अ,फ और स अक्षरों पर
माँ के छुट्टी वाले दिन
टपक रहा होता है
गुड़गुड़ा रहा था हुक्का
“सुबह सबेरे लेकर तेरा नाम प्रभु“
Poetry :Shreyasi Shukla
Cento for my body
(This Cento has been foraged from the works of –
Tony Hoagland, Natalie Diaz, Yehuda Amichai, Ghalib, Frank O’Hara, Kay
Ryan, EE Cummings, Bernadette Mayer, Mark Wunderlich, Danez Smith, Peter
Gizzy, Monica Ferrell, Joyce Sutphen, Lee Herrick, W.H. Auden, Mary Oliver,
Amie Whittemore, Kevin Varrone, Roger Reeves, Ocean Vuong, and Sylvia Plath)
No one, including me,
especially anymore believes
you are mine.
As far as I’m concerned
I wasn’t meant to love or be loved.
I am just a pile of leaves-
tenderness and rot.
Tired of this world tilted on its side-
you worship too much.
It is easy now to see
gravity at work in your face.
There is nothing beautiful here-
pile of bones and flesh
ballad of wild dreams and coping mechanisms,
labyrinth of desire, playing field of
wrote a thousand poems to survive.
There is nothing beautiful here.
We face each other
talk about childhood –
the love which makes us one,
the heart from where it comes.
You open always
petal by petal, myself.
Though this might take me a little time.
I will not be like you, Carapace.
(I will) let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves. Together,
we’ll change the sheets. I would fold myself
(in you) Someday, I’ll love a clean
with your own face on.
Credits for Cento for my body
No one including me especially anymore- Tony
You are mine- Natalie Diaz, These Hands, if not
As far as I am concerned – Yehuda Amichai, A pity,
we were such a good invention
I wasn’t meant to love or be loved – Ghalib (tr.
Vijay Seshadri), No I wasn’t meant to love or be loved
I am just a pile of leaves- Frank O’Hara,
Meditations in an Emergency
Tenderness and rot – Kay Ryan, Tenderness and Rot
Tired of this world tilted on its side – Mark
Wunderlich, Difficult Body
You worship too much – Danez Smith, a note on the
It is so easy now to see gravity at work in your
face – Peter Gizzy, Lines Depicting Simple Happiness
There is nothing beautiful – Monica Ferrell, Poetry
Pile of bones and flesh – Joyce Sutphen, Living in
A ballad of wild dreams and coping mechanisms. –
Lee Herrick, How music stays in the body
Labyrinth of desire, playing field of impulse
-Allisa Leigh, Body
Wrote one thousand poems to survive – Lee Herrick,
How music stays in the body
You open always petal by petal myself as Spring
opens- EE Cummings, somewhere I have never travelled, gladly beyond
We face each other and talk about childhood-
Bernadette Mayer, First turn to me….
Though this might take me a little time. – W.H.
Auden, The More Loving One
I will not be like you, Carpace – Mark Wunderlich,
Let the soft animal of your body love what it loves
– Mary Oliver, Wild Geese
Together, we’ll change the sheets – Amie
Whittemore, Spell for the end of grief
I would fold myself – Kevin Varrone, poem I wrote
sitting across the table from you
Someday, I’ll love – Frank O’Hara, Katy; Roger
Reeves, Someday I’ll love Roger Reeves; Ocean Vuong Someday I’ll love Ocean
A clean slate with your own face on – Sylvia Plath,
a love poem
I kill my beloveds more than I let them
I love you
I am going to start mourning you now.
the tenderness we share a line
in your eulogy
the poems I write to you to your
to your sunlight crinkles to your
every poem I write to you this
poem an elegy
lamenting the phantom to a
limb I haven’t lost yet.
I love you
I have held
our lives in
weighed it against
the gavel of death the depth of grief
even grieving you would be my pleasure.
The Truth (?) Daily
Ocean regrets supporting evolution. Your grief blinds you. You
There are no trigger warnings here. This is an unsafe space. Proceed with
Come to me ye who are weary – workplace How much of your self can
This could have
50% off on
Who does my
language belong to?
Awadhi brought god to the masses.
It cooked Kabir’s khichdi,
held the fakir next to The Spirit.
It honeyed down nawabi tongues
only to hum along sohar in dehaat.
(In Awadhi, I am marginal. In Awadhi, I am strange.)
In English, I am familiar. In English, I am the same.
Awadhi knows Sita’s piety
it knows Padmavati’s pyre.
Awadhi says tadna ki adhikaari naari
has no business having desires.
(In Awadhi I am meek. In Awadhi, I am timid.)
In English, I am opinionated. In English, I am carnal.
Occupation anointed me with English
with my aspirations anglicised
Awadhi drained out
of me like
its wisdom has from our intellect.
(In Awadhi I am ashamed. In Awadhi I am quiet)
In English I am outspoken. In English I am unfazed.
What came first, language or discourse?
Who will leave first, colonizers or shame?
(In Awadhi, I am lowly. In Awadhi, I am powerless.)
In English, I am heard. In English, I am.
I will not write about how the world keeps breaking
Writing about is like clawing at a chalkboard with
nails. Like sculpting with teeth. Like calling all blood covered bodies ‘newborn’.
The memory of it plays cat’s cradle with my gut.
Puts an orange in my throat. Hides my breath.
When you read it, the orange will crawl down your
mouth. You, will call me a compatriot. Christen this a bright side.
There is no bright side. The universe of Grief has
only one traveller.
How can I comfort you, when I am always at the edge
of my seat?
My pain is not to be paraded in this plague of
empathy. I don’t want anyone walking in my shoes.
>> moment of impact.
Healing is worthy of literature.
Nothing Bad Happens in A Poem
Nothing bad happens in a poem…
I pull myself up in a Surya Namaskar
after receiving another we regret to inform you. I dance at Plan B’s
promotion party. It is easy to focus on breath in absence of a future. I find
an onion rooted in river rapids. I ask if it longs to move? It shrugs This
is home. Things will get better with a drought or change of course. I have no
other choice. I let us believe that. Every it will get better soon.
feels like listening to sad songs to uplift my mood. Each sorry reminds
me of the man raking leaves in a storm. Every are you feeling okay sends
me farther from it. In how many ways can you say I’m fine? Why does
Polite moonlight as Insincere?
In a dream, I hear heart-breaking news
& lions start stalking me. I run & I run & I run. I know I cannot
outrun them; I am only looking for a hand to hold. I let the lions consume me
before the loneliness does.
…everything bad happens outside a
poem. Language only lends itself to life, it cannot construct it.
to pack a life
an appointment with who you used to be, keep it. Take her hand and walk to the
point your paths dissected. Tell her, “I know you cannot sleep in the new
bed right now. Don’t despair. You will find rest here.”
with clothes, the keepers of your growth. Release memories from their weave.
Revel in them. Make three piles – joy, lessons, and things I can’t control.
Now, visit every corner, every cobweb. Cry if you’d like. Try to fit the tree
from the backyard in a box. Fail. Call it ‘things I can’t control’ & go to
the kitchen. The burnt vessels are lesson, everything else is joy. You can
always control nourishment.
your pillow for treasuring your tears, curtains for hiding your shame, and the
monster under your bed for the company. Show gratitude to the shower for
removing the stench of a bad day. Bow your head to the window for allowing you
to witness the storm, to the walls for protecting you.
everything is boxed, don’t despair. This is only a gallery of the museum that
will be your life. Label meticulously. Hindsight distorts reality. You want to
remember what you have packed.
Ode to My Glasses
Srikari and Lakshana
Your shadow lines my eye
Your lens paints my vision
You are the last line of defense
my tears have against the world.
You make my life HD.
The difference between-
smudge & a period
rope & a snake
true love & a red flag.
You are lucidity –
a test of reality
when my faculties falter.
You find beauty everywhere you look.
You never look inwards.
Certain that you are
piece of glass, you overlook
the clarity you create
no matter the filth stuck to you.
So what, if glass breaks like our focus?
I will break every stumble, every fall
each neck that poses a threat to you.
You may just be a piece of glass
mass manufactured, even.
You also have the right power for me.
Like the Rose was one of millions to the world
& one in millions to The Little Prince.
Two truths can coexist.