Wednesday, April 26, 2006

My Burning Tree

you are my tree
the great big tree in the middle
of the road next to the restaurant
which divides those who burn their lungs
and those who get burnt anyway,
you shade them both

you are my tree
but you belong to other trees separated
by miles of winding roads
and I am just another passerby using you
not wanting to get burnt,
you shade me well

you are my tree
the great big tree that I want to
hold on to and take refuge in as I flee
the flames that follow me to the depths
of blank pages getting burnt,
you form words out of ashes

you are my tree
the tree I wish others don't burn and bruise
as they hurtle through life's fast lane
but I can only wish and pray
for you to stay thru fire and rain,
you keep me alive

Friday, April 21, 2006


1. A set of gradations that show positions or values.

2. The act of checking or adjusting (by comparison with a standard) the accuracy of a measuring instrument.

I'm here wanting to be there
and not sure if that is right.

I hear clocks chiming dark music
and not sure if the beat is right.

I look into a mirror
and not sure if I see me right.

I smell carrion rejected by scavengers
and not sure if they are right.

I drink poison from slashed veins
and not sure if it tastes right.

I sense a change in the wind
and not sure it blows me left or right.

But this much I know:

A check on my bearings to right a wrong
Is to wrong my right to leave what was right.

So right now what is wrong
Will be adjusted to what I assume is right.

Though an alignment to right what's left
May result in a loss of words once felt right.

So I'm left here wanting to be right there
and not sure if that is...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

I Shouldn't Have

I should've known better
After aeons of pacing barefoot
On cold spaces, counting squares,
That numbers bring no sleep but
A countdown to crash and burn.

I should've known better
After hours spent in silent darkness
And fears translated to silent screams,
That words spoken bring no relief but
Cause friends to fall apart.

I should've known better
Than to drag your head to this shell
To listen to raging seas
That splinter words
And ruptures your eardrum.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


Except suitcases, replicating
As you move from city to city;
Filled with shards from rooms.

You carry these:
Floors that transform
Into faces into words into sentences
Devoid of expression adjectives punctuation
(You travel lighter faster);
Ashes that flap around
Build columns of fire
Around soul standing still watching
partaking in self-destruction.

You throw these:
Papers that bleed on
Clocks you smashed to freeze a moment
That melts at a song bruise touch in absentia
(You travel lighter faster);
Knives that glint at night
Carve patterns
On walls cracking still defending
attacking for self-preservation.

Except suitcases, replicating
As you move from city to city;
Filled with shards from empty rooms.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Written on Easter Morning, April 16th, 2006

Have you seen my lord?
I sit by this grave by day, by night,
I wait, I watch,
For signs of life within
As it passes me by without,
And I stare and wonder
If walking sleeping waking without you
Is a kind of existence
Worth breathing for.

Have you seen him?
Been three days, a day
A thousand years,
And all is emptiness, darkness, silence,
Wordless, yet I keep you
Alive in my heart, allow you
To consume my
Body and soul with your fire,
My hell your grave.

Have you seen him?
I look back and turn to stone
And now fall apart
Shattered to nothingness,
I do this knowingly, for
To free you from within
I have to die a million deaths,
Become a myth of your past and leave
No traces on your resurrected body.

Do you see him?
Now he rises, breaks through my stone heart,
Consumes what remains of me,
Walks over my watery grave
As the storehouse of my tears burst into
Raging storms of longing;
He rises and walks away
Away from my grave,
Increases as I decrease.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Short Story

“These are the latest”, she said as she flicked the envelope toward Josie. Angie’s cheeks were tear-stained and her fingers shook as she lit another cigarette. The packet had arrived in the mail today, another set of photographs that Mr Desoto, her private investigator had sent.. It was Joe assisting a long haired blonde woman out of the limousine. The picture was grainy but not unclear. There were other pictures of Joe holding the door open for the same woman or enjoying a meal at a sidewalk café. She had yelled at Mr Desoto for never being able to capture a clear view of the woman on film.

She had spent hours poring over all the photographs she had collected. She had scanned them in her computer and had invested hundreds of dollars in imaging software. It had become an obsession. She had suspected Joe of cheating on her ever since he had become more attentive in bed and had taken to having flowers delivered at the office every other day. Her coworkers were going gaga over the long stemmed roses, orchids and other floral arrangements that had made her cubicle resemble a florist’s. But this was highly unusual behavior. They had been married fifteen years and Joe had rarely showered her with cards, candy, flowers or jewelry in all their years together. She didn’t mind, she saw herself as a practical woman who only yearned for these things when she saw other well-loved women exclaiming with glee all around her.

“You have no need for artifice”, he liked telling her and she had laughed such comments away. So this was puzzling, to say the least.

She had also been noting his late work hours and the sudden proliferation of work assignments that required frequent travel. She has deliberated long and hard and then, on a whim, picked out Desoto Investigations from the yellow pages. Mr Desoto had been tailing Joe for two months now. She was convinced Joe was having an affair. She wasn’t sure who the object of his affection was, but she felt she was close and that the answer was there, staring her in the face, she just needed to concentrate.

Josie scanned each picture again. She felt the color drain from her face. She looked up at Angie and said, “I don’t know what to say Ange. These pictures are not very clear. You can hardly make out anything. Besides, I could never imagine Joe being unfaithful, especially after all these years!”

“Get a hold of yourself Ange, I can’t see you doing this to yourself!”

“I don’t know, Josie, I just don’t know! I really trusted him….never thought for a moment that he would do this to me! The saddest part is that our married life has really perked up! He has been so attentive, so sensitive. I am convinced now it’s guilt!”

Josie saw the tears brimming again and rested her hand on Angie’s, “Maybe she is just an acquaintance Ange! You are letting your imagination run away with you. And this Desoto guy is just making it worse. I think he is a charlatan, a bottom feeder. You have to cut him loose Ange! He is messing you up!”

“I don’t think so. I have really studied these pictures. The woman looks so familiar to me, yet I can’t place her. That hair, her style. I wish these pictures were clearer!”

Josie felt nauseous. She had an insane desire to leave the table at the restaurant where they had met for lunch. She wanted to bolt and was just about to excuse herself for the powder room when the waiter arrived. He smiled at her and said, “Ms Greene! So nice to see you again! Two days in a row. How fortunate we are!”

Angie looked at her as Josie flashed an icy smile back at the waiter, “Why John, you must be confused! I haven’t been here in awhile! Excuse me!” She got up and walked to the powder room while Angie stared after her, with a perplexed John looking on. She ordered herself a martini and told John that she needed a few more minutes.

But instead of reading the menu she pulled out the pictures from the packet again and flicked through them until she came upon the one where the restaurant awning read – Café Un Deux Trois.
That’s where they were today. The blonde hairstyle, the clothes, the shoes, were all pieces of a puzzle that suddenly fell neatly into place. She had been confiding in Josie for many months now, sharing her deepest, darkest secrets and more recently her suspicions about Joe’s infidelity.

She saw things with crystal clarity now. The music changed to a familiar old tune, “When you left me all alone/At the record shop/ Told me you were going out/For a soda pop…” A favorite oldie. She saw Josie walking back from the restroom, steps resolute, a decision reached.

“Angie, I don’t know how to tell you this. Actually I have told you about it, many times. I am hopelessly in love. It started that day at your fifteenth anniversary party. Remember when you had retired early, with a headache? Joe had spent a lot of time organizing the party. He was heartbroken when you left. I found him standing alone on your porch, drinking. He talked about that spark that was missing and one thing led to another….this is it for me Ange, I have found love. I am glad it’s out in the open. We should all try to move on with our lives now.”

The wrought iron chair scraped the floor and fell backward as Angie got up with a start, she walked out of the restaurant with whatever dignity she could muster as Josie picked an olive out of her hair and wiping the martini from her face looked on at Angie’s retreating figure. John was standing nearby, napkin in hand….

Fiction: Internet Embargo

The message was blinking on the screen as she watched, transfixed. The words started swimming around on the page, drifting in and out of focus while she sat, paralyzed. They leapt out at her – HUMAN THOUGHT - growing bigger in her line of vision and taking over completely.

If they weren’t going to be thinking how would she monitor their thoughts? The Grand Triumvirate (TGT) had no tolerance for excuses. “Excuses” were a fascinating discovery. When humans were in trouble, when they hadn’t done or said what they were supposed to have done, when they broke promises or commitments they could use excuses and get away with almost anything. TGT had greeted this discovery of hers with great amazement and equal disdain.

Now they would think she had learnt the art of making excuses from her subjects of study. If the humans weren’t going to be thinking for an entire week how and what could she report back? This could jeopardize the whole project.

The World Wide Web had offered some amazing behavioral insights. She had seen them change and evolve and accept willingly the leashes that bound them to their laptops, computers and various hand-held devices. Laptops had replaced the bedtime book and people on the streets always appeared to be talking to themselves. They had little devices hidden behind their ears and a tiny microphones dangling around their necks. She had ridden with them on trains and buses, noticing their deep involvement with their gadgets. No one paid attention to their fellow travelers in this journey of life, it was a wonder they still needed to get up and go somewhere every morning! People didn’t seem to need or want flesh and blood people anymore. Why, just last night she had watched a news snippet on TV about the International Pornographers Convention and their optimism about the new phenomenon of Pocket Porn. Cell phones could now provide titillation on demand! Well, well! Back home she had learnt about the outcome of such utter dependence on technology. It had taken them eons to recover from its soul-destroying effects.

Her efforts to understand humans had led to her becoming an avid chatter. She chatted around the clock, interacting with people all over the world. Loneliness was rampant. Real relationships had deteriorated or were somehow standing simply because their dissolution was a nuisance that wouldn’t add anything meaningful to the their lives. Clean breaks were just as meaningless as unions. And now it was all virtual. People were virtually stimulating the same areas of the brain that got stimulated during the mating ritual simply by interacting across chat lines. She was very amused with the “a/s/l” inquiries that came her way each day as some lonely soul somewhere, on this vast blue planet, reached out to “touch” someone across high bandwidth cables.

So how was this world going to react to a shut down of the Web and subsequently human thoughts? It did cross her mind that this was perhaps a hoax, but her research validated its authenticity. She was worried for herself. The TGT would demand her return and immediate execution if she failed to send in her weekly report. They would never believe all thoughts were going to be shutdown for a week. They would think it was her ploy to take that vacation to the 12th moon of Jupiter. They believed human tendencies were contagious and disdainfully cited the example of a renegade predecessor of hers who had gone around sporting an S on his suit as he flew around making people wonder if he was a bird or a plane.

She needed to think and fast. The shut down would happen in a few hours. She decided to take a walk on the beach to clear her head. There still was time.

She walked along the shore watching the waves thinking about her future, when suddenly she saw it. It jumped out of the water, a gargantuan beast, before gliding back in. A plume of water shot out of its head. What was that? Could it be? This was wonderful! She had been reading about these sea creatures, there was some data that they were almost as, if not more, intelligent than the humans she had ended up studying all these years. It all came back to her now – The Discovery Channel - she remembered the Whale. They were even said to have a language of their own, a Whale song! Her problem was solved.

She summoned up all her energy, and saw the sands shift beneath her slowly disappearing feet, her legs turning into that mighty tailfin as she slid, smoothly into the calm waters.

She was going to be reporting on whales this week.

Friday, April 07, 2006


The Gospel of Judas has just been revealed by the National Geographic.



All right, they found you. After two millennia
you’ll have your say, and that transmitted
through God knows how many mouths
and two further centuries, probably edited –
no offence, you understand, these doubts:
after all, your brothers have been here

much longer. Power, pelf, church all theirs,
to say nothing of a flock a few billion strong
whose faith – well, you know what I mean!
Four sainted apostles can’t be wrong…
And the eons have lent a certain sheen
to the tale… As for truth, who cares?

You saw Pilate wash his delicate hands
of it that day, the old fox, complete
with Roman jest - the chap had style. What
makes you think the multitudes will greet
your word? And it’s Lent now old boy, not
Christmas; not even a fighting chance.

But…I think you’re better off as you are.
Your brothers in Christ have done more
for you than they’ll know. A betrayer’s
the meat of drama, like Magdala’s whore:
and one with theatre’s famous slayers.
No less than them, you’re a star.


Tuesday, April 04, 2006


Sorrow is a wilted rose
sepia-tinted and crumpled up prose,

Sorrow is cold winter rain
slithering down cracked window panes,

Sorrow is dilapidated barns
in forgotten little villages,

Sorrow is love discarded
walking down deserted lanes,

Sorrow is softly sharp
cutting through sinew and heart,

Sorrow walks the streets
and spills through old news-reels,

Sorrow drowns mundanely
in unknown and anonymous tales,

Sorrow flies on broken wings
journeying through lands unforgiving,

Sorrow is young and old
lost in wrinkled yesterdays and yearning tomorrows,

Sorrow is not knowing
what you had today,

Until you've lost it forever
never to have it come back,


Monday, April 03, 2006

wondering about dying

You tell me about death,
I fear it greatly, I fear.

I fear it happening to you now
For no reason, as you question -

Why the diseased rot in beds, disintegrate,
Yet exist in too slow obliteration.

Why comforts metamorphose into demons
Piloting a trip to the whale's belly.

Why parents die without a will,
Without kindness, without forgiveness.

Why friends take a flight a bus a car,
And never return to us.

Why some hurtle towards darkness,
Drown in a sea and vanish.

I fear and you wonder why
We live and etch graves in our memories.

You ask all this and I fear, I fear
For I know the shadow that walks with me.

You speak of death, and I know,
I know you know it could happen to me.