Do You See?

World Book Fair Reading with LiFi; “l.) Just who are these girls?”: Poetry

On Feb 4, after I got back from my little vacation in Varkala, Kerala, with Prof. Debra Castillo, I went for a reading along with fellow writers. Six of us were invited by our common publisher LiFI Publications to read and publicize our forthcoming books at 2013 World Book Fair, New Delhi. We were in Hall 1, at a snazzy “authors’ corner”, complete flashes and TV recorders.

I read a page off of my short story “Atif’s World”, from my to be published book “The House of Twining  Roses“. The title refers to the climber roses my mother had planted at the porch of our house (see my previous post for photo).

Here are a few pictures from the reading and the aftermath (photo credit to various people) —


The group.lifi2

lifi3 lifi4 lifi5 lifi6 lifi7 lifi8 lifi9 lifi10 lifi11 lifi12 lifi13 lifi14 lifi15 lifi16 lifi17


And poetry!

Twelve Twelve Twelve


a.) When I was twelve, I lived
on the grounds of a mental asylum.
b). My Filipino mother was a psychiatrist,
so that meant we lived
in the doctor’s quarters—
one of the three big brick houses
that edged the institute.
c). My younger sister and I practiced Herkies—
our favorite cheerleading jumps—
off the patients’ bleachers near the softball field.
d). When I was twelve, I aced
the experiments
with celery and food coloring;
they let me skip a whole grade
and get right to The Dissections.
e). I secretly wished my supply
of grape Bubble Yum would never run out
but I couldn’t figure out how to blow bubbles
and snap the lavender gum like Sara could.
f). We sold gift wrap and crystals
for a junior high fund-raiser and my mom still asks
Where are all the crystals I bought?
Why don’t you display them in your house?
g). When I was twelve, I worried about
the darkening hair on my legs.
My mother bought me my first training bra—
no cup, just little triangle pieces stitched together—
and then a slice of New York-style cheesecake
to bring home.
h). Home.
i). When I was twelve, our house
always smelled of fried lumpia
or ginger.
j). We had zinnias
as wide as my outstretched hand
nodding at us in our garden.
k). My school had to create
a whole new bus stop
just for my sister and me,
and everyone stopped talking and stared
when we stepped onto the bus each morning,
smelling of grape gum and ginger roots.
l.) Just who are these girls?

Aimee Nezhukumatathil, “Twelve/Twelve/Twelve” from Lucky Fish. Copyright © 2011 by Aimee Nezhukumatathil.  Reprinted by permission of Tupelo Press.

Source: Lucky Fish (Tupelo Press, 2011)


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This entry was posted on February 23, 2013 by in fiction, LiFi Publications, Nabina Das, poetry, The House of Twining Roses.
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