“Ice/Heat Syndrome”- Sunil Sharma

  • Ice/Heat Syndrome

    Encounter last, in the last Ice Age.
    We meet again, but oddly that age has not yet melted in you!
    Bound within an inner Antarctica
    you forgot everything, the bright sunshine and
    flowers blooming in the ill-kept backyard.
    To-day, the fiery desert turns into ice!
    You talk into your cell-phone, lost to time-space continuum
    stuck up in a warp, reminiscent of an actor with Greek masks
    while I stir coffee politely, hoping to catch a sideways glance.
    The coffeehouse is crowded.
    The young!
    Boisterous!
    I am stuck in a freezing plain
    near the window-table, gazing at the pavement
    kissed by a California-sun, this late afternoon.
    Or, is it Mumbai/Madrid.
    Places no longer matter.
    We are identical!
    An Icelander myself,
    I have never found so many ice-sculptures in
    the post-modern city of Istanbul
    Or, the sandy town of the famed Timbuktu.
    How a creative mind wanders!
    Folks carry freezing plains in their souls,
    while toiling children carry—
    dancing splinters of the sunlight
    in their weary eyes and tiny hands
    their laughter animating dead urban space.
    Deleted
    Should I delete it?
    asks J. Alfred Prufrochis Indian wife,
    on their short honeymoon night
    it does not show you in good light,
    says the lord
    the saree-draped delicate wife from South hall nods,
    J. Alfred Prufrock immediately tries
    he—the famous literary person measuring life in coffee spoons and debates eternally and wears
    masks and perfumes— finally presses the button
    and deletes— all the recorded romance and cold passion of their earlier pre-marital life in the
    multi-cultural Britain
    it is so easy now
    the balding Prufrock in his hoarse voice
    —this descendant of Hamlet still wandering for us, in the un-weeded dark Denmark
    that was a version of old Shakespearean England—
    to delete faded memories and used folks with a flick of a tiny button,
    in the anti-septic, napkin-dependent, pizza-chomping, bargain-hunting,
    mall-hopping, mad contemporary times
    that have no patience left for the eternal Q: To be or not to be.
    @ Sunil Sharma

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    Mumbai-based, Sunil Sharma, a college principal, is also widely-published Indian critic, poet, literary interviewer, editor, translator, essayist and fiction writerHe has already published  14 books: four collections of poetry, two of short fiction, one novel, one a critical study of the novel and co-edited six anthologies on prose, poetry and criticism. His six short stories and the novel Minotaur were recently prescribed for the undergraduate classes under the Post-colonial Studies, Clayton University, Georgia, USA. He is a recipient of the UK-based Destiny Poets’ inaugural Poet of the Year award—2012. Recently his poems were published in the UN project: Happiness: The Delight-Tree. He edits online journal Episteme: www.episteme.net.in/

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