poetry as an insolent departure from conformity


when you are made to believe
that a tragedy is a tragedy when
it is driven by a populism-pill
or a mass media narrative,

do you raise your right eyebrow
for all those that are left behind?

when you write, remember the spirit
&gushing blood of struggle & revolution,
of the counted measures of oppressors
and patron saints of ‘civilization’.

when you write, remember that your
words reek of the same puncture-
flesh-wound, the same blottings
of history, that are left to obscure
bookmarks or a silent/distractive
nod with a thought that we have
progressed: “we have changed”.

when you write in the colonial tongue
of the superiority of your pain&despair,
take the language, nourish it, and
grow with it, a seeded&sprouted
rebellion, against its masters
of propriety and precipitous puerility —

be insolent, question everything,
be visible, valourize nothing,

use poetry as a tool of discounting
all that they say in rhetorics,
use poetry as the shrapnel death
that maims humanity every day.

use poetry as the breath of those
burrowing through the gutters
of your urban dismay,
use poetry to wreck like the rivers,
the oceans, the hills, the earth,
anguished by your society’s disrepair.

use poetry as a refrain, as a chant,
as a protest, as an active agent for change,
use poetry as a brandishing sword
that would mark the history with
its parallels, and cut open & devein
the sanitized versions and visions
of the hegemonic normals & neutral angels,

use poetry to fuck things up,
use poetry to fuck them up.

© Anmol Arora

Image source (Study of Perspective – Eiffel Tower. 1995–2003. Top right: Ai Weiwei. Study of Perspective – Mona Lisa. 1995–2003. Bottom left: Ai Weiwei. Study of Perspective – Tiananmen Square. 1995–2003. Bottom right: Ai Weiwei. Study of Perspective – White House. 1995–2003.)

Linking it up with The Tuesday Platform at WRT, where I am hosting this week and I have given an optional challenge (in consideration of the Poetry Month) to write a poem titled, “Poetry as…” while taking inspiration from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Poetry as Insurgent Art

Day 16
(Inter)National Poetry Month

resisting self-appropriation


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.

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