July 26-August 1, 2010: Janice Pariat and Bradley Mason Hamlin

Janice Pariat


Bio (auto)

Janice Pariat is a freelance writer currently based in her hometown Shillong, India after many years of being away in Delhi and elsewhere She is inspired by her mixed Portuguese, British and Khasi ancestry, literature, Shillong’s troubled history, her childhood in Assam, travel Her writing has been published in Soundzine, Tongues of the Ocean, The Smoking Poet, Barnwood International Poetry Mag, Poetry Friends, Tehelka, The Caravan, Art India, Ultra Violet and Literati among others Janice has been awarded a 2011 Swiss Arts Council grant to work on a short graphic novel in Lucerne and she is founder-editor of “Pyrta”, a journal of poetry, prose, photo essays and sketches
Visit Janice on the web here:

The following work is Copyright © 2010, and owned by Janice Pariat and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

colony kids

they burst past my window,
summer storms – swift,
sudden and noiseful back
from swimming at the old
water tank, bird-hunting
in the Risa forest (which
they say is haunted by puris;
nobody ventures after dark),
or stealing sohlia, still sour
and unripe, from someone’s
garden, probably mine.

all afternoon, they play their
own version of seven stones,
different from the one I know bored found shuttlecock pitched
against bat for a game of mock
cricket then excitement at some
thing found on the ground –
an insect, marble, money I cannot see.

as the sun goes down they
clamber up trees, long, thin
silhouettes against the sky
and check if day is done twilight offers little by way
of entertainment, lines of fate
and hopscotch erased war-torn
soldiers, they drag their tired
fairy-tales back home, and I turn
back to my empty pages to begin mine.

a war of worlds

he made guns,
my grandfather,
in a workshop
against a dirty wall
in the rough part
of the city –
next to the Chinese
dentist with fake
plastic flowers in
his waiting room.

all day, he buffed,
shaved and sharpened
on a table of creased
unknowable wood hands – lined deep
with grease and grainy
gunpowder – picked
at dog pins, rivets
and friction springs,
names as harsh as the
machines he conjured
to kill the wild.

I don’t know when
he had time for poetry.

how he heard the music
of nature while
hammering magazine
caps, saw the world
anew while settling
viewfinders gone askew.

perhaps when evening
settled and the dentist’s
droning drill was silenced;
with lantern lit and pool
of light hid hammer
chisel and knife,

he was inspired,
to place word
after word
onto paper,
in a line of carefully
polished bullets.

the silence of cinema

I am trying
to remember
the last time
we were happy Before the talk
of Truffaut and
Buñuel Of
French New Wave
and Italian
Neorealism It was simple then I loved you You loved me And things
like cinema
didn’t matter I am trying
to remember.

Perhaps a movie
can show me how.

poem for a climate

I passed the love of my life
in Pondicherry He was sitting on a bench
by the sea, framed
against a wall
of Mediterranean
yellow You know
the kind, where ivy
and bougainvillea
like to tumble down
in wild abandon He was in jeans
and a blue tee –
Rimbaud without
the madness I don’t think he saw me
though, absorbed in The
Collected Poems of
Wallace Stevens.

Pink and white carnations –- one desires
So much more than that.

His eyes crinkled,
the corner of his mouth
lifted into a smile Yes, I wanted to shout,
I love that line too Yet I didn’t, and as I
walked on, he turned
a page There was no one
else around on this
warm, salty afternoon Only the sea, which
watched with bated
breath, and then, when
nothing happened,
rolled gently onto shore.

song of departure

he wants to die in a room in vienna
while i wander the streets of this
treacherous town he wants to swallow the thousands
of voices,
haunting the palace after sundown.

i look in at windows on lost,
lonely people,
filling their hours with blossoming ale he creeps into concerts in a hall
in Vienna,
he reaches for magic,
the lights on the stage.

i cannot help feeling i’ve lost him
to opera,
as i sit on the sidewalk counting
pennies and shoes he leaves with a diva, who smiles
like the summer,
and they waltz in the twilight
to birdsong and blues.

so i make my way to the deep,
darkening water,
which quenches my sorrow
and mirrors my tears i leap to its arms as it whispers
a promise,
of blissful tomorrows and
vanishing fears.

he lifts her hand in a room in Vienna,
her lips are like wine,
spilled onto his coat i wander the streets,
no one can see me,
people pass by me
like shimmering ghosts.


Bradley Mason Hamlin


Bio (auto)

Bradley Mason Hamlin lives in Sacramento, California His short stories, articles/essays, and poems have appeared in several independent press books, magazines, and newspapers in print and online Brad works for Mystery Island Publications, a venue for pop culture and controversies located at: http://www.mysteryisland.net/

The following work is Copyright © 2010, and owned by Bradley Mason Hamlin and may not be distributed or reprinted in any form whatsoever without written permission from the author.

The Thing That Swallowed It All

Fat lady
with a romance paperback
wedged inside her chubby hand
waddles up to the register
as the clerk
stands there
in the chump change
secret society operation
of working in a bookstore
for information gathering
tax write off
and identity protection
she says,

“We’re bombing ”
“Of course we are,” he tells her “Afghanistan,” she says,
searching through the impulse candy
“That’ll be $5.38 ”
Nervously, she rumbles through her purse
“It’s war,” she says “All right Take it easy,” he tells her
She looks
suspiciously into his dark glasses
and says, “Thank you ”

He gives her
as much of a smile as he’s got
in the morning
and she walks away
with Fabio,
a chocolate bar
and all those bombs
on the sidewalk of her ass.

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