The Love of Dead Leaves
A marketing guy for a manufacturer
In underwear, he tells me how,
Whenever he tells someone what he does,
They take him for a dealer in brass.
And this is his personal joke — over and over we laugh.
He wants to shift over to the marketing of
More substantial stuff. Lists out
Closely meditated-upon options
One by one, pros and cons included,
Pelting across the evening light, a faraway horizon.
“But”, he concludes, “lingerie it is for me!”:
A man with a good half a measure of himself,
A clear idea of the untrodden, desired path,
A surveyor who has half done his map
With an idea of the meat that should turn on his heart(h).
Silence ensues. Tapping his left knee with a
Little can he is holding, he shakes his heel
To the rhythm of the music playing. I’m like ‘damn’,
To myself, I’m like ‘damn’ and comparing
The comparable note between bra salesman and me.
I’ve known where I should go, but, where stagnant
Like a pinned insect I pause, giving pleasure to
The amused onlooker who, without a clause, takes for granted
My discomfort, retardation and pain. Wanting to make a break
And to restore the scent of life again.
“Well?” he asks, suddenly, out of the half dark.
“What you thinking? Am I kinda making you bored?”
An intervention — though not any closer to divine —
As a kid bearing a tray walks up by my side
And extends in rigid arm move the contents, mummified.
Do you remember that transparent tile on the roof
Through which the cloudless pass of a
September night we watched, as the wedge of
A shimmering torch streamed through to that room
And on the wall made shadows of a gargoyle and a dwarf?
If memory permits and if I remember right
I said such a surreal scene ought to be
Preserved in light. The meaning of “surreal”
You asked, chose it not to get;
Dissolved the silence that we’d ought to bed.
That night, you later said, was torture and pain
For to shut out the lunar screeching there
Was no curtain or blind. But, the excess of the scorch
In that mercurial rain makes memory a white haze
With very little to remind.
For the night, the room and the lights
Were a fraction dim
And even as I spoke about the weather to him
We were in neither’s company, as were each, every other:
In distracted cliches, redundant trim,
We — all who wore pants to which
Tucked in shirts ironed with care gave looks —
Were all self-consciously subdued,
As in fear of being discovered each minute, turn, look employed
To steal a glance, a grin, a nod from He(le)n of Troy.
No. You couldn’t give offense and could assume without care
And we all praised you and the
Creator of the underwear. How many delighted by a word, a grunt,
Is not known, for the census taker’s pen
Once the bar of straightness is raised, would prefer not to write again.
After yesterday’s rain.
As if washed away down wherever the water may flow,
The attendance today is decidedly low.
In the conference room
There are a dozen maybe — or,
Maybe less, but more than seven
And at a quarter to the strike of eleven
The chair calls for a discussion and I am there
As Speaker Number 1 entertains queries
On Cultural Tourism and numerous related disparities.
He talks on and on — his tedious argument,
Further explored, digressed, re-spun and back.
Guy to his left and the lady to his right
Engage with his thoughts, provoking his genius.
The guy to his left, in a gesture all too familiar,
In a tone already marked, in some long ago show,
moving his head in an angle that I knew,
Bends forward, slightly, making identification real —-
Is it him, then; is it he:
Yes, it is him. Yes, it is most certainly he.
Engaged in debate on tourism,
Sexuality. Surreal and sweet — life’s random meetings.
Who else would write a poem for him, now politically correct?
You’re on limited profile
Wondering what it could be you’re running away from:
Surely, that past is far from of what one would speak
And if the door was not fastened when you eased out your butt
It was more for convenience – but, he won’t tweak.
Like representation given without
Devolved power to entail –
Is it that to block, to reject, to unfriend completely
There is some guilt, hurt that you first must atone for?
He’s on your Facebook, by name, true Sri Lankan style.
You tell him, then, between tea
Or you don’t tell him it at all – and
When he finds there’s nothing to find
Except the unclickable plaster doll
As a profile picture made permanent by an inaccessible wall
He will sigh slyly or wonder
Damn, had I fucked her at all,
Would sperm-wastage have increased, like John thought of Paul?
Resigned to role play a Provincial Council,
Staying tune in case national elections are called.
What Aristotle wouldn’t tell you, let me – Bard – with softness
Break down to you like bread: Social Networking,
Very much like politics, has not many eternal foes to dread.
The run is as far as the precipice comes; and there if she cares to turn
The Past is a willing, mind-humbling entry, with much that’s vain to burn.
Rocket-launch beauty is not a virtue
When in his deceptive finger tip you are
Balanced like a ball and as the sheen of
All that you held as sacred dissolves in the whistle
Of his smooth, soft mating call.
What are you? You half begin to wonder
If to wonder the balmy unconscious wave
Of the moment gives you leave.
As he holds in the vast vacant eyes your soul
And gathers in his lips where you’d left it off sleeve.
All that deliberating of all that long
With the next snap of fate dividing fingers
Are gone. Cease to breathe, cease to breathe!
Flimsy air to warm those passages need no more.
As he wills, where he wills let warm vapour flow.
Break out no smile as he rises to go.
That man has let you down where nature
Once was strong — that’s all you must know.
Look on him now where imperfection’s sly grin
Amplifies what he yet was when taking you in.
Before the decisive, life changing goosebump,
Before saying something stupid that would
Make you the stupider
Close your eyes, Comrade Horny,
Imagine her mother
All stuffed up, all oozy,
Carrying on and on and on and on
Till the cows are come, are milked and gone.
Stir not at that curl, that smooth
defectless nose, nor what her eyes
In you generate as force.
Throw ahead your thoughts ten years to be
And she, see her then in all resistability.
Give not away your weakness
With one hand on your crotch.
That web which calls your fly all messes up
What your good sense has once rarely planned.
She’s a moo-cow to be of a different land.