Friday, January 01, 2010

Sweet Like a Crow - Michael Ondaatje
for Hetti Corea, 8 years old

The Sinhalese are beyond a doubt one of the least musical people in the world.
It would be quite impossible to have less sense of pitch, line or rhythm.

- Paul Bowles

Your voice sounds like a scorpion being pushed
through a glass tube
like someone has just trod on a peacock
like wind howling in a coconut
like a rusty bible, like someone pulling barbed wire
across a stone courtyard, like a pig drowning,
a vattacka being fried
a bone shaking hands
a frog singing at Carnegie Hall.
Like a crow swimming in milk,
like a nose being hit by a mango
like the crowd at the Royal-Thomian match,
a womb full of twins, a pariah dog
with a magpie in its mouth
like the midnight jet from Casablanca
like Air Pakistan curry,
a typewriter on fire, like a hundred
pappadans being crunched, like someone
trying to light matches in a dark room,
the clicking sound of a reef when you put your head into the sea,
a dolphin reciting epic poetry to a sleepy audience,
the sound of a fan when someone throws brinjals at it,
like pineapples being sliced in the Pettah market
like betel juice hitting a butterfly in mid-air
like a whole village running naked onto the street
and tearing their sarongs, like an angry family
pushing a jeep out of the mud, like dirt on the needle,
like 8 sharks being carried on the back of a bicycle
like 3 old ladies locked in the lavatory
like the sound I heard when having an afternoon sleep
and someone walked through my room in ankle bracelets.


Unknown said...

Why did this nigga make this? Now i have to write a paper on some dumb shit.

N/A said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
N/A said...

I don't get why this poem is so popular. It doesn't even make any sense at all.