Hands-are-Shelves (iv)

The body hangs
above its organs
Like a crime

Time is a crime
as I pin the epidermis to the wall
ceiling’s round face
candles cutting clouds
I am walking
I am walking like a ghost moon
completing its rounds
Emerald green water
dragging its twenty-four feet
over bridges of faltering life

I am awake as I fall, fall over land, fall into seas,
Pregnant flakes of trimmed semesters
circumventing my ovary, ‘I’ have replicated in myself
My mango face like seasoned pickles
treating an aftermath in reverse

Fallen flesh, turning pale
blue seas above the fire extinguisher
cement factories in breast weight
Air killing planets
Ceilings dropping, lotus and onion
Blood hopelessly clings to itself in free fall
Blood escaping blood, body escaping body

Too many days make a calendar blind
and most anniversaries are of the dead
I carry the chewed edges of uneven days and rub a tongue over them
Count the years, anti-clockwise
in the second eye
Time is an altar
And my body hangs like a crime
Organ burning organ, blood escaping blood

Image and words © Aakriti Kuntal



Hands-are-Shelves ( iii )

Between pale finger skins, my arm hangs like a clause
single arm, cut, detached 
Outside the body, it roams 
A diffusion of light gone wrong

Fingers are not five, they are many
Proliferating lips like sickles on tips
prodding, taking, giving, holding, holding
Orange curls of seaweed and sunrise

I take a moment in time
Lock it under my thighs
Then I take another
straight to my crotch 
Then another into another, before and after
Sequences are mirage, the body roams outside of space,
always in touch, its tactile breasts 
are headlights twice 
       sequences are fractures scratching each other
The body has no numbers, only indentations 
each a strain of thawing blood

What do you offer but life to time? 
I sneeze. An arm falls. And then another.
I continue. I elongate severed. My time is vacant. 
Empty as the clawed eye socket.
Outside, rapidly blurring songs are turning purple on the membrane
of scorched windows.

And everywhere I look, only single colors flow.

Image and words 
© Aakriti Kuntal


Hands-are-Shelves  (  Picture Series ( ii ) )

Wrist by wrist
The blood sings
Talking of its lives
of its many births within
the arching sands of death's naked breaths
I hear the cackling
The blood gone dry
red chalk, red rocks in red teeth
Dropping, falling, free fall
You are Christmas
curtains and curtains of red
Sleek, silver rubbed on red, raw umber, burnt umber
I watch, 
your only spectator, your faithful companion
from the scales of ripped eyes
I watch your face, it's wry horizon
of white pus cells
I know the sound of the fall, it comes to me like sex
Like slow gradual hymns of pasted nights
on dragging windows and walls
Windmills in the mouth
shredding every hint of knowledge 
No language enters here, particles of air standing outside,
their red potato faces swollen in shame
I know as I am all red
A red song, that you once took in your arms mother,
Once you sang to me when the skies weren't poetry,
when the skies were just a faithful blue
Now they are scratched faces 
of too many
Too many wailing knives 

I watch,
my own faithful companion 
Stare at the redness of dimming lights
Planets around my waist 
What do you take from the grieving except the ability to grieve?

Image and Poem 
© Aakriti Kuntal


Hands-are-Shelves  ( Picture Series ( i ) )

These fingers are fishes in corpuscles 
cement deconstructed, compartments
Each: a fever, a cold death, a run, a fairytale, a dream

I am circles
of continuous defeat
Defeat gathers defeat, as dust does dust
Homes are constructed with uprooted flesh 
Lesions splattered, spread with wine
on dining tables, musky flavors of suspecting fatal air

I ask you to come
Point under point awaits, my cells have been evacuated
I risk color in your exposure, my skin surfacing into clots of lost red, scattered red, found red, seized red
Come make this land a swamp
Countless reflections 
Countless ripples
Surgery on the bone marrow
Trickling red days

Water, come
make death a garden
As I vacate 
Everything occupies what was once not its
The only vacuum 
is blood really
For it is filled with life
Life with its stomach slit
from the moment skin makes its first contact 
and the air burns
Her cotton shelf tired of collecting 
Relics of dead under the faces of undead

Image and Poem
© Aakriti Kuntal

Point Zero

I remember the gentle blues that lit the terrace. The staircase, rigid and sturdy, old and worn. The small pavement of cement inches away from the afterlife. Pigeons were my favorite people. I would watch them as if they wore all possible beauty on their agile necks. An absurd range of pigmented pink. Like the sky had detonated on them. With its vessels, stiffened blood, talking tongues, armies of flesh: all now swimming around the neck.

I would talk to them under the departure of language. A silhouette of conversation.What is behavior outside of society? How do you move, talk, lift, appear or disappear in a  universe without modals ( can, could, should, must )? What is a character when the mind is a landscape of symptoms?

Pain. Continuous waves of inexplicable grief. Grief like it has an existence outside of emotion. Grief as a palpable thing. Grief grazing over the skin. Grief cutting. Grief digging. Grief burying needles and nails and assortments and items that do not exist.

The body becomes a range of chemicals. Cattle running wild inside the crazy town.Shifting from arid yellows to flying golds then dimming blues and purple and lavender and rose and murder and lotus and murder on the lotus.

The body occasionally exhausts. So does the mind. Runs out of juice. In this ceaseless spinning chamber of silence, the pigeons trot. Beauty, alive. Meaning. Sense. Reality. Love. Overwhelming. Sheets and sheets of embroidered rhythm.Sewing the colors of daylight. Patching it all, momentarily. The sky expands. Parabolic canvas. A feverishly joyous blue. Sapphire.Proliferating. Burning. Aching. Caressing. Burning.

Proliferating. Burning. Aching. Caressing. Burning.

Music. Harmony. Silence.

The stirring center of entropy, of continuous ellipses, is a black hole.

Silent. Moist. Static. Point zero. Peace.

© Aakriti Kuntal


Prompt: A Beautiful Mind #napowrimo

Objective: To differentiate the real from 

the seemingly real

The axiom states that ‘ You cannot, never completely ‘

All understanding of truth

is but a construction

of like-minded beings,

with a set of senses, perception and thought processes

Step 1.

Make a dot. Replicate it. Grow it like gaseous stars in the womb.

Join them. Crosses, fires, and lights. A network. A mesh.

Build an image of life as it for others.

Sketch an amorphous floating sphere around it and

term it as ‘ normal ‘.

The ‘normal’ is your first definition of real.

Step 2.

A tether. Grow a wire. Straight from the pulmonary matrix.

Let it waver. It is a stem. A sapling. It has its own motion.

Do not take control. Let it be.

Let it attach. To the closest manifestation of love around you.

A form, a person, a language, a color, a feeling. Make it stay.

Caution: Feelings can be faulty. They do not differentiate between cinema and life. They pretty much do not care.

Step 3.

Count the hooded figures. Their enormous voices. The galloping stride of panic in your chest. Take a needle and start sewing around it. It’s a futile movement. Do it anyway.

Revisit the numerous places of death.

Of agonizing two-headed conversations. Of liver green gardens swathed in red. Remember. Count. Notice. Detect. Make a list.

There is a common ground to each. Find the plot hole. Bleed into it. Make it yours. This is the list. 

The symptoms of illness. Of the attack.

Make it your armor. Know when it arrives. Greet it like a passer-by, it’s not an enemy. Do not mistake it for a friend either.

Step 4.

Pain. Pain is inevitable. Learn to ignore it. Pain is also a construction of the mind. Distract yourself.

Step 5.

Beauty. Beauty is unafraid. She doesn’t fail to penetrate the thick membrane of your flesh even in defeat. 

The trees will occasionally stir like music and the starry night shall curl inside your lashes. The wind will blow straight into your mouth and build conical streams of oceans and seas.

Beauty is your pillow. Fall asleep on it. Never wake up.

Step 6.

Love. It is not a real word. A real word has a definition. (Funny that I should use the word ‘ real ’ here.) Love is a plane. Multiple planes, volume. Love is unguided. Floating. It is not a feeling. Nor a sensation. It is not a person or a face.

It is a current. It is the strongest within. Let it course through.

Offer it. Exchange it. Receive it. From the thin air. Like birds into your cave of arms. Make a nest for yourself. As long as you can return here you will never truly be lost.

And you will be able to find a definition of ‘ real ’ for yourself.

An unreal but fitting definition. A personal definition. 

Keep it safe.

Step 7.

It varies for every individual. Feel free to ignore all of the above.

Image and prose © Aakriti Kuntal


These alphabets they cringe, cling and wander

Amidst clouds of circles, in the lining of all light

where the water waits and the mother awakens

These words that arrive in formations

Of distilled solitude      Shared solitude       Collectiveness

Celebrations        Points of poetry           Points of war

Points of indulgence       of conveyance      of transaction

These words that people think that they take and bring

to existence           Plants in cold rain              Talking Too much

never enough         These words they think    are tools

that carve          that emboss          that shake

These words have never been strangers, somehow

But I don’t claim to take them in these soiled arms    Ever

I’m not that alive              Nor are they who claim, only mistaken

Language has always been an invention of itself

A higher consciousness               Above the slithering, along the

periphery of breaths

Image source: British Library    Prose and Editing: Aakriti Kuntal

The Motionless Tyger

( A tribute to William Blake ) #napowrimo

Tyger, Tyger that once burned bright
Your feral prints echo in this summer light
Once written in a child’s notebook
Now you are striped, a motionless clock
singing beneath a motionless sky

You pranced and prowled over soils of the South
took the hum of nights into your mouth
I told you mine and you told me yours
now we stir like needles, solitude of hours
curling inside the dreamless eye

They gave and took, a shadow and some light
murder, murder, the forest is piled, sheets of plight
They sin and sin, burning, burning
language and winds, burning, burning
like a blinking eye inside the ring, we draw ire
and fall silent as the night 

© Aakriti Kuntal
Image source: Flicker Edits: AK

Four Days Left to Submit Your Writing to the March Madness Divergent Literature Contest! Submission Deadline: April 15, 2017

Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and Secret First Draft are sponsoring a joint Divergent Literature Contest to find new writers for the Collective.

Writing Prompt: March Madness

The prompt can be interpreted any way you like!

Unpublished/Original work ONLY

Each entry should be more than 50 words but less than 500

Each writer may submit 1 to 3 (maximum) pieces of writing for consideration

Last Day for Submissions: 4/15/2017

1st Place Winner will be granted membership in the Sudden Denouement Literary Collective

2nd, 3rd and 4th Place Runners-ups will be granted membership in the Secret First Draft Collective.

Send your submissions with your name, your pen name (if applicable), the address for your blog and a short biography (1 to 3 sentences to):

The Sudden Denouement Literary Collective and its sister sites Secret First Draft and The Whisper and The Roar are forums for divergent literature that we hope…

View original post 39 more words

The Hidden Muse

Poets take their pen in the mouth and thread a map
a map on the saline stomach
of the muse, pour in some cerulean ink,
inhale the movements of the iris, 
as it absorbs, hesitates, gleams

Words are sworn, of its curtailed grace,
of its fluid tenderness and how it scorches the flesh

I am a poetess. Looking for a muse, this perfection of a woman
I ain’t compelled by the thrill of this curving fountain 

Henceforth, I hunt.
I transform into a poetic weapon and start to shoot
at the mirror, scales of silver, BAng
Drag my bleeding finger along
the blooming tip of the nose, the murdered landscape beneath,
pink rivulets of colored light, beads and shrapnels,
lend them a flavor, a heightened hue of ardor

Soak my body in the language of tongue,
gluey, lipid screams
screams like hurricanes, hurricanes of pleasure
of devotion, of curses

I take the final strand of humid bones
lurching through the crackling air
and swallow it, gasp, gasp

‘ Where’s my muse ? ’ I say
to the sinking room, the staircase crawling through my hair
Look down at my body and detonate a song
the muse is a wound, large and red 
my muse is a red song, a drifting red blob of quarks and uncertain 

#napowrimo Picture Prompt
© Aakriti Kuntal


I see a picture 
Pink Kolhapuri sandals        curved bodies with metallic pink
stones   Dome    tinted umbrella       pink lampshade

My head rotates   eyes devolve   sugarcane juice, its syrupy goodness 
in my airy cell bags       as we chase the thela

        Parrot green gowns hang above
 Curry in a bluish sun bowl      Tall brine structures with bark
       bodies and strengthened curves
       I climb one           opera star, singing 
to the fluttering flesh of afternoon air

The grass below is a warm lit cavern      Yellowish green soaps
Tulips staring at my face 
           Their finicky bodies gracefully parting
against adrift pollen webs

Everything     swimming    Black fishes  pointed noses
Hoses flooding      Trapeze of pink blur     Afternoon red
candy floss     Stretching and departing 
Tension in my salted fingers 

Absoluteness of fading 
orbits the surface of memories 

As they converge again    into a ladder and climb down my neck
Points of poignancy    stranded pins

My stomach     a groaning valley
thirsty    clawing    Hopping from one deceased plane to another

My body    a blue absorbent     strangulating the curtain song
Bony air   Fibroid dust pyramids   my arms and knees   
bunched into a sack

Grains of calcified grief     
Stung chest

hands rummaging     Helplessness 

An entire existence curled into a comma     Nothing proceeds

         Incarcerated homes    Felt and murdered
Dying    unreeling      lost behind wrappers 
Hurting like a windpipe    timeless longing

Everything in these arms is molten

Poem © Aakriti Kuntal



These faces are dabbed with cotton melodies
A quiet banshee stirs, her fluttering lunar gown 
sweeping stars, a hose inundating burnt lungs

I am clockwork, spindles and needles, 
against an atmosphere of blooming black, 
My stomach, rigid thistle , begins to part near the right quarter, 
slowly undraped,
layers of skin are layers of dust, 
they have never been otherwise except in the eye, 
the eye of this fool

I stand like justice, blemished
my soft arms are weighing scales, a moth in the left, 
a moth in the right
Moth, green, orgasmic fields swaying in mustard warmth, 
incantations of breath
Moth, red, tickling, spoons of liquid blood levitating, 
shaved twisted jaws

I scratch the language on my volatile croissant chest, 
tongues like ribbons hurrying in the directions that escape this 
world into iota, all perceivable realms like a swiveling staircase 
in these sedimented bones

I swing, blinded, suffocated, an ambushed pendulum,
 life and death resembling each other, life and death
like siblings now, 
husk and colossal heat, thermodynamic eulogies

I am a swing, hush now, listen to the motions of energy, 
stand in complete rapture, 
these bars of time are now arrows in my mouth, 
that fell too early, 
listen now       as the caged bird comes out
her song         a wallowing question mark

Image and Poem © Aakriti Kuntal
#napowrimo Prompt: Caged Bird - Maya Angelou