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Rochelle Potkar

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Rochelle Potkar

Photo by Thomas Langdon

Stream your fingers
through the flames
of a mid-morning dream
and see how broken glass, broken bone
make perfect symphony.
Many walks over many a earth
were made to reach this place -
many journeys
Dull, aching pieces of a tornado
have come together over the measly
allowances of this heart.
When you ache for something deeply
you break,
shuddering in the slipstream
of a very cold laugh.
The thing they call love
is so warm and liberating,
yet so caging
that slivers of our razor thin selves
gather over an offspring of feelings.
Light over sea, beach light, window light, moonlight,
jaguar-eyed moments,
cloud-bitten biscuit suns,
large white bed sheets…
What all can I remember
as it slips over the frames of my window-mind?
You see me in color.
I see you in light.
In varying sheerness
the ones that shone
from your half-moon eyes,
boat smiles, as you took me
afloat carnage dreams.
Your wet clay lips
in the potter’s wheel of mine.
Your chest making ocean currents,
your manhood eking vinegar.
How did we shape these days
into bottle mangoes, tailorbird nests,
rims of interwoven husk, grains for the future?
You write on me
and are overwritten in turn a thousand times.
If it weren't for this…
time wouldn't be seen. 
Light defines darkness.
I swirl like a sugar cube
bit by bit,
afloat on this height.
On a laser pinpoint far below
is our favorite sleepless street
of kebab meat.                                      
Rodents, cats, crab emerge,
instilling time
in the amoeba shapes of their walks.
Black night, black white, black time
moments stop and stare at us.
How can we forget any thing
when memory keeps a chronicle of us?
Go slow. Never rush. The kid who ran blindly hit her head on a wall.
The heart is delicate. An instrument of pleasure not pressure.
The train that was unstoppable killed all. Love is slow - a poppy seed,
flowering psychedelic in the head. It diminishes equally slow.
In a breakup, cross the choppy river of night like an island,
emerging to a gift of populous lonesomeness.
Water will clothe, cloak. It can take a day or a night.
Lying low, even the land of emptiness
will soon submerge to find new sea,
another legend, a new forgotten city
of hope, new love.
Don’t love a man more than he knows what to do with it
Like chocolate over a child’s face
or a small body in a large shirt,
he will look through excesses and abuse it.
Love him a little less
So he comes, wagging his desires
With the excess you have, love another kind
      -    two dogs with the love for one.

A heart break blanks the eye, empties the soul,
ruins the temperament, swallows the countenance
in swollen eyes.
To extinguish a life growing inside you with demonic strides
cut the creeper with comfort food and a new hobby idea
The host is then scarred with powerful distractions
to lead to its own demise.
When you have to go back to life after heartbreak
pick up the threads that were once yours
minus the other person’s.
You have to remember who you were,
and find her.
Even if she has moved from her home, and changed identity
with time, carriage, and carnage
you have to find that new person
just like someone who returns from a jail sentence
or long illness
searching for her old life
only to find a new one.
Never trust a person whose life is flamboyant and spoilt for choice
Or someone who cannot bear the burden of his virtue or beauty.
His attention will be divided, so will be his heart.
In greed for the mileage it all requires.
The mathematics of love
Is how much time you take to find another lover
A substitute who becomes the principle,
where all affection can be re-directed.
That is until you call the new lover by the old lover’s name.
Then you know that time moves differently between body and mind.
The body can forget the touch of a lover with a new one.
But the mind takes her time.
Dreams and fantasies have memory too.
Just like your body and yoni for deeper orgasms.
Other body parts have different memory clocks.
They all take different time to forget:
the neck, the nape, the lips, the navel,
the clitoris, the nipples.
We have so many time zones over our body
that we are continents.
Not synchronized – as much as we’d hope –
like China with one official language.
Life is not what you will say you will do
But what you really, really do
The deeper you go into love
Stronger the light will fade.
Deeper the dark will get
Murkier will be its shades.
When you have to retrace your steps outside this labyrinth,
bread crumbs won’t work.
They will be eaten by parasites of self-pity.
You will have to find another route
before this burrow comes crumbling over you,
becoming your grave, your coffin.
How will you give back? How will you get back?
How will you handle it? Will you retaliate?
Try to forget?
Get cathartic?
What will be your coping mechanism?
Will you eat, overeat?
Drink, overdrink?
Talk, overtalk?
Sleep, oversleep?
Walk, overwalk?
Weep, overweep?
Will you stay put under the roof of your known soul
And play with rain by jutting out just a finger first out of a sill?
Will you make plans to hit back by giving into emotion?
That depends on whether you are hurt,
or pained,
or just lonely.
The catalogue of solutions is thus:
for hurt, you need a quilt and cotton
for anger, a rose or rice thorn.
For pain, the pleasure of smooth wine.
if disillusioned, the need to sow an impossible dream.
if bereft, the company of a few friends.
If alone, a candle made from the wick of the night.
When your love is up there on a pedestal
each whip, each whimper
each shudder of his is
on immediate reckoning.
Magnified moles into mountains,
a strand of jungles,
palm lines for the maps of entire continents.
A grain becomes a boulder,
A sugar crystal, a diamond.
Anything he says you’d worship
Spoken a thousand times in echoes of remembrance.
But now that you have de-pedestaled him
Now that you have chosen a totem pole to get through and down
with your love
all you have to do is demystify,
minify him,
reversing all that grandeur
bringing him to real size,
or maybe even a size smaller.
But without a word of hate
     -     For that will reflect your upbringing and immaturity,
     -     …the way you look at yourself

Record him as history, as experience.
For posterity
In love we often swing in extremes.
Balancing is only for the un-desirous Bodhisattva.


Feature–Contemporary Indian English Poetry

    Editorial: GJV Prasad

    Abhay K
    Aishwarya Iyer
    Akhil Katyal
    Amlanjyoti Goswami
    Ananya S Guha
    Arup K Chatterjee
    CS Bhagya
    Debasish Lahiri
    Devdan Chaudhuri
    Dhananjay Singh
    Gertrude Lamare
    Goirick Brahmachari
    Joie Bose
    Maaz bin Bilal
    Malsawmi Jacob
    Meera Sagar
    Nabina Das
    Nitoo Das
    Priya Sarukkai-Chabria
    Rajesh Kumar
    Ranu Uniyal
    rizio yohannan raj
    Rochelle Potkar
    Saima Afreen
    Sanjeev Sethi
    Semeen Ali
    Shelly Bhoil
    Smeetha Bhoumik
    Srilata K
    Sudeep Sen
    Sukrita Paul Kumar
    Sumana Roy
    Tabish Khair
    Taseer Gujral
    Uddipana Goswami
    Usha Akella
    Uttaran Das Gupta
    Vivek Narayanan
    Linda Ashok

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