GAP

I seem to misplace men easily
They somehow always get lost
Even the ones that follow me home
Disappear between bookshelves and thoughts.

I think I feed them okay
Delicious morsels of laughter
Friendship, fire and faith
But sometimes when I blink
They’re suddenly not there.

Once I went to the Lost & Found
Immediately, I spotted my stories
Dusty, cobwebbed in the corner quiet
Hushed by history, crumbling at a touch.

Now I sit alone in front of the mirror
Scared I’ll change into a man
Where they went, I did not ask
All I know is once they were here
Like me, with me.

CROW TALES

for kiki, giver of books, lover of crows.

I’ve started reading Ted Hughes ‘Crow’ to the crows in my balcony. One of them caws and preens like he is getting every single twisted, knotted, gutted wrench of the alphabet dance.

The one with half a missing feather, often examines his foot, and then darts a swift, suspicious look at me, like the secrets of the universe is about to be revealed, suspended, between my voice, Ted’s words and his curved claw.

A bald fellow, well balder then the rest, always joins in late and screeches to make up for the words he missed. His cries speak of lost commas, fallen fullstops and undecided hyphens.

Another one hides behind the wall but I know he is alert and listening, waiting to fly away at the first threat of silence and show-off to the pigeons, his new found erudition.

There is a small fellow, who doesn’t get why four of his friends, listen to this strange woman who doles out nothing to eat. He comes anyway, I think, hoping that one day I’ll grow wise and realise stale chicken is better than a dead man’s genius.

It doesn’t matter if the nighbours look at me a bit funny. I know somewhere a baby crow is being fed a poem.

SWITCH OFF THE LIGHT

The strings of paradise
Are attached to the croaking frog
Who bleats of happiness
And unconditional love.

His screeches fill
The midnights of the heart
Echoes of blackness
Drowning in pitless vulnerability.

Nobody asked him to be the messenger
That’s why he won’t be shot
He’ll continue singing his lies
So off tune, even the deaf will hear.

One day I’ll eat this monster
Strings, screeches and all
Paradise can turn into a coal pit
But at least, darkness
Is a home I know.

Wisdom of the Burp – I

As a bartender, I don’t get teetotallers. Put one in front of me and I won’t be able to tell him apart from a cabbage, but give me a drinker and I’ll tell you the story of his life, gulped away in little shots.

Let’s start with the basic beer drinker. You have the starters, the regulars and the lovers.

The starters needless to say are the virgins. Half a beer and you can spot their loopy smiles, also when asking for a second drink, their voice deepens and one can sense they think they are worthy of their adulthood. I don’t like them much for they are also the pukers. If there are too many virgins on a night, I make sure I piddle outside, with a little luck on the scathing cat.

The regulars I refer to in my head as the pregnant ones. Their bellies hang over, tucked shirts, flab, which you can hold onto and swing like Tarzan on an unrainy day. They will also order by the pitcher and by the end of the evening, piss away the volume of their weight. Usually, they are nice bunch, who will tip moderately, eat conservatively, drink largely and laugh loudly.

The lovers are the perfectionists, the aficionados. With the first sip, they’d know when exactly the barrel came, if it’s flat beer mixed with fresh, how much head they need or don’t and sometimes I think, they have thermometers up their arses, for no beer will ever be cold enough, will it?

THE LOVE SONG, IF YOU GET IT

Though small
My orangutan arms
Encompass your body
A full circle of love
To hold, to whisper, to nuzzle,
Laugh, tease and ear nibble
To tell you on this island
You will be safe
At least till PMS
Strikes.

The carnage of my moods
I can’t protect you from
Understand it’s a patch
That bit of untarred road
The government forgot
Or was it god?

I can see your eyes
Brimming with hurt
And my hormones dance
In unabandoned ecstasy
Of acid cruelty
Singing Got The Fucker Again.

This brutal blade
Unsheathed once a month
Unlike your condoms
Is far from rusty
Always drawing blood
To compensate, perhaps
For what I donate unwillingly
To a pad whose ad budget
Is more than the sum of my sorrow.

Trust me when I say
It hurts me more
You don’t have disturbed ovaries
And starry-eyed eggs, dropped dead
Sacrificed because my mind
Refuses to procreate.

Go out with your friends
For a beer, and always two
Whose brain cells are lobotomized
By a left hung dick
They are no different, you know
But you’d have to be a woman
To get that.

bombay.

The spider webs have shattered.
What was once home
Is now a splintered reality
Of senselessness.
I have lost so much
In this city I love.

Gritty, brave, crumbling monster
I’ll hug you with my empty heart
And hold you as long as I can
But you and I know
These days that we have
Carry in them
That terrible ache of lovers
Who never really learnt to say
That final goodbye.

CRUNCH

I paint the canvas of your body
With my teeth
Little bits reddening the brown
Some playful, some gentle
Some sharp and harsh
To remind you, pain exists.

The colours of your skin
Look beautiful in the morning
That first light touching
Your shut eyes
Wearily pampered
By the assault of my mouth.

You’ll find in days to come
My art changes colour
From the deep red
Of an underground blood
To a purplish grey
Bruised, perfect, little squashed berries
Staining your now imperfect skin.

And though your mind may remember
The feel of our feel
Your skin’s chocolate
Will eat up my art
Leaving not a trace
Of me on you.