November 2009

Aseem Kaul


Aseem Kaul lives in Minneapolis, where he is an assistant professor with the Carlson School at the University of Minnesota. His poems have appeared in RHINO, Rattle, and Poetry East among others, and a collection of his short fiction, titled etudes, was published in 2009.

The Park    

The fountain has run dry: light trickles
from the trumpet of the bronze boy,

pools in the leaves' dead eyes, the stone ear
of the basin murmured with moss.

A voice calls like the season, and the trees
reach out their arms, like statues

of long dead lovers, their names
meaningless and inscribed—

a history they did not survive.

Repeat after me, the lake says,
but the earth is too slow, too slow.

The wheeze of the traffic threatens,
branches cancer the sky; and the mist

is not oblivion, but obscurity,
a medium of disconnection

through which our heroes ride,
unable to come down from their high horses.



At the End of the Day    

Night comes red-handed to the motel door.
A slow train hauls the sunset away.

Someone dances in the newly-dug grave,
tamping down the earth, making sure;

and a hawk drifts through the sky
in search of stillness, or something to kill.

This is how regret ripens, how bite
by rusting bite the green of hope

is eaten, exposed. Defeat is a small town
just off the highway, a diversion

we are content to take, asking no directions,
giving no thought to the road being repaired,

seeing only the man by the hardware
store as he brings down the shutters, the sound

like thunder, or like a god closing shop.



Aseem Kaul: Poetry
Copyright ©2009 The Cortland Review Issue 45The Cortland Review