“Disbound” Is a Poetic Monument To Abandonment

May 3, 2024

The simplest understanding of “abandonment” stems from an idea of loss – something that was once connected to something else, is no longer connected. And regardless of what led to that disconnect, the loss inevitably hungers for balance.   In her debut book of poems Disbound, poet and translator Hajar Hussaini makes the valiant effort to … Read More

Poem: Nila Nila, Odi Va

February 20, 2024

நிலா நிலா ஓடிவா Nila Nila, Odi Va Moon Moon, come running. Exhaustion has no chance gnawing its body through rental doors. Amma belongs draped in sun that billows out a welcome mat, feeds a family of buds that speak only for her. In wild waves they all want but perfect the gift to give her … Read More

Poem: Hide and Seek

September 19, 2022

Birmingham, England – July 2021: My cousins and I ran Around the house Picking hiding spots. Why are you hiding? My grandfather asked Who are you hiding from? It’s a game We laughed as I Stuffed myself inside the bathroom Lights off, crouched behind the door. He nodded You can’t hide from God He nodded … Read More

The “Tirukkural” and the Wisdom of Ancient Uncles

February 4, 2022

On a small island off the southernmost tip of India, a statue of the poet known only as Tiruvalluvar stands staring out at the confluence of two seas and one ocean. The statue is 133 feet high, symbolic of the 133 chapters that make up the 2000-year-old Tirukkural, a meditation on ethics, government, and the … 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

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

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

Poem: Sajda

December 16, 2019

like bugleweed, my unshaven hair is sprawling into sajda after all these years, these legs i’m still hauling into sajda when i went down on you i accidentally muttered a prayer my back turned to stars still feels like i’m falling into sajda i’m sorry i keep entangling broken verses in your curls it’s just … Read More

Poem: Mutations

December 9, 2019

i have tried to catalogue my own mutation as my body peels gradually away from the place i come from. i cannot recognize this shape anymore, each time i walk on a straight edge it feels like a border, any line becomes a carving of land. i can’t think about the blue of water without … Read More