August 04, 2010


Sumana Roy

He always snips off ends. My tranquil ends,
fins deep asleep. Hair is frond. Hair is leech.
Hair is auction. Hair is lintel. Hair is traffic,
sigh, umbrella butt. Gaya, Kashi, Vrindavan.
Coconut-flesh scalps, a manifesto. “Boy’s cut.”

He always snips off ends. Antennae
of lust, tendrils of moist defeat. Hair is vial.
Lady Godiva. Hair is oyster, hiding nudity. Scissors
– suspicion’s toolkit. Sita, Vedavati. Sharpness
a male moral – “Haircut’s our last ahimsa art”.

He always snips off ends. Kesh is a congested
city. 1984, shears, rape of the lock. Hair is pilot.
Haircut is amputation, tattoos on memory. Indira.
Taslima. Bun’s a burqa, beni a beauty of bridges. Bob,
Bang, Blunt. Hair burns, without waste, like a vowel.

He always snips off ends. Hair is shame’s prosody.
Hair is sex – a woman’s mistake. Hair is hotel. Chemo,
autumn, venetian blinds. Hair loss is Sibyl’s prophecy.
Hair is habit. Hair is rosary. Hair is vomit. Hair fall is debt.
Comb turns into procrastination. Haircut to humility.


2 comments to Haircut

  • KOUSHIK DUTTA (L' Etranger)

    Bold and suave, stark and obscure at the same time. While the directness makes it a strong political statement, a strange cohabitation of artistic indirectness makes it a wonderful piece of poetry as well. The most honourable aspect of Roy as a poet lies in her uncommon ability to view an object from multiple perspectives, to view the ‘object’ subjectively as well… thoroughly emotional, yet supremely detached. And then she can express all that in just a few lines… she cooks the storm up and leaves silently. Before we could realise her poem has shaken and left the reader(s) speechless.

  • Aditi

    Best poem I’ve read in a long, long, long time. Cross posted on FB. Now to get my hands on the book. Sumana: I’d say quite a bit, but you’ve left me in that stark corner of silence. I can only re-read this.

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