The Transnational Poet

I read an article on poetry, The Way Forward, in The Literary Review section of The Hindu. Worldwide, there are some very exciting poetic configurations happening and as a transnational poet, I can reach into the bottomless repositories of culture, past and present. Language is my tool to liberation and the shaping of a new consciousness and awareness both as a woman and a poet/writer. Like a bride now….

something old, something new
something borrowed and something blue

As a Malaysian-Tamil poet until I left Islamist Malaysia there seemed to be no way forward for the likes of me. To borrow a phrase from Maya Angelou, I was a caged bird. Today, I am writing myself out of the cages and the boxes and seeking a publisher for my manuscript, of poems and notes, “Please, God, Don’t Let Me Write Like A Woman.”

Three poems I authored and am particularly proud of are:

1.I like Malaysians -inspired by Ernest Hemmingway’s poems, I Like Americans and I like Canadians
2.I Petition The King
3. On The Subject of War – for Rabindranath Tagore.

Another two poems 1. Clearing The Temple – isn’t conversion simply hell? and 2. Festival of Lights will be appearing in Mad Blood # 6, a local Evergreen publication. My poems were shortlisted and I was a strong finalist in the 2nd Mad Blood Literary Arts Contest.

Oh. And for commentary on what it is like for me as an South East Asian woman, American educated and literate, I hope some American/Canadian/Asian/ Australian poetry publisher out there with a sense of humor and a love for poetry, the women’s cause and Charles Bukowski will ask me on Valentine’s day for a poem. I will gladly oblige with the whole manuscript.

A Transnational poet. How about that?

“The United States themselves are essentially the greatest poem.”
-Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass.


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