It is the witching hour
All must go back to the beginning
of time
time when the cogs & wheels,
nuts & bolts, the true & false
of your existence
drips long magenta sludge
to the bottom of the
holy vortex

You stop to cry out
words form, are heard,
then disappear
Quick like a bunny
down through the hole

It is the desperate hour
your nature unravels
flaxen-haired onto
the resting place
of some unknown head

Who is that man?
What do I owe now?
Bring on the enforcers
fear is so subjective

Death creeps near the doorway
unannounced as shrill-voiced women
accuse, try to define things they
do not understand
Here you go boys, here’s a hand
women against women, now that’s
a barb to the side of the altar
mixed messages, socio-economic differences
Rubber burns in the background
fire in their eyes, singed hair,
a flip flop by the road

Will you ask no questions, have no care
for understanding past histories?
You cannot begin to understand
the hunt for present circumstances
without a compass, without a map
Can you not see?
We shirk all internal combustion
to arrive at an answer we do not heed;
to move in a circle we cannot engage
War is made of such things as sirens sing
off color & tone to the deaf of the world
Who can be given a jest such as this
surviving on vagrant morsels
Kolkata whispers in your ear?

You have come to this place
in the middle of bad returns
Heal me, once again, heal me
If there ever was a need so strong
it has come to these shores at this hour
Feel the weight of vaporization
It is heavier than you think
Light fingers spread fairy dust
birthing another portion of yourself
feather-like, filigreed, feminine
spit out the goddess within
undetermined, unpegged, not a
pigeon hole in sight

You were born in a tin pot
on a back burner
So what of it?
Golden dreams dance


Getting the Word Out: Jaggery Journal

Happily though social media I connect with people of like minds all over the world. This resulted in getting to know Satya Gummuluri on Facebook who edits a marvelous “DesiLit Arts and Literature Journal.” She graciously exposed a community of viewers to my work and me to the work of others.
While coverage is fantastic, the journal is an important forum for writers and artists. Rather than explain what it’s all about please read: http://jaggerylit.com/about/.
Thanks to all the staff and contributors of Jaggery!

If we know not who the other is, we shrink ourselves to a small world of sameness.

The New Selkies

Mermaid 1542 Emblemata, Alciati

Over the side girls
That’s where you’ll find us
Below the waves
In the thick silence of Oceania

A slight pressure
Frigid waters
Set a heart on fire straight

Few intrusions beget us here
Violations to a minimum
We glide like mermaids
calling to no one
A seaweed diet,
fathoms of source protein

Sleek as selkies
Sonorously sedate
Moving with every ripple
Not a wrinkle on us

Over the side girls
Habitat undaunting
Figures of unison
Harbingers of grace

We tweak the imagination
High pitch of rattling
Not a day goes by
without purpose

Porcelain goddesses
we are not
Trappings of mercantile madness
Hardened steel from foundries
Reconfigured world
in the mist of time
We dwell where intent shifts
as protean mortalities
Spun over the edge

So over the side, I say
Away from street walking
Enough of the handcuffs
Let’s swim far away

https://archive.org/details/emblemataandreae00alcia: Magnificent woodcuts in Alciati’s book. You buy print of image: http://bit.ly/1ptkiw5

Women Alone

Women alone, tossed in corners unnoticed
Eaten alive by vague disregard
Rubble in living rooms
Destitution in kitchens
Relations devour what’s left of their heart

Women subjected to endless endurance
Garments burned up by male-only rules
No money to save them, no material distractions
Humming lightly to static
hopes dashed on and on

Women in line surrounded by children
Daughter’s hands tremble, miscalculation abides
Brooding eternal, a rope always dangles
Suggesting an outcome all religions despise

Women in prisons of mind and/or body
Ribcages stricken, calves in a bind
Stomachs knotted where throats are located
Moans reduced to grumbling that all will ignore

Women zoned out by babbling networks
Their strength is gone,
Their emotions half-baked
Protestations subsided, lodged in inertia
Denials resourceful, ever ready complaints

Women in men’s clothing thinking freedom may meet them
Finding only frayed pockets where dignity’s lost
Face frozen hard in a mimicking fashion
It brings nothing but echoes
of a scream loud and long

Women baking every sultry concoction
Bitter tales of fresh icing–the calories must rise
Sleight of hand cannot alter
Thin lies they are telling
Oaths for the taking on colorful pies

Women in snowstorms covered in linen
Roofs of their mouths taste metallic and smooth
No matter what unguents
They use on their scabies
Their babies remember the cold clinic floor

Women lost on vast tundra
Hard pustules split open
Cacti can’t soothe them; spiny as sticks
At midday next morning distended bowels vanish
By degrees of repression unknown to us all

Neither TV, nor Internet; no air waves can stop it
Torrential endeavors always fail to restore
Since the mothers and sisters and brothers and fathers
Tie knots of forgetting in the midst of begetting
flayed selves unadorned

Identity does survive, though, regardless of ruckus
Warmth endures unabated
In the trace of true kindness
Trickling long after sunset down cheeks that are failing
Cantatas unheard but never unsung.

Dancing Horizons

Somewhere between
brutality and the distance of time
there exists a silence
born of pleasure and pain
balanced, without discrepancy
unlimited in its dissolution of Ferocity
Injustice, Grief
floating like an unexpected iceberg
Overwhelming in beauty
Frightening in enormity

There lies our love
a brushstroke of luck,
fortunate occurrences
A place of liquidated greed
nuanced with generosity
Sweet as a freshly picked apple
without a destructive Eve
to take the blame for existence

We will meet there
to embrace each other heartily
A comfortable lust of appreciation

Sea Foam


Here we go, row matey
Break yer back
There’s a survivor now
Push forward hard against sweet currents
Jagged boys, bespangled
The girl, she shoots a Glock no doubt

Here we go, up against it
Endless horizons of loose shale
Stiff challenges
Count them up like plastic coin
Not good for anything but remembrance
Circulations alive, heart pumping
Born for the borrowing

Cast yer eye away from the truth of it
No sense in wailin’
Fickle is the day

Climb over piles of unattended matters
Don’t tell a soul
It’s not worth the time
Stand firm, trees block yer view now
Skittish children by the shore
Lookin’ for a game of chance
Settle the score some other time, then

Sing low, you Anglo Saxon bounder
Mettle is all in a word
Oysters and plagued misfortunes running against it
Unforgiving coastlines, homemade decks splinter up fast

They’re buyin’ up the town
While you hang onto a knapsack, a copper neck cuff
Pants that don’t ever quite fit

Strong voyagers of swift waters
We tell ourselves buoyant creatures all
Today’s not for the sinking
Neither tomorrow
For a hardy pack we make
At sunset