After Reading Arrogant Lines
by Bibhu Padhi (April 2016)
After you have gone through
them, it is better to stand
quiet, like the hill fronting
your house, than go on
to talk about them to their poet,
even when you are requested to,
persuaded to take each line
and image and say what you
thought of them. You should know
that there are things one cannot like,
for one never knew there could be
things beyond things, different
arousals than one is used to
over the years, feelings
that may not support the lines.
And if you did talk, beware of
all the distancing words
that would follow, the hatred
brewing inside intelligent minds
that the poems issued from
so deliberately you could not
take them in, for you are
so different, so far from them all.
The best thing is to read the poems
and then forget them and keep your
mouth and lips closed, rest your
moving hand on your lap
or keep your true hands
as tightly interlocked as you can,
and not answer to calls at all.
Bibhu Padhi’s tenth book of poems, Midnight Diary, has just been published. He lives with his family in Bhubaneswar, India.
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