There’s death in a blinking cursor; death in a blank page.
I often find myself staring at the John Doe of poetry titles, ‘Document1’ (Microsoft Word); a thousand words bled white. I then look through my poetry archive [read: ramblings of the poor man’s Stephen King/M. Night Shyamalan] and think Holy Frack, what the pig’s scrotum happened to me? I could find terror in a teacup, a tale of macabre waiting to unfold behind the steely blue eyes of a doorman.
Now, there’s only wretched white noise. I think ‘vampire’ – bam! Head stuffed with images from the latest episode of ‘The Vampire Diaries.’ Next thought: evil fetus that drives its mother insane through violent nightmares – hello, ‘Nightmare on Elm Street’ slash ‘Splice’ slash ‘Alien.’ Every thought is unoriginal, derivative. Where once all I needed was a word [‘Whack!’ was my inspiration for ‘Incubus’], a phrase [‘Eat some of my remorse’ from ‘a la carte’ just came to me], or a character [suicidal closet-homosexual, for example – see ‘Sodom’], now I find myself fishing for inspiration; forcing my hand on the keyboard. I wrote two poems recently – they were as effective as Stephenie Meyer’s take on Nosferatu [my umpteenth ‘Twilight’ reference; do you see where I’m going with this?]. To her credit, though, I found ‘The Host’ to be a particularly riveting read. Gaah – I’m digressing again. I can’t write 224 words without – sigh. Moving on.
I once wrote a concept about a little boy who walks in on his parents having sex; he’s told they were playing a ‘wrestling game.’ I must have forgotten all about it: just came across the document while cleaning up my ‘My Documents’ folder. [I also came across a document that only read: ‘PRIVATE MALE ESCORTS NOW AVAILABLE, HANDSOME GUYS FOR YOUR SWEET MASSAGE, DINING AND NIGHTLIFE PLEASURES’ – and before you triumphantly pump your fist in the air, Shehla (she insists on interpreting ‘Sodom’ as my subconcious urging me to come out of the closet!), that was character research: I played a gigolo in a Lahore Grammar School production – but that’s a story for another time].
The draft/concept read:
“9 year old boy (8? 7? How young is too young?) sees parents in Kama Sutra position number – oh just pick a number. Goes batshit ballistic till daddy tells him they were ‘wrestling.’ Boy wants to ‘wrestle’ with sister – [comment added later: ‘You’re fu***ng sick, Obi, make it girl from school.’], scary freaky shit – to show or not to show?
‘I drew mommy as a trout’ / daddy as (what’s a really big fish? Shark? Lol, this gives ‘Jaws’ a whole new meaning.)”
When I couldn’t think up of anything more original than that concept, I decided to write out a poem based on the material my perverse mind conjured more than a year ago. This is what I came up with:
I drew mommy as a trout; Snotty Steven thought it was a grey
SpongeBob SquarePants – he doesn’t know they don’t have
spines; silvery freshwater seafood – Steven laughed when
I used the fuchsia pink crayon to fill in mommy’s cheeks; but that’s her
only camouflage against the rose bed spread when daddy plays
the wrestling game with her. Mrs. Trellis was quite bemused (I learnt the word
in English-II today) when she saw daddy
devouring mommy; a great big shark, or the whale that wolfed down Geppetto
“Why would you draw your parents that way?” she asked me; but that’s how I saw them,
Swear on the old ghoul that lives in the attic. She said she’d call home when it’s
After dark, but that when’s they play the wrestling game most; the trout and
The shark. Tonight, canvas in hand, I opened their bedroom door, just as
Daddy was done wrestling her on our hardwood floors; they were so quiet after those
Three seconds I was sure he was going to dogheaven (just like old Scooby did)
From a heart-attack, just like that mostly shirtless man from mommy’s favorite soap opera –
And mommy was going to be crushed under that human grand piano
(Sylvester does many times, but a cat has nine lives, doesn’t he?)
They were staring at me but not staring too; so I asked mommy if what they were doing
Was just for fun; and my heart skipped a beat – what if daddy turns into Jaws and mommy’s
No more – sometimes I wish Steven hadn’t made me watch that movie – but then mommy
Laughed in a voice that was much too hoarse, and said of course, baby, of course.
Daddy took me to my room, and while fidgeting with my Transformers model said
that it’s not scary what they do; that might be true
I’ve seen them pray sometimes in between their game; just yesterday I counted
Mommy taking the Lord’s name
Five times (or was it six?) – so maybe it is holy and daddy’s not a monster after all; he crinkled
His eyes and laughed when I showed him my picture;
he tousled my hair and said
I’d have my fill of the wrestling game one day
Little Peggy makes me all funny inside, with her painted toenails and
Maple syrup scent; I wonder if she’ll be at school tomorrow
I wonder if she’ll play.
After writing this, trying to change and alter it into something worth salvaging [read: making it so complex it seemed as though the poor boy was spewing Sanskrit], I have now resigned myself to the following:
a) I should stop trying to enter the mind of an eight-year old (as poetry protagonist, gaah – this reads like I’m a bizarre Inception pedophile),
b) I should stop trying to write poetry that rhymes,
c) I should just … stop?
Oh sweet Krishna, I started off this blog post saying there’s death in a blinking cursor.
Well, there are some things worse than death.