Kuzhur Wilson Sep 2013

My poetry, which knew it was
the cry of a lonely bird
on a solitary tree
in my village,
asked Spring its name.

Spring began to speak –

The fruit laden Vayyankatha, her thorny pangs, hijab-wearing  Guf, her minarets, Thondi  blushing red with kisses,  her moist lips, orphaned Adalodakam, Nellippuli in a polka dotted dress, Pulivakawaiting for the breeze, Anjili   head towards the south, yawning Cherupuuna, Pera with the names of grandmas scribbled on her leaves, Ilantha blowing into the hearth, Ilapongu rubbing his eyes, Irippa, Atha laughing noisily,Cholavenga in tattered clothes, Irumbakam, Padappa catching his breath after running, Pattipunna wagging his tail, bare footed Pattuthali, Thekku the noblest among them, Thekkotta, Neervalam  recollecting her last birth, Neeraal, sobbing Neelakkadambu, Pathimukam, lazy thanal murikku, Karimaruthu, Karinkura, Asttumayil, Velladevaram, Kattukadukka, the gluttonous Badam, amnesiac Vazhanna, boredVarachi, Nangmaila, Eucalyptuswith a sprained back, viscous red Rakthachandanam, saffron robed Rudraksham, Vakka, Vanchi,  Parangimaavu nostalgic of his ancestral home, Vari, Nedunaar, Marotti with a hundred offsprings, Malangara, Malampunna ,Nenmeni Vaka trying his luck in a lottery, Nelli with a sour smile.

Kadaplaavu doing sketches with leaves, Kari straying from the queue, Kattuthuvara buying things on credit, Kattutheyila boiling over, Kattupunna with a pus-oozing sore, Kumkumam putting a bindi on her forehead, starving Ventheku, Vellakadambu making a missed call, Kattadi standing aloof, her feeble hands,  flowering Ilanji, her fragrant trunk, sighing Aalmaram, Pachavattil, Pachilamaram  gossiping with the chameleon, Panachi,Pamparakumbil, Kadambu memories adorning her head, Kudamaram carrying provisions for the home,  Punnappa,Poongu, gray hairedChuruli, Chuvannakil  singing a folk song, dark skinned Vattil, Kulaku, Karinjaaval, sozzled Pamparam, Chorappayir, njama, Njaaval  tempting the birds, Njaara, Alasippooscratching his palm, Ashokam  humming a sad song.

Ezhilampala chewing on a masala paan, Peenaari wearing a tie, Peelivaka, Pulichakka with a broken leg, Pezhu demanding his wages, Kumbil, Kurangaadi, Kasukka with a dislocated elbow,Valiyakaara, Vallabham, Chavandi, stunning Chinnakil , Chittal with a failed brake, Vidana, Sheemappanji, the loan shark Odukku, Oda  on musth,fatherless Kadakonna, childlessShimshapa, Sindooram with a flushed face, Karinthakara singing the thannaaro, Vellappayir high on grass, Poothilanji showing off her blossoms, sour faced Kudampuli.

Wet in the rain Kulamaavu, Kudamaavu circling around himself, Pari from the netherworld,Poopathiri in a priest’s robe,  Poochakadambu on all fours, Kulappunna covered in a blanket, Kundalappala checking his astro forecast, Pachotti, masturbating Perumaram, Perumbal  thinking of the sea, phlegm clogged Anathondi, Anakkotti, Cheruthuvara, Ilavangam, Thanni,naughty Thirukkalli,  Karappongu, embracing Kattadi, Thudali, Thelli, Kara, Malayathi,Malavirinji, shameless Kashumaavu,mud slinging Karuka, Vedinal, suicide prone Attumaruthu,Attuvanchi  who glides on the stream like a fallen shadow.

Mandaram  dressed in white, Vanna, brazen Mahagani, Karivelam doing the accounts,Jakarantha, Koombala, friendless Koovalam, Kattukamuku with his hands around friends, Kolli, Paruva,Krishnanaal with a crooked smile, Cocoa with no one to turn to, Cork,Palakapayyani, Pavizhamalli wearing necklace and bangles, a lonely Mazhamaram, Mangium, Mathalam exposing her nipples, Chemmaram, Pashakottamaram, Malavembu, tearful Chamatha, Vatta, Vattakoombitired of running around, smoking Pine, Porippovanam, Kaaluvnthatherakam, Thembaavu, grinningDantaputri, Narivenga, Navathi, grumbling Mazhukkanjiram,Arayanjili,  Arayal playing a game with the wind.

Choola kissing the sizzling wind, Arinelli, Maavu reciting sadly the poem Mampazham,  Chandana vembu, Peraal stretching its back, Pulivaaka, Unnam, Naythanbakam,Karpooram in a slow glow, Naaykumbil, trumpeting Pongu, outcast Pottavaaka, bursting Poriyal, vagabond Ponthavaaka, Plaavu lost in some thought, Pootham  head covered , Ethappana  greening while yellowing, Manjadi, Mullanvenga, Mullilam lifting his dhoti to expose his genitals, Mullilavu hopping around, Moongappezhu, Neermaruthu saying enough is enough, withered Neermathalam ,Moottikkay, Ithi, Ithiyaal, Vella velam, Kalppayir, Kallar, Majakkadambu singing a lullaby, Choondappana wary of fish bones.

Stooping Punna, Matti scared of her big brother, Paarijaatham watching the midnight movie, Paalakal, Paali,Paarakam doing cartwheels, Viri, Athi showing off  her seeds,Ampazhammassaging his chest, Ayani inlove with her son, Manjakkonna, Manjamandaram in search of something, Chullithi with eyes closed, Kallilavu like an oozing rock, Malamandaram eyeing the vultures,Velleetti cursing the thunder, Venga,Veppu, Vraali, Akil, sighing Acacia,Balsa, Blanka, Beedimaram with a rattling cough,  Agasthi, Cherukonna with a sheepish smile, Kambali, woundedNagamaram.

Pathiri, touching his forehead to the ground, his eyes heavenward, Ankolam ruined by debts,Kattumarotti, Kundalappala, Aattumaruthu,Poovam, Erumanaakku, Karingotta, Vediplaavu his salary still unpaid, Venmurikku, Manjanaathi, Manimaruthu jolted awake, Mathagirivembu, Karaanjili  escorting his daughter, Karakongu,Karappongu, Ilippa on her way back, Ooravu half-awake after a dream and with a sucker smile, Ennappana about to immolate himself, fattened  Ennappine,Azhantha waiting for someone, Chorapatri with a cracked head,Sheemappoola,Poovankara, Malampuli, Puli with sharpened stakes.

Obese Theettipplaavu,Malambongu, Chorimathimurikku, Irippa bailing out his friend, Irumbakamwho lost his job, Kunkumappoo, Karinthaali, Scoot, Rose Kadambu, Aamathali, Aarampuli,Attilippucaught in the crowd, Irul  blessed by the elders, Vellavatti, whistling Mula, Kattukonna in a hat, Kaniiram learning the alphabets, broker Cheru,Kattuchembakam exposing his arm pit,Thandidiyan, Neeroli, Ezhachembakam waiting for her bus, Karimbana in a newly constructed house, Karivenga,Karivali writing a poem, Ungu in a baby frock, Udi, Plasha, Elamaruthupromising to meet later, Chembakam dying to hug.

Vellakil who bathes the kids, Vellavaaka who forgot his umbrella, Attuthekku who failed the exam, lustful Aattunochi,Malanthudali with her legs spread, Malanthengu with chest thrust up,Malamanchadi who is learning to count, Malambarathi exposing her breasts, intoxicated Aval, Arana reciting the poem Karuna, insane Alakku who dashes off to the temple, Cheru who cannot stop washing clothes, Kudappana ready to elope, irreligious Jaathi, Silver Oak laughing boisterously, Kattuveppu waiting for the kids, Sumami sucking on a toffee, annoyed Parappoola,frightened Pinar, Ithi stopping her ears at swear words, Ithiyal with lots of smiles, Kovidaram with music in his mind, Ilakkali showing her belly, blossoming Ilavu, Chadachi who fucks sadistically, cool fingered Chandanam.

dominating Charakkonna, office going Cheelanthi, Gulgulu glued to Kochu channel, Gulmohur with dyed hair, Irul with a fuming face, early rising Kanikonna, Kanala who has a sound sleep, Karingali  who pees standing, Kambakam with an erect prick, Kallavi  beseeching to stuff her up, Karanjili  quivering in lust, calm Karaal, Kaari who hums while fucking, Kaavalam who naps after the toil,Thannimaram showing off her petals, Thambakam kissing the cunt, Thellipayar savouring a prick,Neerkurunda in post-sexual languor, Malaya breastfeeding her kid, bullying Kathi, mad hat Eetti,Cheeni  not remembering his mom,  Kunnivaka showing his gums, Kuppamanja who laughs in sleep, Othalanga swallowing poison, blooming Poovarasu.

Spring went on,
reeling off names to me.
The rain the sun the wind and the cold
Rolled in one after the other.
Spring kept pulling out
names from its memory.

People got scared of
my poetry gone wild.
They stopped passing that way.

A snake goes slithering away.
A hare finds its own path and dashes away.
A poothankiri, from a bush, flies away.



(Trans from Malayalam by Ra Sh)

1.      Mampazham (Ripe Mango) is the title of a famouspoem by Vyloppilli.
2.      Karuna (Compassion) is the title of a long poemby Kumaran Asan.
3.      Poothankiri – A white headed babbler.
4.      Thanaaro - An obscene devotional song.
4.3k · Aug 2014
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
3.4k · Feb 2014
Super daddy
Kuzhur Wilson Feb 2014

Listening to the song ‘daddy, super daddy’,
Worried and sad thinking about the father long gone,
While reading the news of a father  who killed his girl child by hitting her against the wall
To some fathers and children
A father and son didn't feel anything more than that.

Remember uploading in Facebook,  the news of the soaring price of tapioca in five star hotels

The tsunami  of saliva which the tender  yellow tapioca Crowned by curry leaves and red chilly created, is in the throat.

Today noon,
After lots of news
I am cooking tapioca raw
A green bottle is nearby

When the smell of cooking tapioca with salt hit the olfactory senses
Father came

You don’t have to be the Son of God to resurrect the dead
Told Jesus that just the smell of cooking tapioca is enough

Compound divided into patches, ashes, manure,
Properly cut tapioca plants
Mother rushing to get the rice gruel

Between play and squabbles
A lad is walking around with torn trousers, shirtless
Tapioca, tapioca, tapioca
Tapioca, tapioca, tapioca

For sleeping, eating, hunger
Faith,
Tapioca, tapioca

phoo

For rice gruel, mid noon
At twilight when hunger  develops faith
For last supper,
Dried tapioca

Lucky that one who was born after an enema
Was not named ‘black sheep’

With a green chilly, raw
In the shade of the green bottle
When I touch the tapioca,
Daddy is dancing

Daddy
Super daddy.

(trans from Malayalam by Anitha Varma)
Kuzhur Wilson Jan 2014

A song comes out of the speeding bhogis,
Seeta is the one rendering the song.
She chants that her husband has long been dead.

Seeta has two sons, just like her ballads.
One –
Gives rhythm to her song.
Other –
Rubs a gentleman out of his siesta
And asks for a little money.

The bhogis gain momentum (Ignores the station master who shows red to stop the pacing male phallus)

Long away –
A girl lies down, lower than the rails.
Kill me, kill me, she bangs her head.
I will, I will, the rails swell the train song in her ears.

Though long away,
Though have not heard the girl,
As if she has heard something -
Seeta stops singing.
And her children dash out.

Two hobos enter in –
As if to sell sizzling peanuts.

Just as to give the body a bath –
Seemingly not pleased just with the rails –
The male train jumps off,
Into the wide sea.
(Whose vagina is the sea, the breeze hums a song)

A thousand crows flutters from –
One’s previous birth,
To –
Another’s next birth.

Seeta, having forgotten all her songs –
Looks out for her kids.

Will arrive shortly, will arrive shortly :
Weary, irked and bored -
Time waits at a station.

(I did remember Rupesh Paul, who drew a simile between the rails and the sex worker’s nights, Anitha Thampi, who wrote about female trains, Latheesh Mohan, who noted down how the train stretches its back, Vishnu Prasad and his poem on the phallus, Prasanna Aryans usage: fuck, says the wheel and shit-shit , says the rail et al , while writing this poem)

(Translated by Sherin Catherine)

(Translated by Sherin Catherine)
2.7k · Aug 2014
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
2.4k · Dec 2015
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
2.3k · Aug 2014
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
2.2k · Aug 2014
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
2.1k · Nov 2013
The handicapped man
Kuzhur Wilson Nov 2013

Saw women
Waiting at the bus stop

Heard the new cinema song
From the advertising vehicle

Asked the stranger sitting near me
Whether he was not going to Potta ashram

In conductor’s seat
Slumbers a traveler without a ticket (stowaway)

Under the label of defence forces,
Two school children
On the Ladies’ seat,
Padre from the local church

“The lady who brings this card is an orphan
Her family was lost in floods
She is the only one for herself and her child
A blue card fell in my lap.

How did I become blind?
Beating time on the stomach,
A Tamil song stretched its arm
Became deaf

A girl became mute
“do you remember this face?”

Sat on the seat for handicapped
With a sense of belonging and righteousness.

Translation : Anitha Varma
1.9k · Oct 2013
Incarnation
Kuzhur Wilson Oct 2013

When I rang in the morning, amma asked ‘who is it?’

‘who is it’
In the same voice that she used in the olden days
Worried that she would have to serve coffee and snacks
When Jinu, Pradeep, Riyaz came calling

Amma, it is not the nair boy nor Pradeep from pallippuram, nor the Muslim boy Riyaz,
It is your son

‘who is it’

Amma, this is me,
What else shall I say?
Your son.

What other title do I have

Your Youngest
Born in old age
One who is supposed to look after his amma
Who left home
Who lived as he pleased
Who married without consent from those at home
Who failed many exams
Who used to wander around with strangers
Who used to drink and shout obscenities at the clergy

The butcher knife in amma’s chest

When again the question ‘who is it’
Falls in my ears,
Amma, what should I say?

The dark one of yesteryears became fair
Because of not going in the sun, amma
I cannot become dark even if I pretend, amma

I drank and drank and got all swollen up, amma
I smoked and smoked and became tired, amma
I shouted and shouted and became hoarse, amma
I read and read poems and overflowed, amma..

When amma asks again ‘who is it’
As though she didn’t know anything

I felt like answering I have become Thadiyantavida Naseer, having read too much news
I felt like answering that I have become A P Abdullakkutti  having hankered after whatever I heard and saw
I felt like answering that I have become MA Yusuf Ali, tallying accounts again and again
I felt like answering I have become Kunjhalikkutty, having lusted after everyone I saw
Who is it, who is it, when the voice cracks asking, what more am I to say

Amma, who are you?

Why do you start as though you heard the question ‘who is the father?”

Do crows still visit the breadfruit tree on the northern side, amma?
Do you still scold, ‘hey breadfruit tree, you little minx, do not fall before you are grown enough!’, amma?

Is amma listening?
Do you understand?

What about Biran?
After his girl got married,
After his boy went to the gulf,
Biran doesn’t come
He is prosperous now,
Good fish are not available nowadays..



Was the tamarind tree fruitful this year, amma?
Did you dry the tamarind to make it into cakes to preserve it, amma?

Cannot down a morsel without buttermilk
In the morning, when I looked, all sourness was lost
moreover, the milk got curdled

Amma, wont you get up fast
Don’t we have to go to church?

There are lots of people there
There are lots of people there

I have taken the matchbox
Buy two candles (small, cheap ones)
Come, I will be here
It has been long since you lighted a candle for your father



I wrote my name
At the tip of a huge tree in our genealogy

It sways in a gentle wind

Brethren with whom I grew up
Say that it is because
Of  intoxication

People say it is acting the fool
Some say that all that is needed is a beating



On the roots of a huge tree in the genealogy, amma,
You sprout little greens of new awareness

Still even in heavy winds

Your children, fruits of your womb, who knew the labour you went through
say it is because  you are not in your right mind

People say it is acting the fool
Those who watch recommend tying up

Amma,
for me
and you,
what is consciousness,

trans from Malayalam by Anitha Varma
1.7k · May 2014
Washing
Kuzhur Wilson May 2014

If it were a shirt or underwear,
I could have thrown it into that corner
This, now, is body
It is not enough to wash it the ordinary way in the bathroom
Have to give it to the sea or the river
Like giving the very soiled clothes to the washerman
Perhaps it will give it back.

Translated by: Anita Varma.
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)
Kuzhur Wilson Nov 2013

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 jackfruit 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-storeyedhouse 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 enslavened 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 fulfill 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 jackfruit leaves.


(Trans from Malayalam by Ra Sh)

(Trans from Malayalam by Ra Sh)
Kuzhur Wilson Mar 2014

When we
Are alone,
Me and Ammini
Make another
World to play in.
Like the ever vacant
Sand houses
Some adults build
With their kids
On the beach.

Then,
I will get angry
Even if the gentlest
Of breezes
Passes that way.
She will turn livid
Even if a pussy
Passes that way.

If
Single
Single
Memories
Or sighs
Or their scars
Appear on the face
She will
Wipe them off
With
Kisses.

After playing
For long,
We will fight.

Ammini  will holler
Louder than
The way she laughed.
I will keep mum
Louder than her.

I will
Lay her down
Holding her close
To my bosom
That will beat
Ammineee, Ammineeee.

As she pretends
To sleep,
I will shoo her off
Go away pussiiii!
As if the masculine
Of pussee is pussoo
She will shoo me off
Go away pussoo!

I will retort
Go away Poochamma!
Ammini will retort
Go away Pochamba!
Go away Kochambi!
Go away Kochambra!
Go away Pochambra!
Go away Sochambra!

Go away
Sorambi!
Go away
Soramba!
Go away
Soorambi!
Go away
Kooramba!
Go away
Koorambi!
Go away

……

At a loss
For words
She will
Change the tune.
Goaway
Slate!

Goaway
Bag!
Goaway
Tree!
Goaway
Pencil!
Goaw­ay
Pen!
Goaway,
Ant
Goaway
Mosquito!
Goaway
Matchbox!
Goaway
Stra­w!
Goaway
Book!
Goaway
Cot!
Goaway
Chair!
Goaway
Window!
Goaway
D­oor!
Goaway
Mobile!
Goaway
Button!
Goaway
Computer!
Goaway
Trouse­rs!
Goaway
Shirt!
Goaway
Sky!
Goaway
Puppy!
Goaway
Star!
Goaway
W­ell!
Goaway
Girl!
Goaway
Boy!
Goaway
Calendar!
Goaway
Fan!
Goazwa­y
Doll!
Goaway
Broom!
Goaway
Tiffin box!
Goaway
Poetry!
Goaway
Annakutty!
Goaway
Appakutta!
Goaway
Am­mikkalli!
Goaway
Appakkalla!

About to lose,
I will show the
Trump card.

Go away
Agnus Anna!

Her face will change.
Hesitantly,
She will say

Go away
Kuzhur Wilson!

Then
An
Intolerable
Silence
Will
Spread
There.

When Ammini
Turns back
To
Kochu TV,
I will
Enter
The bathroom
Shut
The door
And
Puff on
A cigarette.

Then
Another
Kind of
Game
That
Makes
Life
Intolerable
To live
Will
Pool
Around me
There.


Translation : Ra Sha

“Wilson speaks the language of the Christ contemplating life in the dark cavern in the twilight zone between crucifixion and resurrection. At the door, stand guard numerous women, goats, dogs, birds and reptiles speaking agitatedly in a vernacular tongue. All objects, living and non living, fall within his jurisdiction. Over everything falls a great sheet of sadness like a gloomy rain. “

Ra Sha
1.3k · Aug 2014
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
1.3k · Dec 2015
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.
Kuzhur Wilson Nov 2013

this time, when i went
to meet Death at his place,
he showed signs of weakness.
he was watching a cricket match
relaxing in his arm chair, legs stretched.
yawns kept rolling
in slow progression
towards the boundary.

'are you well?’ i ventured.
'nothing wrong,’ said he.

stammering, i quizzed him:
which one do you fear most?
allopathy, ayurveda, or
homeopathy?

dear wilson,
have you observed sachin
facing the balls of shane warne?
brian lara, wasim akram?
chris gail, brett lee?

i was thrown into confusion.

death admitted, unwillingly,
that like vivian richards
confronted narendra hirwani,
he was laid low by the
secret herb
of an old tribal man!

aaha! the panacea
became then
a spin ball!
(aaha…Nothing official about it!)

i forgot to ask
how our people
smuggled away by him
were faring now.

he forgot to comment
“you will see for yourself
when you face it.”

By Kuzhur Wilson
Trans by Ra Sh
1.3k · Mar 2014
The handicapped man
Kuzhur Wilson Mar 2014

Saw women
Waiting at the bus stop

Heard the new cinema song
From the advertising vehicle

Asked the stranger sitting near me
Whether he was not going to Pota ashram

In conductor’s seat
Slumbers a traveler without a ticket

Under the label of defense forces,
Two school children
On the Ladies’ seat,
Padre from the local church

“The lady who brings this card is an orphan
Her family was lost in floods
She is the only one for herself and her child
A blue card fell in my lap.

How did I become blind?
Beating time on the stomach,
A Tamil song stretched its arm
Became deaf

A girl became mute
“do you remember this face?”

Sat on the seat for handicapped
With a sense of belonging and righteousness.

Translation : Anitha Varma
1.2k · May 2014
The farmer
Kuzhur Wilson May 2014

After the morning walk,
While returning,
Bought two bananas from the tea shop

While eating it,
Tried sketching the person
Who cultivated it, in my imagination

Where would the farmer
Who grew the bananas
That I am eating now, be?

Will he be sleeping
Or farming?

Will he be

While thinking about the farmer,
Remembered father, who was an agriculturist himself

Pity!

It was necessary to buy a banana
For this ungrateful seed
To remember its own cultivator!

Translation : Anitha Varma
1.2k · Mar 2014
Map
Kuzhur Wilson Mar 2014
Map

while drawing the map of India
I know of a kid who was
worried as to where was Kuzhoor

a sketch job that took just five minutes
to score three marks
misled him many a time

between the question paper and the answer sheet
he
searched for his canal, bunds and fields

here’s Varkey chettan’s tea stall
there’s the butcher shop
here cricket is played
Subramonnian temple there
Kundoor river bank here
the friends wait here
Preethi turns into the alley here
like that he marked

even after the warning bell
India wouldn't be drawn in full

Kashmir not marked at all





Translation : Rajasree

(Map, Book-e-2003)
Kuzhur Wilson Apr 2014

Vegetarian

After she divided

The gills and scales for the crow and the cat

Head for the youngest girl
Tail for the smart son

Middle pieces
For husband and his friend,

She became vegetarian

Worried about being accused of the stench,
Washed hands again and again

Devout

Fasted
In answer to the question
Why haven’t you eaten?

Fasted in front of the innocence
Which asked “Do you want this, mother?

After fasting so many times
She became known as very devout.

Translation : Anitha Varma
1.2k · Jan 2014
Tree kiss
Kuzhur Wilson Jan 2014

Today,
This tree was the very picture
Of a pair of birds
Who had a fight after mating.

You will never understand
The eagerness of this tree
In making every morning a new one
Or daily showing me a new movie,
However I try to describe it
One day
Leaves, that cry
“don’t go” “don’t leave”
To the wind
That passes by

Another day
Of shooing cats feasting in the shade,
On fish bone, from someone’s leftover meal,
After dribbling pigeon-droppings from a branch,

Another day
The tear-filled eyes
Of its own branch
That cries
And supplicates the sun
To heal its wound

Another day
Of its own sister branches
Or, in human parlance, wooden chairs
That have become prostitutes;
On which strange people sit casually.

One day
The Bihari
Who is scared stiff of his lord,
And who runs every time a wind blows
To sweep away the dried leaves
Which the wind has killed,
Having made violent love to them.

On yet another day,
The fruits that laugh their heads off
Along with the little blossoms that laughed once |
At the silver-blue sky

On still another day
The tap root
That suddenly burst into tears
Gazing at the dusk
That draped golden strands on boughs and twigs

On yet another day,
The aged middle-portion of the tree
That unveiled the hitherto unexposed
Moss-green nursling
And prayed that it be named
Another day before this,
Had made me sad
By asking
“Are you wont to see
the other tree-friends
Throughout the countryside ?”

Had made me heartsore
By asking me
“Would you forget me?”

Once, have asked
Whether I would point out
The mother-bird
Who sowed the seed after she ate the fruit
I have made myself broken-hearted  |
wondering
Where or how mother was.

At the moment
When the mind gets shaken up
And becomes even more fragile,
In the memory of
Some trees
That have helped some lives thrive,
Have given shade,
Given oxygen,
Crucified,

O tree,
I am hugging you,
Giving you
A frozen, but still very passionate kiss
With the Alloyed numbness of death and life :
A tree-kiss

Translation : Anitha Varma
1.2k · Oct 2013
Dance
Kuzhur Wilson Oct 2013

In the garden in Corniche
In the playground bound by a metal fence,
While the Arab teenage kicks the ball,
The feet of the Sudanese, sitting on the stone bench nearby
Start prickling;

Cries out that
For one who knows how to score goals,
The hunger to kick a ball
Is the ultimate one!

Me? I shall remain nameless!

The fisherman
Whose whole body tingles
As he espies a shiver of gigantic sharks
Even while swimming for life,
Having lost his boat and fishing net in the deluge,

The nun, whose breasts start secreting
As she watches a bawling baby,
Standing amidst toddlers of the nursery

The swimmer,
Who crawls through the desert
On camel-back

I do not ask for anything else
Just the ball and the opposition
Let a thousand, or tens of thousands come,
Let the goal-mouth
Be miles distant,
I do not ask for anything else

Once, while carrying a load of cement
On the tenth floor,
For a moment,
A moment,
The sun tempted, as a huge ball.

The scar of the beating received
While dribbling the sun on the sky meadow
Remains on the back..

There are balls anyone can play with.

No, all surges ahead
Do not end in goals.
There are no games that do not have ‘foul’ -
Even in dreams.
There are no Arab children
In the playground now.

Jut the ball, ball, ball alone.

It scurries hither and thither
By itself,
Races outside,
Speeds towards the goal-mouth,
Sometimes ducks out of sight.

Very privately,
And even more secretly,
Ball smiled at me.
A shudder of incarnations
In my toes.

As soon as the ball and feet
Left the playground,
Two legs
Started dancing,
Betwixt twilight and night.

(trans from Malayalam by Anitha Varma)
1.1k · May 2014
Golden land (Suvarnna bhumi)
Kuzhur Wilson May 2014

O rain,
That falls
On the green
That I love most
Let me kiss
Your tender chest

Nobody to come, or go
Alone, alone, alone,
Have to bear the heat and odors of earth

Was the world built by someone?
In it, the marks of a kiss
By me or you
Is graffiti

In Ethihad’s cabin
Your name is Mariyamma,
Mine is..

The sound of someone singing on earth
Mother might be crying
You might be singing
Or else I might be muttering about myself

There is only one place to say
Peace, peace
Your mother’s vagina
Only one way to come out

To go inside, at least a thousand ways, but
All blocked
With what Ammu, Ammini and you have earned

Not as beasts,
Not as humans,
It was not father
Or mother
Who gave birth
To us as us
Someone else..

Will name a dream after you
Will name another one after you
If you miss at one, you will get it right at three
I will give my name to the third dream

A mouthful of grain is a word
There is a mouth
There is rice
When these two combine
You
Like myself,
So unbearable,
Love.

Children,
Was it the food you ate
Or the tall and hefty  myself
You or me
You or me

Please take with you
The care and protection
Of this SMS
In the morning
When
Anxieties leave

As I fight like a butcher,
No,
No,
Preethi, from Maha Iranikkulam
Calls me to take a bath in the temple pond

Was it you
Or me
Or our children?

Amma,
Amma,
Amma,

Amen.

Translation : Anitha Varma , Suvarnna bhoomi - thailand
1.1k · Feb 2014
impression
Kuzhur Wilson Feb 2014

One who cavorts
To the beats of the percussion instrument
Does not hear
The screams of the animal

One who loses himself
In the rhythm of the Tabla
Will not read the memories of the leather

One who presents his love
With a peacock feather will not see
The blood stains where it was plucked

The one who accepts it and dances
Will not know
A bird, its feet and wing broken

One who wears hair from the elephant’s tail
To become fearless
Does not see
The life cowering under the sharp end
Of the pole used to control it,
Nor hear the rattle of chains

One who reads these lines will not read….

Translation : Anitha Varma
Kuzhur Wilson Apr 2014

No, it wasn’t happening for the first time

I don’t know whether anyone wrote ‘Tattered sky’ in a poem before. Maybe it was me. I haven’t met a poet in whose life memory and forgetting are so mixed up. Even if I wrote, maybe I had forgotten it..

Still, I am sure I am the first poet to write ‘tattered sky in the lake’ for the first time in the world. Otherwise, ask those crows pecking it to tatters. Or ask the kingfishers who fly in that tattered sky.

It is not the first time it is happening, you know?

I have cried in keka and kakali meters. I have begged in kalakanchi. I have lied in kalyani. I have laughed and guffawed  in anushtup and sardula vikriditham. I have masturbated in slathakakali, and fucked in anna nada, and let it flow innathonnatha. I have dozed in manjari and died in maakandamanjari. I have gone mad in mandakranta, and have lost myself in meters i don’t know the names of.

Two nuns who went to Aluva river sands to pay annual obeisance to the dead to Jesus

One day, while going via Aluva, i saw two nuns. They were two poor women going to Aluva river sands to pay to Jesus the annual obeisance to the dead.  One among them had the looks of my mother, and the other, that of my girl friend at the church compound. Even when i recited aloud VG Thampi’s lines ‘I am Jesus, unfinished’ they didn’t listen to it. They were not in any way related to me. Then, i was a handicapped Jesus.

It is not the first time it is happening, you know?

I have cried in keka and kakali meters. I have begged in kalakanchi. I have lied in kalyani. I have laughed and guffawed  in anushtup and sardula vikriditham. I have masturbated in slathakakali, and fucked in anna nada, and let it flow innathonnatha. I have dozed in manjari and died in maakandamanjari. I have gone mad in mandakranta, and have lost myself in meters i don’t know the names of.

My name was Shemeer then

In the hospital at NAD, my job was to sleep in the place of that fat insomniac doctor. My name then was Shemeer. I can’t prove through my writing how well I performed my job snoring loudly all the way.  I don’t think anyone would have worked like this so totally oblivious of oneself. My sleep was not in the least affected by the rounded breasts of doctor’s jasmine vine of a wife, or by the odour (i wanted to say smell) which was capable of bringing the dead back to life. Moreover, his two candle-like daughters used to play hopscotch on my bed sheet, which was my work place.  But what to say? They dismissed me from my job for opening my eyes a wee bit on a day at dusk. I heard a shriek. That too, a familiar one. They had brought Madhavi Chothi to the hospital when her asthma got worse. True, i did open my eyes. I am Shemeer, the one who was dismissed from his job for the first time in history, for having startled awake from sleep.

It is not the first time it is happening, you know?

I have cried in keka and kakali meters. I have begged in kalakanchi. I have lied in kalyani. I have laughed and guffawed  in anushtup and sardula vikriditham. I have masturbated in slathakakali, and fucked in anna nada, and let it flow innathonnatha. I have dozed in manjari and died in maakandamanjari. I have gone mad in mandakranta, and have lost myself in meters i don’t know the names of.

One could have adjusted at least a day..

Something that smelt of breast milk. I think my name was Shinto or so at that time. I was an altar boy who had lost his belief in names after having cognac from a bar in Chicago. There was a little bird too. From that day, i developed the habit of calling even a crow a little bird. Whatever it maybe, there was a little bird. And that bird was building a nest. The bird brings the twigs, strands of hay, a bit of a flex sheet broken at the edge of a word. The bird brings a red wire, the bird brings. It was beginning to take life in the address ‘The Little Bird, Nest, Tree PO ‘. A day. A week. An year. Yes, it took a long, long time. Bird, nest, tree.. tree, nest, bird.. The moment i asked ‘Hey little bird, don’t you have kids?’,  it flew away. Here it comes with its little ones to occupy its home. Yes, that very day. On that day, just after those who won the tender contract, had cut that tree down. This was too much. They could have adjusted at least a day..

It is not the first time it is happening..

Translated by C.S Venkiteswaran
Kuzhur Wilson Jan 2014

2009 october 9,
Sharja, ajman, dubai


Very early,
The day
Browses through the book
On suicide

“this wooden cross of poesy
Will control
The road mishaps
Of dream travel”
I told the day
That those are my lines

He laughed
Sunlight spread

Gave the book
On suicide
To the day

Let it get dark,
He said

A father for the first time
is making
His daughter
Listen
to the sea
Named after her

Ammini,
Why don’t you
Say something?

This is the sea,
Mother ocean
Mother ocean
Gave you your name

You laugh
Listening to the roar
What do you know
About its depths
Even your father doesn’t know
Whirlpools,
Deep abysses
Waves
Oysters

Huge sharks
With protruding teeth

Keep it a bit closer, girl,
The low voice
Of a goddess

After your father
Dipped you
In the ocean,
He  wrote on the bank,

That the ocean mother is a thief

It was probably
Because she was scared of you,
Ammini,
This time,
She didn’t wipe it out



Who is this Ranni?
To which godforsaken place does this Ranni belong ?
Whether it is Ranni
Or Konni,
I have to drink a drop of liquor
After that, everything will be all right

In the perfect Ranni room
Of the one from Ranni
Ranni
Ranni
Ranni
Ranni, etc

There are pictures of father and mother

You are blessed
The pictures of
Father
And mother
In the words of Nazimuddin
Fair wife
Obedient children

Liquor
Gave a kiss
On the forehead
Of the one from Ranni

Would Shobha
Have ever seen me
Except through the camera?
Anilan,
Mary, Mary again,
Shihab,
Must have seen me
Changing lens after lens

As  for everyone else,
I am a picture
For Shobha

No shobha
Has seen
Me

Is it because of madness
Or in order to not become mad
O forest,
In-between
In-between
In-between
These missed calls

Those that were missed were missed all right .

In- between,
Trying to imitate
You
In your language,
I failed...

There is,
In Aluva
A Sebastian
Who vends vegetables

Sells anything
Except poems

And you?

All who smoke
Pine cigarettes
In the world
Are brothers

After I die
You should give
A packet of Pine
Along with the award given

I
Was the seller
In that grocery
One day
For one hour
In some moment

My pay
My pay

This kiss
Is this worker’s
Struggle with you

A struggle with kisses

Wow!
I feel like living

Great

See, I didn’t write this
Why do words
Come and look
In places where
They are not wanted,
at times when they are not wanted?

I will stab you
It will be over with a stab,
It should be over

As soon as a poem was over
Another one!
A lady says

Is it possible to feign deafness
when females talk to us?

But this time I fooled you!
I am not reciting a poem
It is reciting me!

Now let it think!


In the look of wonder and respect,
Girl,

I become another person,

You are with your father
Even then you whisper
That you want to hear my poem

I have seen you somewhere

My children,
Poem?
It is all gone

It smells like a cadaver
If I open my mouth


Do you know
How many people ran away?

First you gave me
A huge bunch of basil

My soul turned green,
But as I stand there
Stunned,
Thinking that you are so small - a girl,
You give again

An uncooked forest of leaves again

Hey look,
You are a girl

This kiss is on your forehead
I am not one who do not fancy
The private parts of females

My kiss is firmly on your forehead.
Because
My son is a daughter..

Translation : Anitha Varma
1.1k · Jan 2014
A 22 carat poem on gold
Kuzhur Wilson Jan 2014

My precious

You become a beauty
Only when you languorously
Hug the waists of damsels as cincture

Countless are the times,
earlobes or ankles
Unadorned by you
Inflamed  me

A plain a yellow thread has ousted you nowadays

When you swing from an ear,
It is indeed fascinating to watch

You have even usurped my sleep
As a nose-ring, through its keen glitter
Costume jewellery has replaced you too, many times

Still, my precious,
It is when  you are pawned
That you become real ‘gold ‘

Like the revolutionary
Who become more so
By getting hanged

Like a soldier
Who become more of a soldier
By getting shot at the border

My precious, my precious
My precious pledged gold.

Translation : Anitha Varma
1.1k · May 2016
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

1.1k · Jul 2016
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

1.0k · Sep 2014
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.
1.0k · Jan 2014
Havent put it down
Kuzhur Wilson Jan 2014

The forgotten umbrella
Fretted

Did he get wet?
Cry because it was missing?
Would his mother have given him a beating?

Benches and desks
Are cozing

The board still retains
The day’s remnants

Night came,
The umbrella was in tears
Rain rain
Umbrella umbrella
Said the rain outside

Only  the umbrella heard
His voice was raining over the shower
“my darling umbrella”

Crying itself to sleep,
Headmaster’s room
Came in a dream

Question papers, canes
Maps, globe, skeleton,
Chalk power,
Fat lady teachers,
Farts and baloney

Startled itself awake
No, it is not light yet
Through the darkness
Nothing other than his embroidered name

Still you forgot me!

Other umbrellas came
And sat on either sides

Didn’t you get wet yesterday?
Didn’t you go home?
How can it be said that he forgot me?

There he is!
Umbrella closed its eyes

Let him come running
Give a hundred kisses

He didn’t come even after the bell rang

On opening the eyes,  saw
His new darling umbrella

Hasn’t put it down..

Translation : Anitha Varma
999 · Oct 2013
2007 February 28
Kuzhur Wilson Oct 2013

We met
In a deserted street
In Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, In the next incarnation.

Thereon,
A tee shirt , with the legend
“The lovers in this incarnation
Belonged to two populations
That were at war in the last one”
Walked by.

I realized that day
That your gaze
Was a bullet
Of hatred and vengeance
Left over from unabated fury
Even after firing six times that day

And you told me
That my words
Were like
The satisfaction of chopping repeatedly,
A body long dead

Still,
When you saw popcorn on the wayside,
Why did you offer to get it?
Why did you coo, ‘what’s wrong, dear’ when I sighed?
I am clueless!

you asked
How we separated
The first time it was because the flame flared up
When lighting a taper
Once it was because the phone rang while kissing.
There was some stain on my shirt when we met in a dream
.....
.......
For asking
For not asking
For calling, not calling,
For sighing,
For laughing, for whimpering,
For crying, for eating, for not eating,
For sending, for not wishing to send,
For going to the toilet
Without asking permission
For saying a prayer for mother and children

Must have died together on that day.
The anxiety was not
About who would look after you
If I died first,
But who all will look at you!

Must have killed
If not that, God would have interfered
Whatever the rock on which it is built,
God would upset it with an earthquake if nothing else.

God and His strange ways!


In the Afghan capital city of Kabul,
It is the same us who killed with love in this fashion


When you exclaimed
“How lovely this city is”,
I lighted another cigarette

This time, another tee shirt
With the legend “I am not even born”
Passes by


I remembered
The two lines you told me
in the last incarnation,
Four days before Christmas,
A Thursday evening,
At 5:41.
I laughed without telling you that.
You gave me a kiss.
Author Notes

Translation Anitha Varma
969 · Oct 2013
That tree
Kuzhur Wilson Oct 2013

In the villa in Sharja,
A banyan tree stood, stuck to the wall of the building.
Mind throbbed as soon as it caught sight of it,
Touched it to my forehead in reverence,
Remembered my father who understood trees.
In the book she has kept closed,
It should be possible to still see
The memory veins of a leaf-
Plucked after touching its soul and seeking permission.
‘It is a sign of prosperity,
It cleanses the atmosphere’, Mary too said.
New tenants came in the room vacated by Priyan and Anjana
Jaya aunty and her husband said that they wore skull caps
Narayanan, wearing sacred thread and sandalwood paste on his forehead,
Anthony with rosary and sacred amulet
After them,
Youngsters of this type were not seen so nearby
One night, when I went out of my way to touch that tree,
I heard speech of a rhythmic nature
From the room of those who wore caps
It passed through my mind, ‘these are times when words become music.’

It was a Friday.
While watering Basil plants,
Saw the branches of the banyan on the ground.
Its leaves, like heart shattered..
Whitish veins drained of blood
my eyes hurt
As I ran to it,
Saw the tree,
Looking like a worshipper whose hands were cut
While crying, beseeching the heavens , arms outstretched.

Father,
You used to say that there were many types of trees
Which tree is used to make crosses to crucify humans, Father?

(trans from Malayalam by Anitha Varma)
957 · Dec 2014
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
956 · Jan 2016
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.
Kuzhur Wilson Jan 2014

O body, the little fish you swallowed yesterday

Yes, those

There are no other reasons
For this cat to roam around
For the third time

Fish swallowed yesterday, do not flail about
The globular eyes of that cat

O stomach, at least
Till it goes away,
Do not upset
With the slight movements of your waves

Body, body
Cautiously by the seaside

If all the fish that got inside
Bounced on seeing the place of origin
And if their friends tried knocking on each cell
If body, your body washed up all over a shore
Kissed by fishes

Body,
If all that you looked at greedily,
All that you ate ravenously,
All that you relished slowly
Appeared before you sometime

If it appeared

Body, body,
While seeing the kids,
If breast milk from thirty years ago spread out
If cake and fried liver
start out searching  for little mouths

If all alcohol imbibed
Spurted out while meeting friends
Screamed out at midnight
Recited a dirty poem while no one was listening

Body,
On a noon, in favorite city
If two areolae appeared
And again spread brilliance
If you spilled out
Inhaling that redolence

Seeing something,
If saliva, sweat or wetness
Jump out

Body, body
If seeing greenery,
The cows and buffaloes and rabbits
Come out to graze,
Frogs start croaking
Seeing rain clouds
If seeing the sky,
The crow and crane inside
Start flying

If the cock comes out into the yard on seeing the hen,
Body, body,
If the fish, beasts and birds inside
Come out simultaneously,

Body, body,
Body’s soul…

Translation : Anitha Varma
942 · Aug 2014
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
921 · Jun 2014
12 year old sky sea woods
Kuzhur Wilson Jun 2014

Our house was a 12 year old Lancer car

Sitting in its congested patio,  
Beheld the sky

That sky spilled over the sky
Stars squirmed and threatened to jump down immediately

We were like the children beneath the mango tree who do not rush to school
Even after the last bell

The wind may blow any moment

Our house was a 12 year old Lancer car

Descried the sea
Sitting inside its smoke-filled, odorous kitchen

That sea overflowed the sea

The fish swimming along in the deep asked, “coming?”

We were
Like the fisherman waiting for the snakehead murrel
Though it is noon and he is hungry

The sea fish do not know
The grooves of tears and the little waterway

Rainclouds can arrive anytime

Our house was a 12 year old Lancer car

Saw the woods sitting near its un-curtained window


Those woods got darker than woods
Trees pretending to cavil for my being late

Moonlight clear and fuzzy amongst boughs

Us, like fireflies watching ripened paddy stalks

There are wounds that are hidden
A lightning can strike any moment

Our house was a 12 year old Lancer car

Sitting in its spaces coarse otherwise
We quenched each other’s thirst and hunger
Argued
Prayed
Perused the holy book

Often, while no one watched,
We fed the dolls
Sung them lullabies

On these occasions,
I went out pretending that I wanted a smoke

Thereupon, between us
Sky sea  woods.

Translation : Anitha Varma
900 · Oct 2013
Evil eye
Kuzhur Wilson Oct 2013

It was a day
Somewhat resembling today.

When, abandoning Ramachandran, Shivan
And Dimwit Mary,
And leaving them to sit in the sixth standard again,
Forty three of them
Went single file to seventh A.

Where did these tears,
That were missing then,
Originate, now?

Ramachandran did odd jobs even then
Shivan’s mother was a beggar
Dimwit Mary’s name itself spoke aloud
But what was wrong with me?
And That was what Meenakshi teacher asked too that day
If she were my mother,
I could at least have answered ‘O go away’!
It was later that Meenakshi teacher’s right breast
Got removed due to cancer

“It is because of the evil eye, teacher
In case the answer is correct,
Give me marks and send me to the seventh”.

Translation : Anitha Varma
884 · Apr 2016
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

873 · Aug 2016
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

866 · Nov 2013
MATING A CLOUD
Kuzhur Wilson Nov 2013

Caught hold of a cloud
Wandering in the sky
Mixed, kneaded
Under feet...
With a large piece
Made huge breasts

With one piece
Made navels, deep
With a piece,  buttocks
From memory
Thighs
Arm pits
Feet
Fingers
Vagina...

Fucked
Deep,

deep,
deep......

While lying exhausted
It started raining on me
Un ceasing....

Pregnant with rain babies
In womb
It was indeed a female cloud

Raining...with out a pause!

withholding name of the translator on request
865 · Jan 2014
Don’t know me
Kuzhur Wilson Jan 2014

He doesn’t know me
Neither do I, him

There is a lake between us
It is full of fish

Those fish are not his.
Neither are they mine.

The connection between us
Is that those fish do not
Belong to us

The fallen sky is still in the pond
I can see the fish diving through
The cloudy hillsides
There is no doubt that it is the fish
That stir the clouds however slightly be it

Are there fish that are undaunted by birds?
If you wish, peer into the sky in the pond

I kept wondering whether he was witnessing all this
Also, whether he comprehends my reflections

I couldn’t envisage what he saw in the pond
Neither did I have the time for it.

O, let him think whatsoever

He has a cigarette in his hand
That I too have a cigarette
Is another bond which we share

I feel that the fumes from my cigarette
And the clouds are friends
Isn’t that the reason I get vexed
About the clouds in the lake, floating, dead

His is not like that
One can see it in his face
He has no cares

He must be smoking to kill boredom

He is darker than I am
That too is a bond
But he doesn’t know
That I am actually fair
And that I am only pretending to be dark

Perhaps he was fair too once
Would he have got dark when his mother left him, forgotten?

I don’t think so; No, he is dark

The pond belonging to the clouds
The sky  fell into
My smoke fumes that roam in the company
Of clouds

Me, who is not dark..

Translation : Anitha Varma
838 · Aug 2014
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

820 · Sep 2013
Varghese has no home
Kuzhur Wilson Sep 2013

Varghese has no home.
Stays in his workplace.
Jesus’s very own man.
Big rosary around his neck.
And a matching wooden cross.
He gardens around the yard
On days of no work.
Holds a deep grudge
Against the trees around.

Doomed are they the moment
His eyes settle on them.

Asked him once whether
His rancor was because
Jesus was crucified on wood.
Or, was it the wheezing that
the Acacia trees caused?
Or, was it the itchy worms
from the soft wood trees?
He said time and again
‘Brother, I love the trees
More than you love them.’

Have seen many times
The birds from the trees
Chopped down by Varghese
Looking for their nests.

Clearing the bushes along
The road to the office was
Varghese’s job for the day.

When I went out for a smoke
Glowing was he about
How the place gleamed.

Midnight, after work,
Was driving along the path
Shorn clean by Varghese.

In the blaze of the headlight
A hare dashed frantically
Looking for its bush.


(trans from Malayalam by  Ra Sh)

Kuzhur Wilson Mar 2014

En route from Dharmapuri
To Krishnagiri
Amid the tamarind trees
There goes a flock of sheep

Shaking heads
Jumping merrily
Hither and thither

Behold!  there, one man becomes
A flock of sheep

Evolving in to
A black little lamb,
A mother sheep munching on paper
And a goat kicking another one
Among the group

There! a flock of sheep
That has turned in to a man!

Where on earth
Are you?
Wails the flock of sheep
Bleating be..........be......teasingly
Tongue brushing  ear lobes
with ruminating saliva

Beside that flock of sheep,
Dragging along a wounded right leg,
Staring at the sky
Standing transfixed,
The shepherd was the other person

He was a memory
Of having been a flock of sheep once...
On each path he treads
A thousand flocks of sheep passes
In joy and mirth

Despite being poor at herding
The one who happened to stop by
Bumping on a lamb that fell down

The photostat of a goat
With burned legs

Lying in the womb of a pregnant sheep
He is sleeping...

Looking at each bird
That flew across the sky
He laments
That they are his lost sheep
Beckoning the crows, sparrows and parrots

The birds in turn fly away
Frightened
As though seeing a hunter

The stick he held
Was mistaken for an arrow
Piercing the ground

His prayers,
Not to let them fall
In to the lakes of the sky
Was blocked by the clouds...

En route from Dharmapuri
To Krishnagiri
Amid the tamarind trees
There, goes a flock of sheep
There, a shepherd  !

translation- Vijayalakshmi Murthy
810 · Aug 2016
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

Kuzhur Wilson Nov 2013

It was
One of our
Childhood habits
To crumple
The wax  melting in front of St.Antony
And make new candles.

The tapers of
Thresya whose house got mortgaged, and
Selina whose wedding never got fixed, and
Anthappan who mourned his lack of offspring, and
Thankamma whose chickens died of infectious bronchitis
Stood and liquefied for us in those days.

Math test, pimple,
Cancer, wedding,
Death, visa, love,
Lost hundred rupee note,
Why, even missed periods,
Hair graying too early,
All these daily deliquesced for us
Day after day.

What did the new candle
We lighted in those days
Melt for?

We cannot see a thing
In its light now!

Translation : Anitha Varma
773 · Sep 2016
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.
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