Corporeality, the manifestation of the bodily form, is often expressed using the language of the body. For instance, Binu’s Amazing Feats uses the body’s and language’s flexibility to create the intended imagery and Ravi’s The Butcher Girl II talks about deconstructing semantics. Ravi’s poetry also delves into the feminine aspect of things. “I’ve always believed that women should have the upper hand,” he says. He expresses his idea of feminism by making Greek god Nemesis, mermaids and yakshis his subjects. Bini distances the corporeal beyond the human and even manages to relate it with plants, animals and even the spiritual body of Christ, as in May the Kiss Kingdom Come.
There is some real depth of emotion and expression in this brave anthology. Sreelatha’s Tigerclaws speaks of everyday mayhem: violence against women, while Ravi starts with the single lines that come to his mind. For others in the anthology, their flight of fancy has occurred in different moments and ways. However, the poets do not deny the process of rigorous rewriting that their poems went through before the final version was brought out. “I want just the bare bones to remain,” says Binu. “The editing process is never done,” adds Ravi, “The poem is just someday abandoned.”
In terms of texture and content, free verse has been used liberally; however, rhythm and rhyme-scheme poetry and sonnets can also be encountered occasionally in the collection. The rigidity of the formal and the banality of the superfluous is challenged successfully, even when the inner freedom such formal structures provide are celebrated here. Ravi’s Mermaid: An Amphibian Romance reads like a racy and sensuous film script, which is a direct manifestation of his affinity towards cinema. The aesthetics of poetry are being redefined by certain passionate writers, and that is interesting.