Guest Poet Pradeep N. Mane

the waif's agenda 

seen mother fall like the evening, 
on last night's preserved bed sheet, 
that the prude sun shuns. 

the partnering grime covered 
light bulb shadow floats on an 
ocean of moss greened wall. 
the man beside, hollow chested, 
liquor pickled and a regulation 
cigarette lost between 
yellow decaying teeth. 

she, somehow, has drowned her 
sense of smell; 
sweat and urine plastered thick on her 
reason to differentiate. 
this ritual one more time. of looking 
askew - while the skeletal form 
heaves and ebbs in abstract 
the bed creaks 
shamelessly as ever before. 
she has lost touch. its 50 rupees 
nothing more. 
"son of a whore". the boy is slapped 
once again. mother didn't bring forth 
a daughter. the scourge of ages 
passes by. only to return in a 
new guise. 

the turmoil of origin 
searches blank faced 
in the crucible of respectability. 
child of void. seeking asylum in his asking. 
the autoconsoling feebly echoes 
the capsiecin question. 
mother your infirmity to tell 
who's seed i manifest or will 
the footsteps on the creaky staircase 
stand witness, dumb to 
your spurned tears.

March, 1999

Pradeep N. Mane's Questions:

Was wondering what thoughts would be going around in a prostitute's son's mind. Most of what I have written in this poem is culled from movies/mags.

Also wanted to brutally depict the hovel in which these people live. It is more Indian in its imagery and setting but feel it could be universal?

Do you feel i am able to convey my thoughts?

PNM's Home page

The Albany Poetry Workshop