Poems by Raad Ahmad

Chopin thru it all
Chopin on the piano, through it all
through the depths — except for the telephone conference
except for the overtures the girls make
except for their purposeful sextalk around men
without the usual hanky pankies used to spice up life
Chopin playing the change this aussie woman perfects after marriage
her seriousness in crossing the avenue with the infant
to the exact spot where the moon appeared directly above my scalp
Penumbral moon
Chopin on the piano — excludes the bikebaby’s racist “hello”
leaving a hundred and fifty or may be even seventy-five kilometers behind
behind a century and a half of civilization
giant aboriginal clam collections
although eluding their food habits
Chopin playing their love-sick dawn
their fantasia in D-minor


Bipolar Disorder
Pour out from the head a little more — let out the infinitives
Chime like the orange kids on both sides of the road — admitting
You at the hospital front desk need more sleep and perhaps a little less shameful
Joke lets go dance Marimba across our misachievements
The world’s beauty and juices seem to outflow from the gracious torrent
She held, don’t you think? The world’s beauty and juices open up from time to
Time its birds and animals speak up their minds print everywhere
In Hajrat Solomon's palace floors that dazzle in the grace of their aluminum frames
Frames like torsos
I speak too — of the ones that return unopened from our stratosphere return
Like the soft spoiled sparrows that fly away never to alight on the other man’s shoulder
Other men go too crazy about automobiles count bills and analyze money and
Constantly honk while driving past the graveyard while getting us admitted at the
hospital front desk


Brothel Owner’s Car park
— another one of those hysteric babes
blood vomit swirling out of darkness
wets the entire freeway — suspended skylights
someone's seemingly earrings — babe laughs and giggles
then says — cold spring
and waterfall transforms into an entire drainage
A helper comes in staggering                  blood-drone buddy
but a passion in his facade
a variety of fifty cars sleeping in his garage and one of them fashions
switches on a stereo — windows lowered — as if the owner's
gone pissing somewhere in the corner where the blood-drone
lectures — this is a stealer’s den, look there
17 foot walls, but this is one stealer’s den
Looking on — a bird’s effortless wails
cawing and cooing suspended
in the wires drooping from street side posts
Proud of his Hilsa catch, fish and river shining
the plump small trader calls — hey, buddy
how’s life dousing you with colors?
I reply, busted! busted!!
A million ducklings fly away early in the morning
look below them green trees look
look you drug & dream addicts —
look at the wasteful, the unstoppable insect swarm
If your stomach likens a sun drawn at infancy
me filling the skeleton’s eye socket
The world wobbling at the blind man’s cane tip
Ms. Hysteria giggles again, says —
Snakes! great snakes!
The brothel owner wittily retorts —
Be careful then[1]


Sticky Poem
We return alone — forlorn, solitary — me and
my drink buddies — lovers and citizens
Shoulders on both sides of us — like wings fanning out
Asphalt below our feet
and our ruffled flying hairs
We come down exactly as much as we rose — Newton’s apple
is on the corridors of Newtonian time
Our figures sticky
…. …. …. …. …. ….
He advised us to rub a little more — a bit more stroking
hinting that we probably scrub away the poet from history — and
the Brits, if possible
we can let the horse-saddle be intricate art
we can let elephants serve as Maharaja mounts
Well, the Maharaja had little knowledge though, this side of
the colony he knew little — or of its mass production of wealth
Erase those — those things, but then do you mean
this had been a classless state ?
So, nature could never make classes ? — those who defied her
to define art — can’t even come out always, naturally,
of its confines — their art colors expensive furniture —
men wear fine coat   bright leather boots
with tags sticking on the sole like
our pet poultry project plan
In the supermarket, they check a person’s bag
whose billion ancestors were killed in the name of rubber trade


Encrypted writings
Internet encrypted
everything I write — a hut
paddy fields barren-ended
wetness in the air
like fishing out a colorful Kholshey from the stream
I write the flag of a celibate community while I dance —
don’t write the blood dripping
from the saline IV
I write the cold electrons — conceptual bits
write the bytes — a lesbian couple snaps from their kiss
in an elevator in Singapore
and then those who decrypt
for them I write the dog from this room
but I don’t write its hair[2]


Translated by Aryanil Mukherjee.



1. Translation note: Hilsa: an extremely popular, bony, sweet water Bengal fish.

2. Translation note: Kholshey: a popular sweet water fish from South Asia.