Friday, September 28, 2012

This happened to me today morning and I don't know why I let it depress me so

The telephone
Keeps ringing,
With no one to pick up
And say hello

And what comes to mind is
A dark, empty room with
Just a black telephone
In one corner
On a broken table
Living out
The last days of its credit

Where spiders have,
Sensing abandonment
One at a time
Already started claiming rights
Where, once in a while,
A cat clambers in
Through a half open window
Checking to see if
By some twist of fate
Its saucer is full of milk.

We're Watching

This is how it happened.

I switched on the television. And, then I was inside it.

Now, I live there. In the television. I've seen all of you being created and each of your actions scripted. Whether you cry or not after you're born, whether you scrape your knee playing football when you're eight, whether you fall in love and have your heart broken at eighteen, whether you go on to become a happily married successful professional or whether you live your life out in one room overlooking a dank alley with garbage heaped in one corner. And whether, despite it all, you die with a smile on your face.

I change from one life to the other, experiencing what each character experiences. Maybe I'm with you, watching your every laugh when you're hanging out with a group of friends. Maybe I'm with someone half way across the world from you. I have millions of lives to choose from, after all.

You see, you think you make television. You're wrong.

Television makes you. 

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Blaming the blameless

I don't hate you because you are what I've imagined, and nothing more. Yet, I wish you had not done what you did to me.

I wish I had not fallen in love with you. I wish that, every time I saw you, I had not felt like really hot black coffee had coursed its way through my capillaries, igniting each cell of mine with so much energy that it exploded, so many simultaneous beautiful explosions of joy, with radiance enough to light up the night sky for ever more. I wish that the thought of you had not made me want to do stupid things like a back flip from on top of my table and out of the window, landing on the ground below on all fours and a body and lying on a hospital bed waiting for you to come, never mind the pain, covered in plaster and a grimace which I would turn into a smile, only if I could, on seeing you enter my sterile white room.

I wish it had not ended like it did, like a supernova fizzled out by a bucket of cold water. I wish you had ended it in style, by, with a magnificent shake of your head and a disapproving look, flinging me into the depths of despair, where I would have spent days wallowing in thoughts of self-pity frozen solid by the unbearable cold, blaming everyone but myself and wondering what had gone wrong.

I wish that all this had happened and wasn't just melodramatic words on a blank white screen.

I don't hate you because you are what I shouldn't have imagined. You are nothing.

The Art of Standing

You, with your ember eyes
And your sleek smile
Wading your way through turbulent times
Your feet kicking each block
Into place beneath you
As you reach for the gilded key.

On the roof, you stand
And howl
Into the chimney
And into windows
At the injustice and helplessness
Of it all
While beneath you
In the alley
The plainclothes cop
Stabs the young girl
And money pours out of her
Like water into a waiting glass

When the sands shift
With the blowing winds
I know that
You, with your eyes as black as coal
And your understanding face
You will still be standing.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

So this is the kind of shit I come up with when I type with eyes closed

And who do you meet on the way out but the red raincoat wearing preacher who comes up to you and asks have you got a light son to which you say no sir i don't and you, sir, shouldn't smoke but before you can turn away indignantly the policeman in the middle of the road catches your eye and he tips his hat and says that way sir and you look where he's pointing and there stands a whore on the street corner she has a limp and a broken slipper and looks at you lewdly and says for you my love its free while you stumble and trip and fall and break your head on a rock on which hundreds have broken all kinds of bones before, theirs and others and while you lie there waiting for the first drops of rain to drench you the pretty girl in a school girl outfit reaches out her hand and you grab hold of it but she flings you on to the other side of the road where you narrowly miss being hit by a rickshaw but at least you’re on your feet again and can continue running, running, running into the darkness except the way is suddenly illuminated by streetlights each glowering at you with the strength of a hundred nuclear explosions while you cringe under the heat and the light and all the people watching you shout come on then we’ve come to see a show, give us a show and all you can say is I’m sorry I can’t do it and you run off the stage down the stairs and out the solitary door. And who do you meet on the way out but the…

P.S: Obviously, this has been corrected for typos. 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Salmon Who Wouldn’t

That it was going to be a hard life was evident. The first thing the little salmon saw when he opened his eyes was his mother lying dead on the river bed, along with several thousand others. All around him was the flurry of life- a million like him thrashing their way into life. If he had known that each salmon laid 1500 eggs, out of which only 2 would grow into adulthood, he might have decided to play it safe, and been dissuaded from what he was about to do. But he didn’t. And so, he wasn’t.

When the time was ripe, and because he was told by thousand of years of history hardwired into him that he should, he made the great journey with his school. He swam with the current, and then, suddenly, he was unceremoniously handed over by the river to the sea.

The sea was everything the legends said it was. It was huge and vast and wondrous to behold. One could be forgiven for being fooled into thinking, as our little salmon was, that in this huge, vast emptiness, one could be anything one wanted to be.

He soon realized that every day spent in the sea was a dangerous tango with death. Death could approach in many forms but, in the end, the form didn’t matter. In the end, death was almost always a mouth full of sharp, chomping teeth. He saw many of his friends accepting and willingly embracing the fact of their insignificant existence as their destiny.

He, however, had resolved not to be so subservient to life. He saw destiny as a magician picking out volunteers for his show. If you were one of the many who happily seated themselves in the front rows, the chances of your being picked went up. If you were clever and hid yourself in the shadows at the back, why, you might never be picked. And if you chose to walk out of the show, well, then you could avoid destiny forever.

So, on one particular day, on a day like all others, he decided to fool destiny. He didn’t want to do what all salmon did. Not for him, the tried and tested salmon career path of returning to where he was born and dying there. He was meant for greater things.

So he walked out of the show. He didn’t have to do much. He just stood still till his school had passed him by and then turned and swam away.

I could tell you many things. I could tell you that our salmon swam far and wide, that he broke the surface of the water and jumped up and excited children squealed with delight on seeing him. And that he went down into the depths where a long forgotten ship and her treasures provided him with many hours of wondrous entertainment, until a creature of the deep started chasing him and he had to run for his life. I could tell you that he still roams the seas, the great rebel salmon, refusing to accept his fate, evading capture and imprisonment, forever the traveller.

But I’d be lying.

For the truth of the matter is this. Our salmon lies dead in front of me. He was caught off the coast of Mexico, a surprise salmon in a fishing net otherwise full of marlin and dorado. Grilled and delicious, he lies on a bed made of a colorful salad, sprinkled lightly with balsamic vinegar and lime, an expensive item in an overpriced menu in an exorbitant restaurant. I’ve just taken my first bite of him, and, for a heartbeat, I could feel him, his thoughts, his hopes and his fears. For that moment, the overpowering flavor in my mouth was his determination to not be just another salmon. 

But, for all that, in the end, he was just another salmon. 
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