3.3 Free Form
Words by Mitra Visveswaran
A poem about the voice of sudden anger that comes from being trapped inside a dull brain fog, which seems to be the resting place for most of our psyches today.
We don’t follow our dreams here, not in fugitive city
We sort of amble after them, limping
Shifting our eyes at every slight happening
(The flight of a crow)
Everything is significant
this shifting of attention is not attentive really
It’s a neither-here-nor-there sort of affair
I’m not here but I’m not where my eyes have shifted either
I am not here
And I am not there
In fugitive city we are half-way
We exist like polished boots glinting in the sun,
Glistening, waiting to be ruined
Surreal, because nobody wears boots here
It is far too humid and leather is politically out of fashion
In fugitive city we eat underseasoned instant noodles
(we don’t notice, or we notice but we don’t mind)
The sky is a fluorescent lavender-dust
Technicolour sunsets are captured by shifting eyes
And desires are stowed away in daydreams
Most daydreams are foggy
They pull like puppet strings
We do as they bid yet they never materialise.
Real flesh and bone is not the stuff of dreams.
It is difficult, it demands:
1. Eyes less shifty
3. Time that is slower
In fugitive city we are captivated endlessly
Like glazed doughnuts
Frost-covered, we fit snugly in a box with a plastic opening
Looking outside, mouths agape, dazed.
In fugitive city gutters carry voices
We find beauty in translucent roach-feathers that catch the sunlight just right
You are not understanding, this is dystopia, but we smile.
We make beauty from noise
Dreams out of the powdered rubble that we have
The gutters carry stories and messenger pigeons are driven out of city homes
Vile words and the smell of vinegar fill the air
Despite what we call ourselves
Despite the languishing, and the weights atop our eyelids
We are living and we find a way to flower.
To make a song or tell a story or dream a dream
and never have it happen, but to dwell in its currents anyway.
This is dystopia but we are surviving and from time to time
Our eyes shift to catch each other’s
and we connect.
Illustration by Jishnnu B
Fugitive City by Mitra Visveswaran is the winning submission for Whistle with Mysticeti - our poetry competition for aspiring writers.
Mitra is an artist from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. She is training to be a psychologist.