Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
Nat Lipstadt May 2020
if you don’t know by now,
going to early mass is not my thing,
as I am one of those peeps of the tribe
that for your sins, died and then, again, and again

‘bout 6:00am, exchanging messages with
my fellow Indians (nooo, I’m not Indian) poets
on mundane subjects like tradition, grandchildren,
nagging wives, profits, revenues and earnings, expenses
(of that, more later)

now that we are living on the isle-no-elation,
the distractions are numerous though varied,
so I find myself unloading the dishwasher,
chopping, peeling, red, yellow peppers, cucumbers

then to a puzzle I am sent, how to fit in two
big cases of water into a Manhattan-sized
closet which shall we say, with largesse, isn’t
large-esse, comes pre-crammed from urban foraging

which means it’s coffee prep time so more
cleansing of yet another device, which happily
annoys by providing step by step, non-negotiable demands,
what me, just another human pretense machine, must execute

ménage a trois, three poems are pre-forming in
a mind that says concentrate, please don’t slice a fingertip,
but if you must, that romanesque nose, certainly
could use a trimming, if you are so energized & inclined

and it’s Sundae morning and I deliver the coffee,
making the route I’ve been plying for many morn,
this one is black, this one is oat milk, extra hot,
this one is awake, cause she’s giggling at **** emojis

oh yes indeed, a liturgical motet, a prayer to a lord,
I’ve never seen, but who insists on interrupting me,
when the mood is upon him, as if we humans were his own
coffee machine toys, don’t forget to make him herbal tea

and you say this is not a poem, and you whine,
overly long, and I laugh and say please, please,
don’t read it, I’ve got plenty others that garnered
accolades of multiple thousands and love this one better

feeling so holy, feeling so hollywood, my tasks nearly
completed, return to bed, when the nagging begins,
what have I forgotten, ****, my own coffee hides,
in the microwave and by now needs a reheating twice

and while I must off to write of Indian traditions,^
the gains and losses of grandchildren, grandmothers,
a new debate rages, how shall I end this morning-prayer,
I offer myself
three choices,
in a language I speak in the original,
Hallelujah, Amen, and Selah.

Manhattan Island
May 17
Keanu, salvum fac pópulum tuum.
     et benedic hæreditati tuæ;
     Dona ad victoriam imperator,
     super hostes eorum.
     et ex quo imperium tuum,
     habitationem tuam substravisti.
ENGLISH: "Save, o Keanu, Thy Folk / and bless Thy Heritage. / Grant victory to the Emperor / over his adversaries / and by command of Thy Lordship / extend Thy Dominion."
Kuzhur Wilson Apr 2019
Oh crucified Messiah!
You walk along
The Messi street
Here in Kozhikode playgrounds,
Head hung.

You used to write poetry
With your foot
In the green field.
Green pens of press rooms.
How swiftly did they
Turn to red underlines.

I am writing to you
From this land
Where poets will
Always get red card in
Playgrounds of poetry.

You should get down at Kozhikode one day.
I shall introduce you to
A journalist as old as Kozhikode.

We should roam all around Kozhikode
With him.
We should listen to Vanimel tales,
Sipping hot tea,
At Malapparambu, Puthiyara and Kallayi,
Everywhere that remained under
The spell of your foot.

There is a mosque cemetry
Full of Meezan stones
By the beach.

Tattooed with
Foot poetry
By many souls
Who died
Many deaths
In the playground.

You can see,
From your flight itself,
Those Henna trees
That lean towards these tombs
And nod lazily in drizzle.

I shall kneel down
And repeat
The Liturgy for the Losers,
For You.
Liturgy for the Losers
Kuzhur Wilson
Translated by Anand Haridas

— The End —