This is a Spam Poem

This is a Spam Poem

Second Place in the Letter Review Prize for Poetry

Poetry by Shilpa Dikshit Thapliyal

December 15, 2022

This is a spam poem

rasping on tongues,

pungent in wicks of kerosene,

lathi-charged, tear-gassed,

knifed into shreds, blood sodden,

echoing songs of migration,

bearing doves for peace

and sunflowers to seed.

This is a spam poem 

lazing on a charpoy

with dhoti clad men with chillums,

spouting new rules

on menarche and untouchability, 

women stripping ghunghat              

sieving and straining charcoal years, 

seizing the saber of daylight

to slice webs of their unvoiced plight.

This is a spam poem,

it filters through curtains, 

a nascent crescent,

lighting obscure nights,

with dreams tied in golden leaves, 

swept into river mouths, open seas

to build bridges for our stories

shoved and stuffed in our lungs.

This is a spam poem, 

where being human 

is the only drill, where words 

of Emily, Yeats, Tagore 

repeat on recorder, and you hoard 

sheaves of paper as sinew, 

wait for the morning dew

and grass to grow untamed again.

This is a spam poem

lying in a folder,

below a string of urgent pleas,

reminders for subscriptions, super deals, 

ready for a click of dismissal

or for your perusal.

Shilpa Dikshit Thapliyal is a former computer professional turned bilingual poet and writer from Singapore. She is a Pushcart prize nominee and author of  ‘Between Sips of Masala Chai’ (Kitaab International, Singapore, 2019). Her poems have been featured in ‘The Best Asian Poetry’ – 2021, ‘Trivium’ (Kyoto Writers Residency) ‘Quarterly Literary Review Singapore’ (Vol 19, 20), ‘Yearbook of English Indian Poetry – 2022, 2021’,  ‘The Tiger Moth Review Eco Journal’ (# 7)  ‘OF ZOOS’, ‘to let the light in’, ‘Atelier of Healing’, ‘Shot Glass Journal (USA- #24,#28,#32,#34,#38)’, ‘Taj Mahal Review’, amongst other anthologies and journals. Some of her poems have been translated into Japanese, Chinese Art and Spanish.

Artwork by Kita Das.