Rigorous
Volume Five, Issue 3



Tuhin Bhowal


Getting Out of Bed

After James Tate

My bones are
cartilage—thighs
orchid. My muscles

paddle in a rill of
fat. Mutton churns.
Potatoes caramelize.

Through the mornings
I oar. Nights subtract
into faceless dreams.

The rain veils
the suite of my small
hands. This earth is

the remainder of dawns.
I twaddle on the principle
of near-sightedness.

I don’t exist.
I am in Bhutan.
I am on the Taktsang.

I too am honey—
cardamom, cinnamon, cloves.
I am the nutmeg and ginger.

I think it is October.
I sniff the rain, feed
dogs fish heads.

The winds dissolve.
I am ablution of nerves.
I never loved you:

I never loved you.




A Poet Googles ‘poetry writing prompts’

Merriam-Webster’s online Time Traveler tool lists G-spot’s
“first known use” year as 1982, which is to say
female orgasm is only thirty-eight years old.

I met you in 2018, visited you
with translated Marx playing in Koramangala.
As Bakunin pissed all over faux Soho, we
learnt we were born the same year. 1995.

We travelled time to escape
naming the sacred. Until 2020, we
too were frequent companions
& distance was not physical.
Alt-rock, e-mail, spoiler alert


were also introduced in 1982. Among the
forty-two words first listed in 1995, we used none
in speech except for noob. You induced me to weed,
distillation, the physics of atmospheric pressure
with a history of sleep. I conceded
I was the son of a schizophrenic.
I have a thing for submissive sex, you yielded.

I have wasted twenty-three years of my life looking at
bare hands. Out of the three new words added in
2018, one of them is a drug.

There is so much distance between
what I feel & what I want to feel. We travelled to keep
naming the sacred. How does this language transform
the tone or thematic direction of your poem?

The prompt asks of the poet.




Photograph

I see you moaning beneath someone else.



Tuhin Bhowal: “My poems and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in adda (UK), Poetry City USA, The Night Heron Barks, Bacopa Literary Review, Nether Quarterly, The Vital Sparks, and elsewhere. I currently serve as a Poetry Editor at Bengaluru Review, Sonic Boom Journal, and Yavanika Press. I tweet poems @secondhandsins.”




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