Purchase Issue 2

Purchase Issue 2


Amit Majmudar

Chillicothe Apostrophe

Here’s my odi-et-amo                    Ode to you, O
homely Ohio                                    of the torn-up turnpike,
semis crisscrossing                        your map like mudflap-
magnificent buffalo,                       frankfurters sweating
under flecked hotlamps,                back-country ice cream
parlor parking lots                           cacophanously Kanye
where the whiteboys                      wear wifebeaters
and talk black with platinum-        plated buckteeth
(counties once Ku Klux                   now bling bling),
your Amish-kitchen                        smoked ham and pancakes,
your former fighter                         pilots with Parkinson’s
in whose mute dementia               Ashland is Inchon,
your trickle-crooked creeks          once flush, now fishless
and spanned by rust-                     rotted struts,
your coal-car carcasses,                your house husks
shucked of equity,                          to the brambles abandoned,
necrotic Cleveland                         suburb-encrusted
equal parts                                      elegy and punch line,
Youngstown with no young           steel-mill-sepulchral,
Painesville painting herself           Pabst blue, O you,
fought for, fawned over                 every four years
when donkeys and elephants       (asinine, self-trumpeting)
stampede your stadiums,             factories, fairgrounds,
state of the suddenly                    sad-eyed barflies
and shrunken truckers                  with saggy tattoos,
of immigrant internists                  soft-spoken
and cumin-cologned,                    of table-saw grampaws
with stumps for thumbs,               state of the ghost strip
malls and the algae Lake,             alas, Ashtabula,
cry woe, Cuyahoga, O                   nowhere I am native,
maker of Presidents,                      mother of poets,
O heart shape, O hardship,           Ohio, O home.


Amit Majmudar's "Chillicothe Apostrophe" as well as "Corporate Cormorant" can be read in the print edition of The Arkansas International 2.



Amit Majmudar is the first Poet Laureate of Ohio. His next book is an anthology he has edited and introduced, Resistance, Rebellion, Life: 50 Poems Now, forthcoming from Knopf in May 2017. In February 2018, Knopf will publish Godsong, his verse translation from the Sanskrit of the Bhagavad-Gita.