Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Feel Like Travelling On

Sit down and be patient:
sure, it’s a beautiful,
endless, lonely Sunday
afternoon: the old people
are in their graves:
the old places are deserted:
the times of all those
times, faces, flavors
a few minds left old:
sure ahead the chief
business is tearing the rest
of the way loose, but by
the empty take the full
sit down, find something
to read: a grand possibility
was made, who knows
what became of it

~Poet Unknown

Vultures by Dilip Mohapatra

I am the new age Indian woman
the daughter of a father who
calls me Angel
and the sister of my brothers
who think I am a fairy
who has descended from the heavens.
I have the wings
that could take me to the highest of the skies
beyond the clouds and beyond the stars
but the vultures hover above
their ravenous and watchful eyes focused on me
and their talons and beaks
in perpetual readiness to pounce on me.
I get diktats issued from time to time
from the guardians of the great Indian culture
from the moral police and the custodians of values,
that my skirts should touch my ankles
that my neckline should stay just around my larynx
and I can't shake a leg in the disco
nor can I say cheers in a pub.
But how can you stop the vultures
with a sight that pierces through
the layers of my prescribed opaque clothes
to see through and sense the fig leaf underneath
and always ready to plunge and peck at
the offensive and evil protrusions on me
that entice them to no end
and that fans the lecherous fire in them?
I may hide my body in an iron armour
and even may go for a mastectomy
but the vultures will still hover over me
for vultures will always be vultures
even though they may have their own
daughters sisters and mothers.
And again I must continue to remind myself
I am a woman and

it's all my fault.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Walking Around - Pablo Neruda

It so happens I am sick of being a man.
And it happens that I walk into tailor shops and movie houses
dried up, waterproof, like a swan made of felt

steering my way in a water of wombs and ashes.
The smell of barbershops makes me break into hoarse sobs.
The only thing I want is to lie still like stones or wool.
The only thing I want is to see no more stores, no gardens,
no more goods, no spectacles, no elevators.
It so happens I am sick of my feet and my nails
and my hair and my shadow.
It so happens I am sick of being a man.
Still it would be marvelous
to terrify a law clerk with a cut lily,
or kill a nun with a blow on the ear.
It would be great
to go through the streets with a green knife
letting out yells until I died of the cold.
I don’t want to go on being a root in the dark,
insecure, stretched out, shivering with sleep,
going on down, into the moist guts of the earth,
taking in and thinking, eating every day.
I don’t want so much misery.
I don’t want to go on as a root and a tomb,
alone under the ground, a warehouse with corpses,
half frozen, dying of grief.
That’s why Monday, when it sees me coming
with my convict face, blazes up like gasoline,
and it howls on its way like a wounded wheel,
and leaves tracks full of warm blood leading toward the night.
And it pushes me into certain corners, into some moist houses,
into hospitals where the bones fly out the window,
into shoeshops that smell like vinegar,
and certain streets hideous as cracks in the skin.
There are sulphur-colored birds, and hideous intestines
hanging over the doors of houses that I hate,
and there are false teeth forgotten in a coffeepot,
there are mirrors
that ought to have wept from shame and terror,
there are umbrellas everywhere, and venoms, and umbilical cords.
I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes,
my rage, forgetting everything,
I walk by, going through office buildings and orthopedic shops,
and courtyards with washing hanging from the line:
underwear, towels and shirts from which slow
dirty tears are falling.