July/Aug 2022 • Vol. XLIV No. 4 PoetryMarch 14, 2024 |

The Caged Skylark Reflected on a Green Vase

The Kenyon Review · Two Poems by Diane Mehta I’d been sitting at the table, feigning diligence, though my mind was ricocheting between tumults that have become, for all their toil, procedural. The year was so off-kilter that you’d think some river god, like Skamander in the Iliad rising up to kill killer Achilles for damning up his watercourse with corpses, would flood our world and hide the living. I put the book down, distracted at my distraction as usual. I stare at the sea-green vase my son made, always ahead of my gaze at the table, and consider how the glaze gets heavier near the rim. It changes the color just enough to remind me color is made of more than one thing. It could be green tea, seaweed, mint, fern, the bluest soft green of the Indian ring-necked parakeet. The rim craters as if ash and fire once poured out, which is a little like firing the piece in a kiln and waiting for what emerges as it cools. I stare and turn my head sideways at the light-desig

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Photo of Diane Mehta
Diane Mehta was born in Frankfurt, grew up in Bombay and New Jersey, studied in Boston, and now makes her home in New York City. Her second poetry collection will be published with Arrowsmith Press (2023) and her novel with OR Books (2024). She is also the author of the poetry collection Forest with Castanets (2019) and How to Write Poetry (2005). Her work has been recognized by the Peter Heinegg Literary Award, the Café Royal Cultural Foundation, a Kirby-Mewshaw fellowship at Civitella Ranieri, and fellowship at Yaddo. She was the founding managing editor of A Public Space, launched and edited Glossolalia for PEN America to publish writing from traditionally underrepresented languages, and was executive nonfiction editor for Guernica. She publishes poetry, essays, and criticism for The New Yorker, The New York Times, The Harvard Review, The Kenyon Review, The Notre Dame Review, American Poetry Review, and A Public Space.

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The Kenyon Review · Two Poems by Diane Mehta I’d been sitting at the table, feigning diligence, though my mind was ricocheting between tumults that have become, for all their […]

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