Monday, 17 May 2010


What is it with Americans and stuff?
Does capitalism bring out the worst in us?
Would socialism make us be better people,
Renounce all our greed, and care for those weaker?
What if the problem's much smaller in size,
Not the invisible hand, but mine?

Tuesday, 6 April 2010


Perform for us, the world it cries

An audience with ever-watchful eye

Make us laugh, cause us to think

The spectators yearn, they plead, they breathe

Like a single organ, a pair of lungs

Respiring together in unison

The wrinkled performer behind the mic

I’ve lost that way, that soul, that might

The money’s spent, the piggy bank broke

Not a coin is left in the pockets of my coat

Those nerves have deadened

That fire waned

No longer want to stand up on that stage

Inciting some lips to smirk, the others to praise

All I want is a wink of sleep

Of respite from the work it takes to please

To lie there next to my dear friend

Rub my old bones against his

Transcend the mouth, the teeth, the tongue

The tools of language I never mastered well

Intuit instead the rhythm of the heart,

Merge together, and expire in the dark

Sunday, 28 February 2010

The House Call

The light barely seeped past the windowpane, so weak were the rays after pushing through countless elemental barriers: clouds, rain, fog. It traveled just far enough to make visible the limp and lifeless form draped over the back of that old wooden chair in my living room. I stood in the corner opposite, hands crossed over my stomach. “This looks serious,” I thought, affecting agony in the tone of my inner voice, which clanged and clattered against the interior wall of my hollow body, creating an unsettling echo.

For some unknown length of time, I’ve been rushing past it. Its lethargic shape now gathering traces of dark grey dust in its creases. Every day it has become a little more deflated and, I am realizing just now, smaller as well. It used to be as tall as I, but now it’s barely larger than a paper bag. I have kept telling myself that I will get around to it as I hurry out the door for another grueling day, but no appropriate solution had of yet struck me.

On this particular morning, I found I had been staring at it for an unusually long time and for some unknown reason, perhaps it was the dreariness of the day wholly permeating the empty room inside, I could take it no more. I determined to try to find a remedy for this mere remnant of a substance.

As if solution followed need, it suddenly dawned on me that my physician made house calls, and before I knew it I was fumbling around for his card. After having just finally located his number, somewhere in my peripheral vision I noticed a subtle movement from the back of that old chair. Perhaps a wind had blown in the atmosphere outside, perhaps that invisible force set off a chain reaction of events, as wind sent clouds gently shifting, allowing that tiny shard of light to charge into my living room, which in turn fell onto the nearly deceased, arousing it ever so slightly towards the warmth, a movement that subsequently sent a shadow cascading across its folds, which then caught my eye as I was rummaging around for the doctor's business card. Who can say precisely what it was I saw?

Dialing the number, I realized that with each movement I took I seemed to become further enveloped in a sense of urgency. I heard my voice gaining momentum until it finally culminated in a desperate pleading over the telephone, as I tried to explain the condition of this poor soul hanging morbidly listless over the back of my living room chair, “This is an emergency. Please, come quickly. I am beside myself!” The doctor, much calmer than I, asked if now was a good time and within thirty minutes, his knock rattled my front door. As I rushed to answer it, I nearly tripped over the edge of the form in my chair.

When we walked into my living room, that figure which had been a mere pitiful scrap of a thing had markedly invigorated, as if someone had blown into it, like a balloon, with air. The doctor nodded a greeting to the patient before groping around in his bag, his arm nearly disappearing in that enigmatically deep cavern, before pulling out his stethoscope. At first I questioned his judgment. What on earth he would hear in that corpse? This was useless, a lost cause. But to my utter amazement and joy I saw what he most certainly had seen, a rhythmic movement that could only be attributable to respiration. I nearly hopped in place as I realized that things were looking up, and more so with every passing moment.

By the time the doctor rose to leave, he didn't even leave his patient a prescription. The prognosis was good, a full recovery.

Both of us walked him to the door. The doctor tipped his head again, signaling his departing salutation, as he stepped out underneath a cloudless sky. We closed the door behind him and returned to a brightly lit living room and an empty chair.

Friday, 27 November 2009


Throughout each day, I pass through countless curtains of time

Behind each, a new theater on whose stage I see moments from my past acted out before me

Each in vivid detail

As I watch, I re-live what I thought had long been lost

This mysterious camera I lug around absently on my shoulders

Constantly throws images up to the forefront of my mind

Memories I could not recall if I had tried

I’m beginning to realize that every moment matters

Because once created, it becomes permanent

I carry with me through each new decade every scrap of the past

The load ever growing

Now in my middle age, burgeoning

As if I were the mother of the angels

Drawing all the countless stars under my wings

Friday, 14 August 2009

Subtle Activity Just Beneath the Surface

For all silently hidden housewives, book learners, farmers
Interconnecting every age and stratum
Adolescents and elderly, pilgrims and stationary, elite and destitute
For all loiterers in life's foyer
Who invest in days unseen
Hands cupped over ears
Poised for the moment when the drought of silence is broken, as predicted by the trembling and strange lexicon of the prophets
For vibrations not yet rustling eardrums
Though haunted by mirages and their subsequent disillusion
Band together--shall we?--in the fellowship of behind-the-scenes inhabiters
Of those who, expending all muscle fibers, brain cells, passions

Friday, 12 June 2009

The Chronophage

The chronophage swallows time, terrifying his appetite

My past, like Jonah, is consumed

But not dead

It sits in the belly of another being

Alive in a parallel place

And I am filled with dread

At the way life slips overboard, past my grip

Into a void which I can only visit through my imagination

So in the abstract I become a traveler

Crisscrossing through the vast seas of hours

Forwards, backwards, then circling the present

A chaos of invisible strings mapping my movement

Until I am all tangled up

A hostage of the interstices

In my stillness, I hear a patterned rhythm

Coming from some form of the living

Pounding on what sounds like a huge, hollow drum

Sending messages in S.O.S.

About the collapsibility

Of our purportedly fixed three dimensions

Friday, 1 May 2009

Genealogy of the Artist

A disclaimer to my readers: Because I am computer illiterate, I don't know how to fix this--in a Word document, this makes the pattern of a tree. In these too skinny margins, though, some of my branches are bent. Oh well!


In our family tree

We find a multitude

Of characters, a motley crew

I search to see if I share resemblance

To any of whom I count among the giants

If I can spot underneath the microscope’s lens

That the chains of my DNA strands bind me to them

I clearly identify on my face the nose of that surrealist

Bretón, who sniffed something more behind the curtain

Of realism’s staged reality, its mundane props, and its structure

I recognize, from an angle, the sagging shoulders and, perhaps, big head

Of those romantic prophets and seers, who carried the burden of difference

Am I of the same breed of people, the many revolutionaries in these branches

Who believe the artist responsible for both speaking truth and acting upon it

I sing to hear if my voice resembles Dylan’s, if I can speak for my generation

Under my eyes, I wear the dark circles that brand insomniacs, like Okri

Who resists the somnolent hours, standing guard, and listening

As did Rilke’s, my ears hear the befriending of lofty Night

For the most part, though, I see myself in the masses

Of unidentified artists, who namelessly

Continue to create

Day after day









Yet Not


I am all

Of these

As I look

In the mirror

This is what it means

I see, to be born an artist