The Mannequin reads from his “Yellow Pages”

Daniel Sukumar a.k.a The Mannequin has a job in Bangalore.
It keeps his passion for performing poetry in top hats alive.

Yellow Pages

When your friend tells you
that he wants to eat a bullet for dinner,
Buy his wife a bouquet,
show him of how many flowers
it will take for her to smile over him.
Of how many days before his first child
to take away all of his photographs
from the walls, from the TV shelf,
from the dusted refrigerator magnets,
Show him of how many times his second child
will call someone else “Daddy”
And ask him to pray that his dog should remember him
and not bark when his ghost
comes to sit by the chair next to the bed
but his ghost will now rattle the kitchen door
because his bed is filled with someone else’s love
And his lover.
But let him die.

When your lover of two weeks
tells you that she wants to slit her wrists,
Wait, think… See if you were her first love,
if yes, remove all your nails
till the flesh beneath them
leaves a shiver down your last toe
Everytime the wind touches it.
Pack them neatly in an envelope
Leave it underneath her door
just to show her that you won’t leave any more marks.
Remove your artery from your thigh
to make a knot against your tongue
to help you swallow your own pride and self respect.
But if you weren’t her first,
sleep well knowing that her blood is not just on your hands.
Let her die.

When your mother tells you that she won’t be alive
to cook your favourite dhall for tomorrow,
Ask her to write down all of her recipes today.
Show her of how her shelf of sarees will be given away
because your lover would only use them for drapes.
Tell her that your wife will rearrange the house beyond recognition.
The walls will no longer have her colors,
the spoons won’t be in the same place,
turmeric won’t be used to cook anymore.
Ask her if she is okay with her grandchildren
being fed by a maid with unwashed hands and no lullabies
Let her die.

When your father tells you that his time on earth
is ending,
Build him a cocoon that makes
and not butterflies.
Build him a heaven with no entry and no exit.
Show him how even heaven
could get boring and how vanity with enough time.
Could eat away all the glitter from God’s face.
Tell him that you will burn his body
and not bury it.
Tell him that burials are too much
of an investment
for someplace
you will only go
once a year
or probably never.
Tell him of how cremation
can contain him
in a coffee mug.
Ask him for his will,
for your share of the house
that he built,
for your share
over your brothers.
Ask him for the keys
to his unaccomplished dreams,
not to accomplish them
but to accommodate yours.
Tell him it’s okay
and if he asks for your help, bury a sword
within his backbone
and set his demons free.
Let him die.

But when a poet tells you that he is going to die,
Don’t let him, even if it as the cost of your own life.

Because this world is not ready for poetry.

You are ready for porn,
every clichéd Bollywood love song,
Monday morning rum,
a Tuesday Evening joint,
but you are not ready for poetry.

Just like the world was never ready for a Messiah.
Every poet is Jesus
because he is worth more
only when he is dying on the cross.
As I try to fit my my words
into a 4 by 4 beat of a hip-hop track,
into 3 lines of a tweet for your goldfish brains,
into 2 lives of my passion
and what you call survival,
into one dance routine
so you can pretend that you understand that you care.
But this poetry is my body
and this is my blood
which you will share
in remembrance of me only when I die.

Because you are not ready for poetry ,
Because poetry is not ready for you.

When a poet tells you that he is going to kill himself,
Don’t let him die even if it is at the cost of your own life…
Because his poetry will out live your eternity
and will haunt you every time you inhale.




Yellow Pages‘ is an original work created and owned by Daniel Sukumar.
Mouth of Word owns exclusive rights to distribution of the same. If you are interested in
cross-posting this poem, please contact us on

Bangalore, dark poetry, MoW Event, Performance, suicide, video
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