Arjun Rajendran

Previously published at Asian Cha, The Reading Hour Magazine, Pratilipi, Switched on Gutenberg and The Pittsburgh Quarterly, I veer between the conventional and experimental in terms of style. Favorite poets include Jayanta Mahapatra, Billy Collins, Neruda and W.S.Merwin. Originally from India, I live and work in the United States.


Life over the speed limit

I look for you everywhere there is noise
but you’re hiding in the equipoise of the red
sculpture behind the homeless teenagers
behind the man peddling god’s word
all I hear is hell is all I know good god
I never noticed how small weather makes
people how absentminded for instance
I overlook pickpockets the daguerreotype sky
anything blue here wields handcuffs
maybe not the arresting blue bonnets how
we looked for them all afternoon listening
to the rain wallop the car roof the soft toy
of an armadillo its soft toy soul frogmen
searching the waters for bodies we can end
the day in epiphany no one need know


Fiesta Flambeau Parade

veterans of all kinds hero worship baton
twirlers clowns Campbell soup the beauty
queen shows the crowd her shoes
the fajita is heaven we are surrounded
by church goers LED rings paper roses
the parade is fed into cameras a lightning
storm of flashes the mayor the sheriff
heads of San Antonio chapters men
of importance so what happened to death
row inmates the whores drag queens
what happened where are the gays
lesbians the underground the unsung heroes
what happened where are they who
forgot their places in the parade it’ll realize
one day the salutes the cheers the floats
the day of the underdog the day poets
will share the glory with men of war


some sort of metaphor

Boiling pigeons alive was traditional.
I heard wings beating against the aluminum lid.
I smelled the blood cooking under wood scent.
The ground was covered with feathers.
The sky was devoid of birds—unless that hulk
of flying metal qualified.