Sweta Srivastava Vikram – January 8, 2013

December 25, 2012 § 1 Comment

Sweta Srivastava Vikram is an award-winning poet, writer, novelist, author, essayist, columnist, educator, and blogger. Born in India, she is the author of eight books, including Kaleidoscope: An Asian Journey of Colors, Perfectly Untraditional, and No Ocean Here, which is forthcoming in 2013. Sweta has twice been nominated for the Pushcart Prize and was described in the Taj Mahal Review as “A poet with hauntingly beautiful talent.” Sweta has held several artist residencies in Europe and America and worked on collaborative projects with artists from Zimbabwe and Australia. A graduate of Columbia University, she reads her work, teaches creative writing workshops, and gives talks at universities and schools across the globe. Sweta lives in New York City with her husband. You can follow her on Twitter (@ssvik) or Facebook.

When:  January 8, 2013
Where: Terraza 7 Cafe, 40-19 Gleane Street, Elmhurst, NY 11373
Time: 7:00 – 9:00 PM (open-mic sign up at 6:45)
Other: $5 suggested donation. For more information contact Richard Jeffrey Newman.

Here’s one of Sweta’s poems:

For the men who mugged my husband

He wasn’t in the wrong place
displaying indiscretion, swaggering
like planktons in an ocean of alcohol,
discussing the art of pollination with pimps.

It was six p.m.,
a time when the sun leaves
the cacophony of New York City
in the arms of solace, heads towards home.

He was walking towards the entrance
of the 14th street subway stop, armed
with groceries for my party and a poisoned apple—
a bag from the Apple store as a gift for my birthday.

Bees smelled honey, showed up from behind—
a kick, a punch knotting his spine,
ribs on the floor, face licking dirt,
rats running, lights on the PDA crushed.

As the city witnessed this crime
and ER ran urgent tests,
I sat ten blocks away, unaware,
sipping chardonnay tasting like tears.

I am no clairvoyant,
yet I could sense something wasn’t right.
I left early, not knowing
bad news was two steps ahead of me.

I was told the hospital tried to reach me,
but I checked—
no missed calls or messages.
I want to believe doctors don’t lie.

When I got home that night
flailing bones opened the door—
my faith screeched, blisters of anger grew,
mistrust crawled like ants on my spine.

Don’t for a moment think you won,
a woman never forgives.
I curse you with my silent hands—karma
can smell vomit, take care of everything.

And as you turn a hundred and twenty,
and rats nibble on the bricks of your home,
may your body never feel free
as loneliness strangles you in an airless room.

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