Dad’s friends wore Polo-Shirts

Dad’s friends wore Polo-Shirts

i am just learning to enter barefoot; tone shuffling between nasal pop and deference, spending it trying to make friends with your kid, who seems to know everything except the time.

there was nightlife. wrapping paper. report cards. medals. rolexes. promotions. arrival. বিদায়। paper plates. one dish. Bhais first. Bhabis maybe later and only when the dishes had cleaned themselves.

i am waiting.
for you to take me to the point of no return. for you to walk me home like your girlfriends. goodbye eyes reining me in: this time i’ll be better, please, loud, enthusiastic, and quick.

Epilogue
for when you blame yourself.
suzie still pounds her desk in vindication. arjun still tries to kill me, and with good reason. the pool party on the 6th still gets broken up and the bur dubai station still takes fingerprints for non-violent offences. the men down every neighborhood we ever lived on still all stare up at me in participation, first, then disgust and lastly as drill. still can not afford that mortgage out on the house of your dreams auctioned with pink exteriors, jailgate verandas. your friends are still sorry for you for me. i am still the story to scare their kids. you are still staying together for your kids. you are beating them up. he is leaving you home. they are falling behind. you are falling behind. it’s getting tough. it’s getting better. it’s never getting to how you had hoped. and none of it will ever be your fault.

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Act V, Scene IV

Act V, Scene IV

Nir arching back onto the shadows,
projected against the ripped lanes by encroaching headlights,
an impromptu affair,
the dialogue make-believe,

choreography first engage, then see,
cast of me, chloroformed in a veil with a faded golden streak,
two pebbles spying perpendicular like afraid children.

our gestures jaunt deforested,
an observant sightseer
calls this the most beautiful row of street in the city, perfect for rainbowing bouquets to thw other side,
The time of GDP in pots and kettles, stopping for and crashing through barcodes,
cargo sometimes mad, sometimes vegetative, sometimes sand talaq at the hourglass.

‘I said, I was sorry.’
After intermission, we decide to leave it at cold case.

‘কিন্তু একটু সময় নে’
Our calves saggy and guming on thunderbolts.

‘এক্ষুনি যাবো।’
Policemen at the flat-bed U-bridge are watching us like head-turns at paisa clinks on tile and lose interest just as quick.

‘এক্ষুনি।’

Same phrase, gut of the tongue ramming into the crook of paan-blood front teeth.

The forearm grip, the crabbed elbows volts phatomiming as affection let go at the entrance of the seventh hour of load-shedding, past the screw lancing the cork to float inside the bottle of wine that he had unlocked the door with.

‘কিন্তু তোরা তো আর গেলি না, আম্মু, আব্বুর সাথে পরিচয়ও হইল না, গঙ্গাপুত্রও আর ফুল পাইলো না, পাইলো ঘুমে গলা টিপা আর ট্রাক ড্রাইভারের হাত। ‘

…And we had thought that Martov at least would remain with us.

…And we had thought that Martov at least would remain with us.

*
At the dais, when the current os steps forward and folds up his prepared resignation speech. The conference is ready to riot. It rejects the pleas one by one as diagnostic report. It can feel the pain at it’s joints, the crutches it has used and refused till now seem so necessary. The sores in it’s releases, untreated with pus, magnify into ulcers.

০+০+১/২ ২ দিন।
০+০+১ ২ দিন।
১+০+১ চলবে।

Your face, huddled between your knees on the third row from the front, and then as he steps off stage, raised fist, you pick up, your finger twirls radial touching every unseen spoke, and like the inner soliloquys of capitalism, speaking in boom and bust cycles: a suckerpunch masquerading as a lilt, and to this day i can see you in the echoes.

*
গাছে কেরুর বোতল। ডালের ফাঁক দিয়ে এক গান সংগ্রামের অফিস, শেখানে, শিমুলের পোস্টার, তার কাঁটা তো আছেই, থাকতেই হবে, আছে পুনর্বেশন, আছে ভেজা চুল, ঘৃনার মতো আলো, আর আছে কন্ঠ, আছে ওর মতো হয়ে যাওয়ার ভয়।

*
200 pages seem like nothing at all now: Lara decontextualizing on her fights with ma, missing out on all the hints to the underground railroad on ‘sometimes i feel like a motherless child’ but still managing remain stone-cold, now on ma’s wall, in the cockpit, wheel in hand, breaking the barriers, she’d hoped on and the next, in a 24×36 frame.

*

Selections from a Broken Strike

Selections from a Broken Strike

I
they are singing the internationale in 3 number bipod shonkhet on a pick up streaming slush at 60km/h into Moakhali. there are two buckets of ata simmered glue which will not bring Christine Lagarde, loaded with conditions, to town and harp
যেমন দাম তেমন জিনিস for the next session on the 8th 5 year plan.

II
27 Intersection: the DNCC sodium batis vs the South’s LEDs cuts through the median strip of agent orange trees for the ruins as public works winding down Allah Karim.

III
halim, lips fading nude lipstick, nobel, owing 500 for eternity, are flicking smokes, burning tires at the break of dawn, a whole half an hour before the checkpost at Baitul Mukharam is expected to swing for our heads.

IV
karwan bazar is on rollerblades and i am out of breath and being juggled like the guts of enemy property where the old city brickkilns have exile for eyes, so we play to the score, and the mandaps are redressed: they win, through mahishasura, through scribes, his foot throttling at our windpipes and. and, only sometimes is there is a lathi charge to tell us so.

V
take.

Glasscut

Glasscut

tall tall shoes make you closer to reach.
the ধসে পড়া city block between your sideburns, toll tickets on ভাঙা jaws, and the crisp of your stubble is closer.
pink shirt sinking into your meditarrean myth skin is even closer.
the letter you will send when my skull rests on your kneecap will try to leave us, then the closest, ball point bruises to draft an old new set of relations that must have a bibliography to consummate.
the letter would not be mistaken. we needed references, such as when the goli was running from blank catridges distributed out like pre-election mithai, chasing it into tongs, into messes, into raids, into cases filed at ‘ungodly’ hours, into you, in bandage catalogue, summer dreaming for the last time, diagonal, across your face, clutching an anti-cutter; such as when the মিছিল was passing kalabagan bus stand, and you should have been in an emergency room but you were propping up against a rickshaw, then his arms, and then mine as blood spatter stained, curved, sonambulated into a wrecking ball.
Art: Letter: Evergreen Background, Maturam Chowdhury

Egaro Shindoor Goduli

Egaro Shindoor Goduli

আপ্নি কি অদের মতন?
yes, my love, আর আমি একদমি মাইন্ড করি নাই।
i am just imagining you. harnessed to that trawler, head-rested on corrugated tin; roof-panels lime with heat by the time you wake up.

josna, from undefeated canon, undoing the stitches that make you want me. tried on the temporary migrations of the earth and it’s rings of fire. spare arms protruding. sheowla distended with expectation. the ghat to an entire town succumbing to the runoff water of an only child.

মিরপুর থেকে কত দূর?
i m sorry but i will try to tell you from the parts i do remember. start at setara, where urns of kacchi are plated every hour. bam pa age onto safety no. 36, or if caught in the office rush, projapoti, blue with the ecosystem of commerce; fatigued at the dotted lines which once followed, Jica detours you onto 60 feet, where you will catch the city at gunpoint—
all rogue at the perimeters of a 16 crore strong trp, on its feet, in ovation, giving the benefit of the doubt to rubel on each of his excellent spells, on each delivery unrooting off stump, on each of his court dates, on each bail hearing: granted on the grounds of national interest.

at vibration the mtcl aisles speed-bump narrower, reserved seats filled by ellipses, by inverted commas, others, tollashi, others parlours in motion, and yet, others parlours in repose.

আর কেউ নাই।
i try to bend my unbendable legs, unhooked of the abstract that came with the body—to sew; sometimes, i start at the outlines. of things already existing. of where i am now, i am drawn to the shrubs, the white roses plastic with thorns. back home, mela red bangles reflect 1:1 onto gold bracelets. aviators jumping bunny-rabbit teeth: a sage en hajj into the marketplace, bending his seat into view of the mahanagar natto mancha: a must see poribeshona in upholding 21 dhara at ease at unnoto momshir. but the lassos of yarn get tiresome and repeated in dead weather i start trying to invent an aesthetic with dried ice, interminably sulking rain and strobe lighting, not the ones at the qasba with fountains as musical chairs, but the ones where excavation yields great civilizations, uncuffable, universal in motif. the ones plucking gate-flowers onto hear tucked behind seldom-seen ears. i try to end in the midst of mythmaking: the uttan boithok with a bashiwalla as the coda.

all the way up to you. the ghit of your lungi, teal with cheque. unbuttoned to the fifth. sawed off eyes fathoming the circumference of my chest, irregular heartbeat tilted to one side. you are caught in the moment, sweat blotting temple like a head-wound: juriye dilo chokh; the imaginations of you seeing me off at platform 6 curling into crushed letters, hands corralling at my hips underneath ceilings arching into lotus petals, but your fingertips lose breath of me at the onset of porjotok season, beginning gradually with the haor as sob story, as the failing harvest, and only then as heartbreak: puriye dilo chokh.

the objectives of your islamic state

the objectives of your islamic state

I
Let Nurul Amin return and i will unbox a clerical error to make khulna’s head wound, simultaneously, flow to the east and always to the west of the hooghly.

II
I will board the postal train and get off at bhairab bazar. And through a spoonful of my second rasgulla at the garlanded mistanno vander, i will mince my words. I will watch the metre gauge crawl up Anderson Bridge and yawn at the scalloped hem of the man’s kurta touching the front of a post-independence rail; the slits panicking up his waist. The truss drafting diagonally so even the most observant onlooker sees only the receding troughs of each scream; the floor beams tearing with brittle nails into the sheets of second class; suspended exes bracing for a joint electorate. The passenger cabin, deboned, hanging skin from their necks serrated, registered, rationed dandakaranya, is measuring itself by the angle at which it rounds the cape of good hope, attending as merchants, today, and still, today, plying, afim, and nil, and the treasury to stand upright.

III
You cannot bleed at the mandir, ploughed by dim light into the single hours of a fire. The dispenser at school will remain unstocked 8 months a year, but you can go. And you will. And they will prey your arguments as the births and deaths of their population, an unrelenting process, an unchanging process, a forever process hinging on the persona to bear, on the 35mm film cannisters filled with solemn occasions, with stretch marks, with dares overdrawn, and underrepresented, with sindoors routed for lifetimes on how to greet your man in the morning.