Sreekanth Kopuri

close up of woman lighting candle for ceremony

Sreekanth Kopuri Ph.D. is an Indian poet from Machilipatnam. He is the Current poetry editor for The AutoEthnographer Journal Florida, Alumni Writer in Residence, Athens and a Professor of English. He recited his poetry in Oxford, John Hopkins, Heinrich Heine, Caen, Banja Luka, Gdanski and many universities. His poems appeared / forthcoming in Arkansas Review, Christian Century, A Honest Ulsterman, San Antonio Review, Memory House, Two Thirds North, Heartland Review, Tulsa Review, Digging Through the Fat, Expanded Field, South Broadway Journal, Ancient Paths Literary Magazine, Contrapuntos IX, Untethered Review, A New Ulster, Liquid Imagination, Muse Pie Press, Spittoon Collective, Vayavya, Ravens Perch Magazine, American Diversity Report, Litbreak Magazine, Plants & Poetry, Burrow, Rational Creature, Nebraska Writers Guild, Poetry San Jose, Anthropocene Poetry, Bosporus Review of Books, Synaeresis Journal, MONO Journal, Provenance Journal, Written Tales, Word Fountain, Ariel Chart, Five 2 One, Oddball Magazine, Contemporary Literary Review, Kitchen Sink Magazine, Dark Onus Litt to mention a few. His forthcoming book From an Indian Diary is the finalist for the Eyelands Book Award 2022, Athens. His poem “My Mother is Mad after My Father” won the Living in the Moment Award of The American Painters and Peace Educators Association of Florida USA.  His book Poems of the Void was the winner of Golden Book of the year 2022. His research paper “After the Words” won JK Foundation Award. Kopuri was deeply influenced by Jayanta Mahapatra’s poetry and did his Ph.D. on his poetry. He had a long time bonding with Jayanta Mahapatra.

The Dying Lepers of Bapatla

While silence blinks the night’s
eye, emptying the light from
the blinded lamps of the lepers’

thatched hope, scurrying in
and out of the garbage heaps
with mouthfuls for a rainy day,

the leprous goldsmith searches
his face in the sooty mirror of
broken future, and evasively asks

his wife once again, should I still
wait or leave? A reply hangs down
her eye, tosses and creaks on the

telltale charpoy, counting the terminal
throbs of the invisible wooden-faced
clock in her blood, presaging

the end of a goldsmith’s generation.
Somewhere an elegy struggles
to break the suffocating shell,

egging on the enigmatic fate.
What lies beyond those worn
out clay Ganesha and portraits

of all those armed Gods? Perhaps,
the bloody vermilion that cracked
her head every day, the diffused

face of the gold flake king size
cigarette smoke and the truth
know. At least, the innocent

offerings of the coconut bowls,
and the skyward looking incense
sticks are fragrant and sweeter.

A familiar gush flickers the credit
of bank notes on the table, awaiting
a bottle of wine or a terminal journey

to his concubine in the HIV colony of
Bapatla, and the world beyond for the
flaming tongues of the ultimate communion.

Note: Traditional married women of India draw a straight line with vermillion on the head along the parting of hair as a symbol of sacredness.


Because this window bars
the world and the dreams age
with every dawn drying up
the salt in the eyes, today
the hands try a kite of
silent words red and blue that
the spool unravels into a silence
where they want to break down
to the last syllable that:
“this life is a false start so let me
chirrup a song of new joy
in the vast world of a little nest
somewhere” but at the sun down
the darkness reminds
we are the kites of the earth
let off only with a dirge of time.

Coffeeying the Day into the Song of Solomon

for my son Jonathan Earnest

Pushcart Nominee 2023

As another morning beans me,
I toss in the bed
quiver like the browning leaf of
a locked down coffee plant

that spoons me
towards the Sun’s face

for the synthesis of
the Light’s green touch
to olive-shadow
this brown-faced morning

brews the winter’s warmth
through the rusting window
down my throat, still, dry,
with the night’s vibrant recital and
frozen by winter’s cold hickey

I try to cough, off my bed,
the rhythm of the kitchen jangles
assure my wife’s love as it wafts

the warm invisible aromatic coffee
whispers into my cold-blocked nostrils,

the icy burden of mucous dies,
rising my day as if from the dead,
I wobble with the weight of warmth
boiling like that coffee,

she pours the smoky bubbling cupful,
that caramelizes my morning

I try to unlock the day
nutting last night’s half boiled dreams
over the raga Bhairav-tuned Song of Solomon,
my son Jonathan plays on those drowsy semitones,
on the Black Keys of the piano his friend David gifted.