Ashok Niyogi returns
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Five New poems. By Ashok Niyogi.


By Elizabeth Lake


I weep profusely
into the cockeyed sofa

this blue sky
is a roof without relief
dance on raw red mince

this is strip-tease on the trapeze
these grapes I have forbidden myself
for liberty’s sake
for meditation on very young
suburban third-world love
so arranged
that comets
herald the rising sun
in eccentric orbits around a setting earth

for this loss
I shamelessly weep
for these bloodstains
on my snow covered chimney sweep
for crows that are not jackdaws
for cardboard jousting-spears
and tiny electric cars
for bedraggled eagles
at last shorn
of my eagle’s pride

of wing sweep shifts
that geese make
to fly into afternoon wind
before they land
for this relearning of alphabets
abandoned on arthritic sand


a line


Cross The Road


the pedestrian light
makes chirpy noise
for the deaf and dumb

these wheels to infinity
sing on asphalt that was
embedded in celestial swamp
and deadly mangrove roots
point ominously
to a spotless sky
that has burned away breathing rights

three four cows
and their shadows cling
to siren song
basement cuisine in Lily Wong
those were the days
when whiskey did
what pictures of distant stars
promise in primrose books
about pumpkin wars

this light shines cold
and no return
on goods once sold


a line


Far Away


these coffee dregs
or apple juice
to water my bathroom plant

I’ve actually seen wisps of smoke
from pink chimneys on Gallaudet
mock seagulls that defecate
on mock Latin tiles

it’s been a while
since rain stained
skeletal glass with an odor
into earth in heat

by now you know
this story is all about defeated grass
quagmired in a palimpsest
of mistaken zest
quarantined for reasons
so agrarian that flowers laugh
he laughs
the mistral laughs
even as sand dunes come and go away
the camels laugh


a line


Fourth Quarter


look up
at so much love
turn all the ceiling lights on
this vault
this cavern aches
with creaking stalactites
bees and wasps
sway to and fro in the morning breeze

street light
burns bright
still sheltered from
yesterday’s sun

is that all it will be
ashes and cigarette smoke
still not inhaled
gray pain
in the water

the boat has sailed
into the elephantine head
of the almost nothing god
no one still molested
only things given up
for so much love


a line


Mild Recrimination


if only
you could tell me everyday

I would not have to revert
every now and then
to my cross-legged crouch
and curse idols
for not making be
what should have been

I could have saved
so many workman like sins
from going astray
so much time expended
in counting to the end of time

please forgive me
this penchant
for market fresh
farmers’ bitter peel
ignore this scream

so much salt-water
in this slipstream
of sky-chariots
that disgorge scorpions
and slippery snakes
into heavens full of holes

if only
you had collected the tolls


a line

Ashok Niyogi's book "Tentatively" is available from Amazon.

All rights reserved by the author. No reproductions without consent.


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