have to move apartments soon. Don't want to, because this one felt like home, felt like an old friend's hand on your face. But c'est la vie you see? Onwards I shall dance, like a dervish in a rave, teaching people what dancing can do if you let your soul have the use of your legs for a moment.

I love you life. And I love you girl. You heal me by being, you are the magic in this world. Your smile is my most pressing ambition, your eyes are my nighttime sky. I wanted to burn down forests to dry away your tears. I'm sorry but that you might truly love me was the sum of all my fears. I'm sorry for the confusion, I'm sorry for all the unnecessary pain. I can't honestly promise I won't ever do it again. But you lift me to the Moon darling and can drive me to my knees. You made me stare at my Puja room idols and all my prayers start with 'please'. Life taught me everything but how to love a woman like you. Not that I couldn't or didn't long to. But I thought I wasn't anywhere near ready. I thought that happened later, when you were tired of the running around, lying gasping by the street. Someone would come and dust away the tracks of your tears, and lift you to your feet. I wasn't ready for Love to come upon me like the other car in an accident about to happen.

But here we are. There you are. Here I sit. Approaching the heart of the other with every breath. I love that this Dance has begun. I love that I get to dance this dance with you. I love that you know this. The palm trees smile indulgently at us. The wind whispers the secret and lets us take our first flight. And even this ugly city smiles, leaning in the corner like the oldest whore, who would have made a great mother, rubbing the sores of the usual out of her back.

Last cup of tea for the day, burning my sins away. Leaving me with nothing on my tongue but ginger and the aftertaste of honey, and it reminds me of you. Everything reminds me of you. And I'm a happy happy man.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Evening Stroll

I wandered along the hazy shore,
Picking shells out of the sand.
Each held a story in a whisper,
It had heard from the sea.
I held them up against the Sun
And squinted up to see.
Letting their silhouettes
Burn away all the images
I carried of you.
I wandered along that hazy shore,
Like a refugee.
Again and again your voice
Came to me. Carried
Maliciously by the wind.
I picked shells out of the sand,
And begged them to speak.
I placed them in a cracked,
Red, beach bucket.
And carried on walking.
Breeze blowing by,
Seagulls sitting disgusted
By the side, couples
Pressed into shadows,
Crows wandering the skies,
All paused to watch me,
Stumbling beside the sea,
With my bucket full of memories.

I forget when I stopped,
Or where. Beside
That unloved shore I sat,
Cradling the absences of you.
Until the shells started to stink,
How could they remind me of you?
You are not this lonely shore,
This soulless city, this tired ocean,
Or this listless breeze.
You are not my shaking heart,
Nor the tremble in my pen.
You are not this poem.
You are not here.

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Perils of Saying "I Love You"

In the entirety of human existence there are no words more terrifying than a sincere "I love you". Well perhaps hearing "Off with his head!" when the aforementioned head is yours, and "Is that a fucking tiger?" when you're naked and alone in a swamp come close. But if you've ever taken a good look into the pair of eyes you're trying very hard not to be hypnotized by and seen all the myriad futures of joy and loss and pain and heartbreak and serenity tumble across your vision like a hail of broken kaleidoscopes, you'll take on the giant pussycat any day.

The only thing more terrifying than saying it, is hearing it said sincerely. Because if you do, and you don't feel the same way, you're about to become one of the storied bastards in someone else epic story. And if you hear it, and you feel it in return and you're like me, then you feel that proper panic. Because it's not as if you're telling someone you like their homemade jam. You're going to tell them that of all the creations in existence, they bring you the greatest amount of joy. Your being vibrates in harmony with the Source when they're near, you begin to see what all the holy men and women have written about throughout history, you start to finally understand what Marvin Gaye was singing about all those years, and you start to wonder why the hell you're legs are not working properly. You better be damn sure before you say the words.

The problem is knowing when it's true. Our generation has so many damn options, so many dreams and ambitions, so many places we could go, things we think we could do, that we are thoroughly confused in our souls. We've been stretched too thin. Our minds have been rendered easily distracted and changeable. The whole world is suffering from a combination of ADHD, coupled with acute persecution syndrome, and a general skittishness at making decisions. We're all a little dazed and confused. Pardon me if this doesn't apply to you, you're probably the grand exception, but you might consider taking a good hard look at yourself all the same. We have too many options in too many things. And we think that most of our options are attainable and will enhance our lives and our selves.

It's no wonder we get into relationships with an eye on the exit door, even if we don't realize it. I read somewhere than the rate of divorce in Bombay has gone up to somewhere like 86%. And the article was praising this figure as a sign of how many women are now disregarding the old stigma of divorce and making a positive change with their lives. And perhaps that's true. But eighty-six percent? Damn. What happened to the Love? Where does that go? Can you even give that back? It's not like it's a damn CD collection.

I wondering about this because I feel myself approaching a turning point in my life. A point where if I say "I love you" to someone, it won't be that adolescent whisper that you hope leads to sweaty shorts and rumpled sheets as soon as possible, or that panicked muscle response because you don't want the other person to get mad you didn't say it, (because you know your partner is going to get frigging psychotic if you pause for too long before replying in kind when they say "I love you"). I'm a grown man now. Hard as that might be to admit, (or believe if you know me well enough), but it's true. I love women, always have always will. But I'm just so damn exhausted with it all. A person needs his soul nourished and healed, not gashed and depleted, which is all that much-desired playboy lifestyle leads to. When everyone thinks you're intertwined with another woman from out of their dreams, you're sitting at home alone, missing a particular girl you treated not as well as you should have, because you were too much of a coward to say the words you felt and would have meant, when she said hers.

I hope I'm ready when the day comes. I hope I meet the girl who makes me hesitate not for a second before I say it. I hope I retain a fraction of my confidence and independence after I've said it and she's laid claim to the entirety of my emotional spectrum. I hope I don't get crushed. I hope I don't hurt her at all. I hope we can work it out. Because we're ordinary people. Messing things up seems to come as easily as breathing.

Goddess watch over me. I see her walking my way.