Somniloquy / Binu Karunakaran

We talked all night well past

the hour of the Mottled wood

owl that cries puwaaaa, then

boiled raw bananas and ate

them peeled – there was nothing

else in the sad kitchen

of yours with dry sink run

over by roaches –thinking

of the ripeness of the night that

has passed hoping to put

our hungers to sleep, redeem

our eyes leaden by light

with kohl-lined calm

but your tongue continued

to fruit unsettling insomnablah

strewn with bursts of raucous

laughter and shamanic gibberish.

Secrets, like winged angels,

tumbled out of your

flanged lips and hovered over

our beds loudly drumming

their pointed bums.

Learn from

the ventriloquists

their craft:

transference that

has no need

for the lalia of lips

of gritting teeth

and tossing voices,

pulled from the deep

into thin air

hear them speak



All these words

put to sleep on a page

with faith in speech.


Binu Karunakaran is a poet and translator based in Kochi, Kerala, where he works as a journalist. A recipient of the 2012 Charles Wallace India Trust fellowship for writing, his work is part of several anthologies. He is currently working on Muchiri, a sequence of poems on the ancient port city of Muziris.

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