Thursday, 15 August 2019

Poetry 2019 Longlist, Pitambar Naik


The Phonetics of My Boyhood

Mother taught me the phonetics of hexagonal topology 
and the prosody of serene phoneme
with the pulse of sensibility
she made me memorise the tables 
of a banyan tree’s innocence oftentimes 
promising a reward for every answer
she helped me practice the formulae 
asking to surf the galaxy of truth alongside 
even pain might be your apple-red beloved
of your heart, she reiterated. 

I accompanied her to the park and cinema;
like a ghost in her sari drape or a shadow in precision
of course I wasn’t a boy with boy IQ 
she drove as usual very grave to reprimand
some of the gods of small things 
in the market she would sip a cup of cinnamon tea    
with Udupi uttapam; when I said that I loved the Lee brand 
and Reebok’s tawdriness
mother would gift just a cowboy’s hat
and a pair of South Korean T-shirts
or hardly some mediocre goggles 
the Nivia store always remained an illusion.

Mother was obviously not poor at mathematics
but exceptionally good
even at the theory of diminishing marginal utility
she fumigated the seeds of economic conundrums
coinciding the art of pole-vaulting 
and the nuances of Newton’s formulae with it.

Often she chased me to dare skydiving like eagles
and snow surfing like penguins 
she sounded the phonetics—pain might either be the replica
of Abraham Lincoln’s laughter
or an antique love letter of Cleopatra
otherwise the joy of Uncle Tom’s redemption!


Pitambar Naik is an Indian poet and writer. He was shortlisted for the Wordweavers India Poetry Contest 2017 and longlisted for the Rhythm Divine Poetry Chapbook Contest 2018. His work has appeared in Vayavya, Literary Orphans, Occulum, Ethos Literary Journal, Joao-Roque Literary Journal, The Mark Literary Review, Blue Lake Review, Mojave Heart Review, Selcouth Station, Moonchild Magazine, Bhashabandhan Literary Review, HEArt Online, Formercactus, Coldnoon International, Spark Magazine, The Wagon Magazine, The Hans India, The New Indian Express, Better Than Starbucks, Kitaab International, Muse India, Best Indian Poetry and elsewhere and is forthcoming in The Literary Nest.

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