You don’t know if you are yielding or resisting

it is the last day of the year
and you think about writing
a farewell poem for the year
that was, for the year you
began writing poetry

you think of the tragedies
you know, you even plan
to write about naming your only
daughter (whenever she is born,
anyway) after a suicide-bomber
you try to think of fear and hate
and some devious defence for all
those sins you had painstakingly
planned to do just so that your
poetry has more life and colour
and verve and in the end it might
appear that you have experience

you strive like mad to avoid writing
poems about your unseen lover,
you concede deep within that you
do not know his name or age or what
he murders for a living, yet he weaves
his way into every poem of yours

you want to write that single poem
which is free of him, which does not
carry the stains of his masculine scent
and which doesn’t make you think of
his hairless chest and the deftness of his
fingers on you and god yes god his eyes
you want to write a poem just for yourself,
a poem where you do not cringe
or stand shame-faced at his
worship of himself and how
silently and steadfastly he
has made you worship him

you have always known that
your knowledge of him was
very limited—that expecting
the stranger to caress you when
you cry is an insane idea—
after all when your lover comes
he has no memory about the
days and months and years he has
spent inside your heart and he does
not wish to hear for how long you
have harboured him right between
your breasts

you notice the clock tick away
and again you give up writing
that poem for it always eludes you


you succumb to all your cravings
and write all you can about him
forgetting the shame and the
embarrassment it would cause
somehow it seems better than
not writing anything at all.


3 responses to “You don’t know if you are yielding or resisting

  1. Love poem? Lovely poem. btw, you’re made for Facebook. And Facebook for you.

  2. Thanks for the comment avinash. But I am still wondering, what’s the connection between Facebook and this particular poem?

  3. saveetha meganathan

    i find this verse on how the lover ultimately makes the woman worship him, quite annoying. on a second thought the exaltation of the male here is reminding me of male protagonists of ayn rand, in particular to say- howard roark. i had very big problems with the way the claim of the man over the woman happens in the name of love in her books, of a superior physicality and intellectual proposition. in the recent past, i’ve been in this transcending phase of gender stereotypes, which even as a radical feminist one encounters because of certain kind of socialization. in this poem i could get the essence of that threatening stereotype of a male in control!!! i am taking the freedom to include you in the quest for a structural change- here i mean of Caste- Affirmative Action, the sub altern voices, Assertion of Dalit identity and Gender- breaking away from stereotypes and perhaps increasing one’s visibility towards the emboldened and instituted versions of patriarchy time and again. it definitely helps to realize that love between two people (here i am including alternative sexual orientation too) can be on an equal footing. i am recently of the belief that the notion of the ‘male superiority’ has been propagated and perhaps reinforced by art in many forms. though i am exceptionally possesive about ‘ art for artsake’, one can also give it a thought. HIStorically, we have faced the subjugation and opression, and to bring about a structural change one can be open to look inward and not give into conditioned yearnings. with all respect to the work and in efforts to not to sound preachy.

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