Prose

Novel Collaboration (“Identify”): Chapter 1.

It’s not a comfortable silence; a tableau of images coursed through him like a dark wash of blood and glassy eyes gating towards him. He didn’t understand the complexity of what he saw, and shaking, he started to shiver on the floor, feeling mounted towards the absolute of death.

She crouched down with him, surveying his eyes. He felt he was bleeding out, and before he could get a word in, she gently put the cigarette on his lips, told him to puff. He coughed. His legs swayed, his ribs jammed and compacted. Most of all, he felt trapped in a faint chill that squeezed his eyes open and closed.

“Take the cig, Tom, and give it a kiss for me.”

Novel Collaboration (“Identify”): Chapter 4.

Clutching a sharp knife from her satchel, she sliced away and pushed aside the climbers and branches that obtruded in their way; Lauren forged her way through the forest, Tom following right behind her. They had drawn closer to the neck of the woods, occupied by trees laden with luscious and succulent fruits, that stretched for a few miles.

a sea dying.

the moon’s breast

to the tree and

their leaf white fingers

dead / to broken bone

and dust to a fitful

dreaming / oxbow

shores I leave

“Book-Covers” by The Magpie Fancier.

Marion steadily drummed her fingers on the metal desktop. It was a trick that she had picked up many years ago, something that kept her grounded and relaxed in tense situations. Marion had always found rhythms and patterns to be calming. Of course, some people around her found it a little annoying.

It certainly seemed to be annoying Colonel Blythe. He shot her a stern glance, which she of course ignored. She decided that it served him right, for taking such a deliberately long time to read through the documents she’d brought.

He was clearly unhappy about the whole situation. For a man like him, handing over control of such a delicate military situation to anyone else would be unthinkable. Being forced to hand over to a female civilian, on the wrong side of forty-five, with a name like Marion would be particularly insufferable.

But he couldn’t, and wouldn’t, defy the orders written in that beige dossier.

moon.

a pilgrimed father

at the seabed of darkness,

his bones

touch

the skull-fish;

the ghost of owl

forgets his repetitions

“Man in Cafe” by Rajkumar MN.

Then I went to this historic cafe, a fine edifice jutting into the sidewalks, with prominent pillars of azure blue and pink, and amber coloured glass panes and leaf motifs on primal walls, a few hundred yards away from city enceinte. Two hundred years might have passed since its birth, and once it was the château of the gentry and later converted to a garrison and then a cafe. Old honchos gave way to new ones. The cafe was thronged by silk-stockings and the au courant and mixed populace lending it cosmopolitan aureole… It was still morning and the sun was young and the guests went to and fro, some getting down from limousines and others leaving the quarter. Here in this swank bistro on that December morning, I met the old gentleman, quiet and doddery in demeanour.

He might have been in his late sixties, with hair partly white and partly cinereous. He sat in the bistro for an hour or more languishing and now and then, fiddling the little cigarette lighter he kept in his palm. He carried a Dobermann of rare Isabella fawn hue with him. He grinned at the watchman and attempted to enter decisively because it was where pooches were permitted entry. At that point, the gatekeeper objected and so did the administrator and there was a tussle between the portcullis and the counter. The supervisor argued that a significant number of visitors were kids underneath the age ten and the Dobermann might scare them. And the supervisor’s words prevailed. This was the moment he chose to sit opposite me.