Poyums

An item for the lit-groupie newsletter, I met Jabberwock for the first time at the Zubaan reading and he is as nice as his blog. He said that when he read Broadband and the Bookslut  he was reminded of a Woody Allen story called The Whore of Mensa. Later he kindly sent me a link. Thankee, Jabberwock. It's so wicked, it makes me sigh.

Mmmm...alright I am taking the plunge and posting some of my poems online. I used to have minor paranoia about plagiarism which was justified (If you are paranoid long enough, you will be given reasons to be paranoid.) by an ertswhile friend posting one of my poems on his blog after having added two terrible lines to it! I stumbled on it months later and went through 'the nerve, the gall, the cheek' routine. When confronted he gave me the windiest, drew-himself-to-his-full-height-explanation for it. 
The defence also involved him saying he did not know me too well. In the words of Christine Keeler, "He would say that, wouldn't he?'. Recently, I revisited the scene of the crime and found that he has deleted my infuriated challenge from the comments and retained his own windy explanation and the soft-shoe routine involving his having got it from an unnamed someone who mailed to him. This after having coyly accepted dozens of compliments for the poem from the readers of his very popular blog. The compliments remain online as well, though the post can only be seen by friends. Anne Fadiman was right. Plagiarism most closely resembles kleptomania.

The poems below appeared in New Quest, a Pune-based lit journal last year, but were written a long, long while before that. I am on the verge of disowning them and  this seems as good a way as any. (Woah, watch out! Galloping angsty poet!)

Radha Kalyanam

Her mother bought her

sarees made of gold.

Her mother

never knew

that what she loved best

about women

were the undersides of their breasts.

That though she loved the rest

she loved that best.

 

Resignation

I am sorry, ladies.

Can’t serve two goddesses

in one shift.

(And hold the puns

on shiftless lives.)

You! You stop frowning.

It hurts to think.

I’ve decided to live.

And you, you can stop too.

Don’t roll your fine black eyes.

I’ve given up on you as well.

It hurts to feel.

I’ve decided to float.

Next janam perhaps

You will oblige.

A fish, that’s it,

pretty and bright,

one eye to each side

and a life straight ahead.

Mediocrity and what we said

 

This time it is gone we fear

This time the shudder is real

Only clich├ęs are here

It is indeed the block

And they will chop our heads on it.

 

Mediocrity and what they said

Guillotine them

And their absurd pretensions.

Who dares stand up spaghetti strung ganja sprung

And announce, “I am a writer.”

Off with their heads.

To the dogs they be fed.

Regurgitate them when they have smart back cover photographs

But until then

let them stay dead.


ANGST IS OVER SISTER…OVAR SISTAR

 Want to write poetry for posterity, royalty and anthology

but there ain’t enough slips between the keys and the lips.

May have been born brown in Malabar

May speak four languages

and swear in three

but can write only in one

And that one still bears punctuation, grammar

standard phonetics

(the nuns in shorthand…

though nuns there were none.)

 

The convent departs unmourned

from my tongue

in times of stress, irony

raconteur’s joy, political empathy

caffeine overdose

and returns quietly, shamelessly

when money is at stake.

 

But the keyboard

(the parrot where the rakshas keeps the soul)

will type

no raucous Kannada, no sarcastic Malayalam

no filmi Hindi, no lyrical Tamil

Its cloister keeps me chaste

like no other,

bores me

like no other.

 

 


 

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