Reading Shadab Zeest Hashmi’s New Collection: KOHL AND CHALK

First time for self to hear Shadab Zeest Hashmi was a week or so ago, when she read with Angela Narciso Torres at Beyond Baroque in Venice Beach. Self loved her poetry so much that she bought her book Kohl and Chalk.

Here’s a poem from the collection:

    How To Care for a Poet

    Discard old sponges. Wash her bitter with dried gourd.
    This to surface the memory of aniseed —
    She has walked down a staircase all night. Each night step was a NO.
    Be a tall window in her dream. A light
    that rises from basement to terrace.
    Pick thorns from the hair,
    spasms from her ankle. She abides
    in a storm, her suitcase full of stopped
    clocks. Paste a Persian garden
    on her door, a gazebo of swans.
    Promise her wild grass
    and oil lamps. Fold her at least nine times
    in the crushed velvet you found her in. Keep
    her aglow with moth wings.

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