Thursday, September 30, 2004

Poems to a Stranger


When I let poetry go
I never realized how hard it'd be
to summon it back.
Now I want to write about you
Frame you with objectivity
A cut-out figure I can snip and
paste with a tongue-flick tongue's-lick
into lines and angles
Pry your hooded eyes open
so you see me. Not blurred, not in
this insidious rust over my pen
skin eyes…
Do you know of the time I cried
hurting, fretting, shredding
not knowing why? Fool women,
will we learn not to veil our words
our needs
Will we learn not to trust you to see through
or want to see through?
Now, stranger, when I hear of roses,
I still withdraw
to lick my wounds.
Could you figure out why?
I couldn't.


The name of two syllables,
that I had made my own
my nature-cry
native in my mouth as intimacy
howls at its dereliction -
they call you by another name
parch-dry as I rub
it between my fingers
roll it, taste it, spit it out
It's no longer strange to talk
of you with strangers
You're a stranger too.

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

purple silk sofas

my poetry spreads itself
comfortably lavishly
makes itself at home on my screen
these days
no thoughts of corsets or reins
no subterfuge of fancy play
my voice all mine, are I
lazy or growin' up?

Monday, September 20, 2004


If they tell me
all women love writing poems
featuring cats, I'd
hiss and spit and
scrape their tongues out
for being presumptuous fools
lumps of scrounging
lead. I have no pet cats
I dream of one
a cat there never was --
sly-eyed and whiskery
sitting heavy rolled up at my feet
as I type this, snoring gently,
trustingly --
and a warm honey glow jam butter
feeling spreads over me.

Sunday, September 19, 2004


My friend had left after a long stay. Back to her country
her discarded paintings hanging on the wall
(charcoal mouths wide with desolation) -
bed sheets and mattress lying in baffled abandon -
kettle and coffee mug fuming with injury -
the Gitas, Anitas, Mahaswetas huddling in intimate resentment --
Each awaiting the promised release
awaiting the polythene bags on the floor.

Critically, cynically I swept the room
dismantling the odds and ends of my friend.
Meticulously heaped, ruthlessly disbanded; pickings were made.
My friend says it feels strange
to hear how people have taken over
her things, bits of her.

Sunday, September 12, 2004

sleep doesn't come

all anxious thoughts
running helter and skelter without a tail in sight to catch
or string. and sleep just behind the curtain.