A Shrewd Shaming of the Shrew

It might not be the job of poems to say what can be said better using other forms of saymanship. But if poems float in an unconnected ether for very long, Wakan Tanka’s consternation notches up, and she speed dials Laozi asking him to summon up a new manuscript now that the gatekeepers have changed: something relevant to what Rita Laura Segato aptly calls the apocalyptic phase of capital. It’s up to Laozi then to cough up a new song which might, at first glance, not look like a song at all.


Inking difference

A lost gram of ink touches color touches
       silk as it is learns to want  -  asks
       the silkworm: where to find the

warmth of your longing that begets the 
       eking of song?  -  asks the parchment: 
       which word sat heavy and which light

and how to tell them apart if the two insist 
       on being same?   will their difference 
       subsist if I ink them together as one?

as I hold the sun

as I hold the sun in my eyes, three
    wishes pretend to sight i- the
    largeness of heaven's folly ii- the
    slow tremble of hunger's feet, and
    iii- my eyes again, knowing the

the limits of knowing, the fragility
    of trees & the hidden guile of 
    songs that pretend to know by
    nighttime what transpired between
    this stillness and that, unmasked -


you cannot send a promise from the top
       of a mountain stream to its furthest
       point downstream where it meets

the rascalled dream punctured by pin-
       holes of lacerated poems     read 
       those and surely the tread of

your wizardry will woe down with the 
       sewers of hazard     turn now & stop
       it's time to rein in mountainspeak -

once trust wavers, the hold of mountains
      is water     touch the droplets and
      memory will hold no torch for you

to laugh your poems away    to torch those
      words, you need the hunger of 
      ancients and the foul breath that

lingers as sainthood comes crushing
      down     these poems are not to
      be trusted, mountainspeak be damned -