My harvest of poems
Will be winnowed,
If done deftly
The lighter, shallow poems
Are blown away,
While the meatier, heavier poems
Fall back into the tray,
To become the fire
In my belly like
For some poets
Beef is the
Locus of all the
Food for thought in the world
Like Buddha’s begging bowl.
LOVE IN THE TIME OF CCTV
(Title from a submission call)
“In my rear view mirror is the motherfucking law” –Jay Z -99 problems
The camera tells us,
Keep your hands where I can see them.
Write your love letter.
“Of lovers whose bodies smell of each other”–T.S.Eliot
Queer pride march
With cops escorting us on either sides
Like every alphabet of the poem
Is being odour-tested
For the scent of the other.
BREAKING A GLASS CEILING: A NEW LANGUAGE
“The highest and the hardest glass-ceiling ..,
Thanks to you, it has about eighteen million cracks in it.” , Hillary Clinton ,June 7, 2008
The midnight sky is a dark glass ceiling
The lightning cracks
Illuminate a new calligraphy.
The deep sea lungs of a cyclone
Exhale loud thunderclaps
A nascent utterance.
THIRTEEN WAYS OF LOOKING AT A BLACK BURKINI
“I created the burkini to give women freedom, not to take it away “-Aheda Zanetti
Burkini is a language
Terrifying those ignorant of its text.
Cops patrol her tan lines
Like dams patrol
Rivers flowing above danger marks.
All you need is in that bag:
Change into a garment
More palatable for the cops in uniform.
Some garments cling too close to your surname
Like a metaphor
Too loud for good poetry.
Sea surfing can be tiring
Like an infinite ebb and flow of a questionnaire.
Batting an eye lid can be a tad too immodest.
Tether yourself close to the beach.
Do not surf too deep into the ocean.
Never self-intersect in circles of knots and tangles.
Bruises sustained from frisking
Metamorphose into festering wounds.
Gangrene could gnaw at your surname.
Erase your footprints from the sands.
Waves of time rarely wash the footprints of a scuffle.
Prolonged scuffle can bury us all in a deep hole.
Do you remember the first corpse
The sea sucked off a turbulent beach?
The sea spat it out after three days of frisking.
The footprints of scuffle
Implicates you from shore to shore,
Blowing up all bridges between you and anyone.
During this conversation
Some territory has been ceded across
The tan lines of your body.
Your body stripped of the garment
Remains an evacuated language.
Can a language be a scarecrow?
History will catch up with you
In your rear-view mirror
Even if you are full throttle in your
Pursuit of happiness.
Chandramohan S is a poet and literary critic based in Kerala, India. His latest collection of poems is titled “Letters to Namdeo Dhasal” . He was instrumental in organizing in literary meets of English poets of Kerala for Ayyappa Panicker Foundation.