Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence

Announcement: "Lost"

Announcement: "Lost"

By Elangovan


I lost it
I can’t recall

could it have become

an untouchable
five-foot path peninsula
afloat in cheap spirit

a salivating disciple
outside some temple-door
longing to kiss big shots

could it be
in a politician’s freezer
to thaw to lick power

could it be
an epileptic intellectual question             
out of the blue
in a low-caste brain

or could it be
an interrogator’s glove
gouging the smouldering
eyes of an unfettered spirit

could it be
retching in tears
a compatriot’s soul
before a firing squad

or maybe it is
lying tightlipped
scratching the head
for awards in a
poet of the people’s pen

What to do with it?

when whipped by the cry
bottles and broads
it always somersaults
to prostrate in
anybody’s castle

so dear sir
if sighted by chance
please boot the hopper
to return it proper

though useless
to this finder
it will at least
adorn my race
as a museum reminder

the missing link

Transcreated from Tamil by the poet



Elangovan is a bilingual poet, playwright-director, screenwriter, literary editor, translator, and a pioneer of Tamil experimental theatre as the Artistic Director of Agni Kootthu (Theatre of Fire) in Singapore. He has published three collections of poetry: Vizhichannalkalin Pinnalirunthu (Behind Windows of Eyes), Mounavatham (Silent Annihilation), and Transcreations (bilingual), and eleven collections of plays. While his play collections FLUSH, OODAADI, and 1915, were conferred Singapore Internationale Awards, some of his other plays, including TALAQ, SMEGMA, and STOMA, are still banned from performance in Singapore. He received the SEA WRITE Award in 1997.

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