Monday, April 11, 2016

Namrata Pathak- A Poem

Devi in a Metropolis - I

Devi splits open
a trail of bird-prints
in a textured Delhi
the night is stale like her mouth
ashen, cigarette-raw
sitting still
in graphics of de-growth
her parched skin
thirsty like the laburnum
eyes melt the thermodynamic quotient
in seeing the unseen
as sour stocks
the roots
of dwarfish bonsais.

chews the edge
of the iron bars
in white cross-cuts of the sun
fleshy and garrulous, leaf by leaf
the sun walks away.

In the Delhi sky
youths carve a catastrophe
out of clouds
alignments, light
rows of feathers
as Devi makes
out of rock-hued letters

Devi grows histories
in landscapes---
of scavenger birds, talons, beaks
leather-sheaths, scales
brown swords, two peering eyes
---till one day you misrepresent
you misrepresent
tweaking at the corner of her mouth
you misrepresent
every map on her body.

As she drowns her face
in a psychedelic adultery,
in vegetable dyes and
she sees all yet none
languidly, you let her absorb gods
in medicated quantities.

At once blind but all-seeing
she thrusts out her oblong body
in scavenger feats
Devi dismembers.

she is the curl of the skin
in a matrix
of ‘hide me’, ‘hide me’
she wears simmer on her ugly nose-ridge
yet she is seen.

In rickety fans
the stalks of fluorescent yellow
pound, gyrate
the summer on the back of the ceiling
Devi stokes the heat
kills it
in perforated sighs of lime water.

Sleep coils in a tapestry of nubile threads
as Devi picks
the starched mushroom-mouths
from the walls.

Her hands are pitcher-flowers in bloom
on the acrid floor
of your house
near that stiff barricade that expands
to hold the third-eye of Devi
the moon sits cross-legged
not moving an inch
her palms run down in cracks
marbles, leftovers
histories, rejection
days are no different
They walk on a tightrope
from this pole to that pole
sun-caked faces hanging on the dull porch
peck and fly
one after another
a vinegar-smell
becomes a shadow.

Her tongues blast
your red-bricked silence
into hair, bits
thin lines.

She sutures your language
in ten graveyard-nails
you lose your grammar
she loses a country.

Dr. Namrata Pathak
Assistant Professor
Dept. of English
Tura, Meghalaya.

Bio-Note: Her book, Trends in Contemporary Assamese Theatre (2015), maps the contours of experimental theatre in Assam and highlights the significance of dramatic representation, semiotics, visual culture and cross-disciplinary methodologies in the field of performance-making. Her writings are published in journals like Aneekant: A Journal of Polysemic Thought, DUJES, Muse India, North-East Review, Protocol, Ruminations, Negotiations etc. Currently she is working on NEHU, Women’s Writing series, Writing from the Periphery: Women's Writing in the North-East.)

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