writing blues.


writing poetry is a lot like playing blues music.

it’s definitely about what you say and how you express yourselves. what words you choose, how you phrase them, and what’s the bigger idea, the theme, the feeling behind those words you’re trying to convey.

but even more important thing to keep in mind is what you don’t say.

and this is a big one. poetry is an art form. you’re a performer and your readers are your audience. you are standing up on this stage, singing / playing for them. and what happens when you keep saying a lot of stuff and never stop? or when you keep playing scales after scales and even more on top of it? you lose the soul. you lose the meaning behind your idea you were trying to convey.

because it’s your thoughts, when you put them out by whatever art medium you choose to, you have to give your readers / listeners enough time to process that idea. that’s why what you don’t say and giving them space is so important in writing, music and any art form. and more often than not, you also have to repeat those ideas for a stronger emphasis. that’s why you see repetition of dance steps in a performance, or same lick in a solo more than once.

same techniques can be applied to your writing as well. and no, it’s not easy to just grab a pen and start doing all these things on the go. it takes time. a lot of it. but a start is all you need to get there.

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do not.


do not stand for me and wait
i won’t be there. it ain’t my trait.
i’ll be gone before you even know
along with gushing winds over the snow
i am the blinding light of your blues
i am the rain of a thousand hues
do not stand there and act shocked
you listened as well but never walked
when the stars drown you every night
i am the sailor of their guiding light
do not stand for me and try
i am not there. i did not die.

story time part 2.


if you haven’t read the first part, you’re missing out. click here.

“how’s it going?” i nodded towards her, respecting our daily rituals. i never used her name. mostly because i felt it wasn’t the real one, and the last thing i want to do early morning is piss her off. or piss off any other homeless. they might be homeless, but they ain’t harmless. they’re the kind of strangers your mum warns you about as a kid. even though to your mum, every stranger is a homeless.

“you got a dollar?” she proceeded with her lines in our little routine.

“no cash.”

now this part changed from time to time. i always had a dollar, but the answer depended on what the sun looked like that morning. more often than not, it was a no. that day was the same. i used to feel bad, but now i was immune to the reality around me. the subconscious took care of my daily interactions, leaving my mind alone to stagnate. strangers make you vulnerable, routine makes you lifeless. i’d rather be former, i thought to myself as i struggled to untangle the mystery of my earphones while walking towards the bus stop.

“the millennium collection: best of muddy waters” was next in queue. keith richards spoke very highly of this album. it was extraordinary. but there is always something about great art that hits me on a deeply personal level, whether it is music, paintings, writing, anything. what if i never get this good? will i have wasted my life pursuing something which wasn’t meant to be, or will the satisfaction of at least trying make up for all the lost times spent trying? i still have no answer. i always wish to wake up one day and have answers to my self-doubts but it never happens. tomorrow will be a new day. with a blues solo between my ears, i got off from the bus and walked inside a bookstore.

almost 10,000 books, 1 bookseller, and 2 customers.

expectation is a bitch.

“are you looking for anything particular?” asked the bookseller. his brixton hat and rugged appearance was demanding.

“no sir, just browsing.”

he then switched out the vinyl and sat down behind the timeless register, looking outside. admit or or not, everyone has a routine, even when you don’t.

i skimmed through the poetry section to see the billboard top 20 and tried to figure out the thing i was missing that those writers had. and no, it wasn’t luck. i’ll be the last person to admit that luck had any part in this bigger play of life. i like to call it trials and errors. famously taken from the rich history of experiments in science and mathematics.

“we began with honesty. let us end in it too.”

this was amazon’s bestseller writer, and oddly enough, i was jealous of a fellow countrymen. not because she was so awfully good that i knew i could never write like that, i might be better than she is, but of the connection she had with her readers that made her a bestseller. i love talking shit about these popular artists, when deep inside i know i want to be one. i want people to know who i am and what i do and read what i write and listen what i play and what i say.

the irony of my own thoughts never ceases to amaze me.

i read through couple more pages and couldn’t figure out what i was missing from my work. i had the boldness, the calmness, the clarity, much needed sensitivity, what else could it be? maybe, it is luck. dammit.

like i said, the irony of my own thoughts never ceases to amaze me.

i picked up a dusted copy of the satanic verses and headed towards the register. i always thought if i picked smart, thoughtful books and took them to the register, the cashier will be impressed by my choice and next time i come, he’ll be thinking, “there he is again, the guy with a great taste in literature.” you can guess how many times that has happened. it wasn’t any different this time.

“that’ll be $12.69.” i pulled out some cash and handed it over.

“is it usually this slow here?” human interaction is the key to humanity.

“around this time, yeah. usually we have more than two customers.”
a little laughter that followed killed the silence and made more room for breathing.

“although the business has been slow since everyone started to stop reading books, or buy it from amazon.” he handed me the change with a hint of simmering history in his eyes.

“yeah you’re right. do you own this store?”

“me? no. although i’ve been working here for a long time now. ”

“seems like a chill job.” all i saw him do was switch records, look outside, arrange the new arrivals, and take my money. i wouldn’t mind that.
“did you grow up in the city?”

“oh no. i moved here from canada. been here for 17 years now.”
hey, i know someone else who’s been here for 17 years.

“wow that is a long time. what’s your name?”

“i’m andy.”

story time.


“i’ll be hoenest. just need some weeed”, begged the cardboard rested along a rusted shopping cart. that one cardboard has been through a lot, you can tell. still a bit wet from last night, the soggy words were starting to fade away. just like their creator, the proud owner of that shopping cart. and inside it rested her life. a sleeping bag. two blankets. change of clothes with dirt and dried grass tagging along for the ride. you could just stand next to the shopping cart and smell the last 17 years of her life.

that’s how strong she was, even though she appeared a fragile herb getting torn to pieces by wind and water at first sight. her closed shivering eyes at night embraced the cocaine blues on her face. the scars so deep that even rain had lost its pride seeping deep in them. and who wouldn’t? let god know even he can’t stop a poetic meltdown of a human body.

lana, they used to call her that. i never heard her saying that. maybe she had moved on from her last element of attachment to others. most probably she didn’t remember it. after all, it had been a while. 17 years since someone last called her by her own name. what was it? she would dream about it, and that night was the same.

a lost name in the streets.

and like every morning, her curiosity was infringed by the eagerness of life built on following so-called destiny of the man. the circus was up and running, and the sun shone shyly on the hopeless and the desperate. the world died every night, but the skeleton always got up in the morning and walked. lana was aware of it all. her favorite phrase was, “been there. done that.” she crawled out of her sleeping bag and kept away the blankets. the only thing she had to deal with was the changing nature of, well, nature. almost nothing else affected her. “hey whore, wake your hoe ass up.” shouted a male doppelgänger from across the street. ” who you calling a hoe you ugly ass son of a pathetic bitch? come here i’ll show you who’s a hoe you motherfucker…get the fuck outta here.” she screamed back, making sure her voice was loud and clear to the tenants of the road from 2 blocks and out.

like i said, almost nothing else affected her. who needs caffeine when you can start your day like that.

untitled.


o nadaan sar utha ke to dekh tu kahan baitha hai,
ye doosron ke andhere ka aaj bhi savera hai,
jis sagar ki khushbu ko tu roz paar krta hai,
uss kashti ki khwahish mein unka din raat guzarta hai,
kabhi mudke to dekh tu kahan baitha hai,
na peechhe koi dikha aur na aage,
tu kal bhi akela tha, aur aaj bhi akela hai.