In a house without windows,
Just the door unassuming to
Pass by at will, and four walls
Within those perhaps he waits
Restless for tragedy to unfold.
He has a boring day job and
Weekend nights of laundry
For his twin overpants,
Pair of spandex suits obsolete,
And two tattered crimson capes.
No villains left to slay,
He loiters purposeless,
Watching cable news all night,
Slouching on his couch,
Nursing a paunch,
He decays longing
For yesterdays on earth,
Of soaring highs, mayhem
Unleashed and prayers
For a mighty messiah he craves.
As order abounds, he knows not
His place- a relic, a fossil,
A national treasure redundant?
No damsels, blazing effigies
Or crumbling colosseums await.
He retires mortal of equal rank
To all piteous humans around,
For there lies Kryptonite here-
The elusive peace he fought to shield.
© Arati Nair 2021
Imagine a future where the human resource of the present is entirely replaced by robots. Given the meteoric rise of artificial intelligence or AI, it is a foregone conclusion that they will eventually be the dominant labor force. From virtual assistants who schedule COVID-19 vaccine slots for you to litigation and legal researchers, AI and machine learning have grown by leaps and bounds.
In fact, the process of smart machines eliminating manual work is already underway. A report of the US Budget House Committee is fairly optimistic about the scale of automation and its subsequent disruption of the job market…
I believe the COVID-19 pandemic is here to stay, ever since it’s shown no signs of abatement. My optimistic refrain of “It’ll be over next month” has stopped after weeks of stagnant lockdown at home. A vaccine is in the offing which may help us resume ‘normal’ life, though normal has quite different connotations these days.
My husband agonized in March about working from home. He is the orderly type who once preferred the office setup instead of the niche between the shoe rack and kitchenette. It helped him get into the ‘work’ grove. Now six months into Work-From-Home, he’s…
Her eyes cerulean in a porcelain face, lashes raven wings,
Moist lip, reluctant bud, painted blooming pink,
Limbs crafted hairless, but curly mane curtains nipple
Cherries in the wild, twin fruits amid brunette vines.
I run my hands down her trembling form of mermaid lost ashore,
She’s perfect sans freckled nose, pregnant chin, with
Lacquered nails, heaving breasts, hips sculpted right.
I lead her off the charging port to an alcove secret afar
From prying eyes that vie for our precious love forged.
She’s not the coy sixteen-year old, sneaking off my dorm In adieu, in charity, as she scribbled…
When the reserve gasoline burns and dregs of Starbucks evaporate,
The carburetor rattles to a halt and gas station buoys on the horizon,
The apocalypse creeps out the TV onto your barren heath,
Without crows or owls or markers of light or dark in a pyrrhic hearth,
Is it time to rest, I wonder. Time yet to stop the rush?
When bougainvilleas grey, bleeding cinders black to white, Schools empty for processions of the dead, churches mute calls for help, When a polar flood influx is here, 911 has no response to serve, And the ocean tides slither underfoot, an…
We are placid, stranger’s pets
Perched atop a swing
In her birdcage,
Your feathers bright she adores,
A peacock, fancy canary,
Or slice of sun she deems. But I spy
A clash of blues, of yellows,
A contrast stark, unseemly paradox
To my plumage red and grey.
We must perform in synchrony,
Even when my throat bleeds,
Or your beak broken is off tune,
As puppets we must parody
A life for mistress’ fantasies.
Flutter your wings in frenzy
For a mating dance she craves
I shall play demure to your doting
Antics in our prison cozy and cold.
The battles you wage with an inward foe,
Tireless at picking scabs,
In your head there’s a madhouse,
An asylum for miscreants rogue,
Yellowing books all fruitless,
Preachers and their tales tame
Have failed to pull you back
As has the expensive shrink you hired,
Time heals all wounds,
Let yours fester, pus and ooze.
Suffering’s a prelude to joy,
Bite your protesting tongue,
If you’re bruised, lesions everywhere,
Let the healer look you over.
He’s done it before, a master at work,
As moments slip by, you’re in safe hands,
I stand alone on this barren beach,
Let salty breeze embrace and twine
The sorrows sown of another’s deeds
Done in love, born of passions wrong
On my frail frame that sways unscathed
Of the blows that haven’t missed a mark.
There’s turmoil within, I feel it now,
The sea’s fury, balm for our youthful lark.
I remember an age when hope still lived,
I have a memory of happiness built
On sodden planes my heart freely bared
Before eyes that brimmed with promises
Never meant to last, never to fulfill.
Yet a fantasy I wove, a fool to live