Sunday, January 31

Ouch

writer's bloc

Tuesday, January 26

Rekha on herself

My mother called me Rekha
A line, crooked line.
A kohl black line in deep eyes
A Line, I crossed
To know my limit

I am the last courtesan
Singing ruefully
In a court,
Sans patrons,
My husky voice
made men leave
their fortunes
and sit at my feet

I am the other woman
Always the sucker,
Clung to you, leech-like
The perfect antidote
to a dutiful wife
who sang devotional
She fought me
Till the last frame
Two women,
Both perfect
Drawn in a battle
Over a piece of ass

Do you know, I laughed
at the 70 mm irony
my life had become,
later, in my vanity van.


I am the “it girl”
All sheen and gloss
I am the red stiletto
and red luscious
lips in your dreams
I am what yoga
does to a yogini

I survived, despite
The hair on my face
And my broad broad hips
I survived an absent father
An illegitimate lover
I survived husbands and dogs
Dying on me.

Now, I live by the sea
In a white kanjeevaram
And jewels,
Oh ! I always loved jewels
I live with cats and dogs
I tend a small nursery
I live with strength that
comes when you have
Loved so deeply.

Thursday, January 21

a ghazal

I search for my childhood skies nowadays, your skies
are stark, lonely; give me the starry nights of childhood

The trees have blurred, mountains are beaten everyday
Rivers shrink here; I miss the lovely sights of childhood

My many maneuvers, I navigate through the layers
To the adult mutinies, I prefer the little fights of childhood

My homespun happiness traded for a locked door, foil
packed dinner, give me the warm delights of childhood

Shuchika is molded in your city’s cast, on its wheels I pirouette,
To be myself, whole, let me go through the rites of childhood

Monday, January 11

The Roasted Chicken speaks to the Chef

Vegans shouldnt read this poem at all. Its very drafty but I just felt like sharing.

This white cap is the
Real irony
You dress up, clown like
To undress me solemnly
This they call dressing

The way you hold me
by the neck
My body, fat and juice
All my feathers plucked
I hate my nudity

Don’t rub the black pepper
so rudely, clown
I have only just
undergone lime treatment.
Your idea of a wash

The freezer is no spa
I sit there all night
Fancy spices all over me
Oh how I prefer the noise
Of the barn to this wheeze

One day we will square off
When I stuff you with
Potatoes and butter, and
stare at you sinuously
Browning in an oven with shame!!!

Wednesday, January 6

For Barrack Obama from Elizabeth Alexander

Wanted to start the blogging in the new year with this beautiful poem by Elizabeth Alexander who was selected to read it out for Obama's Presidential Inaugration.

Praise Song for the Day


Each day we go about our business,
walking past each other, catching each other's
eyes or not, about to speak or speaking.

All about us is noise. All about us is
noise and bramble, thorn and din, each
one of our ancestors on our tongues.

Someone is stitching up a hem, darning
a hole in a uniform, patching a tire,
repairing the things in need of repair.

Someone is trying to make music somewhere,
with a pair of wooden spoons on an oil drum,
with cello, boom box, harmonica, voice.

A woman and her son wait for the bus.
A farmer considers the changing sky.
A teacher says, Take out your pencils. Begin.

We encounter each other in words, words
spiny or smooth, whispered or declaimed,
words to consider, reconsider.

We cross dirt roads and highways that mark
the will of some one and then others, who said
I need to see what's on the other side.

I know there's something better down the road.
We need to find a place where we are safe.
We walk into that which we cannot yet see.

Say it plain: that many have died for this day.
Sing the names of the dead who brought us here,
who laid the train tracks, raised the bridges,

picked the cotton and the lettuce, built
brick by brick the glittering edifices
they would then keep clean and work inside of.

Praise song for struggle, praise song for the day.
Praise song for every hand-lettered sign,
the figuring-it-out at kitchen tables.

Some live by love thy neighbor as thyself,
others by first do no harm or take no more
than you need. What if the mightiest word is love?

Love beyond marital, filial, national,
love that casts a widening pool of light,
love with no need to pre-empt grievance.

In today's sharp sparkle, this winter air,
any thing can be made, any sentence begun.
On the brink, on the brim, on the cusp,

praise song for walking forward in that light.