when a flame dies

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& the way a drunk mosquito burns—roasted
when it strikes a humming electric
racket, sweet pleasure is found

in the touch of a fire, getting
closer, warming undulating nerves,
burning many skins and hearts —

i sit beneath a cornucopia of thoughts,
shaded by empty words and loss, un-
true to the universe, unforgiving of
black nights and their igniting stars.

i want to learn how to perform in symbols
and when there are shortages of voiced whispers,
i need to let go of my vernacular, my colloquial
lips in favour of a rusted language, that
i have borrowed and bracketed for my cause.

i don’t remember the words, not their units
of deflated lungs, alight clay lamps, final
sparks of a flying cracker in the air, so
i absolve myself of all that has gone,
not knowing, not even writing, because
i don’t know how to do that anymore.

.
© Anmol Arora

Linking it up with “Kerry Says ~ What is Metamodernism?” at With Real Toads
Image source (Untitled [glossy black painting] by Robert Rauschenberg)

12 thoughts on “when a flame dies

  1. Sherry Marr says:

    Sometimes, it is hard to find the words. Louise Erdrich calls that a time of gestation. Your poem is eloquent, HA. I love it.

    Like

  2. sanaarizvi says:

    ….❤️ Arz kiya hai

    “Bol ke lab aazaad hain tere
    Bol zabaan ab tak terii hai,
    teraa sutawaan jism hai teraa
    Bol ke Jaan ab tak terii hai!”

    This is truly a phenomenal portrayal of need of words to express ourselves in life and the chaos that surrounds it, Anmol! From the title to the end .. I was left feeling a myriad emotions as I read on .. I especially love and resonate with; “I want to learn how to perform in symbols and when there are shortages of voiced whispers.” Wow!

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  3. “when there are shortages of voiced whispers,
    i need to let go of my vernacular, my colloquial
    lips in favour of a rusted language”….

    That intrigues me… if my words ever leave will my lips find a rusted language? There have been too many relatives and friends with some type of dementia within the past couple of years… I don’t want to be without a language somewhere in my brain.

    I know that’s not what this poem is about but it stabbed me there just the same. I like your vernacular, your colloquial, don’t go too far from it.

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  4. The search for words is not a problem it is the people with understanding that are hard to find. Whereas most other creatures on Earth are being eliminated by our foolishness we are overpopulating the Earth and our only answer is to kill each other and the natural world that can sustain us at the same time.

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  5. It’s not so much the words but the meanings that are important, I think. I love the way you start your poem by describing a dying flame, the smell, sound, feel of it, and then shift to the difficulty of self-expression. I especially love the lines:
    ‘i need to let go of my vernacular, my colloquial
    lips in favour of a rusted language, that
    i have borrowed and bracketed for my cause’.

    Like

  6. Kerry says:

    In not knowing what to write anymore, you remain a steadfast member of the mores of our time, sometimes silence is part of the dialogue.

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  7. Jim says:

    Nice poem, Anmol. You found plenty of words to say they can’t be found anymore. I like the sequence here, thinking here a big hole was getting dug. Ending dispare? Well there words to tell of it.
    Perhaps people might pick on something like this, “to learn how to perform in symbols,” understandable ones, soon. Aging, I find I am having trouble with names of people I know. Historical names I’m okay.
    Been missing you lately, I hope your words will still spew forth. So far my writing muse finds these alright.
    ..

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