Six Poems by Kushal Poddar
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One cardinal cheeps
near your sinful pane,
open in summer wind,
near your bedpost failing
to disentangle the white shirt
of the other man. You wear
the black boxers, not yours.
One sweeping finger can shift
a paradigm, alter a filter
the way they used to see differently
with a new pair of contact lenses.
Not that anything changes.
Cardinal song, the sudden provocation
of a new leaf, Bible in the bedside drawers,
cigarette kills, and strangers may.
So Cool So Metal
I opened your gun-safe
I know you kept those bullets
for a ticking stimulus,
for a sudden provocation,
but our neighbour
played that wedding song again
and again and again.
Goodbye, Cold Pies
The night is drawn toward the pallor of the dawn.
Drowning is not unforeseen.
The bird that tweets welcome is the one that bids goodbye.
What do I know? The poet lives moored in our basement.
Our daughter may never go to a physical school,
and yet we fill a box of tiffin for her with our thinning
resources and pack a bag with books and notebooks and pencils.
She may never use a pencil, still, we sharpen their weapon-heads
as if our muscles follow a covert mission the agency has forgotten.
What do I know? The poet lives in the basement and refuses to
write what hurts him most.
Fool For A Flashback (Memories Sent by Algorithm)
Some flashback snaps,
sent by a fool,
tool with my gloaming;
a kite, kind of an accipitridae,
stills a cloud with its firm claws;
I sip some waning coffee;
far I go, perhaps to the tomorrow,
I shall reach one memory
for the day after.
A clown tilts its conical comical
ass-hat from the footpath
on the other side;
crosswalks wait for my shadow;
I can see me crossing, julienned
in black and white paints;
but this is a flashback, fool. I am the clown.
By the time you end your story
I've stopped listening to the words.
I have been listening to the sound
your words make, been thinking if
anyone can narrate a tale worth listening to,
and about the way we grow up to be
different, but not very varied
from how we fared as children,
and that - I may think all these unfairly.
You say something about the woman
("In red?" I interjected.) you met as a teen,
and again as a man in a protest rally,
but after you shack with her awhile
she stole your poetry and made her own.
In the space meant for a garden,
oh, what a garden it would have been
if I've endeavoured, our girls flare a fistfight.
I wave at them. They stop, pant and after awhile
end their ceasefire. Will they ever meet years later
to compare the wounds and belittle each other's
journey that far? In red? I ask. You say yes.
An Unsatisfactory Story
"I remember meeting you before."
Says the robber,
"You were in some patrolling shit.
Gave me a speeding ticket."
"And you were returning from a job?"
"No. I was not into crime."
"This does not make a good story."
"You still had those eyes
as if you were from the future
warning me to mind my gears."
"I changed my career."