Burnt copper leaves


As we passed  

the paddy fields 

on our way 

to the Nilgiris, 

their burnt copper leaves 

interspersed with sickly green  

evoked a sense of belonging  

in me. A oneness 

with creation and perhaps 

even the Creator.  

I was listening to John Mayer’s 

Slow Dancing in a Burning Room  

and I felt such sharp emotion  

that I almost teared up.  

It was wonder, nostalgia,  

pain and delight coursing  

through my veins,  

sobering me and eliciting  

a tender whisper of praise.  


Now the flame of the forest is a blur… the sun an object like a discarded book… the twilight, something ignored… music, something I hate… the oneness gone… the whisper, a bark… the grass, a carpet that I defile… 


I don’t want to bestow form or design  

On anything or anyone

But this stupid tendency to draw things in a line 


I could let it all go/ with Slipknot’s rage/ say, fuck this! Fuck that! / use distorted images/ meaning nothing/ dada man with daddy issues/ riding a bicycle with five wheels/ under five moons/ green/ or perhaps steel-purple/ an invented colour?/ a Mona Lisa without a mouth/ the Scream made from whipped cream/ rhyme without meter talking of Long John with his enormous shlong/ Them girls can’t endure it/ So here I am with my third leg/ standing like a cricket wicket/ fuck everything/ the machine with ten headlights and an octopus’ body/ the lamp made of liquid nitrogen/ the people darting towards winged horses/ the cavemen with their smart phones/ a simulation of sex/ isn’t that enough? / a ten headed sphinx with the nose of a raccoon/ a hillbilly wearing a three-piece suit and eating coon/


I don’t want to bestow form or design  

On anything or anyone 

So help me not draw everything in lines  

(That doesn’t even bloody rhyme!) 


One day, I hope I’ll sort my shit out and find peace. I’m not talking of mystical euphoria that sages herald, but mere contentment, or inner opulence (if you’ll permit me to use a figurative term). I’ve spent almost eleven years of my life medicated, trying everything to stay stable, from Lithium to a cocktail of other drugs to Christianity to prayer without faith to therapy to exercise to eating comfort food. But all I hear are auguries of annihilation, screamed from each corner, rooftop and crevice. Mangy, starved mongrels and a hopeless busker hitting clinker after clinker riddle every path I take. I think I’m burdened with Sisyphus’ curse, rolling poems (in my case) on a hill of indifference, the weight of them pushing me down whenever I try rising. Nothing invigorates me anymore. Nature’s something that exists for the sake of it, and cities and skyscrapers seem like gaudy simulacrums of New Jerusalem. Even love that I held in esteem is now a fleeting emotion. A transient feeling of giddiness that disappears as soon as it arrives, like the Yeti in the Himalayas. Perhaps it’s puppy love, that’s all. Lust which galvanised me with Freudian jazz, making me write odes to breasts and masturbation has evaporated too, become a silent symphony some avant-garde, mad musician composes and calls art. The women indeed come and go, talking of Michelangelo, but I wish they’d stop. But even if they were to shed that veneer of sophistication and speak to me, I don’t think I’d respond, because I don’t feel real anymore.  

Photo by Gerson Repreza on Unsplash




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