Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

The First Line

Academic journal article Michigan Quarterly Review

The First Line

Article excerpt

God, you're supposed to send me

the first line of a poem

and look, here I am sitting and waiting and getting

covered with dust!

Time flew from one planet to another

emitting signals.

The stars flared up and died out

embracing timeless space

The universe was immersed in moonlit ecstasy.

Yet a century drowns in moonless darkness.

Monsoon-filtered night goes by in vain,

oh yes, in vain,

and I shed no tears of anguish

though the sky goes on weeping.

Keeping the green traffic light in my vision

I swing a lifetime stuck in a traffic jam.

With outstretched hands I am that blind beggar

standing in a stupor

amidst a rough and rowdy crowd!

Oh God, I thought you kept promising

to send me some poetic words

but look, the pages are still blank

with no first line of a poem

to fill my emptiness. …

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