The Tower Journal

Sanjeev Sethi


Botryoidal gauds in light brown
leak tiresome details of my trail.
Aesthetics, fair provider of certain
accuracies: mirrors are not for me.
In an unlit cache of my mind you
spark unnamed cotillion of sensations.
Incapable of enciphering pressmarks:
this library’s little secret is to stumble
upon one’s shelf. Past is for priests.


Hesternal echoes break into my bedtime. It is like
bumping into those you have been striving to bypass.
To barge into them at a nearby bar or bank. I must
be one helluva bristly fellow. So many mortals
to manoeuvre like those nightly reverberations.


Edges are earmarked with the moss
of misty engrams. The past isn’t
enough to sustain friendships started
as a toddler or tutee, without subsisiting
in the vicinity of similar vulnerabilities.
Or with the other in a contrasting mold.
After seasons a sesh or two is happy
and heartfelt, more so after sousing in
spirit. It’s iffy to hold on to that handshake
as the crust of pridian flavors begin to chip.


Gridiron of my growing years had you chasing epaulets.
Each needs his needle. I was given to understand
I was part of your processes. How did my round
robin get it wrong? The trifecta of your task was her,
making me fourth in a sept of two. Contusions of
childhood aren’t easy to elude. Instinct looks for alibis:
archimage’s layout for ticking.


At the edge of the allec
I met my smile.
Like the restlessness
in a poem
you were waiting
to be unwrapped.
If one were to believe
you wouldn’t be you
through the metrics
of my mind.
Assays have their ambiguities.
It is like smell
hidden in a photograph.

Copyright © 2016 Sanjeev Sethi

Sanjeev Sethi  is the author of three well-received books of poetry. His most recent collection is This Summer and That Summer (Bloomsbury, 2015). His poems are in venues around the world including Red Fez, The Penmen Review, Indiana Voice Journal, Zoomoozophone Review, Drunk Monkeys, Degenerate Literature, The Penwood Review, W.I.S.H. Press, Easy Street, Novelmasters, Poetry Pacific, Transnational Literature, Postcolonial Text, Bluepepper, Otoliths, and elsewhere. He lives in Mumbai, India.

The Tower Journal
Winter  2016