Poetry

‘What else can I say?’ and other poems

By: Esha Sury

WHAT ELSE CAN I SAY?

This bone-tiredness to speak ended as
pure reprieve. I dispose of my last pen
and a surrendered dove, as remittance, gave
its’ awareness to me in a dawn of non-talk.
I wish plainly to cradle wordless breath,
to unashamedly swallow the verse I could’ve
written on a napkin somewhere. I chose
not to walk the distance between tongue
and cranium. Then between tongue and finger.
Finger to once-disposed pen. Speaking through
has been easy. Now to speak around.
I used to bite every image, the flesh of
which is text– the images of myself. The
momentous pull of all experience
into some typhoon of local divinity. Expression
was a feature of my devotion. An attribute
of my living matter. My voice projecting like
a nose, expression second-nature like smell.
Language denatured. Language deflowered.
I penetrate the virgin adverbs and the apologue,
the unwritten stanzas. Released my heart
at the dining table without a morsel of word
to bite– split from my tongue I could once
sparse sentences with– my eloquence is
muteness that can scream god but
I speak only of what I know.

###

AFFIRMING MY CONSTRUCT

my father said I am a grown
woman now. [I don’t know
what this means. to be grown, to be
a woman]. & apparently I was once young
and once a girl. [I don’t believe in my
Youth] I am a grown woman who
does objective things, who isn’t her
thoughts, [reduces herself,
my thoughts are all] i am i am i am.
finds solace and reassurance
in righteousness. [I’m doing it
wrong]. I am a grown
woman who stays neutral in expression &
not [to reduce] my femininity, I am
a grown [woman ?] sharing a
natural cartesian partition between
the world and herself. [impossible in atomic
physics– the observer is part
of the observed]. the world is a grown
Woman & the world is me. I am a grown
woman whose hair isn’t thinning.
[It’s all falling out]. I am a
grown woman who eats meals without
eating ontological anxiety too [not eating].
I am a grown woman who has
a lot of people that can fix me, everybody!
[is broken], I am a grown woman &
when I’m done writing I will be
eighteen [and thirty-six] & nothing in
Me will contain itself again.

###


BLEEDING WORDS

i apologized because i cut
you off, myself, away from, etc
some things must be severed to be
reconstructed; like a new limb?
we cannot have two.
a cut leaves a scar,
the new soil and flesh of reparation,
from what is gone there is something
new.
kiré, cutting,
a principle of the japanese
aesthetic, suggests ikebana,
the reinvention of flowers which
are arranged beyond the root.
ikebana, “making flowers alive”
first requires the killing of them.
if flowers act alive, they are.
does then the contrapositive apply?
i act dead, am i dead?
death and life
life and death. life isn’t
life and death isn’t
death. the word is then cut from
the truth, is then cut from the
reality of it all. this is nothing but
an act in an eternal play
and the director simply said
“and… cut the scene.”

###


“LOVE” IS A SOUR FRUIT

the supplemental taste of me —
weak organic acid bites their tongue.
you don’t need to live to make
someone else react,
a product to the consumer.
bitter aftertaste, like small dogs nibbling an ankle
gone with a kick. like soft flirtatious ringing
in eardrums, gone with a voice.
bitter is something to put up with,
when it is gone the papillae dulls.
they melt somewhere into the cotton plane covered
fully. exposed fully to my awakeness. wrap them
in the sheets to make sour candy. i reel
like a lemon sucked dry.

sleep is regurgitation, subjectively.
revival, objectively. i regain acidity through their
resting body. the body forgets my taste. bitter is a
palette cleanser. unaware of transformation.
squeeze and consume, repeat. the litmus of
the night is still red. fluid expelled from the body vessel.
the soju watches in a green glass bottle, with shame,
sullying near a tractate on taoism; acidity contradicts,
a static tv drowns me. the fruit of my being rots.
object stales among objects in objectivity.
subjective perception is dilution. the consumer lies next
to me, dismissing my conscience. objectify, i am acid again.

fingers shuffle through
darkness, cotton sheets. gap. wood table. glass wall
soju swept off nightstand, shattering. eyes meet eyes.
consumer to product. one is used before the verb.
the subject’s face dances, angry. i lie still, yellowed.
their faces are particolored. mine
is hoarish. a midnight whore. squeezed once again,
plea of eros, selfish love.

the glory of all fruit is mostly the flesh. pulp
constructs not fruit. an animal desiring fruit.
these animals groan in the metonymic darkness
from between the thighs, never heart. the subject, the peeler.
tear and eat and throw. i feel shame for keeping
my sour blade unsheathed, to be the cause for
their appetite, and loss of it
upon full consumption.

but what happens to my own skin? for i know
the only sourness left in me is the mind
of a fruit, to reflect sitting still in a dump
or counter until rot. to all broken lovers, how we
wish now it was so easy to consume something other
than our own bodies. how can i quickly learn and
rehearse this bite, which i so often allow upon
my own pulp? why is the fruit of my being constructed only to give?

Categories: Poetry

3 replies »

  1. For a 18 year old Esha, expressing the thoughts from deep inside, the thoughts that struggle to shape into words…simply come so easy. All the 4?poems have such hidden meanings. “Ikebana making flowers alive but first comes the killing” such beauty in these expressions. The expectation from the others from a growing girl and the pain of accepting womanhood that is tainted with hypocrisy is so well expressed.
    In a nutshell, Esha’s poems make one think & rethink elicit the essence of it all and so compels one to read her works again and again.
    Stay blessed my dear and continue to be the voice for the youth through your powerful writing

  2. The theme of the first two seems to be words cannot adequately describe the experience which is wordless, like breathing in and breathing out or growing up as a woman or the experience of Iness.
    The third seems to be though words are far removed from the life, it can be beautifully be arranged like a Japanese ikkabana.
    The last one is longing for love which is acceptance of the whole person. Reducing the person to an idea, to a desire or to the flesh, leaves a sour taste in the mouth.
    Esha you have a flair for words – a very matured writing. God Bless you dear❤️❤️

  3. Esha has penned her thoughts beautifully while writing that she is not ! Love that!
    Ikebana- well reconstructed for the reader.
    The ambiguity of being a grown woman… and the angst that go with “growing up” the way you are expected to, Esha has given her feelings beautiful words and expressions.

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