THE STORIES, ONCE LOST
Fifty steps from the Durga-Pooja pandal
and all the noises of a mad city,
a tea shop owner reads
lost stories from thrown-away paper bags.
The lonely bulb
reeks yellowed-out lights, and
a stray dog, lured by love,
sleeps near the wooden door.
The posters on the wall are torn
and now they look like a kaleidoscope
of things don't make sense; like
why candles always look better
than rice-lights, or
why kisses on monsoon taste like
Elsewhere, people make noise and
make love with the callousness of
worn-out machines. Windchimes
keep on tolling, serenading
with the moist wind. Minds wander.
An old gramophone opens up
portals through ghazals of
a time gone by, escaping into
the night through the broken window.
Conscience keeps on beeping
like skylights atop little houses on end-autumn
when coldness creeps up like a
hunter. Noises are surreal; the stutter
of a rickshaw on dark clay roads—
the humming of a mother during
lazy afternoons, the lost voices,
like lost stories
floating on thrown-away paper bags.
The turquoise sea is a blind rope of hair on
my eyes; I'm naked, so
are you, smelling like a mixture of
peach and vermillion.
But you're not real.
A crumbling world plays tick-tack-toe
with newborns, and poets erase
their memory again and again.
Hipsters are relics.
But the world's already gone.
Head between his knees, the messiah
trembles as drugs kiss him
gently on the lips.
The common man clashes with police.
But the lives are not theirs anymore.
Eons later, fallen cherry blossoms on
a shrine look like fragments
of your lips that night.
I am writing a poem about Neverland.
Hope is poison shaped like a cotton candy.
GREAT BARRIER REEF
Monsters leave big skeletons when they die.
Rainforests become quiet
before the sounds of
The lightness of corals aside,
the great white shark
In a world filled with walls,
indigo seas roam around
with warm and cold
Reading bone-signs, I
make love to women
I barely know,
Monsters, they leave
when they lie.
Two hundred and six emotions
plastered unto mixtures
A smile breaks.
Wildfire is tamed in this frame,
but the marrow boils.
Lava, they say,
Giving up the auroras for
The bones laugh.
Many thanks to Suvojit Banerjee for today’s fine poetry, and to Katy Brown for her beautiful photos! Suvojit is from India and the United States. He has seen twenty eight summers, but he doesn’t remember all of them; his existence is torn between the suburbs in West Bengal he grew up in, and the city called Atlanta he now lives in. His works have been published in many Indian and international journals and magazines and featured in several anthologies, such as First Literary Review, Scarlet Leaf Review, SickLit Magazine, Indiana Voice Journal, Visual Verse, Whispers, The Stray Branch, Tuck Magazine, UUT Poetry, Danse Macabre, Silver Birch Press, Voices de la Luna, eFiction India, Bactrian Room, The Camel Saloon, Red Fez and Hackwriters. He also won the Poetry Broadsides competition hosted by Thirty West Publishing house last year. He currently works in a software company, and has worked as a lead writer/reviewer for a technology website, and he has two blogs, Der Auslander (wedreaminneon.tumblr.com) and Hiraeth (wedreaminneon.wordpress.com), which he says represent the chronological order of his literary evolution (or decay).
Suvojit observes, sometimes giving up consciousness in return. It is a dangerous thing, this silent stalking of nostalgia, but he has a maddening urge. He follows the trail, from decaying jetties to swanky corporate buildings, picking up little breadcrumbs of memories and then giving them their due place in white and yellowed-out papers.
He continues to juggle between poetry and prose, not deciding on where his heart lies. Maybe it lies in both of them, maybe in none.
Welcome to Medusa’s Kitchen, Suvojit, and don’t be a stranger!
Poetry is a deal of joy and pain and wonder, with a dash of the dictionary.
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