Contents: Poetry and the City (Issue 60)
By Sayan Aich Bhowmik
Not only do we have poets addressing the glitz and glamour and the neon-lit airspace of the cities, we also have poignant expressions of the loneliness and the solitude that such a life brings with it.
By Ritoshree Chatterjee
Neon-signs, parrot-green prostitutes rise –
Office-cubicles, ghosts, dust, skyscrapers rise
Mud-jargons, brittle-boned city-slickers rise
Only our shadows shorten each day.
By Amit Ranjan
I had wished this curved road may manifest often
To fly through my exclusive clouds
And so it did, with elephants in the sky
And unearthly sunsets
And I exited completely once to swallow
An ocean whole.
By Malini Bhattacharya
Six days’ pounding
And the house is dust
A farrago of wood bits and metal
By Bhaswati Ghosh
Once, during August afternoons,
when monsoon licked the
city's streets silver, the air
danced wearing jamun
By Abhay K
I sense your changing mood,
your lingering lust
for blood and wealth,
and your deadliest addiction—
By Maaz Bin Bilal
Opposite the college stands in the middle of the street, a monument unremarked, unnoticed, unremarkable, unglanced. Colloquially called Khooni Darwaza, the Bloody Gate
By Sumana Roy
I’ve watched you like I have this city –
like a mason without a job,
pairing without repairing,
knowing that I was only
laying roads on water.
By Aditi Dhabe
And it’s quiet,
a thumping of sorts.
A man stands outside a shop window and I bang open my apartment.
By Aekta Khubchandani
Smoke, and you’re full of sweat
and haze, only washing hands
in cold water is real. You feel like fireworks
on a cold night in Manhattan.
By Mandira Mitra
Hour long shower has turned thoroughfares
To estuaries coursing around narrow lanes, behind
A synagogue of dreams.
By Nishi Pulugurtha
Rusted iron railings
Seem to merge into each other,
trying to hold on
with patterns that weave
stories known and unknown
By Rukmini Banerjee
Your black empire of gargantuan pigs under the bridge.
The first time I saw your kingdom I was in a taxi
I saw your sternum and then your lips.
To me it looked
Like coordinates of a map to somewhere else
For which I left home and my doomed language.
By Shafinur Shafin
Burying the roots of memory like a dead reptile
This city crawls to the sky
The sun brings a dazzling light behind the green leaves
and pours down sleep onto us.
By Sreejata Roy
Understand that we could have been the sea,
But only ended up as the sand gritting
Somewhere lost in my eyes.
For the city lies scrambled,
Half its alphabets lost.
By Aakriti Kuntal
The city walks into the mouth, a mouthful of lizards.
Midnight's hair recorded the one pear moon
That swept the backbone. Now nothing rests,
only small bowls of cricket light worm.
By Nabina Das
The belly of the earth is split open
behind my pristine (or so I think) terrace,
men at work, men howling, men
coming out of their shells of starvation.
By Tabish Khair
We slam our doors (and airports) shut,
We swap the channel, we call it gross --
Which might be true (for blood’s vulgar) … but
There’s hope sometimes in the twist of the knife,
To tell of death is to remember life.
By Uttaran Das Gupta
At this hour, static roads rearrange themselves into dramatic maps,
like a clock’s insides,
like an aquatic landscape—precarious, sparking cartographic curiosity:
By Abin Chakraborty
Birds, squirrels, bees -
Were evicted at once
Without paperwork or plan.
By Anupama Bhattacharya
The act of drowning is different in cities.
But the smoke consumes us all
While we send our grief
On the wings of origami planes.
By Rochelle Potkar
Saved money for new clothes by each inch of my hair. Rickshaw driver I see whole city - Bandra to Bhayandar. 'Go back to Bihar' they said. The city played over our lives.
By Takbeer Salati
The year was fresh,
Breathing its last lilacs or defiled tulips
I was thus born out of
The dead long ago,
From the snow,
The blood and the elegies.