Sep 2016 · 498
Luna
kuzhur wilson Sep 2016

one morning
Sunilettan came
with a puppy.

i was writing a grand thesis on the orphaned existence of discarded people.

when the tether was removed
i gave her a dry fish.
did not eat it.
gave a fulsome bone.
did not touch it.
gave the milk from the ad.
did not even regard it.
kissed her.
did not show any reaction.

because she came on a monday
i named her luna.

whenever i called her
she wagged her tail.
wagged her ears.
luna luna luna
i whispered thrice
in her ears.

like the golden peaks
of mookaambika,
he sharpened his ears.
me and he did not play
any game.
before we could,
she came under the wheels
of a vehicle.
without autopsy
without a second look at the body
i buried him
under the hibiscus tree
with many blooms
falling to the ground.

two of the flowers
went to a  karnataka guy’s
father’s death rites.
some turned into hibiscus juice.
some were visited by butterflies.

frequently,
the earth where luna was buried
forgot her.
me too.

another noon,
a german dog named adi
was found playing a game
of placing fish bones
on luna’s tomb.

no dog will
cease to play
till the question hung in the air
“my little sister, you have forgotten me?”*


Kuzhur Wilson
Translated by Ra Sh



(( To S. Sithara who memorised  Khasakkinte  Ithihaasam (The Saga of Khasak) when she was still a kid)

*This is an original
reference from the novel ` The Saga of Khasak’ by O.V.Vijayan, translated by the author.
Aug 2016 · 717
letters to violet - 27
kuzhur wilson Aug 2016

Looking through the window
There
A maadatha
A kulakozhi

You narrate

The maadatha
Trails
In the silhouette of
The kulakozhi

The kulakozhi is swift
The maadatha callow
Unable to reach
Anywhere near

The kulakozhi flees
Abandoning
The maadatha

Poor maadatha
You narrate.
How unkind
Can a kulakozhi get?

Tell tales
And then
I saw the picture
In the window square

In my picture
It was the maadatha
Who flew away

Must have had
Enormous wings!

The guileless Kulakozhi

There it is
Hiding behind that wild bush
Terrified

You,
Beside the window
Me,
Behind the bush here

Janus faced
Anguish
With wings
And without.


Translation :  Shyma . P

Aug 2016 · 660
Letters to violet - 26
kuzhur wilson Aug 2016

Dear source of my happiness

When I write to you
I forget words
I forget
I am a poet
Once again

Like a farmer
Who wishes to plough
The whole land
But doesn’t
Even an acre
Who doesn’t finish
Sowing seeds
Even in a cent
Like the many seeds
That don’t sprout

Dear source of my happiness

When I write to you
I fail
More miserably
Than that farmer

Dear source of my happiness

When I write to you
I require
The ink of a thousand seas
But my seeds of blue
Fall astray
Unsow-able
Even in a single page

How many of them will sprout

See
Even my greeting
In this poem
“The source of my happiness”
Is stolen
From
My prayers in childhood
To the Holy mother

Dear source of my happiness

When I write to you
Dear source of my sorrow.


Translation :  Shyma . P

Jul 2016 · 985
Letters to violet- 25
kuzhur wilson Jul 2016

The past
Arrives with the fragrance of leaves
The previous life
And
The lives before
I’ve maintained personal relationships
With trees

A tree
Had a hollow
And in the hollow
Was a bird
Who had
A boy friend

I remember
Feeding them
Wheat grains
Once

Why say this now
You wonder?
Had wanted to tell this
To you
All along
But, forgot

A bird
Was squawking endlessly
From a nearby tree
When you had called me
For the first time
Remember?

It was the same bird
Which died
Even after
I fed it
Wheat grains

All my previous lives
I had inquired to the leaves
A thousand times
About that lone bird

Will say tomorrow
Will say tomorrow
The birds
Teased me
Everyday

I was distressed
By that bird’s cries
That had interrupted
Your talk.

Had forgotten
To share that then.

Translation :  Shyma . P

May 2016 · 968
Letters to violet - 24
kuzhur wilson May 2016

You were talking
About a girl
She laughed
Clinking like anklets
At times
Grew dull
Like an overcast sky
Other times

I strained my ears
To stencil her in me
When a solitary pigeon coos
From the office wall

Am out in the sun
Listening to you
And through you
Her.
At times
You become her
And she, you
There is a you
Who laughs like glass bangles
There is a you
Who is silent
Like a broken bangle
Myriad yous.

We become alone
When we love

I have stood

The sun
Rains
Nights
Deserts
Abandonment s
Forests
Seas
Conduits.

Alone
Alone

I can see that girl
That tree shade
Her solitary sobs
That embankment
Her solo conversations
That desolate stone
Her lonely laughter

What is more agonizing
On this earth
Than to be in love.



Translation :  Shyma P

Apr 2016 · 787
Letters to violet - 23
kuzhur wilson Apr 2016

Danced yesterday
After a long time

Began  
From the toes
Of an Adiyathi  
All of a sudden
Your toes
Materialized
In front of me

Your toes
That I wet
With
My saliva

My mind dances
Hands and legs
Join eventually

By and by
Ecstasy
Escalates  

Goes berserk  
With fits of frenzy

Feet
Are driven to dance
On the floor

On a leg
On a toe
That utmost moment
Thought about you
That toe
Your toe
Appeared before me

True
That I danced
On your toes yesterday

Today my body aches

I want to feed on your toes
And fall asleep


Translation  : Shyma P

Apr 2016 · 564
Letters To Violet / 22 /
kuzhur wilson Apr 2016

Was driving
To shivaraathri manappuram [1]
With idichakkas [2]
To meet you
One day.

Enroute
To a vow made one life
The two chakka dumpkins
Their smug demeanor
Drove me to chuckles.
Like guys  
On a global tour  
They  
Waved buddies bubye
Babbled on
To the jackfruit trees
On the boulevard
Singing “salaama salaama…”
The jackfruit rap
Boisterously.
I was beside myself
With laughter.
The exertion
Exhausted my cheeks
I stopped near a shop
For a cigarette
Saw there,
Two packets
Of fried chakka chips
Among other snacks.
My chakka dumpkins
For you
Overwhelmed them
They broke into tears
They recalled
Their haughty ride
In a car once
Singing salama
A festering past
That throbbed with
The agony  
Of getting torn to shreds
Of getting fried crisp
In boiling oil.
The chakka dumpkins
Were dumbstruck
They stopped singing
And began to cry
Looking upon their sisters
Sister, you have forgotten me!
An utterance from Khasak
Muffled the scene.
Sad at their plight
I held them close
My chakka dumpkins
For you
Forget it honey
Forget it dear
I patted them
Trying to stop their tears.
The chakka fries
And my darlings
Continued weeping
And wailing.
I smoked a cigarette
Went to them
And whispered in their ears
That I am consigning them
To you.
They laughed innocently
Showing their gums
They bid adieu to
The sisters
Promising
They would meet next life
I felt like
Laughing
And crying.
Laughing
And crying
I sang

Salama, salama
Salama….


Translation  : Shyma P

[1] The sandy landscape in Aluva, whre Sivarathri is popularly celebrated at the Siva temple on the banks of Periyar River and this place is called the Aluva Manal Puram (land with sand)

[2] Unripe jackfruit used to make Kerala cuisines.
Mar 2016 · 652
A 22 ct poem on gold
kuzhur wilson Mar 2016

Dear gold

In the body of a woman
you attain elegance
lying chained to the hip
fatigue like

Endless are the times
when earlobes and foot
seduced me without you

Mere threads of yellow
will do better than you

There's a cuteness
seeing you
swing from a single ear

Nose studs, with a stare
have stung me sleepless.
The ones made of rolled
gold too

But, dear gold
You become gold
when you are pawned

Like the revolutionary
who becomes more revolutionary
when hanged

Like the soldier
who gets shot and becomes
a soldier even more

Dear gold in the pawn shop
My gold, dear gold


Translated by Binu Karunakaran

Mar 2016 · 655
Know me not
kuzhur wilson Mar 2016

He doesn't know me
Neither do I know him

There's a lake between us
Full of fish

The fish does not belong to him
Neither are they mine

That these fishes belong
to neither him nor me
is a link that connects us

A sky lies fallen in the lake
and through the slopes
of cloud I see
the fishes slink away.
The clouds fallen, still
show movement when nudged
by the fish

Could there be fish
unafraid of birds? Look
at that sky in the lake

Would he be seeing this,
I began to think
and whether he will read my thoughts
I could not imagine
what he saw in the lake, and
there was not enough time

Let him think whatever he likes

There's a cigarette in his hand
The fact that there's one in mine
is another link that connects us

I think the smoke from my cigarette
and the clouds are friends
That's why I mourn the clouds
floating bloated in the lake.

Reading the face you know
His thoughts are unlike
There's no sadness in him

He might be smoking
out of boredom

He's darker than me
That too is a link, but
he doesn't know that I'm white
and that my blackness is an act

He too might have been white
and would have gathered soot
after being left by a mother
who lost all his memories

Can't be, he's black

The lake of clouds
where sky lies fallen
My curls of smoke
in the company of clouds

A me, unblack

Translated by Binu Karunakaran

Mar 2016 · 346
Critique
kuzhur wilson Mar 2016

With a touch of spit
was read the written in blood

The writings of hunger
were puked unread

Those of tears
vanished before being read.



Translated by Binu Karunakaran

kuzhur wilson Mar 2016

Since I have no other way
And am in utmost need,
Painter girl,
I filch one of the eight lambs
You have made plump with
Green jack fruit leaves and
Thin gruel with paddy bran.

I will take it to the goat market
And sell it in a jiffy.

I assure you
I will not sell it
To any butcher-
The lamb you made chubby
With sweet sweet words
And much much petting
And nice lilting croons,
Mixing and mixing
Greens with browns.

Don’t be sad, painter girl.
I hear you come running
Searching for your lamb and
Cry out “O my dearest one
Who went grazing in the green fields,”
As the sun in your canvas
Sets in the sea and
The saffron blends with the dusk.
And, see your tears mingle
With the black that you wanted
To adorn the brow of
The naughtiest of them.

Painter girl,
It’s all because I have no other go
And it’s of utmost need.
I could have broken into the
Two-storeyed house you sketched
And stolen the ornaments in
Secret lockers that even
You are unaware of.

Or, I could have
Palmed the golden girdle
Of the beautiful lusty princess
Whose portrait you made,
The one with a nose stud.
Or, drugged her with my kisses
And plundered the harem.

Or else, I could have
Entered the snake shrine
Guarded by the dark serpents
That you often drew
And fled the country with
The precious jewel.

Or, I could have shot down
The birds that you drew
And sold them grilled.

I could have axed down the
Mahagony trees you nurtured
And sold them as timber.
I could have blinded your Kanhaiah
And made him a beggar
To become rich from the alms he earned.
I could have enslaved his Gopis
And handed them over
To the red light streets.

Painter girl,
It’s not for anything of this sort.
I take just one of your eight lambs.
Sell it for a good price
And fulfil my need.

Now, perchance,
If a new tenant comes to rent
My brain where nothing resides
And if they pay me a fat advance,
Painter girl,
Surely will I buy back your lamb.
And tether it in your painting.
Don’t you dare say then
Don’t you say then
That you have forgotten it.
Don’t you say then
You have exhausted your stock of
Green jack fruit leaves.

(Trans from Malayalam by Ra Sh)
Feb 2016 · 266
Letters to violet - 20
kuzhur wilson Feb 2016

Today is the day I’ll see you
Today is the day you’ll see me
Today is the day we’ll meet

How I see you
Is not how you see me
How you see me
Is not how I see you

How I see you
Is not how you see you
How you see me
Is not how I see me

I want to see you
And you, me
Some time, some day

Leave that

Have been waiting fourteen years  
Yet, how arduous it is
To push through
These one or two hours!

translator  : Shyma P

Jan 2016 · 334
Letters to violet - 19
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

OK
OK
OK

This is the slogan
I chose
Weary  
Of
Telling
Persisting
And imploring life
Many times
Many ways
No, cannot
Don’t, don’t expect me
Don’t go, don’t do
Don’t see, don’t hear
Don’t talk, leave me alone

Its difficult
To reckon
How often
I’ve
Muttered  
OK
OK
Let it be
Fists inside
Clenched.

A girl friend
Had taught me so
Last life
Seeing me weep relentlessly

Here
In this life too
You are resounding it

OK
OK
Let it be

Does it mean that
I be alone again?
That
I be a beggar
Next life too?
That I be
Wherever
Whatever
However?

Why did you
Steal my slogan

If you had asked
I would have lend it to you
For a couple of days.



translator  : Shyma P

Jan 2016 · 290
Letters to violet - 18
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

You say that
I am proud

Yes, I am proud
And I’ll continue being proud
As long as you love me

If one doesn’t feel proud
Even after being aroused
By your love
Definitely
There’ll be
Something wrong
With that person.

trans : Shyma P

Jan 2016 · 837
Letters to violet - 17
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

Your father
Is ordering
Gold bangles  
For you

You ought to be glad

The glimmer
In that eyes
When you were born
While putting those
Tiny bangles on you
For the first time
Are inimitable

I feel envious
Of that bangle
And that world of yours
Without me.

I declare war
With your father
For no reason

Although certain
That I would disappoint as usual
I too had bought
A karivala
In the third life itself
Sure that you would come

I’ll wear
That
On your hand
On the morning
Of
The fourteenth life

I have preserved the karivala
In saline water
Lest it
Gets blighted

I deserve the honor
Of being the first poet
To have preserved a black bangle
Meant for his girl friend
In saline water.


trans : Shyma  p

Glass bangle, black in colour.
Jan 2016 · 272
Letters to violet - 16
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

It might
Rain today

Can’t be sure
About the clouds
Their
Fecund wanderings

It might rain
Lightning and thunder are certain

Don’t
Be afraid
Or cry along

Just think that
You are watching
Me
Of some life

Just think that
The crows
Of that life
Had come
To see me
Yesterday at dusk

Just think that
One of those crows
Have built its nest
In this life of mine too.


trans : Shyama P

Jan 2016 · 706
Letters to violet - 15
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

Past
Is like
An answer sheet
Handed over to the examiner

Memory
Is a helplessness
That cannot be edited

I am helpless
No matter
What you think about me

I am a stone
That has hauled itself
Through muddled waters for long

You might assume that
I am
A garden pebble

Be careful

If you are hurt
I’ll suffer.


translator : Shyma P

Jan 2016 · 484
Letters to viloet - 14
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

I was returning
Home
Yesterday
Along the walkway
Through the paddy field
All set for reaping.

As usual
It was dusk
You know
I don’t go
To the paddy field
Except in the evenings

An evening
Of a day
Suffused with
Sighs, monotony
And unpleasant jobs.

In the middle of
The daily
Skyward incantations
“Whom do I have
To claim as my own”
Got bored
Thinking about
The number of times
I have been doing the same.

You know
That boredom
Makes me miserable

Facing
That ripened paddy field
I lighted yet another cigarette

For a moment
Had plans
To set
The crowless
Heaps of hay
On fire

Imagined
A cigarette
Resembling a bundle of hay

Suddenly
You walk
In front of me

Trance like
Unaware of paddy stalks
Chatting to you
Or the two homebound mynahs
Passing comments at you

A leaf of the coconut tree
Sang a song
About you

You weren’t listening
Or seeing anything

You were the swiftness
Of a deer
Leaping
From one life to another

You were walking
The world expelled
Out of you.

Amidst the tenth puff
In the interval of a sigh
I saw you approaching me
You didn’t talk to me
Or show signs of seeing me
You are about to pass me now
And quite unlike you
You had your hair, breasts and face draped
By a shawl
No, that shawl
Was not violet in color

I hadn’t seen
Such a
Forlorn
And distressed walk
In any of my
Past lives

I realized that
You were crying
While walking
I saw
The seeds of your tears
Fall and germinate
In the walkway of the field
I feared
It would grow
Into a forest

You are leaving
Without a backward glance

My melancholy
Where did you go
Yesterday
Leaving me
All alone?



translator  : Shyma P

Jan 2016 · 499
Letters to violet - 13
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

There is a forest
Not even sun is permitted there
I had my eyes on the place
Even before I was born

I knew
You would come

That’s why
I saved that garland
Made in childhood
With the leaves of tapioca
Till now.

In that temple
Inside the forest
I want to
Put it on your neck

(I always forget
To ask
If I can take your neck home
For a day
I will ask this time)

I needn’t remind you
About the weight
Of a thali
Plated with gold
Do I ?

Heavy hearted I am.



translator  - Shyma P

Jan 2016 · 298
Letters to violet - 12
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

Once, upon a place
There was a fisherman
He had a river
Of his own
He had
Ten or twelve fishhooks
Of his own

And he had….
Are you listening?

So, he had…
A river
Fishhooks
But then....
Listen listen

He didn’t have
Fishes
Of his own

Every morning
He would go to the riverside
Clean the fishhooks
And call the fishes
Beckoning to them.

Soon, it’ll be noon
Evening
And then night.

Poor fellow

None of them
Were his
None of them
Heeded  him.

I have heard him
Address them
“Vave”
In desperation

Have seen his
Tear flooded
Fondness
Permeate  
The river

I feel sorry
For him.


Translator : Shyma P

“Vave”  - Oh babe
Jan 2016 · 320
Letters to violet - 11
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

Yesterday
Was in the ecstasy
Of realizing that
We were
Those two
On earth
Who liked bitter gourd curry
Cooked with coconut milk ….

Remember?
Think it was
In the sixth life.
We were
Two nascent bitter gourds
On the pandal  
Spread in the northern corner
Of the farmland
Belonging to a grandmother
In a village in Mississippi
Who used to attend to the orchards
Sitting in a wheelchair.

We had
Watched earth
And peeked
At the sky
Hanging from the same stalk
The scar left
From your tight clasp on my thigh
Scared
After spotting a double tailed pest
Is still there.

The pleasure of that pain
Makes me tearful now.

I am like the faces
In a death house
Sobbing
At times  
Bursting into tears
The next moment
Holding back
After a while.

Sometimes
I am all the faces
Of a death house
Tears have
Nothing to do with them.

Sometimes
A marriage house
Will laugh and laugh
Till its cheeks hurt.

Just like you.

My dear bitter gourd,
When will we
Go back to that
Pandal in Mississippi
Where we had pulsated
From a single stalk.

Aren’t we the ones
To offer obsequies
To that grandmother
Who looked after us
With pots
of wholehearted love.



Translator - Shyma P

pandal - natural shade by leafs
Jan 2016 · 213
Letters to violet - 10
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

Yesterday
After
You
Went back
The house
Has not given me peace of mind
It keeps asking
For you.

While getting in
After hastily feeding
The puppy
And the rabbits
The door stopped me
And asked
Where were you?

When I reclined
On the sofa
To have a wink of rest
It pinched me
And rolled its eyes at me
Don’t lie here without her.

When I opened the room
To read
The books
Began to sing a song about you,
A green parrot
Came flying from one of the books
And kissed me on my forehead

To console
The house
That was weeping relentlessly
And asking for you
I searched
Each and every corner  
For a strand of your hair

You could have left
At least a drop of
You.



Translator - Shyma P

Jan 2016 · 577
Letters to violet - 9
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

Did I tell you
About the poothaankiris
Who never abandoned me
Even when all others did?

They were the ones
Who woke me up today

Don’t know why
They woke me up
Calling me
The names
Of all my
Previous lives

Even I had
Forgotten
All of them

In my ninth
Life
My name
Was Shanmughan
Your name then
Was Lara

You were the daughter
Of the captain
A foreigner
From Portuguese
Who had come
To Fort Kochi
Paravoor
And Paliyath

My job then was
Counting the number
Of ships
In  
The harbor

You had come
With your father
Then
To see Cochin.

Even before
The ship with you
Anchored at the harbor
Sea crows began their pageantry of joy
Whole hearted wings fluttered
Across the skies
A pandal was built
Above the waters

One
Of them
Astonished
The kids
By flying upside down

The paral  fishes
Splashed around in ecstasy

Then
A ponmaan
Aroused by
The dance of the paral fishes
Dived in and out
Again
And again
In the sky of joy

As I turned back
After picking  
A stalk of paddy
That had fallen from a ship
I saw the ship with you
Floating from faraway
Your face
Gazing the world
From the fifth window
Of the second deck

Lara.
The glitter of the thoda
You wore on your ear
That day
Still
Blinds my eyes

Lara,
Feel like seeing
That you and me
Of the
Ninth life

I am
Desperate.




Translator - Shyma P

5 Birds with brown colored feather which move in groups.,  6 Flock of tiny fishes., 7   Kingfisher bird.
Jan 2016 · 484
Letters to violet - 8
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

The day before seeing you
Sky
Is unreasonably
Overcast.  

Plaintain stalks
Quarrel with each other

Birds go silent

Friends talk
In some other language

When the tea vendor
Asks for change
I give him a pen
When the girl in the office
Asks for the headset
I hand over my mobile
Car’s key
To the beggar

A crow
Scolds me
Asks me
Where have I gone
I ask myself the same

The day before
I came to see you

No
Nothing
Hope
It’ll rain
Tomorrow

The sky
Grins knowingly.


Translator - Shyma P

Jan 2016 · 282
Letters to violet - 7
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

One day
Will coat the
Brightest corner of the courtyard
With cow dung.

Will draw you
On it
With rice powder

Sometimes, due to haste
Might forget to sketch
Certain details

Surely
A toe to bite on
Hair that sways like a boat

And
Breasts
With grains measured in a brimming para *

I want to snuggle
Like a baby
In  
Its shades

Dreaming of a river
Through which flows love.



Translator - Shyma P

*  A measuring vessel.
Jan 2016 · 275
Letters to violet -6
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

From the moment you mentioned about
That belly without marks
My eyes’ hands
Have been curious

Like a lone tree
That peeks surreptitiously
From the bank of the
Vast field
At the
Muthangha saplings
And karuka sprouts
That lay hugging the mud
My eyes’ hands
Probe for
The myriad depths
Of your body

A beautiful triangle
In the middle of the river
Revealed this moment
In its pupil
In it full of paral fishes
Violet colored maanathukanni  
The ecstatic celebration of
Tiny fishes
Your belly
Like an aquarium
Made transparent by
Undistilled water

Exhausted hands
Of my
Curious eyes

Have you seen or heard
The eyes of my hands
Sigh?


Translator - Shyma P

Murrel fish.
Jan 2016 · 546
Letters to violet - 5
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

You said
Nobody drinks
Or smokes
In your family

I knew for long
You would be born
Before fourteen births
I had learnt by rot
The lullaby songs
For you

What sort of madness
Is this?
A childless aunt
Of mine
Had asked then
Which still resonates in my ears

That lullaby is still there
On my lips

True
Having carried that
Lullaby for so long
My lips
Are calloused

No
No one from your family
Drinks
Or smokes

Hoping you’d come
I became the one
Who drank
And smoke
On behalf of all of them.


Translator - Shyma P

Jan 2016 · 614
Letters to violet - 4
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

If you had wanted
You could have been born as my daughter
What is not possible for goddesses on this earth!

Had that happened
Moons would have had to dodge you
Lest you asked for them.

Even otherwise
Who would have liked to
Be caught and made a toy

That green parrot toy
You asked for
Is in here still
Chirping.

My heart aches.


Translator - Shyma P

Jan 2016 · 502
Letters to violet 3
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

Yesterday
I fell asleep
Thinking of you.

Mind had cautioned  
That re-remembering
Your bespectacled face
Wouldn’t be easy.

Had felt
Pity too
For its exertions
And exhaustion.

Today when I got up
Couldn’t see you

Where are you now?
What are you doing?

Will we ever
Wake up together
On a grass mat
One morning
Some life?

How many mynas
Would be there
In the courtyard then?


One of them
Is looking for something
In the courtyard now
See?

Let me help it
Find the way to
The next life.


Translator - Shyma P

Jan 2016 · 240
Letters to violet - 2
kuzhur wilson Jan 2016

2

I remember
You telling
That you saw my poem
Somewhere
Wandering
Asking spring its name

Everything happened in a trice
Yesterday,
An Ilenjhi  sprout in front of me,
All of a sudden.

Didn’t get time
To sigh
Much less
To think.

My poem
Named spring
Ilenjhi

Ilenjhi Ilenjhi..
Weeping, laughing
Confounded with joy
I saw the poem
Give it
Hundreds and hundreds of kisses.

With all that
Watering
It must certainly
Have choked

A drop
Must surely
Have got to its head

Have to give it
One more glass of water
And some gentle taps on the head

Let me go.



Translator - Shyma P

Ilenjhi -  Tree bearing fragrant flowers and a verdant canopy.
Dec 2015 · 556
Letters to violet 1
kuzhur wilson Dec 2015

In the life
Before
The last
You
Were my murapennu

And me
A shepherd
From a village in Tamil Nadu.

Let’s forget
You don’t remember all that
But then, where is that nose stud
You had?



Translator - Shyma P

Uncle’s daughter who is [qualified to be] the customary bride, as per [marriage] practices in Kerala.
Dec 2015 · 1.9k
Letters to Violet -11
kuzhur wilson Dec 2015

Yesterday
Was in the ecstasy
Of realizing that
We were
Those two
On earth
Who liked bitter gourd curry
Cooked with coconut milk ….

Remember?
Think it was
In the sixth life.
We were
Two nascent bitter guards
On the pandal
Spread in the northern corner
Of the farmland
Belonging to a grandmother
In a village in Mississippi
Who used to attend to the orchards
Sitting in a wheelchair.

We had
Watched earth
And peeked
At the sky
Hanging from the same stalk
The scar left
From your tight clasp on my thigh
Scared
After spotting a double tailed pest
Is still there.

The pleasure of that pain
Makes me tearful now.

I am like the faces
In the house of deceased
Sobbing
At times  
Bursting into tears
The next moment
Holding back
After a while.

Sometimes
I am all the faces
In the house of the dead
Tears have
Nothing to do with them.

Sometimes
The wedding house
Will laugh and laugh
Till its cheeks hurt.

Just like you.

My dear bitter guard,
When will we
Go back to that
Pandal in Mississippi
Where we had pulsated
From a single stalk?

Aren’t we the ones
To offer obsequies
To that grandmother
Who looked after us
With pots
Of wholehearted love?



Translator - Shyma P


Shyma P : Works in Payyanur College, Payyanur. Translator and film critic. Has translated poems and articles in Malayalam Literary Survey, The Oxford India Anthology of Malayalam Dalit Literature, online magazines like Gulmohar, Readleaf Poetry as well as scripts and subtitles for short films.

Pandal - natural roof made by plants
Dec 2015 · 1.1k
Letters to Violet -17
kuzhur wilson Dec 2015

Your father
Is ordering
Gold bangles  
For you

You ought to be glad

The glimmer
In that eyes
When you were born
While wearing those
Tiny bangles on you
For the first time
Are inimitable

I feel envious
Of that bangle
And that world of yours
Without me.

I declare war
With your father
For no reason

Although certain
That I would disappoint as usual
I too had bought
A karivala *
In the third life itself
Sure that you would come

I’ll wear
That
On your hand
On the morning
Of
The fourteenth life

I have preserved the karivala
In saline water
Lest it
Gets blighted

I deserve the honor
Of being the first poet
To have preserved a black bangle
Meant for his girl friend
In saline water.



Translation : Shyma p

* karivala -  Glass bangle, black in colour.
Oct 2015 · 425
Thinkal On Sunday
kuzhur wilson Oct 2015

Water
talking
to her mom

Mom
giving
many
directives
at one go.

The adorable water
playing with
her puppy,
whose name is Thinkal (Monday)

hearing
the fisherman’s horn
mom
flowing to the road
with a bowl
her fishes
swimming
inside

water just
thrashing her puppy

crying alone
like
a
mature sea

brand new in English
Dec 2014 · 904
DREAM TALK VIA POST
kuzhur wilson Dec 2014

The day after he
dreamed
of swimming in
the endless ocean
of pain
as a one-eyed fish,
he wrote
to his lady love

~ I need
to be caught
in the net of
a gentle fisherman
and reach you
through
an affectionate
fish seller
at your dinner table
as your
favourite dish.

~ How will I
recognize you
from among
all the pieces
of fish?
She asked him
in her letter of reply.
On the day
the postal strike
was called off,
she received
a tattered letter
and in it was
given a sign.

~ What
the wide open
single eye stares at
will be you.

translated to English by © Jose Varghese
Nov 2014 · 633
4.35 PM
kuzhur wilson Nov 2014

By Kuzhur Wilson    (trans by Ra Sh)

It could be said that I, who should reach the office by 4, reached only at 4.35
because I spent much time jacking off fantasizing about that girl
who never got clearly imprinted in my mind despite best efforts.

But, that wasn’t the case.

It could be said that I, who should reach the office by 4, reached only at 4.35
because of a luxurious bath dissolving in the new brand of Chandrika soap.

But, that wasn’t the case.

That wasn’t the case at all. May be an incident which you will never accept as true  could be the case. That was the case.
That indeed was the case. It happened so. It happened approximately so.

While driving along granting the police enough cause to book me, by switching on the AC
and setting the volume of music high and switching off the AC and lowering the volume of music
and looking at the watch and switching on the AC and setting the music at a high volume again
and looking at the watch and looking with scorn at the cell phone in the silent mode
and again switching on the AC and switching it off
and again setting the volume of music high and switching it off,

There stood the house of death beyond that curve. I see it every day. A cute house
that prompts one to sing how pretty you are today! I didn’t stop the car, folks. It stopped by itself.
I have never seen such a house of death looking like a dome of gold. Upon my father, I haven’t, I swear.
As I enter the house, a hum on my lips, flower upon flower look at me and smile.
They smile at me with a hum that says you scoundrel never have you thrown even a glance at us
though we have always been here laughing aloud from the edges of the fence.
As if the song how pretty you are to look at has come alive. O flowers in the house of death how pretty you are to look at (like you, I am not bothered that grammar is all twisted here.) How pretty you are to look at!

Among the flowers lay the dead man who was as pretty. Don’t have to sing that I sang the how pretty you are song. That house was the chorus of the song how pretty you are. How pretty you are sung the dead man’s wife. How pretty you are sung the dead man’s kids. How pretty you are sung the dead man’s neighbours. How pretty you are sung the dead man’s friends. How pretty you are sung even the dead man’s mom.
You may not believe this. My ancient desire, that wish of my life, to give a kiss to the dead man at that precise moment pulled down all barriers.

I gave I gave I gave a kiss to that man.

The reek of alcohol mixed with the fragrance of Ittar. Mixed with the scent of flowers. Mixed with the scent of burning incense.

Oh! I gave him a kiss.

Folks, it was not like giving a kiss to an acquaintance dead or not. Honestly no.
A kiss given to an unacquainted dead man. No issues whether it was right to give a kiss or receive one. Oh! Even after writing so much I am not satiated.

I only remember that, reeking with the smell of liquor and letting out a nasty swear word, he asked me where have you been all these days?

Now, I am entering my office at 4.35. You know why I got late today. The dead man too.

By Kuzhur Wilson    (trans by Ra Sh)
kuzhur wilson Nov 2014

The name was Antappan.
On his wedding invitation
He printed the famous words
Hodie Mihi Cras Tibi -
(Today it's me, tomorrow it will be you.)

Whoever  asked
“Are you nuts, Antappaaa?”
Got a voiceless laugh in reply.

In native tongue
The laughter said
No quotes are quoted
Except through one’s own life.

Though not a charming name
It ‘s true that from that day
Antappan came to be called
Hodie Mihi Cras Tibi Antappan.


Everyone who attended
Hodie Mihi Cras Tibi Antappan’s wedding
Wolfed down the pork and the beef.

Everyone who attended
Hodie Mihi CrasTibi Antappan’s wedding
Gifted pretty sums of money in envelopes.

Everyone who attended
Hodie Mihi Cras Tibi Antappan’s wedding
Said nasty comments about the bride.

Everyone who attended
Hodie Mihi Cras Tibi Antappan’s wedding
Asked the sound system guy to play
You are lucky I am lucky loudly.

But before that a small incident at the church. As soon as he set his eyes on Antappan who was a grave digger the Chaplain forgot the wedding and without asking who died began to set the church bell tolling in that rhythm reserved for deaths. The senior Priest who heard it came running and opening the small prayer book for the dead began to sing the song the seeds sprout in the fields when it rains. Hearing that the girls in the choir sang the rest of the song when they hear the clarion call life sprouts in the dead and went on to the prose portion I call you lord from the abysses. Seeing that the boy who helps with the communion lighted the candle and incense stick for the dead. (Meanwhile the bride’s naughty song you who is not dead yet will you not kill me tonight also rang in Hodie Mihi Cras Tibi Antappan’s ears.) Hodie Mihi Cras Tibi Antappan who realized that the same flowers meant to be wreaths at some house of death were now adorning his bosom as a garland laughed his famous voiceless laugh.

Hodie Mihi Cras Tibi Antappan
By Kuzhur Wilson    (Trans by Ra Sh)
Sep 2014 · 950
Sunday
kuzhur wilson Sep 2014

One Sunday
On one of our many births  
We
must become the Pappa and Mamma
of an ancient Nazrani tharavadu.

I will go in the morning
And return with
A kilo of beef  meat
With bones
Two kilos of tapioca
And may be also a pot of toddy
From the toddy tapper.

While I slice the meat
You will crush the coconut mix
In the grinding stone.

I will come, now and then,
And wipe my face
In the chatta and mundu
Draped folds of yours.

Go away you shameless man
You will dub  
The slogan of a coy mistress.
Meanwhile
I’ll drum quick rhythms  
On your buttocks
Graced
With pleats.

The kids will see
You’ll repudiate, with your eyes

With the sun
Our bodies also will get warmer
Drops of sweat
Will make studs
On your
Nose.
With the fold of
My chequered mundu
I will wipe them off.

The sun will grow warmer
The toddy inside
Will simmer
In our bodies
An insatiable hunger will torment.

The aroma of
The beef curry with the coconut mix
That you cooked
Will drift into my nose.
Unable to control the craving
I will pick
Tapioca pieces from it and eat.
The hot bits will smolder my tongue.

“You Glutton”  
You will then
Whisper to my ears

By the time I wash my hands and sit
Calling out to the kids
And you, to come for lunch
The 12.30 bell will ring in the church.

From that unexpected
Sunday
Which we spent
Stingily
We will set aside
Some memories
for the next creation.



Trans: Shyma P

1  Andrew Marvell’s To the Coy Mistress, imagines the normative woman as one who is shy and slow to respond to the sexual advances of the lover.
Aug 2014 · 2.1k
Thintharoo
kuzhur wilson Aug 2014

Around 4 in the evening, I proceeded to Karaikkal, a Union Territory.

By the time we reached Nagapattinam, I noticed that the driver was tired and asked him to have a strong cup of tea. When he was gulping it reluctantly, I, who did not like strong tea, watched the cows walking along the narrow ways. But, the cows did not look at me. The cows I watched. The cows that did not pay any attention to me. I was a bit out of breath realizing how quickly nonexistent relationships were formed in an unknown Tamil village.  I lit up one more cigarette. I remembered the doctor in Britain, a stunning beauty, who prescribed that as soon as I found it difficult to breathe I should light up a cigarette. Damn! When it is hard to breathe because of nonexistent relationships and when I light up a cigarette as an antidote to that, there appear row upon row of relationships of some sort or other.  

I began to detest bitter strong tea. I was irked by the cows that went along the narrow ways. I felt hatred towards their not so small udders. An afternoon dawned one day when I felt the same kind of vengeance towards udders. The blood stains from the udders that were slashed down emerged on my hands, legs, back and under belly.

Once again I felt revulsion for bitter strong tea. The driver sipped the hot bitter tea. I hated the moment when I asked him to have tea. I loathed the words that I used to say that. I despised even the words that I had kept in reserve to say that.

Then, I watched the people etching tattoos by the roadside. I wondered how it will be if I got a tattoo for myself.  I tried to recall how deep I was to get a tattoo done.

A person I liked.
A name I liked.
A place I liked.
A digit I liked.
A syllable I liked.
A memory I liked.

I felt a lot of aversion. Wondered if I should tattoo my mother’s name on my shoulder. I found it amusing that when I die people may identify me by my mother’s name. But, I felt sad when I thought that stranger women may plant their kisses on it. Damn! I felt so sad.  I abhorred those bitter cups of tea and narrow ways. I lit up one more cigarette.  Then, I, who tattooed my mother’s name on my shoulder, started decaying on the spot.  Rotting with a terrible stench. The people, the cows and the goats that I did not mention before bolted.  Abruptly, the driver came and told me that we could move from there.  I felt so bitter towards even the bitter tea that was inside him.

Somehow, we reached Karaikkal. Yes, at 630 in the evening. Even though I had never been to Karaikkal, a Union Territory, I sat on the same chair in the same corner of the same bar. The bearer poured me the wine.

He kept pouring the wine.
He kept pouring the wine.
The wine kept emptying.
The wine kept emptying.
The wine kept unraveling.
The wine kept unraveling.

It was a Dutch woman who gathered me up and took me with her when I got totally unraveled. She was older than me. There was no power in her room. The way she washed my body in lukewarm water could have put to shame even the midwives giving a bath to babies. When I rose up sometimes and asked her name, she sealed my lips with hers. When it was repeated many times, I thought that her name must mean something like a kiss. And, she never spoke a word except with lips.

Unraveling wine, lukewarm water, the nonstop conversation by lips. Though lips got tired, I heard the murmur from my pelvis. She too must have heard that. She touched my penis. Quite a guy she exclaimed cracking a joke. Told her I salvaged it from the sea at Tanjore and it was some temple mast some sculptor abandoned. If it’s a temple mast, let the festival begin she said.

It was some festival.
Festival of festivals.
Black lacquer bangles, vermilion, ribbons
Hydrogen balloons
Spinning tops
It was some festival.
Festival of festivals.

A simile as washed out as a festival ground emptied of crowds. For the lack of a better one.  Returned from Karaikkal, a Union Territory, at some hour.  I dumped that taxi driver on the way. Not only because I was disgusted with bitter tea, but also because his name was not Thintharoo.

I can never again put up with a driver whose name is not Thintharoo.




(trans by Ra Sh)

Thintharoo - it is also my poetry collection name. will come soon
Aug 2014 · 777
On the 9th
kuzhur wilson Aug 2014

On the 9th, I was driving in a hurry from Jerusalem to Jerico, laden with kisses for you.  A cop waved me down at the Bank junction at Aluva. Unnerved, the car hit something. All your kisses scattered on the road. My hands, legs, face and bosom blushed with gashes. My kisses for you lay around in the middle of the road. The orphan kids from Janaseva were picking them up. They packed them in their sling bags. A beggar woman who was passing by picked up one to smell it. College going kids make fun of my kisses for you. A cop tramples one of them with his boot.  A pock marked tipper truck crushes it under its wheels. A procession agitating for drinking water marches past it. My kisses for you are strewn in the middle of the road and holler for the moistness of your lips. Covered in a sheet woven with wounds, I lie on a hospital bed. Lamenting 'my kisses, my kisses’, you catch a flight and land in Nedumbassery.  You come to see me. In haste, you forget to buy me oranges.

I kept looking at you.
It was raining outside.

I looked at your lips.
Then, all the flowers in the front yard roll in laughter.

I look at your throat.
Then, a white dove takes off from a mango tree.

I look at your ears.
Then, a thrush flies off seeking its mother.

I look at your strands of hair.
Then, the plumeria leaves pick lice from each other.

I look at your eyes.
Then, the well in the court yard gives a missed call to the sea.

I look at your nose.
Then, the glare outside sketches the spring.

I look at your arm pits.
Outside, yellow woods sing a song.

I look at your breasts.
Outside, bird’s eye chilies stand sharply erect.

I look at your cleavage.
A mother who bore six squats outside and coughs.

I at your navel.
Outside, a thousand bats.

I at your feet.
Then, a sweet gooseberry falls on the yard.


At knees.
At tender thighs...

Always
Always then
Outside, the drum beats of a road show grow in crescendo.

I trace pictures of our kids on your lips.

Then, in the middle of the road, the souls of kids crushed under wheels queue up with oranges to meet us.

When you and I wail without a sound, a slice from it falls on the ground. I make up a simile that tears are the slices of oranges that drop from the hands of those who have not had enough of loving. You give me one more kiss. I stash it away doubting whether you will be near when I die.  Our kisses attack us asking us whether we will abandon them again. We lie on the hospital bed covered in wounds from the kisses. A bunch of angels come with syringes and bitter pills. We run away without paying the bill. Our kisses follow us like a procession of bare bodies with running noses. Unable to bear the sorrow, you hug them right on the highway. I buy a cigarette from the petty shop nearby and, puffing on it, watch you.



Translation : Ra Sha

Aug 2014 · 1.9k
Kamarul goes home
kuzhur wilson Aug 2014

Kamarul is going to his village
All of us are going home with him

Kamarul is bringing
A bangle for his sister
Rafeeq almost buys up a jewellery  shop

Kamarul takes as saree for his mother
Divakaran is busy searching for a clothes shop

While making tea
While emptying waste-baskets
While feeding new paper into the printer,

Kamarul sings his own song
All of us sing aloud privately

While going down in the lift,
He learns to count
4
3
2
1

All of us leap towards zero

Kamarul  goes home,
Taking our letters

To the plant on earth
To the wind that blows in the evening
To the friend who promised to come

To everyone, for everyone

We wave our hands, wondering
What would be the time on earth

translation: Anitha varma
kuzhur wilson Aug 2014

One

O spring,
You have a thousand apparel

Green yellow blue
Red pale blue light green
Greenish yellow

Why do you, who make everyone envious,
Spreading  folds worked with golden thread
Inviting everyone to ‘see see’
Come to visit only me wearing black raiment?

Are you too conserving
Your intensely hued flowers
For my tomb,
Just like everyone else?

Two

Perhaps it is to collect
Enough breath to last two- three years
That, while leaving home,
One sighs like a tornado

But
Every time
When I depart after meeting you
Why do I sigh,
Like a final prayer,
As though I was hoarding enough breath
For a lifetime?

translation : Anitha varma
Aug 2014 · 393
I’ve forgotten your name.
kuzhur wilson Aug 2014

Have we studied together?
Or some function
In the same row

Was it when you got tired standing in the queue

Or else at some bus stop
Or

Not in the telephone book
Maybe in the list of people to be invited
Among  names that are listed hoping
They might come in useful sometime
No, not even that

Were you the same before?

I don’t remember
Uttering your name
For any purpose

You are like people in dreams
The one who fell in the well
The one who was driving
The one who stopped me even before the sea,
Something like that

I think your name exists for me to forget it

To think I am mute is one way
To think  you are deaf is another ..

translation : Anitha Varma
Aug 2014 · 372
Our symbol
kuzhur wilson Aug 2014

Intelligent believers of democracy,
Let me inform you with a great surge of emotion that I am a candidate in this election
I beg you, request you, beseech you to make us win with great majority  by casting every vote of yours for our symbol

I don’t have to recount the great services rendered by our logo in houses, by-lanes, churches, temples, offices, hotels-  why, in buses, hospitals, monasteries, cemeteries, and every nook and corner of the land

About its great desire to fill even the stomachs of those little children who sleep along the roadside, with no one to look after them

Our sign cannot ignore the mothers and sisters who work in factories of sighs, with only half their stomachs full. That’s why even after being totally spent, it resurrects itself again and again.

Its social sense which decries that even those bodies  on hospital beds, half-burnt, should get justice.

Wont the dead have unquenched desires
Just like the living?

The greatness of our emblem and its universality which embraces unborn babies, the living and the dead, without any consideration of caste or creed or sex

About its reproducibility, the sense with which it can raise or lower itself as the opportunity demanded, its will power which helps it work with a passion, its power to please, its divine gift to give peace and happiness

What about its readiness to sacrifice even the last drop? It thinks only about giving! Please do not fall into the traps of the other signs which are never satisfied whatever it got, and which are ready to split any moment.

Let me ask  you, have we come first in anything? China is standing like its great wall..let me remind you that  if everyone tried together to raise our symbol to great heights, we can at least come first in population

Please do not let go of the chance to win, listing unpolitical arguments like headache, hunger, hatred etc

Our slogan
Contentment for everyone from children to old people

A land where milk flows

translation : Anitha Varma
Aug 2014 · 1.2k
Misspelt swearwords
kuzhur wilson Aug 2014

Don’t know who writes  or when
Just like cinema posters get changed according to times,
Misspelt swear words appeared on the wall of the urinal.

What was written using moss, coal and laterite was sometimes like this..

“The air is aromatic here. Rajiv + Sindhu
A picture of a heart with an arrow through it
Songs like “Rajan sir and Bhanu teacher are in love, man”

Walls got filled
In vengeance to the beatings and impositions.

Amidst the stench of shit and urine,
Love blossomed between moss

The girl’s urinal stood like a temple

translation : Anitha varma
Aug 2014 · 844
Graffiti
kuzhur wilson Aug 2014

The God of the joyful
And the God of the sorrowful
Met on the dawn
Of those who had gone for a walk

Even though they belonged to the same family,
They didn’t even acknowledge one another

The eyes of the God of the sorrowful
Were in the sky
Birds are making fun of him

Clouds ?
They stood their ground,
Stating, ‘ we are not with you’.

The eyes
Of the  God of the joyful
Were on earth
Plants on earth
Smile at him
Dogs, cats and horses
Were vying with one another to walk with him.
The God of the sorrowful told
The God of the joyful,
“Brother,
Sometime or the other
On earth, or sky,
Or in the toilet of the passenger train,
Or in the corner of the bar of the poor,
Or in some Hatta in Sharja
Or in the kitchen of the labour camp
Or in a room of a house with rent  unpaid
Or in court
Or on some strong tree branch
Or in a pawn shop
Or in the middle of the road where children die from collision with vehicles
Or in some sorcerer’s hut

My people will see you
What will you tell them?

In the storm-like fart of the God of the joyful,
The cosmos started gasping for breath.

translation : Anitha varma
Aug 2014 · 2.2k
Climbing
kuzhur wilson Aug 2014

The coconut climber’s chicken
Is in the well
The climber started to climb into the well
Feet downwards, steps downwards
The chicken climbes again
Fish climb higher
The coconut climber reaches the tip of the well
In between, when he looked down, saw the top of the coconut tree
Saw several heads
The coconut climber is at the tip of the well
Police came
People came
Started to pull out the climber.

translation: Anitha Varma
Aug 2014 · 3.7k
Bakery
kuzhur wilson Aug 2014

When the bakery was bought,
For the sake of novelty, uniqueness, etc,
Called it ‘bitter’

Laddu was bitter
Jalebi ws bitter
Cherry was bitter
Bitter, bitter

What bitterness, said people

The servant got bitter
Sir,
There are no bill collectors to turn away
Flies mock
She at home
Serves bitterness

While sharing the alienation
Which novelty and uniqueness supplied,
With eatables,
Biscuit said

Let’s add the salt of tears,
Eatables will not sell
If bitter

‘Please give me something old”
When the sound of a beggar
Intervened

Myself, who stood for novelty and uniqueness
Told him ‘ you can have this bakery’

translation : Anitha varma
Aug 2014 · 328
Suicide
kuzhur wilson Aug 2014

The lion was extremely lonely
He was wandering around, singing
I am at loggerheads with  you, world

Vomited, watching rabbits eat from the same green plate
Got fever watching crocodiles wallow, wet, in water and in sunshine
Sprained the neck in the giraffe’s interference in neighbour’s affairs
Got all seized up in the tortoise’s stillness
Which wouldn’t put its limbs or head outside, scared of being tried as a witness
Deafness because of the praises sung by foxes

Lonelier than the lonely because of sickness

The envy was
For the freedom trees had on earth as well as the skies
The surprise was
About the solidarity of ants, bees,  herds of deer while they grouped
Fear was the lair
Courage was the ATM card

Unhappiness was,
That the royal insignia which got imprinted in the soil
Closed all doors of any living presence coming near
It was with the heart of the storm that I walked among the plants

“The form of beast that swallowed fire”,
Was what the elephants murmured among themselves

Doff the silk attire of loneliness and come,  Invited water

His aim in the well was a life partner

translation : Anitha varma
Aug 2014 · 291
Women
kuzhur wilson Aug 2014

Mulling over a poem,
While awaiting cigarettes
At the grocery,
The one from Kasargod asked

Is your women here?

I got startled for a moment,
Wondering whether he saw
Everyone inside me

O grocery person from Kasargod,
Who labels the many inside a single female by one word,

Leave me there,
You go into my poem….


*In Malabar, in ordinary parlance, they say “women” when they mean one woman.
I confronted this way of speaking more after reaching the Gulf.

translation : Anitha Varma
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