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Because this is a monsoon poem
expect to find the words jasmine,
palmyra, Kuruntokai, red; mangoes in reference to trees or breasts; paddy fields, peacocks, Kurinji flowers, flutes; lotus buds guarding love’s furtive routes.
Expect to hear a lot
about erotic consummation inferred by laburnum gyrations and bamboo syncopations. Listen to the racket of wide-mouthed frogs and bent-legged prawns going about their business of mating while rain falls and falls on tiled roofs and verandas,
Because such a big part of you seeks to understand
this kind of rain — so unlike your cold rain, austere rain, get-me-the-hell-out-of-here rain.
Rain that can’t fathom
how to liberate camphor from the vaults of the earth. Let me tell you how little is written of mud, how it sneaks up like a sleek-gilled vandal to catch hold of your ankles.
Or about the restorative
properties of mosquito blood, dappled and fried against the wires of a bug-zapping
So much of monsoon is to do
with being overcome — not from longing as you might think, but from the sky’s steady bludgeoning, until every leaf on every unremembered tree gleams
in the abyss of postcoital bliss.
Come. Now sip on your masala tea, put your lips to the sweet, spicy skinof it.
There’s more to see — notice
the dogs who’ve been fucking on the beach,
locked in embrace like an elongated Anubis,
the crabs scavenging the flesh of a dopey-eyed ponyfish, the entire delirious coast with its philtra of beach and saturnine clouds arched backwards in disbelief.
And the mayflies who swarm in November with all their ephemeral grandeur to die
in millions at the behest of light, the geckos stationed on living room walls, cramming fistfuls of wings in their maws.
Notice how hardly anyone mentions the word death, even though the fridge leaks and the sheets have been damp for weeks.
And in this helter-skelter multitude of gray-greenness, notice how even the rain begins to feel fatigued. The roads and sewers have nowhere to go, and like old-fashioned pursuers they wander and spill their babbling hearts to electrical poles and creatures with ears.
And what happens later, you might ask,
after we’ve moved to a place of shelter,
when the cracks in the earth have reappeared?
We dream of wet, of course, of being submerged in millet stalks, of webbed toes and stalled clocks and eels in the mouth of a heron.
We forget how unforgivably those old poems led us to believe that men were mountains,
that the beautiful could never remain heartbroken, that when the rains arrive we should be delighted to be taken in drowning, in devotion.
True, insightful, hypnotic,unabashed, unabridged, warm, enveloping and much more. Yours is one of the most cumulative poem I ever read. Very well done.
I love how you involve all the senses in setting the scene. You really make the scents and sounds, and the heavy wetness in the air come alive.