The Ghost of Man

The Ghost of Man

In the aubergine clot of the eye
the world wrestles for space. Each thought,

uglier than the last, each feeling, heavier
than the inundated ocean bed. I am naked;

running through the forest of life, cold and lifelike.
The flesh is incoherent, its songs are red sirens.

I imagine a single strand of grass, lemon
and dark emerald infused into a breathing tunnel.

I have been summoned by this tiny life
on the occasion of an unearthly summer.

My eyes are wrinkled pomegranates, washed aside
in the current that sweeps everything.

The body is incoherent, beating loudly,
thumping even, against the ugly silence of life.

The body is a mad woman; that is its only stature in life, its solitary mount, its cold truth.

The eyes are tired, two tiny pearls through
which the rotten earth has cleaved its livers, dug

its endless fingernails, plump roots that desecrate everything.

The body watches across the liquid, black night that grips everything by the throat.

The body is a clock, ticking,
its blood singing against the barometer.

The body has been summoned by this tiny creature,
this single luminescent flake of light.

The body is driven mad by the sight of a blade of grass.

The body fails to comprehend its existence.
Its legs are red, wounded

by the worms of the mind, plagued
by the sorrow of existence. The body watches

from raisin eyes, the body watches a single blade of grass, its exhausting beauty, its strange demand for love,

the body watches, it blinks, it blinks.
The body cannot separate its sickness from the world.

The body strums like an empty carton, pouring
its wrist out to the world and watching the red blood

sing to every living thing. The body watches
as the world consumes itself over and over,

as one part tears the other, as everything engulfs everything else behind the singular cloak of beauty.

The body is paralyzed by the innate violence,
the violence in its own chest,

the murder on its hands. The body sneezes
into the thickening clot of death and snarls.

The body is a frenzied mad woman circulating
in her own tongue.

The body is wired to the irony of all human existence.

The body that cannot laugh, cries.
The body that cannot understand, shivers.

The body that is tired, vomits.
The body that cannot die, breaks.

Artwork and Poem

©️ Aakriti Kuntal

Deconstructing Madness

Months attach like moths to the swollen ear. The ear bleeds in anonymity. The body swallows days as capsules with a glass of shimmering water. One looks and looks only to find oneself curling along the circles of life. The body grieves to the point of madness. What is madness? It is the last breath breaking forth from the centrifuge of chest, the arrow that darts like a skewed, wandering eye in the blind nest of the sky. Madness is the legitimate answer to this incongruent universe. The body spins in and out, attaching and detaching, trying to find the scale of balance. The body cries like an orphaned lump of mass birthed into a universe where sense is more absent than present. Days align to the side of the mouth, become branches of clots. Clots dance in the valley of the absurd. Madness is the dot on the forehead dancing into the red, hot sun seeking its revenge. Madness is the unleashed tongue, long held back, now loose, now uglier than ever chanting that which unnerves, that which dislocates, that which spills. Madness is the shivering body in a shower, soaked in its desperation, counting backwards the syllables to its origin; madness is the body being torn apart by the truths that do not sit, that now dance like mammoth figures on the clown’s shaved head; madness is the ugly eye of truth protruding from all corners, no more tied into the knot of structure, of imposed morality, of seismic knowledge. Madness is the truth as it is, red, uneven, scarred, ready to consume anyone who is not ready for it.

©️ Aakriti Kuntal

Call for Submissions : Artery (An Anthology)

Kritya Poetry Movement

It is only the body which knows what it has wrestled with, the arch of throbs and the stitch that dissolves in its own stench. Pain leaves the body morphed, the spirit shook, the mouth hanging and the tongue heaving forever in exasperation.

Send us your poems, share your experiences, talk about the shivering body, the chronic pains, the diseases, the ailments, the green fevers, the chest aches. We want to listen. We want to share.

Mail us your poems for the anthology at aakriti.kuntal@gmail.com and saxena.rati@gmail.com.

Hybrid forms and translations welcome.
Deadline: June 15, 2019

Blood

Day 30 #minimalistpoem #napowrimo

Blood only shifts its tide
murmuring from this shore to another,
passing each stone in the way

Each stone, each,
a stone is all that stays,
cold witness to unspeakable things

Blood only shifts its tide
Women in my room have
more sorrow than breath.

©️ Aakriti Kuntal

Morning Walk

Day 29 #prompt: mediative #napowrimo

But then,
then, then, then, then,
a poem on my cheek
has sliced off and fallen
into the rinse of fleeting breeze

I open one pebble eye,
and there—
Yes, there

Do you see it?
A single bird perched
in the centre of all light,
light as it diffuses against the knifed building

Light like foam
enters my sleeves, my empty, empty
knuckle of pastel skin

The orange tree has its
invisible tongue lapping
around my neck, my emerald

ears, my jewelled, brown chest

I announce that I am rather happy
and a song bird
flies right atop the dreaming leaf

Sipping each shade of yellow
it can seek
I announce that I am rather happy

and collapse
Yes, collapse; right there, right
here on the ochre ground

The sky is a bleached blue
and it is whistling
There is an endless whistling

and I think I’m swaying inside it
Dead bumblebees lie beside me,

the night has shot them free
The sky is a bleached blue

and I lie on my pencil neck,
slipping into the soil’s lilting being

©️ Aakriti Kuntal

Flight

Day 28 #napowrimo Prompt: Meta poem

Where does a poem exist?
The blank ink is deflated

in its solitude, counting

how many syllables make an inch,
how many spaces make a crease,

and how many words make rain

Where, where does a poem exist?
I shut my eyes and the paper shatters

I can still touch it, let it collapse into
membranes after membranes

Is it there, that leaf hanging like a tongue?
Mocking my nuisance or the blood vessel

which has tightly wound around the femur
and refuses to now give up this new family…

Is it anywhere, anywhere at all?
Memories; perhaps, the memory
of tongue, rinsed like a blue cloth

in summer bright,
Where, where does the poem exist?
A throb spinning like a lattoo

before arriving into a thought
Is that the poem? Or is it its translation

into a verb? Murdering the soil
of sheet bit by bit, lick by lick

Is it there, there, there, here?
Here amidst the wild eyes

that read poems in their lashes
and preserve it in the tilt that they

gather from invoked feelings
Perhaps, a poem doesn’t exist…

Perhaps, it’s a flight, something in
constant motion, the blurring hand in sun,

twirling, twirling, twirling
Every moment, an evolution

©️ Aakriti Kuntal

Goddess

Day 26 #napowrimo #prompt: repetition

Sound drops through the catalogue of fingers

The body is a mutant

in this black life,
awaiting a rise, a tilt, a drop

I stand at the shore,
the water circling my paddy feet

I am a porcupine shadow
in this holy dance of tides

I am a porcupine shadow
in this circling of fellow waves

This circling, this endless circling
like a river in madness
licking its own face off

I stand at the shore
under a black sky of spinning birds

only a patch of cold winter
trapped in the nights’ drooping jaw

I am the chatter of life’s teeth
Listening,

Listening,
Listening
I have been listening so long

Each drop of water
is disparate in my ear

I’ve been listening so long
my eye is a relentless shudder

I stand at the shore
and take the entire sea
in my mouth

I,
the woman

I,
the hiccuping child of the universe

wandering in eternal wastelands

I,
Goddess of river and blood

I,
Goddess of death and black sea

I,
Goddess, Goddess, Goddess
piece of flesh and eternal sea

©️ Aakriti Kuntal

November

#Day25 #napowrimo #prompt:season

Black sheets of sound
whistle in the cartilage
The breeze has invaded

the closed buttons,
the rattling drawers,
phantom eels in embroidered attires

I walk into
the pure black mouth of a particle,
not a single light in the sky

I heave and all body wishes to escape

The trees have begun to dream again
Spooling in intimate corridors
a bridge of cold laughter

The trees have begun to dream again
In total blackness they stand
like cold metals shivering in lust

The transmission lines are squealing
I close my eyes,
my hands arched like bangles in ellipses

The transmission lines are squealing,
and in darkness I become whole and blind,
suddenly aware,

levitating in air,
my arms bound to the howling wind,
blood vowels in the sky

We lick each other
between white floss,
my body shuddering like a piece of torn cloth,
Then close into our sculped veins
Like Keller across white frays

©️ Aakriti Kuntal

The Serpent

#Day23 #napowrimo #Prompt: #Animal

I.

Thrust
water springing
Slush white, white eye
Half-moon eye A burning galaxy
and the red dimness
hovering in the shadow of cup

A Premonition

A final leap
and then blood

The serpent rises like mud from the Earth’s lap

Abandoned by all,
it has not the face for love

It crawls the slippery soil, its sewn under-valleys,
the dense, secret holes in amber

The serpent,
hissing alone under the clear, blue sky

hissing, hissing, hissing,
an enormous restlessness,
an eternal restlessness biting its tongue

II.

The serpent became

when the earth fell
and the first star collapsed

brown, molten, striped
like the Earth’s mad forehead

Tears, streams, violent spurts
The serpent became

when the earth fell
rising like the mud’s only wail
filled with murder and rage
It rotates its only head

in eternal restlessness
Rising, hissing, rising,
traversing nights and days

with its limbs stripped,
its unusual body of slime

traversing the very boundaries of earth
in murderous thirst,
an orphaned star

©️ Aakriti Kuntal

Heralding

#napowrimo #Day22 #Ekphrasticpoem

I imagine the day I pick up the brush,
it would be a heralding, all time would fall
into my lap, and a body shall emerge
from the slate lake that I am

I have watched and I have waited
long afternoons, tracing the singular
arrow of light, its textures, its harmonious
thickness at the end of day, its long, long

yawns in afternoon, the doping shadows
leaning towards a something unfamiliar,
reaching out to their own death
I have watched the cracking of flowers

and the interstices of leaves for so long
they feel like a chopstick in my throat,
forever palpitating in a priemeval joy
When I take a walk in the morning,

when the soil is yet asleep in lustful longing,
I have seen the unreal beauty of flowers
There archimedean rhythms translated into
statues of cryogenic ukeleles

Each color so distinct from the other
Nothing in nature is uniform,
each leaf separate from the other,
each pigment a shade heavier

or lighter and when I stare, it all comes to me,
flooding my mouth, my hand, my lungs
and I can say that the day I pick up the brush
would be like a heralding, I will be translated

into light and shadow, form and figure,
the gentle stroke disappearing into its own appetite
and the vivid one like a fat stain on the thigh,
dripping from the ephemeral into eternity

©️ Aakriti Kuntal

How do I write a poem when I’m happy?

#day21 #napowrimo #surrealism

How do I write a poem when I’m happy?
When everything is carelessly forgotten
and the eye is merely dangling in the horizon,
a bead in a coma

Everything is always in a coma, a lie and a truth

I know that, I’ve felt the crunch of blood
spew into my neck and wire back through the
tubes, pantocid like a perfume burn in the armpit,
burying itself deeper and deeper

Until it reaches the unreachable,
the dead, barren eye of the raven,
the raven with its black gaze turned backwards into the rhythm of night, forever singing in its naked self,

away, away from both dark and light

How do I write a poem when I’m happy
and I know that this happiness will wear
off like makeup in sweat, that everything perspires
and that which is won’t and that which won’t will

How does a poem find itself in a joy
so ephemeral and transitory, it flees your lips
before you learn to pronounce while
pain rubs against the body like a rope in friction

hissing only to remind of its existence

How do I write a poem when I’m happy?
I shut my eyes and put the thermometer in the navel
Measure its nightly darkness, its seeping finger of light
I part in ten thousand ways and screech like the raven

Sing of snow and leaf, alone in orange skies

©️ Aakriti Kuntal

Beginning

#day20 #napowrimo

Should I ask you when it began?

When is that exact moment in the sky’s records?
That fat stick of time
with a bubblegum taped to its memory

when we first fell in love…

Was it then,
when your voice came seeping
through the telephone,
unusually common and I didn’t take notice

but it entered the ear hole
and started to build waves after waves?

You laugh and say perhaps it was
that first cloud, the one like a blue raisin in the sky,
when the wind was suffocating the side of my cheek

I tell you that it was my feet
when I put them against the car’s window
That’s how we charted our first course,

that’s where we began to hum like
a chirping bird in its scaffolded chest

But then we both nod
and we don’t need to say it
but we say it anyway

It was the lavender tree,
The one where we stood stunned
Beauty can do that,
demand that reverence

We sat there where an old couple
asked us to take pictures of them
and our insides flustered at the thought of pink love

It was then,
a black insect flew
and put its needle tooth in my finger
and you held my hand for the very first time

The same thing
happened this year,
on the very same date

I think of it as an auspicious thing now
This pain, this slice of pain,
a boomerang in the calf of thumb

This slice of pain is where it must have begun

Like all things of love,
with an ounce of blood and touch

©️ Aakriti Kuntal