Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Poetry. Show all posts

Saturday, February 27, 2021


When each glance is visitation
howling histories of trespass 
you climb into every boat
rocking the ebb of panic
the flows of despair
hoping for survival

A cataract at our junction of
citizenship and humanity
that you are makes us all 
fragile--the lightest craft 
whose soft capsizing 
powers us to revolt

Most recently this, but really an ongoing and unmitigated concern.
(Photo: Moore park with BS)

Friday, February 26, 2021


At this join, I think to say who 
I am, but have softly rotting

in clusters of contrapuntal 
pleasure--urgent, charmed

until I'm arriving like a light
rippling rings of experience,

not now, not enough--so gaudy, 
so greedy, and ekphrastic from

(Baker Woods with L)

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

hard scrabble

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

Wrecking Crew


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


shifting from kind sleep 

to the louder comfort 

of that old loneliness

 the bright, uneven burn 

of acceptable syllables,

premonitions of escape

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Concise Bharatha

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

in carnations

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

now you see it / then you won't

cradle this role

of an unnamed 

creature in our

unreal world

dead branches 

offer backbone

roots open into


in snowy filaments

of tired memory

you tried to believe

in figments I know 

Thursday, February 04, 2021


our arc bends 

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


I still thoughts 

by will alone

I carry sadness

into February

sky stays blue 

as I grieve you

Monday, February 01, 2021


I reach for the halo
orbiting our moon

lasso and escape
loops of memory

I enter at beauty--
of enflamed skies 

chevron trees stare
back, draw me stars. 

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

In Order to Advance



I might be free--or not; 

I don't know

for I have obeyed in advance


the atlas of my family

fold close 

the stretched out assault


for I have obeyed in advance

I apologize for-


Sunday, January 24, 2021


From upon the belly of the same bridge

I can weigh the difference of a day

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


In your lapse--there's only air, 

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 

exiled page--

perhaps I've siphoned my love

into stories just a little

or too late.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Let's Goooooooooooo!!!!!

Felt like I was hitting the ground running this term, with syllabuses and diagnostics uploaded ahead of our start and even a mini lecture/poetry reading in honor of Dr. MLK Day the day before the term actually started! 

It would be nice if I could keep this up all term long. Just 13.5 weeks to go!

(P.S. Not pictured: Me all wired up and unable to sleep; up until at least 2 am--when I looked at the clock and despaired. I found this article on SEVEN types of rest on Melissa Ford's Stirrup Queens blog, loved it, and sent it to a bunch of people; I would have been sensible to have planned for some basic sleep at least.)

Monday, January 18, 2021

I Said, I Say

I said, I say

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

yes but also no

                    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.