Thursday, October 13, 2005


when you put me on hold,
i counted the beeps,
i sang silly songs,
imagined how long
it would take, for
strange roots to grow
from my palm
into the phone.
but I waited
to hear your breath
on the other side
of the earpiece.
you see, you had promised
to set me free.

the coins ran out,
and so did the time.
i held on foolishly,
allowed the anguishes
to simmer before they grew,
and then came the pain.
it racked my soul
ribboned it
and flung it afar.
buffeted by pitiless winds of logic
it was strung out to hang
on a shabby string of trust
like torn Tibetan prayer flags.

you didn't see how the phone cord
rebelled at my patience
and strangled my wrist,
my neck, my desires,
and drowned me
in the vast blue
of the endless waiting.

the gods were jealous
when they knew i wanted
a mere mortal more.
'you've been used!
'your faith is pointless!
they said, then
they rejected me,
offered me no haven
no respite, no rest...

i've wandered since,
looking for a place to hide,
where no knowing laughter
would mock my foolish effort
to pause that fraction in time
when you said, 'brb'.


balihai said...

i abso loved the first two stanzas. you lost me on the last.

david raphael israel said...

[n.b.: longwinded "analysis" -- as a little study, for what worth]

like it -- creation of a mythology in this manner (especially when so soaked in what amounts to delicate irony or [self]satire) -- always holds peculiar appeal. It requires (for some reason) certain elements which you supply: as if this were a basic form whose ingredients you know or intuit, and discover in the given experience. The "fraction in time" in the penultimate line gives this much more zing of course; and the "wandering / looking for a place to hide" follows the pattern of all cursed narratives (begining w/ that of Bhairava). The "brb" recalls a discussion lately w/ Arjun Bali vis-avis his use of OMG in a poem. As there, here too, I find it effective (something done once; two such would be too much).

(Initially I couldn't figure out, from title, what "brb" means -- till its sense in context emerged at poem's end.) The "knowing laughter" recalls your Krishna laugh from an earlier poem [seemingly the same or a kindred experience]. Rather than memorializing the bright harmony of happy resolution, the poet posts a dispatch on the dark harmony of beautiful ironies and absurdities.

It's a curious fact that this often (as here) can make for a more appealing poetry. Why this is so, I don't know.

Is the emotional extremity ameliorated by charm of satire? or does satire sugar-coat an essentially bitter pill? Perhaps both can be true in such a poem.

cheers, d.i.

Asmita said...

How do I say it. I have no words. It's like you put a knife into me and turned it in the wound. It hurts and yet I am drawn to it like an addict.