Return of the nameless

January 2nd, 2001

Nameless in the faceless city,
like its paan shops,
like polygamist buses switching routes
like tubes on rails that squirt at stations
like the human paste with its proletariat smell.

Your company is a clothesline
for my private sorrows.
My complaints don’t disturb you.
That comforts me.

Walking the streets
branching into streets
branching into streets
one can always come back to
where one started.

Sitting by the window
inside the tube on rails
through Sunday’s vacant hours,
one can pass one’s destination
any number of times.

Sitting on the deserted bench
at the busy mouth of the five-star,
and waking up to the shimmer
of city light, as beads of sweat
on your every ripple.

Some day I’ll return,
for you alone know my name.


January 2nd, 2001

Who dropped in careless haste
that drop of scarlet hue
and left before it dried
over the moist stretch?

See it mix and spread
as clouds of crimson
around the red
all over the blue

Who left the canvas
in such haste?

Night, I’m sure:
She can’t see hues anyway.
And she fled in dread of
Day’s rising masculinity.

Ballard Pier

January 2nd, 2001

This is Ballard Pier.
In the abdomen of these Anglican coffins
are men feeding on paper pus.

The morning rush is to the attendance muster.

Three late marks is a casual leave lost.
Three casuals encashed fetch a ready-made shirt.

The conversion table is clear, driving
the morning rush to the attendance muster.