2

It is the soot of vapor

It is the soot of vapor goes
Hunting for root of form strums

Cloud, bleats shorn fleck of
Grass that comes close to breath,

Draws sap into pocket of gold.
Yield the cast, the thick,

The battle for fire here, where
A raven stocks up on paraphernalia.

5

The inflamed circle of hell

The inflamed circle of hell
Is dense; have the ants

Lost their mind? There is
Candor in exclaiming right

Of speech in hell’s robust
Heat, where the shills of

God pry open your sensible
Bark, where the long sun

Will rest, and the cat of
Doom dispenses adjectives.

0

The word that forks some lightning

The word that forks some lightning
    opens up a knifewedge of open space

as saltwounds remember the homespun,
    as knuckles caress the loveskin that

works the silent shift, the mutehorn
    shrieks vapor, shrieks blankstare

out where the river bends, the sun
    gathers, and the grim worm kneads.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night. Dylan Thomas, from Do not go gentle into that good night

3

Pronounce flower, bee, teardrop, bread, storm

Pronounce flower, bee, teardrop, bread, storm.

That the grief of the teardrop can bark up a 
    Storm, that the shrill of your lover's harp
    Could beckon thread, blood, air, art.

I have dreams, I loved, I have earned my silence.

I have glowed in the dark of the sun's recipe
    For day and sinned as penance for climbing out
    Of the guilt that your teardrop bled.

When you learn that I have died, do not pronounce my name.

Do not sing of the meadow nor of the shame that
    Begets a hard silence, the name that flees its 
    Call, the slope that bleeds the rill.
When you learn that I have died, do not pronounce my name
because it will hold back my death and rest.
Your voice, which is the ringing of the five senses,
would be the dim beacon sought by my mist.
When you learn that I have died, whisper strange syllables.
Pronounce flower, bee, teardrop, bread, storm.
Do not let your lips find my eleven letters.
I have dreams, I loved, I have earned my silence.
Do not pronounce my name when you learn that I have died
from the dark earth I would come for your voice.
Do not pronounce my name, do not say my name
When you learn that I have died, do not pronounce my name.
Translation of Roque Dalton‘s poem.
6

craft & consequence

i.

the wishbone of craft is deft 
with smoke from heaven's shop

of horrors; it is quick with
lament, slick with growth of

antiquity, prime with filial
foul, lush with trope & rime

ii.
the poem needs the pen and
not just the paper or else the
paper would write itself and that
is just silly; are you the pen or
the paper and can you wish otherwise?

if craft be your portal to open spaces
can you switch and pick one of the
children, feed her and let her grow
so that she feeds you? if craft could
answer that, you would feed many orphans.

iii.
listen, the red ant of tarred
pallor bawls

a screech, an ounce of astute
gammas and

poseidons launch theatrical
stunts of

very little consequence, but
the dance

goes mindlessly, mindfully on.

0

When I didn’t know myself – two takes on Akka Mahadevi

When I didn’t know myself
where were you?
Like the colour in the gold,
you were in me.
I saw in you,
lord white as jasmine,
the paradox of your being
in me
without showing a limb.
(Mahadeviyakka; translated by A.K. Ramanujan)

i.
Whence the limb of lost
arbitrage of love?

There dwells the price
of gold in me.

I saw you I think,
lord white as jasmine,
negotiating, settling debts
for me,
otherwise you weren’t there.

ii.
Lost in visible 
Gold present in a salient
Me, a ferocious
              mime, mine, lost.

Seeing through
Gold not being not yet
The blueprint of
              gold, dust, lost.
4

sun lo

raakh ab ke musafir hai, muqabil hai, muKhatib
hai tum se; sun lo ke jabr Khoon ka hasil hai

kub se; sun lo ke ayaaN honay ko hai Khaak ki narmi;
sun lo ke Doboee hai qalam hiddat ki siyahee may.

2

Fear

Prey on the filament of the dawn
Of fear, on
The silent grip of the numb at noon
Of fear, at

Dusk and then when the eyes plumb
A sleep
Less want, a depthless drum of river's
Need, a

Blessed blight of trembling limbs that
Crouch
In dire need, in the fleeting sheen of
Dark,

Pry off the hunger, the long rectangle
Of solid
Angles that reek of innate howls of
Childscare.

“In a world that prefers security to justice, there is loud applause whenever justice is sacrificed on the altar of security. The rite takes place in the streets. Every time a criminal falls in a hail of bullets, society feels some relief from the disease that makes it tremble. The death of each lowlife has a pharmaceutical effect on those living the high life. The word “pharmacy” comes from pharmakos, the Greek name for humans sacrificed to the gods in times of crisis.” – from Eduardo Galeano‘s Upside Down