sri lankan literature

Emission of Gas

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It disintegrated beyond recovery
And we are strangers now
Once again, as we were when we met:
Nursing ourselves for another day in life,
Scuttling among petty kicks we regret.

Ironing a shirt, lengthwise — arms first –,
parting the hair there where it is set
To be parted — now well creased — that even the
Turbulence of sex would not unsettle that perpetual creasing.
Rinse. Wash. Flush the toilet.

Look at my stride as I walk:
It is even, it is smooth, it is virile
Even while the edges cut against my skin.
I greet your face as you face to greet me
And casually say ‘how?’, concerned about my suffering.

I stare at the buttonless man, the big-bummed vehicle,
The emission of gas — think how
The glaciers trickle to dust. The gregarious build
Of the dangling many-fold woman and the many firm eyes
That to follow her must.

They follow their dreams — I follow my shadow
As it precedes me, as the sun falls on my back,
Urging me on. Pushing me down the road
And the screen only has a missed call that I miss
From a pathetic piece of flesh with whom I am bored.

Yulia South Bridge


The Final Respect Giver

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Your mother and father and aunt and her son
And the grandmother’s other friend
With the left tooth missing, your husband
And his cyber friend who plays ‘Underground’:
Tell them that I told that someday
I’ll be coming.


Your mother, the segregationist,
Is dead and in a coffin
And to those who come to wipe tears
You offer drinks and tiffin.

Is her spirit sitting there
Where the armchair doesn’t rock?
Like when she whistles to the fish seller,
In her kitchen-stained frock?

They watch me as my beard
My shirt pocket touch
And those who don’t know who I am
Wonder this much:

“Who is he?” and you pass
Your curves rock the frilled skirt
Or vise versa — or whatever —
And we have long quit the flirt.


I watch you, like the camera
Which Curtis maneuvers, as as swiftly
As a line by Jonathan you move
Across space, across smiles, and I who once assured
You’re the queen of the darn mortal race, assures

That you have wasted where the waist
Was: what he who dreamed to bang you most dreamed of
— But a little, but an inch or two — cos, as the
Vulgar poets said, one can still put one’s palms, clasp it all
And make you stutter , make you utter “You slutter take me to bed”.

Oh, yes, I am positively dreaming
And I see noone talks to me even as the
Best known faces smile, walks and if you have
Put on weight, then, how can it be, I wonder,
You sail like that: like a corn flake lost in flight?


Do not think, for a moment
That that bitch’s fartly death
Will save the others salvation
From my home made gun.

I craved her flesh, too, to
Be fucked like a cabbage
Caught in a vegetarian’s sloth member
On a day sex was banned.


As I leave I retreat pebbles
Years ago touched with a care,
Warmth which only oil-less
Dust memory might know —
If you told that to revisit
You’d be coming, so to refresh,
The essentials and highlights —
For time’s hide lulls; grows.

Out the gates, by what flags,
What collects wind and flutters,
A silent white flag a no longer
Valid story mutters. The yard has
Grown, gone to wilderness and
Every soft spot is covered and
An altered memory of landscape
Is a burden to irony.


Seek Truth

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You cannot cut too close to the arteries
And face the bystander who, in the glass,
Pretends you are a
Less fornicated creature – that your brains, in you, clatter
And issue doubt-waves that too close you’ve cut.

He looks down, as you look down, the thin
Streams splat out – less redder than what you want, like
The fading, sweaty menses –
Trickles down your palm
Without harm. As you watch.

Once a woman – nay, a girl – a honeyed lass
Inside her thighs, arched them far wide open,
Parallel to her eyes. She said, “Look”, she said
A blade can give lust, too satisfied, a token of
Distemper. She smiled. She cut.

Face to face, with no more than the ticking of
An hourglass as our dread,
We made eye contact to the sunset
As, without words, we bled.
The bats flapped their wings. The colours went dim.

“Do you hear the infants cry, next door
For fresh drawn milk?” As each mother moans,
Backs turned on the parapet,
A nation of moaning, breast-feeding women
Became an abhor. Became a sound

Which only the lesser poet could hear. But,
With time on our side and the
Sun drawing to a close, we meditated on
Sounds, shapes; leakages of sorts.
So, we knew when it stopped. When the infants called it a day.


The Fish in the Tank

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Tonight, the protester comes home. Tonight,
Nothing’s won, forced through; and very little’s bright.
You stop by the fish tank to see the waters go,
The reeds, unsettled by the oxygen, yet let
The fish to exhale and flow.

The light’s on, you got a shirt to remove,
A Facebook account to check. Revive a
Stanza in unappreciated poetry: which, when revised,
You know will not go any further than when
You stood among real fiction and real men.

Just say that NM was ultimately Minister of Finance.
Concede that Comrade Vasu is now a deva in blue.
Sanjeewa Bandara’s a name that comes after
Charges by government batons; to tell a tale
Of what is left of what the System smiles to do.

Man, Protester, my beguiled fellow,
In tired, dripping resignation you lie against the pillow
What you earnestly felt was your pill for the nation.
Close your eyes, let out a sigh; I encourage your dream.
Battles are won individually; if not as a team.


Coward to Shed Desire

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Flirtatious no more, man
Close to never-returning Buddhahood,
In that last ten second moment before bidding good
Bye to a life, hereupto, lived in a tenacious pain
To caress the edges of illusive pleasure

Sees you, naked, in the fading light as you glisten
In a surreal moment — 20 yards away —
Calling out in whisper, letting the soft-lifting blow
Soft lift soft liftable tinted hair, soft lay, go where it go.
Sees you, as you bend to pick up an unseeable ant.

Now, that last ten second moment is dying,
The Referral System allows not time no more.
Tonguish, soft clavicle, warm realities you’ve willed to shed,
To make the forgotten bark of a
Sombre-looking tree your bed.

That last ten second moment, once passed and done,
In enlightened vision to the world you will say:
“The desire to desire desire to slay”.
You, the humiliated by passion for your lack of want.
Your blind spirit in the cowardly breed fears to haunt.


Transit Point

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In the wrong halt, dead in an October night,
Along an unfamiliar route, the
Bus drops me off saying that that was the place.
Took me a second to realize, and in the conductor’s eyes, too, he saw
He had just erred. The bus, all the same, through the dark disappeared.

Two bags hanging on either shoulder
Facing an alien chill I stand like Mulder.

Much much later, stumbling into some
Through-the-night, long distance bus,
I pop out with a sigh near the familiar school sign.
20 past 11, half unlit front drawing room of an almost done night
You part a quip and a jeer about my clumsiness.

I’m given some rice from somewhere,
I insist that I don’t want and I am hungry like I’m mad.
A newly laid bed amid all rotting woodwork.
“Put me up at 5 – 5.30?”. You ask me why so early:
I’m on my way to Galle; “But, I’d return tomorrow itself”.

You switch off the lights on your way off
And I’m thinking of the journey that lies ahead, the next morn.
From here to Panadura, from there to Galle, from Galle to business
And, then, the way back. Phone blinks. “Put the net. Don’t be smart”.
As if mosquitoes ever bit me. Mosquitoes never bit me.


Ward 33

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On a day without you

A collaboration with Dhanuka Bandara (C. Bandara) —.

A day without you.
A day without you.
Can a mole in an alien hole
Affect our isolation so?
We’re freezing:
A chilling that leaves us numb.

Awaiting your return as
Women that threaten integrity
Surround us.
In the frigid casts of their bodies
The libidos whither.

Lolly, too? Whither?
Hyperactive libido placated by a
Beguiling chaste facade.

Funny how Lolly and Pam fit
Into this compact room where they sit.

Lolly is of their model, only the
Strategy differs.
The tubelight flickers.
Neon light floods, smothers the room.

Kamali, oblivious to her mother
Fantasizes of another.
Kamali, beneath her blanched skin, a
Sadist sibil.

Someone’s talking here of
Sour grapes.
But, this is a season of spring:
Why talk of death stories?
It is the question time, the fan is still.

And you haven’t come, yet —
The longing multiplies.
It mollifies the longing, the aftermaths,
The dread of the unknown,
A cunt with claws.

Kamali’s mother speaks —
Doesn’t sound at all like Nora.
Ugly, repulsive, slutty bitch.