The Perimeter of the Atom


The wavelength of the photon
was a million meters,
and the frequency of the waves, 
a thousand hertz, with billions 
bouncing and trillions trailing. 
And around these, in a smaller band 
of energy and might, two atoms are scattered, 
and one molecule. But the old element,
who was exhumed from the earth
she came from, at a distance of less than
a million microns, enlarges the band
insubstantially, and the social proton
celebrating her birth, at the nearby disco
of a night club far across, includes
the entire Universe in the band.
And I won't even speak of the kinky
quarks, who are the brain of creation.

Fascination

I have been fascinated by him
ever since childhood.
What would it be like to sit
inside of itself.
I needed to tease him a lot.
I called him names, made fun
of him. There he sat like a 
cauliflower atop a stalk.
Gray and sullen, with 
occasional shades of white.
I used to drive my purple Fiat
around the fissures cut
deep within his body.
Banging in the neurons traveling
down their axons on my way
to my long and distant friend the 
Spinal. He used to let me 
play with his numerous neurons.
How lovely it was to control 
the body from there. I was in 
total control. But then one day
I tried to make my way back
to my neurons and found
that the column was broken.
Now I sit in my purple Fiat.
paralyzed, going back and forth.

Theorem of Life

Theorems and proofs
what a life I live.
From morn till night, I see
equations in blues and black,
with occasional marks of red.
Gauss, Leibniz and Euler
gave me bone pain in the skull.
I can hear my brain
open and sprout blue
blood. I make a proposition
to these mathematicians.
I want you mind for my dinner.
Yet each day they eat 
me
piece by piece. First the brain,
then the heart and finally
the kidneys. Now, that I can't
even piss anymore. All I think
of are examples from my life.
Memories painted in blues 
and black, grays and whites.
I write the conclusion of my 
Theorem. It took me a long
time to decide that the equation
of my life would end on suicide.
In the heart of these
proofs lay the battery of life.
Thinking of the results
of my last theorem
I lie in blue waters
.

Remembrance

It’s 1989. Dad and Mom are outside in the freezing
white night. Echoes are rising above the domes
of countless mosques. Kites float in air,
green dragons and blue serpents. A kite is falling
at our doorstep. It’s 1977. I enter my house through oily gates,
bawling. In 1983 in Burn Hall High School, Srinagar,
the fathers teach me, "Early to bed and early to rise 
makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."
In 1989, there are crimson rivers and Levi's skies across Kashmir.
I hear Klashnikov's music and read Death's composition.
In 1980, sister arrives with hazel almonds, golden skin
and copper hair. In 1990---beaten eggs, cracked
friendships and suspicious looks;
an Uzi and a Chinese grenade is found
hidden between Ghalib and Shakespeare.
My friend
suspended from school.
And now it is 1997. I’m living my American life:
bated breath, altered mind, styrofoam cups and black tar.

Shredded Normalcy

Shredded normalcy served between
chat windows.
Like bike-delivered chocolate chip cookies.
Like loveless 5:00 am naps under allergic
blue checkered woollen blankets.
Like pyjama clad anorexic assignments. 
My shredded self-respect 
stuffed between the confused pages of your
midwestern life.
Your everlasting complication,
etched like the over-exaggerated 
movements of an accomplished 
handler. 
Sleepless nights shredded by
Tumultuous conscience.
Shriveled soul, hardened and
tossed 
Like the kernel of an untasted fruit.
Emptiness like the crevices between 
the knives of my white Swiss army knife.
With the embossed cross. 
The blade silver and shiny.

This Space

Her innocence resting on her knuckles.
Intersecting yellow corn fields, 
between her midwestern fingers.
Cascading golden triangles,
sweeping her corrugated landscape.
I really don't want any more of this
this, this hurt, this pain from you.
So, here I am.
Finally setting me free,
from your never ending 
tenderness.
from your charismatic
chocolate chip cookies.
from your everlasting
complications.
And yet, and yet, and yet 
I am pulled back in, back in.
Into this, this...
This space
vibrating between you and me.

Your Apartment

For you it was a joke, not telling me where you lived.
I was a piece of trivial friendship, left 
never invited, never welcomed in your apartment. 
Till I made my way across Hoover Street, and showed up
in front of twin buildings at the corner of 
West Adams and Vermont. 
Brown crumbling walls, creaky wooden staircases,
crack house, hurt house, heart house,
apartment house, friend house.
The bike on which you made midnight journeys
to my room.
Now lying helpless, lifeless on the stairs,
that lead up and into chairs 
mismatched, dishes 
unwashed, 
kitchen sink ant
infested,
foodless dining tables,
chaotic foodful refrigerator.


The late afternoon California sun,
radiating, convecting and conducting,
overheated freeway SUVs and sedans.
Whites, Blacks, Hispanics,
Aliens legal, illegal
Residents permanent, impermanent,
Angelinos scurrying home.


I finally enter your mattress room, surrounded by
remnants and debirs of paper explosion. 
A monstrous multijointed monster desk, on which sits
"Softy", humming and carrying hurtful and heartful messages
on airy ethernet.
I unhook softy, unhinge monster, and carry both


To the door-to-door box standing next to the curb
in front of 1353.
I load part of your life and I see your apartment
for the first time one last time.

Around Love

Brown maple surface
of a Quaker oats cereal,
microwaving in the oven.
quicksandish landscape
beckons me towards you.

You lead me into a basement bedroom.
I see your life painted in pinks, 
in herbel teas, 
in leopard skin hats,
wine-colored silken bed spreads,
open cupboards, open book shelves. 

The fragrance from your skin,
Freckles, red, brown. 
Stars mapping some uncharted
universe scape, 
I explore

you explore my hair,
with shampoo chemistry,
in aqueous droplets,
our bodies salting 
melting candle light
and vegetable soup in 
flimsy styrofoam cups.

What comes after sushi,
after Indian curry, 
naan bread and 
pasta primevera? 
What comes after,
in, out, around and about
you, me, us, the bed, 
the white sheets, chair, 
floor, car, freeways, concerts,
beaches, walks, runs,
what comes, what 

remains after, you
and me are sexed out, 
cuddled out, talked out, 
lived out, fought out, 
made out, done out,
shouted out, carressed out?

Love.

Echo Park

Echo park nights in olive skinned walls
Conjurer of Merlinesque moments 
Your broken heels of 
blue marble shoes
mesmerize me!

Our interdigital hollywood walk
Leaves a trail of chemical words.
Dark green slender bottle of green tea Zen
pours in a leather jacket of tonic water,
and hard, cold three dollar ice cubes.

3:00 AM argumentative lasagna,
greasy side ordered onion rings,
the sound of your lips on my ears
All remind me of why I love your

clumsy arms, flailing like the wings
of a strawberry flavored pink penguin.

Furrows in your forehead
Vacuous memory lanes etched by
french manicured finger nails
in a ceramic windowless soul.
All remind me of how you

Encase my mind.

Your nicotine blonde sunbeams
touch my curious center,
your dragonfly manouvers
leave me empty and confused,
at the Downbeat cafe

amidst Alvoradoans, Sunsettians,
Echo Park minions, 
amidst coffee ringed dirty mugs
amidst smokey talkathon evenings.

Dark Chocolate

The kiss you give me on that first night, when you bare
a fault line from head to toe is like the eighty percent dark
chocolate, smearing the Laguna coast line, like the taste 
of cheese-splattered crab nachos, floating atop
a blue mountain heffeweizen, lingering in my mouth,
like when I puncture your many red tomatoes, your pieces
of mozarella, and finish the meal with a glass of wine,
and this becomes part of my tireless heart muscles,
an endless cycle of purification.
I gobble grapes, down my throat taste strawberries,
on my tongue chew flesh and drink blood while I remove 
your skin and all's left is rigor mortified musculature 
with neatly etched black smoke lines like the outline
of a freshly carved henna pattern, like
a wrinkled landscape marking the satellite view of
a Google map. Press 'i' to zoom in 'o' to zoom out.
Two megabits ethereal transmission lines.
So what do I write to you? A sonnet sandwiched between
a cinammon bagel? Or a coffee song over a spilled cup of love
on a silver wrapper of eighty percent dark chocolate.

Newton's Third

Mechanical Meanderings
    miniscule heart.

Burning derma
    searing word-kebobs

Decoherence drama
    Bosnian baklava

Creamy cannolis
    karmic sutra

Pithy bed-love, yours 
    ten minute concrete-walk, mine

Bronze-embossed
    sultry Sarajevo
        kafa out of a jezva

Roots of Banyan
    shot into limbs

Adiabatic anomaly
    your axons

Tantric tantrums
    insular insults

You end, I move 
    Newton's third.

Drive

I am alone,
I want to see you,
I close my eyes. 
You emerge out of
vacuum.
A pair of virtual particles,
waver.
Photon tracks imprint
the edges of a black-hole
that sits in the center of a distant
dancing nebulous galaxy, 
with spiraling arms, like a dancing 
Natraja

carved by the brown
leather-skinned hands,
calloused finger 
tips
of a Muslim craftsmen,
His pittance-riddance life 
engraved in the pink walls of 
Jaipur.

Eyes closed, I watch my life
unfold in the inner folds 
of my retina,
conceived of empty space,
swirling of hydrogen,
helium,
and pristine stardust,
glowing, rotating

the pottery wheel of an
impoverished 
Kashmiri villager
whom I see as my father drives
a blue car, an 
Ambassador
a technology warped and stuck in time.
I lie huddled in the backseat,
with her, my other half, my other life.
She adorning her plastic dolls, 
with apples and peach,
I chewing on fat books.

Colors

I see your canvas splashed,
brushed with treks and lines of 
red,
my soul skips a beat,
even when there is no beat.
The 
orange in your paintings
feels as if my tongue is tasting
orange peeled in the middle
of a hot summer's day.
These black lines you etch
from the Arctic circle
to the end of Earth
engulf color, vigor, life and zest.
Death sits in the crevices,
and I know, know this
that life revolves around it.
Bands of 
blue shoot up,
through the stratosphere,
traveling the empty expanse of space,
and pierce our globe of 
golden fire,
shattering and pouring 
yellows,
reds, and mixture of pinks in the
hair of your paintbrush.
I know not what will become of us.
But this I know:
your colors enter my veins.

Grain of Sand, Droplet of Water

I am parting
peony petals
as Moses is parting the Red Sea.

Look there! Ceramic skies
are finally opening up,
they are finally opening up.

I am spraying
Indra’s heavenly waters
at gravestones

and lilac irises are blooming
everywhere, everywhere.

There is a woman discarding
pieces of her precious flesh
in the microfibers of my bedsheets.

I am grinding
her flesh between mine,

I am spending myself
till there is nothing
left to spend.

I am sitting on a loveless edge,
an unemotional bed,
naked skin, absolved of all sin,

I am loving you
like that single instance
when a drop of falling water

meets a parched and
thirsty grain of desert-sand

Imagine

I can close my eyes and imagine,
imagine that when I am not young anymore,
I can no longer delude,
delude thirty into twenty,
forty into thirty,
fifty into forty,
I can close my eyes, open them
and see blue, gnarled veins
protruding from my hands,
from my ankles to my toes,
from my temples down my neck,
coursing, snaking, slithering,
mapping a leather-covered,
earth-colored, topographic landscape.
I can close my eyes and imagine,
imagine for just a moment,
a mere moment, the moment an atomic-clock
transitions, and hears a sexy montone,
announcing its transfer to line 10, downtown.
In that moment I can see
your black tresses coil
like the spiraling, springing smoky waif
of a mixture of incense and antimony.
I can see,
the slenderness of your fingers,
in mine
and I am reminded of the tenderness
of the stem of an unborn Narcissus.
I can close my eyes and imagine,
when you walk on your toes
a sliver of air separates you and Earth.
And I ask, how can this ever be?
At that moment,
the brown of the pupils within your eyes,
is like the color of walnuts.
Their shape,
the perfect curvature of an almond
meticulously carved by God.
The dark arches above,
are like the curvature of space-time, and
the radiating sheen of your skin
is the skin of a Greek olive,
wet, oily, full of vigor, zest and spice.
I can close my eyes and keep
imagining, imagining for a long,
long time.



Chi

Universe  uncertain  temporary

impermanent  pulsating  aorta  purple

Irises  grave  winter  saffron  morning

summer  stream  autumn  night  sky  blue

gray  black  menacing  thundering  bellowing

thud  rumble  boom  crack  rain

white  brown  yellow  snow  petals

virus  human  blood  cells  capillaries

venules  veins  arteries  arterioles

mal  nutrition  melancholy  women

eyes  rivers  lips  breasts eggs  translucent

tranparent  temporary  uncertain  Universe


Their Stone Ears 

Their stone ears can't hear your afflicted cries.
Smile like an open wound, conceal your pain.

The secret was revealed, the doubt went away.
Don't relate the story whose words shame you.

Patience is bitter, its fruit sweet.
Comfort in disguise is not exactly anxiety.

Arzoo, your mouth is your own insult.
Respect dignity, while still fearful of your shame.

                                                                                                           (Translated from Arzoo Lakhnawi)


Playground

Bacteria played 
in his lungs.
Monkeying and jumping.
Do you know our friend
Cancer, they asked. 
How pragmatic he can be!
Spreading so effectively,
so thoroughly.
Tilting the healthy axis
till the body's blood
is acid.
The postules, topographic.
Such a fine landscape !

Carefree Days

Bacteria played in his lungs

Fertile grounds for their sons
The son's swam in bronchial reefs.
Beating each other with bamboo sticks.

Bacteria played in his lungs.
How they seduced that poor
little body.
Blurred the light from soul.
Plucking and cutting at the
healthy veins.

Bacteria played in his lungs.
Their language used a secret grammar.
Their occult rituals, hardly chaste.
Poof! their goes the body
combusted and charred
Success tastes so sweet.
They cried.

Bacteria played in his lungs.

A Quatrain in Time

I have seen this world from a beggar's eye.
It is Motel 9 on the 605
I've seen each thing being born and wasted.
Old lamps for new 
shouted the Jinn.
I sat at the curb
and recalled how life once
tasted.

Writer's block

The screen glared
and the cursor blinked.
Jelly beans bounced and
clicked as I typed.
My fingers itched,
my toes wiggled.
My hands shook 
and I could hear, hear
my heart thumping.
It was freezing outside,
and here I was sweating
like a Bombay rickshaw walla.
House of horrors, and 
tunnel of terror. I was swallowed
by the open screen.
I took a deep breath, and
I reasoned. I had just enough time
and it was just midnight.
Tick, tock, tick, tock.
Bong, bong, bong.
Three A.M. and all I had
was the title. I beamed at 
the font, tasty as cotton
candy. I wondered if I'd
get credit for it.
I blinded my screen, and 
went to bed.
For the first time in life
I got a glimpse of the real
monster.

What is DNA?

Twisting, turning, gyrating, creating
Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine, Thymine
Breathing, heaving, panting, sighing
Lifeless alphabets, lifeless atoms
Bonding, breaking, forming, dying...
Giggling, wiggling, undulating,
Five prime, three prime, three prime, five
Antiparallel symmetry, beauty, mystery.
Lattice forming, Sierpinski computing
Error generating, maddening, depressing,
Frustrating, exciting, surprising.
A, F, M'ing, tip engaging,
picture taking, pattern hunting,
Nature hiding, smiling, enticing.

March 12

March 12: I died, when I was 26.

Lost Translations

Lost Translations between friends,
three ghostly beads, interrupted 
between 1:00 am, 2:00 and 3:45. 
Black toe nails, two, on either foot, 
standing underneath a canopy, of 
butterscotch flavored hair. 
One small, red artery, perched
between two turquoise stones. 
Cookie-smelling-sandalwood-fingers,
are pushing a huge stone up my esophagus
to shatter my skull and lodge in my eye sockets.
The shards pour out.
ripping two chests, tearing two hearts, 
asunder.
Hurtful mornings, periwinkle-colored 
plastic glasses, with condensing 
refrigerator waters. Evenings, untying 
throaty knots. 
Yellow writing pad, decorated with, 
permanent black ink. 
Translations lost between friends.

This Heart is Mine

This heart is mine
With superior and 
Inferior vena cava.
This oxygenated blood
is mine.

Each ferrous ion 
carrying hurt, 
carrying pain,

that is mine.

Muffled cries
in reverberating nights.
Ruptured cell membranes

Extinguishing sparks of life
within countless cells 


This life was mine.

Friends

Glasses two, one bottle of wine
Shared between two lonely souls. 
Between
Heart broken crossroads and
Unhealthy tortilla chips.
Red, sorrowful salsa served in a
Bowl of cermaric sapphire.
Memories exchanged, laughs had,
Tears tasted, hearts aligned.

Above Utah

The plane soars through murky marine layer.
Blonde stewardess, her religion, 
hanging, 
from a gold chain. Her badge pinned
against her red, white and blue. 
The steep gradient quickly adding,
thousands of feet of space
between you and me. 
Reminding me of 

the kiss that landed on your forehead. 
The one that made you uncomfortable
afterwards. 
The kiss that later found your red scar 
hidden underneath your right cheek. 
The one that made you uncomfortable 
afterwards.

Your black and green striped socks
reminding me of the Riddler
in Batman.
The comic books that confuse me now.
My palms resting in your feet.
The valleys between your toes, and
their odor, emanating, wafting,
like cookie flavored incense sticks,
mixed with stinky sweat.
Teasing my olfactory nerves.
Our mutual affection broken by shouting
streets.
The night that enveloped you around my arms. 
The darkness growing steadily around us.
Interrupted by a conscious stream of 
pixellated light.

Your skin stuck
to my pillow.
My hips underneath your legs.
My legs trying to cut across
the deep ravine formed between
yours.

I soar calmly in stratospheric layers
while the pilot announces,
"We hope that you have a comfortable
flight".

Caffeinated Romance


Sitting in an Ikea arm chair

I look through two ends
of a Starbucks window pane.
Transdimensional portals are
Teleporting me back and forth.
The oscillations broken by 
words slapped across
my face by 
you.

My searing flesh, fluttering
leaving an impressionable
scar, permanent, everlasting.
Running through my face
and sitting in suspended animation.
An arrow head, pinching, puncturing, 
teasing, tearing 

the tear ducts of my eyes.
The flooding waters in some 
forgotten Moses story. 
Ripples finally settling
in equilibrium.

She undissolves through
Tele-wires that protrude, penetrate,
bifurcate, vortify.
An unsolvable chaotic equation.
Phone pictures create a sandy unreality.

All this while I sit
in an Ikea arm chair
sipping my 
cup of caffeinated romance.

Meatloaf Zinfandel

I am in a car seat

with the clogged LA evening air
around me.
And it doesn't bother me. 
Your pink smile cruises
On our way to tabla music, 
takes us past colorful, electrical lights.
takes us past each other.

Meatloaf zinfandel, mixes
with blue-black body sores
that you create with your 
beautiful knuckles.
Heart sores that I plant
with my beautiful key strokes.
Tear ducts blossom
in open crevices of a 
closed time circuit.

Open air lemon-drop martinis,
In spider places.
Midnight eating binges.
Back and forth on the 110.
Groggy traffic mornings,
Evenings filled with anticipation.
of YOU!

The Holidays

Blue, neon-ringed 
electrical Chanukkah candles, 
on a vintage credenza,
stand balanced and poised,
among chants of 
anciet Hebrew prayers.
Reminding us of evils past
of miracles transcendental.

Your LAX baggage sits enclosed.
The trunk of my car rattles,
as we make our way in silence
through a blurry, foggy, dark,
cotton evening.
Your sinewy silhouette
passes through a red door,
perched atop the jagged back
of Los Angeles.

How I wished I could sit
like the wooden bowl of
corkscrew pasta, mingled
wtih peppered chicken,
undisturbed, silent.
How I wished you to be
a glass of pinot, fleeting,
settling, transluscently
penertrating.

We look for coconut filling
in a box of See's candy.
Ellington turn table 
spins and filters
magic numbers through
the afternoon air.

Tuesday evening,
unravels like the delicate
thread of a pashmina shawl
into a morning wednesday
You leave uninformed, 
like the silent wake 
of an east-bound front.

Nela

Three months of dinners 
trivialized into a final exchange
of a richly embroidered green 
pashmina shawl and a maroon scarf.
Three wet and creamy months 
end with a walk in a dungeonesque
cigarette stained smokey corridor, 
where I leave fleshy bits of 
palpitating cardiac muscles, 
drenched in salt waters 
of the Dead Sea. 
I swallow my pride. 
I swallow my organs and leave both
at your doorstep. 
I become the graceful gestures
of a Mombasa drummer, 
beating hollow tree trunks 
amidst Angelinos. 
You push me within and without
trapped like the spicy flavors 
of a lamb Ossabuca, 
that you serve your friends,
on a cranberry flavored night 
where you descend and devour 
red fleshy strands, with 
one leg on each side, 
with each hand by my ear, 
with my hands on your breasts,
squeezing, 
till the juices melt
on our tongues.

For You

My pink-striped un-ironed shirt,
buttoned, ruffled collar, creases
some deep, some light
remind me of a network of canals
dug above and beneath a Martian landscape.
My sleeves rolled up
with pockets of space 
that I wish I could sketch
with chunky black vine charcoal.
My trembling, iron-skillet fingers
undo the sleeves, unbutton
my shirt and one breaks, and falls.
A gaping hole in the middle 
that no masterful tucking can hide.
With a needle between your index and thumb
and ivory thread in another,
with four strokes and a knot, 
I walk with a beaming smile.

Flower Love

Amidst a kaleidoscope of glasses.
In between green mint leaves
I see you floating between two icebergs.
The sky's a collage of colorful long-tailed kites.
swerving and competing for a small piece of 
heavenly peace. 
The white petals of cherry blossoms fall and rest
on green blades of grass,
that stand upright, poised with pride.
Somewhere a Narcissus-covered earth 
mustard-colored, smelling of lotus leaves
seduces the orange and 
blue-bodied gossamer wings of a
thousand Persephones. 
And when the light shifts, I see diamonds
spreading across the silken webs 
that entangle the teal-colored rubber leaves
of the vines of a lilac morning glory. 
In a gathering of skin that flows like gold,
hair that whispers gently,
eyes that speak softly, 
my ears want to see you behind the smile.
My heart wants to peel the blood-red layers 
off of yours.
Beneath the humble backs of apple trees,
towards the edge of the farthest chestnut branches,
resting underneath the shadow of black plums,
and under the spell of a Kashmiri jade-sky, 
I close, finally.

A Word Game

You erupted out of a piece of glass shard
Soaring above white cotton-candy clouds
The 
foreground emerges like a specter.
It 
colors itself and after a while
The 
contents of a locked heart
float above Earth, like bubbles
blown with some lip-
flirtation
Rising up and above into empty 
space.
Isn't the heart 
asymmetric,
scrambling my mind into scrambled eggs,
as I 
anticipate your next move?
As you 
rotate your hips 
and 
shift your canvas 
in 
halftones, in fulltones,
in tones that seem 
complicated,
I can't help, but 
pull inwards 
and ask myself how 
mindlessly,
accelerated my heart into oblivion.
dared and tried, 
to enjoy your 
collection,
of 
beautiful, paintings which were
on the one hand 
lumpy, and on the other
seemed to give 
birth to a vast array of 
leaky lines.
They 
magnified an infinite horizon of
infinite, 
multiple dots, 
all connected in a delicate 
grid,
all balanced and full of 
passion.
These 
overlapping shapes, spilling
with sin-laden 
cognition,
draw 
attractive symbols,
cluttered with trashy, invertible
intuitive 
surfaces on a piece of 
love-paper. 
Perhaps in 
hindsight, all of love and life
is a collage of 
irreversible
mixture of colors.

Virginia

You are a comet, and you
are unlike planets and stars,
unlike the center of bright
burning galaxies,
unlike the light-year-length of
shooting X-ray filaments,
unlike the center of Einsteinian
singularities.
Your orbit is an elongated oval,
and shoots out
eccentrically out of this galactic plane.
You appear after eons
and I deflate.
I see your icicle-like
ionized tail, curved, dazzling.
You paint the night
sky with a Crayola magic marker.
And I ask myself how can this be?
A blonde wisp of your tail
scathes my chest,
and my hair burns organically.
and I lie scarred,
like cracks on the hard surface
of a red pomegranate.
Your speed breaks sound barriers,
and leaves sonic cones,
trembling.
You etch arcs across a
van Gogh studded night-sky.
In your stony crevices,
time stands still.
And yet isn’t all of space-time,
just relative?