a b c d e f g h i think, therefore i am
a shot of Espresso
a shot of Espresso has an i
the cup has an i
the coffee powder an i
so has every coffee granule &
the sugar powder & every sugar crystal &
the water & every covalent bond of water
& every H atom
& every O atom
the Espresso is i
j k l m n o p queued concoction
in that specific order, the way you would
down a glass of water, only after
popping in a pill of paracetamol.
the way s comes after r. in that
order. to alphabetize is to order,
but order is not ordered.
deorr is order
a collection of poems is meant to be
put together the way a pomegranate
is pulled apart.
a wound is pulled together from in-
side. a stray dog is put o u
t u v w x y z.
A Widerruf to Sarah Howe’s Reading, June 11, 2016
When you recited to an audience arranged according to the punctuality of their arrival,
you gave the corners of the room no option but to submit themselves to
your gaze; you pulled them out from their points of rest, unravelled
the walls into planes of non-convergence.
You then traced every point on the continuum of corners – from top left to bottom right
and strummed the space like a taut string, all the while assembling geese-
ghost stories of ancient China to an assorted annexure of alcohol
and men. The space trembled every time you sang
of it. But a first floor of a rundown pub could only take so much; it lost its geometry
and disintegrated into uncorrelated coordinates. A room is a caricature
of a house disavowed by our sentiments. But the audience did
not care. They existed because of you, their realities
alternated between the present and the future like the story in your song. The next day,
I moved out of my accommodation. My life – what was once spread –
regulated into neatly discernible boxes for remembrance.
Like the corners. Like the goose that returns
in your poem, remembering its home, its life. A house remembers, too, when vacated;
remembers spaces – lofts forgotten in the humdrum of the hall,
cellars misplaced in daily quarrels, tiles lying
in the penumbra of an old sofa
seldom moved, antique drawers housing everything from disemboweled Parker Pens
to used-days lying as digits in old calendars. In times like these,
the house conveys just the bare minimum, ends up
like a footnote to a cancelled meeting.
An Echo is a Sound past its Expiry Date
Black crows and white noise
streaming through an alleyway full of bat urine,
feeding off one another into the distance,
only to come rushing back, first
the crows, then nothing.
For a while they fluttered around, unable
to recall the reason for their flight in the first place
like one compass trying to remember North,
…then looked at each other with absurd curiosity –
their self-doubt heavy as their musk.
Their cawing was a mutter, but let out
as a collective gasp, maybe from a sudden realization
of their irrelevance on losing the accompanying
acoustics at the very end of passage, when
the aperture became an amphitheatre.
It was then that I felt it, too. Where once
a sumptuous sound with an orotund nature
occupied the entire length of my diaphragm –
the way pronouncing psithurism did –
all that remained was a weak consonant.
Shriram Sivaramakrishnan recently completed his MA in Poetry from the UK. He is primarily a poet. His poems have appeared in Lemon Hound, Bird’s Thumb, Softblow, Noble/Gas Quarterly, Allegro, The Mondegreen among others. He tweets at @shriiram.