Three by Debasis Mukhopadhyay, author of “kyrie eleison or all robins taken out of context”

Debasis Mukhopadhyay

“I walk slowly, like one who comes from so far away he doesn’t expect to arrive.” Jorge Luis Borges in Boast of quietness


I am pleased and honored to introduce DEBASIS MUKHOPADHYAY (between ink and inkblot) here today, though I suspect there are many who already know his work.

Debasis is the author of the chapbook “kyrie eleison or all robins taken out of context(Finishing Line Press, 2017). His poems have appeared or are forthcoming in journals & anthologies, including Posit, Words DanceThe Curly Mind (UK), Erbacce (UK), Strange Poetry (UK), Yellow Chair ReviewI Am Not A Silent Poet (UK), The New Verse News, Rat’s Ass Review : Love & Ensuing Madness, Writers Against Prejudice (UK), Manneqüin.HaüsAlgebra of Owls (UK), The Skinny Poetry JournalOf/With : Journal of Immanent Renditions, Anapest JournalCommunicators League (Nigeria), No Tribal Dance (UK), Quatrain.Fish, Duane’s Poe TreeWalking Is Still Honest, Leaving My Shadow : A Tribute to Anna AkhmatovaThirteen Myna BirdsWhale Road Review, The Apache Poetry Blog (Sweden), Scarlet Leaf ReviewSilver Birch Press, The Bitchin’ Kitsch, Foliate Oak, Eunoia Review, Revolution John, Fragments of Chiaroscuro, Down in the Dirt, With Painted Words (UK), The Wagon MagazineSnapping Twig, Words Surfacing, Praxis, Apple Fruits of an Old Oak, and Voice of Monarch Butterflies. His work has been nominated for the Best of the Net.

He was born in India & spent many years of his life in Kolkata (Calcutta), where he began writing poems. A fair number of poems in pora gach o megh oré, his debut collection of poetry in Bengali (Art Publishing,  2005), date back to this time of his life in India. Debasis holds a PhD in literary studies from Université Laval, Québec, Canada. His doctoral thesis constitutes an instance of multidisciplinary approach, exploring the linkage between two broad themes of social epistemology : travel and spatiality. The work is focused on the analysis of the Occidental subjectivity’s search for self and its perception of spatiality through Third World travel. The thesis can be found here :

Voyage à la Rencontre de la misère et pouvoir d’attraction de l’espace de l’Autre. Calcutta dans l’imaginaire occidental contemporain – étude de cas: Le chant de Kali et La Cité de la joie (Travel to Meet With The Poor and The Power Of Attraction of The Space of the Other. Calcutta in the Contemporary Western Imagination – A Case Study of Song of Kali and La Cité De La Joie).

Debases now lives in Montreal with his wife and his son. When his hand turns poetry, he just walks up to Monnet’s poppy field against the wall & bends down to swaying flowers thinking of the words gone in blood. When he is not writing, his best inspiration turns out to be what Xu Schen wrote (58 CE  ̶  ca. 147 CE) : “Ink, whose semantic component isearth‘, is black.”

Connect with Debasis at debmukhop@yahoo.ca or @dbasis_m on Twitter.



India journal

New Delhi : to get more than the dawn

a red tulle body flaring up.

the mosquito net

white & whooshing at times

& this foundry of wings of mosquitoes

now ready for the spilled over blood.

here sun.

somewhere birds crack the sky

dawn what I fear has never been so late

 

kid’s head buried in my chest.

do I know

what’s to cry like a bleating sheep

broken lines unfurls K’s poems in my thoughts

obliterating the bleeding sun dissolving into now a distant hum

very soon a cacophonous mix

what’s K to make of it in his poems

I think of the young poet of Kolkata.

somewhere the oblique overpasses ask for boundless love

slogging through memories

snuffing out the first azan of the day & the litanies of the stray dogs

 

kid’s skull rolls on my chest

his eyes waking to dawn

what’s that poet to make of it

kid’s eyes etched on his notebook page

which is perhaps whiter than the mosquito net now emptied like times

when I used to live in this land

& never had to step inside.

tomorrow I would be again in Kolkata

brushing dust from a palimpsest 

today I would just pass the day

Kipling Sahib gazing hatefully on New Delhi

the breeze stirring a tattered liana of madhabilata

high up among the colonial columns

dust on dust

to creep through

Kolkata : the waterboarding 

K’s poems are now bowing lower than this plane

bleeding off its speed

the cinnamon colored brick kilns look plastered by a green

that feels so unwanted in a blood brick telecast on BBC

years of rising smoke have gnawed the moulded bricks but the green

green green so green that I turn to Lorca’s ballad

& cry like a fool unheeded

for the girl of bitterness

until the touchdown when I hear K whispering

I leave you alone for the eve

now you would be too blind to trust my poems

begin me only when you end your quick days & nights in Kolkata

when you are left again to think that

you are still stuck like an albino bone in its craw made of loose scoria

these long years

 

these long years

were not so imminent in my mother’s dream of me becoming a Caliph one fine day

seven thousand miles away.

these long years were not a life book that rustles inside memories dying in the throat.

for a crown of light

she has been counting a thousand & one nights.

every morning

kneeling to the earth she tries to find me again amongst the sprouts.

ha the world has to pass

mutters my father

sparrows cluster in the back of his throat.

& here we are home, kid

hello hello

I say opening the gates of shadows of the crows

aloft & aground.

the long-spiked coconut tree leaves dance across K’s sun-blazed notebook page

capturing kid’s fingers making a ghost with a lump of earth

mine tearing the sword-shaped leaves only to reminisce all afternoon

upon a palm frond hat from my schooldays

 

maybe everything might have been…

everything like your face in my hands

dark eyes glistening in the folds

like malaria now & then

those love vomit & rum stained clothes moving under the coal iron in the neighborhood

coming back laundered the following afternoon

only to redeem truth

& to rehearse a hundred summers of solitude…

to think I’m going to see you again tonight

a conjurer had his time

on earth this is the place

where I can sing I am your man

a place that has no place in time

or maybe it’s always just half passed

like this late afternoon sun on water in K’s notebook page

like this fish put out to crawl through a hologram

never failing kid

fish eyes always give him thrills

 

processions pass

the foreheads of the deceased pressed against the cobwebbed evening

feel the reference point that had rattled so hard in life

now the queue in the burning ghats 

souls reassured once oxidized flake after flake

& then beguiled by the creeping waters.

placid slumbers the Ganges like the night at the bottom of the root 

this is the country

where cicadas chase every evening the crackling stars of each cast & class.

my friend sings taking my breath away

the dead to become boats floating downward the rim of the dark skies

drifting anew in the city alleys

in search of hearts that had no refuge from any versions of hearts.

processions pass

shouts drawling a tribute to dawn

poppy red flags

a street full of scars

you ask me how I feel now with my eyes peeled

K’s poems stopped to bleed into the evening

so wet & claiming

now again mouth into mouth

we keep frisking & gamboling round the night 

we come & coming on

like a hemorrhage

like Fidel Castro floating belly up dying of his own death

I need not watch for the moon

I close my eyes to get more than the dawn

more than its billow & spray

more than K’s love poems glittering like war

their curl of waves that come rolling in

& I say

Kolkata

my tin soldier

the waterboarding is all yours
 
 
First published in The Wagon Magazine July 2017
© 2017, Debasis Mukhopadhyay
 

 

November 9, Kristallnacht

all again

rein in

a throwback steed

for a headlong rush

into bodies

that are

apprised of sledgehammers

the vanity of a crystal night

raising its head

 

dry assaults

against parasites

are said dropped things

like a mirror

in flashcubes

sticking a gimlet to

disconnection

with what you can scavenge

on this day in History

 

the bludgeoned frogs

live through the November moon

crawling in the pit somewhere

ha you ain’t got nothing to recall

crying blood

the disgusting god

in our vain skulls

has never felt

sky rustling in & out

of cinders

of those millions awaiting

First published in Yellow Chair Review November 13, 2016

© 2016, Debasis Mukhopadhyay


Notice to rebroadcast

O Sultan mine, I just read your poem Notice to recast where looking on your flowerpot sky you feel the smudge of my absence on your skin. You hear the train behind the fence, you hear the rain in the kitchen and you are reminded of the necessity of touch. Several lines down you say, “I heard it and I heard it again. A song that stayed unopened in my throat.” Honestly, I am never very sure how your poetry works on me. You could hear everything : the rainstorms behind the kites, the pantomime in the trammels, the trampoline behind the rampages, the songbirds in the pantechnicons… everything across your roughcast of solitude. And everything reminds you of everything, from windpipe sonata to wingspan of a pansy. I wish I could understand how you napalm me while I sleep. As if just like my body my mind also can’t shake you and always awaiting you in bed unopened. True that poetry never sucks and the blancmange sloughing in the overdone ruts between my thighs. Sultan dear one, my husband, my boyfriend, my needleman of tournament, my winger right to left, my slaloming tramline behind my fertility, my panegyric of fucking superintendent, why can’t I understand your poems? Or why can’t I just write a poem that is what when my handgun trades the simile of blankness? But that won’t make it all right. No point in blitzkrieging to unbalance the brain. Let’s think about honeyed baklavas and listen to balalaikas. If you are my bloody bastard, I remain your bloodied bitch.

First published in Posit issue 14, June 2017

© 2017, Debasis Mukhopadhyay

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ABOUT

Poet and writer, I was once columnist and associate editor of a regional employment publication. Currently I run this site, The Poet by Day, an information hub for poets and writers. I am the managing editor of The BeZine published by The Bardo Group Beguines (originally The Bardo Group), a virtual arts collective I founded.  I am a weekly contributor to Beguine Again, a site showcasing spiritual writers.

My work is featured in a variety of publications and on sites, including: Levure littéraure, Ramingo’s PorchVita Brevis Literature,Compass Rose, Connotation PressThe Bar None GroupSalamander CoveSecond LightI Am Not a Silent PoetMeta / Phor(e) /Play, and California Woman.

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