Somewhere Around Despair

Poem By Sofiul Azam

for Sonja Broderick

'...the nameless pain from which one feels there can be no way out,
and one knows despair is absolute.'
- from The Mimic Men by V. S. Naipaul


As I wait for the return of hopes and grace,
always I feel I shake with fears copulating
with each other faster than atoms in a chain reaction,
and all the nightmares of mimicry I have reaped
and stored so far in the granary of my mind
must have been planted
by the long lineage of my ancestors.
It's not that I am always up against them,
but I think I could have assured you:
I must be shopping around despair.

It seems as if it were made sure
the seedlings of despair I saw growing faster
get proper fertilizers and the rain.
I will reap a good harvest of despair soon.


Life's not what it was before any more,
and could even be rejected by freshers
as something that only brings grief to the eager eyes -
no permanent release from all of my sighs.
It brings nothing but endless good-byes.

I know I won't stand up on the ground again.


I wonder what the hell we always do
in living out our life like rats in the graveyard
or cockroaches in the discarded loft.
Every chance there is to fumble around despair.

Yes, I do feel despair is absolute,
aspirations never spill over into reality
as you might have seen from a glass
cold babbling wine falling onto the tablecloth.


Rabbits we are in the roughest valley
where doom itself thrives,
always trying to scuttle far away,
feeling coldness rushing in our channels of blood,
just when hungry eagles swoop down on them
like the monsoon wind upon thatched cottages.


Always we hear ear-blasting clatters of cars
clumsily crashing on the streets,
and terrific screams do chloroform us.
Yet, we all wake to another disaster
and find it's dark all around.
As darkness with the nightfall does
rain upon the life we make, I wonder
if such hours of dark luminosity
much longer than necessary
could measure the worth we bring
out of our conviction that's been
drab as a long-used copper coin,
a farrago of a Shakespearean clown's
nervous sanity and nonsense,
a kind of somber procrastination -
ghosts yet to be exorcized from a pristine chapel.
You know there's no ‘only other way around.'

This is simply our life in a snarl
where often dreams are deported
as if convicts of an old dynasty,
later guillotined before the party of nightmares,
where frailty and fright fraternize,
making our gaze shift from one muddy scene to another,
where downright convulsion is the whole caboodle.

Now curious news for numerous others:
in the abyss of deepest darkness
we are fighting this monstrous hybrid of despair
born not from a mother's womb;
and, of course, will wide jaws of the monster
be closing over us straight off;
later at dawn, we will soon be a lump of excrement
stinking among clusters of dewy grass.


Comments about Somewhere Around Despair

Naipaul was wrong: When your spirit is vexed and full of despair, this will lift it: http: // It always works for me. Remember, there is only one thing we truly need. Cheers. Dan
This poem is immensely dark and depressing but I consider it a great poem!
what can I say? ... but that it is not all so sad, really. I see the despair in life, but in reality I try to see the sparkle through the glass rather than the smudge on the veneer. Thank you for the dedication, it is my (surprised) honour. Sxx
like the poem, and i'm also sorry that i can't writte anything pretty clever about it....
Well, I hope our prospects are not that bleak. I have to say I sometimes wonder about the ongoing disparity between many of my aspirations and the reality of my life. Thanks for sharing so much in your biography. I like learning ABOUT poets, as well as reading their work.

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Other poems of AZAM

The Defeat

for my father

The King saw his chiefs stand like the deaf
(brave sepoys stirred blood in their veins,

Disjecta Membra

for Geoffrey Hill


The House Of Rumours

(for Monira Qais)

I had just slipped straight from my mother’s womb
into this house where rumours breed like spawn,

In Love With A Gorgon

At the time of the sun's spitting saffron out in the sky,
my life turned into a dazzling Gorgon and smiled.

The Gorgon with her snaky hair and tempting eyes

St. George And The Dragon

Shadows fell on indispensable hopes and grace.
All of our inherited clemency cowered;
and the currency of hopes was almost over,