Mani Suri

Mani SuriBIO

Mani Suri is a veteran of the Poetic License crowd in L.A. He is the author of three chapbooks, “Poetry My Wife Hates and the Mistresses I Could Have Had Would Have Loved,” “Reflection: More Poetry My Wife Hates or the Mistresses I’ll Never Have Who Might Have Loved It,” and “Poetry My Wife Hates: Third in a Series.” Mani has been published in anthologies, and has been featured locally, and as far away as Berkeley, Austin, and London.  He co-hosted the weekly reading at the Rapp Saloon in Santa Monica for eight years.

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Writer’s
Block

You
would
think it was

a block like a butcher’s hard wood, able to withstand a chopping
knife’s hacking. It is but a blank sheet of paper or pixels on a
screen, yet just as hard to mark with a nib or key not whetted with
wit, the inkwell dry in Van Nuys like the Los Angeles River in
summer whilst Calliope’s on a long sojourn in Tuscany or on some
other foreign shore. The blood in a writer’s veins turns to insipid
tea when his muse plays Nosferatu, sucking his ink from his
carotid artery and leaves an empty heart. The fire in his brain is
doused and the remains of the charred thoughts smell acrid. Gone
are the flames that coursed through inflamed nerves and sinews
and leaped from fingertips to sear the page like the lightning
striking tablets with ten commandments. He would rather wait to
find and wring again one pithy verse from a soggy blanket of
words than to start writing just anything, and so he’s blocked from

writing
anything
at all.

(From Reflection: More Poetry My Wife Hates or the Mistresses I’ll Never Have Who Might Have Loved It)

 

 

It came to pass

It came to pass that a man killed his brother; the earth was his accomplice. It gave him the        weapon—a rock.

It came to pass that tribes slaughtered other tribes, the clashing and clanging of swords             and shields ringing in the ears.

It came to pass that women and children were raped and mutilated; their shelters razed to       the earth with fire and the sky was black with smoke.

It came to pass that nations warred; flesh and bones thudded and cracked; peasant women       and children became widows and orphans.

It came to pass that hooves thundered over prairies, steppes, and tundra; horses snorted           fiercely and neighed hysterically in the confusion of battle.

It came to pass that the pungent smell of death and disease assailed the nostrils on grassy         knolls amid bloodstained daffodils and wildflowers.

It came to pass that children were torn limb from limb and tossed in mothers’ laps.

It came to pass that men were sawn in half but never relinquished their faith.

It came to pass that death’s hail fell from azure skies, darkened by bombs.

It came to pass that a new sun was born from a mushroom and scorched everything.

It came to pass that the earth bore the scars of rutting wheels of wagons, cannons,                       smashing, exploding bombs, the air crackling with radioactivity; man wore an                         uncommon halo and burned to anonymity.

It came to pass that the sight of open wounds, eyes glazed with astonished last stares in             gaunt sockets, mouths agape, spewing, gurgling blood, numbed one’s senses.

It came to pass that a white flag, grayed with war’s grime, fluttered then hung still in the           fog.

It came to pass that a Montague gave a rose to a Capulet.

It came to pass that a man from the North shook hands with a man from the South.

It came to pass that a man from the East married a woman from the West.

It came to pass that Lucy was everyone’s too-many-to-count-great-great-grandmother                because of our shared mitochondrial RNA.

It came to pass that a hidden message was decoded from strands of deoxyribonucleic acid          —all men ARE brothers.

It came to pass that a poet penned a poem and doves flew off the page, bearing verses.

As for revenge, this too shall pass.

(From Reflection: More Poetry My Wife Hates or the Mistresses I’ll Never Have Who Might Have Loved It)

 

Jazz

On peut jasser.
We can chat incessantly.
The deep notes of the saxophone
Reverberate,
Scintillate your skin
Shimmering
in the cool light of a Long Night Moon.

Your mounds
And curves
Cast shadows,
Circumscribe your sensuality.
The music flows
Over and around them,
A silk chiffon
Exploring your surfaces,
Their stereophonic symmetry,
The undulating perturbations over
Your mons veneris,
Bumping over your Nubbin of Passion
And meandering over your
luna incognita.

Let’s get jazzed,
Blow the blues away.
Let me tickle your ivories.
You can blow your French Horn.
Come!
Let’s Jam!

(From Poetry My Wife Hates: Third in a Series)

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