Meena Kandasamy is an emerging poet, fiction writer, translator and activist. She is based in Chennai.
Her first book, Touch, was published in 2006. Two of her poems have won prizes in all-India poetry competitions. Her poetry has been published in various journals, including The Little Magazine, Kavya Bharati, Indian Horizons, Muse India and the Quarterly Literary Review, Singapore. She edited The Dalit, a bi-monthly alternative English magazine of the Dalit Media Network in its first year of publication from 2001 to 2002.
Kandasamy’s translations include the writings and speeches of Thol. Thirumavalavan, leader of Viduthalai Chiruthaigal or the Dalit Panthers of India... more »
Click here to add this poet to your My Favorite Poets.
Meena Kandasamy Poems
You are possessed. Witch doctors believe in phantoms, that cause your illness. But, driving out devils can be challenging. Spirits are given away—
Advaita: The Ultimate Question
Non Dualism Atman Self Brahman God Are Equal
The last thing she does before she gets ready to die once more, of violation, she applies the mascara.
My bed smells of textbooks and it is more than a month or so, since I dreamt of sunlight and the sky's embrace. Even a woman's lush vanities —
Becoming A Brahmin
Algorithm for converting a Shudra into a Brahmin
Ours is a silence that waits. Endlessly waits. And then, unable to bear it any further, it breaks into wails.
Another Paradise Lost
One sleepy summer afternoon, while helping myself to a glass of chilled water, I saw a snake lying curled under the fridge. It could have been a very poisonous cobra.
Helplessly, silent; we watched it being seized away, all our lands. The Government—a fulltime bewitching whore had promised Jobs. Industrialization. Power, Electric.
When memory decides To no longer bear the burdens— Of pain, or even plain indifference She has her winsome wicked ways.
Morning Song Wet pink And dusty grey The sky begins to blush.
How They Prostitute A Poem
It is uniquely easy For some to sell Ideals because Business of absent
Apologies For Living On
I am living on because providing apologies is easy
An Angel Meeting Me
and may be we will almost fall in love... I will look into his eyes, and he into mine—
We understand why upper caste Gods and their ‘good-girl’ much-married, father-fucked, virgin, vegetarian oh-so-pure Goddesses
You are possessed.
Witch doctors believe in phantoms,
that cause your illness. But, driving out devils
can be challenging. Spirits are given away—
We are made to sit opposite you,
Force-fed a ‘meal'—bland food mixed
with your hair, nails, spit and pus.
Illegally (despite the government ban) ,
We take your hoard of evil spirits
Barter-system: for having ate your food.
And because ghosts and ghouls
obey your rules, they leave you to come to us.
Is this ‘transference'? An unofficial appeasement.
We become inhabited by the dead,
who ruins our ...