The way I’m sitting,

the robe,

the cold,

the bowl being off-centre on the table.

The bladder- it’s always half full, half empty,

half full, I forget.

The cat’s whiskers being glorious,

the water boiling,

the long dust of drafting all this on the keys again.

The tingles on my back,

the unwatered plant- it looks like a wretched desert,

the dry patch on the back of my throat,

the water being too hot.


The preoccupation with how often I urinate,

the post-urination chill up the spine.

The palm trees against the pale pink sky being too good to not photograph-

being too cliche to photograph, on the other hand.

How the page absorbs ink making blotches marking my hesitations.

Him, sleeping.

The loneliness flickering in the light bulbs of the four a.m. train, 

and the racket that it makes.

The situation of the world in general. A distant, worn out panic.

The horror of five a.m. and them waking up, to this, to make this.

This whole thing of being.



to look away from this thing-

this thing I don’t interrogate for honest words, 

this thing I don’t want to see.

The fear of me,




Image source unknown


Monsoon salt

It was in the heart of May

that the salt armies rose from the ocean

and marched in with quiet determination

– the kind of determination fraught in things

made to carry out the will of another being,

like machine guns or cities.

They crawled in through the slits of air underneath windows and doors

to take over, to tighten crystal saline around our throats,

to numb us all.

Perhaps out of kindness, in preparation

for the war.


Next came the most terrifying thing-

a lull;

a godforsaken, vast terrain where you shake from the panic of being alone

knowing that any minute now…

everything could change

into anything.


It must be true –

the old saying about the calm before the storm,

because then came the winds with

black sails tied to their song:

ominous and set to drop bombs

on Colombo.


In came the rain,

humbling away all the hard work of manmade days

down the rapids of muddy waterways.


The next morning,

mankind floated

on the glimmer of end-of-the-world rivers

and for an hour of crushed devastation,

in a small death of civilisation,

everything was innocent

and beautiful again.


Image by bhphotovideo


What kills men

There is a man next door,

paid to watch an empty land in Colombo-4;

It’s big enough, city enough to make his master rich.

He sits there all day watching over Marine Drive

and the ocean rolled different blues one after the other.


The first week I saw him, framed by my balcony door,

up at quarter to seven,

strutting out straight,

shaved, hair combed, shirt ironed and cigarette in hand-

a man with a mission.

He sat on his throne,

and his gaze cut through the salt dragging down the air

sharp and certain like a bone.


A full moon came and went,

and the wind direction changed,

so the clouds

left west.

And, the ocean rolled more blues.


Yesterday, I looked closer at his side profile,

while he sat centred precise between

the land’s end and Marine Drive.


He was mostly dead.

His chair was plastic and dusty.

His gaze hung limp like noon leaves. And he

was mostly dissolved in sea.

His cigarette was the only thing breathing.


My god, I think,

it’s not guns that kill men – not like this.

I must give him a pack

and a book

because dead men are terrible things

to live next to.



Image by Matt Frantz


Naked wait

It’s too close now

with your horizon burning a hot haze of mirages- just outside my eyes.

It’s too hard now

like Colombo sun on the back of my neck in March

– mathematically perpendicular, straight above a rule’s measure-

like you shining across three-thousand two-hundred eighty-three miles.

The air around is gathering, preparing to vibrate

to ‘Darling, it’s so good to see you again’,

everything – the sea, the sun, the air

ready, in place, waiting as honest as glass…

I shouldn’t jinx it

by moving my heart.  

Image - Alvin Laurent, ALphotoworks

Image – Alvin Laurent, ALphotoworks


What is it about the ocean?

What is it about the ocean,

the log stretched wood,

the everlasting plains-

that stills like glass,




gravity undone,

lifting to a cloud?


Picture -

Picture –


Now ones

We were born today;

give us life in a nutshell;

heartbreak, freedom, sex, love and intoxication-

give it all in a nutshell.

Easy, compact, fast, summed-up before the dust rush.

What we want is not to feel,

but to have a great story to tell a stranger at a bar

in exchange for a fuck where we wake up a superstar.


Picture by Veronica Krause

Picture by Veronica Krause


The thing about beauty

is that it is up-against the obvious;

it is an atom of diamond dust in a mournful stretch of black and bone;

it is costly, like drops of fake nirvana;

it is mad, like how it is;

it is ridiculous like the men who played music in the sinking ship;

it is a needle of light rotting under thousand years of skin,

hurting, making us children, threatening with never-ending.

The thing about beauty is that it is meaningless-

meaningless, downright love against all odds.


Image by Boro

Image by Boro