Shrink

—opening time—

I’m not a remover that glides across strangers’ pages full of scribbled ink, smudging its white self as it passes,
But I am.
I’ve the right to retain the volume I contain though I fill others’ glasses,
But I can’t.
A honk that was beauteous as Coltrane’s flute went once unheard in the midnight lamp’s chilled glow on a red headed stranger’s street,
But mine is a horn that screams intense, these strangers hear it bleat but hesitate to treat,
Clean pages and glasses full of delicious colors sit atop my table which I desire overturned,
I marvel these and although I blow hard I cannot get the horn to produce the music yearned,
Hence I lay down my head
Reading a fragrance instead.

—them—

I feel this ‘her’, distant as though those nails scared her too much,
But it isn’t so, it’s her friend’s matrix’s glitch,
I feel that ‘her’ shrinking from her liabilities for he’s found among the books she’d touch,
One refuses a slap, the other a touch,
A touch she once allowed, a slap she never lead me to much,
And this ‘he’, and that ‘he’, one hasn’t even touched it while that ‘he’ has his hand on full swing,
This ‘he’ wants mere entwined hands to pester God into mutual blessing,
And that ‘he’ needs an affirmation if the blow should be where it is, landing.
A two way diplomat, two friends reconciliated,
One an overthinker, another thinks thinking’s overrated
And this other girl needs, but really wants, to know,
If there are shards beneath the pearls the world won’t show,
If there are murmuring ants beneath the smooth undulating piano keys,
Whether her playing fingers would crush them beneath or the melodies.
So this ‘she’ is hangin’
and that ‘she’ is her usual yellin’
And this ‘he’ is an imbecile
while that ‘he’ is an artist among assassins
and the other ‘she’ is an artist among speakers.
Speakers I’ve learned the hard way to see as leakers,
People whose worth is defined by others’ secrets they can bark,
And I’m blood drawn to the shark.
And so I enter this bathroom, dark,
And flick on the light to get away from my father who just strode
Into my room, reminding ‘exams in a week!’, so I sit on the commode.
Not shitting it but myself.

—us—

Of that squashed cockroach the bathroom tiles reek,
Dripping conscience that doesn’t tweak,
The crimson liquid from these pipes shall leak,
For her beauty is like northern lights, almost Greek,
And my senses are numb, ineffably weak,
So frail and fragile that even festive affairs affect their nature freak,
So I wish I swim and sway down this drain I see,
This exhaust’s hum drowning alongside me,
So I could excuse myself to swiftly slip assunder since I’ve a severely sleepy sleep to sleep,
Away where whisking whistles of bellowing, wistful winds of a forgotten nightmare don’t wither my ways,
These frays will be the end of your days,
Can I call them that? Nocturnal as they are
Limbo like, as the stillness of the time inside a slumbering afternoon bar,
Where a hunched Dylan in a shadowy corner may cut his veins to bleed out words,
Which many I’s would collect and rearrange and strew into wires lined with birds,
And make them chirp outside the bar, for inside there will always be a bleeder,
A molested child, a driver touching self proclaimed writer, dilemma reader,
A hater of ambiguity of self, yet host to a game of opposites,
A believer of unsaid words and connection above his dick before it all reversely transits,
A target achiever who gets there without a stroll or a ride,
An amphetamine desiring dreamer that looks at an alley seemingly wide,
A restive beaver reflected in another, through machines which kill fascists
A nocturnal screen watcher who the next day doesn’t get anything’s whole nor its gist
A caffeine consuming chicken who doesn’t know where it should stand,
A traveler who knows everything but his wants, in a decision demanding land,
A procrastinating, hairy child molester who imparts slumbering kisses and touches too kinetic for the bar’s stillness,
And all these and more need something to while away the interior’s sleeping dullness
Hence I give them all something to listen,
Those birds on wire outside this bar all glisten,
With an iridescent gleam of pain inducing inspiration,

—closing time—

And the birds are all perched still and sing,
Until a stone at them I fling,
And then the teacher tells me ing ing is a sound fascinating,
She sits there and on a page that musical note she’s drawing,
knitter of multi hued fabrics, she’s pieces of my mind sowing,
And she, those glasses I filled and pages I removed, and the honk will never know
How all those characters, this bathroom, the coming tests and the battles slow
my days and make weeds grow
In the desolate heart of a man who knows
That he’s a cork, he’s a screw,
he’s a blistering hypocrite who’s blue
and would like to selfishly think
That for many he’s between sanity and self a link
Thinking his sage blinking face can bring
people back from madness’ brink
For in his rigid heart the reality can’t sink
That if he desires a beautiful brain with limbs all pink,
He’ll have to dwell in his imagination, style Barton Fink
Otherwise he’s just a cleaner who can’t rid of his own corollary stink
That he’s nothing but a fucking worthless shrink.

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Shrink

  1. Roshaan Amber

    Uff Lali… this is epic beyond words. And I am sure, whenever I come back to read this, the literary joy shall emerge anew every time!

  2. ayesha Fatima barque

    Shall i say i likeit or like like it! A great poet in the making. Your strength is the thought and the power of diction and image. Your weakness is form. That polishes with reading great artists. You will find a kinship with T S ELIOT especially his Four Quartets. Also his early poems. If you hqvent already then read the Rubayat of Omer Khayam translated by fitzgerald. See you in print in three years. Look forward to it. And steal a pen daily! Seems to work for you! Lots of love

  3. This is genius Usama. You should seriously think about entering it in an international poetry competition.

  4. maryam lali

    This is truly amazing

  5. Okay then. I read it and was mesmerized because of its relatibility which for me is the biggest factor in for true success for such pieces of work. The anguish is clearly portrayed and I loved every single part of it. Dude, where were we all this time? 😀

  6. The best till yet.It’s excellent and heart-warming.Haven’t read something this good in ages.Portrays a brilliant picture of a bleeding and a demoralized heart and hence rejuvenates soul quite remarkably.Well done,Lali.

  7. JustAnotherShrink

    If I were to ever to perceive you as being the shrink- I’d be obliviously presumptuous enough to state that one of the reasons for it being so is simply because you are an altruistic fellow who fears being vulnerable/authentic, (Or, perhaps you’re much more complex than others can comprehend), so, to protect yourself, you adhere to the problems of those familiar faces, who have gotten accustomed to your façade. Although, having said that, sometimes we all play a role, just to feel that we’re on the same wavelength as another individual…and perhaps that can be justified on the mere logic that we’re humans who yearn to feel connected. It’s natural.

    Anyway, enough psychotherapy.

    On a ”lighter” note, I found the poem to be rather morose, and chaotic, but profundity lurks within darkness, and that, in it’s own way, is what makes it brim with beauty. Oh and, the meticulous description helped me exercise the mechanics of my imagination, so thanks for sharing! (:

  8. Okay I love this.Its breathtakingly natural and so honest and relatable. Its a bit ironic though and sad.The shrink who in many ways is sick of being the shrink is a really good shrink so I guess he is pretty much stuck with the job even if he is using the therapy skills for himself through his writing.

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