Dispatches to distant lovers

Saranga English section is now happy to announce a new column – Featured Poet. We invite submissions to this feature at editor@saarangabooks.com This fortnight we’re presenting Abul Kalam Azad.

Abul’s poetry is an intersection of interior and exterior beauty of life. He speaks about the innermost reality of his self and makes a journey into an endless path.

 

1

My body,

an unlit cigarette

 

The flame,

far apart

 

burning as a moon,

for all to smell

 

When we meet,

our love shall be the ash

 

hiding in the nooks

of our bedsheets

 

2

 

Die on me, darling”

 

“My tomb,

 between your breasts

 

 My obituary,

 drying on your lips

 

 Your eyes,

 my gravestones,

 

 Your pupils,

 my frozen sonnets”

 

3

 

My fingers search for you

 across the night sky”

 

“Maybe,

 galaxies are desperate scribblings

 of distant lovers”

 

“And cosmos a sad dream

 of a poet who never met his lover,

 refusing to wake up from this misery”

 

“Sleeping with her eyes

 tightly locked in his fingertips”

 

4

 

I am naked,

without you

 

Dancing to my desires

with a broken mouth organ

 

Oh darling,

hop onto me,

claw into my crevices

 

Then, as the night withdraws,

cloth me,

with your surma

 

5

 

What if you hate my voice?”

 

“Your words are already stained

 with the scent of the sea

 that flows between our hearts”

 

“These letters are just

 the flapping of my arms

 drowning in those waves”

 

“I gather those on the other side

to sew them into a sonnet

 with which I peel the layers

 of your longing”

 

“Peel me all you want,

 to the last wisp of my bones”

 

“…till we become voids,

 where we hide the other’s scars”

 

6

 

If I was with you,

I would be caressing the skin

shed by your chapped lips

while trapped in a long kiss

 

I would be hanging the hammock

of my wounded heart

along the dents of your shoulder blades

 

I would be visiting, hand in hand,

the quaint bars in your decaying city

and scrape the walls of despair

drooping on those drunken streets

 

My fingers would be gently walking

around your pubic hair, as if whistling

to a fugitive underneath

 

If I was….then, maybe, I am

 

Do we live

only

where we love?

 

Are all other lives just apparitions

waiting to dissolve into absence?

 

Is love the only presence

inside misplaced hearts?

 

 

Dirty Poet Scum

 

Did you ever feel

  a strange pull

  to a distant soul

  sprouting just

  from the words they spit,

  from the colors they court,

  from the nightmares they carry

  like halos on their cursed hearts?

 

  That intimate reckoning,

  that, perhaps, when you peel those words,

  erase those colors,

  unlock this distance,

  then the person you meet

  shall be closer to the shadows

  you embrace, in secret,

  when the moon takes a sabbatical

  from the lonely nights

  and chokes all the happy stars,

  than you can ever be?

 

  Somehow,

  I feel that with you

 

  At least,

  that mirage of you

 

 That dirty poet scum

 dancing on the graves

 of all the men Medusa seduced

 

 wearing white lilies

 you stole from the blood pool

 of decapitated hearts

 

 piercing your nose

 with peacock feathers

 you found in burnt books

 

 your nerves filled

 with pagan verses

 of dystopian artists

 

 rioting alone

 in surreal visions

 of obscure humans

 

 and,

 when the night falls

 like the minute’s hand

 of a dying clock,

 

 you groove from a swing

 across the edges of a borrowed moon 

 on the terrace of a haunted house

 

 I yearn to caress, deeply,

 all that remains, scattered, in you,

 

 like raindrops sinking

 into wayward ashes

 of a desolate graveyard,

 

 to spread your colors

 in my syllables

 

 and dissolve in the fumes

 of that decadent union”

 

 

“ Peel those words,

  all you find is piles of shame

 

  Stink of unresolved regrets

  shall mute your besotted heart

 

  Erase those colors,

  all you cradle is a stillborn lunatic

 

  Memories of madness

  shall wreck your widened arms

 

  Unlock this distance,

  all you face is disfigured anger

 

  Echoes of crippling rage

  shall crack your coddled nest

 

  This ravaged heart of mine

  cannot be loved, dear one,

 

  for all that beats beneath

  is self-pity and cigarettes”

 

 

“ I am broken beyond belief,

  dear desired one

 

 Every corner of my naked self

 nurses tales of comatose tears

 and smells of botched suicides

 

 I know well the contours

 of unlovable lives,

 for mine is one

 

Maybe, that’s why I am drawn

to the shape of your sighs

 

Perhaps,

when two cracked mirrors lock shards,

that snatched image of silence

can be salvaged,

just enough,

to be wept upon

 

Perhaps,

a real kiss can only grow

from bruised lips

 

I live in the same nook

that you inhabit

 

maybe, by a different cranny,

 

but I am stretching my shadow

to reach your window

 

If you long

to place your frozen palms

on my ashen cheeks,

 

I am always at a finger’s reach”

 

 

*

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abul Kalam Azad

Abul Kalam Azad

Abul Kalam Azad was born in Guntur of Andhra Pradesh. Now living in now living in Japan. Previously published in Cha, The Sunflower Collective, Muse India, Raiot, Routes, Antiserious, etc. The first published one was 'The hunted ones' in Kindle Mag. Oct 2015 http://kindlemag.in/the-hunted-ones/

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