Monday, July 25, 2011


The night stretched as a used condom,
Plastic, full
And suffocated.
No, I won’t let it enter here
This safe haven.
Our tiny box
With skies of smoke
And Clouds of ghosts
Did you see those smoky hands?
Crawling on the wall
Poking that Old spider
And it’s lonely kingdom.
And that floating face
Grinning maliciously.
Its looks like you
Your dirty yellow teeth
Behind the smoke you exhale.

This room of our own
Stinks of our mingled sweat.
And leftovers of cheap food
Of many days or nights such as these
Who knows?
Look at those beer bottles
Soldiers at our door.
Each filled with our piss
We salute them
With all the seriousness
That we can muster
You fall off the bed
Chucking Satan
Saliva dripping off your chin
With a halo of smoke
Scared and shrivelling.
And I love you then
With my sutured soul
And as I lean to lick your sinewy lips
I too fall on the sticky floor.

What have we done!
Disturbed these hyperactive black ants
Gorging on traces of white powder
Look, just look, they are directionless.
These hard working angels
And you, the saviour with a healing touch
Smash them with your fingers
Stick them on the oily walls
And even eat a few!
Wild with ecstasy
You nibble at my tongue.

Eyes closed
Arms stretched across
I see a sea of rippling red
And as we ride,
Deeper and deeper
Tearing our insides
I trap the sea inside my eyes
Your sharp yellow teeth
Has left gashes on my corrupt skin
Wriggling like snakes
Drenched in blood
We have eaten parts of us.
Look there the sly housefly
Sits on that gluey substance
You gulp it down before it does
And spit on my mouth.
With Evil eyes
That squeeze my heart
And I crave for you
Like gushing blood.

Don’t you dare open the door!
And let them destroy our hell
‘Tonight you are mine completely’
If you’d leave, I’ll live
When all I want is for us to die
Stay here, staring at the smoky skies
Till our eyes are upturned
And tomorrow dies.

Zaid Al Baset
In memory of Amy Winehouse.

Friday, September 24, 2010

on every page of history i have been burnt and yes i have learnt to make fire my home

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

and so they made me with what they thought of me ....and so they never could find me.....
and so they made stories with my words.....

Saturday, October 10, 2009

homelessness is my only home ... to not belong is belonging itself .....

Friday, August 21, 2009

i avoid 'details' in any relationship.. i refuse to entertain intimacy...i wonder why?? is it you that i'm running away from? or am i getting even closer?? and what's the point when its your absence that defines your presence in all that i refuse to feel...

remembrance is a strange conundrum, a feeling that lives and dies simultaneously in perpetual continuity.. its evokes the past and yet recreates itself in the present, turns alive and in the process of actualization dies in futility... remembrance thus transcends time and makes the dead live and yet this life realizing it'self' ceases to live.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

a riposte

‘Eschewing the rules (of nature) may well open the floodgates of a wider churning’ states Swapan Dasgupta in his article ‘Inclusive desire’ published in The Telegraph (10.07.09), which is at best a polite and implicit disapproval of the Delhi High Court legislation that has decriminalized consensual homosexual sex, and at worst, an eloquent camouflaging of an author’s own prejudice. The aforementioned statement strikes one as a warning, wrought with a sense of premonition ensuing from the fear that breaking the rules of nature is against nature itself. Without making any tall claims on my erudition I wonder when and how nature spoke to man enlisting a set of rules which he must surrender himself to. Nature does not have a voice that is prejudiced; it revels in the free and the erratic. However, a discriminating voice is lent to it by culture. Rules are cultural products which are naturalized historically over time. The rules of nature are simply the rules of man (not humans, for that would include women) and man alone. It is interesting to note how something becomes an ‘aberration’ or ‘abnormal’- an essentially selective process which more often that not follows a simplistic logic of numbers. The majority, in everything it does and is, has the power to define what is ‘normal’ and clinically separate it from the ‘aberrant’ and this separation must be religiously maintained. The pun on religion is intentional for man (not humans, for that would include women) has forged this unbreakable link between ‘divinity’ and ‘nature’ so much so that the ‘abnormal’ is brutally suppressed by evoking the words of ‘god’ and ‘nature’ at the same time. But of course, I must be deaf since I am yet to hear their voices. ‘God’ and ‘Nature’ speak through the steadfast voices of those who are perpetually concerned with upholding the morality of civil society. I am no one to deter them in their noble cause, except that these steadfast voices have been strangely consistent over time: the voice of the whites against the blacks, the church against the witch, the Germans against the Jews, the wise against the youthful, the man against the woman and now the heterosexual against the homosexual or can it be simply summed up as the majority against the minority? Let me add another element here and stir well- the element of power that allows one to define what is ‘normal’ or ‘abnormal’ and then effectively link it to the ‘word of god’ and the ‘rules of nature’. Hitherto in all existing societies nature has remained silent on all counts. Man has structured these distinctions and he continues to do so (mind you again, not humans for that would include women and even gay men).

Homosexuality poses not so much a threat to individuals who can catch the virus once law releases it but to the institutions that have so lovingly served the interest of the powerful men, the men of God, and the ‘natural’ men (do I need to remind you again?). Homosexuality threatens to upturn the institution of marriage and family and the problem is not that such holy and sanctified institutions would degenerate and collapse but that such a collapse would emancipate what Man has sought to control throughout human history-Woman. The link between homosexuality and the feminine is both explicit and implicit. Isn’t a homosexual man not a ‘real’ man? Aren’t homosexual women problematically unfeminine? Homosexuality is problematic precisely because it upsets the well maintained dichotomy between the masculine and feminine. In a masterstroke, Men in order to ensure they remain the ever powerful and dominant have ensured that the feminine remains marginalized whether in the form of a woman or a homosexual (of either sex) and in doing so they have propounded the discourse on ‘nature’ and ‘god’. Blame it on our terrible memories, that when we speak about the rules of nature, we forget that these powerful men usurped it long ago, classified it, typified it, violated it and subjugated it to ‘culture’- a preserve of man ( well, can’t help reminding you, not humans for that would include women and homosexuals).

It is heartening that homosexuality in India might be decriminalized; however one is sceptical of this faith bestowed on law to bring social change. Homosexuals existed before the law came into being and will creatively do so even if the law is not scrapped. Let this not be a time to beg for a space that the condescending heterosexual Man has denied to homosexuality but let this be a time to celebrate those hidden spaces and render them open; spaces which could not and must not be suppressed by the fate of law for no law however powerful can stall the throbbing force of life and the desire to live!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

ah that terrible silence of the heart when it realizes that life has moved on and the gulf between us and those memories have widened.... all my journeying takes place in a void.... every joy is tinged with that bitter sweet sorrow that perhaps what mattered most was trampled by the superfluity of i'm pushed ahead by the tide of life, all i crave is a return to innocence, to you love.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

true.. i have learnt to accept that nothing in this world is permanent/indispensilbe..a realization at once cruelly suffocating and at the same time wonderfully liberating .lets hope i can practice a conscious forgetfulness of life experiences ... lets hope that life doesn't keep reminding me of this aphorism..lets hope i fall in love hopelessly again and harbour illusions of permanence till my last mortal breath...

Monday, April 13, 2009

sonal and i ....

the editing and publisihng course was a good thing ....3 months well spent .....became a part and parcel of the journey of life ....made new freinds ....strengthened old ties .....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Thursday, March 19, 2009

i see

Down that busy lane,
Empty now, I saw you
I saw your tears
black rivers meandering
Down your sunken glossy cheeks
I saw your walk aware of its queerness
the restlessness in you to escape your own tragedy
you wanted to run and yet your thin legs felt pallid
you pushed aside the hair flirting with your brow
the world has been unkind to you
you wore bright garish electric blue shirt and skimpy jeans
your own body has betrayed who you are
I saw that the others gave you those grotesque looks
a sneer here, a disgusted exasperation there
my companion saw you and turned away
you became a non sight
you became a shadow
you disappeared in the darkness
That you have known for as long as you have known yourself
I saw you- a man
And then again I saw you -a woman
And I kept seeing
In Those eyes
Dark and lined
the eloquence of pain
the rippling of losses
the death of desire
the betrayal of hope
In those eyes
I saw myself.

Zaid Al Baset

Monday, September 29, 2008


Sometimes it rains ceaselessly
And droplets race down my body
Like some slippery moments
I spent with you on long wet nights.
Sometimes the sun scorches my body
And I miss the silhouette of your body
Against the warm rays of the sun
While I lay in bed feeling blissful
Screened from the rest of the world
Finding a sanctuary in the shadow of your eyelashes
The incandescence of your form
Mellowed the cruelty of the sun
And I’d come alive under the shade of your presence
Sometimes it gets really cold out here
I hold my body tight
And clasp my knees with my arms
And rub my forehead against the inner arc of my elbows
Yet I shiver and shake
And when I search for your reassuring eyes
I find myself squinting in the dark
I miss the blanket of your body
The fire of your touch
I miss burning in your caresses
I yearn for the fever of pleasure
My frozen body wants to melt into yours
Sometimes the streets get breathlessly crowded
And strangers brush past me like I don’t exist
They stare blankly as though I’m just another thing
Some stares longer than the other,
Suddenly becoming aware that there must have been beauty
Residing in me somewhere
I miss being held by your piercing gaze
I remember holding your hands
I remember walking with pride
Knowing in this over brimmed cup of life
You were mine
Secure that I belonged
I had a home.
And I had believed its walls won’t give away.

A home is all I had ever wanted
To be myself with you.
To let the masks slip
To be vulnerable
To give in
To let go
To merge
To disappear
To be free
To be found
To love
To be loved.
My home
Your body,
Your mind,
Your heart
Your soul
My only home.

Then came the tempests
Then shook the earth
The walls couldn’t contain you
Your illicit needs made cracks on the walls
Your indifference took up the entire place.
Yet I endured
My home
Was all I had?
Till it was no more

I’m homeless
A waif
Available now
Should I advertise?
They touch me
They promise me shelter
They grope me
They say it’ll last
Just that I don’t live here anymore
Who is it inside me I wonder?
There isn’t me inside of me
Sometimes I miss my home.
Sometimes I really do.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Do not make promises that will disappoint,
Don’t make me search for eternity in your sparkling eyes

Just let this moment be
Let no past taint its sheen
Let no future mar its gleam,
Just take a snapshot of this moment in your mind
Cause sooner than you think ill be out of your sight
Cause sooner than you wish ill be out of your mind.

I have rummaged for love in this cluttered world,
I have gathered bits and morsels of love,
But let me not forget that love cannot hold me tight
For I’m not what, with which is love defined
No you can’t marry and take me home,
No you can’t hold my hand and feel bold

Don’t tell me you want this to last forever
Don’t be so sure that you will never go away.

I have heard these words so many times before.
I have seen such eyes admire me before
But trust me there a thin line between poetry and abuse
Please believe when I say you won’t stay forever seduced

I’m a magician and I can cast spells
But let me tell you a secret - these illusions will betray
And then you shall run, run for your precious life
And you shall make every moment a beautiful lie

Don’t insist you can love no one but me
Don’t say you are attracted to just me

Love, that fleeting, ephemeral high
Lust, that desperate unbearable sigh
So you felt both with me in your arms
Yet your eyes were closed,
Your senses were numbed with pleasure
You did not realize what I was, did you?
Not a man that in daylight you could abhor
Not a woman who you’d desire in some wet dream
I was just an essence
A promise of love
A soul searching for some permanence
In this temporary world
You neither lusted nor did you love

Don’t tell me I didn’t warn you the dream would break,
Don’t tell you didn’t know that you will wake up and leave.

For I was simply an essence
A promise of love
A soul searching for permanence
In this temporary world.

Zaid AL Baset

Saturday, August 2, 2008

when words can't express the paroxysms of my heart, the eyes say it all..and the silence in them speaks for itself, yet you look not, you turn your eyes away.....

Monday, July 28, 2008

confessions of a broken hearted mind part 2; the night.

18: 20: I wish I could bang the phone really hard and throw it away. Alas it’s a mobile phone. I want to squeeze the life out of it. Can’t do that either. Words, your words are creating a pandemonium in my mind, like a thousand bees buzzing inside my head. I can’t whisk them away. (Your words whip the heart)

18:25: Yes. Tying your shoelaces is more important, and that’s just one among the zillion other things that are more important than me. Yes I have incarcerated you, imprisoned you, yes, I must have been a disease which sequestered you from the exhilarating and seductive world. Yes, I’m the shadow that you have been trying to run away from but couldn’t out of mortal fear!!!! Yes I’m must be a monster eating you away. (Strangely though I could never make you stay)

18:45: Sigh! Lying in bed silently, doing nothing. Feeling a little numb, are these things really happening to me? I feel detached, its like a nightmare, where terrible things are happening to me, Im falling, tumbling, breaking, drowning, exploding, arrows are hitting me, knives are cutting me, rocks are bruising me, fire is burning me and yet im placidly asleep. That’s how I feel now. It’s a nightmare all rite, but then again I have the assurance that I would wake up and things would be like they always were. Wouldn’t they? (Things would never be the same again. Never ever, ever!!!)

18:46: I stare at the clock blankly, the minute hand doesn’t work, time seems to have stopped, I stare at it harder, hoping time would move on, hoping that this too shall pass. If only the minute hand showed some sign of movement, it won’t budge. (Three years of living a lie, such a waste)

18; 01; my aquarium looks filthy with overgrown fishes, they stare at me, beseeching me for food, they are perennially hungry it seems, like the hunger of the entire African continent has united inside their bellies. I go n drop some dry pellets which they gobble up with much enthusiasm, they depend on me for food, and I resolve to alleviate their hunger, how American eh? See I could try American, you kept saying we are great losers, that Americans break up on a fast track, like breaking a kit kat I guess….but I can’t, I have a mawkish Indian heart.( I’m sure Americans cry too for love, all humans do,u don’t!! get the point?)

19; 02: spick and span, prim and polished, now your highness has deigned to give me a missed call, such royalty makes me cringe, like the sight of an artistic mix of garbage in front of the slums adjacent to my house, perfect in its repugnance.

19: 10; I call, all I hear is a cacophony of horns and voices and the wind howling like it has nothing better to do, like an eternal bully, howling like its laughing at my misery. Then u tell me all I know, then you confess with a voice so rueful that I could imagine you sitting in a confessional of a beautiful church in the French countryside, such a dulcet voice, and such harsh words. I know you don’t love me anymore, u never really did, I know you aren’t attracted to me anymore, were you ever? We just groped each other for some time and it was fun, but then you realized you were caressing all the wrong things, oops! Wrong number. You never really made love to me; you just sought carnal pleasure (unwittingly I was making love to you)

19; 30: I take out my tarot cards, shuffle them and lay them in a fan spread, like a violet Chinese fan, I choose a card, it’s the reversed knight of cups, which means love is going away, and there is an impending heartbreak. True, so what’s next I ask my cards, and I pick up the devil, of all cards the devil, which means discontentment and depression and all things dark, it also means shackled existence, I’m fettered by my feelings for you, true again, what’s the ultimate outcome? I reshuffle the cards, I choose one, it’s the fool, the first card of the major arcane, symbolizing the air, the freedom of new beginnings, the spirit of hope, strange the fool is the first stage of realization, yup I feel like a fool, a fool of the highest most profound order. (You fooled me with false promises and fake reassurances)


20;30: well couldn’t help it, tears roll down my cheeks, tried not to but just couldn’t stop myself, I want to heal, I don’t want to hurt, not for a worthless liar, but the truth is I loved, I loved with all my heart, my soul and my body, I loved every moment, I loved every inch of you, I loved like there was no tomorrow, I loved like it would last forever, I loved like ill never love again, I loved like you are my breath, I loved like id never let go, I loved like ill be you, I loved like crazy, I loved you like my life, I loved you like my most precious, I loved you for all that you are, I loved you for all that you couldn’t be, I loved you. I really did love (and I lost)

20;45 kept crying, popped a sleeping pill, want to die, no! no not for a moron like you, but I just don’t want this life, u give it your best and it gives you a kick in the butt!!! I don’t want myself someone who could love so much and is still shamelessly in love….. (Fuckity fuck, I love you)

20;46; feeling inadequate, like I lack something, I’m a little scared how would I walk down the streets seeing the things you desire and covet and realizing I don’t have them( but they’ll never have what I could offer just that you didn’t need it)

21;00 I go to the mirror to look at myself, it’s a habit really, took a hard long look at my face, tiny rivulets of tears on my cheeks, such expressive eyes, so ancient, such pain, such beauty, what the hell? with a face like that, who needs you honey!!!!!!!!!

by zaid al baset