There are days when my body is a forest of old pines ailing and wailing in unison, the propensity of the joylessness such that you understand that pleasure is not in seeking a solution to the pain, pleasure is in the wailing itself. As a teen when I felt time was running out, I plunged into fateless love like a baby scraping for biscuit crumbs on a dark chocolate floor. You might say inventing emotion is delusional but at least it makes you run errands on Sundays. How else can the less fortunate be educated! There is truth abound in Fake it till you make it. When I’m bruised these days, I usually take to the soil and crawl through lost empires and impossible dreams. It is a proven technique of coming to terms with ground realities. Secretly I don’t mind when I fall sick. There is assurance in knowing your body needs love too, its rising temperatures welding you in a molten sort of affection, a friend meeting another after long, the convalescence – a slow liberation. Affection of the body is timeless. In those moments the wailing is a bit like singing. On occasions the body finds itself in pivotal positions, its actions determine the course of the mind. It turns feverish, racing ahead, jangling with treasured sweat and leaping into seas unknown. The mind, its beleaguered prisoner follows suit while still wondering when the tables turned. And later amidst harmless barnacles, in parfaits of lost desire shelved underneath sheets of metal with discarded bottles guzzling bubbles of burbling ocean, the mind realizes no matter how much love you feed the body, it will always demand more.
These days my father sitting on the porch in his slouched posture
isn’t much different from water bubbles
turning white on a saucepan.
Not so much their restlessness.
But the self-mourning nature of their firmaments
growing shinier in a bid to announce their departure
once the stove is brought to simmer.
It’s strange because my father has never enjoyed
the concept of moderation.
Neither in countenance, nor in words.
In fact, the curvature of most of my aspirations
can be traced on edges of concentric circles
with my father having his back turned and oblivious
on the opposite end of the diameter.
And now when he restrains from arguments and retreats
into a personal sort of twilight and wears big smiles,
his lips gaping in bafflement at the extent of their own stretch,
I feel this wordlessness he sends me as poetic signals,
lighthouse to a far flung ship, to come and for once,
join him on his side of the circle.
Saying a bedtime prayer when the lights are out
God drops from the whirr of the ceiling fan
Thwack on my nose- the onomatopoeic proof of my existence
There is obvious emergency in the town
Fallen angels, slain dogs and sneezing bats
But those are not my concerns
I deal with my emotive fever,
a typhoid which turns lullaby to howl
and echoes to thunder
Outside in the living world of the drawing room
my friend strums waves in his guitar to Metallica’s angst
Yes, nothing else matters when your body is an object
on the precipice of a fall likely to break its bones
unless saved by someone who once had a broken bone
It takes two beings to make one friend
How else to know what someone else is truly feeling
when you know there are things you have felt and lived,
their genesis unknown, their rationale inscrutable
It’s easier to go after something when you know where it’s going
Ultimately, knowledge of destinations leads to undoings –
the heavens of which must come flooding through your teeth
when a hot finger is placed in your frosty mouth.
Even in the worst case, a man saying a prayer at bedtime
will be saved by
Satya Dash’s recent poems have been published or are forthcoming in Passages North, Prelude, The Florida Review, Kissing Dynamite amongst others. He has dabbled with short fiction in the past and been a cricket commentator too. He spent his early years in Odisha, India and has a degree in electronics from BITS Goa. Now he lives in Bangalore and recites his poetry in the city’s cafes. You can find him on Twitter here – https://twitter.com/satya043