“Chattel” and other poems by Kushal Poddar

Panther Unbound

My blind uncle asks if it is a fountain.
“Ah, a fountain!” he says.
“No, a dog licking!” I smile.
We both know we fool around a lot.

I turn the shower off and rub his back.

My mother broke my air-gun against my spine
when I failed to sum up success
with the correlatives given.
I walk with my eyes cast downwards
unless your eyes are shut blind.

I towel my uncle to sun.
“Tell me a story” he says, and I retort,
“So this one by Louis De Bernieres…”

We both know I lie.
I make this tale on my life as a panther unbound.


The Wise Rusts

Meanwhile in Texas,
a callidus gun takes us
to a street led hoodwinked
towards its end –
bricks over bricks, more bricks
opaque and thick.

They report – five demised
last night.
One rebirths as a shepherd,
one as a notorious skirt chaser,
one a sheep, one a chef.
One never returns.

A gun buried, rusts its way back
to the nidus, a reason still stuck
in its bullet-tiny hole boring for
an end of all rationale.

The shepherd is required to sing,
the beau needs to hum,
the sheep intones grass,
the chef croons a requiem.

The one not recurred holds the rust
to his heart. To oblivion.



Even your boy street sweeper who writes you by a pet name
on a secluded corner with his warm piss and, believe me,
love smells like an empty bladder
has no inkling why you appear no more in your corroded balcony,
cannot imagine you on the same plane with a melancholic eagle.

In the pane of an airplane
sun bursts, mushrooms, implodes in orange bloom clouds.

You fear for a moment-
You are a land and the man
who promised you steady earnings in the middle east
will colonize your territories soon.

Somewhere below and behind
the sweeper boy imagines you in a well-thumbed magazine
and then not there,
not in the things he can touch or experience.

Chattel was recently published at International Times

Nothing Political About This

While we cross the jungle moon rises-
our country’s election over,
the paths all swept for the mines.

Our car screeches to a sudden motionlessness.
in a limbo, time and space both shaping into
twin headlights’  lit cones.

Someone or some gang has laid
some enormous logs on the road
to block the veins and choke the hearts.

A rabbit leaps from existence
to nothingness. Our driver lights a joint.
We wait and wait. Nothing happens

as if we are a mistake; we are insignificant;
we are cursed to survive
while the violence licks the village past this darkness.

Chattel and other poems are © Kushal Poddar

Kushal Poddar edited the online magazine Words Surfacing. Authored, The Circus Came To My Island (Spare Change Press, Ohio), A Place For Your Ghost Animals (Ripple Effect Publishing, Colorado Springs), Understanding The Neighborhood (BRP, Australia), Scratches Within (Barbara Maat, Florida), Kleptomaniac’s Book of Unoriginal Poems (BRP, Australia) and Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems (Hawakal Publishers, India)

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