Two Poets

The world pours itself like a river onto his page.

No need for matted mountain firs to break the fall,

it breaks through mine.


I am overcome by the materiality of his ‘matras,’

He overcomes their attenuations.


In Hindi or Bengali, and possibly in many other regional languages of India, a ‘matra’ is a sign, an accent, punctuation. Marker, if you will. In the two languages mentioned, the matra for a  full stop (period) is shaped like a straight line, an ‘I’ without head or feet, a measure of pause and reckoning, a line segment, as small and definite as the human length in the narrative of life.