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Rahul Santhanam

Rahul Santhanam is a mathematician and experimental poet, with work published in The Rialto, Otoliths, Propel and Blackbox Manifold, among other venues. He occasionally tweets about mathematics, art and poetry at @rahulsanthanam.


Artist Statement:

The following series of poems are part of a sequence that looks outside literature for its models: in particular, the Lyrical Abstraction movement in painting, as manifested in the work of Joan Mitchell, Nicolas de Stael, Gerhard Richter and Maki na Kamura, among others. Each poem is in a fixed ten-line format, just as each canvas is the same size. It might seem that the preoccupation here, after the initial irreducible impulse, is purely with the holding together in balance of various formal aspects: tone, colour, line, meaning, sound. And yet nostalgia for poetry, for lyric and pastoral, is never far away.


Flux P


If in five tots weeping

Traduced by corn

In the blight of torpid

Budgerigar song nipple

Bizarre the reign of truth’s

Lovely vicar heaped with avid

Tentacles afloat in yarn

Capped by close stranger quell

A boat in morning’s suck and

Toothsome elusive lawn


Flux U


If, as in a shorn like rose,

Torn badger lovingly elides

Tardy demon happenstance, akin

To taped paper fodder, where woof

Of closed lawn marbles

Ledger, warped and glued to shy

Cropped glass, a fat foggy

Demon with mazy eyes and laughing

Putrid hands… Cloud blue?

Lune’s arabesque, if true.


Flux J


Apocrypha of snub-nosed enjambment

Wallowing in vats of whey dram torque

Culled and pricked with hart’s bloopy visor

Gingham peddled as a blown sangfroid

In gurney’s brown predicament songstress

A hundred garish goddesses of thought

Chipped and scoured ebullient lacuna

With vaunt and whim in tenebrous respite

Hobble O gaunt receptacle so campy

Come and quip your habitues in tripe



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