Shriram Sivaramakrishnan


In a painting I never drew, an autumn forest awaits discovery under a torrent
of tiny strokes, each an impression of my left thumb. The forest, a forest of lefts,
every leaf & trunk & shadow & the stream loitering in the middle of the landscape
a left, & where a trunk rises into canopy, the imprints interlope in a panoply.

As for the stream, the imprints egg each other on (true to Law of ripples), except
for an odd one in the middle: a single stroke of my right thumb, poking the way
a dolphin would in a sea of symmetry ////////\/////////. A significant right in the middle
of wrongs, a singular consciousness, my friend said when I told him about it.

But I did not tell him that, right at the bottom of the work, that is, at the right
bottom of the work, is my signature, did not tell him that when a tree decides to fall,
it falls like how a birthday does in a calendar, the song it draws in its wake – drawn
like water from its roots, a capillary act of sounds – falls as a diphthong;

which is to say, there is nothing singular about it, and nothing significant.
Besides, what significance can a signature hold in a painting made of fingerprints,
the quanta of one’s identity? But I did tell him this: a tree, another tree, another one…
once made a small garden, before they met the axe. Now about the forest,

Shriram Sivaramakrishnan
recently completed his MA in Poetry from Seamus Heaney Centre for Poetry, UK. His poems have appeared in Camas, Softblow, Allegro, Vayavya, Bird’s Thumb, Riggwelter and other magazines. He tweets at @shriiram.

Author: Jake Byrne

Poetry editor.