share


Two Poems

JOY OF THE EYES

 

The future is not the beginning, but the forerunner, of a new intense-formation.

 

The first time that you see me, you will see me, without implication of time.

 

The future expresses what is going to take place at some time to come, adding on the one hand an implication of will or intention, on the other hand of promise or threatening.

 

If you, villain, had not stopped [prāgrahīṣyaḥ] my mouth,

Without any implication of time.

 

Circles of future and desiderative border one another; the one sometimes expected

where the other might be met.

 

I, conditional, want you to stop my mouth; will you stop.

My mouth encircles the sustain of these refusals:

Sometimes and unexpected, unreasonable and polite.

 

If you, beautiful, would perceive this new stress-formation,

Reducing the noise of our [śyas] tomorrow,

Heads shaved, future universe, ‘victorious banners unlowered’.

 

Discipline of desire begins in the mouth.

 

 

 

 

PENSIVE REFLECTION

 

Imagine a time in which you feel happy. In your happiness, you imagine another time in which you feel unhappy. You are in bed, your love is in your arms; the room is cold and it belongs to you.

 

This is the tower of the past. The battlements are formed of anthills, the anthills the curves of the goddess, the curves snakes agreeing sealing themselves away. Lookouts lie face down, mouths open to the earth, swallowing the matter of their warnings. Lookouts are snakes.

 

In your unhappiness, you imagine another time in which you feel happy. You are standing, you catch sight of your love across the room. One or both of you is wearing a uniform. The room is warm; it does not belong to you.

 

The tower is oversaturated and impossible to date. Lookouts’ mouths fill with earth, earth itching, itching converting warning to retch. Lookouts reduce the noise of their retching; snakes containing the warnings in the smoothed lines of their swallows.

 

This is how to conjugate the old future tense.

 

 


ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTOR

’s pamphlets Notes on Sanskrit (2015) and Correspondences (2016) are published by Oystercatcher Press. She is a member of the research group Race & Poetry & Poetics in the UK and a Teaching Fellow at Royal Holloway, University of London. Part of the poem sequence ‘States of the Body Produced by Love’ was first published in a free zine accompanying the reading series No Money (further information at https://n-o-m-o-ney.tumblr.com/).

READ NEXT

poetry

Issue No. 2

Letter to Jim Jarmusch [Broken Flowers]

Jon Thompson

poetry

Issue No. 2

What they’ll know of us in future years: the large interiors of our suburban homes were designed by others...

fiction

January 2015

Judge Sa’b

Uday Prakash

TR. Jason Grunebaum

fiction

January 2015

Nine years ago, after thirteen years of living in the Rohini neighbourhood of north Delhi, I moved, and came...

Art

May 2015

(E-E) Evgenij Kozlov

E-E

Art

May 2015

Madder than the World is a series by Russian artist (E-E) Evgenij Kozlov, who came to prominence as a founding member of the...