Memoirs Of Hyderabad By Arsh Selvyn

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Memoirs Of Hyderabad
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.

from Of isolated limning

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from Of isolated limning


Felino A. Soriano


 when engaging isolates the motive


certainty underwhelms, fatigues the

tongued notions of wind’s awkward

patterned concentration, this

figurative variant suspends

as the supposed objective of

judgment amid conversational

playgrounds, serrated freedom

involves needed movement to

incorporate aspectual melodies

soothing and confirming touch as

vocal to the local position of hand onto

mode of subjective connectivity





                                                                        solid (silver as direction)


                                                            the philosophy of shape s


                                    noted valuations

                                                                                    volume and accordion-smooth


                                                                                        tone of

                            a finger’s vocal

            howl and predicated

                sway and tone of the body’s continuous




varied these rhythms these rhythmic devices

donning time and the sheer clothing of a moment’s

slim acclimation

—rain on arid discovery                     of the memory this honor portends

doubled reinventions

thinking beyond

tonal alphabetic

mirrors, the ref

lectional motives

continue their

isolated moving                                   external

though too, amid

introverted diversions

carving care from the stone-belly cold

of dispositional cool

such then returning equates dual

ignitions to burgeon or halt or

either examines the need’s rendition

to accelerate gist


Felino A. Soriano’s most recent poetry collections include Extolment in the praising exhalation of jazz (Kind of a Hurricane Press, 2013), the collaborative volume with poet, Heller Levinson and visual artist, Linda Lynch, Hinge Trio (La Alameda Press, 2012) and rhythm:s (Fowlpox Press, 2012).  He publishes the online endeavors Counterexample Poetics and Differentia Press. His work finds foundation in philosophical studies and connection to various idioms of jazz music. He lives in California with his wife and family and is the director of supported living and independent living programs providing supports to adults with developmental disabilities.  For further information, please visit

The Poetics of Immersion

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Immersion Poetry

The Poetics of Immersion



Sentiment and Sensibility

 by Kenyatta Jean-Paul Garcia

Withinside of experience is poetics

an unhidden poetry runs its course through occurrences

a further unhidden poetry has been handed down and lived in for centuries in myth, fable, folklore, philosophy, religion, worldview, and other notions often marked as ‘culture’

images have existed

images exist

images created are tangled with past images

ideas are images to be

images are ideas had

images are ideas being had

the image and idea (of the image) is the center of the poem

even when the poem has no center or focus, the image/idea is

a direction of a poem is an image

a whole piece can turn on a preposition

into (for example) is an image/idea immersed into the wordery of the poem

the wordery is the added imagery of words surrounding the essential image

a room described is often done so just to place in or out of it the agent or patient of the lines


a poem finds its place immersed into other poetry at all points

no words exist alone

there is no alone with words

a single word is a combination of concepts, idea, and (what) sensiment imag(in)es

sense is a two-way conduit for sentiment

sensiment(al) is the poet’s stock of ingredients, materials, detritus, etc for poetry

sensiment is found art

sensiment is art forced upon artist via life and the image/idea occurring and being processed


the poem occurs within the overall web of poetics/wordery/sensiment

poem as written/being written is an act of immersion (at times invasion)

poem inserts into web of myth and history and truth and wish and current events and the POP

the pop the today’s need for myth with truth being subjected to wish


the poem once inserted into the umbrella of wordery undergoes the next step which is to be immersed into the reader

the reader more properly defined is the perceiver of poetry

the perceiver once in contact with the poem is in the poem is withinside the occurrence of the piece

minimalism, distillation and small vocabulary further allow for an enmeshment with the poem once the perceiver is immersed in the poem

the poem immersed in the experience of the perceiver


immersion poetry is NOT conceptual poetry

concept is but an aspect of/step towards idea

immersion poetry is not found poetry

all poetry is found in the cosmic and psychic language of the real and irreal/subjunctive worlds

possibility is its own myth

wish is a pantheon governing the will


immersion poetry enters this world wrapped in other wordery

it comes through and with all art and all pop

it comes with myth attached

it comes via quote via reference naked but for the air it has relationship with

it comes knowing it itself is at times nothing  other than a paraphrase a para-image para-idea

it gives room for continuation

for communion

it gives

it is conversation

it hears

poems hear

it is called to respond

it responds to call

it calls for response

respond and correspond is immersion


it does by being allowed to do

to do is to be received

perception is reception where poetry is concerned

where poetry has flourished in its immersion

as but a petal coming from and returning to a mythic center

Open Call for Writing

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Critics, theorists, linguists, translators, poets, teachers and students,  Altpoetics is calling for all those bits of poetic musings which tend to have no place on poetry blogs or in the vast amount of poetry journals/zines.

Altpoetics is looking for manifestos, mission statements, process pieces and any theory on poetics/poetry, language and translation.   This is the place to voice all those odd and innovative ideas about writing.  This site can also be a place to dig into older theories (as new tends to sprout from old) but really, there’s no need to continue to sing the praises of decades old manifestos.  Let this be the place to voice your own ideas. The future is yours to create.

Altpoetics isvery interested in writing as a response to other writing/writers.  Letters to the past and poems re-visioned/re-imaged are also of great interest.

Altpoetics is also looking for slipstream work -writing which shows innovation or a new/different approach.   Altpoetics is especially desirous of work which pushes the limits of the lyrical narrative.

Please send 2000 words or less in a .doc attachment to  (Previously published material is welcome.)  Also, please title the piece and send a short bio within the attachment.  And, a cover letter is appreciated.