Wednesday, June 29, 2011

"Not all roads" [boomerang poem]

Not all roads lead to Rome
only the road one uses
not every house is home
only the house one chooses

having superb excuses
heaven itself my dome
this thought my brain produces
not all roads lead to Rome

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

13 Ways of Looking at Happy Birthday [song]

Happy Birthday to you
life though fleet -- you're not through
even if time's an illusion
there is a lot here to do!

Happy birthday to thou
there is no time like now
may your days pass in wonder
at the great cosmic wow

Happy birthday my friend
heed the prayer I have penned
filled with thanks for life’s blessings
may your joy find no end

Happy birthday old chum
lest you deem our song dumb
we’ve a few humble presents
may they not prove ho-hum

Happy birthday you nerd
do you feel life’s absurd?
from philosophy’s vantage
what is gold? what is turd?

Happy birthday young dreamer
we’re aware you’re a schemer
when time’s joke is discovered
we heartell it’s a screamer

Happy birthday old-timer
are you a social climber?
in society’s structure
is there room for a rhymer?

Happy birthday mine sweet
this is not Easy Street
amid struggle we’ll snuggle
can’t you hear my heartbeat?

Happy birthday ascetic
am I being poetic
when I offer you cookies
claiming they’re dietetic?

Happy birthday great Om
you're all life’s hidden loam
every day is your birthday
every heart is your home

Happy birthday Nirvana
I will meet you mañana
in the meanwhile I’m going
to enjoy a warm sauna

Happy birthday little baby
do we love you? more than maybe
in the playground of existence
may delightful all your play be

Happy birthday impersonal city
you are exciting but it’s a pity
I’ve not more friends in your goodly precinct
who recognize when I’m being witty

Saturday, June 25, 2011

seen & hidden [gnomic verse]

In car beside Sunset Park
(end of day end of week end of season)
the sun is yet seen   the dark
being hidden behind every reason

"in the Gehry cocoon" [ditty]

O Zakir’s due to visit the Disney next spring
tabla-wizard in the Gehry cocoon
been wandering the globe pondering everything
what should one make of the sun & the moon?

Photo of Zakir Hussain (borrowed w/ thanks) from The Times of India

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Coexistence   [gnomic verse]

Planted lemongrass & basil   within the same tub
a felicitous cohabitation   I would opine
both are valued for preparing   meriting-fame grub
to be ladled up preferably   with wonderful wine

"the moon on a stick" [song]

I want the moon on a stick
‎& the sun on a string
I want eternity quick
like an infinite sting

I want to fly in the swing
where the sky has grown thick
with cool cosmic bling-bling
I want the moon on a stick

Note: the first & final lines of the song are borrowed from Marc o'Guiotto (Facebook status update)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"calibration" [rubai]

If one were guaranteed a   conversation
having a scintilla of   scintillation
mightn't this (arguably)   beg the question
how does one deal with such fine   calibration?

"can you explain?" [song]

This photo was taken the year I took birth
in Washington (where I would later reside)
things happen by happenstance here on the Earth
where rivers are lengthy & ocean are wide

what makes the man smile?   & can you explain
how little true knowledge   gets held in my brain?

Monday, June 20, 2011

"in a parking place"   [gatha]

To sit in my car & meditate   even in sunlight
in a parking place   off of Ocean Park   is a pleasure
few have grasped your ocean's infinity!   with the one light
always hidden away   who can discover that treasure?


Ocean Park: i.e., Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica, California

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Old Rover's Lapidation [news / ditty]

To expire by lapidation --
this a dog's life would be truly
even canine reincarnation
seems to stretch things out unduly

if the court that cursed its critic
to incarnate as Old Rover
were entangled with a tzaddik
did they think the story over?

Responsive to: Jewish court sentences dog to death by stoning (Agence France-Presse report)

Friday, June 17, 2011

"suddenly" [limerick]

A brilliant sitarist from Kyōto
long practicing his zazen per Sōtō
    quite suddenly discovered
    reality uncovered
was nothing else but fiction in toto

For Akira Yamashita [a persona in virtual reality]

Metaphysical thoughts on Melrose Avenue [boomerang poem]

The world is but a bubble in the mind
though mind may seem a bubble in the world
as mystery gives rise to humankind
humanity in mystery is curled

we come & go as destiny decrees
“what makes us laugh & weep?” inquire the blind
though all have eyes how rare the man that sees
the world is but a bubble in the mind

"When Anjan Ray reaches L.A." [twain couplets / Hinglish ditty]

When Anjan Ray reaches L.A.
will he have bilkul lots to say?
Los Angeles awaits his visit
with anticipation is it?

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Total lunar eclipse!" [twain couplets]

‎Total lunar eclipse!
(total lunatic quips)
Moon's a grape in the sky!
No escaping it!   Try!

image borrowed from photos-lunar-eclipse (Toronto Sun)

“Fortune cookie” [boomerang poem]

If you don’t program yourself
life will program you

if you’d just program your elf
little left to do!

fortune cookie knew
you’ve got no talent for pelf?

life will program you
if you don’t program yourself


Verse’s 1st couplet lifted from cookie text.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

"dark matter"   [ditty]

If chocolate's truly dark matter
while matter per se's espresso
what brews on the cosmic platter?
a mochaccino?   I guess so!

Verse occasioned by an observation of Rachel Dacus's, viz.:
"The definitive answer has been reached: there is not enough chocolate in the known universe ... but I do think we should take another look at that dark matter."

eye and I (enigma & variations)   [rubai]

With flowers in bloom   the season grows bright & cheery
dispelling your gloom   no matter the body's weary
we sleep & we dream   & wake to the world anew
yet "I" can't perceive itself!   the eye grows bleary

written in Sunset Park (June 13, 2011)

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

where's Nirvana?   [gnomic verse]

Chinese dal   Manchurian gobi
this world's all   the work of a dhobi
round & round & round it goes
where's Nirvana?   nobody knows

For Salil Tripathi

Ditty for Murthy-san

He is like this only
or as Uncle Elvis
quoth only the lonely
all are but themselves

"hackers" [boomerang poem]

Pro-Palin hackers seek revenge
by targeting Twitter tit for tat
the newsline brews a tawny tinge
electro-cyber-hacker spat
you barely glimpse the Cheshire cat
there’s little left except the grins
while phishermen are getting phat
pro-Palin hackers seek revenge

Riffing on this: Pro-Palin Vandals Hack Twitter in Revenge for Email Release

Sunday, June 12, 2011

"Born to dance" [boomerang poem]

Born to dance & prone to prance?
even though you're not in France?
loving every happenstance?
isn't this a fine romance?
choosing to embrace all chance?
glee suffusing face & glance?
every whither shows a whence?
born to dance & prone to prance

For Robin Bisio

"I'm a Facebook Database Scientist" [ditty]

I'm a Facebook Database Scientist
                          & I mind my Ps & Qs
I've a zillion on my client list
                          & I pay my union dues
every link you click   every page you pick
                          all becomes my grist-for-mill
I can analyze   lurking in your eyes
                          every wisp of whim or will
If you like a thing   I can feel the sting
                          on an unliked page obscure
when you tag a photo   I see & know
                          if indeed your thoughts are pure
I watch viral waves of happiness spread
                          I track epidemic blues
I'm a Facebook Database Scientist
                          & I mind my Ps & Qs

Riffing (perhaps somewhat after Gilbert & Sullivan) on a news report, Facebook spreads emotions among friends (San Jose
["Facebook data scientist" (that unintentionally-amusing phrase in the article) edited to "Facebook Database Scientist" (in the poem) for sake of cadence]

Friday, June 10, 2011

RIP M.F. Hussain   [rubai]

Death remedies many an ill
more surely than any a pill
one garners profound admiration
no sooner the body is still

With hearty hat-tips to the prolific (and at times controversial) Indian artist
Maqbool Fida Husain (September 17, 1915 – June 9, 2011)

See also M.F. Hussain's website (source of the above image)

Ode to the purses of yesteryear   [boomerang poem]

Lost years nestle down in their corners
and hide in inreachable deeps
a crypt without stone & no mourners
Pandora on purse-strappage sleeps

has history patterns & sweeps?
have stockings more holes than we’ve darners?
are poems concealed in their heaps?
lost years nestle down in their corners

For Rachel Dacus
[riffing on her Facebook ruminations]

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"comfort zone"   [boomerang poem]

Light rain   for meditation sit in car
beside the charming park you call your own
the office resting down the road not far
texting a poem first on mobile phone

when with a job you're in a comfort zone
organic food & this not-bad cigar
the infobahn suggests you're not alone?
light rain   for meditation sit in car

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

signs & clues   [boomerang poem]

I sit in my car after work   & text these lines
in summer in Beverly Hills   azure's profuse
the bevy of palm trees make   tropical signs
the swirls of cigar smoke limn   adumbral clues

my keypad's not likely to bring you   breaking news
my brain isn't prone to afford you   mystic wines
to file my report in the midst of   greens & blues
I sit in my car after work   & text these lines

Monday, June 6, 2011

"To like or not to like" riff   [ditty]

To like or not to like that is the question
whether 'tis terser (in the ways of netizens)
to click against a sea of implication
or comment (for more full illumination)

who like to "like" withal more like suggestion
to like or not to like that is the question

Riffing on Ron Silliman's FB status update, viz.:
<< The crudeness of Facebook: that one would "like" a note of a poet's passing, even if they were in their 90s & died of Alzheimers >>

Bangalore riff   [ditty]

We glisten in Bangalore
    sweat in Chennai
we listen in Mangalore
    in Mysore sigh

in Pondy we're rarely despondent
in Delhi our doubts are abundant

Riffing on Sruthi Krishnan's Facebook status update, viz.:
"Me to friend in Chennai: We glisten in Bangalore. Never sweat."

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"no duty but beauty"   [boomerang poem]

no duty but beauty
our chore? to adore
our task is to ask
what is questioning for?
who'll pillage pure time
and extract hidden booty?
what reason has rhyme?
no duty but beauty

[Verse riffing on Silvia Nakkach’s "favorite quotation"]