dystopias of light

March 20, 2015

I. I had to build a house for light, to accommodate it: windows there, a hearth here, lamps above. I built a house for light to haunt. II. Fair is lovely. Dark is a face upturned to the light becoming bowed. Fair is lovely. III. This is the way infidels are made. You didn’t look away, full of faith. The gods turned … Read More

Imagined Apology from my Father

March 6, 2015

Dream, love. I am a whittler in this life. We can live anywhere you want: a farm, the stable, a tiny house in a field of silence. The walls will be made of anything but organs. You will never see blood. Dream, love. There are no hospitals this time. Instead, it is your 16th birthday … Read More

It Gets Bitter, Poetry Review

February 20, 2015

Darkmatter’s It Gets Bitter is unlike any chapbook you’ve ever read. If you need dreamy, complicated imagery which leaves you feeling like you’re missing something in life you can’t even name, this isn’t the poetry collection for you. Darkmatter is the slam poetry duo, made up of Janani Balasubramanian and Alok Vaid-Menon, which takes down … Read More


My blood, persistent as sugar, the slow spill and collect of grains why my sister says all the mosquitos fill themselves at night. I wake to fresh funeral mounds on my legs my blood dandelions the city which is a field. I pick up all the pieces, trace the bloodline through teashop and darkroom come into the light fingerless, unsure of … Read More

Mayoori’s Song

February 6, 2015

You are so loved by the Universe. It couldn’t let you go. The earth, it quakes for you. Little tremors calling your name. You are so loved by the Universe. It breaks just for you. Tell it what you need. It will open its sacred plume — pick the colour of your dreams Find your joy, break yourself … Read More

Desi Queen

January 23, 2015

Damp dustin’ Dirty dish bustin’ Grocery listin’ Button fixin’ Biryani flexin’ Underarm waxin’ Children taxin’ Roti rollin’ Husband patrollin’ Dadi callin’ STOP WAIT. You’re late. Bleach yo face, Whiten to taste, Lengha press’d (Ghee-got-you-fat) So damn stress’d! Shower’d & dress’d Tummy surpress’d Now for blingin’ Jumka jinglin’ Panjangla tanglin’ Bangles banglin’ Kajal flickin’ Lipstick stickin’ Final touches, Hair brushes, Get … Read More


December 14, 2014

Diaspora is my home: I live inside of a quiet chakra of overlapping hues Whose color is only understood By being. Definition has edges and endings I know any one and anyone has open ends, Ends like knots in nets Stretching into seas- But I have felt the contours of my existence And found a center that … Read More

Green Card

Did you know green cards are actually green? The well-worn, multi-folded form that stuck Through the back of my mother’s wallet Like a red letter like a brand forever pressed To her throat pointing like A ‘here I am here I am’ neon sign, a giant arrow Above her head blinking the truth. Green-eyed, green-papered, monster … Read More

Mother Tongue

My hand is rolled tight, pressed cold on a glass of Irish whiskey. I have just compared Debussy to Coltrane and my Indian mother has left me four missed calls to apologise for immediately. The sun has sunk into a bed of darkness like a balloon releasing its breath, hoping the air will take back … Read More

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