Anthology of Contemporary Indian Poetry II


To Kiss Like Caravaggio

is to feel a sudden shove: two
competing notions of
and light: You and I, thieves
and Chiaroscuro love - love is nothing
but little delays
in succulence: an aftertaste
of blood swallowed
and spat out.
Only tongue remains. That
and a three-dimensional
culminating mouth
betrayed like Jesus.

Dimensions of a Swimming Pool for Narcissus

One can accept a Picasso woman with two noses, but an equivalent attempt in poetry baffles the
same audience.
 - John Ashbery
You wait in a world of headless lament,
inversely comparing audiences and people.
Who needs them? I say.
You make waivers for death and his fiancee,
measuring grief and loss in buckets,
creating Gods and his minions.

A pool for Cephissus' son?
Did you know he drowns, eventually? I say.
I stand alone, comparing oenophilia, and my addiction
to words. I count my children in reverse.
I remember hysterical midnight scuffles, infinite
sobs in between counting pages

Pessoa may or may not have written:
The Book of Disquiet, the weight of nothingness.
All poetry is bricolage, you say. You're not Ashbery
to carry the weight of your abstractions on your shoulder.
You're a nobody. You're not Emily.
What kind of a poet are you?

I am a rhinoceros but I'm also a nobody
I am convex, I say, curtaining the window.
My poems have two doors and no exit.
Every moment is almost two moments,
measured in calipers:
the width of the moment I hold on to

the breadth of the moment you let go
My poetry is the distance between these two moments:
However, the torque of my poetry
is beyond the jurisdiction of your tool box
because Narcissus swims in a different pool.