Book Excerpt: Till the Next Wave Comes by Sarita Jenamani


Title Till the Next Wave Comes

 

 

Title: Till The Next Wave Comes

Author: Sarita Jenamani

Publisher: Dhauli Books

Links: Amazon

 

 

Viennese Coffee-houses

 

No sooner does dusk fall

than the city’s cafés come to life

with the tinkling clang of indifference

Gradually the crowd of solitude gathers

around the tables

 

Decoding a paradigm

 

What is the distance

between the desire and

the language that tries

to define it

The limitation of decoding

a paradigm

with the smog of language

is like imagining

the flight of a falcon

in a state of epilepsy

Why don’t you map this span

through the sorcery

of your dream reflected

in a distant galaxy

Abyss of Obscurity

 

Murkiness engulfs your city

What a condensed day

What a day wrapped with shadows

As if the sun has forgotten its rays

in the niche of an ancient temple

We have lost the track

in the abyss of obscurity

Only a voice can guide us

to the illumination

Together we will survive

the hunger of history

 

Non-Place of Being

I tap on the door

and it opens

but before I enter

the door enters me

and keeps on opening countless doors

inside myself

I cannot decide

am I crossing the thresholds

or are they crossing me

one after the other

Confounded, I search for a roof

but before I detect one

the earth beneath my feet

slips away

 

An Open Window

The window does not open

to destiny

It opens

to the fatigued face

of an old sun

To dust and grass

A nameless path

Birds flying

with shards of sky

in their beaks

Two desperate eyes

on their way back home

A swarthy despondency overcomes me

 

First Rain in Vienna

Here the soil seldom exudes

the aroma

of earth refreshed

But in time

when the scents of the city rise

twiglets of memory shoot up

And somewhere deep down

loss strikes root

 

Epitaph

 

They go to the cemetery

and decorate their beloved graves

enlivening the deadened memories

They dust the epitaphs off

to get a proper reflection

of subtle pain in their eyes

They light up candles

to locate the sorrow

hidden somewhere inside

I have nowhere to go

I look up to the grey cold sky

and try to feel the warmth

of my father’s eye

His grave exists nowhere

but in me

and

I am his epitaph

Inscriptures on Sand Dunes

Eternity reflects itself

in my eyes

full of stars

The world beyond

is chopped off

in days and hours

Time writes my name

on sand dunes

and its footsteps

echo in the womb

of my nebulous existence

 

Poem

A poem is not

a luminous firework

It is a lonely shooting star

struck off

from the forehead

of the firmament

 

Between Myth and Truth

 

The courage

to trespass

into the realm

of an alien pain

leads to open

a whole new world

hidden behind

an ordinary

looking door

This dark spasm

that snarls inside you

this kiss of Kali

on your exiled body

are accruals

to breathe a new horizon

between myth and truth

 

Images of Departure and Encounter

 

I feel committed to distance

and satiate my wanderlust

by accompanying nomadic shadows

through the maze of streets

howled by images

images that I have enshrined tenderly

somewhere deep within

images that I have left behind

without bidding goodbye

images which I breath everyday

as sharp as your indifference

that cuts my veins ruthlessly

the taste of blood sticks to my tongue

and an unspoken word

slips from my lips

to the edge of infinity

 

About the Book:

Sarita Jenamani’s poetry collection Till the Next Wave Comes does not approach life and the human condition through some pre-conceived notions or readily-available formulae. Resultantly, she comes up with stuff that is at once dense and profound. Her treatment of it is subtle and sharp, the poems of this book offers its readers to experience the extraterritorial existence that entails a sheer sense of non-place-ness – not much far from the one proposed by French ethnologist Marc Augé – finds a haunting presence here. Quite atypically for a migrant poet, Jenamani shuns the cliché-ridden trope of nostalgia, memory, uprootedness and estrangement etc. Neither does one find here a celebratory tone nor even the euphoric mood of a postmodernist holder of the so-called third space. Only a profound feeling of disjuncture – within and without – that borders, at times, on numbness. Though one can discern a tiny tinge of her original culture in her texture, she offers a panorama that is paradoxically punctuated with an unsettling aporia of being here, there and nowhere – a phenomenon that signifies our zeitgeist (spirit of the times). Read reviews here(Indian Express,thenews.com and Kitaab)

About the Poet:

Sarita Jenamani is a poet of Indian origin based in Austria, a literary translator, anthologist, editor of a bilingual magazine for migrant literature – Words & Worlds – a human rights activist, a feminist and general secretary of PEN International’s Austrian chapter. Perhaps the most conspicuous aspect of her personality is her poetry that has so far been published in three collections. English is the chief medium of her creative process. The other two languages she writes in are; Odia, the state language of the place of her origin Odisha (India); and German, the language of her country of residence, Austria. She uses these languages for the translation projects that she undertakes from time to time. Sarita translated Rose Ausländer, a leading Austrian poet, and an anthology of contemporary Austrian Poetry from German into Hindi and Odia. She has received many literary fellowships in Germany and in Austria including those of the prestigious organisations of ‘Heinrich Böll Foundation’ and ‘Künstlerdorf Schöppingen’.

 

Dear Reader, Please Support Kitaab! 

Help promote Asian writing and writers. Become a Donor today!

https://www.patreon.com/kitaab