It turns out I can do pretty poetry, as long as it’s in small doses. Sudeep Pagedar pointed me in the direction of YourQuote and their daily word prompt has been giving me a reason to post a daily micropoem.
Here are the links again: You can follow my micropoetry on the YourQuote app, on my Facebook album or as they appear on Instagram, Twitter or the Facebook Page of this blog.
A life was changed
Many things were broken
Many languages spoken
That bore plurals for things that hadn’t before
States of being
And in ending
Yet another rule broken
Another grammar rebuilt
When I say
Life is ending
But I am not yet over
I pass into
And a hundred different memories
Which will each
And build new grammars of their own.
I want to live in a world without words
A world where a sweet delicate combination of sounds
Cannot jolt my heartbeat the wrong way
I’ll probably listen a lot better to other sounds
like the incessant honking on an empty road
and my mother clattering dishes in the kitchen
I’ll turn these sounds into thoughts
and thoughts into sounds again
ones that sound sweeter
becomes passive aggression
My tongue smoothing over the sliding ssssses
is a gentle enough set of sounds
It’s a soft P
A thread of sssses
A little bump like a firm rock, that G
And more sssses.
settles over my face and my nostrils
like a film of plastic
It makes my face itch
I think that’s just the G
so I shift awkwardly under it
But it clings to my cheeks
and I hear a RRRRRRRRRRIIIIPPPPPPP
and there goes another
against the sides of my eyeballs
Passive Aggression did that
No, I don’t like words at all
Rochelle brought her wonderful self to Alphabet Sambar and my life last year. She also carried us in the direction of Performance Poetry. In the past year, she has conducted several workshops on the art form. And last week, she hosted her first ever Open Mic at Me So Happi. As a show of support, I said I’d be there. But I got swept up in her infectious warmth and was inspired to give it a shot myself. So here, wonderful world (because I’m feeling that good!), is my maiden performance. You can see Rochelle in the corner just behind me, cheering me on.
Rochelle, thank you for being a wonderful person and for showing me how it is possible to be both warm and an independent woman.
This event has whetted my appetite and I’m hoping to do more. If you’ve been following my journey, you’ll see how this could be a milestone for me creatively and individually. Please leave a comment with any thoughts you may have.
Note: Alphabet Sambar is a community project for writers, that I began in October 2013. Today we have over 100 members spread across 7 countries and 14 cities. Mumbai is our most active spot. We meet every Sunday to share our writing, critique each other’s work and have a geeky laugh or two over words. If you love writing and conversations about words, come join us! Alphabet Sambar is on Twitter and Facebook. You can also write to me at ideasmithy at gmail dot com if you’d like to attend a meet.
Walk with me,
But not everywhere I go
Point me to the star
That your eyes follow
And if I don’t, Pause
Just long enough to see
What dark alley I went down
Before you smile and move on.
I’ll meet you on the other side.
We’ll share notes
And say how lovely it was to walk together.
#ideaverse #poetry #alley #city #traveller #mumbai – at Kala Ghoda
View on Path
I’m a sadist
in a masochistic land
You call me God,
you call me the Devil
Hurt me! Heal me!
Kill me! Spare me!
Nail me! Resurrect me!
Pain, your manna
Religion, your poison
All you need, all you demand
I hold out food, not to feed
But to induce insatiable hunger
the way you want
I am the provider,
the ultimate safety measure
Entertainment for your sole pleasure
*Based on an old 55-word story from my archives. Tell me if it’s an improvement.
I decided to give the limerick format a run. I didn’t follow the syllable count rules. Trying to say something in 5 lines, make them rhyme and be funny was a challenge enough. I think they turned out pretty horrible, as it is.
The painful thing about being Tamil
Is how we deal with being mammal
Our calcium needs
Are eclipsed by our feeds
The Horlicks-hump could rival a camel
When the girl’s years turn to twenty
The parental worries grow aplenty
Degrees, pay checks to barter
For fairness, cooking & being a martyr
Shaadidom is serious; don’t get sent
Manisha’s Sunday mood
Is morbid and crude
Funerals, sharks, hai hai
Season her Suleimani chai
Rhyming Durrel with Tamizh is just rude.
At a one-off Haiku event, I attempted a few of my own. The rules I could remember to follow were:
- A reference to a season/time of the year
- Two distinct images (no similes)
- Three lines (I let the syllable count drop though)
- A full sentence and a sentence fragment
Given that I live in modern-day Mumbai and not picturesque, old-world Japan, my imagery is rather umm….gristly. Be kind.
Cold cream pitches;
The morning train
blows our trumpet
The sweating bridegroom
Hot coffee runs
out from below
to own the world;
The Elephant God
On restless nights, I wrote your name in silver-grey swirls of memories and dotted the i’s with tears till sleep blacked me out.