Cardinal Sins

One cardinal cheeps
Near your sinful pane,
Open in summer wind,

Near your bedpost failing
To disentangle the white shirt
Of the other man. You wear
The black boxers, not yours.

One sweeping finger can shift
A paradigm, alter a filter
The way they used to see differently
With a new pair of contact lenses.
Not that anything changes.
Cardinal song, the sudden provocation
Of a new leaf, Bible in the bedside drawers,
Cigarette kills, and strangers may.

So Cool So Metal

I opened your gun-safe
This evening.

I know you kept those bullets
For a ticking stimulus,
For a sudden provocation,

But our neighbour
Played that wedding song again
And again and again.

An Unsatisfactory Story

“I remember meeting you before.”
Says the robber,
“You were in some patrolling shit.
Gave me a speeding ticket.”

“And you were returning from a job?”

“No. I was not into crime.”

“This does not make a good story.”

“You still had those eyes
As if you were from the future
Warning me to mind my gears.”


“I changed my career.”


I murmur in my wife’s ears,
“Taylor and Brown gave us Positive Illusions.
That was nineteen eighty-eight.
Deceive our hearts. Use it, dear. Keep us lucid.”

And still, the ghost casts
a peripatetic disk of light as if the sun has
caught some dome-shaped crystal
of the wristwatch belonging to one deceased.

Our daughter chases the light.
“Take her for a mosey.” Says my wife.

The street has emptied its truths to no end.
The crows settle for a dozen murders
on the railings of the pavements.
We walk, and still, the ghostlight strolls by our side.
“Tomorrow is better than the past.”
I tell our daughter. The light shines like slant laughter.

Dead Pies Make Great Music

Our daughter thinks,
whenever someone
travels away he goes
inside a cellphone.


Elvis appears on the pie-face
baked by Masha.
She video calls us. See.
Our daughter shakes her crib.
Jailhouse rock.


Jazz, from a record dusty with silence,
plays to the feet on the window sill
and to the pane of blinks and distant
necklace roads.

Hello, blindness. Hello, slumber.
Nostalgia rebels against the time.


Let’s begin from nothing;
not from what you think
about after reading the word.

Let’s begin
by pulling down the curtains
so that nothing falls into a shape
we can define by recalling
the exemplars when it wasn’t nothing.

An author and a father, Kushal Poddar, edited a magazine – ‘Words Surfacing’, authored seven volumes including ‘The Circus Came To My Island’, ‘A Place For Your Ghost Animals’, ‘Eternity Restoration Project- Selected and New Poems’ and ‘Herding My Thoughts To The Slaughterhouse-A Prequel’. His works have been translated in ten languages. Find and follow him at Author Facebook- Twitter-