Blood and Ink

Paper: 978 1 78220 531 9 / $14.95
Published: December 2016  

Publisher: Karnac Books
72 pp., 6" x 9"
Series: Karnac Library Series
A shimmering blend of good-hearted joy and mesmerizing surrealism, the poems in this collection reflect a deeply and authentically lived life. The images and metaphors used by the author are wide-ranging and cosmopolitan. At one moment, he speaks of flying dogs, four-year-old grandmothers, Mexico, Hindu gods, and Carmelite nuns. At another, he invokes Persian mysticism, the nights of London and Amsterdam, Nazim Hikmat, trees that want to be near a river, the rising mound of caramel under a silk blouse, and his own death exploding in a thousand fragments of toothless remorse. This is heady stuff, suffused with abandon and pure delight.

Table of Contents:
1) Trees and Ice Cream
2) Gratitude is Hard to Bear
3) Plea to a Surgeon
4) Ice Cube
5) Events
6) A Violet Residence
7) Carefully Wrapped
8) The Sense of Belonging
9) Reasons to Rejoice
10) Two Cats
11) Worthless Angels
12) No One Likes the Middle

1) Defenses
2) Held
3) A Proposal
4) A Sense of Trust
5) Hold Me
6) Transformations
7) Stanzas
8) Promise
9) Familiarity
10) Garden
11) Regardless
12) Senses
13) Our Revenge
14) Stories of the Body
15) Dancing Mind
16) You in Me
17) The Next Step
18) Plan
19) A Different Lens
20) Late at Night
21) Deposit
22) Abacus
23) Skin Lullaby
24) One Night
25) Doorbell
26) Safety
27) Unseen
28) Longing
29) Magic
30) Let Us Remain Nameless
31) Pathway
32) Long Before Breakfast

1) The Boy with a Poet’s Eyes
2) The Lost Dog
3) The Architect of Repetition
4) The Guru
5) The Man Who Was Blind
6) The Face-Time Addict
7) The Colorful Mr. Patel
8) The Somnambulist
9) The Mirror Man
10) A Prayer

About the Author

Reviews & Endorsements:
"What a delight to read these poems by Salman Akhtar with their supple twists and turns of thought, a perfect way into the recesses of the soul. He leads us there in lines filled with daring wit and humor and images that have the power to haunt us.
- Meena Alexander, author of Illiterate Heart, Raw Silk, and Poetics of Dislocation
"These delightful poems reflect an intrigued mind turned towards the worlds outside and within. Akhtar's words echo deep and long beyond their moment on the page."
- Forrest Hamer, author of Rift, Middle Ear, and Call & Response