Amit Majmudar


Russian Roulette

I spun the chamber’s pinwheel, playing
Russian roulette for laughs.
My lovely assistant danced her veils off
Around a golden calf.
Ladies and gents, for my final act,
I will saw the world in half.

I do not work with smoke and mirrors,
Preferring flame and flash,
For nothing sugars the devil’s tongue
Like warm, authentic ash.
Bluebottle flies have battened on
The corpses at the crash

As memes and murders breed onscreen
And terror turns its turret,
As all the talkers and ticker-watchers
Say there is nothing for it
But die in public, with your phone out,
And keep your death scene lurid.

The magic lies in ruse and rush—
That is, the magic lies.
The Bible’s second wisest man
Looked Jesus in the eyes
And asked him What is truth? to strip
The Guess of its disguise.

I hide no rabbits in my hat,
Only a bunch of names
To pick and pick off, one by one.
Piranhas quick to blame,
Consider the sawteeth in your mouths
Before you cry For shame.

Consider the world a clementine
We’re engineered to peel.
A burst of winter sunlight burns
Away the seventh seal.
A verdict whistles from above
There’s no way to appeal.

Amit Majmudar is a diagnostic nuclear radiologist who lives in Westerville, Ohio, with his wife and three children. The former first Poet Laureate of Ohio, he is the author of four poetry collections, four novels, an anthology of political poetry, and a translation of the Bhagavad-Gita. Two novels are forthcoming in India in 2022: an historical novel entitled The Map and the Scissors, and a novel for young readers, Heroes the Color of Dust. A memoir, Twin A, is forthcoming in the United States in 2022 as well. He is currently co-creating a graphic novel/web comic, The Kali Yuga Chronicles. Visit for more details.