after Sujata Bhatt
Eliminating thought verbs is the key to a successful marriage.
You’re better off avoiding the reach for specificity and
curbing your interest in the interior of things.
The cobra always reverts to TYPE, tuneless
girls tend to wither on the vine.
Oil of jasmine will arouse river fish.
In the poetry of the Sung Dynasty the howling of monkeys
in gorges was used to express profound desolation.
Things you should have a good working knowledge
of: mitochondria, Roman roads, field glasses, making
rice (using the evaporation method only).
When your mother in law calls you smart,
it’s not meant as a compliment.
The lighter her eyes, the further she’ll travel.
Always have saffron in your kitchen cupboard
(but on no account ever use it).
Taunt the sky during the day; the stars
will be your hazard at night.
Do not underestimate the art of small talk. Learn some
stock phrases such as ‘they say Proust was an insufferable
hypochondriac’ or ‘I’m confident that the Government
will discharge their humanitarian obligations.’
Fasting sharpens the mind and is therefore
a good time to practise reverse flight.
Your husband may not know you cheated with shop-
bought garam masala but God will know.
From Small Hands. Reproduced with kind permission from Pavilion Poetry.