(The person who posts all of the inspiring submissions on this blog (me!) is going on a summer trip and will return in 2 weeks. I leave you with one of my favorite poems that was shared with us by one of our most touching poets. Happy summer! . . . Stella)
by Mani G. IyerFor years, he rescued them from dark, dingy stores, some with rickety stairs leading to dingier floors, where they wallowed in unread silence. Sometimes, he found them in swank stores with fancy coffees and plush couches, where they lay in chaotic clumps crying out their unfair prices. He brought them home, Carver, Cheever and Chekhov, Kafka, Marquez and Nabokov, Narayan, Roth and Saramago, Bukowski, Szymborska and Tagore, and myriad more, put them in sunlit, cherry habitats, where they live together as good neighbors with fences, hard or soft. They smiled, when he took them all out, and before putting them back to their orderly lives, lovingly dusted their jackets, read their fronts, backs, and random pages aloud, and trumpeted their achievements. They loved this attention, and he glowed in their luminous presence. These days, he cannot read their spines. The neighborhood has a forlorn look, and all he can offer is, to sit in front of them, stare at their blurry profiles, and recite names in full, from scraps of memory, and hope they forgive him.
Mani G. Iyer was born and raised in Bombay, India and has lived in the United States since 1985. He is deaf-blind due to Usher Syndrome. He became deaf by the age of 4, night-blind by the age of 12, and now has very little usable vision. Writing has always been a passion for Mani. He has completed a writing fellowship at the Vermont Studio Center and is currently pursuing an MFA for poetry/writing. He has also started a local writing group called “The Good Word.”
This poem is dedicated to Margalit Rabinovich and Stella De Genova, for their kind encouragements.