In San Diego

woman 5

Here in California, anything can happen,
To just about anyone and all you can do
Is say jeez, and walkaway, that too, only if you want to. 
Meanwhile a muscled Hollywood actor called Arnold,
Who later on became governor of state,
Who with his strong Austrian accent
Says out loud “I’ll Be Back”. While in this melting pot
Accents, they all become fashionable,
The tongues in sheer hypertrophy,
Blazing of a different holy spirit,
That gives you the voice of democracy
To be who you want to be, at any price,
Like the transgendered Mexican woman,
Who looks at a man with a combover on TV,
And shouts at him, yelling that his dreams came true
In this crazy town, San Diego, where,
The borderlands blur, just like
The overlapping ecotones inside of him,
That become hazy, genderless plains,
Where there’s a boat and a pair of oars, to the other shore,
And just like Jesus, the truth lies here in full bloom,
On a now vacant strip of land,
That used to house an orchard,
A woman, now looking at the open road,
Where she can sway her avocado hips
While the heart became a spread, to dip
His dreams, just like the Jordan,
To be baptized “Salma”, to where, it all becomes
like the melted cream of delightful guacamole.
A staple, that is his American Dream.


New York

New York 2

I look at the statue of liberty
Doming over New York.
While I walk, wondering why my testicles
Seem aloof of any feeling, as I walk through
Mazes of perpendicular intersections,
Sightseeing, learning that paths cross here
More often than we ever imagine,
And yet we go about our business,
Cold shoulders bumping at 90 degree corners,
Breaking the ice on occasion, with a smile,
While your skin battles the sub-zero temperatures.
You look around at name boards
And popular brand names, wondering
Whether this city has something to sell to the tourist,
Almost all the time. You can get lost anywhere, in this town,
Caught in the hustle and bustle,
Of quotidian drama and sometimes, you’re in danger
Of losing yourself, wearing a “I Love New York” t-shirt,
Constantly reminded of how easy it is,
To become so irrelevant. It petrifies you,
How boundless freedom is. As every human label
Disappears, while unifying wavelengths
And heritages, making you just like
The omnipresent, yellow-colored cabs, common
And attention-unworthy, and called
All over by the same name. And the tourist,
Looks at a social contract,
That attributes the apple of the eye,
To a monster feeling, that gives shade
To his civilian dreams.



Made from the Irish famine,
And by Mexican imports,
She lies in the hearts of the local and the foreigner,
As this boundless land grows potato and corn
To fill plates, which is the only mercy
A migrant asks for in the first instance,
And there is nothing to milk,
From this new land, except a green card,
That tells you, you’re now a part of this terrain,
Carrying the right to make tequila
And poteen, while spurring on the human spirit,
To distill a fraction of an American,
Which with time, will slowly become one,
With the golden-bodied Budweiser,
Gripping and moistening one’s lips
To the cold bitter tide of a brew,
Healing a homesick heart,
Of her sweet nostalgia.

American Dream

Waffle Ice Cream Cone Ice Milk Ice Cream Ice Cream

Present drips in to your tongue,
Like a cookies and cream ice cream cone.
You’re taught to believe that fate promises
And yet still, will not deliver.
So many Americans have dripped
Their tongues to taste the supposed good times,
Only to encounter the salty nothingness,
What leaves behind a memento,
Of how this land is squeezed between
Two mammoth oceans, and still
A Yankee dreams of the American dream,
Which comes in an assortment of flavors,
Vanilla, chocolate, pistachio,
Mango and green tea among others,
And we break ourselves on that rocky road
To power a lowly dream – not yours though-
Only of a man, somewhere in Iran,
Selling pistachio nuts, who will
Never know real freedom, nor be duped to believe,
That “making it” is for everyone,
The American dream is just a figurative
Claim for making it there, where there is no welfare.
Meanwhile in Iran, there are bumper
Crops of pistachio nuts sent to the US
To stuff your tongue into.
Reality is only a cold serving of ice cream.
And only you know how to scoop your dream,
Your flavor, which makes you richer
And yet lonelier, when you start to realize
That the dream in past-tense, is
Like an anecdote that will depreciate
From that point onwards. Then
You rewrite your life, with a new wafer cone,
Searching for a second scoop;
Of the now re-scripted American dream. 

Darkness and Light

Bubble Boy

A lone warrior scampers
To the backyard swing. Swinging low and high,
While in the other corner of town,
The church is hunted by children
Who grew up in its ranks, pointing the finger.
A cassock hangs from a closet
While inside a larger closet, hides
A lifetime of desire, clogged
Beneath, detonating onto a fragile frame.

Peter, the boy, who cried wolf so many times,
Is now a hero, while the church walls
They still cast a shadow on a little
Playground next door, while Peter holds
His darkness in a little room that has a light
Which is switched on and off,
A hub that was never supposed to be a dungeon.

In Prokofiev’s masterpiece, there’s a bird
That cannot fly, a duck that cannot swim,
While a little boy that can do neither,
Walked down a throat’s nave
To be manhandled like the Eucharist host.
The French horn played his part rising an octave
While the double bass played at its lowest possible tone.
It was hardly a duet of any sort.

Years later, justice would be served.
The bass drum marched with the violin,
A trap was sprung for the wolf.
And still, that haunting day, which was supposed
To be ideally a ribbon cutting ceremony
With someone his age, now makes him shiver with fear.
The hero, the boy, now grown up, walks the streets
With girls passing him by, and still, he can’t seem to
Explain why every girl seems innocuous,
Something bland from far.

He would later find out how true
Cinnamon was, and how it was different
From a pod of vanilla. A boy, his age, kissed him one day
Seated in the back seat of his car,
And in that defining moment, he learnt the deft art
Of how to volunteer his lips,
To finally kiss – gently kiss back.



Years are anthologies of healing,
Brink desaturating. Stars appearing
On the bleak horizon, one by one,
Becoming brighter, as your face
Turns to a pavilion. Now planes, are
No longer diabolical monsters, Islam is no more
The launch pad, there are pearl
And human shipments from Baghdad to Baltimore,
That don’t’ blow up on impact. Healing is found in
A stork’s gift, a nuptial, a botanical
Species named after you. September 11th
Will always be the day that the Big Apple died,
And now you see here apple orchards,
Every one of the produce, a different tone,
People plucking each other from the air,
Like destiny meant them to be.
Love is just like a journey in a Yellow-Colored car,
Called a “taxi”, in any dictionary
From Teheran to Texas, the only word that is the same
In every language. The human heart
Is too like a taxi, you don’t know who will
Get in next, or at what point, one,
Will get off. I guess, it is a modern truth,
That you get into many taxis in your lifetime.
Journeys, they transcend the back
Seat of a taxi-cab, just like 9/11.
Memory is the saving grace after the taxi ride,
After 9/11. And some lives, even 16 years after,
They are still seated alone inside a yellow taxi,
Parked in a space that hailstorms the past,
“Occupied” sign flashing on top,
As if they are in love with beautiful ghosts.


Landscape America Skyscrapers Metropolis Manhattan

The lady of liberty
Stands with a tablet on one hand,
And a torch raised in another, 
And a broken chain on her feet,
Looking like the perfect goddess
Signifying liberty, in a country
Of worldly freedoms.

While in uptown New York, near 125th street
There is a lady, of French ancestry, living alone.
A tablet of Xanax, she takes every night
To curb the anxiety, and a torch
Underneath her pillow,
To flash at night and a broken
Rosary on her bed stand.

And freedom for her
Is waking up alive the next morning,
And the cup of Sri Lankan tea she sips,
Before she takes the subway
And ferry to Liberty island, where
She works at a ticketing counter

And in Liberty Island, these two
Women collide, not knowing how similar they are.
Both, as an Emma Lazarus
Poem inscribes, are mothers of exiles,
Exiled to opposite poles of a defiant freedom,
That lives larger than her mighty dimensions,
And yet is as small, as a single ballot slip.