Generation X-Y-Z

This generation is not for the sentimental
Living fast lives
To make fast money
Driving cars a little too fast
And coming for the wrong person even faster
Till one day they stop to find the meaning of life
Among the broken reflection of the person they used to be and
The aborted fragments of the person they wish they were,
In the middle of nowhere, next to empty valium prescriptions,
Rimmed with the salty tears of insomniacs,
Desperately trying to cup empty happiness
Between sinking palms,
Listening to music from a time
When people wanted to no longer lie to themselves,
Wringing art from the
Pure, unadulterated, consummate fear of the oppressed
Mesmerized by barren flowers on polished guns
Because nobody wants to die when they’re staring death in face.

Drifting aimlessly in stagnant times,
This generation refuses to cave into the
Prejudices of their forefathers,
Men who burned their brothers at the stake
And stoned their sons under banyan trees
In the name of greed, power and the nation.
They are called Spoiled, Entitled
Ungrateful, Selfish,
Addicted to Digital Actuality,
The Downfall of Quality Humanity,
But their ancestors spent their humanity
Putting bullets into the heads of the unarmed
Because they looked and acted a little different from them
Bombing, gassing, mutilating their neighbors over a slice of land
Till neither side could stand straight anymore
Or look each other in the eye.

This generation piles one existential crisis after another on
Groaning banquet tables of intangible anxiety,
Leaving behind Instagram shitposts on crumpled napkins
As part of their already fading legacy.
Alone in the biggest crowd this dying planet has ever seen
Desperate to be heard above the static of
Their intricately put-together sham-self
A product of inconsistent parenting and questionable confidence
Waiting to feel anything that’s mildly real
Even if it is pain.
Losing sobriety with every foreign breath
On an extended hiatus from reality
In a land that is not their own but they call home.

This generation pushes back when pushed because they’re tired
Of being spit and looked down on
Of being told what they should do
Who they should be and who they should and shouldn’t love.
They’re so caught up in their own minds
Until it becomes too dark to see anymore
And then it’s the blind leading the blind.
Please leave them alone.
They’re just trying to get by.

This generation craves that four-five second of B-rated fame
Where nothing matters as long as all eyes are on them
And stupidity is awarded with international limelight
Dying, sometimes literally, from the everyday routine
Looking for the next hit of stimulant
Till life becomes nothing but
Panem et circenses.

This generation can’t create anything that truly belongs to them,
Their beloved heart-over-head masterpiece but
Only a copy of a copy of a copy
Because conformity has been driven so deep into their skulls that
It’s the common tongue of the house
And the house always wins.

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Miscellany of Humanity

The city holds its breath, suffocating in the dry summer air
Where temperatures soar to levels during the day that make
Old women huddle under the merest hint of shade
And fan themselves with the end of their flowered cotton saris, armpits stained with sweat
As they plead to their many colored gods for a whiff of rain.

In the dead of the night where
Fear walks hand in hand with its favorite concubine, Violence,
Through ill-lit corners
Stopping to peer at ugly bodies next to mounds of plastic waste and human feces
And the silence is broken only by the low hum of an occasional bike
Driven by a drunken drunk who is drunker than he should be,
A figure shrouded in brown walks, leaving no imprints in the gritty dust
To indicate that it ever existed, sucking in time through its wide nostrils
In the hazy yellow light of the fickle sodium lamp.

Through an open window,
Too high from the ground for cats to jump into,
It gazes hungrily at
Children in their beds, breaths haggard from the pneumonia in their lungs
Listening to dusty memories, faded by the fragility of old age, roll off a worn out tongue
Whose owner thinks it’s folly for youth to spend the day watching talking animals and cars
Than work from dawn till dusk.

In another house, one meant for the rich, on the other side of the street
An heiress, spoiled from birth, lies on a bare mattress
And feels a heavy weight on her chest that makes it hard to breathe
And wonders if it’s the weight of the sins of her ancestors
Kneeling by her side, one foot pressed on her rib cage,
Hungry for retribution.

Passing through a shoddily built concrete wall, the figure watches a young man
Stare hungrily at the thick pages of a glossy magazine,
Thumb moving longingly over six foot two inch fifty kilogram models
Clad in rich shimmery fabric that took eighty-four hours to sew by hand,
Secretly wishing that he could be one of them.
Next door, a couple stares blankly at the grainy television
Not divorced yet although they wish they were
And in the floor above, a insouciant girl, body bathed in moonlight
Wakes up in a strange city in a strange room next to a strange man who is her soulmate
For this phase in her life till she move on and find a new one.

Black glossy feathers spread, the hooded visitor takes flight to land below
A man in his fifth story apartment, staring dully down from his balcony,
Haunted by the ghosts of his dead wife’s lover
Who whispers through the twists of his mind
Whatever is covered up will be uncovered, and every secret will be made known.
Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in broad daylight
And is wondering whether to jump or not.
At a firm shake of the head from the hood, the man sighs and goes back inside to his empty bed,
Cold without the warmth of a woman.
The man sees the stranger every night,
Wading through and inspecting the miscellany of humanity
To collect the souls owed.

Hood thrown back cautiously, the figure lowers himself next to the door of the nearby chapel
Wings furled, revealing a sharp ebony face with high cheekbones and empty eye sockets
As a preoccupied feline watches disinterestedly from the gutter
To tenderly pick up a swaddled blue-faced infant
The smallest of the miscellany, crushed by the weight of a thousand other lives.
Continue reading

Medusa Falls in Love

This century does not welcome her
With its strange offspring who camouflage unspeakable secrets
In the convolutions of their dry tongues and crevices of their hollow smiles.
Days limp by slower than they did before, dragging shackled feet to an inexorable demise
Like forsaken Russian POWs.

The twenty four hours of this new world are too drawn out for her.
She spends three of them, chained with ropes of repugnance to a silvered looking glass
As bright as the tinkle of delicate wind chimes on sharp winter mornings,
Polished methodically thrice a day with her favorite brand of glass cleaner,
As if she could wipe away her undeserved punishment through persistence, wipe away her existence.

A heavy masculine face tinted by the trials of time.
Feverish kohl black eyes as pellucid as the marbles of neighborhood urchins during afternoon siestas.
One mortal look at them to become immortalized in a tombstone of a grave.
Chapped lips, bruised from biting away dissecting introspection,
Bared back to reveal decaying canines
With the remnants of previous night’s microwavable dinner stuck in between.
Writhing hair, seductively hissing overlapping reptile dreams into an intrigued ear.
Loneliness melded into the marrow of her spent bones.
Pallid scaly skin of saggy breasts covered by an even saggier sundress of an inappropriately bright yellow
That could be easily found on the discount racks in the corner of almost-bankrupt retailers.
Hands lingering over unsightly rolls of fat, stinking of conquered vanity.
Mind crawling on four legs to private alcoves of the past,
Habitual memories of when even Gods above would peer down from their lofty thrones
At her owned hallowed beauty.

Occasionally, the lone customer would potter into her peculiar statue store,
Tucked in between a bakery that sells out of bread crumbs in fifty two minutes
And a money lender whose son spends the entire day
Cheating the tourists who frequent the cobblestone streets,
By the alarming pull of curiosity rather than genuine interest,
Occasionally joining her merchandise when whimsical flights of fancy would strike her with savage satisfaction.

An unusually warm February, singing to her only devoted company
(Not that they had a choice, stone feet can’t run)
Lilting foreign lullabies from slivers of the time perfumed with known love.
The pressure of a placid hand on her forearm.
And her heart lost its grip
Because the last time she had allowed hands on her skin, she had been defiled inside and out,
Cloth chiton weeping grief into stone cracks.
A red haired godsend, lost from her Wiccan grandmother’s apothecary
In clothes as tight as a clingy child and features that would have roused Aphrodite’s jealousy
Eyes, opaque as divine anger, shielded behind thick glasses
Unable to see the crinkle of the skin around her father’s mouth when he smiled
Or the way sunlight turned the dark green of her birth mother’s eyes into twin translucent lagoons.
And her heart lost its grip
Because the last time she’d felt like this was in the holiday of her dead lover’s sentimental kisses.

history

this place smells like

the mellowed perfume that stained Cleopatra’s linen

until she decided that she’d rather be a corpse

in the permanent height of youth

than die old, broken in capture.

this place sounds like

the long forgotten mercy pleas of

weather beaten sun ravaged sailors

as salted water flooded their lungs too far, too fast.

this place tastes like the bitter sting of abandonment

and emptiness of the motherless

on curled tongues,

iron and brittle.

this place looks like it did thousands of years ago

when rootless nomads, clad in little more than natural

wandered lands that were as wild and barbaric

as they were.

this place feels like

within grasp feel-able,

reach out and touch-able

tangible

history.

I’m Okay

The deserted parking lot of a neglected generic supercenter

With a smashed in TV and absurdly small electric scooters in the window display

A beat up blue Chevrolet keeping the sole functioning lamp post weary company

Shadows slinking through artificial light

Casting into spliced darkness, the arrogance of youth and

The carelessness and carefreeness of the privileged

Spread out, head tilted back, legs apart

In the leather upholstered backseat

Licking lips (not your own)

Licking chips

Licking thumb size colored strips that

Dissolve into a psyChedELiC fantasy

(hOw aRE YOU doinG TodaY? I’m oKaY)

And you walk through a pulsating mushroom shaped door only to find out that it was a solid brick wall

How did that get there?

There’s a human sized shaped dent in it

And your fingertips are painted in blood red from

A quarter size hole smack in the center of your head

How did that get there?

You skip your phone across the ocean

Where it gets swallowed by a sea turtle the size of Napoleon’s favourite horse

You’d think it’d be a relief

A release from the pressures of being relevant

But you feel rather empty inside

But that might be because you skipped breakfast

And you haven’t eaten in the morning since 1992

On a 7 am Tuesday when your mother handed you a plate of appam

Soft on the outside and stuffed with love on the inside

The last time you’ve eaten properly

When food didn’t taste like cleverly shaped cardboard and you weren’t eating just to stay alive

And you listen to your playlist of rain sounds and run your hands under the tap

Because you’ve forgotten what the real thing felt like

And you can’t go outside because

The sun (250 V, 40 W LED) is too bright and forces you to crawl back, hissing

Has it been days or months?

“You still tripping?” the Queen of England asks, pantyhosed legs crossed at the ankles

A cup of tea held in a delicate gloved hand.

Buy one, Get one free (Said no dealer ever)

Buy one, Get insanity free (Ah, that’s what I thought he said)

Glass of wine in one hand, steering wheel in another

Oh officer, do we have a problem?

But you don’t hear a word he’s saying or anyone is saying, in fact

Since the day your brother hung himself from the bedroom fan

And your father started chasing escape in lost silences and

At the bottom of the empty liquor bottles that litter the bedroom floor

And clatter loudly when the cat accidentally collides with them

During its frantic chase of floating dust mites

Because you blanked out, eyes glazed

And you spent the entirety of the previous night lying awake

Thinking about the solar system and why she didn’t text back

And you walk the razor’s edge

Feet bleeding and then slip and fall in a pool of your own blood

Hello, is anyone out there? I just wanted to talk

Can’t sleep and you feel like these nights are getting longer and longer but that might be because you sleep all day

Can’t bear to face people and their expectations

Can’t bear to face your own reflection (But hey that’s nothing new)

Living in a kingdom of delusions

Soaking in a pool of delicate lies, a piña colada between perfectly cultivated fingernails

You read jumbles of letters strung together like Christmas lights into glittering sentences

And you wonder what it’ll take you to sound like the weight of the world was on your shoulders and starlight shone from the inside of your soul

And you read and read

Until you can’t tell fact from fiction anymore

Unless it was always fiction?

Nothing isn’t real

And neither are you.

Passing Storms

A look up, just in time, from the caffeinated depths of substandard coffee

Revealed perfection sweeping into the crowded space.

Or rather pushing a ‘pull’ door and tripping on the door mat.

I saw the color streaks of rain on clothes and cupping smile lines.

I saw sun streaked hair curled down her back into asymmetry.

A twisting, intertwining jungle that my fingers itched to discover.

I saw raindrop beads clinging to it like a child to its mother’s skirts.

I saw their annihilation against the floor, the volatile journey of self destruction,

As she shook her hair in slow motion just like in swooning rom-coms.

I saw the swell of her chest and the tight jeans sticking to hips and thighs.

I saw the pulling unknown of her eyes, a spark of interest jumping across the room.

I saw the minute tilt of her head when she stared at me.

I saw the way she struggled with the spoon in her hand as she stirred her tea.

I saw her slender legs, crossed one over another, a puzzle I had to solve to get the ultimate prize.

I saw the thin white lines on her arms, a slave to the self-hate.

A slave to the pain.

I saw her restless energy, the way her fingers constantly moved.

Playing with her hair, playing with the tablecloth.

Playing with mine.

I saw lighting illuminated her features, contorting it,

Revealing a flash of Madness.

Pulling me inexorably into that dark marsh.

A will-o’-the wisp created by God Himself.

I saw the storm battering against the shoddily built skylight.

The Storm in her was dormant. For now.

I saw the highs and lows battling in her, each fighting to establish its own empire

To rule the interlinked network of neurons.

I saw the days pass by, lost in her mystery.

Her utter goodness, her utter genius, her utter recklessness.

I saw the way I made her laugh, fierce bursts of absolute happiness.

The way her eyes lit up with an inner soul-light.

I saw the way I was good for her.

I saw the shadows writhing on the wall, sharp features softened by the dim light of the lamp.

I saw the bed sheet half covering her birthday suit, her mouth half open in deep sleep.

I saw her smile in the morning at the memory of a night well spent.

My 5 feet 2 bundle of happiness.

But was I her 5 feet 8 bundle of happiness?

I saw the way she simultaneously craved tragic and happy endings.

Siphoning off the providence of fictional characters.

I saw ironically clichéd movies with her where everyone lives happily ever after.

Except real life was never fucking like that.

I saw the lurking creatures in murky niches, hidden deep

Ready to come out at any moment and take back my lover to their anemic land.

I saw her limp form on the bare mattress, the sheet balled up on the cold wooden floor.

Food growing stale in choked air next to my Happ—Sadness.

I saw her gaze at the grey clouds outside, as dark and turbulent as she was.

The Storm was coming.

I saw it in the dead way she looked at me sometimes.

Through me.

Like I wasn’t even there.

I saw the sadness I couldn’t control. Couldn’t fistfight with. Couldn’t world war with. Couldn’t scream at into oblivion.

The sadness I couldn’t ever compete with.

5 feet 8 was nothing compared to infinity.

I could just cling to Her and Cry.

I saw the jagged streaks on the sides of the bathtub.

Life rushing out from her wrists, tired at being contained in such a turbulent vessel.

To a growing bump on another woman’s body.

My 5 ft 2 bundle of death.

I saw the flash of light reflected off the silver lover that I was being cheated on with.

Her 5 inch lover.

I guess size really doesn’t matter.

I saw the blood stained water swirling around my socked feet,

Threatening to bring the Storm into me.

And then I saw nothing at all.

Monotonous

MONOTONOUS: dull, tedious, and repetitious; lacking in variety and interest

Alarm rings at 6:53 exactly.

You hit snooze.

Another 5 minutes. Then another. And another. And another.

Open your eyes, sleep robbed by high-pitched incessant beeps.

Stare at the ceiling. Wonder why you exist.

Watch the spider add details on its life’s work that’ll get destroyed in five seconds by a broom made in five minutes.

Sit up to the window level.

Feel the morning sun’s chill warmth.

Breathe in the pungent smell of smoke and air pollution.

Breathe deeper. Didn’t you want to die faster?

Get out of bed. Get into the rat race.

Sweep away the useless.

Since when did poetry save the world?

Flip the pages. Come on, faster.

Did you hear that Kumar Uncle’s son is a national topper?

Did you hear that Sheela Auntie’s daughter is immigrating to Australia?

Well, did you hear that I don’t give a fuck?

Take in a season’s work of harvest,

Along with a dose of everyone else’s bullshit (For health reasons)

(I never said it was to improve your health. Didn’t you want to die faster?)

And shit it out.

Go out.

Wait in a stationary race of vehicles till your skin wrinkles and eyes mist over.

Take in exhaust fumes and then alcohol in one night and see which gets you higher.

Or do both at the same time.

Didn’t you want to die faster?

This is a new age, haven’t you heard?

Stand in the shower, water heated from the fires of hell, burning your skin.

Stare at the blank word document and cry angry tears

As the words ice skate on the slippery ground of your sanity.

Out of sight but not out of mind.

Scrub your face clean and say that you’re fine.

Perfectly Fine.

As Fine as violin strings.

Did you know that if you press on them too hard, they break?

Breakdown

Stare at the ceiling, dark this time.

Shadows dancing on the edges, vying for star-tan.

Eyes still open long after everyone else’s has closed.

Till Hypnos takes you too.

Alarm rings at 6:53 exactly.

You hit snooze.

Another 5 minutes. And then another.

Eat. Sleep. Exist. Repeat.

Draw a perfect circle with your compass,

Coming from nowhere, going nowhere.

Oh, look, you just drew your life.

Daddy’s little girl is all grown up (Not quite).

Stop. Wait a moment.

Slightly change your angle and look through this magnifying glass.

It’s called retrospect.

It’s right up there in your mind, next to that large mound of insecurities.

Yes, that one.

And then suddenly you can hear

The laugh of your friends as they double up clutching their stomachs and their tight hugs

The crack in your brother’s voice when you realize that he’s growing up fast. Much too fast.

The feel on the sun on your face as the wind blows your hair into another person’s face through the bus window.

The mutual eye roll you share as education, not for the first time, goes through one ear and out another and sometimes over your head entirely.

Sitting on the edge of the balcony, gripping the marble till your fingers turn white.

Afraid of falling. Afraid of dying.

Your parents telling you that they only want you to be happy.

But happiness is a sine wave.

Sitting in an empty church.

First pew, first seat, trying to scrape together what’s left of your religious belief.

The broken silence as your shoes echo through forgotten corridors.

Burying your nose in freshly washed blankets, breathing in artificial flowers born from factory chemicals that have never seen the light of day

Dropping your slice of cake and suddenly you know what heartbreak is all about.

Strategic conversations on how to order the right food at the right price because God knows money is a flighty lover.

The memory of stars, slipping out of their velvet black, one by one, gasping.

Trembling, naked before the violent sea.

Cigarette smoke drifting towards what you think is eternity.

Van Gogh swirling a little more than it should.

The feel of a larger hand in yours.

The little alterations in your world after you finish a good book.

The whispering of pages as you breathe in its dusty scent.

Peer a little closer into that perfect circle.

Can you see the small things that make it up now?