Born in January 1983, in Mauritius, Amit Parmessur has appeared in a variety of journals, online and in print, including Ann Arbor Review, Indian Review, Crack the Spine, Harbinger Asylum, Hobo Camp Review, The Writing Disorder, Salt and Red Fez. He has been nominated for the Pushcart Award and Best of the Web. Sometimes though, he just wants to give it up all and become a billionaire, or a hermit.
In the glittering temple of our village
the golden lingam sat as a magical mountain.
My father advanced, focused, but poured
the milk, thinking of the many starving children.
And murmuring, murmured a faint prayer.
Mother bowed worshipfully; with soft fingers
she dropped a datura before Shiva’s emblem.
My little brother came, with bright eyes.
He tossed fragrant flowers on the stone.
Then I, and my wife too, came near in awe.
No-one was really looking at us:
I saw Shiva, purple, powerful, and so real.
I smiled, sought His blessing, retreated, and
went out with a new sound chiming in my soul.
What’s the Use
I season daily responsibility with love
and brew and offer the combo to my
garden; I wonder what’s the use!
I want some drumsticks to beat the acid
off my stomach but my drumstick tree
has only tender leaves. What’s the use
of such tenderness? I want a few rugby
balls to taste some natural sports drink;
my coconut tree is too tall. What’s the
use of such arrogance? Tell me. When
I monkey around the banana trees for
future joy I only see a flowery head
slumbering on the neighbour’s garage.
I rather watch myself slip over grassdew
and bear the noise of grey birds fighting.
I rather watch that one-legged rooster
sing on a thirsty Thursday instead of
tuning to the local TV; it might colour
the day more profitably. I rather chase
the butterflies that tango and tangle in
the warm breeze instead of hanging my
dirty hands over an iffy glass ball to know
when I’ll be better than the daughter
of a dog. I rather watch my wife shut eyes
in a silent place and call our pompously
celebrated marriage the end of the beginning.
It might make me understand my worth.
I see my eyes sucking on the sublime
seascape while I climb and caress
virgin mountains in Mark Twain’s paradise,
letting them bruise my belly like hell
in a loudly silent melody, till green
morning when everything is really absurd
and there’s no escape again.
In my new daydreams, I respond to
that one seductive mermaid from
somewhere in the world.
I drag her into the waterfall,
the mist and the forest of my lustful heart;
I wish to be altered into
such a saint again and again
and let my talented tongue
make slow love with cigarette smoke
just like now.
Here. Elsewhere. Everywhere.
Repeating I am a human being
not being human at all,
until I hear a loud threnody and
my white beard oscillates and
falls on a cracked window sill in Paris
with my epitaph written
on a piece of paper lost
in my perfumed pocket.