Saturday, September 13, 2008

Juvenilia - Mona Zote

The Idiot Goes to Hell

He marked the spot
with a precise cross
and brought a chair
to place it there.
He tied the rope
up round the hook
and put the noose
around the neck.
He kicked the chair
down to the floor
and presently
he went to hell.

It had to be
(his mother said)
in all his life
the only thing
that he did well.

Home Going

Making landfall by intimations alone
On the lunatic fringe, in a paper ship,
I fold the accordion of my selves.

Rehearse the fruitless grammar of queens,
Here in the motionless latitude of Ma'rib
That sulks in silence like a rebuked putto.

I sit and finger the apple of my youth,
Turning a face as though blindfolded
To the imprint that a menstrual sun

Has left on the inner scroll of my eye.
The dialogue of two will continue
Unchecked, in the oil-press of the mind
Under the formalaic shade of reason.
At Knossos, having tea with the minotaur,
I saw lightning sew the purses of the sky

And against my will recalled that man,
Reputed for wisdom, as last I saw him,
Seated with the harp smashed across his knee.
Thoughtful, scratching the pale more on his hand.


Editor's note: As the post title indicates, these poems are very early works of the writer.


  1. *BOWS DOWN*

    All hail the great Pi Mona Zote. Absolutely amazing piece of work as usual. Early works or not, this is a great masterpiece!

    Keep rocking, Pi Mona.

  2. Hello we have poems in the plural here as in TWO of them, you know! And while they show glimpses of Miss Zote's poetic skills, I wouldn't exactly call either a masterpiece. That honour would have to go to Ernestina which was recently published in an international poetry journal along with the likes of Imtiaz Dharker. WTG, Mona!

  3. 'The Idiot' is so bitter and sad, beautifully penned. 'Home Going' is a bit obscure for an ignoramus like me. It gives me the same kind of feeling Eliot's poems used to do when i read them as a teenager -you know it's written by a master but you can only faintly guess at the meaning - it leaves you teased, tantalised, longing to grasp... Storyteller, can you please insert some notes, please?

  4. Notes? C'mon, that should be the poet's prerogative. And I share your sentiments with Home Going. It's a little too dense for me too.

  5. completely in love with the closing para? stanza? of "the idiot..."

    i seem to see an echo (if echoes can travel backwards in time, and if echoes could be seen) of

    "Poetry must be raw, like a side of beef..." (

  6. L really like the second part when his mother recalls the incident as the only thing he does best... sad tragic poem... yet witty message delivered....