THE (GREAT) INDIAN POETRY COLLECTIVE

Publishers of Fine Verse from India

Shikha Malaviya

GOTphoto Shikha Malaviya considers herself a morpher, having been born in the U.K. and raised in the U.S. and India. She is founder of The (Great) Indian Poetry Project, an initiative to document, preserve and promote the legacy of modern Indian poetry. Shikha is deeply involved in the poetry community through events/initiatives such as organizing ‘100 Thousand Poets for Change—Bangalore’, in 2012 and 2013; co-founding ‘Poetry in Public India,’ a movement to bring powerful verse by Indian women to public places across India; giving a TEDx talk on ‘Poetry in Daily Life’ at TEDx Golf Links Park, Bangalore, 2013. Shikha’s poetry has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize. She also founded Monsoon Magazine, the first South Asian Literary Magazine on the web. Shikha graduated from the University of Minnesota with degrees in creative writing and mass communications. She splits her time between Bangalore & the San Francisco Bay Area.

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From Geography of Tongues

(Poem nominated for the Pushcart Prize)

LIKE ANY GOOD INDIAN
After Brynn Saito’s ‘Like Any Good American’

I turn my face    with acute awareness   not giving them
even an eyelash   I give my phone unwanted attention
scanning numbers   friends who don’t matter
I count down the traffic light   59-58-57 seconds   then feign sleep
knuckles wrap against tinted glass   sometimes they call out
mother  sometimes sister    hair matted  mussed up on purpose
at intersections if I should look   they’ll pull out my corneas
with a grimace   push their scent   on my tinted car window
make me clutch    my purse tighter   half opened palm
the size of my heart     beating  like a silver coin
that I won’t give    because it spoils them  

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