Cobalt to Cornflower Blue
Identity. And blue’s every hue across. How do we grapple with our deep sense of self? What of matters revolving around gender, esteem, bullying, loneliness, anxiety, depression, suicide?
Drima Chakraborty gets political about the interpersonal and the sociohistorical. In “Lower East Side Playground, 1974, 2014”, Jendi Reiter reflects on a home “got away from”, and what it feels like looking at it forty years on.
Don Shiau is tentative about a second marriage. He also pens a ditty that becomes its own corona poem, even as Shilpa Dikshit Thapliyal pens a ghazal for the pandemic that has kept everyone home, masked, uneasy, and at arm’s length of one another. Othering seems to take on new meanings with social distancing. What does this do to one’s sense of belonging within a community? What of the dangers of intolerance and exclusion?
At times, these poems become at once confession and profession, often simply heartbreaking in their sentiment. The feelings lie naked on the surface, raw and familiar. The voice remains an unrestrained honesty. And no one’s lighting the blue touch paper.