Month: February 2014

From It’ll Never Be Over For Me by Mark Lamoureux

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From It’ll Never Be Over For Me

by

Mark Lamoureux

YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOUR INTEREST LIES

after Dana Valery

A green veil on the bird,

serrated lightning on the perimeter;

into the milk afternoon flies

the big Wheel, it barfs rain

onto the flagstones.  Like this,

this is another city—now

buds open with alien colours.

You should be in a pink

6-wheeled car, it would have been

so Technicolor, a death match

to the quick divan.  Jewels

of bright Bugs in the grey

climate.  Shiny skin up to here,

the walking hinge.  What lies

within is terror.  So far, Penelope,

a jumpsuit of shrinking veins.

Wait for the last switch.

You thought the light was on,

but now this hurts your eyes.

 

Natural Harmony

As far as I can tell, something like a modern hedge witch, all the chakras in a line, kicking up their boots.  Couldn’t you have guessed that’s where this was headed? Milan to Johannesburg to London to New York.  Ed Sullivan & disco & the most original softdrink in the whole wide world.  Yes, you’re going to love Lenny’s Steak & Chops—lay your hands on me, Dana Valery.  What’s left to do but set wounds, set to spinning the music of the spheres: vibrating Virgo, pulsing Pisces, spine arumble with hot water through the pipes?  Radio, television, peeling back the strata of the spiritual onion.  Big bright eyes, all that energy—the future right there in the past, what we forgot about as the dirty water rises to chins,  wrong energy a cloud of black ballpoint ink above this shuddering firmament.  Set us free, Dana Valery.

 

DON’T LEAVE POOR ME

after Big Maybelle Smith

Advancing blacktop, always

at the behest of

shrinking leaves, the last

of whatever came

before—                what falls

chaos pink & white of flowering

trees, scattered

wounds puckered on rock

turf.        Don’t green to grey,

sail away the ripples

toward shore, banking waves

a klaxon.  Always vectored

continuity, a pointing arrow a sword

like macaroni overhead

that points at sag & fall,

gelatinous jowl

of tentacles. To lord

over just groans. Who once

struck the silver gong

for me                    now going

habitually into

abyss mists           Miss so-&-sos

who were               the greyscale

actresses

now dust.

 

May Queen

In another time, you’d have been a Queen.  Big Maybelle Smith, the Queen of May, The Queen of the Bells, ringing out across those post-industrial badlands.  Orson Wells’ last gig was as a planet in “Transformers: The Movie,” & likewise you should have had your own atmosphere, but instead you did “96 Tears” & left with a question mark, a mystery when everything about you was plain to see, like a tree, thick with magnolias like the one that peeked out from your shimmering hair.  Even a young Johnny Coltrane could not attain escape velocity; you both proved the body wants what the heart can’t have: some sweetness, a moment’s peace, beloved anodyne.  Sunday’s still gloomy & you’re out there, way past Pluto, waiting to swallow the sun at exactly the right moment & to thunderous applause.
I’LL DO A LITTLE BIT MORE

after The Olympics

Transom, what was—

I’m no good.

Does the movie

still play

when there’s nobody

in the audience?

Projectionist, long gone

like the lighthouse-

keeper.  That was then,

etc.  What is

a book? A slab

of grass.

Shrinking & mundane,

what grows from

last light, the clock

the highest fascist.

Grey that supplants,

irrevocable

voice, still singing, stinging

the Sibyl.

A million records, good

only for breaking,

the hungry stylus done.

Prodigal, digital,

has no leverage in this the 5th

world.

 

The Olympics

U.S. champions in “Good Lovin’.” Walter Ward got gold in losing your girl to fake cowboys & gunshots.  Eddie Lewis got silver in the 500m Hucky Buck. An army of judges agree.  Walter Hammond bronze in “The Bounce.” Charles Fizer failed to place in the 1000m run from National Guard guns in Watts, Los Angeles.  Melvin King got gold in losing your only sister to an accidental bullet.  Trigger slipped.  On account of they can’t all fit on the Wheaties box, try a milk carton, the obituaries instead.  Have you seen these men?  Not since 2006.  Angels arrived with chariots full of gumdrops & lemonade.

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Memoirs Of Hyderabad By Arsh Selvyn

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Memoirs Of Hyderabad
By
Arsh Selvyn
I remember playing on the streets here years ago. The fierce football matches of a 12 year old were the centre of my days…at least in memory. Those were hot afternoons on a dusty street with a half digested lunch in my stomach, screaming at my teammates as I tried not to break the neighbors’ car. It recedes into a distance with time…the memory that is; the place is still here, whenever I come back to it.
You can’t quite cut off a memory from the place it was born in, it lingers like the stump of an umbilical cord; ugly. Places like people, grow older but they age because of this very stump, the remnants of the umbilical cord. A memory from a time that is cut off from what it is today; that is not quiet in touch with changes, no memory can…and so they wither away… Shouldn’t they?
The government officer’s colony looks almost the same with a few bureaucratic touches. The slides, swings and jungle gym in a sandy park have given way to a manicured lawn, trimmed hedges and a walkway. I can’t play in it anymore as its bad for the grass. Like Professor Pollan used to say, that a lawn is nature under totalitarian rule. Signs of age I suppose. The children have grown up and left and a new generation have been born in the age of the x box that doesn’t play outside together anymore. How alien that sounds now; ‘outside’, ‘together’ the words don’t seem relevant to them. But are they still children or is this word too a remnant from a time cut off from today? They have almost disappeared, children; a diminishing social species. But 8 years ago they were right here in the park on the swings, jumping through the jungle gym!
I wonder what they did to those old swings and jungle gym. I used to naively imagine them lying somewhere in a dark corner; forlorn and if I could only find them… I know now that they were probably sold as scrap metal, melted in an industrial forge and from there, who knows? They may even be in the barb wire that keeps me out of parks and abandoned rooftops…
It’s not nostalgia that I feel. There were times I hated this place; nights when I was sure that I could be happy somewhere else! The nights are the other things I remember. I loved the cool quiet and dark nights. Enveloped in the protective darkness and liberated by it they had a quality to them that a day could never have. At night, the colony barely resembled itself. The thrum of the city petered down to the drone of distant vehicles out of sight, quiet enough for you to hear the leaves rustling…the murmur of voices inside houses.
The streetlights permeating through the canopy, the withered leaves on dusty streets and the night wind inspired my first attempt at poetry… The attempt of course came much later, sitting in another city in a night that made me think of this one long ago.
The other day, I spent a warm winter afternoon grazing an old field for memories. The IAS officers association next to it has over the years been encroaching on the field and now I think they use it for functions and other such official fluff. As the dense shrubbery and trees surrounding the field was burned down an old roof emerged followed by a dilapidated building. A mud laden staircase led up to a crumbling portico where a marble tablet claimed that it was once a madhouse. Age had certainly helped solidify its identity giving it that sooty and haunted look cartoons associate with such places. Just the thing that would catch the fancy of an excited 12 year old, who would have gone home with a sense of wonder and el dorado buzzing in his head. I smiled at the thought; I was 12 years too late however.
Nothing quite reminds you of who you were like old habits left behind in familiar spaces. The ease with which they become me mocks my claim of having left them behind. And as much as I distance myself from them their comfort reminds me of just how well we know each other. There must be more to me than this though, even then I was always becoming who I am today, who I may still be becoming…wasn’t i?
Answers unlike destinations are rarely marked on a road-map, but they can be found. More apt however would be to say that they find you (it wouldn’t be a thrill if you knew how and when to get them) Sometimes it’s just about waiting patiently in the right place, at the right time, in the right frame of mind while being sensitive to what may come your way, just like fishing I would say and there is nothing more exciting than the thrill of the first nibble vibrating the rod in your hand, but now you must be patient, draw in the line slowly while waiting for the sharp tug to tell you its hooked. The catch however is that you are really the fish. I could never let go of an answer once it hooked me. I followed it endlessly through a maze of empty streets.
I went fishing that night in the madhouse looking for that fleeting jism of excitement I knew was waiting there for me a decade ago…could it still be here? Maybe…Pigeon shit had formed patterns on the floor that looked like one of Pollock’s better works. The dust and cobwebs were immense; untouched by destructive housekeeping .The webs had become large and intricate enough to cover doorways. I walked slowly, conscious of the sound of my feet and the filth around me with the hair on my neck standing. You will never not fear the dark, no matter how much you grow up, never not look over your shoulder suddenly alert to the pat of pigeon feet thinking of something..worse.
I wait here in vain for the revenant of my 12 year old self to find what he always wanted. To acknowledge that he is now just a memory…knowing it is not true.
Bio/Poetic Statement: Arsh Selvyn is an aspiring philosophy student and will be doing an MA shortly.
Philosophy has long drawn from and has a conflicted relationship with poetry. A tension which is infinitely productive to writing at large. It is at the site of such a tension where I would like to locate myself. Poetry as of form of writing is a deeply personal expression, hence lends itself well to autobiographical pieces – prose as a form provides one with the adequate emotional distance to reflect on what one has experienced. Perhaps this is what I seek, writing this short snippet of a memoir.

Three Poems by Ankita Anand

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Three Poems by

Ankita Anand 

Fillers

Interlinked fingers
A face buried in the hollow of a neck
Lips tracing the meanders of an ear
The swirl of a tongue around a navel

An embrace erases the gap between arms
An entry swallows up the chasm between legs

 For love is all about filling the void

As is sex

Roman Holiday

 

They were accosted on the gondolas of Venice

The honeymooners, and asked, ‘Why must you love, if you please?’

They hemmed and hawed, made much ado

And then decided to do as Romans do,

Finally declaring, ‘Let it suffice, O Rome

That we think of each other when we think of home

And if the home and the heart live together

It means we have homes everywhere.’

 

Quarter-Life Crisis                                                                                                                                             
when the years

spent

in

making

frantic

efforts

at

self-realization

finally begin

to throw up

results

that show you

are so full of

stuff and nonsense

that

to make

an altogether new

you

you

need

to begin

a-new

beginning

to

start

all

over

a-gain

Bio: Ankita Anand has been secretary, National Campaign for People’s Right to Information, editorial assistant, Penguin Books India, coordinator, Samanvay: IHC Indian Languages’ Festival and member, People’s Union for Democratic Rights. She is the co-founder of a street theatre group called Aatish, which produces plays on socio-political issues. As a freelancer she writes and edits. Her primary interest lies in working for the prevention of violence against women.

Her poetry has been chosen for publication by The Indian Review of World Literature in EnglishThe Riveter ReviewPapyrus-The Poetry JournalFirst Literary Review-EastEm Dash Literary MagazineSugar MuleThe CriterionWriters Asylum,LabyrinthLakeview International Journal of Literature and Arts and DeltaWomen Magazine. Some of these can be read at anandankita.blogspot.in. She wants, through her poetry, to make the felt read.

Poetic Statement: My poetry occurs when multiple layers of feelings simultaneously get entangled with each other, when I am feeling, and strongly so, but do not know what, why and how. In the process of putting my finger on the spot, poetry happens, as it does when I experience beauty and am compelled to share it, to reassure the word that it shall exist as long as we do. The hope is that as poetry helps me define my self and feelings, it will create connections and identifications in the readers’ mind and help them understand and articulate their own feelings better.