Verse

What can you do when you like pain?

It’s a bad thing when you like pain,

because then you practice the art of incising your skin 

in ways that leave paper thin cuts that only ever hurt 

but never draw blood;

kind of wounds that only sting, but can never kill a thing.
It’s a good thing when you like pain,

because it’s the thread that runs through our everyday, 

woven into our very grains.

Pain is that unbearably soft thing that holds 

happiness’ frame of reference in place. 

It’s a good thing to know,

on first-name basis, 

it’s a good thing to get comfortable with;

as long as you stay kind to everyone else

and, in the eyes of the law, to yourself.

Photo—Piet Biniek, fotografie.pietbiniek.de and http://www.artdoxa.com

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Sonder

To the little Southern girl on the beach: Part two

It’s alright, catch your breath.

You’ve run so far, she can’t see your pain;

Your little friend- the prettier one

with scar-less skin

and a face that peaked too soon to kill

a human heart.

 

Babe, have you ever heard of the tale

of a little, ugly duckling that lived by a lake?

It’s true.

I’ve seen it living, breathing by a convent wall,

at a dancing class, a high school fair, and at last

growing between two little girls in the seaside South.

 

You know babe,

legends are made from truth,

flesh and clay.

How do you think

I know your story

so well?

 

Don’t worry little duck, you’ll do fine,

because pain teaches delicate things.

But, her…she’ll die a slow death in her heart.

 

In warped time and place

I’ve seen her married to an idea’s face and boredom,

because she never knew beauty’s labour.

                     

dayanita-singh-gayle-and-sister-goa-2000-2005-deutsche-bank-collection

Image – Dayanita Singh, Gayle and sister, Goa 2000/2005. Deutsche Bank Collection ©

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Sonder

To the little Southern girl on the beach: Part one

I see you rolling in sand wearing only a swim bottom.

I envy your bare brown freedom

because my chest is too old to be brazenly sunburnt

and to be removed of the sex that has grown all over.

Wait little babe

they’ll soon crown you too, with chains.

 

I see you chase her across the beach- your other little friend,

the prettier one with lighter skin

and better hung baby meat.

She’d let you chase her but never touch,

and dropping your hands on knees you stopped,

breathless.

 

There was boundary on the sand –

the dusky part that the ocean wet

and the crisp white half that it could never get.

She was on the other side-

the one that stayed untouched by salt tears.

She laughed and laughed because…

 

You know babe,

she will break your heart one day.

It’ll either be,

that boy who’ll look at her right through you,

or the world that breaks you with its blind love young beauts.

She’ll take down your stars.

 

Babe, it’s alright,

let your knees crash to the ground.

You’ll survive.

 

But, let me tell you a secret;

a shortcut,

a little byway to no pain.

 

Next time you run up to her

let her eyes shine for a moment

but, turn around,

throw your chest in the Southern wind

to run laughing.

Babe, don’t even think about turning.

 

Wickedness is just a game that we are playing.

                                                

http://www.birdsasart-blog.com/about/

Image by Arthur Morris

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Verse

In my defence

Darling, in the first days of our love

I pre-made a little heartbreak:

It sits waiting behind a lock

for the day that I get cut.

 

A little device to save myself

from ruined eyeliner and losing face.

Darling, I know you’re real good

but I must; just in case.

 

According to Freud and biology

defence mechanisms are a primitive thing,

a residual muscle memory string

in the deep of our animal beings:

 

Nature’s plan in place for calamity days,

to ensure

that there is a ready-made procedure

to stay unfazed.

 

Forgive me darling, but it’s only

standard, only routine

like health insurance or sunscreen-

a map to sanctuary.

                                 

Image by Lukasz Wierzbowski

Image by Lukasz Wierzbowski

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Verse

Utopia at ten thirty am

There is one single minute in the late morning

that mankind can be loved during.

It comes around ten thirty when the air is light and creamy

and the city is awake

but it’s not hungry yet.

The children are set to work with men

the sounds the machines squeak are earnest

and the human device becomes beauty.

 

Utopia is born.

 

Come ten thirty one,

a shadow shifts to the morning

and crows take over everything

ravenous.

 

Eden can only live a minute.

                   

Image by Laurent Van Assche

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Sonder

Midnight man in Bambalapitiya: part 3

Was that you inside your face?
You said you had a name,
but it wasn’t Midnight.
 
Carrying a house on back you said
you’re going to build a shack on promised land – it was free,
and it’ll have a wife and windows facing the sunset,
coloured walls, a bed and other sensible things.
 
You’ve remembered you have a son, who also has a little son-
I guess breeding makes sense
because when there are no more empty spaces left
you never have to look at yourself again.
 
I wanted to ask why, but it’s a wolfish world
and asking why is rude and unwarranted.
So I said I’ll come visit you sometime.
 
I went left and you went right.
The city moaned in smoke, heat and honks
and under my feet the earth shook
because somewhere, somehow a saint had died.  

     

Image – Chris Burden

 

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Muse

Bedtime story

Once, there was nothing. Absolutely nothing.

But the next second, or after a million rotations of time, there was this colossal heaving existence. It had galaxies of burning stars rushing, black holes imploding secrets and fragile beings hanging desperately to floating rocks in between waging wars, falling in love and losing the plot.

Just like that? Yes, just like that.

In the next galactic second, all this will return to a sweet, harmless nothing. And there will not be a drop of conscience left to wonder if anything happened at all.

Nothing. Something. Hope. Despair.

We are children of apocalyptic chaos as much as we are of a blinding quiet. We are not an in-between kind.

We shine, we crash. This is our nature. This is what we’re made of. This is us.

                   

making-something-from-nothing-by-gregory-talley

Image – Making something from nothing by Gregory Talley

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