Poems | Shloka Shankar

                                                 Artwork : Divya Adusumilli


Memories linger by the door
as eyes mark the shape
of cold darkness—
defensive, unscrupulous,

building up moment by moment
against a sky the color of
laundered-to-the-perfect-fade jeans.

Ask a stupid question:
the way it looks
is not the way it is.

A remixed poem composed from a series of first sentences of novels.

Rain Check 

There's no sign of life.
I'm stepping through the door

and there's nothing
I can do.

Days float through my eyes—
I've caught glimpses of
a million dead-end streets,

walks through a sunken dream.
I dance the blues, squawking
like a pink monkey bird.

The way you talk—
cold and long,

a rain check on pain.


A remixed poem composed from the following song lyrics by David Bowie:

. Modern Love
. Space Oddity 
. Moonage Daydream 
. Five Years 
. Life on Mars 
. Let's Dance 
. Fame 
. Changes

Undercurrent of Imperfection

We see through a glass darkly—
see more than we can understand.

Sacrifice symmetry
and a syrupy sentimentality

for the beauty of the living hour.
Pull the plug on it.

Look straight at the message—
the mess of faith and
commercially-packaged angst.


. The Power of Perception and Critical Imagination: Alfred Kazin on Embracing Contradiction
and How the Sacredness of Human Attention Shapes Our Reality
. Chapter 4 of Em and The Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto 


If I could be anyone,
who would I be?

It must be recognized quickly.
Looking for a black cat
in a coal cellar? Reporting
well-known faces?

Resolve the hook
of a random thought—
its redness.

Fortunately, there's a way.
I try to do whatever is best.


. The Complete Guide To Women's Golf, by Beverly Lewis (pg. 94)
. Medical Emergencies in Dental Practice, by Stanley F Malamed (pg. 171)
. The Singer in the Band, by Michele Breeze
. The Adventures of Sally, P.G. Wodehouse (pg.80)
. Mayakovsky's Revolver, by Matthew Dickman (pg. 58)
. A Brief History of Time, by Stephen Hawking 
. The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, by Mitch Albom (pg. 154)
. The Eyre Affair, by Jasper Fforde (pg. 180)
. 1,001 Symbols: An Illustrated Guide to Imagery and Its Meaning, by Jack Tresidder (pg. 235)
. Cosmopolitan, April 2016

Of Endings

A good ending leaves
a) you hanging
b) your senses benumbed
c) you slightly worse for the wear.

It can make your head spin
faster than the fastest top;

a maelstrom of emotions
that correspond to self-made
dioramas of the past.

It can be as conspicuously
inconspicuous as the w
in answer, or as dubious
as a new beginning.

I’ve always been wary
of that last kind.

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