three is sometimes poetree.


Let’s fall in love with

the same person.

It could be me or you.

I would prefer me.

And then let’s take a road-trip

to some small town in Karnataka.

How about Koodli?

The place where the Tunga meets

the Bhadra, lets you and I meet.

Okay, get ready, learn to say my name.

It is Joshua Olatokunbo Rahoul Muyiwa.

Fuck you, it is sexy if you say it right.

We will drive into an empty field,

park under a large banyan tree.

Then, we will kiss and bite

the seat covers into small clouds of dandelion

and then fuck.

It will be tongues groping, fingers tasting,

toes hearing and skin seeing.

It will be the kind of sex

that will make us cry and moan

and the banyan tree will stretch

it’s tendrils to whip our butts.

But remember, we must both scream Joshua.


I want poetry cafes

in my city, I want to hear

the voice of other gay men,

I want to hear the fantasies

of the queers and the heteros

and compare notes.

Does anyone like being sucked

while listening to Winehouse moaning?

Does the girl with the heavy-set eyes

open them when she is being fucked

and will she write about it?

I want to know,

how long it takes for men to bathe?

Do they shag, before, after

or in-between soaping?

I want to know,

when and where

and what do women shag to?

I want to know if the lesbian

likes to wear frilly underwear

and does she own a butt-plug?

Will she fuck me with her dildo?

Do other queers have backaches?

Do they try and avoid anal sex

or do they have the same one pillow trick

I use?

If you have an accidental hook-up,

do you bathe first or just hope

the smell of sweat turns him or her on?

I want to hear straight men talk

about sex, not in the hooters and jugs

kinda fashion but did he honestly make her cum?

I want to hear non-bragging

rights kind of sex conversations

but where it emotional, fun

and the birth of a universe kinda sex.

But everyday, every fucking day,

I wait, wait to hear other words written

on napkins in restaurants and waiting rooms

because if we don’t write

and share, who will?


Listen, I can’t fuck anymore.

It all seems too simple.

What I really want is for the cells

in our blood streams to merge,

I want your white blood cells

to fight my love-diseased tongue

that is trying to write Joshua

in cursive on the inside of your mouth.

I want your fist to reach into me

through the backdoor and be my tongue

and ask me to do criminal things to you,

like nail your heart to my feet

so you can never leave me,

rob your clothes so I can see

you streak across the road,

and burn the bed and dance around it

so our bodies can feel heat against the cold tiles.

Let’s collect our sweat into little bottles

so we can use it as smelling salts

every time we feel we’ll faint without each other.

Listen, don’t think of anything as illegal

cause this a religious exorcism of my body

and a little blood spilt will be in the norms of the ritual.

I have just a few suggestions,

use my back as an altar, burn a few candles

and let the wax drip slowly. Chant

my name, tweak your nipples.

Also, why don’t you take my skin,

use a belt and change it into progressive strips

of a colour card and paint

our bedroom with the blend of my blood

and the dark-ish shade on my inner thigh.

Wait, Wait, Wait, what if you were just to tie me

and then block print Olatokunbo, my middle name

with dots and dashes done with your foreskin

or create your own Morse code

but make sure to create symbols, raw

and don’t stop.

Listen, let’s not say fuck anymore.

Let’s call it not fucking or

genetic engineering, cause when we

fuck I want our neighbour’s pelvises to bang

against each other in their sleep and make babies

that look like you and me.



Well, I sorta figured with the help of friends that I write on Shiva and then few other things. So this is a series on Shiva. I have always been completely in love with Shiva, his blue skin. 

These poems are not neccesarily about Shiva but are prayers to Shiva, and sometimes they work as both.



your skin is the colour of night

when lovers meet, after a long absence,

more ink than black.


Your eyes are the colour of a poet’s cup

of coffee,

more black than brown.


Your voice is heavy ash

balanced on a cigarette’s edge

more grey than black.


At times, the sound of anklets

makes me search serpentine streets

for the glint of your nose-stud.


I’ve lingered in the flower

markets for days trying to find

the smell of your hair, your thick dreads.


Shiva, today, I’ll lick coconut

chutney from my fingers

and taste your skin.




poor Shiva is blue with penis envy,

holding his breath,

willing his blood to rush there

so he won’t blush

when he sees you in Kailasa, my love.




I’ve got a favour to ask

of you.

So, here goes.

I want to swallow

thoughts through my skin

so they would just sweat

themselves into words

because this need for men

that I love or love me

is tiring

and paper is never handy

which always makes me forget

the sliding tongues

and kneading knuckles

that I want to translate

into words.

I’m willing to sign

a contract Shiva 

for you to allow

this to happen.

This way I won’t be

able to break your heart.

But for the favour,

we have to fuck.

Because then there will be

words dripping from me,

heavy breathing will make

your back a car-window

and scratching fingers will write

words on your back,

saliva will scab these words

into Braille.

Now, here’s really the favour,

just shed your skin,

So I can transcribe

it with a pen.




I want a man with skin

like filigreed silver

with grooves and ridges

for me to hold on to

and climb from his

toes to his lips.

Fingers like bamboo reeds

with strength and flexibility

to reach into

my hard to reach places.

Legs like a coconut tree,

thick and a darker shade

at the thighs.

A tongue that is forked

so he can play

with my perineum and glans,

leave me brimming

and thirsty.

Lips that are like

thighs, so he can swallow

me, keep me and send

me out a born-again.



I want a man to love

he should be like

an ocean – large and all-holding,

so even if I drink

him whole, he will still give more.

I want to be his Lakshmi

and sprout from his navel

and know no other place.

I want to be Narashima

and reach into my belly, pull

out my heart and burn

his name on it.



What is poison, Shiva?

Ankets promised

in exchange for love?

Or is it other things?


Shiva whispered,

“It is blue and lives

in my throat,

I am Neelakantha, the blue-throated.”


But poison is footsteps,

purposeful, hands releasing

anklets and turning

out of the front door.






poetry. more ink.


Listen, please lay in my bed

Don’t move your head one bit,

I was drawing you with colours

(crayons hidden from my cousin)

I picked pink but it wasn’t the colour

of your whisper or the inside of your ear

I gave up.

I decided to smell you,

One whiff of your armpit and it

was lions and cheetahs stretching in the Serengeti? Or rescued in Bannerghatta?

One is television memory and the other olfactory.






But all I remember is that my orgasms Thomson’s gazelled

away from me the minute I heard ‘Last call for passengers of flight…’







I don’t believe in altruism,

so we won’t share beds just

exchange fluids and you will

have to leave.


It is hard enough for me when

i have to share roads with strangers,

or eat at restaurants and not carry my own plates,

sit in autos and have people look at me.


And so I will not have You judge me

by light, even if it is yellow light.

I will never fuck by tubelight or CFL bulbs.

Yes, I don’t believe in environmentalism as well.


But it is sweet, they way you’ve

decided to sleep in my doorway.

And now, you can’t sleep in my bed because

I am cleanian and the vacuum cleaner is my God.



I don’t hate kids, really I don’t.


I just want them to breathe free,

not polluted air from gas companies

like the Bhopal children even now.


I just want them to draw,

Not like the Darfur babies drawing

to prosecute the Janjaweed.


I want them to eat,

Not like the Ethiopian child starving

and pregnant on televisions.


But to be honest,

I’ll whisper this to you.

“I actually don’t like them,

they prevent me from smoking in public.”



I don’t know why I spend

long waking hours to write

words that I hope will change lives.

for who remembers any of my lines

but me.

The metaphors that made me cum

even when I was alone and my fuck buddies

were across state lines or countries.

The similes that made me feel like a preening pussy

among fraidy crows.

But, I am responsible.

Responsible to the men and women

who loved me even when the words

I wrote were hollow,

who followed me even when my feet were

leading into the quicksand of selfishness,

but I really write because sometimes

smoking post-coital cigarettes and whispering words

mean nothing if they are forgotten.

So, I write because if I don’t I won’t have ammo when we fight.


5. Pride

I am ashamed,

that the greatest romance of our times

is Rachel and Ross.

I am ashamed,

I will skip between reports of Kasav

and Central Station Terminal to watch the

last episode of Season Ten and scream with

20 million others ‘Don’t go, Rachel.’

I am ashamed,

that I will associate more with Joey

taking care of birds rather than my gnawing cousins

and breaking heart with Fus-ball table.

I am ashamed,

My metaphors have become rooted in the series,

where I explain everything away under categories,

‘That is so Monica!’

I am ashamed,

the annoying laugh of my best friend

prompts me into fits of madness because

he is reminds me of Janice.

I am ashamed,

that instead of reciting Auden, Neruda

and TS Eliot backwards and forwards

I will sing Phoebe’s  songs over and over again.

But in this shame, I am proud, secretly proud

like the time I rooted for Ross even when Rachel had

left for the prom with Chip.


P.S. Ross won.



Listen, I have given up on you,

like when I was a child and I saw 108 buffaloes

being sacrificed at Taleju’s festival, I gave up on meat.


But it is so hard,

I used to bite during sex just a little harder

to break skin and taste blood.

I learnt to train myself to know menstrual women

so I could linger and smell blood.


But I still hear well-done beef steaks calling

my name and whispering that I need blood.


But I am going to stay strong, I am going to resist

your call, our story has come to one of those endings

that is not forgettable but will remain in the vaults

of time.

I am resisting you because my two front teeth are

white cement and they will break if I bite anything

and therefore neither you flesh nor meat or vice


Perhaps, it is time for a peas and corns and carrots

which are all glorious for the eyes and skin.

So perhaps I will be able to see the qualities of

the next man better.


But yesterday, I smelt her passing by,  she was

on her third day, and I thought of a steak.

Now, I know I am over you. 


more and more poems.


I want to share secrets

like two boys stooping to

tie their laces

imagining that in doing so

we will become as

tight as the knot.



this wild need to run endlessly,

away from you and your arms – but – pausing –

for a moment,

to kiss you, to eat you like one gummy bear at a time,

to smell you – but John Legend

begs me to save a little for him.



My man is greater than

your G_D.

He has a million names.

I have named each strand of hair

on his body and baptised them

with my tongue.



You promised,

you would come back

when it rained,

So, I ran out

when I heard the sound of thunder,

but it was only two men

dragging a steel barricade

across the road.



i constantly have an itching feeling,

a mad rush to push fifteen digits

that translate into your voice,

though technology has made it weird,

i don’t get the lust of pushing,

of fingering, of thrusting,

instead I settle for the sterile scrolling.



My man is a statistician.

He will tell you the frequency of

the orgasms he gives you.

He will put numbers to the times

he has made you roll your eyes.

He will tell you permutations required

so he can carry you and fuck you against the wall.


But then, he will ask you to smoke weed

to see the images in the songs he wrote for you.


Dump the dumb fuck.

Move on.



Haven’t you always wanted to date a rock star?

What if the rockstar rhymes only in a b a b?

What if he thinks your angst lives in a gun’s barrel?

What if he thinks that his music makes you want to fuck?


Seven minutes later,

You have decided you want to date a banker.


Thank god.

Atleast you’ll get investment advice for free.



Baby, you’ve stopped making sense to me.

Your words have become hands

penetrating my ears.

I promise to roll you on my tongue

like smoke and not exhale – not bitterly.


We tried fucking – it was all sweat and cum.

But no play.


But I do understand you when I shag,

somehow you are prettier and

more tangible in my smoke breaks. 


i have a problem titling stuff.

Well, I seem to have a terrible time titling my poems. So if anyone has suggestions of titles for any of the poems, then please feel free to suggest away. I would really appreciate it.


more untitled and one titled.


you were my first lover

the man who watched me silently

exhale my post-coital cigarette.

and whose cum had the meaningless

childhood taste of a lemon tart.

who dripped sweat into lotus pads at his armpits

and smelt like an old book.


on hand-made paper

we write letters

with liberal cursive strokes

(my stringy curls etched into words)

and paragraphs bleeding with spanish words,

a language you learnt

while I was re-arranging my life.

and tonight,

i want to sms you this poem

and you’ve got no cell phone.

bastard, you always did know

how to get to me.


trampled tar heaving with rose water

and muslim blood

burning through my nostrils,

but i was back in your arms

licking and kicking

and tasting the sweat

of your thread,

my brahmin.


what does his butt look like?

i don’t know.

i’ve never walked behind him.

nor have my tongue or finger.


sometimes the kohl-eyed devadasi

will fart and spit,

but makes sure that only

her alluring beauty will

slide-show through his head,

not by forcing it,

but by becoming a earworm,

that gets trapped in his mind

and bounces from his tongue.


friend, you wonder about the

strange sounds at night,

it is because my man is from

the place with hives of humans,

trains that look like resting pythons

the gaudiness of sequinned outfits

and at night he plays me like a saxophone

reminding himself of Rang Sharda

and looking over the reclaimation.


i want to incubate between your skin

lay dormant

suddenly burst out into rashes

and hope

that you will think of me each time

you itch.

7. Stringed Orgasm

Your skin so dark that the silver around your throat shimmers
Hanging in Its balance is the first sound of the universe
The light strikes, constantly echoing the sound aum
In those times the entire universe resounds on your throat
Neelakantha swallowed the poison but
Did you swallow the first utterance?
Did you capture Parvathi’s Climax and string it on to your throat?
If such feats are yours
What name should we give you?


four untitled and one titled.


Stop looking at me


I’m not writing sonnets but

I’m being bolder than you,

my Mercutio is gay and my

Portia is an F2M transgender.

Antonio is a sugar daddy and Bassanio,

his twink.

But maybe, just maybe I’m

not like you Shakespeare, not

clever enough to hide

my limp wrist.


The way you hunger to hear words

trickle out of people’s mouths

and hope they string into a story.

The way you look

at patches of red, peacock blue

and pink and know who

can wear it.

The way you tilt your head

to the right so we can’t see

your crooked jaw,

but the most

tender thing about you

besides your lips is you

will cry when you hear

about a ganja-smoking man who

writes with a blue Reynold’s on the walls

and paints swoosh marks on un-nike shoes.


Richmond Town never has traffic jams except

during Moharram.

The diverted trucks from Hosur Road heavy

with ash granite blocks and holey white sacks

of sand will clog the streets and their horns

will sound like ten thousand kindergartens – this is

how my body felt when it whispered,

‘I love you’.


I have always wanted to be


the left-handed can draw.

Then, I wouldn’t have to

write you little notes, a plum

could’ve meant sex, an avocado

would mean shopping and peaches


But I think I’ll just write because

we live in a city, not an orchard.

The poem below was written after hearing this def jam poetry session on Youtube, by Frenchie Fucking Ain’t Conscious. She uses these stereotypical black images and apologizes for them because she won’t be using them in her rendition. Well, I do no such thing except repeat the phrase, I apologize. But since that refrain was inspired I am giving credit where credit is due.

5. I apologize.

I apologize,

in this poem you will not

see red, warm blood oozing

from slit wrists because

my lover has left me.

I apologize,

in this poem you will not

see blue, clear tears slipping

down stung cheeks because

my lover has not returned.

I apologize,

in this poem you will not

see white, uncrumpled sheets pouring

down stocky beds because

my lover has stopped coming.

I apologize,

because in this poem you will see

red, warm blood spouting from

lips bitten till they are raw.

I apologize,

because in this poem you will see

blue, clear tears slipping from

the confusion of is pain really pleasure?

I apologize,

because in this poem you will see

white, uncrumpled sheets pouring

because the wall is our bed.

I apologize, in this poem you will see

me waiting because the

line between colour and pain is

drawn in dashes across a map.


seven untitled and one titled.


I try not to write about boys and men lovers.

I want to write about

the tinkling whisper of her hair,

the heavy sway of her sculpted hips,

the raw silk texture of her brown skin,

the soft jiggle of her dimpled buttocks.

And I want to imagine

my fingers mapping her breasts,

my tongue exciting her clitoris,

my head resting on her soft belly,

and my toes exploring her thighs.

But your broad, foliaged chest,

your tongue that knows its power,

your pubes peeping from your jeans,

strong arms, warm mouth, knowing touch

and trap-like thighs are on my mind.

So, how am I to write and imagine her?



This is to say that

the sheets lie uncrumpled

and the tea set hangs dry

while you were away.

– Me

P.S. The floor is cold.

The ashtray is full.


Sometimes I want to

rush into my man’s arms

like a haggle of construction women

crossing the road

with a mad rush and single mindedness.

But I am corrupted

and I look to the left, right and left again.


Eau de Cologne fucking Pond’s Dreamflower,

waxy Fumes making out with the essence of newly dug mud

and relatives lying languid with shades of black.

Tears that are faked like meaningless moans

and sponatanteous ejaculation of stories to give new meaning.

I hate funerals.


I hate funerals.

When I die

only my lovers who remember the smell of my sweat

the stories that my toes traced on their calves

and whose lips tongue navel and arse-hole I have explored

will be allowed to cry for me.


Shiva loves to rim,

even knows the local Shivajinagar slang for it.

– biriyani khanaji –

Now in Mumbai,

he licks his lips

for the ammonia deposits

rising from the tracks

while on the local train.

He licks, smatters, licks and tastes

thinking of Pasha’s puckering arsehole.


My grandmother had beautiful long hair, as a child I would climb bury myself

and hope to be plaited – my arms my legs – intermingled into the rivers of silver.

And today when your castor oiled body enveloped me – my arms my legs my nose –

Sniffing myself into your chest hair – I cried.


Haiti in Three Parts


As a baby velcroed to my mother’s arms,

I heard her hissing stories

about princesses that used

their hair as ropes and singing midgets.

But she most wanted to shriek ballads

trickling with blood, singed flesh.

The cacophony of Papa Doc, Baby Doc

and The Tong Tong Army.


I will dress in white like

a voodoo trouble shooter,

I will inhale your odour

and scream the future,

I will use your sweat to burn

the night and dance.

Chip and wine to your heartbeat

and whisper our secrets into your hair.


I will smoke ganja breathing

in prophecies of the shamans,

I will lay rock over rock,

brick over brick and sweat with the slaves.

But sugar I will not eat.

Sugar is white,

white after seeing the ghost of dignity

nestled in the slave’s tongue.


eight poems.


I’m not black, my colour is

what aquamarine is to green,

some blue but mostly green.

I’m not black, my colour is

coffee, weak, not crushed beans.

I’m teal, like the tint of steel.

I’m not black, my colour is

the colour of rape, many generations,

the colour of cum on old panties.

I’m not black, my colour is

the light of zero-watt bedroom bulb.

I’m teal, like the tint of steel.

I’m aquamarine, green, coffee, teal,

blue like steel, red like rust, just

not black.


Your skin is the colour of night

when lovers meet, after a long absence,

more ink than black.

Your eyes are the colour of a poet’s cup

of coffee,

more black than brown.

Your voice is heavy ash

balanced on a cigarette

more grey than black.

At times, the sound of your anklets

make me search serpentine streets

for the glint of your nose stud.

I’ve lingered in the flower

Market for days trying to find

the smell of your hair, your thick plait.

But today, I’ll lick coconut

chutney from my fingers

and taste your skin.


My man not big

like Mount Kailasa.

But whispering a secret

in his ear makes me feel like

a Russian ballerina.

My man is a tongue,

so tuned it smells and tastes,

till it tastes of only us.

My Man laughs like a rakshasa, so loud

that mountains flatten themselves.

But tell him ‘his post-office is open’

and his giggle will remind you of Anarkali’s light anklets.


A crow is a beautiful bird,

sheltered in folklore

as the intelligent one,

stamped into our memories

as the soothsayer of fortune

depending on the size of its murder.

crushed into our fairytales to

describe a maiden’s tresses.

But no one will say you sing like me.


Baby, I refuse to be political for you.

I’ll be arm-candy at your rock-shows

and drink free booze in the VIP section.

I’ll come for your protests even if

you don’t come for mine.

But I will wear clashing colours.

I will not drink red bull because

your protest has no vodka.

I will not eat ice-cream

because it’s not between your toes.

I will be political for me.

I’ll do shringar before I watch you

shag, excited that you’re thinking

of her.

I will make out with you when your mouth is

swirling ganja smoke

and you’re playing with my dreads.

But I most political in my tongue

exploring your arsehole,

searching for whiskey.


11.30pm doesn’t stop me from

drinking or dancing

because I have a man who drinks

Blenders’ Pride like water.

He will set music

so there will be progression

Mary J. Blige to our kissing,

the Gundecha Brothers to our fucking

Erik Satie to our post-coital cigarette.

The alcohol never runs dry

because his armpits are my Golden Rose

and I don’t need kannada

to get my bottle of whiskey.


The ashtray is full.

A dog barks.

The streetlight hits your eye.

You shuffle around, nervous,

smoke another cigarette

(your fourth pack)

then try to sleep.

You text the time – 02.48hrs –

and hope he understands.


Well, poor Shiva is blue with penis envy,

holding his breath, willing the blood

to rush there so he won’t blush

when he sees you in Kailasa, my love.

June 2023