of sleep

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i stalked Shabana Azmi’s Instagram at 4:17 a.m. after coming across one of her posts. i got stuck to it and explored her life, as exhibited on the heavy screen of my cell phone. in a desperate plea for sleep, i look for such intervening factors on the social media that can lull me to close my eyes where i can lose the ra(n)ge of my incessant inner-voice. sometimes, it works and i hand over the reins of the internet and breathe deeply into a light snooze. at other times, i realise after long how bizarre it is and begin to make amends, in the form of shallow breathing to trick myself to sleep. when that does not work, i start worrying about the books that i am not reading, the ones i left in between, the ones i do not know of, the ones i could never write (or something along these lines) till i cross the borders (and uncross them) between levity and foolhardiness one too many times.

in order to feel better, i finished the chapter of one of the books that i was reading and watched the first half an hour of a film. then to bed and breaths and buildups. and back to prompt wakefulness.

at 6:37 a.m., i stand up and go for a floating walk. with the sun burning my industrious eyelids, i miss out on the hornet just ahead of me. after a moment’s delay, we both gawk at each other and turn in opposite directions. my sense of direction does not work well in such circumstances and i end up encountering this mischievous creature again. before the sting, the cry of a crow takes my full attention and i manage to escape.

the scrawny black thing has a worm in its mouth, hanging loose like a scarf around the neck (that can well be a noose). it is a morning angel, cawing and cackling and enjoying its breakfast. it ignores the row of six pigeons on the opposite wall, who are the sentinels of this open court.

there is no judgement in the coming. i think of the law and its acrimonious relationship with hope. i think of the absentee litigator before an absent god, i think of a big advocate with a stamp of contempt on his head. what is the law for but to disembowel the mind and tie the tongues into neat knots?

the law is sans justice. the sleep is sleeplessness. with that in mind, i start writing of this vacuum that can contain all of our lifetimes and those that have not even begun yet.

 .
© Anmol Arora

Image source (Sleeping Effort, 1953, Jackson Pollock, © Pollock-Krasner Foundation / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York)

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lust, when cajoled & converted,
from the thing it was, becomes
a lascivious ghost, whispering
into your cherry-blossom-ear.

how easy it can be
to drown
in each and every
syllable of that voice,

how difficult it can be
to come out
of a well, where you’ve
bled & emptied yourself.

.
© Anmol Arora

Day 27
(Inter)National Poetry Month

 

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the moon is silent tonight.

it depends on the black river
of life (the stream of conscious
without light) to raise her voice
and tell me, why it feels as if,

my home is not my home tonight.

.
© Anmol Arora

Day 20
(Inter)National Poetry Month

the sky is falling

it is irresistible
to let the grey matter light up
when the sky is falling into shards
of silver-sighs and golden-rushes
to achieve something, to get there,
somewhere,

without the connivance of the mind’s vault,
where my sensibilities & sincere(&saturated)
goals are locked, as if in a fragile (no ex-
posure) condition
of a lifetime that isn’t passing by,

an unintended way to know what mind
creates and subsumes is to let it be,
building palaces and sculptures out
of ruin, birthing poems without labour,
or perchance (the sky is the colour
of an ink-stained favourite shirt)
it is all already fixed,

this gamble is a faux-irony of living,
i am measuring the length of my silken-
hair with dirt clinging to the strands
that are unwashed but tidy on a rainy
day, when the sky is falling,

and moss is growing through my hair
&beard (lichen, fungi, almond cyanide)
having left the matter to the falling
(fervently dancing, finessing,
fighting without fulfillment)
sky.

.
© Anmol Arora

Day 17
(Inter)National Poetry Month

each spring

each spring, i try to count the gossamer-
seconds of a sun-stricken day, that
is not too long or too short anymore.

each spring, i return to the same old
snapshot, which is only defined by
its heat, against my lengthy heart-
palpitation or recovery of eyesight.

each spring, i try to return where i was,
somewhere down the rainbow mile of
a memory that is now too far behind.

each spring comes with its armored-
chest & wheezing cough, and i look
for a dial on my streamlined life, that
could turn back the flow of time,
encapsulating all these springs in
a needle-hand, pointing right at
the point of my origin or perchance
the drop-dead familiarity of its end.

.
© Anmol Arora

Linking it up with my ‘Open a Book‘ challenge at With Real Toads for the 10th day of the poetry month. I opened at random a page from the Six American Poets anthology (edited by Joel Conarroe) and my sentence of inspiration was the first line from Wallace Stevens’ Anglais Mort A Florence: “A little less returned for him each spring”.

Day 10
(Inter)National Poetry Month