The somnambulist


not that i sleep and walk or walk and
sleep or read and sleep or sleep and read
not that my head nods when a tractor collides headlong
with a police van parked beyond barbed wire
not that i stand outside a tent and peep on a langar
where slogans and rotis roast on a large griddle

treat me as a thieving political somnambulist, i don’t mind.
time was when i walked in sleep to the god’s workshop
and apprenticed for the melting of metal for his crosses
time was when i walked in sleep to explosive war fronts
and helped in loading the shells in the long range guns
time was when i walked in sleep to the guerilla jungles
and in sleep raped many girls for the victorious nation

see, i used to be a somnambulist and a photo journalist
many fashion magazines published my sodomy images.

but, tonight i walk in sleep sleep in walk
along the arterial veins of a sacked city
and charter a yellow submarine like yellow jcb
and yellow flash through the winter night so foggy
and leave in its wake an assortment of sandstones
industrial complexes warehouses excavators extractors
rushing tumbling gobbling crashing cartwheeling
till the transformer screeches to a halt in front of
the seat of power around a round dining table
where human meat is served in intercontinental cuisines
the chewing slurping swallowing belching farting
so loud that i wake up, a poor somnambulist,
in an ox-driven wooden rubber rimmed bullock cart.

Rash is a poet from Kerala




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