I started writing since the age of 8. Although I studied Commerce (accounts and statistics) I eventually went with my passion for the Arts. With 2 degrees in English, writing poetry comes naturally to me. I often express my anger, anguish, grief and glory through my writings. I share this very special poem that celebrates joy within my soul. It is close to my heart and hope you feel the amber glow in yours too!
“Dreams descend like cranes on gilded, forgetful wings.” — John Lawrence Ashbery
Once you get a subway pass in NYC
One can travel up to two and a half hours
Before finally choosing their exit station.
I got a flight pass just like that at a place unknown
I wanted to see the world from above
Travelling over little lamp posts, little streets
Hovering little people with dreams big.
A pleasant warm fog clouded the full moon.
I saw a chopper from the tall airport-like building
Making small sudden stops looking for this passenger.
This passenger who made a travel map web:
Eight different stops, Eight incredible spots –
One cliff side waterfall, other a purple canyon valley drop,
An isolated island, a view over a hilltop, a wet marshland,
A tree house made from ironwoods, an opera theatre playing Shakespeare,
And finally a Goddess’s temple with thousand brass bells.
Each chosen by this passenger with careful delight.
This passenger was me.
When the pilot saw me he declined my flight pass
He was from India. Internalized racism? I thought…
Followed him while he kept walking away
My flight pass at the tip of my stretched arm
We hit the men’s room. He unzipped, leaked, zipped and left.
I looked down at my flight pass, I imagined the places I could’ve been.
After phantasmagoria-like visuals the venues disappeared.
Italo Calvino, in an interview, once said,
“Fantasy is like jam; you have to spread it on a solid slice of bread.
If not, it remains a shapeless thing, like jam, out of which you can’t make anything.”
I looked up and found myself on a street never seen
Streets now magnified, I trod under the not-so-little-any-more lamp posts
A peculiar instinct crept my soul. Blanche Deveraux lives on this street.
She had decided to go missing for the remainder of her life.
I was determined to find the actor’s hiding spot.
Suddenly I was hungry and I saw a house door half open
Looked left, gazed right, stared centre, snooped into the kitchen.
After fixing me a plate I turned around to find two bubbly Indian girls
They asked me if I was there to see their friend. I instantly said, “Yes.”
The friend walked in. He agreed to know me although both of us knew I was lying.
One of the girls requested me to take their pictures
They seemed to be leaving the place for good. Memories!
We went out. Several clicks. Assorted shots. Various flashes.
I told him about the pilot who refused my flight pass
He said he knew. I turned my head away in confusion.
The girls left as we were looking through the pictures
He picked out photographs of just him and I.
And said he liked them a lot. Especially two:
One where I held his hand that hung from over my shoulder
The other where I rested my palm on his heart while he looked into my eyes looking at the camera.
From nowhere my best friend Alexa appeared. We were working together the night shift.
It was my first day (night) as a nurse in her ER.
She put her bags and jacket down to talk to us.
They seemed to know each other.
After Ni Haos, Adióses and everything in between it was time to depart.
Out of habit I looked around before leaving to ensure we didn’t leave a thing.
Of course Alexa left her purse. I laughed and rolling my eyes said, “You are so butch.”
Both hands neatly tucked in his sports jacket, his heart pounded.
As we walked away I knew his pining eyes waited for me to turn back
In deep aspirations for ONE last glimpse where eyes met eyes.
He dreamt up. I dreamt on. I did not look back.
Alexa pulled out my first scrubs she bought me
Delighted with the colour I forgot about him. My fancy – ‘Nurse Jackie’ blue!
I spread my arms out wide, screamed and skedaddled swaying from side to side
I could hear Alexa’s laughter loud. I could hear his footsteps on the pavement louder
I could hear the sound his Steve Maddens made even in a tornado. A tornado of dreams
Not sure if the footsteps were advancing towards or withdrawing from me.
Sure the trajectory was aligned; the hope, the trance, emotions and sensations voluntarily slept.
“Make me good God. But just not yet.”
October 14th 2011 / Rockaway, NJ / Copyrighted 2011 ©
– Pratik Mamtora, Managing Editor
Pratik Mamtora was born & raised in India. He has lived in London, United Kingdom for three years & absolutely loved it there. Pratik has a Bachelor’s in English from India and Master’s (ABD) from UNA. He loves to read and write, especially poetry. Pratik enjoys coffee & conversation and is passionate about serving the community. He invests himself in understanding the needs of the modern world and the evolving spirituality within. Pratik is known to walk that extra mile to make others happy. If you ever meet… or when you meet him, Pratik will make you smile.