A story in many unequal parts, some missing – 01

Part 01

I want to write that story
the story with no beginning
whose end I cannot know
there’s only a bit of the middle
the knots not yet untangled
the moon in the witness box
commits dastardly perjury
the stars gossip with
idle townsfolk in the bazaar
night after fucking night

the story so ordinary
like cheap clothes on sidewalk racks
flapping empty skins under a
sky muddy grey-brown
nothing big happens to anyone
no one becomes anything big
a story you see out of a bus window
someone crossing the road
someone waiting to cross
someone dead under the last

rush of a beat-up car
a step too late
a wheel too soon
just that much rain to wet your shoes
and keep you uncomfortable
the bus lurching ahead
but now through wet glass
odd smears of coloured light
and the illusion of a world still moving
everything a star, everything a moon

a story, faceless, nameless
unravelling inside itself
a story washing its dirty
parts so it can be
clean enough to tell

32 thoughts on “A story in many unequal parts, some missing – 01

  1. “a step too late
    a wheel too soon”
    : yes, certainly the cause of so many unfortunate tales.
    The poem takes me on a walk on a humid night through a noisy, run-down part of town. The imagery lets us see details in the most ordinary of scenes.


  2. Memory morphs itself into whatever it finds convenient to become. Stories become what we want them to be. Poets are unreliable narrators and that’s what we expect them to be.
    Rajani is a brilliant wordsmith who can transport you into hitherto unexplored realms. Her efforts to chronicle her life and times will be closely followed by a lot of us.


  3. “a story washing its dirty
    parts so it can be
    clean enough to tell”

    An interesting thought. Still, I wonder if it wouldn’t be best to leave the dirty parts in. Then again, we all must tell our story in the way we choose.


  4. The last three lines are amazing. I think there are many stories like that, and the washing them clean is also part of the ordinary progression. It makes me ask myself when do we prefer the clean stories to the dirty ones.


    1. Thanks Rommy. As for preferring clean stories to dirty ones, I think the person whose story it is would do so in order to cope and then there are listeners who would rather hear a clean story than deal with the other person’s dirt. If I figure out how to, I will write more about both 🙂


  5. This is a tangled piece of lovely poignant writing that does not soothe yet evokes a sense that beauty and meaning lurks somewhere amid the smallness and the sadness, if only we could find it. If only we could untangle it …


    1. I checked the spam folder and found your earlier comment. Thanks so much for your kind words. It means a lot when a poem resonates and the reader and poet are in the same zone. The hope is to write more, write enough to untangle it 🙂


  6. Beautifully breathless, Rajani. I love the mood you’ve set here. This line is exquisite – ‘the knots not yet untangled’ – and speaks volumes. So good


  7. Loved this Raj ! Resonates with how I feel when it drizzles incessantly, not a down pour but doesn’t allow one to feel dry and comfy either… a certain strange discomfort !


  8. Inspired to write this by a conversation with Rosemary Nissen-Wade, who is writing about some memorable life experiences on her blog: owntrumpet.blogspot.com Don’t know how far I will get but … yeah… watch this space!!! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

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