Rishi Dastidar – A leopard parses his concern

  1. I am concerned about Claudia Cardinale.
  1. By ‘concerned’ I mean ‘in lust with’.
  1. By ‘in lust with’ I mean ‘I sigh for’.
  1. By ‘I sigh for’ I mean ‘my eyes are hungry for her when she appears on screen’.
  1. By ‘hungry’ I mean ‘revel in her’.
  1. By ‘revel’ I mean ‘enjoy’.
  1. By ‘enjoy’ I mean ‘endure’.
  1. By ‘endure’ I mean ‘wait in the hope that she might, like a god, pick me out to be noticed, even though I have done nothing noticeable’.
  1. By ‘pick me out’ I mean ‘not actually come near me lest my reserves of charm desert me at a highly inopportune moment’.
  1. By ‘not actually come near me’ I mean ‘actually come near me, preferably in a darkened Neapolitan hotel room’.
  1. By ‘darkened’ I mean ‘the presence of Tomasi di Lampedusa will be evident; he will be sitting in a green damask armchair, his walking stick tapping out the beat of a fugue’.
  1. By ‘fugue’ I mean ‘a Morse code translation of his most famous quote’.
  1. By ‘quote’ I mean ‘the only appropriate approach to living’.
  2. By ‘living’ I mean ‘love’.

Rishi Dastidarm reading this poem:
Rishi Dastidar | iamb ~ poetry seen and heard (iambapoet.com)

Poem chosen by Emilia Mirazchiyska


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Rishi Dastidar
Rishi Dastidar was born in London in 1977. His poetry has been published by the Financial Times and BBC amongst many others. He is a fellow of The Complete Works, a consulting editor at The Rialto magazine, a member of Malika’s Poetry Kitchen, and chair of writer development organization Spread The Word. A poem from his debut collection “Ticker-tape” was included in “The Forward Book of Poetry 2018”, and his second collection, “Saffron Jack”, was published in the UK by Nine Arches Press in 2020. He is also editor of “The Craft: A Guide to Making Poetry Happen in the 21st Century” (Nine Arches Press), and co-editor of “Too Young, Too Loud, Too Different: Poems from Malika’s Poetry Kitchen” (Corsair, 2021). Photo by Naomi Woddis.