Honest self-scrutiny too easily mutinies,
    mutates into false memories
Which find language a receptive host,
Boosted by boastful embellishments.

Self-esteem is raised on wobbly beams,
    seeming seen as stuff enough
To fund the hedge of personality,
Though personally, I cannot forget

Whom I have met and somehow wronged,
    wrung for a jot of fugitive juice,
Trading some ruse for a blot or two,
Labored to braid from transparent diction

Fiction, quick fix, quixotic fixation.
    As the pulse of impulses
Drained through my veins, I tried to live
Twenty lives at once. Now one is plenty.   

  • Ravi Shankar, "Contraction" from Instrumentality. Copyright © 2005 by Ravi Shankar.  Reprinted by permission of Cherry Grove Collections.

  • Source: Instrumentality (Cherry Grove Collections, 2005)

Poet Bio

What People are Saying

"I learned that I had the ability to capture the attention of an audience and evoke emotion from them. When I recited my first poem in 9th grade for a mock POL class competition, I was incredibly shy and barely audible. But eventually I grew to love sharing the emotions poems gave me."
Chiara Raimondo
2016 NY POL Champion