Poetry

Ayesha Raees Explores Displacement Through Hybrid Art Forms

April 12, 2021

Born in Lahore, Pakistan, hybrid-artist Ayesha Raees spent her childhood moving frequently. As displacement became a facet of her identity, it also started showing up as a common theme in her creative work. In many poems, such as in “SI Unit,” she describes her impartial existence being displaced from childhood to womanhood: “I spent much … Read More

Two Poems

September 28, 2020

Love Letter to the Biryani at Wahid’s, or A Joyous Poem in the Center Sheets of stapled steel fashion a fast shelter for the city’s appetites. Hungry, hungered, & hungering, may all in one night in these dense tendrils be converged. From all its next-doors, more spills onto the ear than the eye can hold. … Read More

Good Boys by Megan Fernandes Breaks Open the Shoulds

August 6, 2020

As a book of poetry, Megan Fernandes’ Good Boys presents a prescriptive examination of the self. But as a body with life in it, it shatters what is known by intentionally moving through its own tempers. What does it mean to be good, and who assigns this meaning? In all its messiness, Good Boys lays … Read More

Poem: Krishnochura

April 1, 2020

The dull, heavy, clouds of smoke block my fleeting glimpse of the fallen krishnochura flowers. When I was five – a cowering bundle in the backseat of Babu’s stuttering motorbike – He taught me how to tie my helmet and how to differentiate a krishnochura from a radhachura. I barely knew how to separate the … Read More

Poem: Deconstruction

March 2, 2020

a conversation is two mouths made one by a knot of string, strung taut and fluoridated and hamstrung and tasting one singular voice. one mouth indentures of the other to concur with silence as an outturn pidgin emerges. its decreolization subverts the first’s imagery and dreams of deification. the sway of rasa is the theme … Read More

Adeeba Shahid Talukder Brings Urdu and Persian Verses out of Tradition

February 29, 2020

In a word, Adeeba Shahid Talukder’s Kundiman Poetry Prize-winning collection Shahr-e-jaanaan: The City of the Beloved is virtuosic. It sings, thrums with the force of centuries of Urdu and Persian verse. In doing so, it owns the strength of a woman’s voice. In the title poem, Talukder writes, “At December’s end Benazir died / in … Read More

Poem: Nani’s Letter

February 27, 2020

Granddaughter, When I was fourteen, I crossed fourteen rivers, walked to every village that fell under Big Mountain’s shadow, knocking on the door of every medicine woman that knew the mountain rock as her own altar—passing a message, trick of safety, ruse to rouge unmistakable into ordinariness.    They hid their medicine in the rocks of … Read More

Poem: Pushkar

February 14, 2020

She arcs an aural eclipse. Last night, the ashes swallowed us whole; a stream of rajgold bangles parting the brahma ghat, throat full of pink salt, ghazals spilling over the ornate moon’s boheme venture. I, milky meteors, trace your eye-lined courtyards slowly, ever so slowly. To remember the dead orphan who once named djinns after … Read More

2019 in Poems

December 18, 2019

As the year wraps up, I want to highlight five poems by South Asian poets I’ve loved and noted in 2019. I turn to these widely published, critically-acclaimed poets when I find my own budding poet-self stuck within the limitations of needing to write about South Asian identity. These five poems are pure and impassioned. … Read More

Next Posts »