Few will ever fight the system. Period.
Have you seen a mercenary?
Rugged backpack on the shoulder, a gun on the belt
Sports shoes on, travelling the valley
Of the lexicon, walking slowly
Learning not just the art of mere survival,
But the tricks of the trade.
Look how that soldier of fortune
With no support from any man or beast
Shifts his imagination through paradigms
In quantum leaps, throwing out
Traps to catch doves, hares and squirrels
To cook them on a camp fire
And when he is weary from the long walk,
Feeling lifeless and crumpled, all he asks
Is a little helping of manna,
To format the heart and begin another day
Of not knowing what is in store.
How beautiful is living for the day,
By a water bottle, aluminum cup and plastic plate.
Oh the simple needs of a poet.
To serenade words, metaphors and similes
To where solitude mixes them up
In to the outreach of a poem.
There are endless ways
Life turns sour, like when moratoriums
Are issued against a poet.
And still you dig deep, through layers
Of rock, to find that aquifer
From where all good things originate.
Poetic justice is only found navigating hostility.
And I’m like Salman Rushdie
Banished from all poetic journals.
Like Jesus was to the Pharisees at the temple.
And no God can help me at the hands
And still that beautiful strain
Of poetry infects me. And I look at what lies
Ahead, that in spite of the lone voice
Seeking justice, there is something beautiful
And possibility will always be
That pink ribbon waiting for your tug
Down on Hollywood walk of fame
There are stars ascribed to celebrities
And I like a fool jumping into chase
The stars given by arm-chaired editors
Of journals far. Glory I realize
Is just like the aluminum kettle that blows once
And then tea and cake are served. How dreadful to
To taste a piece of Black Forest gateau
And then realize that there’s still a long lifeline
Of breadcrumbs to follow.
I never had a long list of things to achieve.
I wanted to be a researcher
But now I research the etymology
Of words to construct meaning
To a picture. I’m the poet that never sleeps
And insomnia is the monster
That comes to you nearing midnight
When your wife is fast asleep
And you type away a long poem
When words start to billow with fleece
And then I need to sheer the sheep
Before I can count how many there are.
Editing at midnight is such
A freaking tall order.
You wear a vest, ammunition, carry a rifle
And patrol the streets at daytime
Through the bazaars and the flower markets.
You develop a sixth sense about you.
This war was meant to be a victory.
And you have been a borrowing miser for so long
Living on canned soup, cigarettes and pictures
Of a hazel-eyed beauty, from the American south.
You look out every day, to an arras of poppies
And before you know it, spoon and paper find you.
And you have developed a nose
For a pyrrhic triumph.
Your opiate-engined opium dreams.
Reality is just like a golden crepe
Draped in cinnamon powder
It needs a sense of locality to befriend something foreign.
Even that strange sensation, that something
Inside of me is far bigger than myself,
Like the whale inside my throat
I want to let go down two mouth-worthy lips.
There’s always a desperate streak
Inside of you climbing out of the rubble
You call a smile, which from afar looks
Like a frog’s mouth, opening to let
A clawing crab-tongue out.
Oh look at those claws slapping in force
Like a prophesy muscling time.
And one man, not knowing how much brute
Force his tongue can wield
On another, grappling a paradigm shift,
Washing away to tidal currents,
Coves filling with a ghostly feeling
Pouring over embankments,
Learning life’s most coveted inevitability.
I drink the health-conscious mocktails
That my mom makes. They have obscure fruits like
Custard apple, nelli fruit and star fruits
In them. She adds some bees honey
And some youghurt and blends them into one consistency.
And every sip I take I feel like
I’m mocking everything diabetic
About the future-me. And perhaps I will never be diabetic
Thanks to my mom. Perhaps even
At 70, I will be hiding chocolates
In the fridge, not worrying about
And when your 70, needing a walking stick
And a neck brace and the only
Thing that seems to settle on your body
Are the mossies and flies, you can always
Unharness that wicked sweet tooth
And always ask for the corner icing piece
Of the chocolate cake.
And perhaps there will always be
Battenberg cake, muffins, scones and carrot cake
And sugar will be the bond between my wife and me.
After all, dessert will always be just a whopping serving
Of cake and that slice of cake
Is for us, a slice of life.
A slice of our own blighted need
To be man and woman. The romance of us, the little itches
And hitches that drift-proof our vessel
And carries it through. And we will stand together
Through every storm, ill and thrill,
Until we are deprived of that slice of life
When insulin do us apart.