portrait of the poet

Sketch

Remember, one day,
While sitting at my table
You sketched on a cigarette box
A tiny plant

Come and see,
That plant has bloomed!

— Gulzar, tr. Pavan K. Varma

the box stayed closed as if
hiding a lost thought
from another time, when
your words would settle
like sediment
at the bottom
of my breath,

as i read you out loud,
flicking ash from one wrist,
upending the goblet in
gesticulation
from another.

you draw words
like those vessels
bursting forth in the kitchen,
strung to a high note
of despair & hope,

your love speaks to me,
even though i have barely scratched
the skin of that mischievous marauder,
and yet i feel i know, as if
from another life, another rhyme.

you free my closed thoughts,
and water seeds of my silence
as i sing you and praise you
to myself.

.
© Anmol Arora

For A Tribute to Poets of Our Time at WTR. I am paying my tribute to one of my favourite poets and lyricists, Gulzar. Gulzar is 84 now. So, whenever I talk about him and his sprawling work with anyone, I only hope that we wring it out of him — his poetic brilliance, his sensibility, his love, and all he has offered to us for decades — in this lifetime.

moving on

 

1916870-elefxdli-7
you are lost, as i lost
in your loss.

the seas of time have come ashore,
flooding and taking away all that
remains —

you were once there, drinking
the moon wine (it is you who
brought me the white for a late
dinner), and addled potions of
a lone star at my lone window,

it’s at the end, that it all began,
the turbulence of words (said
and unsaid) created voids, built
of a few nights’ fantasized storms,

you made me see the fire-glass
that only showed your visage,
your eyes growing pit-wise, you,
yours only – form and facsimile –

and i knew that i did not have to
leave, because you were not there,
never meant to be, and so it was —

a singular bulb fuse that flickered
out, into the emptiness of the room.

~

© Anmol Arora 2018

More of a frustration than a heartbreak — For dVerse Poetics
Also linking it up with The Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads

And I somehow found something to go with it. Ha! Image source (Light Headed 3 by Leah Saulnier)

***

I have been working on a new Insta handle for over a month now, for literary and creative posts: @anmol.ha.
For contact, you can reach out to me through my multiple profiles, enlisted here.

let’s do it

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love’s bulge seems to be pretty abundant-
lewd words weave a fulcrum of all dreams, wet to touch,
sweet-bitter tones serenade the ears, a silent breath
grazing the neck with a scimitar of nefarious thoughts,

don’t speak, just do the unspeakable, the unmentionable
with a velocity of a soaring plane, upending us into submission,
this is the art work people gawk at and fail to encompass
into any coherent knowledge, its deprivation, its salvation,

spilled paint is the canvas for this action filled space, love is
swallowing its saliva and thick puddles of misery foam at those
silent, nurturing lips. your mouth is my mouth is your mouth.

let’s do it. let’s unmake love.

.
Image source
Linking it up with Poets United Midweek Motif

Also read this: this vulgar handiwork of time and let’s draw blood
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Bodacious

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(by Brishti Guha)

She thinks of an evening
An evening of spring showers
When they laughed, their faces in the rain,
riding steel –
Black steel on red dust.
Their contours welded together perfectly
Muscle against muscle. Tyres against tar.
Later, their contours merged again
As the thunderstorm outside raged
It seemed created for the
express purpose
Of matching their passion.
And she thinks of his back
The broad back that she loved to hug from behind
The back that bore her nail marks
And that he turned on her one summer day
To walk away.
And she smiles, thinking
Of the rain, the storm-
Of poetry, and of her love
For life and all that it offers
This bodacious babe.

.

*Brishti is a dear friend. She is an Associate Professor of Economics at a prestigious university. Apart from her research and writing in Economics, she is an avid reader and a practiced poet as well. You can read some of her papers and articles here.

Image source

let’s draw blood

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blood transfusion in a fucked up poem:

eyes meet, hearts melt into puddles of misery,
a guy shot a man, and a man a guy
at midnight when the sky was pistachio-green
and earth slightly shifted beneath their feet.

love is common place – words are the dregs
of tea left in my battered mug, hugs are given up
in arms that rattle like broken windows, and

they dare say,

*“This is not what we came to see…”

.

.

*”This is not what we came to see” is quoted from Brian Patten’s poem The Projectionist’s Nightmare.
Linking it up with Poetry Pantry and With Real Toads.

Image source

sooner (than later)

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so it was in the cold that I held
those earnest embers of your words,

you were the marble idol
when black and white mingled
to cover the deep trenches of
my heart, your singular smile
was the only thing visible, only
sight on that evening of lights.

a caress on my neck had me
drugged, I was a shore for your
rising tide, I lost myself,

oh I lost myself that night, and
I am cold yet again, those embers
have a faint glow, and I am cold again

in the brilliance of my torn skin,
shivering in shadows of your smile.

I hold the new key, so new that it
is not yet familiar by the touch, of
my fingers, and I walk through
the door of this unknown circumstance,
I want to be home.

yes, I have fallen for you.
February comes soon.

.

Image source

Inspired from February by Dar Williams, written in consideration of writing prompt at With Real Toads.

Book Review: Sons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

Sons and LoversSons and Lovers by D.H. Lawrence

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sons and Lovers by David Herbert Lawrence is a profound novel about love if explained in a few words. And yet, you can’t limit it to that. Published in 1913, it received a lukewarm response but today, it is considered a classic masterpiece by many. How the book discusses the complexity of love and relationships and draws a contrast between nature and industry is, according to me, quite exceptional!

The story begins with a landscape of a mining town, urging the readers to see everything as it is. The third party omniscient narration first talks about Mrs. Gertrude Morel, who has married a miner, someone who is downward in caste to her people. Morel is an illiterate, an alcoholic and a simple-minded man, with violent outbursts towards his wife and kids. Taking it fast forward, Mrs. Morel has three sons(William, Paul, and Arthur) and a daughter(Annie), all of whom despise their father in their own ways, with a slight exception of the youngest boy, Arthur.

The mother who has never found happiness from her husband strives to look for it in her sons. In some way, she takes first the eldest, William, and then, the second eldest, Paul, as her lovers. (The story is not about incest, but rather about deep-rooted feelings of companionship and adoration)

But her love for them makes all their lives crumble. The two sons could never love any woman through and through and that is what makes them miserable and suicidal. Paul (a character envisaged in similarity to the author himself) derives a bond of spiritual love with a farmer’s daughter, Miriam, who worships him. They have a relationship of mind, intellect and spirit. Paul also begins a passionate affair with a married woman, Mrs. Clare Dawes, who stays away from her husband. The harder they may try, they could never have Paul as a whole person.

Paul’s relationship with his mother is mingled with love and its produce, hatred. Sometimes, they are lovers enjoying a visit to different places and sometimes, they are distant to each other, brooding in their own worlds. Mrs. Morel could not approve of her sons’ lovers, her sons can’t devote themselves to their lovers, the lovers can never have enough of the sons, and everyone suffers in this overwhelming propinquity.

In the nexus of these characters, Lawrence brings forth a story of coming of age, of family, of love and hate, of relationships that are indefinable.

Some thoughts about the book:

1. The book was quite scandalous on its release, with its open portrayal of sex and related symbolic imagery. Lawrence has a knack for depicting the sensual moments in the form of colors, textures, and flowers, depicted in the scene.

2. The three lady characters: Mrs. Morel, Miriam, and Clara, form a circle around the male protagonist, Paul.
Mrs. Morel is the conscientious mother who has devoted her life and love to her sons. She derives happiness from Paul’s successes in painting. Paul succeeds for his mother. They have a bond deeply rooted in their need for each other. They make a whole, which no one is allowed to penetrate and if one does, one can’t stay for long. This relationship is naturally attributed to The Oedipean complex.

3. Miriam is my favorite character in the novel, and the most intricately structured, according to me. She is shy, introvert and deeply religious and finds first intellect and then, a love that goes beyond the realms of the world, in Paul. She is someone who lives for the afterlife much more than the life itself. Paul describes her love as, “You don’t want to love-your eternal and abnormal craving is to be loved. You aren’t positive, you’re negative. You absorb, absorb, as if you must fill yourself up with love, because you’ve got a shortage somewhere.”

4. Clara is a feminist, and yet, she is confused in her resolve. She is stuck between her husband and her lover, Paul. Paul’s relationship with Clara is that of passion, which withers with time. Clara is not the main character, but you can’t ignore her either.

5. The writing is impeccable; the sentences are short and poetic. The words weave living and breathing images and the complexity of love is so finely articulated in these pages. This is a book which tends to get boring in between due to repetition, but that repetition is also necessary. It is quite long and is intended to be read patiently. It took me about 8-9 days for reading it.
Quoting an excerpt from the novel,
“To know their own nothingness, to know the tremendous living flood which carried them always, gave them rest within themselves. If so great a magnificent power could overwhelm them, identify them altogether with itself, so that they knew they were only grains in the tremendous heave that lifted every grass blade, its little height, and every tree, and living thing, then why fret about themselves?”

Why indeed!

I would recommend this book to patient readers, who love the art of language and the need for the understanding of love and relationships. It is quite a depressing read, and that must be taken into account before you decide to hurl yourself into this story.

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