metro delay

the air-conditioning keeps the temper in check,
when the refrain goes on —

“there will be a short delay to this service,
we apologize for the inconvenience.”

the convenience is not a matter of concern
for empty faces that only think of pocket-sized
dreams, the delay is but a pause to this pau-
city of time, the one so accommodating of high
-rises as well as the debris of urban dreams,

there is a silence in the noise, the quizzical
faces look at each other, to the wrists, to find
out a kernel of truth, a certain wonderment
at being out of place and time, disenfranchised
in intervals from lifelines, and the tepid train-
journeys. there is a marked departure from
routine and no one knows what to do with it.

it doesn’t require much charge of reverie or
luminescence of this compartment to diffuse,
before the doors close & everything moves on.

the city is ingrained deep inside all of us, as
we all jolt awake to the further announcement,

this time, of the next station and what it means.
life hangs like an unbalanced question-mark
before it dissipates and feet rush out like faith.

.
© Anmol Arora

Day 22
(Inter)National Poetry Month

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about a hot day

today, the heat chronicles
the tale of years past,

            cracking streets into scars
that seek and speak the tongue
of our collective ignorance.

my body is wet in the brittle wind,
malleable to the textures of carbon
and sawmill dust, as if in a charred
photograph (going monochrome).

how do i picture a paradise of
poetic plenitude, when i find
the earth splitting open (cracks/
whips/holes), on this sweat-laden,
blue-spotted, anticlimactic day?

.
© Anmol Arora

Day 21
(Inter)National Poetry Month
Edit: Unfortunately, I didn’t find the time to write a new poem. Linking it up for my Poetics prompt at dVerse, where I have asked the poets to explore the theme of climate crisis in their written word and provided some reading material including poems and significant new research reports for further information.

untitled

the moon is silent tonight.

it depends on the black river
of life (the stream of conscious
without light) to raise her voice
and tell me, why it feels as if,

my home is not my home tonight.

.
© Anmol Arora

Day 20
(Inter)National Poetry Month

of a broken time

this evening’s hands are tied
to a clock ticking away
in perpetuity,

as there are countless soil kernels,
all residing in a (p)inch of land
for me,

there are countless evenings,
all lined up in the curve-length
between

the uni-
verse & (t)here.

perhaps the clock is broken.
perhaps i am writing to a time
that never occurred.

.
© Anmol Arora

Day 19
(Inter)National Poetry Month

a paean to pain

have you seen the festering wound
with maggots and flea eggs, defining
the scope of pain and hurt as just
a preoccupation? did you pour liqueur
and salt on the scraped skin that has
covered the scissors with a ritualistic
charity, to part with your sadness?

unless there is a scar, no one would
know how carefully you have figured
a way to wound without wanton dis-
charge of pus and blood-filled nerves
that define your convoluted desire
for all this pain and hurt. catharsis is
the name of a tiny hair sprig sprouting
from an open contusion, like growth
in decay. they have restored cellular
activity (godly) in the porcine brains of
the dead. so what are you going to do,
if not pulling it all out with a tweezer
for a microscopic study of metabolic
activity that denotes that life reverses
and re(as)sembles itself, and applying
a gauze to move out, and hide and smile
till it looks becoming on your face?

grief is the name of your eyes that
refuse to cry. loss is the truth of your
lips that cannot remember the sparse
touch of all that you did not say, and
all that was injured by your mistakes.

.
© Anmol Arora

Inspired by the Day 18 prompt at NaPoWriMo

Day 18
(Inter)National Poetry Month

the sky is falling

it is irresistible
to let the grey matter light up
when the sky is falling into shards
of silver-sighs and golden-rushes
to achieve something, to get there,
somewhere,

without the connivance of the mind’s vault,
where my sensibilities & sincere(&saturated)
goals are locked, as if in a fragile (no ex-
posure) condition
of a lifetime that isn’t passing by,

an unintended way to know what mind
creates and subsumes is to let it be,
building palaces and sculptures out
of ruin, birthing poems without labour,
or perchance (the sky is the colour
of an ink-stained favourite shirt)
it is all already fixed,

this gamble is a faux-irony of living,
i am measuring the length of my silken-
hair with dirt clinging to the strands
that are unwashed but tidy on a rainy
day, when the sky is falling,

and moss is growing through my hair
&beard (lichen, fungi, almond cyanide)
having left the matter to the falling
(fervently dancing, finessing,
fighting without fulfillment)
sky.

.
© Anmol Arora

Day 17
(Inter)National Poetry Month

poetry as an insolent departure from conformity

weiwei

when you are made to believe
that a tragedy is a tragedy when
it is driven by a populism-pill
or a mass media narrative,

do you raise your right eyebrow
for all those that are left behind?

when you write, remember the spirit
&gushing blood of struggle & revolution,
of the counted measures of oppressors
and patron saints of ‘civilization’.

when you write, remember that your
words reek of the same puncture-
flesh-wound, the same blottings
of history, that are left to obscure
bookmarks or a silent/distractive
nod with a thought that we have
progressed: “we have changed”.

when you write in the colonial tongue
of the superiority of your pain&despair,
take the language, nourish it, and
grow with it, a seeded&sprouted
rebellion, against its masters
of propriety and precipitous puerility —

be insolent, question everything,
be visible, valourize nothing,

use poetry as a tool of discounting
all that they say in rhetorics,
use poetry as the shrapnel death
that maims humanity every day.

use poetry as the breath of those
burrowing through the gutters
of your urban dismay,
use poetry to wreck like the rivers,
the oceans, the hills, the earth,
anguished by your society’s disrepair.

use poetry as a refrain, as a chant,
as a protest, as an active agent for change,
use poetry as a brandishing sword
that would mark the history with
its parallels, and cut open & devein
the sanitized versions and visions
of the hegemonic normals & neutral angels,

use poetry to fuck things up,
use poetry to fuck them up.

.
© Anmol Arora

Image source (Study of Perspective – Eiffel Tower. 1995–2003. Top right: Ai Weiwei. Study of Perspective – Mona Lisa. 1995–2003. Bottom left: Ai Weiwei. Study of Perspective – Tiananmen Square. 1995–2003. Bottom right: Ai Weiwei. Study of Perspective – White House. 1995–2003.)

Linking it up with The Tuesday Platform at WRT, where I am hosting this week and I have given an optional challenge (in consideration of the Poetry Month) to write a poem titled, “Poetry as…” while taking inspiration from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Poetry as Insurgent Art

Day 16
(Inter)National Poetry Month