Four Poems by Kalyani Bindu

Pic by Tirachard Kumtanom


Author’s note: These poems revolve around a set of disconnected issues/mentalscapes – a feverish confrontation of nihilism (You Monozygote of a Purpose), attempts to subvert the indifference and that unscathing, zygotic stillness that we so often encounter in people (Private Fires), musings on what ‘solitude’ really is (Solitude is Not a Damned Island) and life’s finality conveyed through a portrait of a crow’s death (Dying).


You Monozygote of a Purpose

Down the hill in bed, a make-shift coffin,
hair twirled in the middle from the crack
in the neck rinsing a thick morsel of ancient clot,
in my bed like an ape scratching at that rut of
a pain that would not pain barking meekly as the
scalp sees a red eye in a yellow pool, geography
unravels as they drill away to the oils, every turn
choked by sterile air, all the while looking away
as moths in its poop are strangled, to find something
metaphorical on the horizon, you monozygote of
a purpose, as dead as the white of these sheets.


Private Fires

Caramel of unrequited tenderness sweetens
my skin on stillborn days, grime-colored gravy
smelted from dreams pricked wide-open in my
nether-end in the oddest hours of an otherwise
dry night. The night is thick and unmoving,
dreams cosmetic. A plastic fable-laden abyss,
a purgatory between your words and mine,
in chains of shifting amateur memories.
The pixels twinkle when you smile without a face.

In the benthic depths of stillborn days, may
darkness fill my cracks, dawn wet your head

and the land consume our private fires

as the cocoon of zygotic stillness in your
black beady eyes becomes my morning
of Inuyamacanals sprouting eel-like creatures
with unmoving eyes, absent from stillness.

My world, your private fire.


Solitude is not a Damned Island

Solitude is not a damned island,
or the rancid white dog-eyes
of the human who wouldn’t be mine
(a time-cancelling water-shadow in my creek,
across my eyes).
It’s something in the wind that shouts over noise,
as some eyes burn a shadow of a burn, over tea,
over rosy green bruises on wretched legs,
treading some mortar of sorrow, red from life,
at the core of an upturned island,
and the white lips of the human who wouldn’t depart
(a time-cancelling tread in my innards,
my oyster alley,
where the landscape of hurt is a red patch,
moist with hygroscopic* grief-
a dab leaks blood and the rest is thick-white).

It’s some after-story
for later, over tea.
Maybe another time,
or another time after that.

*hygroscopic- (of a substance) tending to absorb moisture from the air/surroundings, to maintain its form, at times relentlessly so. Think glycerin.



Crows die in feather graves undressing in stillness,

barter memories for long shadows,

silently undo souls powdery like soot
to label the intangible, the near-skeletal divine,

rarefying the air with orgasmic eyed-absences.

And nothing.


About the Author

Kalyani Bindu is a writer and researcher from India. Two Moviegoers¬†was her first poetry collection. She wrote articles revolving around socio-cultural themes during her stint as a columnist (‘The Occasional Owl’) in White Crow Art Daily. Her poems and essays have appeared in Muse India, Modern Literature, Variant Literature Journal, Madras Courier, Indian Review, Navalokam, Bhashaposhini, Ethos Literary Journal, White Crow Art Daily and the Indian Express.