Lush, Plush And A Daze –Review Of Aditya’s April Is Lush

“dear little brown gay
you are enough.
you have always been enough.
never forget that.”

  • the little boy with big dreams  

A beautiful journey wrapped in the mystical bands of poetry will probably be an understatement for April Is Lush. Encased by Aditya Tiwari, April Is Lush is an exuberant encapsulation of the author’s emotion in words as simple as they’re made to be used. Poetry is often and more an inaccessible string of words made exclusively for those who possess an exquisite linguistic capital, or at least the thesaurus. Here is where the author/poet digresses and refuses to be that person. That person with words who’s fully capable of making your eyes and brain all squint in confusion.

Simple, elegant and nourishing are some of the adjectives I’d choose to adorn this little collection of poetry, fresh from the author’s heart. April Is Lush is a pool of around 200 pieces of poetry and statements all bound into one book. Divided into seven sections which cover a myriad of conversations, like queerness, trauma, love, self-worth and even a section which focuses on womyn. Each section takes these conversations in a capturing poetic format. While some of the poems might seem a bit like the ’80s type heroine with an oversized rose in her bushels thrown across the bed, gazing at an astronomically incorrect representation of the moon’, there are a few that manage to prod on the subtle notions of the nerves and hidden undertones of our emotions.

“after all these years.
the last time
when I tried to
convince you
I gave up
on everything
and my heart
froze inside
my ribs.”

  • cold heart 

Like this poem, that has a lot of potential only if it were refined a little more than its published edition. While on one hand the emotion of losing out on love stays, the conveyance is not powerful and hence the purpose of the entire poem misses its mark by a foot, foot and half. Again, it would be grossly unfair to call this the entire book. The book narrates some beautiful notions of colour, age and gender transcribed in the most striking words. That I believe deserves an award. For queer people when talking about politics, colour and intersectionality basically means a death sentence even within the community or rather communities, it is extremely substantial to bring in these conversations through the weavers of art, words and performances. These are the subtle, yet brave, yet impactful mechanisms of getting a conversation to happen.

As a reviewer, I thoroughly enjoyed the whole book simply for the honesty it carries. The sort of honesty that is rare to find. The genuinity that is so lost on us in today’s spirit. The understanding and sense of community that we so willingly ignore and forget because it takes investment. In such an atmosphere, we have a poet who at their own expense puts together a book in the dire hope that it will be useful to somebody who reads it. That it will help. That very purpose is quite enough for me to accept this book with all the grace and affection in the world.

It asks people to believe in whatever they have. It asks you to believe. So, give it a read, because it’s definitely worth it.

Rohan Mathews