“to start at voices teased apart,” Arkava Das

sunset                                                                               Sunset, Z.Z. Wei



“to start at voices teased apart”

             in that pure displacement earliest sunset
      what a sufficient sky

“we see glimmers of pleasure”

tv with genitalia teased apart
           in the hills a rerun point

       a set of night skies braying loose

from the eclipse with loose ends
“with its ups and downs”

we need not speak at all       when we have come to

how days cling to our version of

“the only a priori allowed
to reach”

into “our present psychological state of sleep”

Arkava Das

Review by Pamela O’Shaughnessy

In this poem Arka seems to be exploring a familiar theme for him, the moment of wakenness or awareness that arrives unexpectedly. The narrator seems to be relaxing at home enjoying the evening, a TV on I think. The evening settles into (extraordinary image) “a set of night skies braying loose”. The voices and genitalia are “teased apart” (what an image!) and now there is no more speaking, there is only a return to the luminous awareness of moments from childhood, as a fulfilling reality sets in.

The most prominent technique in the poem for me is one I try to use very often. It is to write about simple moments or events that seem utterly ordinary, but which under the pressure of poetic writing expand into myth, archetype, mystery. My comment, then, which may seem to seek the quotidian before the poem really begins, is in no way reducing the poem to its “banal” source. Instead, I think the technique reveals that the human mistake is in taking the moment or event as banal. It is sacred, and the poet brings that sacredness back.



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