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Memories are often miasmal, putrescent;
a squad-drill of old complaints marching by
that you soon wish were etherised, euthanised

lest, despondently, you are forced to grapple
with those; the nocturnal sounds of a forest
you wished you didn’t set foot in; a gambit indeed

that you played thinking it fashionable at the instant
and now regretted... indeed with appetites for regret;
meditating on them there is no shunya, nor do they

let you be forgetful of them, vicious in the pursuit,
and no, they don’t digress either to dwell on joy,
no sir, they're silhouettes that follow, to the grave mud.


This poem was part of a special exercise in Whispers, April 2016. It is written around 12 words chosen from 12 poems of T.S. Eliot, 1 each, in order:

“The Hippopotamus”
“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock”
“Morning at the Window”
“Rhapsody on a Windy Night”
“Sweeney Among the Nightingales”
“Aunt Helen”
“The Boston Evening Transcript”
“Burbank With a Baedeker: Bleistein With a Cigar”
“The Burial of the Dead”
“Conversation Galante”
“A Cooking Egg.”