The Saree Shop by Shringi Kumari. Published by Speculative Books

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Get your copy from ‘The Saree Shop’ by Shringi Kumari or from the publishers: Speculative Books

Review of ‘The Saree Shop’ by Shringi Kumari, pub. Speculative Books. 86pp. £7.99 — by Alan Baker

Shringi Kumari is an Indian poet currently resident in the UK. This collection is dedicated to the poet’s mother, and celebrates the women of South Asia, investigates their place in a patriarchal society and addresses the relationship between different generations of women. The focus is on gender politics as well as post-colonialism and the…

(The depth is a trojan)

Throat, the epicotyl

As we sprout, the moistness of clay wraps all things shaped as fingers

Suction. An act of drawing in. The treachery of origin — mouth of a moment.

Parikrama. Thought caught in the bones. Cobbles sinking in amniotic fluid. Is and isn’t a cycle. Is and isn’t the poetic loop. Is and isn’t fluent. Is and isn’t cushioned with sandpaper.

It calls like a sting. I follow like a haunting.

(The writing loops the failure. The stories perform a stale ritual.)

Like an abandoned rot, into shapes unfathomed. Unheeded, it grows. A…

(The water feigns escape)

Bottle green, a tribune

As we wash, tree-tops are slipping into holes

Reversal. An act of flipping. The sophistry of folds — pivots of squeaky doors

Taabeer. Snag in a dream. Floating segments of hues. Is and isn’t another layer of skim. Is and isn’t in drowse. Is and isn’t in dismissal. Is and isn’t combed seagrass.

It calls like a fire-beetle settled on a dormant ocean. I jump forward like a gurgle.

(This writing grates the fiction. It shreds any tenor.)

Like an eager sea-slug, the poetry slithers through the smut. It has the stench…

Hand-painted Saree Auction to raise funds for COVID Relief for artists and artisans in India

(The philosophy is a desert)

The traffic, a melee

As we think to absolve, the construction workers tap all the nails in order

Cancellation. An act of taking. The ruse of ownership — shutting widows

Antasten. Trickery of the touch. Sampling air through air. Is and isn’t in conclusion. Is and isn’t in co-dependency. Is and isn’t in burst. Is and isn’t held inside soap clusters.

It calls like the fourth whistle of a pressure cooker. I fidget like a balloon.

//This writing follows the freckles of another. It fractures as it seeps//

It has blasphemed and drunk too many…

(The fog is war)

Stone, a mothership

As we speak, the rain is anti-aliasing all that must have stayed jagged

Erasure. The act of pulling. The deception of nature – rolling curtains

Fernweh. Illusion of a sentence. Is and isn’t in disobedience. Is and isn’t in puncture. Is and isn’t in drift. Is and isn’t one satin-wall away.

It calls like a mynah. I swim like a spell.

(This writing has a broken nib, a broken hand, a broken retina.)

This writing has the curse of Anti-meaning. Anti-book. Anti-poem. Yet it draws the fog, its war. Yet it hops on…

The wind rushes onto piles and piles of cement. Her magnet jaw attracts all the flakes of thunder.

Yellow edges of a night roll outwards. A gelatine infused day finds too many suspended theories in its body. All the ships become sugar and the rivers become scraped dinner tables. A life is carved out of its impressions and caricatures. Elbows of little kids climb unknown walls. Their ankles clatter like vessels left loose in an oversized cardboard box.

The eyes are suspended in fog: searching slowly for nothing but dots. To count them. To know one can see. Ears are…


The gypsy stone doesn’t seem to find its strings. A ruptured alphabet seeks two tongues and five pairs of teeth. They march (remember their sand-beaten hips) balanced on their torched marble feet. A sheet of purples and blue swim faster than its fishes. The stone pounces on letters arranging themselves into earlobes. Hearing all the crackled words popping in the mouth of new born poets. They rinse their mouth with stones and it works their blood into a sea. The stone tosses from one jaw to another. …


Vilified illustrations
mask the minds canals
No birds sing but they just buzz around
in circular epiphanies
-possibilities of flight

I think of your amethyst paintings
the way you lay out autumn for these birds to feed
Words become anklets to this unrestful leg of a painter
her hands buzz over the paper
words leave the paintbrush
and autumn becomes a dictionary

dhuk dhuk
the fluttering of the waves
branches of the night
there is too much saliva on the color-mixer
It steals that lux from our amethyst

The writing drips like rainwater…

Shringi Kumari

Drifter; Poet. ‘The Saree Shop’ is my debut poetry collection.

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