Many people believe, I know, that I spend all my time reading books, watching movies, attending the occasional concert, and, most importantly, blogging about all of the above (taking the occasional break to fantasize about Nakul and Sahadev in bed). This is not true. Given the inordinate amount of time I save by not having either a job or a love life (and being an insomniac), I also manage, every now and then, to scribble a poem or two.
For some very important reason that I can't seem to recall just now, I've always been a little wary of putting any of these poems up on my blog. Maybe it's because distance is something that's so much harder to achieve in poetry. Maybe it's what R.S. Thomas calls an "impulse to conceal your wounds / From her and from a bold public / Given to pry". Or maybe it's just that they're not particularly good poems, and it's much easier to sit on your high horse and criticize other people's poetry when you don't have to acknowledge that you can't do better yourself .
At any rate, I've decided it's silly not to toss in the occasional poem or two, specially since this blog represents pretty much the only opportunity to have them see the light of day, and ending up alone at 50 with 3,000 poems on your hard-drive is even sadder than being the kind of emotional fuckwit who puts poems on a blog.
So I'm likely to be posting poems every now and then from here on. As I said, they're ordinary-verging-on-bad poems; actually, they're what I think of as one-night stand poems - the kind of poems you get all excited and intense about when you're writing them (usually late at night) but find really hard to respect the next morning. It's almost certainly self-indulgent of me to post them, and you'll probably hate them and stop reading this blog and I'll have to lure you back with theories about what the infant Krishna really had on his lips when his mother thought he'd been eating butter, but what the hell, here goes:
to be beautiful:
they do not hold themselves proudly,
curve in the right places,
stay poised in a crisis;
do not conform
to some stereotype of what
a poem should sound like.
Too plain to be cared for
and too simple to be ugly
they are content to play
second fiddle, step aside
for beauty when she arrives.
In the bar, at night,
they are never the ones
standing on the table,
singing along at the top of their voice;
rather they are the ones
who sit patiently in a corner,
waiting to be noticed,
to a stranger
and putting a hand on his arm
just to show
They will be there
if you need them, though.
You have only to reach for them
and they will open to you like a book;
will sit alert by your bed all night,
ready to protect or console.
They will allow you to be selfish,
will allow themselves to be used
as mother, sister, friend;
they will always be faithful
to the love you never gave them.
 Not that I think being a good critic and being a good writer / artist are necessarily connected, but still.