Friday, August 21, 2015

Reena Prasad writes


The dough has started to swell
I eye it
helpless to stop its expansion
my cataract-clouded brain exhales
Carotene and chlorophyll rainbows
arc behind me
I feel them part the smoke
and blow softly through hazy lips

while steadily surging all around
trapping me within their persistent stalks
are mushrooms and broccoli heads
and the fat yam stem with its snake skin
The fish though dead
swim energetically in a sea that weaves its way
through me
hazing me
My island having floated away
while I swept, cleaned, chopped and fried
turning into something
more vegetable, more fish than them

They keep growing while I diminish
filling every space I had left untouched
twisting their stems, cut-hardened peels and
determined roots
all having drunk a potion
all but me
In this ballooning forest
my years have shrunk to frozen moments
jerking forward only when hissed at
I have shrunk steadily
my body, a vestigial apology
making aimless circles

Among these monsters
armed with forks and knives,
I am the only victim
My head lies on a clean cutting board
and a gross grinding stone
swings over me
my feeble protests drowned
by the clatter of steel spoons
rushing to scoop me up
as I am chewed
and regurgitated
onto my kitchen floor


  1. Emily Dickinson described her own death in a famous, startling poem.

    I heard a fly buzz when I died;
    The stillness round my form
    Was like the stillness in the air
    Between the heaves of storm.

    The eyes beside had wrung them dry,
    And breaths were gathering sure
    For that last onset, when the king
    Be witnessed in his power.

    I willed my keepsakes, signed away
    What portion of me I
    Could make assignable,--and then
    There interposed a fly,

    With blue, uncertain, stumbling buzz,
    Between the light and me;
    And then the windows failed, and then
    I could not see to see.

    Reena performs a similar autopsy, but from the point of view of a meal in preparation. It is very much like the situation described in the FRANK AND ERNEST comic strip, alluding to the graceful movie dancer Fred Astaire: "Sure he was great, but don't forget that Ginger Rogers did everything he did, ...backwards and in high heels."

    1. Truly honored to have my poem here and your comment on it. Thanks Duane!

  2. Reminded me of the late South African Artist Dumile Feni, also called as the Goya of Townships. The stark imagery is startling. Made me read the poem a number of times

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. Doc, honored! I read your piece on Dumile Feni in Thank you for the feedback.

  5. It was like I got hypnotised.. I could slowly feel everything happening to me.. Loved it.

  6. It was like I got hypnotised.. I could slowly feel everything happening to me.. Loved it.

  7. Your imagination is so very fertile Reena. No one can chop that up and you know it . Celebrate it :-)

    1. Thanks Nadira Cotticollan :) Words are a celebration, comments are the candles on the cake!


Join the conversation! What is your reaction to the post?