23
Dec
08

poetry. more ink.

1.

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.

 

Inhale.

Inhale.

Inhale.

 

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

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

 

Exhale.

Exhale.

Exhale.

 

2.

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.

 

3.

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.”

 

4.

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.

 

 6.

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

versa.

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. 

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1 Response to “poetry. more ink.”


  1. December 29, 2008 at 11:07 am

    This is really hard to crit. You have this conversational, rough style that I just get into and I forget to look for inconsistencies. I’m wavering between saying, “Make your lines tighter, pay attention to craft” and saying “Let it be”. I don’t know. Maybe an in-between will work. So I’m reading this again, trying to be critical.

    Section 1: I don’t like the parenthetical statement. The inhale-exhale bit is stale. People have done it too often for to be effective. Also, I tried inhaling three times and I started hiccuping. Loved this: “One is television memory and the other olfactory.”

    Section 2: This is probably my favourite section. Two things worry me: a) Some of the line breaks just don’t make sense. There aren’t any rules about this, but ending on strong words (especially nouns and verbs) is a good idea, unless you’re freeplaying with meaning. See if this helps: http://www.alsopreview.com/gazebo/messages/134/136.html?1106442781 b) Some words are just extra. Poetry needs to be clean. Some comments in-line:

    “[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.”

    The words in brackets are unnecessary, IMO. Why is you capitalised? The “will”s make me uncomfortable — they are wordy. How about “I won’t fuck by tubelight or CFL bulbs./ Yes, I don’t believe in environmentalism either.”

    “But it is sweet, they way you’ve”

    Try “it’s” instead.

    “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 love that last line, but I think it could be more impactful with some rearranging: “decided to sleep in my doorway. But now you can’t sleep/ in my bed because I am cleanian/ and the vacuum cleaner is my God.”

    Section 3: Take out the “just”s maybe?

    Section 4: What if you redid the first two sentences as questions? “Why do I spend long waking/ hours writing words that I hope will change lives?/ Who remembers my lines/ but me?” It’s pithier, less sprawling. Be careful of commas after “but”s and “now”s. They break the rhythm. I wonder if you need the “so”. The poem proceeds through its own logic. The “so” is irrelevant, really.

    Section 5: What is “Pride” doing there? Is it a title or something? The other sections don’t have titles. This one I like because of this strange generational guilt we have of living in and with images rather than “reality”. And the punch of the post-script. Not so sure about the “I am ashamed” repetition. Might work as a verbal/performative confession, but reading it is cloying.

    Section 6: I like how you begin with “Listen”, just like section 1, reminding the reader that this is addressed to a specific person. (This is a dramatic monologue, yes?) Is the first line saying exactly what you want it to? Following the parallel of giving up meat, I thought it should be “Listen, I have given you up”, which is not the same as “given up on you”. “I learnt to train myself…” Doesn’t “I train myself…” work as well? (I continue to worry about all the unnecessary connectors: but, so…)

    I don’t remember if I told you this, but your poems are only complete with that last line, and you’ve got them all in. I enjoyed this. Not sure how useful my comments will be. I might be working with a completely different idiom here. Anyway, good luck with this.

    Best,
    Aditi


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