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)

don’t stay

dionbefore-the-dusk-e1386273531465
the lights go off in the section where
dusk meets the dark tidings of time
– limitless, engorged, stagnant –
whites to become whole at
this juncture of hope,
where no one stays
when shutters
have closed
down.

don’t
stay now
either, since
my unslept dreams
resound in emptied-
out hollows of the mind —
all that was sought, to be lost,
has been found at a decried end,
where staying is no longer in need.

.

© Anmol Arora 2018

For With Real Toads’ Fussy Little Forms, where Nonets are the order of the day
Image source (Before the Dusk by Dana Dion)

***

I have been working on a new Insta handle for over a month now, for literary and creative posts: @anmol.ha.
For contact, you can reach out to me through my multiple profiles, enlisted here.

r.e.m.

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         “Was it a vision, or a waking dream?               
         Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?”
—Ode to a Nightingale, John Keats

~

torn and subdued – acrid, violet ink
tapered at the edges, and squirming
against the onslaught of thoughts —

candles smoldering without a care,
the pale wax marooned on my palms,
i oversee the languid conciliation of

dreams, en route to an acrimonious
sleep — the undying tides are defiantly
restless in slighted visions, as i deign

to shut the doors of cognition, with
everyone aboard – sans all those lost
voices – departing from the ramparts

of my mirrored insanity —

.

Image source: Hypnagogic Monument, Salvador Dali

A slight conundrum: the title, the image, and the quoted lines refer to different stages—so I have decided to be unmindful of that.
Linking it up with the Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads.

***

I have been working on a new Insta handle for over a month now, for literary and creative posts: @anmol.ha.
For contact, you can reach out to me through my multiple profiles, enlisted here.

Dripping: A 3 Sentence Story

The aged man was resting in the shade of the peepal tree on a hot and humid afternoon, when a sparrow maneuvered into the thick green branches, rustling the leaves in the otherwise silent atmosphere. The tired man didn’t notice the arrival of the newcomer. He just stroked his fingers over his cheeks where the bird’s dripping fell down over him, in his sleep.

* Written in response of the Trifextra Challenge.