Wednesday, December 30, 2009

nicely toasted

your hideous smile
ambush mine
in that reflected light;
arrested I stand on top of thee
I meddle with your hands
tackle you to the ground
your doozy look can fool others
(mainly that woozy limpet in your arms)
you don't have a single bone in you
otherwise I would be gnawing you to pieces
a caricature of a poet, a
(read this fact in his own words)
here I toast to you
one of my masterpieces

"I bow almost to the ground, topple over on top of you"


I dedicate this poem to
Percy Bisque Silley: A Romantic Dandy who accused me here, that I have forgotten to write poetry. I reproduce his words for ready reference:

Percy Bisque Silley said...

I do not count Mineself amongst thy Toadies and shall not leave the sort of vain and idle "Rah, rah!" to which you have grown accustomed, Miss.

Your words here are a poor excuse, if I may be so bold, for a Poetic Post.

No doubt you languish on a sofal watching your American football on your widescreen TV from your flat in the Bronx and cannot be bothered with a poem at this time...

With Stern Reproofly

Sunday, December 27, 2009

a start

a new year, a chance
to start my life from scratch
regrets dumped on the way

lured into lord's lair

sore from sitting all day
on the floor,
heart tore to bits,
harsh reality flares
in deep gorge of her mind.
she rues the day, she was snared
by his false charm.
lured into his lair
facing scorn from all.
one of those rare times, her
family had tried to warn her
about how ordinary people
like them should not
dream high. as time passes,
darkness prevails, her lord barges in
with the torch, his eyes boring
into her downcast head.
she ignores his marvellous profile,
her flair for dramatics intact
in case he decides to
torture her further.
studiously ignoring her, he retreats
after serving her delicious
pieces of cooked hare,
hunted, carved and hoarded
from last summer.
somewhat satisfied
she falls asleep with soaring dreams
of an unicorn flying in to save her
like in folklores she reads.

"if only she had learnt her lesson from her wanderlust thoughts"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

lucent pearls

a single pearl
on my skin

your skin reflects
that sheen
of my love

that love
I can't convey
in rigid words

words hinder
close my emotions
contain them in space

miniscule space
can only explode
plundering us

the very us
on its culminated wake
of lusty delight

lustrous lust
lucent pearls of sweat

that single pearl
is but a witness
of my disintegration

me into you
a complete journey-
you into me

Sunday, December 20, 2009

at the junction of mind over body

I have learnt my lesson
now I walk and walk
in straight lines
and circles too

come to a sudden halt
at the junction of mind over body
what went wrong
when did it happen

that I simply let myself go
after all those months of lethargy,
I am unable to touch my toes

In the next few months
I have dared myself to be
as streamlined as an arrow

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

ode to Percy Bisque Silley

after so long

romantic dandy is back
now my bleak days pass fast
when without a single hiccup
I read his queer posts
on rice brans,
and wheat flakes;
he also speaks of his mistress
squealing with delight
over their said intimacies
(so he says, but I think otherwise)

"for all his silliness, he has been knighted
by the same event, we are blighted & slighted"


Please do check out: Percy Bisque Silley: A Romantic Dandy

Saturday, December 12, 2009

lure of the silken threads

a world of web, spider weaves webs steadily
with gossamer silken threads chained strong
waiting to swoop for an unsuspecting prey
to fall into that parlour of smoothened edges

resistance is useless, as the lure of unknown

breaks it with skill. well versed with the art

of story telling, clairvoyance too comes forth
to conclude that breaking. wings smeared

with honey cannot fly away. crawling out

of it, with so much dignity, difficulty- victim

gets away, cleansing away that stickiness;

shaking to core, it flies soaring to open sky.

if friendship was the agenda, it had to fail-

spider’s web can draw, yet it has to let go

promises never made, can never be broken-

persistence can never turn into persuasion.

mind’s rivulets have the potential to hold

another mind to ransom, yet with strongest

of will power, it escapes. it has to, for its own

sanity- out of nothing, no life can be built.

a world of web, spider weaves webs steadily

now it is with words, which are meant to pierce.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

nature copulates

black vines entwine
to walls in the countryside
thunders bring in the cold night
trees welcome embracing rain
just like lover his beloved

soil awaits its turn
soaking in the water
to its core through it pores
quenching its thirst
as never before

lightning strikes
showing the nudity of nature
in all its splendour
in the arms of water
pouring as if to consume.

the storm abates
hunger satisfied,
each single part replete
the earth settles about
after orgasmic release

gravely offended

I walked out of that grave
balancing my lithe body

it has been long I came out of it
that musty smell was getting at me

I could never get hold of anything
in that vacant emptiness

when I materialised in front of you,
hope I didn't offend you

"your shocked reaction was reward enough for me"

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

no moorings

Have you ever felt that you had no moorings? Right now I am feeling that way...

Yes, I will find my way. But don't know when...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

housing that light

that light houses me-

my heart's desire
I am contented
ensconced somewhere
in you

weird it might sound
to some
but for me
it feels just right
this riddle that is you

"that puzzle is a beacon for me"

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Judah's Lion by Anne Caston

"Irony is beyond a boy like mine. As is symbolism.
Allegory. Metaphor, too. All is literal with him
though that doesn't rule out a wildebeest,
the one he meets each morning in the fallow field
beyond our yard, the one who lies beside him
each night now in the dark......"

Title: Judah's Lion,
Author: Anne Caston
Publisher: Toad Hall Press/2009
Pages: 96

One of the best books of poetry I have come across. Anne Caston writes about pain. But with courage and compassion. Suffering and endurance both co-exist. Written with beautiful language, this collection of poetry has the power to uplift us in the sheer pleasure of reading it. The rawness touches us. Yet the beauty of poetry sustains us as nothing else can. This book is for keeps. Anne has dedicated this book to her autistic son. That in itself touches our soul.

Now my versified review:

I let the words engulf me
& fondle my mind

just then feelings kick in,
I feel so elated.
a veritable treat,

a sumptuous feast.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

dust motes in the heart

the cut in my gold bangle
reflects the sunlight
while I watch the dust motes
admiring their movements
the games they play
randomly settling

I wish to dislodge
that indescribable something
within my heart
displacing it with yours
those flying dust motes
make it easier for me to decide

"without losing any moment
I let myself migrate into you
and feel your life force in me"

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

ah, those wee hours

I play with my pens
again I read that letter
I wrote to you in gothic script
I know that you won't get it, the irony-
you only understand the obvious
yet I give you benefit of doubt

I get up, pick a book of poetry
randomly read a poem
something hits me hard
I sit down again to write another letter
now in a normal tone
the poet in me guides me

I don't talk of desire or love
I am more mundane-
I send you my heartfelt thanks
for leaving me
to face the untruth
that is you. only you.

"I play with my pens"

Sunday, November 22, 2009

ode to remnants of love

sitting well after midnight
I call you on the telephone
trying to save you from yourself

you are sick and do not answer
the waste of my love hits me hard
I have always wondered about the remnants

in that vacuumed state
my heart aches,
and a drousy numbness pains my senses

I watch the red coals, burning,
flashing and dying-
sitting well after midnight


"My heart aches, and a drousy numbness pains my senses" is the opening line of John Keats ‘Ode to a Nightingale’

creative knot

carefully he circled it
the rope in his hands
a burden for him
that tree felt so like home

he chose the second lowest branch
flung the rope over it-
checked if it would hold
sat down to have a smoke

he had made neat packets
kissing each one tenderly
placed those under the tree
save for one, which went back

into the pocket of his coat
having no second thoughts
he held that rope again
and tied a precise knot

a work of beauty-
his last creative work,
and his last thoughts before
life was snucked from him

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

perfectly plastered

plethora of prickly,
pompous people

psyches me out

porous plaster
pedantically pours over
parallel lines

I push the plate of peas
placing it primly on paper

purple nail paint
prominantly displayed
on pampered fingers


I put on the absurd flip-flip
I am having to do this
there is a ladder.
hanging obscenely

I go down-.
the oxygen immerses me
my flip-flops cripple me,
I crawl like an insect

I am blacking out and yet
I have to learn alone
to turn my body without force
in the deep element.

the thing I came for:
the ribs of the accident
curving their assertion
among the loyal hunters.

this is the place.
and I am here,
amongst the half-destroyed instruments
that once held to a course

the water-eaten log
the fouled compass
speak of a love
which is now gone forever

Saturday, November 14, 2009

time and time again

on that endless highway
I stop at one of the food joints,
sit on that plastic chair
biting at that giant burger

people look at my weird beard
examine my highland kilt
you in your elegant attire
squeeze my hand reassuringly

I look around the place
scattered with wilted flowers
newspapers too flap
in that mild winds

I know I will have to die again
and you will have to follow me soon
to be reborn in which century
or which place in the vast universe

"we know not where/why yet we both do know
some kind of oracle works for us-
death does us apart, it brings us back together"

Thursday, November 12, 2009

skin dreams

so you sleep so peacefully
uncaring that I watch you
those eye lids moving along
with your tremulous dreams
your nose flaring a bit
the rise and fall of your chest
I subtly put my ears to it
picking up your heart beat
I sway to the rhythm of it
I steady myself and
my palms slide over you
your skin seeps ecstasy
into mine. closing my eyes
I join you in your dreams
adding some of my own..

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

elbowing in, elbowing out

I pick out in the middle
errant threads from that sweater sleeve
you look back into that story

without any end
you get lost in it, pulling at the seams
elbow peeps out, dry and rough

I hanker for the warmth
and arbitarily look out for signals
the sun warms your face

"my face gets murkier"

Saturday, November 07, 2009

a winter poem

when the warmth of the sun
disappears behind the cold winter
trees bend like old men
coughing into the ground

the icy ground receives their sobs
geeky nighmares speak in Greek
blackening branches interview each other
for dignified white death

'wood of the trees ends up as coffins for old men"

Thursday, November 05, 2009

scrawled sheet of paper

a sheet of paper drifts away

the child's scrawl on the refrigerator door
with the sounds of laughter
mingles into the buzzing of the kitchen gadgets
I stare above the microwave
day-dreaming of harmonious
spaces invaded by the scent of food
I look beyond the obvious
towards that broken chair in the corner
emptiness speaks of untold secrets
in that darkened spot behind the kitchen door

"what does that dried blood suggest to me?"

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

flames of karma

I walked and walked
the flames beckoned me
how could I not obey?
when I went right through the parting
I stubbed my toes on the whithered logs
fell headlong into the middle
I became less and less.
when ashes rose out of me.
I could see nothingness
as light passed through me-
karma had made me resplendent
for you, them and the heaven

Sunday, November 01, 2009


in the midst of my books
I place precious something
you must be thinking of bookmarks
yes, I do collect those too
along with scraps of paper
matchboxes, coins,
black and white pictures of movie stars
yet, those count for nothing

I collect memories too, which
an angel holds in its arms for me,
and gives me back when I so desire

Saturday, October 31, 2009

deathly adventure

it happened this way.
but you can hear Death's own gentle voice.
you do not turn to look at her.
I would not advise it.
if you do turn, she might smile at you.
her smile not a child's smile,
or a woman's smile.
she will tell your story,

"it happened this way-
I was on the road.
I could be anywhere.
does it matter which road?
it is small, cobbled and potholed;
it lead from one place to another
horses trot there,.
dogs mark their places;
so why not I?"

pausing, Death twirls her skirt.
sometimes she likes playing a mortal.
it amuses her.
you wait for her to continue
you barely ever notice the shift of time,
the clouds covering the Earth like canopy;
the sudden icy sting
on that bright sunny day

"It happens this way, always
I will blow over you,
watch the blood drip slowly
over your limbs
soaking your clothes
before I can no longer
watch your agony.
I will rip your heart
before I walk away with your soul."

Thursday, October 29, 2009

the highs, the lows

she lets her hands be her eyes
slowly shaping the contours
she lets herself pour over it
the softness changing into hardness
controlling each movement
she can feel each of the nuances
the highs, the lows
exactitude of pressure
when she achieves her utmost desire
she opens her eyes
smilesat what is beneath her hands

"her master piece is ready
when the potter's wheel stops"

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

the waiting

when a distant whistle sounded,
there was a shuffling of feet on the platform.
The night express slowed down
a burly man with the dishevelled red beard
walked swiftly up the platform
toward the approaching train,
uncovering his head as he went.
the group of men behind him
each one letting his thoughts incubate,
glanced questioningly at one another,
a few of them climbed in
a coffin was got out of its rough box
and down on the snowy platform.
not a word was exchanged
one who had come with the body,
looked about him helplessly.
The man with the red beard
stepped up and stooped
took hold of one of the handles of the coffin
opened it to face his nightmare

"when something exploded on his face
it took more than his vanity and his red beard"

Monday, October 26, 2009

clipped toenails

her nagging drowns his strumming guitar
his head bows down and down
closing his eyes, he blots her out-
slowly starts a tuneless song
instead of ending the discussion,
this winds her up even more.
she again starts on about his faults,
reciting one after another
as though she’s building up a case
he leans back in his big blue recliner-
starts clipping his toenails
he wonders if maybe he can
get one of those prefab storage sheds for the backyard
he needs a place he can be alone
and play his guitar as loud as he wishes
if he soundproofs it,
he can use the little shed as a recording studio
more he clips his nails, more he whistles
and suddenly senses something
looks at the darkening sky and says-
we'd better get back, 'cause it'll be dark soon,
and they mostly come at night... mostly

"his bent head doesn't register her fangs
till those dig into the back of his neck"

Friday, October 23, 2009

mean edges

mean edges of the bricks
cut deep into the skin

sounds of that aircraft
tone down the loud silence

sonnets twirl out of my pen
the paper accepts them gratefully

crawling pain turns elusive-
sonnets stand in attention

I cement the various layers
rounding the edges skillfully

tuning to the drones of aircraft
which recedes with much aplomb

"if poetry comes out of all this, why should I complain?"


I participated in Dewey's 24-hour Readathon, which took place on 24-25 October. I posted updates about my reading on my other blog, everything distils into reading. If you wish, you can go and comment there. I will appreciate that very much.

I will get back to your blogs after I recover from the
Dewey's 24-hour Readathon.

My eyes are total goner now!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Terza Rima: psychedelic pajamas

those summer months added to woes-

quenching that thirst, eating until sate,
nothing much to do in hunger’s throes.

enhanced girth cannot be taken as fate;
image faithfully mirrored brings lows-
sense of unworthiness has added to hate.

much loved printed, psychedelic pajamas
do not fit any more. determined I yank
those up with a huff, looking like a llama.

jolted out by that representation akin a tank-
pictures in my mind move in slowly; drama
enacted of other unknown horrors. frank

self-appraisal does yield results. vigorously
I start exercise regime. one hour jogging,
half hour yoga, dietary habits rigorously

changed. with good metabolism, dogging
is not too bad. better that than self-flogging!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

memories jive tirelessly

metallic blues jangles in the background
reckless me, jives tirelessly
dad, your words
move in and out
after countless years
silhouette within the walls
of memories jiggles
my heartache is contained
because you reinforced it that way
that speck of paper in my pocket
scented with your love
drives away my blues
metallic sheen of jangling bangles
makes me heart whole yet again

Saturday, October 17, 2009

what has time got to do with blood?

a blur
time rolls us away from it
to it
like a supersonic flight
sounds seem to merge with time
noise in my ears conquer the wired junk
the sudden numbness reaches a crescendo
in that frenzy my knife slips
chipping away half my nail
I stare at the red dots of blood
on the white tiled floor

I ask myself, "doesn't red look good on white?"

Thursday, October 15, 2009

exulting mixture

irresistible progeny of internet
uses exulting language
vowelized words croak
capricious, insolent, vehement
do these work together?
cosmoranic rebrobates
sounds good to me
I let the investment lie low
words need to cool down before
exploded chelations hit me hard

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

commas and all

I am not learning anything
cooped up in that so-called school
those tomes of history books
frustrate me no end
cramming is not knowledge
I understand that very well
memory has never let me down
I can almost say it verbatim-
and if you so wish to hear
I can verbalise the commas too

"wouldn't you say that's indecent?"

Sunday, October 11, 2009

honeyed glow

speaking of eternity
your poured honey
over the flower of our love
I tried to imbibe the sweetness
chasing away the butterflies
life was never so sweeter
I basked in it

letting the glow flow over me
scented love is but a feeling
which washes over one's self
submerging all
permeating into the skin
chasing away the blues
I let it be, I let it be

"now I watch the red ants eroding it
with almost pleasurable pain"

Friday, October 09, 2009


I hold that talisman of silence
my heart flames over it
in all that light
the darkness oozes into me

the woman within
splits into numerous splinters
clawed nails scratch
the invisible walls

that tight squeeze
solidifies oxygenated blood
pieces of which fall
on the concrete floor

I get on my knees
sort through the tiny pieces
pick a few of those
and put into my mouth

eating my own blood
solid though it is now
isn't as difficult
as I had initially thought

"you sit there writing poetry over my dead soul"

Thursday, October 08, 2009


let that
eclipse languish
out of that patio door

in its own place of choosing
I watch the darkening sky

and think, I will take a detour
my mood just as stormy

I walk on, increasing my velocity
by now I am completely disarmed

this rambling will go on,
flits through my mind-

to decide what path to take
I pause to take a breather

isn't it true, we like to choose
mayhem that is us?

while I do take a detour
and engage myself in packing my things

mere objects those
yet we hold onto these as lifelines


I mashed the following to get the above poem.

let my poemlette take you on

let that eclipse languish
in its own place of choosing
I will take a detour
increasing my velocity
I was never asked
why should I be a part of it
mere objects those,
I am alive & I thrive
this rambling will go one
if I don't stop it

here I leave loose ends for you
to decide what path to take
isn't it true, we like to choose
let my poemlette take you on
while I do take a detour

time runs out on me

out of that patio door
I watch the darkening sky
my mood just as stormy
mayhem that is us
flits through my mind

I solicit courage from the clouds
walk down to our room
engage myself in packing my things
your facade blocked out
with strong determination

I pause to take a breather
our photograph from the side table
engages my gaze
I am completely disarmed
trickling tears reinforce my resolve

"I know I will salvage myself from the wreckage"

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

get that card for me

that card, invisible though it is
where now do I search for it?

my sanity

who now is a total stranger
swirls in and out

would it stay or come out-

when now?

unsound cavities in my teeth
rattle rapidly like windowpanes

my painful gut

searches for that invisible card
with your numbers on it

I limit myself

& stretch my vocal chords
which renders it fallow

Saturday, October 03, 2009

holding on my breath

in that misted dawn
lantern of the sun
touches my skin

that first kiss of the day
shows me the way
to face a day, any day

without your presence
that mildest of essence
sends me to a seance

out of my window
my visions lay low
towards the sea I bow

I feel more kisses, so light
from that first light
before it gets dazzling bright

my descent to the concrete
is a follow up for ascent to the sky
I need to get out of that attic more often

Thursday, October 01, 2009

let the red bleed

my angel and my devil by thomas hawk

that hole in your chest
makes for a nice design
that blueness sets of the white

why are we both made
to carry long iron rods
who the hell is playing God?

I would melt it, pour it
on myself, let the red
bleed, meld into you

this seat of metal burns me
your fixed eye turns me on
your face is a mottled blur

red, white, red, white
more and more are added
until everything else fades

"beat that machine with the rod"

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Review in Verse: A House of Bottles by Robin Merrill

this might not sit well
for the ambitious people who dwell-
yet the ugly too is incredible
life's journey in a realistic portrayal

~Review in verse

Title: A House of Bottles
Author: Robin Merrill
ISBN: 9781615394494
Publisher: Moon Pie Press/2009
Pages: 29

It is a very short poetry book. That doesn't lessen that impact of the poems. The poems take us into various journeys, some real, some inside the mind. Playful too and with a such a depth that can't be fathomed. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad. She openly shows the wounds, and healing process too. The beauty of the poems comes from the realist way of portrayal. The troubling life of the people all over the world. It might have been written for American way of life but has universal appeal.

The vulnerabilty of the poetry touches us. The creativity of the poet surprises us. A collage of life depicted in poetry. With a such a range of feelings.

Here I share a poem, Hangman's Tree (page 10):

Not in the middle of the field
like on a stage
but on the edge
like a half-kept secret

One man dead a tragedy
Two in the same tree is folly.
What is three?
The third man

half-drunk early morning
trembled as he flung the rope
over the second-lowest branch
He had no second thoughts.

His last words,
curse this town of Manistee.
His last prayer,
someone cut down the tree.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

a single thought

for two souls to have
a single thought, has holes
as big as in the moon
as deep as the unknown space

those talks of individuality
why do we forget
in that state of being in love

for two hearts to beat as one
is possible only for siamese twins
what makes us desire it
what does make us blind

deaf, and dumb to reason
to stark facts staring at our faces
the I in us gets enslaved

I am not desirous of that
nor should you be
the you in you, the I in me
do make that we

yet, that you remains,
and so does that I
let that state be,
for two souls in eternity

Saturday, September 26, 2009

dad, will you walk one more time with me?

nostalgia was never so strong
or maybe it was but I kept putting it off
that battered first aid box triggered it
those small bottles, expired medicines
yellowed non-sticky band-aids
showed my neglect
that walking stick portruding from underneath my bed
accused me no end
(if it could have walked by itself it would have beat me)
old letters, stained with time and grime
that bent spectacle case
(I wonder what had made me keep those?)

moving house has not made any difference
I still find you in its corners
in the books I read
in the poetry I write
your translated work in those old notebooks
(I promise I will publish those one day)
in my typing skill
(like you I am also one finger typist)
the way I push my food in my plate
drink my tea lukewarm
walk in long strides
and pause sometimes too
thinking why I am here

yes, I breathe, I eat, I live
I do everything I used to do when you were there
I laugh, I enjoy life
pleasure of time I had with you
pain of losing you
balance out each other
I am left with a zero
(is it good, is it bad?)
each day of the seven plus years
I have missed you
yet felt your presence too

if nostalgia had colours, it would be like this
each moment sad, each moment cheesy
dad, will you walk one more time with me?


I have been thinking of my dad for somedays now. Today it all came out in this poem. Raw and visceral. My dad passed away in May 2002. The pain has not disappeared. In the journey of life, it recedes for a while and comes back at the most vulnerable of moments.

I post this for ThomG too, who lost his father recently.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

tale of two toes

scissor fell on my toe
cutting it into two
I watched part of it walk away
and what remained with me
jigged in glee-.
it had hated that toe.

being toeless was one great state
I saved on the nail polish
although my right foot looked ghoulish
with a hammer and chisel
I matched the left to its pair
it was fate that the two toes got on a date

I am left with best feet in town
no, no, please don't look down!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

let my poemlette take you on

let that eclipse languish
in its own place of choosing
I will take a detour
increasing my velocity
I was never asked
why should I be a part of it
mere objects those,
I am alive & I thrive
this rambling will go one
if I don't stop it

here I leave loose ends for you
to decide what path to take
isn't it true, we like to choose
let my poemlette take you on
while I do take a detour

Monday, September 21, 2009

glaring nightmare

all those walks with you
ahead of you,
behind you
has done nothing for me
calls for friendship has holes
as wide as craters

as deep as viper's pit

but what do I know anyway

I haven't seen either

walk, walk, thats all you do

expect me to follow you through

my boots refuse to go another step

let's be friends, sickens me

on the sidewalks I spill my guts out

people stare and you glare

all of it is a nightmare

yet I say it with as much aplomb as dare

you might as well hang on the poles

Sunday, September 20, 2009

when my bones stick into yours

shadows of rain hide you and I
from misty drops of pure sunshine

in the ramshackle barns
broken down houses
abandoned factories
you find me with desperation
I find you for inspiration
love becomes a meaningless word
cloaked in the fog of our need
when my bones stick into yours
our mutual hunger surfaces
we demolish each crumb
as if starved from eternity
and beyond if that was possible
satiation is still far away
yet that hunger has some meaning

misty drops of pure sunshine
hides you and I from shadows of rain

Thursday, September 17, 2009

for a pittance, you buy that confection

for a pittance, you buy that confection
which tastes of death camouflaged as plum
I need a remedy for my sleepless state
that clover would have helped
but for a pittance you sell your soul
I extend my arm towards you
on second thought place it on my hip
you like to be in the limelight
that darkness shining out of you
only enhances it
while I conform to rules
coming back, my throat feels like husk
I try multitude of things
gargling motor oil too
my drive only gets stronger
thinking what made me end up with a scofflaw

Monday, September 14, 2009

Poetry book: Magdalene and the Mermaids by Elizabeth Kate Switaj

Book Blurb:

At the heart of this comprehensive collection lies the Biblical character of Mary Magdalene whose presence is prominent in many of the poems and who haunts those which are, ostensibly, departures from the subject matter that dominates. However, departure and digression are not the hallmarks of this work and each piece of writing represents a different incursion into the topic from angles and perspectives that are startling, original and engaging. By adopting an overarching motif, the author is able to align more personal topics and themes with the main focus, at times appearing to move into territory not evidently covered by the title but always providing the vital connection somewhere in this sequence of compositions.

Title: Magdalene and the Mermaids
Author: Elizabeth Kate Switaj
ISBN: 9780979847066
Publisher: Paper Kite Press/2009
Pages: 56

As most of you know, I write poetry. That is one major factor, which leads me to read poetry. I read all kinds of poetry, classics, modern etc etc. Lately I have been exploring contemporary poetry. When I saw this poetry book showcased on various blogs, I requested a copy from the author and she was kind enough to send me one. It is a thin book of 56 pages. After finishing I wanted it to be a fat, thick book!

One can't read poetry at one go as all images merge and one doesn't really enjoy it that much. Despite the thinness, it took me a while to finish this book. I let my thoughts drift to many directions, many layers. And I was really glad that I read it. As the blurb says, it does refer to Magdalene, the biblical character but that is not the only element here. In most of the poems, it is the metaphor of mermaid that speaks to us. Switaj has made the mermaid come alive for us. Her feelings, emotions pour forth. We can see the intense love, rejection, despair, angst and deep sadness. No, I didn't need a hanky to wipe my tears as I also saw that there is hope, despite the sign of dejection.

In To Siren In Museum, we can see her resignation to herer plight after her lover left her:

I gather shelves of ancient clays
around my empty hours
Repeat their names
lekthos, oil flask
kantharos, drinking cup with two high handles
skyphoid pyxis, cosmetic box

and skip ages of painted warriers
who might take my tale
myself into their epic arcs

My story is nothing
left on some rock

You, then, surprise me
with your shaped smile
no teeth no peeling skin
in your pale terracotta
with sparkles for freckles

I touch my cheeks
You do not sing
and so I must for both of us

My story is nothing
left on some rock

It is not only the mermaid, it is about that inner us to, which faces rejection in love for whatsover reason. Yet we go on, defenceless but strong. Rawness is everywhere, yet we grow a skin on it. This is how I truly felt after reading this chapbook. Poetry lovers will like it. It is not an easy read, what with the usage of poetic language but it grows on us and slowly permeates our mind, touching our heart.

Take this:

Apology For Leaving You Behind

when the tide goes out and shows your name
rippled in sand where I sang
please understand
I know better

then to bend
my fish bones
and stretch my scaled skin
to flow up through your pipes
to stare
at white foam on your skin

than to think
our single night before I left
was love

but if I'd believed
it was love
to make love

I'd still have my legs

Friday, September 11, 2009

inside, outside, which side

outside of myself
exactly where I wish to be

munching a green apple
careful about those pips

I feel so alive, so alive
even though my tattoo throbs

my spectacles slip
shattered glass reflects thirst

curtains hide that outside
I stay trapped in myself

with my bare fingers
I gorge that triple sundae

half eaten green apple
stares at me accusingly