Monday, April 28, 2008



Dile que espero su carta,
que hay unas burbujas
que salen de las aguas termales
duranguenses y no sé
cómo describirlas,
digo, de manera cientifica,
formal, de la Real Academia.

Dile que no quiero
llevar los 20 volúmenes
o el compact por todos lados,
que hace falta su lectura
de mis manos, de las ideas
de mi papá adoptivo.

Dile que eligió bien
la novia bailarina,
bailan así sus versos
a un tiempo nuestro,
fracturado, con saltos
pero con una línea

Dile que los extraño,
y a mi no me molesta
si algún critico comenta
sobre los sentimientos
crudos de esta poesía
de amistades. Dile
que la muerte y el mar

son compañeros
de los poetas románticos
y no nos da vergüenza
esta tarde de espera
cuando un avión
ha llevado a mi familia

a otra ciúdad, otro mar,
y no hay manera
de contactarlos—
no quiero decir celulares—
dile que un pasajero
en un avión vuela
en otro mundo

de espera y de tiempo
suspendido. Dile
que me gustaría
que todos los aviones
aterrizaran al lado mio
y sus miles
de amores hambrientos

se reunieran a la vez
con sus pares.
Dile que me gustaría
que me escribieras
en ese avión una carta
antes de aterrizar
para leérmela.

-- Indran Amirthanayagam, c) 2008

Monday, April 21, 2008


On Readings from The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems

The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems began its tour of the world on the outskirts of London, in Kingston, where I read from the book for the first time in January on the way to my first home, the island now known as Sri Lanka. There I launched the book at the Galle Literary Festival. I then took it to Seattle, to Elliot Bay Books, in early March and last week to the central branch of the Vancouver Public Library.

Now, the story turns to New York in May. And the campaign has not gone on too long, not to worry.

The first New York reading promises to be a bit light hearted and optimistic given that it will take place in a laundromat.

Here are a few lines I sent the organizer for use on their website.

I began to use public laundries when I moved to New York, to East 4thStreet in the scruffy, bathroom in the kitchen, Pyramid Club-hopping days....At the time I realized I had to bring my socks to the local stream where instead of rocks to lay down clothes I was obliged to place them on benches and wait my turn while somebody else spun their week's whites dry. I would bring a poetry volume with my clothes and read and imbibe the starchy and powdered air (and look around a bit for a female with whom I could exchange a furtive glance or perhaps a few words about Constantine Cavafy.) Then I entered washing machine and later the dryer and closed my poetry volume and put it inside the hot and sweet smelling bag of newly-minted linen ready for the week and further chance encounters with poetry and its lovers.

The reading is on Sunday May 4 between

4-5pm at Klean and Kleaner, 173 East 2ndStreet between Ave A/B—

On Monday May 5, I will read with other poets in the West Village
at the

Cornelia Street Café, between 6 and 8 pm
29 Cornelia Street

And on Tuesday May 6, I will read from The Splintered Face: Tsunami Poems at 7 p.m. at The Asian American Writers Workshop,
16 West 32nd Street Suite 10A NY NY 10001.

I look forward to giving these poems the works. Cheers.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


Remembering Martin Luther King 40 years later.


What if King wore mirrors,
and they refracted the bullet,
and he did not fall
into Jackson or Young’s arms?

What if he drove out
of Memphis in a car
cleaned of Hoover’s bugs
to meet Coretta

and father another child?
What if he grew old
watching Americans
wild-eyed, dancing,

reconciled, beside
cherry blossoms
blooming, one spring
day on the Mall?

-- Indran Amirthanayagam, April 4, c) 2008