Saturday, February 27, 2021
Friday, February 26, 2021
Wednesday, February 24, 2021
I see the river has flatlined
I did not intend, I did not
think to do it on my own
to on my own
run: around, out, away
As if the sun floats belly up
and if I can do it, my darlings
if I can do it, why can't I?
Why can't I
check: list, mate, out
(Red Cedar, MSU Riverwalk)
Saturday, February 20, 2021
you talk like therapy I aim like an arrow
slipping sleeping pills then crash like a bomb
in between sentences like a stupid mecha god
buried in the fizz we're hard to imagine
in far-off messages but echoes keep finding us--
from baby monitors like they're rescue dogs
I still don't know if I should forgive you
I still don't know if I need to be forgiven
Tuesday, February 16, 2021
Saturday, February 13, 2021
This isn't my birthplace and I am
louder for my heart is misplaced;
I dwindle but first I do no harm.
Then I turn calm, you must come
too--time shrugs on, on its own.
He hugs the walls when he walks
my sister says of our dad.
We should have bars in the shower
my husband says of my dad.
I think of my dad--
mightiest of his four brothers
how he sat all his brothers on his
meaty biceps--or was that Bhima
also second-born--I'm confused
by the words rolling in my mouth.
It's easy to break, ask water--what's
next in the shadow of time's coming.
Of first learning to trust every day's
ordinary dance, stepping to calm,
to harm; saying: I'll take it.
My father actually has six brothers, but my youngest uncle is seventeen years younger than dad and so the five older brothers were routinely referred to as the Pandavas in dad's childhood. Dad, although affected by polio as toddler, was somehow also the strongest and sportiest brother--captain of several teams in both school and college.
I routinely confused stories about dad and Bhima when I was a kid. Still do. I don't know if seating all the brothers on his arms was a dad thing, a Bhima thing, or a dad thing inspired by Bhima... and I'm not going to try to find out. Naturally, I was shaken when my sister told me this morning how weakened he's become because he looks not very different in photos and when we video chat.
The Mahabharatha because it is so long (the longest!) and has so many embedded frametales sometimes works on me as a reminder of how life is transient. Lives get lost in that huge narrative, and somehow recognizing individual insignificance is calming? Here, I'm reaching for an abridged version of that fatalistic calm.
Distance is a huge in the pandemic, and I yearn to see everyone 'back home' knowing it may not happen for months or even this year. So the other part of what I was trying to do was to call back to the old country "Bharat/Bharatha."
Friday, February 12, 2021
Yes, I am almost lost in
this small, intimate forest
from the supermarket florist
(carnations I bought myself).
I embrace their candy beauty
how gracefully their economy
aligns ( just so you know--
they must have cost <$7.99).
I address their bodies with
eye caresses, knowing the dears
may last for weeks--or for ever
(if you're counting in flower years).
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
I asked my mentor
to send gifts of time
(I have no mentor)
(I barely have time)
if the moment comes
it will be innominate
when the cure comes
I'll seem unsentimental
we think only of bones
now afloat in this stew
while we thank the flesh
caught anew in every bite
Monday, February 08, 2021
Thursday, February 04, 2021
from the brutality
of everything we
carry, when only
fragments of story
are ours to control
We know we are every
-one, belong every
place, matter some
-times in epilogue
Wednesday, February 03, 2021
Monday, February 01, 2021
Saturday, January 30, 2021
My form is a machine My breath is punctuation
it will work all day pretending to be a landfill
on knots of goodbye of commas, frozen periods;
--going, going, gone-- it turns up the light, keeps
hard to say--if that's inky spaces of silence and
even--home? heaven? whispered sleep to myself
also, which way home looks me in the eye, parses
--the world is so small the dirge of a sigh, impresses
yet full with forgetting the stray forevers of my lips
Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Sunday, January 24, 2021
I doubt most resurrections--yet
the rhizomatic tenderness of your banks
are prayer: lilting, tidal, endlessly
old / done / enduring--but
even in the porous ecstasy of freeze, I know
the delirium of loss, know you won't
take me any place to call home
Friday, January 22, 2021
while I keep walking
Silence sings here, shame too--
like a mosquito hymn
in my ear.
Perhaps I'm a savant of fracture
on an enraptured
perhaps I've siphoned my love
into stories just a little
or too late.
Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Monday, January 18, 2021
I'll rearrange for my fingers to speak
to the clouds
unfolding like a migraine confession
I mean, I mean
You've cried so much, your eyes
drop like pebbles
and wait to show you a way home
I try, to free
the mistakes I made as a parent
then I draw you,
my love, as a silent self-portrait
A detail from a mural in the Children's Garden (early morning walking date with L!).
Monday, January 11, 2021
The instructions surprise: perhaps I will solve gravity or simply realize how unready
"pour the saliva" they say chorus my saliva's spectacle how random, how to unbait sighs
I once described a snake exist/lament/impact/about the junction of having breath back
'pouring' itself down a hole the scratching exhaustion having my back, trusting offspring
the kids were so freaked out of dying on tv every day to try to sidestep the cracks
Friday, January 08, 2021
Waking in a labyrinth
with the outline of a lie
around us the dark blossoms
clinging like skin
hidden in sight like the dark
set aside like a dementing task
hurrying to meet our dark
corners of darkness--passion-
perversion--spill into you and me
returning to the dead lamp
you are furious as a rakshasa
engorged, incoherent as sirens
I'm as possessed as a pisasu
who possesses only you, and
can die for it. Or live. Or shriek.
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