Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Poet

for Vebhuti Duggal

It was when she had lost
the power to sustain intensity;
the time she started writing poetry.
Now it came only in pithy lines
what had earlier extended itself
into paragraphs of the most heartfelt sort.
It had not surprised her,

this inability to write at stretch.
This inability to be able to sustain
the fervor to the end of the page.
She began to shorten the lines
and make uneven the mood.
She began to rest on words
where she earlier rested on sentences.
Where she earlier only paraphrased,
now she delivered. It was not
the sense anymore, it was the thing.
She knew she was becoming a poet
when she had begun to stare at single lines.

Friday, December 26, 2008

The Object of Your Affection

Light travels to the eye.
If you stand in darkness
and look outside at him, in light,
for an instance you would
think he was looking at you
and you would let him do;
for that instance you would,
unbeknownst to him, share a glance.
For what do you do when
the object of your affection
likes you less than you do;
for what do you do when he
looks at you and does not.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

चाँद भी आख़िर कोई नाम हुआ

'चाँद' भी आख़िर कोई नाम हुआ।

इंसान हो, कोई आसमान से थोड़ी

ही लटके हुए हो कि नाम हो 'चाँद'

दिन में चलते दिखते हो और रातों

में तो ज्यादातर सोते ही होगे।

फिर तो सिर्फ़ नाम के ही चाँद हो,

काम के नहीं; पर मैं क्या जानूं,

क्या पता ना सोते होगे रातों में।

नींद, ना जाने, तुम्हारे लिए भी,

बस एक ख़्वाब हो। आखों के

धब्बे जो पड़ गयें हैं, जैसे चाँद के हों।

और वो कह तो रहे थे बार बार

नाम इंसान के पीछे पड़ जाता है

जब तक वो, मानो, ढल जाए

और अपने ही नाम में गल जाए।

Sunday, December 21, 2008

कि वो मेरे पास है

वो मेरे पास
है, मेरे साथ है,

कभी नहीं मान पातें हैं;

भी हम दोनों को सामने पातें हैं

कमलककड़ी की कहानी सुनातें हैं।

Monday, December 8, 2008

oh good it's fuckin' dark, now enter

it said: ‘queer London is a city gone wrong
city doing it the wrong way; up the bum, they say’
no one’s in heat near LSE, no fun, ties are done, of the past
(suits are attractions for near dead Augustans)
you smell real rut if you walk near SOAS, it keeps you
hanging in that tightness before the orgasm
and you enter the hall with the motto:
‘Only the prude will be scandalized in Soho.’
put ninety nine advertisements, few hundreds clones
of each other, and rainbows not torn at the edges
& you have the annual pride; wrong from the start;
the Sodomite hangs his head in shame; this is the age of the name
the Sapphic tries to ignore the name they give her now; it’s lawful shite
but fun in the bun, Russell Square is burning, burning
Clarissa D forgets her way this time; wrongs the eponymous tour
(they are just taking you round and round, you know,
the one’s that promise to show queer London and take you to Soho
have a coffee or two; or perhaps a dildo or a book on our history;
that’s the scene, if nothing else, if you please)
there’s one on Marchmont Street: the myth of the gay word.
but come there’s a party; no met pol in mufti there but
the mayor; I’m aching to meet him, he’s such a cocktease.
let us go in and ignore the sign she’s holdin, bloody homophobe,
but what did it say, what did it say, oh blimey I didn’t see;
something very cruel about us; such an antique, forget her please,
probably an immigrant; did you get the members card, it’s the red one,
don’t look at her, just enter, oh good it’s fuckin’ dark, now enter.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

चाँद दिन में चार बार खिलता है

चाँद दिन में चार बार खिलता है।

इक, जब किताब का पन्ना पलटते हुए

वो शब्द नज़र आ जाए जो किसी का नाम भी है।

दो, जब आलस से पड़ जाता हूँ बिस्तर में

यों कहते हुए - अब छोड़ो थोड़ी देर के लिए ये किताबें

और सोचो, बस सोचो उसके बारे में

कि आलस का ये मौका भी काम जाए।

तीन, जब आकाश में सूरज ना हो, बस बादल हों,

तो इंतज़ार तो इक चीज़ का ही होता है, उसके नज़र आने का;

चाँद का इंतज़ार भी इक तरह का चाँद है।

चार, दिन जब रात में ढलता है, तो भला और कौन

मुहँ फुलाए, कहने को यों की क्यों तुम देर से आए,

तुम्हारा इंतज़ार करता है