Thursday, June 01, 2006

I am from...

I just got a poem published in Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore, in the Spring/Summer 2006 issue. It is in the Creative Nonfiction section... Below is how it appears, on pages 47 and 48... Enjoy --- :)
In his column in this issue, Tom van Buren refers to the New York Folklore Society's 2005 Writing Folklore conference, which was held in September in Tarrytown, New York. The poems presented here are the contributions of two of the conference attendees. The poems were produced as part of a writing exercise led by Steve Zeitlin, executive director of City Lore, in which participants were given the beginning prompt "I am." We are grateful to Yesha for [her] willingness to share [her] poetry with Voices: The Journal of New York Folklore.

I am from the fog rushing over Twin Peaks
and from the parched Sabarmati Nadi
a river that sometimes is
and from the icy blue of snow-fed Tahoe

I am from the sandy alley in Unava where
our house doesn't have a number
not even a street name--
just "near Lakshminarayan Temple"

I am from Ba with no teeth
and an infectious laugh
and from Lakshman Dada
of no near relation but full of stories
of lotus roots he dived to eat
and daughter that he lost to death but found again in

I am from Aunti and Uncle at Saturday School
and wearing the wrong color blue pants and
getting in trouble

I am from my little sister and brother age two and four
weaving stories for their big-eyed wonder
when one was over and they begged for another
I told them they'd have to wait, because
the stories, like naughty children, were running races
around and around inside my head, and I'd have to
stop, go inside and...
CATCH one, before I could drag it out to tell them.
And they believed me.

I am from too much responsibility
but also from duties shirked

I am from the pink-flecked cool tile porch seat
wrapped around the front and back of my mother's
father's house in Ahmedabad
and from my dead black fingernail that fell off my
finger after
I slammed it in a chair
which I buried in my great-grandmother's garden,
where she grew meetho limdo


Joy said...

Beautiful! Congratulations--how wonderful to get to see your name and your work in print.

Aditya said...