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a literary journal published by the Black Earth Institute dedicated to re-forging the links between art and spirit, earth and society

Anis Shivani

About Place Journal, Volume II Issue I


the tree bled, rivers of red, my things
pants and whole marmorials of insects—
oh gods of literature, ant-sized, riff
off this atmosphere of aunt-wisdom
how their planet’s ache is off by zero
centuries in silent mode, i recall tiny
tiny the crushed vanquished bulldozed
elm fed on sixty years of fire under
the earth, moist as calculus, bones
wiggled like my toes like phantom
branches sitting on the arse of the
urban lubbock like Pope something
or other i don’t know, x is right? why
this soupbowl from ecosystem, ugly
nights, ugly “there’s nothing i can do,
sorry, i’ve decided already, the tree
has to come down, people’s sewage
is blocked, the roots are clogging
the pipes,” i know that’s not true,
but arses have to be wiped on time,
sweet pink arses smooth as perrier,
next morning i talk to my clueless
squirrels in the voice of a mellow
pumpkin, they’ve reduced me to a
head-banging positron in my own
home, i said to my wishful e.e.
i said 40 ft. over my naked roof
I said violence is what separates us
Anis Shivani’s debut book of poetry, My Tranquil War and Other Poems, is just out from NYQ Books. His story collection, The Fifth Lash and Other Stories, has just been published by C&R Press, and his novel Karachi Raj is forthcoming in October 2013. His other books include Anatolia and Other Stories (2009) and Against the Workshop (2011). Currently he is working on a new poetry book called Empire, a novel called Abruzzi, 1936, and a new book of criticism on “plastic realism” in recent American fiction. His work appears in Southwest Review, Boston Review, Threepenny Review, Prairie Schooner, Agni, Epoch, Fence, George Review, Iowa Review, Antioch Review, Harvard Review, Subtropics, Quarterly West, and many other journals.



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