Biography of Jay Kasturi
I live in Sparta, a small town in the hilly northwest corner of New Jersey. I came to the US in 1970 and took my graduate degree in Computer Science. Although science was somehow always the area of my academic concentration, poetry was, to me, from the very beginning, somewhat of a passion, a meditation, the only way to project what I find lies too deep for any other form of expression.
I began writing poetry in my native language at the age of 13 and slowly made the transition to English at 17. In the beginning, I followed the traditional form of poetry, the usual pattern of rhyme, the semblance of a meter and a single and tightly-bound theme. Later, I began to feel that it is somewhat constraining, limiting what I wanted to write and limiting what poetry meant to me. To me, poetry is something like an iceberg, what is seen is what is on the page. The meaning or its general and specific import themselves may be partly in the poet's mind, partly in the reader's grasp of it and yet there may be another part that is for ever hidden. Thus the words, the images and the symbols and the allusions used in a poem assume a life of their own, opening the poem up to multiple interpretations that may change even further with the passage of time.
Apart from a few poems in the university literary magazine during my undergraduate studies, I stayed away from publishing my poems. I write poems because the words seem to come to me, sometimes unsought, and I have a basic need to write. It has become a sort of healing for me, a way of rising above the daily din, a most rewarding release.
Jay Kasturi Poems
Maine In Spring
I have a memory of a lighthouse in rain; the ocean below in cold spray, the waves among the rocks and the sky lost in gray.
Times when art is a contrivance, science a numeric construct, all thinking, effects chasing causes and dreaming an excess before sleep,
My last life, ten slices of longitudes east, is one part memory as inarticulate as childhood's innocence and the rest reconstructed
She said she never had any say, not in the sun, not under the clouds. Birth is the beginning,
The philosopher lived by the lightness of his thoughts and died under the weight of his theory.
Floating On Someone Else's Coffin
We are here for the craft of sealing every empty corner with a word or two; even if all had been learnt from the sun and the moon,
It is the generosity of living that shapes the angularity of our losses to a soothing tale, just as aging gilts the shadows into a sudden meditation on the day,
Think of these things, as you walk into the sun into your own day: a heart shattered like glass,
As the dusk passes, a sob of poetry rises in me, hyacinths broad-brushed over the dark waters;
The Vacant Hour
When there are no memories, think of yesterday reconstructed, to last through the vacant hour. What would have been,
Autumn in the northern woods. Like a frightened gypsy girl, her golden bands and scarlet scarf, wild dark eyes and curls of clouds,
When All Is Gone
The waiting and the impatience, the pining and pessimism, love’s words and silence, logic and whim, the ‘will’ and the ‘must’,
He finds himself stretched on the darkest cross, his every pore bleeding and every spear pointed at him,
For him to follow her assiduously was an act of romantic bravado like showing off the first shadow of hair on his pining chest;
Does the one-legged trance of a crane
long for two-legged bliss,
does one hand clapping, in beating the wind,
mourn for its companion?