E·ratio Issue 10


For & In It What’s In It



by Prakash Kona










If that Shirazi Turk would take my heart in her hand,

For the dark mole on her cheek

I would give Samarkand and Bukhara

And add thereto even my body and my soul. 




For a look of love in the eyes of my beloved I would plagiarize a line from Hafez and rewrite a poem with my name attached to it.  Her eyes are black pearls when the sun is in eclipse and the sky with a mournful look resembles the scales of a fish.  I thought of her eyes this morning and the tea gave me the sensual joy of a child gurgling to the playful voice of the mother.  When dusk enters the room crawling like a snail on grass her eyes give a sense of space to emptiness of the room.  The dark room glows like a fiery dragon that has tasted red-hot curry. 


A rose cannot touch you more deeply than words rosier than roses on the tree; this rosiness that is the very nature of the rose reveals itself in words that describe your eyes.  In your eyes the rose finds the true meaning of its existence.  Your eyes communicate to the rose what the rose can never know about itself.  In your eyes the rose can see her face, the true mirror of her soul. 


For every peal of laughter from her lips I would betray my nation and reveal its secrets to the worst enemy around. 

     Untouched by the longing to use words I entered the cave of time.  I am not trying to be defensive.  I don't want to disturb the peace of the rose on the branch.  The properties of an object change depending on the mood of the perceiver.  An object has no life of its own.  In a state of ecstasy it becomes what the other wants of it.  It derives itself or the power of being from ecstasy that brings it in contact with the other.  An apple becomes sunset.  The street becomes your arm.  The cloud becomes a cup of coffee.  The future becomes a curtain.  There is a love intrinsic in things that nobody can explain and nothing can understand.  Consciousness of the thing is just one among countless ways of recognizing the love in things.  When we cling to life as it appears in the form of consciousness we close the doors to those forms that death opens to us.  This is how I understand your lips and the laughter that comes from it.  As something brilliant.  As something untouchable.  As something that creates.  For your lips are your being.  They are what make you, You.  You are your lips.  You were nothing before.  You will never be anything after. 

     For your lips my friend I would cut a vein in my body and watch myself bleed to death. 

     But your lips are not your eyes.  And neither of them is your hair. 


For her hair that remind me of black and white films that use lighting to color reality, I would give nothing because only nothing can make sense in this context.  Love has reached a point where it does not need to depend on language anymore.  But that does not stop it from being love.  On the contrary.  Love gives up its parasitical dependence on language or what we call words. 


For just one gesture of sweet friendship I would give up all my words and relapse into perpetual silence. 

     The meaning of the poem cannot be dissociated from your gesture.  I am because I am the word.  Yet the most beautiful expression of this word is when it is able to touch the shadow of your gesture.  Your gesture is the poem. 







In It What’s In It


(from Rumi)



If I am between morning and night

                             I am not in any other space.

If for a fraction of an instant I have seen extinction,

                             I am free of the coils of the mortal world.

I am free of words.

I am free of silence.

I am free of the difference between you and me.

I am free of the longing to be free.

I am free of nothing.

The blank page does not require the written word.





copyright © 2008 Prakash Kona

Prakash Kona (born July 14, 1967) is an Indian novelist, essayist, poet and theorist who lives in Hyderabad, India.  He writes in English and is the author of six books to date.  Other works, including essays and fictional vignettes, are published widely on the Internet. 

E · Poetry Journal