NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) 2014 ended on April 30 but writing the same amount of poems as days can take up til August to get over. Kathryn was NaPoWriMo.net’s featured participant for Day 27, noted for the ‘wry, somewhat mordant’ humour in her work and its ‘multiplicity of lengths and forms’.
It’s winter, and people are putting their bins out early.
The plastic wheels make their suburban trundle predictable—
as the car of an unwanted guest pulling into our driveway—
though, as I walk Pip past, it’s my ears that prick, aghast.
Al-lah! once my neighbourhood sound was the musical tring
of rickshaw bells; the sabjiwalah matching the crows in his call-out
of pyaj, pyaj—high-pitched, humorous, knowing that the
misti-fed thighs of middle-class ladies would not deign to throbble
from the heights of their flats, but the bag of bones servant would be sent down to haggle.
The wheelie bin is, likewise, an outrage. It should be put to sleep.
The method of the madness—trundling them out for collection, trundling them back in—
all the with pretence that we are not sheep led by the council garbologists.
Shouldn’t we rebel? Lay down all our rubbish on the TV room floor
and get some hipster photographer to snap us swimming through it?
Should we not intone: ‘I deny bin night! I deny bin night!’ and stamp
mud on the tricolor (blue, yellow, green) and instead, eat our garbage?
The trundling will continue in the morrow
when, thankfully, I am asleep
with putty in my ears
to dampen the noises blowing in from the West.
There is the same something about the train
as there is about your country:
the warmth and isolation of journey,
avoiding eyes and taking rest
as you are dragged on,
no need for an effortful life.
There is an entropy that permits your laziness.
The only beauty of the day is intangible,
and some would say the death of our race:
connection wrought through gadgets.
But then that voice
that sonorous voice
of yours, so far be it distant
—the memory of its poetry
peals close in my private ear.
wish you were awake
the same times i am awake
then you would miss less
and i would remember
half of what i meant to say:
no stories written today
all the same i plain forgot
to clean my teeth
i need a new toothbrush
where will you walk tomorrow
how many beers did you drink?