"Words Have No Power to Impress the Mind" After Edgar Allan Poe The passing decades remind me of caducity, show me its open jaws, the esurience of its mud-splattered embouchure. I give admittance to regrets remembering the rabid rantings of my callow youth, the malapert pronouncements of a deluded mooncalf. Juvenile hope’s audacity went easy down the weasand but kickshaw victuals now have left me flat. Too late, clarity arrives, carries me to bed, calls me a gudgeon as I await his final judgment. George We can’t breathe. I know our mortal hands bear bonds of guilt but you are not my jury, nor my judge. Please, imagine shouting neighbors, weeping wives. We can’t breathe. Surely mutual respect constructs life’s adamant foundation, and compassion slides her fingers underneath your badge? Instead, your hateful knee compresses airway like a belt. We can’t breathe. Behind steel bars, karma has arrived- how does its touch feel, man in blue now clad in orange? The clank of chains’ constriction cannot tell you how we felt. We still can’t breathe. A Mariner's Memory Salty darkness slips through the window sash, the gentle waves: swish, crash meeting their final match, ruined on limpet-crusted rocks. Across the narrow bight, the schooner’s her moonlit prow belligerent, Dismissive of the tides, recalcitrant to slapping, cold voices of aqueous dissent that babble at the harbor buoy’s rusting sides. In the lighthouse, throbbing white pulsations intermittent gleaming indications of impending dawn’s embrace. Bio: Mukund Gnanadesikan is a poet, novelist, and physician who lives in Northern California. His first novel, “Errors of Omission” was released in 2020. A sample of his recent poetry can be seen in Poetry Quarterly, Ginosko Review, and Remington Review. 3 poems by Mukund Gnanadesikan: Foreword, First Impression, Non Native A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Mukund Gnanadesikan
photo by Casey Horner (unsplash)
Instructive phrases, collected phonemes coalesce to mean something Diaphanous utterances suggest transparency or is it a truth unseen? But never mistake your divergent glance for differently configured lines make beauteous twists at winds behest dancing like linked fingers under windy starlight. Colorless or kaleidoscopic, even the smoky plumes of sinister darkness and breath-restoring light need no interpreter. All views, all voices uncover and recite hidden intentions. Your vision, no more obscure than mine, should never be mistrusted. First Impression We lock eyes, exchange compulsory pleasantries, our creased hands probing. Mouths dare not disclose fluorescent sentiments, only a quick pearly glimmer. What assumptions swirl amid cranial fog disguised as intellect? Do you think you know me? How simple I must be and you as well. Non Native Verdant rolling fields are overrun tangled with yellow goldenrod. White lily, chocolate columbine, and jet black dahlia each compete for precious rain drops, remnants of fleeting showers. Roots shove like elbows, thrust neighbors into peril. Vernal savior must return. All are calling. Whose sharpened ear will listen? Bio: Mukund Gnanadesikan is a poet, novelist, and physician who lives in Northern California. His first novel, “Errors of Omission” was released in 2020. A sample of his recent poetry can be seen in Poetry Quarterly, Ginosko Review, and Remington Review. A Fevers of the Mind Quick-9 Interview with Mukund Gnanadesikan 2 poems by Mukund Gnanadesikan from Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020
with Mukund Gnanadesikan:
Q1: When did you start writing and first influences?
Mukund: I wrote my first poem when I was fourteen. It was about a man I saw walking every day on a bike path near our summer home. Twenty years later, I submitted it, and it was published.
Q2: Who are your biggest influences today?
Mukund: My biggest contemporary poetic influences include Jericho Brown, Louise Gluck, and Jane Hirschfeld. As for fiction, my tastes run to older influences (Dostoyevsky, Sinclair Lewis) but I also enjoy reading Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and Zadie Smith.
Q3: Where did you grow up and how did that influence your writing?
Mukund: I grew up in the New Jersey suburbs. It was your typical affluent white picket fence community, with an emphasis on the word “white.” I’d say that seeing the ignorance and arrogance of wealthy, nominally well-educated people informs some of my skeptical view of humankind.
Q4: Have any travels away from home influence your writing?
Mukund: I’ve been fortunate to travel to various locales. We spend a lot of my formative summers in Martha’s Vineyard, and memories of these times are a part of my poetry. Additionally, I’ve enjoyed visiting numerous other countries and the process of doing so helped me realize that there is so much we all could benefit from sitting down with people of other cultures and “breaking bread” in a meaningful way.
Q5: Any pivotal moment when you knew you wanted to be a writer?
Mukund: When I was in sixth grade, my English teacher (a notoriously tough, imposing person) told me I had a knack for writing. She was also my teacher in eighth and tenth grades. When I showed her my first poem, and she was enthusiastic, I was encouraged further. For a while, I merged my passion for writing with my love of sports, and I toyed with the idea of becoming a sportswriter. But poetry was always the medium that resonated with me most.
Q6: What are your favorite activities to relax?
Mukund: When not writing, I like to go for slow jogs through the neighborhood or through nature. I also enjoy watching sports, cooking, and traveling with my wife.
Q7: Do you have any recent or forthcoming projects you’d like to promote?
My full length fiction debut, Errors of Omission: A novel, was released in November by Adelaide Books. It’s also available on Amazon, Barnes &Noble, Kobo, and Kindle. https://www.amazon.com/dp/1953510582
I’m also currently working a new novel, entitled “Tracks”, and putting the finishing touches on my first poetry collection, which is currently an orphan looking for a loving home.
Q8: What is a favorite line/stanza from one of your poems or others?
From "The Last Days of Tyranny": Let sentiment engrave in stone collective Will and Testament. Q9: Who has helped you most with writing? Mukund: I've attended a couple of writing conferences. At one, Peter Ho Davies was a direct mentor and he taught me a lot about what I was doing right and wrong. As often happens in the group process, my colleagues' feedback was also invaluable. With regard to poetry specifically, going to craft talks by Eavan Boland, Jane Hirschfeld, Ada Limon, and Matthew Zapruder helped me to recognize the breadth of possibility that exists under the umbrella of poetic expression. Recently I sought some feedback on my poetry collection from Brandi George, and her specific technical advice has helped immensely. https://www.scarletleafreview.com/poems33/mukund-gnanadesikan-poems 2 poems by Mukund Gnanadesikan from Fevers of the Mind Press Presents the Poets of 2020 https://adelaidemagazine.org/p_mgnanadesikan.html Bio: Mukund Gnanadesikan is a poet, novelist, and physician who lives in Northern California. His first novel, “Errors of Omission” was released in 2020. A sample of his recent poetry can be seen in Poetry Quarterly, Ginosko Review, and Remington Review.
A Question of Identity
We do not blend into the pink tropical sand. Far more visible we are than rocky cliffs from which, if I stand and face the wind, secrets of the past crawl, ant-like, into my unwitting ear. As I climb the ladder to the bluff, sea grass reaches out; I brush its grasp away offering it nothing but rejection as once did ancestors who stood upon this ledge and pushed another man, opposite him on the color wheel, into a watery hereafter. His descendants say this is the way of survival I say it is the way of extinction And soon we all are gone, no voices heard, no footsteps, not even a scrap of sentimental cotton. Oh Lord, we know not who we are or who we might have been. When He's Had Enough Today of all days, he chooses to stand, feet firmly planted. A wide-based oak, he joins the forest Hears the rising rustle of rebellion's ecstasy This grove of thumping hearts of polyphonic chants that feel like summer rain to a parched leaf, that strip away fear's binding web, that bring back dying town's pulsation; Is it this that draws the truth from diaphragm to mouth like capillaries siphon blood to skin? He gives no ground, moves nowhere, though others quake choking in a storm of smoke Let it be said: today this street is his. Bio: Mukund Gnanadesikan is a poet, novelist, and physician who lives in Northern California. His first novel, “Errors of Omission” was released in 2020. A sample of his recent poetry can be seen in Poetry Quarterly, Ginosko Review, and Remington Review.