mirror-image

zabicki_5

i treat white words and black smiles as one
when the moon looks like a lamp,
a river of despondent virtues
&potential sins,

i look like a mirror, an image of an image,
drinking from the same chalice
as a millennium of systemic subversion, my stigma
is attached to my body, and
i carry it around like a baby
in a cradle, like a queer impulse
of my hope, like open eyes that
do not shut in the dark, like my skin’s
craving and engravings on my skin.

i do not mix
love
(as reductive as it is)
with pity,
i do not change my face
as i once did, i pickle my smiles
and feed them to your glances,

i am an expression, not either, nor both,
but all at once, the first one twice, the second
in intervals of time (joined to my hip),

i am a hole to take you in, to engulf
and succumb to this impulse
to see death, in its non-binary
view — this itch to know,

and to know well,
that i am the one, who
i am, who i see,

without a mirror, without the sky,
not transparent, nor opaque,

but still visible in the shadow
of my own light.

.
© Anmol Arora

Image Source (Hand Mirror by Gwendolyn Zabicki)

For my prompt at dVerse Poetics this evening, where we are celebrating some amazing Black poets, as part of the Black History Month. I’ve tried to emulate Audre Lorde’s style in A Woman Speaks and used one of her lines (in italics) — “I do not mix/love with pity.”

body of lies

i don’t have a name to call my own,
the winds have taken my echo,
erased my impression on this sand,

i am reading through the leaves
of the nature’s manuscript, infusing
a blood of green & blue in my veins,

i lie down on the broken boundaries
of a globe, while plucking at my throat-
strings (coursing through the rivers,
plains, and mountains) in search
of a lost voice, that was never mine
to begin with, in this body of lies.

.
© Anmol Arora

For Weekend Mini-Challenge: Homographic Fun at WRT

on normalcy

who can verify the cost/revenue of this departure
from personhood?

i can see the light waves on the spectrum
of my performance — my silhouette & skin
are linked with an intransigent belief that
i am not alright or enough to be seen/heard.

the pain of birth leaves marks on my face,
small and insignificant, and still relevant
to my image seen in the deep recesses of
your unwavering eyes. i see how you see me —

an anomaly, an unnatural product of
your imagination,
an offensive form, a mouth drawn by
your discomfort.

i am paying my debt to this earth and its sentient
beings, by giving myself up and away, little by
little, piece by piece,

letting go of my (un)acknowledged/embellished/performed
body before it becomes dust & rain and fear & shame.

.
© Anmol Arora
Also read on self-sabotagingon panic, and on loneliness

Linking it up with The Tuesday Platform at With Real Toads, where Sanaa is hosting this week with an introduction to the poetics of Marilyn Hacker

resisting self-appropriation

larger

the demarcation of identities may become
concrete beyond any measure of trust,
suggesting a clear-cut boundary (line out of control)
set with laced edges for an open-field view of
all the action, where stars rupture, mind swells
and foot-long visiting lists and eager spectators
wait for an epiphany in their limited visage,
or form, or expression —

i could light my body, turn paper into a wildfire,
stone into an insolent air, and turn my named
references back to their semicircular beginning,
without the complexity of politics of my body
or desire, obstructing the moon to rise in its tiding,
leading to a vasectomy of all craft.

there are seeds that grow without the spurt,
some pollen have a similar quality of disdain
for birth,

and i know that i cannot open
the undisclosed aftermaths of attention
depleted into this sin, or the afterword of joy,
to become pen and ink and words.

i fuck up like a fucked up alarm clock
(going cuckoo has cuckooed and gone)
springing to its climax at inopportune
times, when even time cannot be shut-
off, visions silenced, and this extravagant
search for a home in the buried remains
of self-hood finally discarded off in
neural pathways and cardiac tunnels.

an individualized treachery is preferred
over  a displayed form of acceptance, with
its soft-toned and hard-knelling voice
that thinks that just the right tone would
change the facets left unexplored, deep
in the recesses, way away from light, because
that is all they are, in the eye of the storm
that won’t bring me down or go away on its own.

do not worry about me, do not worry
about my fiefdom of lust and loss,
or my faces split open one by one,
little by little, without hurt and pain,

as the death’s wagon parks at my retina,
harnessed by my sleepless eyes,
and i wake, and i wake, and i breathe,
galloping through, breaking away
from all the signs.

.

© Anmol Arora 2018

I wonder if the intersection of self-appropriation and poetry suggests a kind of depravity. Nonetheless, it is for me a kind of resistance to even consider the same — it is supposed by the experience of letting it be the subject as well as the object of observation. Perhaps “my act of understanding” is flawed but it is as honest as it could be in the current struggle. Is it failing the internalized resistance or is it resisting the resistance?!

For With Real Toads’ Weekend Challenge — quite a challenge indeed;
Linking it up with Poetry Pantry at PU as well.

Image source (id Painting 27, 2015 by Mark Wallinger)

At least, we have Chopin and Brigitte Engerer’s playing available online.

***
For contact, you can reach out to me through my multiple profiles, enlisted here.

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I exist in the voices,
in sounds-

gentle, ricocheting against
the loud bass in the background
and speaking in hushed tones
in corridors where the tiles
are no longer bleached white.

I exist in that TV volume, defined
by the bars that identify the
intensity of my intent,

exist in the grrr grr grinding
of thoughts into an unpalatable
mush, that I got served for
dinner,

I am defined by the water striking
the s(k)in(k) surface, I am that

you no longer pay attention to, Continue reading