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C.N.P Poetry 

  • Writer's pictureCathexis Northwest Press


By: Anika Jhalani

Good. Now this is where the grief begins. 

Retail is where the money is. 

Is your mala made of jade? 

Let’s do a group OM. 

Wow! Did anyone see that barracuda? 

What do you mean, medicine? She’s talking about ayuhuasca. 

We can do a ceremony at the beach house but we have to be very selective with who we invite. 

Kids aren’t meant to eat meat. 

How long have you been raw vegan?

Salvation. Redemption. 

I want to add some new poses to the yoga sequence. Do the robot. Pop the cherry. 

Yeah I’m going to Southampton to open up an ice cream shop. Make a sign that says, ‘Fuck you. Cacao milk. Rich kids only.’ Nineteen dollars a pop. 

I see my mother in my meditations. 

Meditate out there on the horizon. 

Be a vessel. Be empty. Empty your mind. 

Sun A. Inhale. Arms up. Exhale. Fold. Inhale half lift. Exhale chaturan-gay. Because gay is better anyways. 

Alcohol is how I re-habilitate to reality. 

Get some sun. 

That rip current will pull you in. Don’t fight it. Don’t panic. 

That ocean looks like it’s on acid!

Women will do anal sex with lots of lubrication, and a nice piece of jewelry. 

There is no reality. Look at that galaxy. 

This papaya tastes like a persimmon. This papaya tastes like mango. This cactus cherry tastes like passion fruit. This aloe smells like chicken noodle soup. 

Chisel that body. 

My guru used to say time will shape your spine the way water shapes stone.  

Hold it! 

My neck feels ripe!

Have you ever noticed how in those crappy beach yoga classes every time you walk past they are in warrior two?

Tailor’s daughter. Butcher’s daughter. I’m going to make a shop and call it Rapist’s daughter.

Bikram. Massage my inner thigh.

Selling T-shirts with the words ‘My guru is a rapist and a slave owner.’

Higher, tighter, higher, tighter, do not leave the pose!

Looks like god painted that storm over the sea.

Caribbean queen. 

He pushed my body into a forward fold until all I could see was the color black. 

Sunny D. This is what happens when profit seeking organizations are in charge of making food. 


I don’t want to be American. I want to be international. 

Have you seen those tours in New York for Sex and the City? They’re all like, this is where

Catherine got boned, here’s where Jessica spilled her martini. 

Look at your third chakra. Picture a bright violet light. Imagine a large lovely rose. 


Shave your chest. Manscape that shit. 

Put a tattoo in her inner thigh, it says, ‘come again.’ 

Boys can’t do legs or pain. 

I don’t care if she’s a supermodel. She’s not allowed to steal my sun cream. 

Galleon beach is closed, ya know. 

The yoga retreat is called Hell Bent. 

Bow and Go! 

Peaching to the Choir used to be my favorite smoothie. Could you bring it back please? 

Flat tire. 

I’m a lover not a fighter.

Ahimsa, dude. 

You have to empathize with the man shooting the children. What happened in his life that made him want to shoot those children? 

Love everybody. 

But do you really like your body? Are you really OK with your body?

Why are her teeth all fucked and shit? Shh…can’t you tell she’s bulimic? 

My yoga teacher told me a story about his childhood. He was wearing hot pink speedos and he pushed his babysitter into a pool, and began crying when she did not transform into a mermaid. While he told this story, I reflected on my own childhood, when I used home-made explosives to blow up my father’s pool house.

He lectured me with his hands at the wheel of his Rolls-Royce, pinkies flaring. 

Master yogi still makes me wonder, who is taking his pictures for Instagram? Is it his neighbor or

the self-timer?

Enlightened beings still got to be fresh for the paparazzi. 

This water is so blue. It’s so healing. 

Do me a favor and don’t jump in the Atlantic after I leave. Your suicide would really ruin my


Play Bob-Marley for the old, sick, and dying. Don’t play the Beatles.

Dance with me in the sand. Hold my hand. 

La vida es como la espuma. Por eso hay que darse como el mar. 

The sea is both feminine and masculine. It could be la mar. It could be el mar. 

You’re not supposed to say the word hermaphrodite. 

Anal sex is what gets me into forward folds. It hits the prostate. 

I’ve got a strong pelvic floor.

OM. No farting allowed in class. OM. Queefing is OK. 

Shanti. Shanti. Shanti-hee. 

Those Katona yoga people are all fat. 

She surfs goofy. 

Someone stole my board at a Jiffy Lube. 

Ouiji board.

That’s your Pisces moon speaking. 

He’s a triple Scorpio. Sun Moon and Rising. 

You spent thirty dollars on a stick of Palo Santo?  

Warning: heroin may lead to standing bow!

Take a couple drops, right under your tongue. 

Welcome to heaven honeybun.


Anika lives in Brooklyn and works at Scholastic, the children’s book publisher. She is a recent graduate of Columbia University, where she studied creative writing.

Interview with the Poet:

Cathexis Northwest Press:

How long have you been writing poetry?

Anika Jhalani:

I don't actually write much poetry; I focus on fiction and essays. But I've been writing on and off for the past seven years. 


Can you remember the first poem you read that made you fall in love with poetry?


I think I fell in love with language, over poetry, from reading writers like Anne Carson, Nabokov, Bret Easton Ellis, Arundhati Roy. Maybe the very first poem I loved was Nabokov's in Lolita, 'the rest is rust and stardust.' 


Who are your favorite poets? Any specific poems?


The other day I read a poem in the New Yorker I liked, 'Among The Intellectuals.' I also have always loved Pablo Neruda, 'tan corto el amor, tan largo el olvido.' 


Can you share for us a little bit about your writing process? Any specific rituals that get you in the zone?


I used to write only in cafes. Now I prefer being home, facing the Williamsburg bridge which I can see from my desk. I drink coffee, I listen to music in languages other than English, or music without any words at all. And then just hope for the best. 


How do you decide the form for your poems? Do you start writing with a form in mind, or do you let the poem tell you what it will look like as you go?


I let it take form as I go. 


Any advice for poets who have yet to find their voice?


I probably shouldn't give out advice. 


What is your editing process like?


I hate editing but it must be done! I usually edit as I go, but also make sure I know when to let go. 


When do you know that a poem is finished?


When it's not fun to look at it anymore.


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