Vol IX Speakeasy

This volume’s poet is Rajesh Kumar Mishra.

Born in Patna in 1977, Rajesh Kumar Mishra studied English Literature in Patna and New Delhi. He works for the Indian Revenue Service and is currently posted in Gurgaon as Assistant Director, Income Tax (Investigation).

He has been writing poetry since the age of sixteen. “The Caged Black” is his first volume of poetry to be published.

who knocks, who knocks on the door?

who knocks, who knocks on the door?
no wind blows
no feet walk on the floor

no, not, nothing, none, neither, nor

who knocks, who knocks on the door?
is it Shakespeare from the grave digging buried bones,
or Rimbaud from a drunken boat coming back to the shore,
or dear old Nieztsche waking up from a Dionysiac stupor?
who knocks, who knocks on the door?

oh it is me, after all, foolish me,
I locked myself out
and now I knock on my own door.

the streets, markets flutter
radios, TVs buzz

and human beings
well, they tend to speak

in this rigmarole
no one’s ever with you
and you are never alone

the world keeps ringing
like an adman on the phone.

sliced lettuce and cabbage ideas
saucy tongues, vinegar expressions
of Warhol bodies and Valerie minds
clichés steaming like sizzlers

for you and for me

like a squeezed tomato
the pulp fiction of our pedestrian
lives spreads on the table

in these, our salad days,
bon appétit!

the cube

too thick
the air

difficult to breathe

in this cube
of sugar



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