The great leader’s shadow

I go to see the great leader’s statue, but it is too hot, so I step into his great shadow. Immediately I hear the tinkling of a stream. When my eyes adjust to the darkness I make out a young boy standing close to me, along with his goat. He smiles at my surprise. He spits out the blade of grass that he is chewing and says it takes a while to get used to the shadow—’you’ll be able to see more and more as your eyes fill up with the void. There are many of us here and more keep coming. We spend most of the day under the shadow and move across the landscape from west to east.’ Where is the stream, I ask. Oh, that’s the sound of all the streams that went dry, he says. Are you a ghost, I ask, and then seeing the hurt in his eyes, I mumble that it is unhealthy to live away from the sunlight. The boy smiles again and lifts his foot. The sun is shining under his soles. That is where the grasses are growing.

summer noon
the wind shifts
mid-sentence

Salil Chaturvedi

The great leader’s shadow

the young temp

a broom-handle his staff, his throne the trash bin, zit-dotted cheeks cushioning his longings, with vacant eyes on a gull he struts like a man of some importance until a shoulder-tap and he blinks

back-tracking steps—last night’s moonrise mom’s chicken wings on a tin plate, a beach stroll kicking sand dunes his toes a hermit-crab-moment

past brambles the bus stop: red-haired Norma Jean flags the #10 with her legs sheathed in printed tights takes the seat opposite his by the window with the warning sign, “for your safety please hold on”

on a cloud he gets off at Starbucks puts on his dress-length apron, takes his broom with the canary-yellow handle and stands by the trash bin with vacant eyes

the slow lick
to the tip of her
snow cone

morphing in bulk shadows a life-story

Alegria Imperial

the young temp

Infontinence

Calibri reminds me of Ma. What you see is what you get. Sans fuss.

caricatures trying to undoodle mid-life crises

She can make the serif seem a tad too lugubrious. And can effortlessly raise the bar a point or two without sounding overtly formal (gosh, you can almost hear the corsets bursting in rebellion).

blank notebook
I drum up
cloud talk 

Coming to think of it, Calibri is whom I go to, default. She’s replaced the mater just with her prosaic diligence. After all, all you want at the end of a page is consistency in the way life’s musings are laid out.

silent film no words yet from the two-year-old

 

Shobhana Kumar

Infontinence

Rain

After three sub-zero mornings it is relatively mild at 4°C. I put on one too many layers for my trip to the chemist, arriving home ringing wet. Though, so long as the rain holds off I don’t mind the cold, the relative mild, or the sweat, because the rain doesn’t “cleanse me”, as a friend describes his relationship with it, but attempts to drown me in my own guilt.

half-life…
sleeping the rest
away

Brendan Slater

Rain

A Long Night

“A gang of gay bashers!” my friend cried out while yanking my girlfriend’s wrist on our way to a nightclub as they tread and trip on sidewalk hills. After finally grabbing a hold on my buddy pulling him out of the shadows calmly as possible, I told him that “No one is chasing us, let’s grab a taxi ok.?” Shaken, he finally agreed releasing the tight grip on my startled girlfriend who then points at a tornado forming in the sky with star clusters in its hole that I also see. “This is getting ridiculous!” My mind screamed while hailing for a ride.

destination home
the cab fare I pay
for half a block

Fractled

A Long Night