Sunday, March 31, 2024

Saturday, March 30, 2024

Thursday, March 28, 2024

Monday, March 25, 2024

Sunday, March 24, 2024

Saturday, March 23, 2024




April 25

This year the blackbirds are the tiles

on the roof of summer.

Fear gropes like the blind man's hand

for the handle of the door.

You sit on a rock

You're calm because you're tired

you're good because you were afraid

you forget easily because you don't want to remember

you don't forget.

May 1

The soldier crushed his cigarette into the ground.

How easily every single thing can be crushed.

Across the water, Laviro.

Who is it who said: the women reapers

with the swallows' scythe?

Cover your ears with your hands.

Shame. Shame.

May 3

The people sit in the sun

they take off their jackets

their boots become tight

the soldiers' armpits sweat.

You rub a little thyme between your fingers.

This is how we slowly slowly age

above the second death.

May 4

Someone is smoking beside the guardhouse.

The evening star looks out above the mountain

as if it's knocked on the wrong door.

The utility poles darken

they stretch full length

afraid they'll bend.

May 5

They owe us a lot.

If we don't get it back

we'll owe that too.

The floorboards are moldy from the damp

the windows warped the panes broken

dirtied sheets loose boots

the bread has no odor

the people have grown very thin

like saints.

Concentration camp

Makronisos, 1950


Yannis Ritsos

Diaries of Exile

translated by Karen Emmerich & Edmund Kelley

Archipelago Books, 2013

Friday, March 22, 2024

Thursday, March 21, 2024



M. Emmet Walsh in “Blood Simple” (1984), the first feature film by Joel and Ethan Coen.Credit...

River Road Productions/Circle — Sunset Boulevard, via Corbis, via Getty Images


1935 ~ 2024



R E A D    M E

Scribner 2023

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Monday, March 18, 2024

Friday, March 15, 2024

Thursday, March 14, 2024

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Friday, March 8, 2024



A city person,

I was strangely disoriented

in the midst of nature.

In the bus queue

it looked as though

a roadside tree

had come and joined in too.

I was right behind it,

the last in line.

Now I'm an educated man.

When the bus arrived

I waited for the tree to get on first

when it struck me that trees

do not board buses.

And I who am a city dweller,

was separated from nature

in such a way that leaving the tree behind

I took my seat on the bus.

Once seated, my only wish

was to see trees on either side of the road

all the way back.

In my room I've hung a picture

of a whole forest.  


A dry river

was dry again the following year.

Deep below,

it would've been drier.

Below dry rivers

are channels of more dry rivers.

In a village

along one such river

its oldest man,

the last one alive,

will eventually find

buried in the sediment

a transparent rock

in which are fossils

of river vegetation,

river fish,

organisms, and snails,

and also locked inside,

one drop of water

millions of years old.

Preserved in the soul of the oldest man

is a single seed of rice.

I'm at the place

where it was decided I'll be

and from where I've always

been observing

those who go by.

This is where we'll gather,

though come to think of it

we could've gathered

at any place and there's no place

where we couldn't have gathered.

No matter where we meet,

we invariably meet at the place

meant for gathering.

With birth is born its twin, death —

it's a double birth.

Wherever I go, I carry this inborn death with me.

I'll save it

for as long as I live.

But after death, somewhere in the piggy bank,

you'll find that life's been saved.

I walk around as though I were the treasurer of piggy banks,

even of their piggy banks.

The Chhattisgarh to Bilaspur

on which I was traveling

would stop unwontedly.

Suddenly, at Gondia,

everyone disembarked

and rushed towards the Calcutta train

that had arrived.

Getting off, a passenger,

he was older than me, said,

You better get off too,

or you'll be waiting until your next life

for this one to reach its destination.

In no great hurry,

I was happy to be sitting where I was,

I was only going up to Rajnandgaon,

a few stations away,

where I was born.


Vinod Kumar Shukla

Treasurer of Piggy Banks

translated by Arvind Krishna Mehrotra

Circumference Books, 2024

Thursday, March 7, 2024

Tuesday, March 5, 2024



R E A D    M E

in short — an excellent primer 

& biography of Hannah Arendt