*inspired by Istanbul by Garabet Yazmaciyan, written for The Ekphrastic Review.
you watched her every night, casting
eyes like a fishing line on her form; first a sliver
Then a half, three-quarters. now, while she’s
pregnant, rotund, swollen-bellied, full.
and her blood spills light over the horizon.
She cannot cry in pain, she can only squeeze
the fabric of the sky. Watch it happen, voyeur–
you’re Alice, peering through the looking glass. Or
a furtive-eyed peeping tom, eyes flickering
to and away from her plight
like candle-lights in the dark.
read the full piece at The Ekphrastic Review (see published responses for Garabet Yazmaciyan’s ‘Istanbul)
I’ve been working a lot more on my poetry recently, and I’m genuinely honored it paid off like this– The Ekphrastic Review is a journal devoted to publishing writing inspired by visual art. I’m pretty into art as well as writing, which is why it caught my eye to begin with. Every two weeks, they release paintings as prompts to inspire writing pieces and publish a select set of responses.
You can find more information about them here
on another note, I’m sorry I haven’t posted recently (If anyone noticed LOL) I didn’t forget about this site, but if I’m being honest I haven’t really written too much for myself recently. I think I got really overwhelmed by all the external validation I received, and I started to lose focus. I’ve gotten back in my groove though, and I look forward to improving and learning more about writing better poetry and prose as time goes bye.
thoughts? comments? critiques? feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
by kiran bassi (me!)
Don’t ask me about the weather– I don’t know what to say. Not that you’d understand that, though. It must be easy, living a perpetually sun-soaked life. You don’t have to give a thought to what you answer- you hardly need to skim the window with a cursory gaze to find it perpetually birds-egg blue. You never have to deliberate, it’s always bright out for you.
It’s always a cause for deliberation for me. Here, the weather is erratic. It’s never sunny or rainy entirely. The clouds outside hint at the beginnings of a storm– charcoal grey and swollen with rain. They paint pictures of a drawer full of summer clothes unopened for months, or water streaking the outside of my bedroom window. But they’re messy and uneven. The patches of sky that poke holes in them allude to warmth– a cup of orange juice, half-drunk and then forgotten, sticky around the rim. Pale codfish white and sun darkened skin; the line where my crew socks meet bare leg. It feels like summer when I look at those tiny patches of sky and yet the clouds are undeniably autumnal. So what is the weather today? Sunny with a chance of rain?
You don’t know what to say to that. Of course you don’t. Our feeble conversation breathes its last at that. It’s my turn now, to extend an olive branch, to drag us along, grease the slowly deteriorating wheels of our doomed relationship. Somehow I know that if I hang up now, everything ends. I’m stomping on the neck of a dying bird, sawing a diseased tree into a stump and letting the trunk rot in the forest. I’m dropping us into a pool and letting us sink to the bottom.
I don’t want to let go, but what else is there to say? I already know what the weather’s like in Texas. And now you know here. You know, and I know, there’s nothing left to know. You know?
I originally wrote this as a warmup and was sort of surprised at how much I liked some of what I’d written. It does sort of lack in action and is more just thought and internal narration, but I think that probably isn’t too difficult to get through seeing as the piece is super short. I’ve left it mostly unedited, partially out of laziness and partially because I think some of the choppiness adds to the narration.
As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and places I could improve. Drop me a comment, or email me at