The Sting in the Tail

By ARVIND KRISHNA MEHROTA
Wearing loose clothes, light cottons,
you sit and fan yourself with a newspaper
supplement, a glass of tepid
fennel-flavoured sherbet by your side.

From the window you see
a car turn, a bus pass, or a cyclist,
a towel wrapped round his head.
It’s forty-five degrees centigrade
in the shade, and according to the forecast
there’s worse to come.
A neighbour’s genset
thrums in the background.
At night, still without electricity,
in the sooty warm light of a kerosene lamp,
you read John Ashbery and thwack! That
was a fat mosquito
leaving your forearm.

 

Arvind Krishna Mehrotra is the author of four books of peotry; the editor of The Oxford India Anthology of Twelve Modern Indian Poets, Collected Poems in English, by Arun Kolatkar, and A History of Indian Literature in English; and the translator of The Absent Traveller: Prakrit Love Poetry and Songs of Kabir. A volume of his essays, Parital Recall: Essays on Literature and Literary History was published in2012. He lives in Allahabad and Dehra Dun.

[Purchase your copy of Issue 02 here.]

The Sting in the Tail

Related Posts

Image of almonds pouring from a glass bowl.

Reina María Rodríguez: Poems in Translation

REINA MARÍA RODRÍGUEZ
Naturally, Flaubert’s parrot / could not be called Chucho, / his author wouldn’t stick him / with a name like that. / From which follows the importance of names. / But in the stories last night / —the reconstruction of a postcard / which we were creating...

Image of hill, river, and houses.

Joss

PATRICIA LIU
Paper is thin. In the beginning, still billows in the wind, still petal-like, still grounded in this world / of living. The incense is the only material that translates the viscera to mist. Early, the fog has not yet / lifted, and we move through the white drip as if through total darkness. Fish lost in the deep under- / water.

poetry feature image

March 2021 Poetry Feature: Sylvie Durbec

SYLVIE DURBEC
I still don’t know how to type a tilde on a computer keyboard / when writing the name of a Spanish or Portuguese writer I love. / Nor do I know what poetry is. / I don’t know whether we need it. Or not. / And what we really need here. / Elsewhere, water, bread, milk.