Poetry could be about ordinary things. Ordinary doesn't mean banal and trite. Nor boring and unimaginative. Demon's poetry falls exactly within these four pegs. Banality, triteness, boring and unimaginative. Ironically, the magazine which publishes it is called Reflections. Their mirrored images are distorted and ugly. I can't comment on the actuality. Let's begin with the dissection of the poem or whatever has been published in its name. It starts like this
When we feel hot, we switch on the fan
When we feel cold, we switch it off.
He seems to have a utilitarian approach to poetry. Using every day objects in poetry is not a bad idea but functions of a fan, the switching on and off of lights doesn't seem poetic to my untrained eye. But he has more in the offing. He switches his visions on and off forcing me to sit in the dark and contemplate to become a psycho. It is a torture camp with repeated shocks. There might be myriad definitions of poetry but I am not sure if this has yet reached the people who define things. They might trash everything else to embrace this, for its clarity in being unimaginative. Why has he started off his piece like this? One may soon wonder. Is it a clever trick? Is there something more to this simple description of how a fan works, which my mind warps in trying to understand? Is he laughing at all of us behind this mirror? I reflect for long hours and conclude that I should be blaming my parents and teachers for not enrolling me in the right schools of thought.
In the first Four couplets (I regret to use a poetic term like this) the word "switch" occurs Nine times. Demon switches on and off various things as if he is testing, searching for any metaphors available in his daily life. He reaches to his mind finally and states that one cannot switch it off. It is always running. I wish he switched it off and saved a tree instead. As a civil engineer he is known for his strong sense of principles of structural design. No over designed elements. As if compensating, his poetry is filled with redundancies. One might say, brush off this nonsense. Take the intent of the poem. I am sorry, the intent starts only after ten to fifteen lines of these unintended. One gets bored of the setting as soon as they step in.
The next few lines concentrate on what our attitudes towards life should be. Why money and fame are not everything and other such self-help routines. He yaps all this for the benefit of adolescents who don't know what money is. I mean real money. Nor any fame. Their shot to fame is getting past the toughest exam in the country. Sure this is going to scare them off. The thing that is scary is not his poetry though. The possibility, that some one might emulate him in poetry and wreak a havoc.
Like a juggernaut he moves on after few sermons to comparing human mind to a computer. It appears that he revels, finds joy in whatever he writes about this analogy. He says there are many hidden programs running in mind just like in a computer. That's a shot in the arm.Then he goes on about algorithms, restarting, booting, rebooting and other PC paraphernalia. After leaving the reader in the trenches of this battle, he moves on to dispense wisdom about how to live life. Modern education, whatever it is, is unable to teach that elusive art of wise living according to the poem. There are lines about how to concentrate and meditate without any digression. It is a bawl of self help phrases in the poem. One competes with the other for its arbitrariness and placement. All in all, a muddled thought and reflection in a broken mirror.
Hauntingly the poem is named "Mind Control". I would never give my mind to his control. Neither should you.