in the evening he slides
onto his motorbike
it bristles with angst

he carves through the road
(as supple as a tongue)
the stars jostle
passed pious heads
of clouds

his iron stallion pauses
at the throbbing traffic light
impatience quivers inside
his throat

a green ghost oozes
whirls briefly before
the stallion soars
through the ether

his eyes are open
or even alive to pulses
of motion that fall
into a sublime being

who dances
in the face
of the fuel tank





a mind that twitches

These are the events.
I gobbled up my supper, and then lay on the sofa dozing off while my kid sister’s computer games involuntarily squawked through the cushioned speakers. Soon enough I had fallen, into a early evening cathartic coma. I don’t know what exactly woke me, but I remember stumbling into an awake position while my thoughts rippled and washed through me. I tried to peel the dream-induced drunkenness from my head by wandering the house for a few brief moments. I considered going upstairs, but then I told myself it’d just be another night of falling asleep in front of the half-finished movie. I needed to clear my thoughts. I needed to take a ride.

So I decided to swing a sturdy leg over my motorcycle and allow the cool evening breeze to whisk my thoughts around for some time. I thought of visiting an obscure garage a few kilometers away. They sold good chocolate, and it would give me the rider’s excuse of weave through the pock-marked suburbs, buy some time. I wanted this ride to take as long as possible.

The good news is…it did. I drifted at a lazy pace (at times), through the silent houses and down empty roads. There is one hill I always go down at night, without holding onto the handle bars. It sounds extremely dangerous, although it’s some advice a seasoned biker once gave me. Every now and again you should get used to the weight of you own bike, and be able to maneuver it without relying of the handlebars. This is for a practical reason, because most people panic in ‘close calls’. When this happens generally the handlebars swivel too quickly, you embrace the Tarmac too lovingly, and you bones crunch with applause (worse case, of course). So I entered the top of the hill with my bike doing about 40-50 km/h and I gracefully, eased around the bend, pushing my weight to the right while my hands rested on the fuel tank. I glided towards the bottom of the hill and then eventually I stood up with my hands out stretched, as if greeting the stars and evening air as my audience.

After a few more turns and twists I came across that teeny garage. Decided against the Lindt chocolate after examining the somewhat sobering price-tag, and bought five strips of Licorice and a soft drink. I sat on the benches outside, taking the evening air, and the quiet that comes with it. Sometimes you needs to escape out of the house and just let your thoughts amble. The cool breeze, and patchy clouds watching me like sentient beings from above, it was beautiful.

Now why am I telling you all of this wonderful stuff? Simply because I have a mind that twitches. It’s restless. It keeps me up late into the evening, many nights in a row. Despite the obvious strain this puts on me, I’m slowly learning to handle it. It’s tough at times. A few minutes before I wrote this blog post I listened to all three movements of Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ piano concerto. Listening to the melodies, the turbulent emotion and the gentle harmonies wafting in, it felt like I was on some kind of drug for a few moments. Time seemed to morph into another type of entity, and it was just me and
Ludwig’s concerto trickling through my earphones.

Although it helped to calm me down slightly my mind is still in it’s twitching business. Hopefully by the time I’ve written up a new blog post, you will find me better rested.




Riding on lightning

For a long while I have been riding a motorbike without a license. Shocking, huh? Not to me. I failed that simple test so many times part of me said screw the system and I flung myself onto that iron horse and rode for a good few months. I went everywhere while secretly knowing I wasn’t wearing the badge that said I knew what I was doing. Time went by and there were a few bumps in the road. The short story is I landed up in an accident and now I decided, my pony lies in the garage until I’m official.

One problem. I still have the keys. (Once a week or so I sneak a little ride in when no one is really paying attention.) Today when I hurtled out the front door this morning, I had to restrain my hand reaching for the keys. This made me stop and think, perhaps I’m the urban version of a recovering alcoholic. The bike sits there, collecting dust. It sits there collecting dust…that’s it. No rider to nurture it in the howling wind, or the regular glug of fuel into its petrol tank. Only the empty garage to hold it, and the lonely key swinging from its lanyard in the kitchen.

You might say to me, “Well, it is just a machine, you don’t need to get bleary-eyed over the whole saga”. Sad, yes perhaps…but fascinating. I can now imagine a middle aged drink walking the same arduous route to work. Gazing at the gleam, and haunting glisten of new bottles, standing out like polished soldiers. I know what it’s like to pause in front of the shop (much like I did), and carry on walking. It’s difficult and slow.

I’ve had a drinking problem in the past. Many people do, but this time it feels different. There’s just me, the bike, and the ominous garage. That’s it.



hunting for foibles

This morning as sit in my humble apartment with thrown-together furniture. I begin to think it’s time I went for a drive. Not a normal drive to get things done. I’m not on my way somewhere (say for example, to buy groceries) and the drive is the process in between me and my destination. Today I’m on more of an adventurous exploit. I consider myself an urban explorer. My motorcycle as my battle-scarred sword wading through the leaves of trial and mystery.

I’m on a mission to look for second-hand, antique, worn-out, dusty stores. The kind of places where they still sell creased vinyls and you spot the withered chain-smoking lady who grins at you for the first minute, and then ploughs back into her Mills & Boon. Some stores are in neat, clean, radio-friendly malls. They have crisp advertisements that bounce into your field of view, coupled with cheshire-induced salesmen who greet you at the door.

I want the opposite. I need an adventure. I want to be weaving through three suburbs before I find my burnout bookstore. Perhaps half my problem is I’m a poet looking for a sense of personality in the architecture, rather than a marketed allure of value.

Yesterday I found such a secondhand bookstore, to be honest. The shelves were only half the width of the size of the books and as a result the books kept falling off the shelf (every odd hour). The labels read Mystery, Crime, or Action and were written and stuck there probably a decade ago. The ink have taken it’s toll on the paper and began to explore other avenues and veins in the paper, giving the edges of each word a barbed look.

I stood around browsing the store. While I waited for the old man (who was there a few minutes before me) to finish his arduous story with the store clerk. I didn’t buy anything. I simply browsed to get a feel for the selection of titles there. Most of the time I inwardly judge a bookstore buy the amount of volumes of poetry they have…or whether they keep the cheap-easy pulp fiction. If they have decided to keep a spread of Picador and prize-winning titles, I become jealous of not being a sort of sprite that stalks the aisles and bathes in the unvarnished glow of ideas and accomplishments.

This place was more about the cheap-easy, regrettably. Before I discredit them they did have two Salman Rushdie, and around two dozen classics coupled with poetry. I’m a snob like that. I do realize avant-garde titles which make you think, don’t beckon the general public to tear them off the shelves. I think by now I have made peace with that.

I trust you’ll forgive me cutting this post sort, as I jump on that polished, mechanical-animal waiting for me outside; not to mention the oddities and misfits surviving their quaint existence.




the man in the hat

the man in the hat
rummages through our lives
his hungry hands wade into
crying milk cartons and
our frugal egg shells

this morning i leave the house
my modest motorcycle carries me
towards the gate
i brake softly
still wrapped in plastic feelings
a cloudy face jumps up and watches
like a brazen rodent who
stumbles towards stale morsels
and parched containers

the man in the hat
hopes to find enough
charred doorknobs
soft match boxes
tender cardboard
chipped picture frames
to build his rusted thoughts
and carve copper dreams
into the moldy fingerprint
of today’s wreckage

next week he will
come with another
stubborn trolley of
tainted trinkets and the
same furtive glance
that steals the
liquid pathos
painting my face