Tuesday, June 28, 2016

"My man's here," she said,

her voice
was rocked by the waves,

her eyes were pearls,

there is love enough
in this word to save us - 'mine'

if only once in our lives
we get to say it
- all our pain, lying still, in the word -

then nothing
is incomplete, nothing, in all our years,
is left behind.

tr. from an extract from Ismat Chughtai's 'Hindustan Chod Do'

Ismat Chughtai

Mom and dad insisted we go to Shirdi

I first resisted, then went.
The lines of devotees made me dizzy
but thankfully Shirdi Grindr was busy,
so all in all time well spent.

Andheri Local

The sea gets in,
brushes the sand off his hair,

wrings his wet shirt
and hangs it on the steel,

a friend, younger,
holds him by his waist

as brown as desire.

As we pass Santacruz,
I crush shells under my feet.

Monday, June 20, 2016

The therapist says dig, dig, dig,

but my ocean's way too blue & big, so
when he looks at me, all Meryl Streep,
I become two milimeters deep.

Windmills on

the Western Ghats,
the collar bone of the earth,

white turbines
threshing the sky into cirrus

like foremothers of the hills

who know power
is always summoned
out of thin air.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

To live

is to find measureless pain, 
is to hide it from others, to feign
a smile and somehow still mean
when pain's edge is keen.
translated from Sunita Katyal's 'To live'
Sunita Katyal


The margins fall off.
The ink is red.
He smiles and says
"The investigation is on."

tr. from Rahul Rai's 'Vyapam'

Rahul Rai

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Ghodbunder Road

(Mira Bhayandar to Thane)

All through the way, we keep speaking,
raising the stakes, little by little,
every night creates possibilities, which
the morning breaks, little by little.

What will remain of this night, years from
now, is only an abstract wish,
his head on my arms, his hair in my fingers
- desire slakes, little by little.

Mario had told me the Portugese traded
Arabian horses here at the creek,
'Ghod' 'Bunder' - the port of the horses -
how history wakes, little by little.

On the radio, as Ananyaa sang, she pestled
the moon, dissolved the stars,
take heed, Akhil, she sings of our lives, it
gives and it takes, little by little.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

In Shimla

it always rains twice,
once, from the sky,
then, when the pines drip.

The same with you, Lalita,
once, when you went,
then, as it hit.