These poems started out as little reminders to myself as I navigated different terrains and landscapes, experiencing things like I had never done before. There was always a ruse or a pretext to not speak the unspoken or to not write the unwritten. But in life, there are moments when truth is all that matters and everything a person has been saying using ‘sugar coated’ words holds no ground at all. What is the point of writing if the fear of judgment, review or criticism compels an artist to re-trace creative footsteps just to make the journey seem write worthy?
Like an artist who dips the paintbrush in the palette of life and reveals the vibrant landscape of the soul with unflinching honesty, I have tried to write what I felt in the innermost regions of my heart. Often, I have tried to find answers to questions that life poses. Often, I have found silence. There is no fixed template or frame to deal with the complexities of life, be it grief, loneliness, depression, despair and several other challenges that we face in our daily lives. However, there is universality of experience and this joins the hearts of people despite geographical & mental boundaries. And in this shared experience we all realize that we are in a way, somewhat unhinged.
Unhinged available at the Lulu Bookstore:
“All those eyes intent on me. Devouring me. What? Only two of you? I thought there were more; many more. So this is hell. I’d never have believed it. You remember all we were told about the torture-chambers, the fire and brimstone, the “burning marl.” Old wives’ tales! There’s no need for red-hot pokers. HELL IS OTHER PEOPLE!”
No Exit, Jean paul Sartre (1943)
Hell is other People
So we look through keyholes, look for loopholes
in the hell of other people glancing at us
from the thin pockets of their unhinged doors
watching, watching, watching, watching, watching
waiting for that perfect slip, anticipating that certain fall
watching like birds of prey, like scavengers on the prowl
looking, looking, like hyenas dissecting a prairie on the rebound
you are not meant to smile, you are not destined to laugh
the other people have scrawled your fate on their walls
you have no reason to live, you are no good at all
the other people tread your mind without a single sound
sorrow is a bird trapped inside your chest
tomorrow is a word throttled in today's digress
Hell is other people picking through your carcass
ripping open wounds that never heal
cutting through veins that bleed with the psychosis of your suffering
Hell is other people and other people are another thing.
© Jaspreet Mann
The unsolved theorems of misgivings
the plastic strength of love's geometry
supersonic jet planes crash land
a simple word is a ballistic device
i turn rage into arson
there is a mob in my mind
anarchy runs in my veins
i don't think with thoughts
i think with feelings
the reclining Buddha never sleeps
the world becomes strange psychometry
i only see webs detangled and free
but my mind thinks only in binary.
-jaspreet mann, random thoughts of a chaotic being
For as long as I remember my hands were clay bowls
I had in them cowrie shells, a few plastic beads
the cool imprint of my father's hand,
the light caress of my mother's kiss
fragments of unwritten stories.
For as long as I remember I was not 'most' women
I was the solitary robin on the hill, a wild Jasmine in the wind
the sun held secrets for me, the moon lit up my destiny
I wore my sleeve on my heart, I let litanies of spring be.
For as long as I remember my words had meaning
I said what I meant and I meant what I said
I laughed when I pleased, I cried at almost everything
I did not understand the guile of covering.
For as long as I remember my eyes searched for more than me
I saw cracks in faces, I saw faces in cracks
my heart looked through barbed wires of epiphany
the world disappeared in the shadows of money.
For as long as I remember, my friends were Rumi and Hafiz
they looked for me, I looked for them
on snow peaked hills, in dingy streets
For as long as I remember, I thought God lived in my neighbourhood
there were no crusades or bombed cities
For as long as I remember, I remember not remembering me.
© Jaspreet Mann
The sky dances with its shadows. Your heart is not a God. Rain will come, whether you like it or not.