Monthly Archives: July 2012

Na-Po-Wri-Mo-oh oh OH!

Alright, this is not the National Poetry Writing Month. That was back in April. But since I was indisposed back then (read: typhoid mistaken for malaria) and didn’t even know about NaPoWriMo, I am late on this bandwagon.

The idea is simple (although, très ambitious). Write a poem a day for an entire month.

HAH. Easier said than done.

Poetry is a tough cookie. It requires whittling down of superfluous bullshit till you have captured the core (the “essence,” so to speak) of what you are trying to convey. It requires soul. It requires commitment. It requires seriousness.

Of course, good writing requires that stuff too, but poetry demands you of it. Otherwise, all you are left with are nonsense verses like “roses are red/violets are blue/if you write like this/I will positively hate you”.

Which brings me back to NaPoWriMo.

The project, started by poet Maureen Thorson in 2003, posts daily poetry prompts on her website for poets to start writing. 30 days. 30 prompts. 30 poems. Or atleast, that’s the general idea.

I, by no means, consider myself a poet (please disregard all that I have published). Even though my first foray into writing at age 6 was through a simple chara (a Bengali haiku of sorts), poetry is still not my cup of tea. Sometimes, I don’t get it. Sometimes, my own stuff disappoints me. Sometimes, I just find the abstract metaphors slightly pretentious. Instead, I prefer the bluntness of fiction.

My sister says, I should abandon poetry as I can never “make money” out of it. But she isn’t a writer, and I have better things to worry about than to ask her to hold her tongue. Also, summer is almost over. And, I have nothing to show for it (an incomplete novel manuscript does not count; nor do the short story ideas I have yet to transform into stories). NaPoWriMo seems like just the sort of experiment I can use to motivate myself for the next month before I become an academic robot. I might abandon it two days into the foray. Or, I might keep at it and come out victorious.

Who knows what lies ahead?

I will not be posting my “results” on this blog. If, however, they were to get published at some point, I would make a note back to my NaPoWriMo efforts.

Here, I must thank poet Krishnakumar Sankaran, who has become an exacting (albeit what one might call “with gentle blows”) critic and a dear friend over the past three months since I have known the bugger, for introducing me to NaPoWriMo through his blog. He has also helped me in writing more than I normally would (more on this in a later post).

For those interested, here is an adapted list of prompts from Project_NaPoWriMo

Please note: I don’t plan to follow this list in the given order. I will go according to whim/fancy/mood, and cross the prompt off once I am done with it. But of course, no cheating. One prompt a day keeps your poetry book healthy, wealthy and wise.

For now, it’s time for Na-Po-Wri-Mo-oh oh OH!

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Attachment is Bondage. – Rumi

Art by Jacquie Boyd.

And, what a sweet, sweet bondage it is. I would be nothing without this bondage, this pain.

The same pain that drives the narrative of my novel. Not just words, or whole sentences, but pages of writing. Reams and reams of it. Yes, it’s the kind of bondage a writer dreams of.

The same pain that made me write a poem before I had typhoid last April (and nearly didn’t make it) and then revise it after I recovered. Sort of the “before” and “after” phenomenon.

The “before” version is a bunch of suppressed longing. “If you only knew” seems to rule. The “after” version is more about screw this suppression. Here is my heart. Bloody. Sinewy. Pulsating. Take it or ignore it till it stops beating, and turns black and blue with rigor mortis.

Now, I am not even sure if it’s the same poem anymore.

The “before” version titled, “Cannibal,” along with two other poems, is in Danse Macabre. Read them here.

The “after” version titled, “Cannibal 2,” is forthcoming in Subliminal Interiors next month. Watch this space.


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Ghazal of Desire

I told myself I won’t write a ghazal.

And then, I thought of you.

And then, I had to write.

My poem, “Ghazal of Desire,” is in Dr. Hurley’s Snake-Oil Cure. You can read it here.

P.S. This is my first poem that flirts with poetic structure.

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