Poem: Better Days

I woke up in a sad airless room, 
the smell was nocturnal – –  a lover unwashed – –
eyes as rheumy as the sun was callow.

My bed,  a pallet of sisal and dried tears, 
crawled with plagues and woes
I couldn’t abhor unless utterly sallow.

I was spared,  the desolate walls tell me, 
but I can’t make escape,
my blundering he never seemed so hollow – –

The famine of better days and easier childhood, 
is an illusion us orphans of motherless bastards
harbour as poison too thin to swallow.

The wet bodies,  dead remnant eyes, bemoan
broken biers, dry incense bowls,  wickless candles – – 
God’s meagre fallow.

A bloodied sandal, clipped toenail,
pale lipstick smudged on creaky floorboard,
the tongueless robber says,  hullo.


Poem: I Long For Distress

I admit, the thorn in my
rosy bush of desires
stifles me no longer.
Its prickling, uncompromising
disassembly of nerves
is nothing but brutal coquetry

Over time, with my thresholds,
winced and climbed over,
by ladders of tolerance, intolerable —
my longing for distress
has been cultivated,
and it’s no longer just a garden.
for, comfort is like a blanket
that doesn’t cover my feet fully,
even if it did,
I wouldn’t abide it.

My better self disowns my virtues
for, my baser self brings
the kind of satisfaction
that balms the craving. in my
marrow, my maw.

I admit, that the darkness
strays not from questioning eyes —
for what can they do me?
beyond shunning me and judging themselves
So I let this near-dark fright, fragrance
the impure air of my hypocrisy


Wow. I haven’t written any poetry for the last year or so. I was on some hopeless quest to unfind myself by delving only into prose, can’t say I’ve achieved what I set out trying to do. Don’t even know what I mean by ‘unfind’ myself. Too much Pessoa speaking? Anyway, at least I got to finish the first drafts to 4 novels, THE AWAKENING, HOUSE OF DYES, SUICIDE CLUB & APOCRYPHA. No more novels for me this year, going to polish up these four and get them published. Hooray!
Considering how I much I have abandoned other writing endeavours, poetry mostly, I’m going to focus on that a lot, this year. Screenplays too and shorter prose pieces.

This is the first poem I’ve written in eighteen months or so, it’s a bit rough, but I hope there’s still enough of the poet in me resurrected here. Please tell me what you think.

There are things fixed in this world,
that though unrooted, could never be uprooted.
Then there’s things which are wrought
by the brittle heel of old mythologies
I don’t know which part my love for her falls —
Maybe halfway in the shadows of both.
Or maybe it’s the sun casting a shadow where there’s no light
or light where there’s no shadow —
All I know is, I’m a fool caught in the eyelashes of a blind world
For, love is blind and all that.

Love is also death,
dearth to the enterprising nakedness
of my crass naivety
Love, her love, is a net that catches
the vague articulation of my flair
Her love — not our love — is beyond
the haughty fling of intellectual whimsy
to which, me and my contemporaries — if I can call them that,
indulge with contempt.

Love, her love is rain on a Sunday afternoon,
totally unexpected, but cool to the trickling drop
just chilly, but snug enough to be comfortable,
enough to want just a little more.
Love, her love, if it were a home
it would be a home built on forgiveness given
before forgiveness is required.
A communion of undreamt trespass.

POEM: A Reckoning

I find respite in the restlessness,
the faceless bow
Going in circles, on and on,
on and on. Anon.
Following the roads that follow back
to this place I never really knew.
I mount on a steed of nostalgia,
ride to memories
I never had, but run I do,
Running only where I can crawl
Crawling only where I can run
Haunting where I could dwell,
Dwelling where I could haunt
I become the god and the subject
The marble and the sculptor
The church and the cornerstone—
I’m the faith that’s broken
By a congregation that won’t bend
I’m the sun that dies for the moon—
I’m the echoing silence of Reckoning,
I’m tortured and torturer,
I don’t know what has become of me?
Or if there was even a me to become?

“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T. S. Eliot.

Let us go then, you and i,
when the evening is spread out against the sky
like a patient etherized upon a table;
let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
the muttering retreats
of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
and sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
streets that follow like a tedious argument
of insidious intent
to lead you to an overwhelming question…
oh, do not ask, “what is it?”
let us go and make our visit.

in the room the women come and go
talking of michelangelo.

the yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes
the yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
licked its tongue into the corners of the evening
lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,
and seeing that it was a soft october night
curled once about the house, and fell asleep.

and indeed there will be time
for the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
rubbing its back upon the window-panes;
there will be time, there will be time
to prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
there will be time to murder and create,
and time for all the works and days of hands
that lift and drop a question on your plate;
time for you and time for me,
and time yet for a hundred indecisions
and for a hundred visions and revisions
before the taking of a toast and tea.

in the room the women come and go
talking of michelangelo.

and indeed there will be time
to wonder, “do i dare?” and, “do i dare?”
time to turn back and descend the stair,
with a bald spot in the middle of my hair—
[they will say: “how his hair is growing thin!”]
my morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
my necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
[they will say: “but how his arms and legs are thin!”]
do i dare
disturb the universe?
in a minute there is time
for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.

for i have known them all already, known them all;
have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,
i have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
i know the voices dying with a dying fall
beneath the music from a farther room.
so how should i presume?

and i have known the eyes already, known them all—
the eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
and when i am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
when i am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
then how should i begin
to spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?
and how should i presume?

and i have known the arms already, known them all—
arms that are braceleted and white and bare
[but in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!]
is it perfume from a dress
that makes me so digress?
arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
and should i then presume?
and how should i begin?
. . . . .

shall i say, i have gone at dusk through narrow streets
and watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows? …

i should have been a pair of ragged claws
scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
. . . . .

and the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!
smoothed by long fingers,
asleep … tired … or it malingers,
stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
should i, after tea and cakes and ices,
have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?
but though i have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
though i have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
i am no prophet–and here’s no great matter;
i have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
and i have seen the eternal footman hold my coat, and snicker,
and in short, i was afraid.

and would it have been worth it, after all,
after the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
would it have been worth while,
to have bitten off the matter with a smile,
to have squeezed the universe into a ball
to roll it toward some overwhelming question,
to say: “i am lazarus, come from the dead,
come back to tell you all, i shall tell you all”
if one, settling a pillow by her head,
should say, “that is not what i meant at all.
that is not it, at all.”

and would it have been worth it, after all,
would it have been worth while,
after the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
after the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
and this, and so much more?—
it is impossible to say just what i mean!
but as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:
would it have been worth while
if one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
and turning toward the window, should say:
“that is not it at all,
that is not what i meant, at all.”
. . . . .

no! i am not prince hamlet, nor was meant to be;
am an attendant lord, one that will do
to swell a progress, start a scene or two
advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
deferential, glad to be of use,
politic, cautious, and meticulous;
full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
at times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
almost, at times, the fool.

i grow old … i grow old …
i shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.

shall i part my hair behind? do i dare to eat a peach?
i shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
i have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.

i do not think they will sing to me.

i have seen them riding seaward on the waves
combing the white hair of the waves blown back
when the wind blows the water white and black.

we have lingered in the chambers of the sea
by sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
till human voices wake us, and we drown.

POEM: No Time To Grieve

I feel the rumble of the clouds—
they jar like the recoil of a whip;
They crack the frame along the path
which the lightening fragments its own motion.
I see the light, forming like the stir
of raucous rivers mirroring the swift
vibration of stars jangling
in their haloed coronas,
somehow the sun still comes out and
draws in on this ceaseless lament;
And it’s rays rush down like little child soldiers,
errant and petty—
the world seems to be unbecoming
from Generations to Revelations in seconds,
And then, I realize,
that I’m grieving for the flower of life
When the forest of aesthetic is burning.

POEM: Love Is Falling Through The Hole In My Pocket

Love is falling through
the hole in my pocket
onto the cobbles,
the strangers side step it—
they want none of it,
not even the beggars;
their nothing is better than this something.

I got this love from a merchant,
he had bought it cheap,
and to me, he sold dear.

The merchant shook my hands with the smile of a cheat;
well knowing that even if providence flowed
around me,
it’d find its level elsewhere.
Knowing I’d regret learning to love—
for, I was never cruel till I loved.

Its hard to feed infinity into an equation
it’s error to think love as anything but vermin.
It just won’t quit.

For, conscious in love is to be
conscious of your own incompleteness;
the isolation—the boundless solitude—
the granary-full reap of randomness,
the harvest of wilt and blight—
the pregnant emptiness that
pounds like a pulse
unreachable humus of darkness
that claws with invisible fingers
I’d never known despair
Till I learned to love.