“#359, Ganga Hostel” by Tejas



Look now, the hostel is alive, 
March heat flushing regiments of ants 
single file, hushed, from dark crevices,  
over scarred landscapes of cracked, whitewashed paint. 
Wounded cats and earless dogs 
red-faced monkeys patrolling the grounds 
the solitary man lugging water cans. 
Don’t let the renovations fool you: this is  
an old place built on graves in the jungle: 
serrated leaves blanketing themselves 
with fresh dust over monsoons past. 
Driven out by disease, 
we scatter: a downpour 
on flimsy anthills.

solar eclipse— 
moths burning 
in the floodlights 

from Rattle #73, Fall 2021
Tribute to Indian Poets


Tejas: “I have lived in Nagpur and in Chennai, in many ways different experiences connected by a basic but not homogeneous ‘Indian’ experience. There is nothing innate or profound about this; it can be seen as part of the process of a country coming into existence. This Indianness is not adequately representative of everyone in the country, but nevertheless, my belief is that such a sensibility exists and expresses itself in the works of many poets and prose writers (Dom Moraes, Arun Kolatkar, Upamanyu Chatterjee, Tanuj Solanki to name a few)—and perhaps more in writing in English than in regional languages. Of course an Indian writer is not restricted to this voice—it is only one among many, and also one that risks addressing solely an external audience, at the cost of authenticity in creative expression.”

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