“Anything But Important” A Halloween Poem by Kalpna Singh-Chitnis

Kalpna Singh-Chitnis is an Indian-American poet and filmmaker based in the United States. Author of Bare Soul (winner of the 2017 Naji Naaman Literary Award) and three collections of poems in Hindi, she received the prestigious Bihar Rajbhasha Award given by the government of Bihar, India, for her first poetry collection, Chand Ka Paivand (Patch of moon), in 1987, and the title of Bihar Shri (Jewel of Bihar) in 1988. She is also the recipient of 2014 Rajiv Gandhi Global Excellence Award for her contributions to literature and cinema. Kalpna Singh-Chitnis participated in the Silk Routes project of the International Writing Program at the University of Iowa from 2014 to 2016, and published her work as a poet, essayist and translator in notable journals like World Literature Today, California Quarterly, Levure Litteraire and others. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Life and Legends and works on independent film projects in Hollywood. More about Kalpna at – www.kalpnasinghchitnis.com

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When your head feels like a pumpkin,
you want to scoop out everything it holds,

for everything important you have known
in your gut, for them to be examined.

You want to take out every fiber of your brain
and the seeds of ideas to carve emptiness.

You want to feel the hollowness; and smell the scent
released from your own execution.

You just want to sit out there at the door,
with a tea candle flickering inside you;

enough to keep you warm,
yet able to feel the frost,

and watch the ghosts and goblins
of time, passing you by, grinning at life…

and the children excited for
trick or treat, in their favorite costumes.

When you feel something like this
on an autumn night,

you feel like the earth, pale and blue,
hanging from nothing, out in space,

wanting to feel anything but important.

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