something was on fire behind me
and i was thinking of a face
when i saw a mouse in the dark
just sitting in my path as a stone

small pretty mouse, creamy grey
i bent toward it with my camera
knowing the flash would scare
it away but i did it anyway

it ran away. i learned a lesson
about mice and how they are
afraid of bright flashes of light
in the dark with a fire behind me

i took pictures of things that would
not run away. i could keep and hold
onto them as glowing bars of

in a collection, these static objects
make up a narrative of stillness.
certainty feels beautiful
but it’s not, it’s just mathematical

i touched a sea anemone once
it was soft and velvety and violet
it sucked my finger and puckered
suddenly withdrawing all digits

i see larger and more fantastical
animals on the street, doe eyed,
horned, maned and bearded, sleek
i keep my hands and camera in pocket


Patri 3

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

You might laugh
but I swear wherever I see licks of flame
these days I am prostrate as if watching a movie.
Let me tell you the reason.
A couple of days ago I read somewhere
that on an unfortunate day of the national movement
Nandalal Basu had drawn a bunch of posters
to make invincible
anti-imperialism and the emergence of tortured people.
But in fear of police raids
all incendiary posters are in the belly of fire.
Immediately having read the news
In the fire stony faces of proud humans feeling fury
In the fire incessant glee for chain shattering
In the fire the shining magazines of Chattagram.
On one side applauding youth march toward a hangman’s platform
on the other side behind naked soldiers
in the blaze of my own chest, a rib-enflamed bone-skeleton.
It was like this for some days.
Then I forgot everything.
Suddenly several days ago another impact.
Lorca’s life’s-worth of sonnets were tucked
in a soldier friend’s pocket.
Within Franco’s butcher-fire
Both soldier and sonnet burnt to ashes in a day.
After having read the news
In the fire blood wedding’s sprinting horse
Behind the horse a crooked blade of unbridled lust
Behind the knife a blue moon’s red blood hunger
And the green guitar’s endless yellow mourning.
Believe me, Amitava
Now whenever I look at fire
I see the various alphabets of
Lorca’s sonnets burnt to ash, or these:
Heaven, death, murder, blood, wing,
mountain, love, rock, dagger, root,
urine, hate, laughter, breast,

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.


Easily Chewed Something That Has The Real Or Symbolic Capability Of Initiating A Catastrophe



A kind in amorphous materials formed from a melt by cooling to rigidity without crystallization and a child of one’s uncle or aunt, an object of curiosity or contempt and nothing discouraging familiarities an unbroken a phenomenon of light or visual perception that enables one to differentiate otherwise identical objects suffering pain or grief and an order in a group of interacting bodies under the influence of related forces to giving added force. All this and not of common quality, not unmarked by regularity in not being like or similar to. The element or factor that separates or distinguishes contrasting situations is stretching out.

Hello I am Your Miscarriage

Hello I am Your Miscarriage

And it is here that I’d like to say that I was given a choice.
I don’t know about anybody else but I was given a choice
and I chose NO and I don’t know if anybody else chooses NO but I did.

My existence was in all full doubt.
I was not even a ball of cells.

At the edge of being something I knew what it might mean to be that something until it disappeared again to the state I was then.
I was not yet something.

To know is a lovely thing,
to know.

To know that if this second rolled to the next that I would experience immense joy that would evaporate only to leave desire,
insurmountable pain that would eat away at me,
and most of all I would experience a loneliness rivaled only by the loneliness of nonexistence.

But I chose NO. I think you might’ve too.