Yogesh Chawla

yogesh & sweetie photo


Yogesh Chawla is the co-founder of Premiere Generation Ink. along with John Ejaife and Sachin Pandya.  He has been writing poetry every since his somewhat angst-ridden high school days.  Yogesh has published two books of poetry, titled Atlas on Crack and Attack of the 50 ft. Poets, and he is currently using the web site http://www.pgink.com as his creative outlet.  (You can also pick up his books or some PGI poetry journals at the same web site)

Yogesh's travels include a year in Argentina and a couple of years in New York City.  He can be found these days riding his bike around Madison or getting way into the music on his headphones as he walks the streets.  Yogesh is currently living in Madison with his kitty Little Che Guevera and he likes to go bowling on Wednesdays to make it through the work week.  On the third Thursday of each month he can be found at the Speed Jump (908 E. Johnson) at the monthly PGI poetry reading.

LIKE FATHER
from Atlas on Crack

Dad I want to learn the family business –
rent movies to the acrid working class
who leave their sweaty finger prints
on the glossy covers of the movie in the adult section
of your video store.

Yes dad,
I am your fat, sexist
alcoholic reflection,
and I can find in my heart to
love myself, maybe you're
trying too hard.

I should save you the humiliation
of telling the Indian community
at the annual dinner party
that your son is too social
for pre-med.
Organic chemistry was
never a virtue.

Instead,
here I am dad in creative writing class
sweating in my first generation American clothes –
this was never the average
homarama suburban kid's dream

But I like it,
not as much the
pornography that put
macaroni and cheese on dinner table
again
or
maybe not even as much
as the time you chased him away
from your store with a bat
and said
you want insurance, here is my insurance

and you always had a way
of embarrassing me the same
way that I would want to embarrass my son
waiting for the whole family to be in the same room
and then saying son please give me back the Rambone video,
it is a very popular title and customers want to rent it

Now I go home and you
tell me about safe investments,
wall street and old age.
I loved you so much better as
a dirtbag.

   •   •   •

4 A.M. WIND
from Attack of the 50 ft. Poets

I.
four a.m. wind
whistle me a song
rain beating on my hands
like my palms on your chest
would ask you
on the bricks where i
wanted to kiss you
to feel indifferent
to my body

II.
cigarette butts sit on
park benches
cut short by roads
and hand planted trees
i want to hold you outside
under these rain drops
this is my rain over you
divide this plane
where our shadows cross
my heart and hope to die

III.
tonight i wear the
acid washed pavement
like blue jeans
on a teenager
who lost his poems
to a wife and kids
an attic and a basement
their son use to hide in,
and i 19
wonder if i will have a son to love
the way you never loved me
or if the fear of losing you
will keep me from him
and is my son dying inside her
like i was
instead
i contemplate the history
of my bed,
the one night stand i had
with you for a week
i pass friday onto saturday
and keep sunday for myself
and give you the other five
days of this weak getaway

IV.
drinking enough
to try to forget
i am trying to get her drunk
enough anticipation
i want to go out dying
i want you to rip me from
my mothers womb
with the strength of your orgasm
i want you to kill me
in pleasure i could
never give myself

V.
i want to relive a high school memory
i had of my childhood
of my mother
and father loving me
an awkward silence
followed my word
tripping over yours

VI.
i know our relationship
was just postponing time
i would have to spend away from you
i could write you a diary and only
use the left hand side of the page
but i want more from you
i want the loneliness i have
in this gossamer silence
i want an explanation to
why it rains outside
when i want to be inside you
i want to play with words
like the sixth year toys
my father couldn't afford me
i don't want to hear the words like father, like son
because my father never liked me much

VII. i want to express you
something greater than the thoughts
in my head
i want to speak to you with my body
my fingertips
my arms and elbows
i want to lose myself in a poem you never wrote me
i don't want to take drugs
i don't want to feel good
like your neck
resting against my lips
are sealed
i wont tell anyone, promise
i wont eat anymore chocolate
my diet starts tomorrow
so do you want to go out to dinner tonight

VIII.
i want to sleep on a memory of me and you
i tried to imagine how i would undress
your body
how you would pull me towards you when you
came
back to me
i was wondering would i have ever seen you
if he didn't want you anymore
i have a writers cramp in my leg
from your tight fingers twisting my words.

IV.
i slept with you for three nights
without sleeping
and i lost the poems
i had written for you
in another sleepless night
where i wish i would be
sleepless next to you
the wind whistles different
when it is alone
i wonder if your chest
smells like the shirt you wore on it
will you still be as beautiful
as i want to forget you 3 years from now

© Yogesh Chawla