Happy Little Nobody

by Karthik Purushothaman

Karthik Purushothaman is a Tamil-speaking writer of poetry and prose in English. He hails from Chennai, India and is currently an MFA candidate at William Paterson University of New Jersey, where he also reads submissions to the journal Map Literary. His poems have recently been featured in Rattle, and are forthcoming in Indian Literature, the English-language journal of Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters.

I’m reading an actress
call the vampire movies
her day job that lets her go

independent at nightfall
and brand herself a nobody
in her hardcover backed

by a two-name publisher
who believes even a nobody
needs to be somebody

for anybody to care.
White men will be white men
thanks to this locker room

election so a magazine gossips
the sex stuff from the actress’
book, something about giving

high-fives after orgasm
after trying for two weeks
an unnamed man she swiped

right off celebrity Tinder.
Stop touching yourself
the teen idol says

while touching herself
with her bestseller book.
Meanwhile, I’ve been fasting

nights the past week—
the non-immigrant alien
student of writing must be

the poorest man in chinos
siphoning the university
library’s internet

to learn of the biweekly
two hundred and twenty-five
dollars direct-deposited

into the pit of my stomach
the acid carnivorous
tears into the influx

magic mushrooms
and my knees tremble
as I stand up and give

the invisible hand five.

 


Karthik Purushothaman is a Tamil-speaking writer of poetry and prose in English. He hails from Chennai, India and is currently an MFA candidate at William Paterson University of New Jersey, where he also reads submissions to the journal Map Literary. His poems have recently been featured in Rattle, and are forthcoming in Indian Literature, the English-language journal of Sahitya Akademi, India's National Academy of Letters.

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