Orange Man with Dick Out

I went up to the top of the highest mountain
There was a man there, they had told me.
A man with shadowy eyes and long, flowing white hair
A man who could turn invisible at will
A man whose orange skin was so bright
It could blind you even before you could open your mouth
And therefore a man I’d have to kneel before,
A man I’d be forced not to look at,
A man who would answer all my questions, but
A man perhaps who wasn’t even there –
For all I knew, these people who talked
About the orange man of dreams and whispers
Knew nothing at all – for not one of them could say
They had laid eyes on him,
Yet every single one had heard his voice –
Heard his shadow falling blandly across the ground near their knees
His hair flowing in a breeze that they could not feel
Even though they too were there,
In that same place
As the orange man with shadowy eyes.

So I climbed, in the hope of finding this man,
Perhaps I’d take his picture.
I had nothing to ask, or know,
Just a burning curiosity,
Because the eyes that had spoken of the orange man
Those eyes were always burning.

The mountain was harsh. The snow came and went,
The sun bore into the back of my neck,
My toes were cold, but my head was hot,
The trees flapped mercilessly around as I –
I couldn’t stop –
There wasn’t anywhere to stop, so I –
I just kept on walking,
Paying no attention to the toll it was taking,
My body, that is, the toll
That
My body
Was taking
With every step
Higher and higher.
Breathe. Breathe or you
Will never even get there.

I did get there.
The peak was the highest in all those around.
I could see the rest, much lower now,
And there atop this forested mountain,
Was the promised cave of the orange man.
The orange man. At last. At long, long last.

So I went into this cave.
And there he was.
Standing, as promised, with no clothes or pretention
Just a man in the wild, standing,
With skin as orange as the last rays of a dying sun.
He looked at me, and laughed, quite riotously.
“Why have you looked at me, you idiot?
That’s not the drill!”
I asked him – “sure, very funny. but tell me –
what’s with that nonsense about your shadow falling where I kneel –
I don’t get it –
I never did –
Here you are, in a cave,
There isn’t any light,
So – um, that’s always bothered me.”
He laughs even more.
“At least that made you come, eh?
My marketing team is pure genius.”

“Wait, what?

so you’re

a start up?”

Orange Man stops laughing.
Yeah dude. Just got funded, in fact.
And I thought that was obvious by the name – no? Orange Man?

Oh yeah, I thought. Must’ve been tough to get that domain name?

Got in early, dude. Got very lucky. Red man, blue man, purple man
All sounded better. But, you know how it is.
They were all taken.

I was starting to enjoy this. Sat down.
He still stood there, awkward,
Orange dick hanging loose and all –
You don’t want to…sit, bro?
Nah man. Vision Mission Values – I gotta keep standing if visitors come.
Kind of sucks, though. Some of these idiots sit here for hours,
On their KNEES, would you imagine,
Just crying and sweating, and sinking and sludging,
Just fucking – shit, sorry, not allowed to swear –
Just blathering away in their own damned tears and mucus
And I have to stand there like an idiot
Hoping my balls don’t hit their heads.

I can think of worse jobs, I said.

Yea, for sure man. My last job before this – I was
A call centre executive.
That was way worse.
Here at least I get to speak my mind.

You get to speak your mind?

Yeah, that’s why I got into this shit.
Orange Skin transplant hurt like a mother-f- damnit.
Hurt a lot, is what I’m saying.
But you know, I get to say this and that
Apart from cuss words
So it’s worth it eventually.
Plus, dick out bro. That’s a HUGE deal.
I fucking -shit, whatever – I hated those modern undies dude.
Rashes, balls always sweaty.
This is so great.
And our customers LOVE it.
They just LOVE seeing my balls.

So, what’s your…core offering?
Your revenue model?
Competitor analysis?
SWOT?
Do you have any…big hairy audacious goals?
A theory, I mean, about how you’d scale?
A hypothesis?

Well, of course man, we have our whole deck.
Powerpoint.
Want me to show you, or –

No, just, you know,

Sure, yeah, yeah, no problem, so –
Just, we hang out here. My team is just down this hill on the other side,
Crunching numbers. You’ve kind of come here in the off-season.
November to Jan are the busiest.
So these people come,
They tell me their issue,
And I just get to – be harsh, man.
Just tell them to their face.
This one time I told this woman to kill her baby, dude
Just to see if she’d agree,
And shit, just took me three minutes to convince her.

So she killed her baby?

No dude, are you mad? I retracted it later.
Just wanted to test my theory. Are you insane?
What do you think I am, some roving maniac? Haha
Anyway, so these people just come
And give us a shitload of tax free cash, man.
Big operation we’ve got here. Very little costs.
The office guys have wifi, because
They get bored otherwise.
But that’s about it.
Free mountain. Weather does the rest.
This orange skin thing helps with the temperature changes,
So I just get to stand here and jack off most of the day.
Seriously though – the coolest thing is –
If your dream is to just jack off all day,
Naked, and orange,
On a mountain,
You really can man. That’s what’s amazing. It’s amazing what
Bizarre dreams are possible,
If you just dream them properly.
Or just meet the people who know how to dream properly. LOL.
What a waste.
I’m bleeding, calves are hurting, my eyes are bloodshot,
And I’ve just spent a month’s salary getting to this
Godforsaken place.
Next to upstanding orange naked dude
Who turns out to be
Not a mystic who can disappear
But just some…guy.
I have to make this worth it.
What do I ask him?

So, man, how did you meet those people then?
How did you – get this job?
You’re not a cofounder?

No dude. I was in finance
I just … wanted a change of scene.
So applied for this job. And. I guess the interview was good?
I was just honest, and
Apparently, that’s what got me the gig.
The investors had a whole hiring process
And I walked in, and told them how stupid I thought their whole idea was
And how…wrong, really. Morally, I mean.
You can’t just put some random guy on a mountain
And hope for the best!
But they loved that. They hired me on the spot.
By the way, listen, you wanna go down for lunch? Kind of getting hungry.

He guides me down the other side –
Which has a series of escalators,
Very industrial chic. Just engraved straight into the side of the hill.
We take – four? Five of them. Get to a landing,
He scans his thumb on the biometric thing,
And we enter a – cave?
No. Office. Office, yeah. Shit.

He says
We’ve been cashflow positive for a few months now,
So we were able to upgrade some of the furniture.
Better spaces, better work, man.

Hey, listen man.
Is this all a sham, or –
I mean, I came all this way –
And I don’t mean to be rude, but
Shouldn’t you at least give me something of VALUE
I CAME ALL THIS WAY man.

Hey, hey, settle down puppy.

No, SERIOUSLY.
I’m FEELING REALLY CHEATED RIGHT NOW.
(I’ve obviously been getting quite angry this whole time.)
(Even I didn’t realize.)

He gently pats my dick.

What the HELL are you even –

Sorry – sorry, my whole – perspective on penises
Has kind of changed.
Ok look – hey, hey, don’t be angry. OK? Come on.
Look, ok, I’ll tell you what. Come to the conference room.

We go to the conference room.

You want coffee?

He makes me an espresso.

You want a lollipop?

He gives me a lollipop to suck on.

Ok, you’ve come all this way.
How can I help you?
You want to just ask me something, and
I can just give you my honest thoughts?
That’s…technically my job,
And what you came for, no?
You get the coffee and conference room and airconditioning free.
Good deal? Happy customer? Great service? Yeah?
Will that work for you?

I…nod. The coffee is oddly comforting.
I ignore the lollipop.
But what to discuss?
I don’t even know what my problem is.
So I just sit there,
Enjoying the smell
Of the coffee that’s oddly comforting,
And reminds me of home –
Multiple homes –
Some cafes also –
Just reminds me of a lot things. A lot of
Places I’ve been.
Places I’ve been for coffee, that is.
And I just sit there.
Traveling, mentally.
As orange man sits amiably silently
On the other roller chair,
Occasionally creaking and shifting,
But generally patient. Must be all the hours
With groveling, kneeling, puking assholes
Who I imagine would
Weep pitifully, hoping for salvation,
Then kiss the very ground
They wept on.
Who didn’t dream properly, I suppose. That’s what Orange Man would say.
Fucker.
Still there,
Waiting, hoping I’d actually have something to say.
But by now,
I’ve realized,
I just don’t want to talk.
I just want to sit here,
In someone’s dream office,
And savour my coffee of a million memories.
So I do that.
Silent.

A Tribe of Sedative-Ecstatic Savages

We’re citizens of a tribe of sedative-ecstatic savages, in

Kingdoms of filth and infrastructural amenities, with

Gold-crusted grins of sharp shocking jaws

Anaesthetized, impervious, black punctured eyeballs.

The leprechauns drool and crawl in ivory doom

They thirst for puke at two, at three, at four, their

Eyes aglow with gleaming rust and sweat, in

Chains of blaring light and friendly face.

We’re aspirin-buzzed citizens of vodka-crazed majesty

With ravaging desperate naked dreams of blood

We’re dumbbell brained champions whose discipline-syringes

Shoot curated comforting tongues of toxic gas.

We the citizens, pledge ourselves to, as one blighted people,

Regardless of rage, time or reason,

Mouths imprisoned by aluminum granola bars

Bodies voluntarily cut, quartered, carted,

Lying entombed without a word in stacked cement.

Dar Dar Ke

Atankwaadi toh chalo apna kaam kar rahe hain
Par aapne kyon dar ki dukaan lagaayi hai?
Jab dekho daraate rehte ho.

Ghar pe baithe rahoge toh rozi roti kaun kamaayega?
Par khaana baahar khaoge to pet kharaab ho jaayega.
Kadam baahar rakhe toh baarish se bachke.
Aur andar baitha raha to aalas se bachke.
Local le li toh choron se bachke
Aur gaadi le jaao toh police bachke.

Vaise bhrashtaachaar ne toh naak mein dam kar rakha hai.
Mantriyon ke haathon na ye desh hi bik jaayega.
Dange fasaad, ye scam, gareebi
Ye sookha, ye baad, ye sarkaari kaam ki dheemi raftaar –
Sab in netaaon ki buri niyat ka nateeja hai.
Hindu-Mussalman ka baer bhi inhone hi beeja hai.
Par sun, suna hai nayi sarkaar thodi… naarangi hai?
Aur, tujhe pata toh hai beta, aajkal
Bhindi kitni mehengi hai –
Toh aisa kar – khaali pet se dar.
Thodi ghoos … tu bhi kha le.
Behti Ganga toh maili ho chuki, beta
Tu bhi nahaa le.

Bhookh se dar, sarkar se dar.
Ameeron ke atyachaar se dar.
Begaari se dar. Bekaari se dar.
Hindu se dar. Muslim se dar.
Goron se dar. Kaalon se dar.
Khaana accha hai toh uske masaalon se dar.
Motaape se dar.
Mugabe se dar.
Kameenon se dar.
Haseenon se dar.
Vakeelon se dar.
Ghotaalon se dar.
Chautaalon se dar.
Kashmir mein dar. Geelani se dar.
Nani yaad aayi toh nani se dar.
Jawaani se dar. Budhaape se dar.
Chaaploosi se dar. Padosi se dar.
Gharwaalon se dar.
Sawaalon se dar.
Jawaabon se dar.
Neend aa jaaye toh khwaabon se dar.
Khwahishon se dar, aazaadi se dar.
Ghulaami se dar, aabaadi se dar.
Barbaadi se dar.
Shuruaat se dar, aur ant se bhi.
Faani se dar, anant se bhi.
Jeena toh padega, toh sun, aisa kar
Ke dar dar ke jee, aur jee bhar ke dar.

Aise hi kisi din,
Gar himmat ne saath diya
Toh dar ko bhool na jaaoon kaheen.
Ud na jaaoon kaheen.

Ode to Mumbai – 1 – Monster

A monster’s heart is beating it alive
This city’s stench and bile is still aglow.
And you and I are dregs of mindless dust
Just wafting thoughts that pass, and are forgot.

“City of Gold”, they say with silver eyes
Gold – for rich and poor and middle class
Gold – to film, to sing, to act, to sell.
Gold – beneath the monsoon’s weary roof
Gold – among forgotten shanty cracks
Gold – embalmed in casks of broken bones
Gold – still owed to prowling, hungry hawks
Who nest too high and cannot see the ground.

In this parade I find myself spectating
My bag chock-full of dreams and hopes in waiting.