Wednesday, May 23, 2018

"Extra" by Aparna Sanyal

Extra
Aparna Sanyal 

Sieving for words through grain
I find mostly chaff; 
an ungainly mix of
grit and sawdust and leavings.
"Peacock" Watercolor on Paper
By J. Artemus Gordon
These words that explore the geography 
of my mouth, my insides;
they roil and bubble, boil over,
curdle, subside to whey. 
They stick to the edges of my tongue
and the top of my palette-- 
They are the aftertaste of 
a too-sweet pill, 
the rind-sour ringing tingle
at the edges of my molars, 
the particles 
of dross left behind in 
a too-fat meal of lard 
and extras.
Yet,
convinced of their grisly, unspooling beauty,
these words are resplendent,
peacock strutting, 
vainglorious.
They dance untethered in 
salivate rain, and rut through the furrowed fields of 
my taste buds, to reach the tip 
of my tongue, that is convinced it drops pearls. 
They crave the non-linear dazzle 
of my thought train 
as it hurtles by, it's circuitry rigged, 
to decipher casuistry 
and chicanery and all things complex.
These words are 
extra slick, extra pungent
extra nubbly, extra-vagant
Extra extra extra, just about 
everything. 
These words are slain
in a trice.
Defenseless, they dissipate,
leave my side in swarms, in droves--
Their pogrom, the simplicity of
yours.

Poet's Notes:  Sometimes I argue with my husband for hours, relentlessly pursuing a point using reams of words. My husband's simple, linear logic, spare words, and pragmatism, almost always defeat my convoluted logic. 

Editor’s Note:  I had to read this one several times before I could appreciate its layers of complexity.  There is a meta aspect or ars poetica that finally manifests.  The narrative, ostensibly about vulgar or unnecessarily frilly words, changes at the turn--at "yet" about half-way along the piece.  By the end, the poem is about how the speaker would like to resist the temptation of using empty words.

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