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Ankush Banerjee

Ankush Banerjee

Photo by Lucan Husac.


Whoever leads a solitary life and yet now and then wants to attach himself somewhere, whoever according to the changes in the time of the day, the weather, the state of his business, and the like, suddenly wishes to see any arm at all to which he might cling - he will not be able to manage for long without a window looking on to the street.

Franz Kafka, The Street Window

The ticking of clocks is hammer blows,
harder than lashing waves on stone.
Both rejoice in their loneliness,
Yet neither are alone.

That shriveled bitch is a dirt rag,
being suckled at, throughout the day.
Pups rejoice with bulging bellies,
Sagging nipples too are a reddened gay.

Twilight negotiates its gentle coming
with a reluctant sky in slow-painted purple.
The day is dying with the usual sigh
while the kettle on the stove is brought to a gurgle.

You see, the evening tea is ready to be had.
amidst the farewell of the surrendering day.
Both rejoice in the transience
of their eternally recurring ways.


The Tedium of an ordinary Day
Sketches bird calls, honking cars, traffic through
Tiny particles of dust playing with cobwebs hanging from naked trees
In sunlight, whose borrowed shadows wax and wane
Over unfinished novels, unwritten poems
Impregnated by unfathomable, or thank God!
Unremembered Thoughts, once disturbed by an incessantly ringing telephone,
Beeping cellphone, flushing toilets, and
Maybe by someone walking in and out,
In and out,
Leaving sweat smells mingling with musk in the air
Like half remembered after thoughts.

I heard the thudding of the steps, I am sure!
Or maybe they too
Like this-
Was Time's answer to my reflection in the mirror


And why should the haggard candle flame
Lick the back of flirting winds?

I had sworn to not be caught
Playing your game;
Treacherously protecting a candle flame.
In the middle of a radiant room.

The recurring folly of blind men
Who see too much.
For want of heat, dearly clutch
The helpless hearth of a dying flame.

So why should the fleeting, wanton winds
Be licked on the back by flickering flames?

We had sworn to not let you in
To be a part of our game;
To delicately protect a candle flame.
In the middle of a shadowy room.

The recurring folly of darkened rooms
That hold too much mystery
For want of clarity, dearly clutch
To blind men battling illusory winds.


And then, she
Came home, wearing
Evening smells, like dusk wears
The visage of an uneasy

"So where had you been?"

"There, there, right around the
Curb, where the road turns into an abyss,
And all my longings seem like stone."

Fingers pointing to

strokes turning to smudges on canvas-
A happy woman

"But, but, it was I
who made this.
When you weren't even here!"

Dry paint peeling of igneous fingers.

"Yes, yes, that is why!
Your poetry doesn't hurt me, nor your art.
My longings are primeval as the sky!"

She says, sipping lukewarm tea, staring
With stony eyes, at herself -

the apparition of a happy woman



Jayanta Mahapatra: In Conversation with Sachidananda Mohanty
Sarojini Sahoo: In Discussion with Kavita Arya

Deepali Yadav: Divakaruni’s Oleander Girl
Disha Khanna: Mahesh Dattani’s On a Muggy Night in Mumbai
Hampi Chakrabarti: Punctured Conscience
Koushiki Dasgupta: The Poetry of Mallika Sengupta

Book Reviews
Atreya Sarma: ‘Mystic Warrior’
GSP Rao: ‘Tapestry Poetry’
Jaydeep Sarangi: ‘Exchanges with the Thinker’
Priyanka Kakoti: ‘On a Wing and a Prayer’

Ambika Ananth: Editorial Note
Abin Chakraborty
Amreen B Shaikh
Ankush Banerjee
Charles Thielman
Jhuma Sen
Lora Tomas
Neelam Dadhwal
Rafiul Rahman
Rittvika Singh
Rob Harle
Rohan Dominic Mathews
Shanta Acharya
Simon Perchik
Sunita Raina Pandit

Shernaz Wadia: Editorial Comment
Anirudh Kala: ‘Mr Haq’
KL Chowdhury: ‘Tenderer than a Petal…’
Madhuliika Ghose: ‘Inspiration’
Prashila Naik: ‘The B.A. Pass Groom’
Sunil Sharma: ‘Dream’
Vempalle Shariff: ‘A Point of Nails’

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