Friday, June 11, 2010

The Night

The night is absolutely terrifying. It creeps about in the darkest hollows this city has given birth to. The city has nurtured them and nourished their fat proprietors till they burst with bling. Today, people come from far and wide to look into the dark recesses of my beautiful city. What has she become?

The whiskey does not hit the spot on a night like this. It only weighs down your already weary eyelids. It offers no calm, no anger, nothing. It only goes through the already hot blood pumping through your body and mingles unnoticed. Whiskey finds kindred spirit in my blood tonight.

On a night like this, I cry for my city, and I hope, somewhere, she cries for me. If she does not, it would all have been worthless. What was it worth anyway? What did we achieve, my city and I? I can’t say that I know. Somewhere between her crumbling to pieces within the darkest alleys of her being and my taking beatings in all of them, we had an understanding. I would fight for her, and she would stay for me. When did it end? Did I stop fighting? Or did she stop staying? It gets harder to tell every day. It gets harder to tell who I was fighting anyway, if it was just my city and I.

The night pulls closer and I retreat into myself. Tonight, I cannot bear being blinded. I feel as if I have given up on such a night before. I feel, as I must have been then, scared, unaware. Maybe I have given up on every such night. The night is absolutely terrifying.

Then I turn to my city and - my city - she shines for me. Once again, like the thousand corpses she drags upon its shore, I am drawn to her. But I know it can never be. And I give myself up to the night.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Summer the Third

Three years since I’ve last been here. Thought this was place was shut. Thought it would be crawling with the creepies but it’s clean. No dust flies off its shelves, no pigeon shit on the window sills. It’s been kept zip-locked, fresh-wrapped and preserved. If it could fit in a bell jar, it would be soaked in formaldehyde. In short, the place has character, but no soul – and it’s lonely like a graveyard.

It’s perfect for a summer day.

The weather has been toying with the less fortunate mercilessly. Out there, they shamble about like zombies on morphine. Each looks at the other with deep self pity. There is a mutual feeling that if they were nice to each other, maybe it wouldn’t be so terribly hot. But there is no consent on who should go first. Self pity turns to loathing. Each wishes the other suffers a heat stroke and falls to the ground. If this happens, his or her skull will surely crack open and gooey brain matter will melt out on to the street with a little sizzle.

It’s crazy out there.

Inside is just fine. Inside, there are shadows that jump off the walls to wrap themselves around me. They wage war against the sunlight and, look, they have been gaining ground all day. Since noon, the shadows have forged on and the sunlight has been inching its way back to the window where it came from. I have watched the entire battle from my fort on the chair, here, in the corner. This territory is well guarded, and it is cool and dark.

In a few hours, it will all be over. Darkness will descend and the city will arise. Big, bright neon lights will create blind alleys at intersections they do not reach. Tens of thousands of people will stream in from this void, and the only ones who return will be carried horizontally. The streets of the city will bulge. Its arteries will choke with activity. The heart will seize and the city will shiver and spasm with excitement before it lies still again.

Drug addled children and sex addled fiends will then return to their homes under a growing network of flyovers. Customers crumpled over their bills in hotels and nightclubs will drive their expensive cars to hell. And the subways that run below the highway, connecting east to west? They will be the darkest and most deserted they have ever been.

That kind of darkness is very different from the kind that by now is stretching through this room. In that darkness lives a part of us that cannot be defeated, and can obliterate us all. But it can be shown the light, and it will recede. If not, soon, the night will recede as well.

Tomorrow will be another summer day, another brain found melting on the sidewalk.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Original Sin

We fall.

From those tiny cracks in time between our spoken words, between the borders of our skins, the spaces we do not cross, from the moments that are fleeting for we dare not dwell upon them - we fall.

I wish for rain. It does not show. Not a blot on the sky today. The cleansing must be postponed. A few more days with the sin.

Not a bad thing entirely, living with the blazing metal lodged deep within. Now cooling, coagulating with my blood, my very being, it releases an alchemy of its own.

I try to ignore it, turn to stone. To not feel, to be. To only be. And to feel only what is impressed, to not desire action or reaction. To not be mortal, or even immortal? To only be.

The mind wanders free. And then, a tug at the tissues. Or is it the other way around? Reality has lost its structure. Mouth dry, palms wet with anticipation, I struggle to breath. The bullet makes its way up to my head.

Soon, the poison will spread. I am helpless, I realise. I plunge a blade into the evil, I seek to root it out. No such luck. It stays within, the original sin. Time kills all, I hope. Another day of torment, another year at most.

Sins passed on, from host to host. The sins of the fathers visited by the sons.

To not have time before me, just this once? Too much to demand. The vile knowledge inside me has built a wall.

And, for our wretched loss of innocence, we fall.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Death before Resurrection

I am mortal.

It is the heat ablaze in my chest that tells me so. It is the warmth that coats my naked body, the sweat that envelops it. It is the cling film embrace of humidity that buries me alive. Alive. It is the pointed feel of cold steel lodged between my eyes that tells me I am alive. And mortal.

I reach for my piece but I know I’m not packing any. Instinct. Never fails you. It’s the other part of thinking that trips you up and leaves you without a gun when you need one. The Rational Approach. And it’s all the weapon I have on me. I close my eyes and consult The Rational Approach. What should I do now?

A blow to the jaw and my world takes a tumble. The nuts in my head roulette around. It takes a while for the noodle to unscramble and The Rational Approach flashes like a cheap neon sign. Concentrate and ask again, it says. No fucking magic 8-ball, this.

I should have stayed off the wagon. When you’re drinking, you’re not thinking. You operate from the base, the core, the gut. All fat of perception and learning skimmed off the nerve. You are animal, poised for fight or flight. Fight.

I need a drink and I have a gun pasted to my head. Don’t we all? Mortality. It’s a fucking joke, a prank, a gag we can’t see the point to. It’s a grand piano falling on somebody’s head. It’s a bus, a train, a taxicab. It’s the curler that slips into the bath tub. The elevator floor that gives way. There’s always a gun somewhere. Always. Why should now be any different?

I am mortal. But I’m not dead. Not just yet

Sunday, May 21, 2006


He puts the barrel in his mouth and cocks the gun.

A million images flash. They end with only one thought.

He pulls the trigger.

He will not be missed.

Monday, April 17, 2006

summer nights...

Remember the time when you woke up from a horrible dream and realised you hadn't been sleeping?

The summer night offers respite to many. The working men go home and take off their work clothes. Some have a shower, some don't. They eat their dinner without too much meat because meat gets them hot. But they do enjoy a good strong drink with some ice. They watch TV for a while and then they fuck their wives. Or they do it during, if a sleazy movie is on. Usually, the summer gets them too tired so they pass out on their wives the moment they are done.

She will look at the ceiling in the moonlight for a while and wonder why she is crying. Then she will wriggle out from under her husband and curl up into a ball on her side. She will not sleep just yet. His sweat will be lathered on her body and the stench will suffocate her. She must wash herself if she wants to get some rest, she knows. The warmth on her and inside her clouds over and boils. It will be the next day before she is clean again. There is no water in the tank.

Outside, on the road, many men are putting themselves to sleep amidst needles and charred spoons. They smile when they feel their bodies awash in summer flames. They are happy people. They have blackened teeth and dirty hair. The boys they sleep with were afraid at first but they learned the ways of the road quite well. December was a good time for training. The cold made the men ready to go all the time. It is not easy living on the street when it is cold. Men will want to do it just to feel the energy coursing through them. It hurt and bled at first and it hurt a lot more because of the cold but they had the medicine to make the pain go away. And the pain goes away every day now. Only, it is better in the summer. They don't last as long because it is too hot to do it. They only do it out of habit now.

Some can't sleep yet. Some, like the bartender, will be awake all night. This is the time. This is the wave they must ride. Summer is good for business. The crowd is heavy on summer nights and they mostly want beer. Soon they will start feeling good about themselves and they will sing. Noise scares the bartender. When people start getting loud, they start getting rowdy. He wishes he was at an upscale place. Girls going to those places go out with the bartenders, he has heard. A nice place in town with some music, he reckons. There are no girls in this bar. Not in summer, for sure, unless somebody walks in with a paid for woman. He hopes nobody does. It always invites trouble. As the singing gets louder, he knows he is not done hoping for things. He hopes nobody in the house has brought a gun or a knife. Men are always ready to spill blood in the summer.
I hide behind a smoke screen and sing to the ceiling fan. It tells me many stories when I close my eyes and really listen. There is a favourite of its concerning a man who hanged himself from it once. I do not know if it is true. Summer is a time of delirium. I am never quite sure of what I feel in the summertime. I supposed it is because of the icy whiskey my heart has been pumping all night. I close my eyes. The fan sings me a lullaby in its broken voice. I dread the sense of security that is enveloping me like many shadows of the past. I keep my eyes closed nonetheless - my finger remains on the trigger.

Remember the time when you woke up from a horrible dream and realised you hadn't been sleeping? Every summer night.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Summer must be art

The heat pours down my back all day. Time melts.

The city burns in the setting sun like a giraffe.

I find myself dreaming to the hum of a bumblebee.

And I am but a ghost of myself

as my thoughts take elephantine strides out of temptation.

But the memories persist.

And are reduced to mental masturbation on digital paper.