Sunday, April 22, 2012

Free Form Rhyme, With No Mind

I fight for the right,
To hold my share of the light.
And tonight darling,
I fight for the right to ride,
Like Lancelot the knight,
Towards your morning bright.
I would betray my king,
I would surrender my sin.
I would burn the world without,
Just to be blessed within,
I fight to the most secret heart of you.
Where memories of jasmine swirl,
Over cool, still pools. 
Where you discard your masks,
And let your wings unfurl.
Tonight I fight for the will,
To brush aside every warning.
Take every leap of faith.
There are bonfires burning,
Across this city of ours.
Full of cindered dreams,
And the ashes of so much love,
Smudged into the circles,
Under every tearless eye.
But I love you baby,
Like poets love the night-time sky.
Where the words dance,
In the shadows left behind,
By the stars that can no longer shine.

Like Sufi's whirling,
Like this warrior's heart of mine.
Let the tempests roar,
Let them try to shackle my beast.
I'll break all of the chains,
I'd fall at your feet.
I'd howl at the Moon,
Like your pagan priest.
Like convenient scavengers they love
The weary and the meek.
Content to huddle beside,
Whatever was left behind.
They lie exhausted in their beds,
Too afraid to sleep.
While we thrash up in the sky,
And crash into the deep.

I Dream of Flying

I sat on the edge of things,
Above the city, alone.
Just the wind and I.
An eagle came to me there.
He called me his brother,
And wondered why I didn't fly?
I told him I was just a man,
And for all my desperate desire,
I wasn't made for the sky.
He spread his wings and laughed,
Like a father at a child.
And asked if I'd even tried.
I asked him not to mock me,
With the memory of a thousand skies,
Lighting the shadows of his eyes.
While I struggle here over my poems,
Trying to change all the sad truths,
Even poets can't deny.
But my brother, the eagle,
Smiled and clicked his beak,
Spread his wings out wide.
He threw himself into the air,
Screamed in joy at the breeze,
Spun away into a dive.
I put down my words,
All my daily cares,
And nightly worries set aside.
I cast away my skin,
Unshackled my eager spirit,
And leapt after my brother,
To dance beneath this orange sky.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My Ode to the Orange Chuski

As my dear friend Cyrus said tonight, "Why hasn't more been said about how amazing Orange Chuski's (ice-cream bar) are.  How has no one composed some ode to them.  Dude, they're the Maggi of Ice Cream."  So I came home tonight, It's 2.49 in the a.m. and I'm as happy as I've ever been, and I thought, let me write at least a small one.

There are not many things left in this jaded adulthood of ours that can instantly fill us with that giddy, silly, perfect joy we used to carry as children.  Before the world started to lean on us, before the moments got filled with more weight than we were prepared to bare.  What your mother's hug does for you, what the bark of the dog you've known since you were a boy does to you, what your first great love song does for you when you hear it now, Orange Chuski's do.

They taste of ice, and sugar, and orange skies over rivers of joy.  They are like running after each other in the streets, playing Holi with the feverish mania only the very young can sustain.  Like Monsoon nights in your dormitory watching horror movies with your brothers-in-boarding school.  They are the first steps of your first slow dance, with that girl you were almost too shy to ask out.  They are the taste of your father's indulgence, of your mother's fondest smile.  They are the sound of your family singing along loudly and proudly and rather badly to your favorite Michael Jackson song as you drive home after a lunch out on the town, an orange stick of icy joy in each of your hands.  They are the sound of your siblings laughing, as you race down to the fridge. 

Not enough can be said about how amazing a few licks can make you feel, instantly.  They are the smug pleasure on Cyrus's face as he sinks into his corner of his favorite couch, just him and his perfect Chuski.  They are the outraged child's expression on P. Singh's face, as her second Chuski breaks off too, half on the stick, half in the packet.  They're the evil child's joy on Juhi's face as she quickly snatches the bag and says she has no problem eating it with her hands.  They are the coltish skipping dance Aditi does to the fridge everytime anyone even wonders whether they should have another one.  They are her always infectious giggle as she hands out packets.  They are Sameer's silence, because he's said not a word in a while.  Because he has better things to do.  Like eat the Chuski in his hands.  Ah bliss.  They are Abheet's paternal, patient face as he waits for one to be opened and passed to him across the room.  They are the thirty seconds before he realizes that the Chuski went no further than P. Singh, because her's was already over and who can resist another one.  They are the exasperated love in Ankur's voice as her reprimands her and demands she pass it on to Abheet's.  They're the pout on her face, then the smile that breaks through, they're the quick kiss they share.  They are my smiling face.

Every Orange Chuski tastes as good as the first one you ever had.  Every one.  That's better than any drug.  There's no humiliating graph of consumption versus amount of pleasure.  They will always be perfect.  They hand out Orange Chuski's in every version of Heaven.  As well they should.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Dear Goddess

Please help me live up to my potential.  Help me to use my time wisely.  Let me create something new everyday, an idea, a piece of poetry, a chapter of a book, an epiphany for a role.  Let me be diligent again, and not rely on luck or charm or effortless mediocrity to make my way through this life I've been blessed with.

Please let me continue to listen to music as deeply as I do.  Let me enjoy it more and more everyday, and if it's not asking for too much, let me make some one day.  I would really like to hear one of my poems sung out loud to a crowd one day, especially if it's this off-key bear that gets to sing it.

Please send me a woman worthy enough to really love.  A woman of quiet poetry and manic mirth.  A woman that will slowly heal all the hurt I accrue through the days.  A woman who needs and wants me as much I need and want her.  Let me fine a simple love, a love to grow happily grey in.  Please help me become worthy of such a woman.  Help me treat her right, help me lift her higher.  Help me learn how to make our souls sing.

I want to do so much.  I dream of so much.  Please send me the will to get even a fraction of them come alive.  Please.  I don't want to go through this life knowing I could have done something but was too lazy, too entitled, too tired, too afraid to do something truly worthwhile.  Let me meet every opportunity like the warrior I know hides in me.

I don't ask for much.  I never have.  Let me grow to be better than the man I am.  Let that be enough.  Let my sisters find the Light and the joy they so deserve.  Give them direction and stability, help me help them through this tough year.  They are the greatest joys you could have given me.  Help me be a worthier brother.  Help me make their lives better.  In any way I can.  Don't let me be petulant, or grouchy, or so pressed for space that I don't share it with them graciously.

Dear Goddess.  I pray to you through these words you send to me.  My every word is a prayer to you.  Whatever else comes and goes in my life.  Please help me get better at writing these pieces, bringing more people closer to the joy through which we search for you.

Let me go to sleep every night, with a smile on my face for a day well spent.  Even if I didn't do much at all.  Help me do that and I'll consider myself a fortunate man.

Dear Goddess.  I love you very much.  Thank you for these friends.  For this food.  For this coffee I shouldn't be drinking at 1 a.m. but damn it it's just so damn good.  Thank you for the music, thank you for the joy.

Sorry for being a sullen bastard now and then.  For having days of low self-esteem and negligible faith.  I'm a bit of a fool, I know, but I'm on my way to you.  Wait for me a little while longer.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Drowning Slowly

Long days, lost in the moments,
Unforgiven, by the harshness of the day.
Longer nights, full of the memories,
When happiness was happy and decided to stay.
Long days, waiting underwater,
In the storming waters off a shipwrecked bay.
They think they can hold you.
In their arms, even as they ruin it all.
Drowning slowly, in this city,
Refusing to beg for help or call.
No one's coming.  And you know this.
No one cares.  And it's true.
But you were made in water,
In your mother's womb.
And you first saw her light there,
Shining in the gloom.
We fear no death by water.
Only by the loneliness of an empty room.
We live to be loved by the Summer,
To love a lifetime through a long monsoon.
A fellow mystic, nestled on my pillow.
Suffering the Sun, to be bathed by the Moon.
I could never hold you.
Against the worries that will be here very soon.
But I have all these words,
And your every breath holds a merry tune.
We'll weave a song together.
Against the coming of the cold.
Oh darling the smell of you,
Makes my tired wings unfold.
How I've missed your warmth.
Tell me you've missed mine too.
Tell me you've missed my warmth.
Pressed against the imperfections of you.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Alexi Murdoch Redux

So today, I wrote a song for you.
Because today, just felt all wrong.
And I know, you're trying to see it through,
And you feel, you're in it all alone.

I can try, to put it right,
But I just pull it all apart.
I can't get through another night,
All alone, with my foolish heart.

Where do I even start?

There are times, I can hold it in,
Other days, I just can't play the game.
Every day I write a song to sing,
But they all seem to sound the same.

I know it's tough, being on your own,
When your phone hasn't rung all day.
A broken kings sits upon his throne,
Nothing won, nothing left to say.

I wish you could stay.

And I'm trying, to work it out.
Every time, you reach out and rub my arm.
And I know, I shouldn't kiss your mouth,
But I think, what could be the harm?

I know you think, I don't understand,
All the things, that you're going through.
And I don't, but I still take your hand,
And say, baby, it's just me and you.

I going through it too.

Maybe I should stop, wishing on a star,
Maybe then, I'll find the peace I knew.
Maybe what I need, is not so far.
It's all in me, whatever's best in you.

And though this trying, can get me down,
And I feel, I've got it completely wrong.
But when you smile, I find it hard to frown.
Then you sing, then you sing my song.

Then you sing my song.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Stretched Thin

It's been a while since I wrote anything at all.  Anywhere, not just here on this blog.  It's been a while since I felt like I was productive or creative or a viable member of the human race.  I don't really know why I've been feeling this way entirely.  It's like this creeping feeling of time falling away from me.  I stand in the middle of a room and feel the echoes of all the things I didn't manage to get done screaming at me.  I wake in the morning, at least an hour after the time I'm used to waking up and immediately feel like I've done something egregiously wrong, like I've missed the most important moments of the day already.  Every time my eyes open, I bolt out of bed like I'm late for a life changing meeting.  Even though I have nothing really happening all day.  I wake with a sense of disgust at wasting my own time and potential.

It's a very strange and claustrophobic feeling.  And it's a feeling I think others are familiar with as well.  I've come to learn that the greatest battles a person fights in this life, the most insidious evils he faces, are all to be found in periods of idleness and inactivity.  That's when the demons come calling, the ones that dwell in the shadows of every mind.  This world of ours is getting so choked with distractions and methods of self-destruction that I worry very much for our sanity.  There are so many times I catch myself staring at my computer screen, scrolling the mouse randomly from one corner to another.  Doing nothing really, just lost in some kind of daze.  I'll open windows I don't want to see, I'll check email and Facebook barely a minute after I checked them last.  I'll start watching a show or a movie only to start doing something else and then something else.  I'll start a book, only to check my mail, only to open another book, only to return to the show, only to wander out to my balcony and rock against the railing.

Sigh.  No wonder I'm not getting any writing done.

My battle these days is to sit still and focused.  To regain my once legendary discipline.  I don't know if Bombay has tainted me or if I've become so consumed with the epic uncertainty of my profession as an actor or something in the stars these days.  I'm feeling stretched a little thin, as if I were being drawn across this city into corners and conversations that I had no desire to be a part of but from where I couldn't escape.  Trapped in parties with no one to smile at really, no one to talk to, certainly no one to love.  Driving through traffic that could break the spirit of any man everyday only to get to places I wanted to leave as soon as I get there.

But as insidious and chilling as this feeling has been these last few days.  I'm glad I've started to notice it and rebel against it.  I am a warrior of light and poetry.  I am happy, and I am employed and I am surrounded by love, at least when it's not PMSing or confused.  More than any of that, I really like who I am at this point in my life.  I cannot let this city, or this profession, or this malaise, or these planets or whatever the hell is making me feel this way get the better of all the things I'm capable of and destined for.

Tomorrow I shall wake up at dawn like I normally do.  I shall read a great poem, I shall write one as well.  I shall drink a perfect cup of tea.  I shall sing to my plants.  I shall make breakfast.  I shall work out like a machine.  I shall listen to music all morning.  I shall finish the book I started.  I shall start work on the book I need to write.  Tomorrow I return to the man I'm supposed to be instead of this restless bear wandering around my apartment.