Patri 2

I translated some poems from Purnendu Patri’s Kathapakathan II.

Amitava, that I ripped the dreads-tangled darkness of a deep pit
and collected a rock, you know this. That I wanted to build
such a woman with a blow of a chisel-hammer that she’d look
as if she’d just awoken and showered at the earth’s magma falls,
this you also know. So the following story–

The day I struck the first chisel blow, a spray of blood. All night
a hand pressed on her wound. All day inside of her emptiness
like a mother. When no longer dripping in blood, and
her wound is brimming with green leaves, sitting down again
to mold with the chisel-hammer.
– What are you putting on me?
– A sari of fire. That which suits your soul.
– What is that smell inside me?
– I scattered seeds of yearning in your blood. Flowers are blooming on those trees.
– How shall I show you my gratitude for this new life?
– Turn the petals of my desire into golden jasmines.
– You are the one who will give me that power.
– Here, take this heart.

The next incident is very amusing. Immediately upon receiving life
she broke down the door of the room and ran away toward the earth.
She hasn’t returned. Having lost my own
heart, now I am the rock of a deep pit.



I. goldfish




how are you doing?

good. let’s not have sex

haha okay you are very concerned about that

no! wait concerned about what

not having sex

no! wait concerned about what

you just said that

said what?

don’t worry about it


we should stick to the rules we made for ourselves before we started tripping right?


that’s how consent works right?


ok then let’s not have sex


maybe next time we can write out exactly what we want to do to each other so we


don’t get overwhelmed


i was saying

i’m sorry, language how is it working


i can’t remember anything that happened

yeah i was just saying…wait, are you crying?

no, no, just, words, i’m sorry, words


i feel like a baby


how is it working




II. Chinese Grocery Store


Glommering swollen fish with muscles

shining brown pulled out of green water

at a Chinese grocery store by my house.

Head and tail held town while struggling

Maybe if it could scream or yell or scream

Or if it had arms it might survive and fight

I felt my own arms grow into my side

My lids dried up, eyes yellowed and slack.

You came back with a box of roasted nori

made a joke about lying there like a cold fish

and I mouthed a lot of things wordlessly.

My feet slipped out from under me

And I flopped on the floor gasping.

“are you ok?” you asked.


Look, I just literally turned into a giant fish and

since there is no way you’re going to fuck me now

You might as well cut my head off and eat me.



III. ergo, ergot


A corona a corona a corona

I was drawing fish with teeth and

you had just put on My Sharona.

“Try to seduce me.”

“um, I…I don’t know how.”

“you’re beautiful, just try”

So I cut myself medially in half

with a palette knife, from throat to lips

scraped all the micro organisms out,

compacted them into a triangular organ

that can feel,

buzzing at a resonant frequency to yours.


But I can hear them talking in high pitched tones

and I think they are planning a mutiny!


I panicked and squished them back inside my gut

placed flowers all around them

a corona a corona a corona

and glued myself back together.

You replayed My Sharona.

Later I died from sepsis.



birds are dumb and should shut up

birds are dumb and should shut up

              i just teared up
making ramen
              at the stupid bird imitating
a dove noise
              and the stupid implications
that has on my life
              so now i’m eating beef noodles
with extra salt

              you have wondered
though, haven’t

              how long do you coo
to be fucked
              and whether elaborate
mating calls of
              arranged words and
acquiescence were
              stamped on the waffle
makers you wore

              i have wondered
too, about
              the heat

              in the pictures of the
wild eyed kindness
              of everyone you’ve never touched
softly headbutting
              a baby goat’s budding horns
into the pinkish gel
              of a midday thing

              i’m suspecting that doves
aren’t real birds
              but a bowl of weak soup.