• Ka: A Poem

    Ankur Betageri

    January 23, 2019

    Untitled, Jackson Pollock, Ink, wax, and acrylic on paper, 1982 | Image Courtesy: Metropolitan Museum of Art


    Did I see her face flash? Or a tiger burning bright?
    What really lurked at the edge of sight?

    O unnameable horror
    mirage of woman, mirage of a tiger
    why did I pursue you into this wilderness?
    If it was to live I’ve found the ache of death.
    And in it something thrashing about—to resurrect

    I am a frame which has lost its painting.
    I shut my eyes for it haunts my eyes.
    I collapse on knees and embrace thundering skies.

    The grass whirls in a great emptiness.
    The evening breeze cuts through my abdomen
    like a blade.

    * Ka is an interrogative pronoun in Sanskrit which stands for both "who" and "what". It is also the name of The Unknown God to whom Hymn 121 of the 10th Mandala of Rig Veda is addressed.


    Ankur Betageri is a poet, short fiction writer and visual artist based in New Delhi. He is the author of The Bliss and Madness of Being Human (poetry, 2013) and Bhog and Other Stories (short fiction, 2010). He teaches English at Bharati College, University of Delhi. His poetry has appeared in New English Review, Mascara Literary Review and London Review of Books.

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