Hari Malagayo Alluri: “eyes beat heart wide…”

body body

eyes beat heart wide

n sine co-patience


blink rare breath laugh

un sin go pay shun


deep shared step speak open tongued rhythms


story tell in the pattern of a mischief

round each other’s oldest voices caress





abi bellybuttons shoot

memory glances




raven city

rain follows snow follows shine hollows

clouds hollow graves into roots hollow

cracks into tar fallow talk hollows

dreams nightly migrating birds hallow

sky copper indigo follow trickster heart




conjure lion’s roar from spitting cobra’s belly

one language

used to hack

all the others

from my body

this pentongue

my balisong now





The poet explains several special words:

abi  –  Nigerian pidgin, from Yoruba; final interrogative particle on a yes/no question

balisong  –  a.k.a. balisong batangas, butterfly knife, fan knife or veinte y nueve; a swing-bladed folding pocketknife used in Filipino martial arts and for self-defence.

jai  –  I use  jai in the sense of “Long live” (Hindi).  It can also be translated as “Up with,” “Hail” or “Victory”. Often it’s a part of call and response chants.


Hari Malagayo Alluri is a poet, activist, facilitator and filmmaker who migrated to SouthVancouver, Coast Salish Territories, at age 12.  He will be at Surrey Muse on July 27th.  Hari’s writing appears in several publications.