The Labyrinth of Chartres

last night i dreamt of you as the Labyrinth
in the cathedral of Chartres,
you were proud that you were something
that science and legend could agree upon
make love to, even
the trickery of the labyrinth gaslights my mind
like you do,
the content board outside the cathedral describes the trickery as such:
as one thinks they approach their goals inside the labyrinth
they suddenly find themselves being taken away.

On 1st November: the day of the saint, thousands of pilgrims
walk through the labyrinth in lines of faith,
trying to reach the holy grail, the center, the heart.
I stay back at home,
but I know exactly how they feel inside their gut:
how distant from what lies in the center, from their god how deeply overwrought from faith
gazing directly into the eyes,
and reaching nowhere near the heart
how do I shout to them that i know the labyrinth too well by now:
the way in is the exact mirror image of the way out,
so I draw maps to you on my palms with liquid ink and stamp them on a wall,
repaint them like I am DaVinci painting MonaLisa
and then use it to negotiate my way into you,
i know now
how you like reading Das Kapital
when I want to discuss art,
so I put on Carnatic music and let Marx be the lyricist that he always wanted to when he was alive.
how you like to leave conversations unfinished
when I told you I am a cynic
so I record your words and put them in poems now so that we can start where we left off.
how you like to keep your kindness conceited,
away from even me, no kisses can tell
the difference between your lips and an antidote for love,
how you the labyrinth, and me your voyager
are so against the divine law; something so evil and conspiring inside a holy cathedral
but look what I am now:

A conquering negotiator against god
against the little time we have together
and the wicked schemes of a labyrinth,
maybe the pilgrims should revere me instead.
#napowrimo #napowrimo2019

/silent towns and humming streets
wait for you like lovers
on a lakeside waiting for letters
in bottles from the other shore
why did men sing
of love being patient
without ever falling in love
with places that
have always been in love
with them,
that never walked away
after a fight
that never left
even when tears fell
on asphalt or knees bled
on frozen tar
cities are lovers too,
streetlights french kissing you
goodnight after long walks
night rain petrichor caressing
tangents of your being
and bridges,
well bridges doing their own
thing to arrest sorrows
your laughter composing a rhyme
a romance of its own
with the rustling breaths
of a city in love,
you will feel all it’s love
with this rhyme,
smelling like the lady of the night
tonight, just give up running
and wait
like you will never get to wait
if only sins of loving could
be committed out of contentment,
then these places could have
a place of their own too
a reservation made
before time,
in hell./

‘But it isn’t easy,’ said Pooh. ‘Because Poetry and Hums aren’t things which you get, they’re things which get you. And all you can do is to go where they can find you.’

There’s something about the way humans hum.
Sordid hurt
Wrapped in a satin cloth of sugary sounds
That comes undone
By little nuances of life:
The first strawberry picked out
from a branch just high enough
A little raindrop that fell
inside a coffee mug
A song after a first kiss
So much stays
In this minutes hum,
So much depends
On this seconds hum,
So much leaves
After this moment’s hum .
Could we let wishes guide
Where we go from here tonight?
It’s too tough to stay away
Until tomorrow,
So we hum to each other
The map to our dreams
So that dreamscapes become
The place where we meet,

The big bang theory

There are too many unanswered questions,
unheard screams, encrypted words
that float around in ions
in the sky trapped between the earth
and the universe
There’s a last entry in a journal somewhere
It reads, “Day 107: Beautiful blue berries”
Day 108 through Day 113 contains no lines, no letters
Just dashes and dots,
Encrypting nothing of importance
to science or physiology,
There’s only so much
that ‘Beautiful blue berries’ could mean.
The blue berries were beautiful ,
The beautiful berries turned blue
after it’s skin was pierced with the hunting knife,
The berries were a beautiful blue,
A perfect suicide note
To leave behind on a convertible bus
In Alaska.
I give up interpreting words,
I have learnt over time
that they are contortionists
invited to parties to con meaning,
So instead, I trace these dots and dashes
On my palms,
And wish upon a divine decree
to let me in,
on the secret to this code just this once.

How is it that when you want to die the least,
when laughter seems unconquerable,
days with uncountable infinities within its folds
Is when, death decides to strike you
And when one knows
that destruction awaits,
just miles away from a dying star,
is when fate decides to favour collisions,
Reversing laws has always been it’s favourite game.

There are too many unanswered questions,
echoing rebellion in the ionosphere.
Amongst them,
floating aimlessly through the shadow
of blue moon,
Is one that I asked a guy
named Chris McCandless once,
Did he wish to die,
the day he accepted his death?

of snooze and sunflowers

There’s a snooze machine inside my lungs,
Synced with sunflowers and touch me nots that grow inside humans,
When the touch me nots falter,
My alarm tells me to stop breathing
I have learnt the meaning of raincheck the hard way
It comes wrapped in vulnerability
and stings when you least expect it
when you have laid out
the steam pressed red dress,
hairstrands spread like pop tarts on hotel floors,
I gulp rejection like sour punks with holy water on judgement day.

Still, I press the snooze button and carry on,
My body has grown immune to most alarms
It has practiced enduring skipped heartbeats in Yoga classes,
and taken “how to hold your breath for a minute and a half” swimming lessons
I have accepted that the math I study is a myth:
What goes around
forms knots elsewhere
never to come around,
and the only cycle that survives is
the one where I struggle not to stop breathing, every day.

So I keep my snooze safe and sound,
tucked in between ambered bosoms
Carrie Fisher tells me to take my broken heart,
And make it into art
So I try to talk in parantheses, flashbacks, glosses , commas. Fullstops.
Fullstops always seem to fill the space between me and sunflowers,
Words dance on waves of hallucination
That comes after pressing the snooze button on an alarm, Poetry helps heal sometimes
But even the words that come out of my mouth are murderers,
They kill most of the important ones inside.

I know that one of these days
just before sunset,
the sunflowers will hesitate again,
and the touch me nots will refuse to embrace my touch,
my alarm will tell me to stop breathing,
And I would have used up
all my snoozes, all my words

One of these days
Sunset will be like waking up
in reverse.

In passing, we often seek solace
Undeveloped films hang framed on walls
We look for history in desolate halls
In passing, do we ever seek a lost face?

My Nani once told me a secret:
She said Black and White photographs are ways
To make you look beautiful, for days
She says this with her heart afloat, a leaflet:
She pulls out a picture of my Nana with one leg
Atop a camel, he feels like old wine to me
a cassette player playing tunes with Masala tea
And each one of us bows to the monochrome comeliness.

Frozen blood melts like lava through hollow shins,
Where once our laughter echoed
And warmer still the music showed
4 funeral services and an abandoned house ever since.

There are photographs that never find place
on funeral tables or even on wire barricades,
they get burried beneath broken toys, or bronze putrid plates
Or hollow utensils etched with silent names.

There are poems that never happened,
Poems that are far asleep in knots of wrinkles,
And for a lonely night, a kerosene lamp and frightened tinkles
Some parchments with ink bottles were blackened

And oh, in passing, do we remember
The ones who were to be remembered
in undeveloped films and photographs, in poems that are numbered,
And oh, in passing, to reminiscences will we ever surrender.

Someone sleeps
curled up in
my musical reveries
She waits till 1 am,
counting headlights
in the distance,
An empty bed,
assurance muted
in between blankets,
She retires
when the windchimes stop,
Places hope and a locket
on the bedside table
she knows,
someone calls to me,
and that’s all to me,
she knows,
we will never slow dance
in the kitchen
ever again.

By the south shore of non conformity

Take, for instance a pink panda
Playing the lead in Lion King,
Of course it’s not Lion King anymore
It is
the south shore of non conformity:
It is the unicorn doing math, wonderful
It is my imaginary purple best friend from when I was a kid wonderful
It is the bookmarks-seeking-and-finding train wonderful
It is me dancing in a leopard leotard wonderful
It is one plus zero equals one wonderful
Only one trumps zero this once
As in unicycle as in unicorns as in unisex,
One was never more important than zero in binary,
as in when I grew up and stopped dreaming, not wonderful.
I wish when my childhood left,
it had sewed a map to the South shore
On my front pocket kerchief

Take for instance, an astronaut
Bananas and space junk coming your way,
I Dodge and shoot bananas and duck
it’s space trek 101 every night
And I am Luke Skywalker
And I have the high score a
nd a helmet,
it’s easier to dream with a heavy head
So I used to sleep with the helmet on,
I am 5000 miles away from the south shore now
Metaphorically, I grew 5000 miles away
from dreaming of becoming an astronaut.

Take for instance, yesterday’s morning Algebra class
I am always sleepy in Algebra class,
And sometimes, Ring theory becomes the movie The Ring,
And the professor becomes the ghost
coming out of the black-television-board
Screaming spells,
oh now it’s a blue wizard cape saree,
and candy cane wands,
to when it’s a Tinder Bio with ‘Daddy’s princess’
And there’s Bollywood music playing in the background,
Cut to 40 minutes of dreams later, when i heard my name alarm:
present ma’am.
It’s a crime to visit the south shore nowadays,
Everyone is ‘too hip’ or ‘too broken’,
to visit the south shore.

It’s almost time, and we still haven’t figured
How to stop a bullet
That slowly takes shelter
in a little boy’s chest ,
All we have done is to
make him stop dreaming,
no make-believe castles, no temples
no pink panda-King,
We have Handed them guns
or lessons to conform
to societal norm
as arms,
Aren’t bombs and conformity manufactured in the same factory?
Moulded and developed and dried,
to stop most from discovering
Escape routes and maps
To the south shore.

But there’s no reason to worry,
Like Batman, Mad Hatter, even Chewbacca
We all grow used to the things we aren’t supposed to
I treat jabs thrown at me
as platonic love letter airplanes
and fake ‘I am a dreamer’ profiles
as the Joke I will tell my imaginary
purple best friend when-
if I meet him

By the south shore of non conformity:
there’s a yellow faced singing mandrill
Which raises the pink panda-King
high up above his head,
the cliff overlooking
the shore sings
along .

Someday we will find the maps again,
When not conforming won’t be
A sin, and when we dream
of the south shore,
it won’t be through
closed eyes.