from the editors

current issue

past issues



Follow UCityReview on Twitter



Satya Dash

How to grow fond of lonesome nights

Invocation for a small amount of sentience


How to grow fond of lonesome nights

      Trust me when I say this: you’re a raptor in combustible
sky, a gilled thing on wet floor. Dreams will never marry you
      to sleep, but desire might. You allow your good bones

the treasure of a mid sentence twist, asterisk your name
      in expensive ink, bow to duty. Appreciate how the sun
doffs its cap to light up the tundra. Here in tropical republic,

      watch rains of a country wash up like bodies at the shore
of your stained sofa. Your feet curl in reverence to the teeth
      of wetness. After all you descend from a pack that learned

to count, strike a fire, stoke flame for penetration. To feel
      alive you invite susurrations to brush ears. At 3 am,
you make a coffee out of vengeance but use a little too much

      milk. Yes, it’s a night to pour. The cup runneth over
with lather you don’t recognize. You decide it’s impassioned
      flush between masturbation and self-pity. Recall faces

from places and places from faces. You pity the pimpled
      moon, its 360 degree access to earth’s mangled theatre.
Oh, the kind of things it must have seen. The world’s ignited

      by rum stricken sunrise: the eyes blink dilemma, city―   
a fuzzy ornament, faraway aunts snoring jasmine and elegy.
      Gravity sprinting from womb to womb emancipating

pleasure of waking dawn. Bird on the wire hesitatingly poops.
      Misses passerby beneath by a whisker. By the virtue
of vantage, a creature in the shiver of guilt learns of gratitude.

      Try sleeping in emergency, dreams polluted by need.
Forgive your stewy breath, blinded blue like a hissing river
      rushing between dark shores. Forgive the last sliver of water

attempting to surge. In the singe of heat, it becomes blood.
      Now you know it’s nothing that delights. A lull’s dignity.
Note it isn’t nothing in isolation. It’s nothing following a lot.

Return to list of poems

Invocation for a small amount of sentience

lizard on my forehead

gecko in my dreams

Lord  is it my misfortune

the world comes alive

only when I sleep

I worry the most

when I close my eyes

but deep inside I know

time spent worrying

amounts to

a body’s mystique

something peripheral

like a pale moon panting

arriving early at dusk

tell me why waiting

is dangerously joyful

maybe anticipation is

your brimful of heavens

the chips

in a choco chip cookie

crunching your mouth

churning hunger into want

everybody lives like this

mouth nursing tongue

tongue riding teeth

can I mourn a loss

in my beauty

or will that qualify me

to the higher echelons

of vanity  (don't say yes)

I would say I don’t care

but by now

I know your ways Lord

& so my aggression comes

with the delectability

of sweet caution

so on mercurial days

I stare at mirrors

until I grin away

the flux of my desires

I ask forgiveness Lord

the strength to bleach ire

no merit being a name here

I’m just trying to be

a mellow enough body

an animal wants to rise in



Return to list of poems


I accept chaos, I'm not sure whether it accepts me.”
                                                                                    ―Bob Dylan

the nature of things       beneath my waist
arrhythmic but transpiring like everyone else’s
universe mimicking all that happens       clever photosynthesis
our heady propeller       didn’t you notice       the blades of grass
lisping the meadow       in your train window      
their slow rustling slash pining      your black beard
their strange murmurations in light       anything born
will be reborn       then vanish for the want to return
ecology’s cocktail       I drink with glee       I like how gnarled
the world’s things are       I bargain over a few rupees
with a rickshaw driver       but guzzle down a few hundred
on Jägerbombs at a bar       it’s clear to me        my moneyed
brow      ebbs like thoughtless currency      the joy of scrambling
less from lesser significantly creamier        than more from a lot
don’t we dwell  in fractions all the time       starts in a zygote’s pinch
ends with mouth      spangled with lifetime’s spit      in these depths     
of night       my apartment is montage      of ventilators glimpsing
into workings of hands and feet      mice kissing gnawing
under lumpy carpet        oblivious to miracles      for a moment
they are the miracle      in some windows, shadows making love       
in some, bodies thinking about it        in some, chests bemoaning it
for either its red fullness or dry heave        what I really mean
to say is it all comes down        to burning spice on simmer flame
flavour rising from incandescence        in every steeling act
of fire        essence duly purged        ash for snorting ash       
skin settling under kind blisters        in natural chemistry stemming
from the marrow’s gutters        bones here nudged an element
to realize the next second        they had moved the world

Return to list of poems

Satya Dash's poems have been published or are forthcoming in Waxwing, Wildness, Redivider, Passages North, Cosmonauts Avenue, The Florida Review, Prelude, The Cortland Review, Poetry@Sangam amongst others. Apart from having a degree in electronics from BITS Pilani-Goa, he has been a cricket commentator too. He is a two-time Orison Anthology and Best New Poets nominee. He spent his early years in Odisha and now lives in Bangalore, India. He tweets at: @satya043 

Return to list of poems

copyright 2010-2020 ucity review