Karma & Other Poems

by Sanjeev Sethi


The perforation of my colander is contorted.
It isn’t meant to seep. A season without smell
is a period without a purple patch.

Over the transom of the covered terrain
I can see the hydra of my past snoozing.
I understand expiation and its metonymy.

I have been an ungrudging habitué. Retailers
welcome me. Applied identical artistry here:
giving bestows unusual bounties.



I got myself another skin. It’s available
in bazaars of the bloated.
It failed to bolster me.

I wrapped myself in shield of words.
Read the script inscribed on scroll
of my prelapsarian phase.

Upon reflection, I favored thought
not treasure, muse not money.
This has its own fatigue.


In Situ, Bangkok


There is something ephemeral
about body hunger.
It is like having a meal –
one is better steamed
or sautéed than the other.

I must rid myself of this rot.
This craving for continuous release.


Desire has its own code
like that of brigands.
The process isn’t important
nor is the path.
Need only understands fruition.


Lady in Red

(Amsterdam Airport)

Her wrinkles spoke of her solitude.
I wasn’t being facetious:
“In my country, loneliness doesn’t happen.”

“He died in ’62, playing hockey.
An electrician in an engineering company.
A big company in its time.
I have a yard, mow my lawns,
in winter I holiday.
Yes, it is lonely.” She sobbed.

I offered to buy her cappuccino.
She accepted the invite.

It wasn’t coffee we were seeking.

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