Thursday, September 3, 2015

Reena Prasad writes

Fall Scenarios

(1)The balconies

Children barely two years old

fall all the time and are never blamed

nor forgotten  

So do young wives with new babies but they leave  

clutching a tag of deliberate cruelty 

(as if a tiny baby can defeat  

mites of lovelessness crawling through blood streams)

'bachelors' earning loneliness

and far too little money fall on their loved ones  

from unfinished buildings

Their families fall in tandem 

Anyone can

on a convenient day,


if pushed

which is why we have balconies

(2)Possibilities on a cloud-less day

I fall from the balcony

on to the roof of the parking lot

A pigeon cloud rises

I fall onto the balcony of the man

who rings his wife daily and throws glowing stubs

into the darkness; his phone bills shatter the night

I fall on the old, green Pilot

abandoned in the no-parking lot

our bodies create art in public  

Dust on dust we lie

I fall on the quiet road, halting a few footsteps

bones race out of skin 

energy dissipates, ether waits 

I fall on the clean grounds of the big white mosque

Waiting footwear scatters 

The crowd inside prays unanimously for a way to heaven 

I get there first


  1. One would think that a suicide poem would have to be morbid, not wickedly funny like this one. For example, "Richard Cory" by Edwin Arlington Robinson:

    Whenever Richard Cory went down town,
    We people on the pavement looked at him:
    He was a gentleman from sole to crown,
    Clean favored, and imperially slim.

    And he was always quietly arrayed,
    And he was always human when he talked;
    But still he fluttered pulses when he said,
    'Good-morning,' and he glittered when he walked.

    And he was rich - yes, richer than a king -
    And admirably schooled in every grace:
    In fine, we thought that he was everything
    To make us wish that we were in his place.

    So on we worked, and waited for the light,
    And went without the meat, and cursed the bread;
    And Richard Cory, one calm summer night,
    Went home and put a bullet through his head.

    But, perhaps because the subject matter is so grim, a lot of poets find a bit of fun in the theme. "A Ballade Of Suicide" G. K. Chesterton:

    The gallows in my garden, people say,
    Is new and neat and adequately tall;
    I tie the noose on in a knowing way
    As one that knots his necktie for a ball;
    But just as all the neighbours--on the wall--
    Are drawing a long breath to shout "Hurray!"
    The strangest whim has seized me. . . . After all
    I think I will not hang myself to-day.

    To-morrow is the time I get my pay--
    My uncle's sword is hanging in the hall--
    I see a little cloud all pink and grey--
    Perhaps the rector's mother will not call-- I fancy that I heard from Mr. Gall
    That mushrooms could be cooked another way--
    I never read the works of Juvenal--
    I think I will not hang myself to-day.

    The world will have another washing-day;
    The decadents decay; the pedants pall;
    And H.G. Wells has found that children play,
    And Bernard Shaw discovered that they squall,
    Rationalists are growing rational--
    And through thick woods one finds a stream astray
    So secret that the very sky seems small--
    I think I will not hang myself to-day.


    Prince, I can hear the trumpet of Germinal,
    The tumbrils toiling up the terrible way;
    Even to-day your royal head may fall,
    I think I will not hang myself to-day.

  2. Haha.. loved them both Duane! Who ever decreed that death has to be solemn? To die laughing is to have died well. Thank you!


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