All The Lovers to The Cages

All The Lovers to The Cages

No, you say. Writing is necessarily catharsis. It does not flirt with the commissar as he smiles at his secretary.

But you will not withdraw in your asphyxia.

Because it is also necessarily agitation. So, that your lungs may resign that black tar to the state’s depository of cliches.

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Running Out of Other People’s Money

Running Out of Other People’s Money

রাজনীতি এখন পরিবর্তন হয়েছে

All the civil servants wake up before dawn: the sweepers jharoo dust bowls; the police men chew paan; the police women ask their colleagues if they happen to have change for rickshaw fare.

এখন হরতাল ডাকলে হয় না।

They precede us like nationhood precedes the citizen.

মানুষ এখন বুঝে গেছে। মানুষ উন্নয়ন চায়।

The gas hikes would be expected to ricochet off tea stalls, into dhabas and into living rooms if they could get past the check posts. But the burners are best forgotten. Though they will tolerate the kerosene: the customary burning of the tire. Proceed.

যারা হরতাল ডাকে তারাও বোঝে হরতাল হবে না।

The first time around Shahbag, correspondents mic up: traffic is lean কিন্তু স্বাভাবিক

The second time after Katabon signal, things come to a halt. They are watching. There are shuffles. Shirts are pulled. Words are said. Wooden benches staff the roundabout. No one get’s through.  Maybe later. But not now. Pedestrians are curious. The bullhorn guides the uninitiated. Motorists are bemused. Those in the backseats sympathize but are ultimately annoyed (defaced is the word the Editor’s Council recommends)

 একটি দলকে যদি ধারাবাহিক ভাবে ক্ষমতায় না রাখা যায় তাহলে উন্নয়ন হবে না।

The third time,  we come back after looping round Ruposhi Bangla. The constable looks at his watch. Load up. It’s rush hour.

Quotes: This;

Rampal, I love you.

Rampal, I love you.

To occupy
Tear gas canister skidding off speed-breakers like warsaw pact skaters shining for the Motherland.
Except they didn’t tread the swamps, half-kneed
or wince at warlords farming shrimp inside fences
invisible
from satellite states.
They circled back: heroes,
cut queue at Mcdonalds
But where were the MoUs signed?
In double entendre:
I am alive, and so must be the lightbulb,

  • over the dock
  • flickering convulsions
  • Bagerhat in cold turkey
  • And. Pop.

Even if it is not my lightbulb.

To backstroke
Off canons,
even those descended from the mirage.
Chili had paraded back in January from its historic betrayal:
weighing European palettes with jungles,
the base of the tikka masala,
the banana leaf served as platter,
the bamboo timber hollowed for kung-pao.

Menus will spell out the Green Line
pruned from the yoke of the Raj:
Lobster Thermidor; Kacchi Biryani; Aloo Bokhara;
The Palestinian with the rock is the right of return.
The Bangladeshi hurling bricks is the riot begging APCs.

To indigenize 
Peregrines at shahbag

Irrawadys at Gonobhaban

At the dais, with a fistful of rubber slugs,
let me repeat:
That,

  • The Pasur will leak electricity as the estuary peals off Mukti-Joddher Chetona.
  • The fishermen will be brides at Gaye holuds presided over by transmission towers.
  • The silt thrown up by dredgers will resurrect the crust of public housing.
  • The mangroves will have their roots beam entrepreneurial.

And that Humus will be the stepchild of coal.

Photo: http://www.newindianexpress.com/world/2017/jan/26/bangladesh-police-lob-tear-gas-shells-on-anti-rampal-protesters-1563813.html

Couture III: Anthimeria

Couture III: Anthimeria

On our way there, there wasn’t much to see.
The sea bid farewell to the bow
but the sea is, and was then, feminine,
and so judged us as what is called the unyielding matron

She showed us
Vinyl rotting, melting to will
Fakri’s famine curtsying to the mist of vaseline
Premier shondesh stuffed into mouths
Or into homes in takeout containers
Flyovers splintering into blockades
Into ignitions at starting pistol
And sparkling water at checkered flag

We are entertained.
And wake up stranded in low tide.

Feet gassed in mud
Feuding with the cataract of the tube well,
Dodging cow dung,
An expedition of tents to curry amends
For we have sinned
And Fridays were not enough.
Only the Earth forgives:

Conifers unfurl like corollas
In panorama;
Soft shell grabs are admired,
And fade pink in the pot;
Turtles lay eggs at midnights
Marshalled by our flashlights;
Combing the stretch of beach
Is religious,
Exoskeletons for the wife to hang around her neck.

This milad is interrupted,
Tourists are also journalists
In the south.

Villagers run errands on pocket change
And with the kids watching,
We burn ourselves on the twenty second loosie:
Don’t they go to school?

And they tell you about the textbooks and the teachers and the students and the four dogs on the island and the soil that is estranged family and the dialect, the dialect, the unsent wedding invitation like you are the district commissioner.
And you do not correct them.

But they were not ready.

Life, and hope better life.

I know how you feel.
But the way you feel about it will not create jobs.

Couture I: The Sleeves Of Tradition

Couture I: The Sleeves Of Tradition

The machine gun motor boat incited recollection:
Black plumes pulsing out of cylindrical pipes, spitting ember
Boatman tugging on the aquamarine rope, bred with mildew
Swampland high tide purging the industrial hull, rudder clutched–a trail of evaporation

I am wed to the life i promised to dread:

The altar is a waterway rippled with torch lights,
Eroding the sediments of cohabitation
Embankments cultivate water buffaloes,
Polythene headgear and stretching mozzarella
FB post similes 21 tourists into Rohingyas,
Shipyard surging like the orchestra of a soviet, unaccompanied by conductor

The groves can see themselves falling off the saline cliffs–
Starlight guiding us through columns of low hanging fruit,
Crew-boy bucketing water out of engine room,
Bamboo oar rowing against a militia of opportunity.

Community of Hope

Community of Hope

Dispatcher scrambles slum,

Suburb reports dress code violation,

Scanner like a tambourine breaking up the beat,

9mm kisses holster,

Trigger moonlights law and order,

Cruiser on the prowl,

Skid marks engrave lanes,

Skull to pavement, flexicuffs,

Writhe on bonnet, pepper spray,

Water cannon numbs quotas

Barbed barricades, salve courtesy of brass,

Cartridges smear blush,

Chucked over the shields,

144,

Fast track non-lethal,

Ammunition, the social contract,

Avant guard,  the new slogans with bullet holes,

White noise to reruns of Mati o Manush

Crossfires hold conferences,

Fourth Column drools

Front-Feature, a balanced piece

Quoting press secretary

Pall-bearers mute sirens.

Photograph: AP

 

Younger

Younger

Macau claws digging into my forearm
She started wearing contacts in the 6th grade
As an 11th birthday present her mother
Parlayed into a deferral on divorce proceedings.

Syrup weeping over scrambled eggs
The answering machine you promised
You’d use after you graduated into a career transcribing
Shit smeared northern Irish bastilles has fallen into disrepair.

8 hour trimmings and fond
You are a fossil in an unmarked grave
Nightcap in the hands of an alcoholic

fostering co-worker grit.

The Anatomy of a Mourning

The Anatomy of a Mourning

Flanked by kin
Holding up the stretcher,
The white sheet charting your casing like the afternoon mowing down inner cities.
The mosque hurling the compassionate to your side
To temporarily wreck their composure
Uncovering how you were a pillar of the community,
Your tenants took a furlough from their inflation adjusted lives
And stuffed their mouths and shot their feet under the flash of cold showers.
Doorbells ducked into tin-foil wraps,
Dirty dishes into slumber parties going through laminated albums

No one said it was your penchant for red meat,
Or the hostility of habits to diabetes,
It was: ‘remember how he used to keep to himself mostly, but was a good man.’
It was: ‘he is survived by his wife, five children, and ten grandchildren,’
The likes of who will gargle the holy water used to bathe their wounds.

Industries of sorrow 

Industries of sorrow 

Periodically, pension off memories
From assembly-lines,

And shuffle them into greeting cards.

The principal characters of your stories have forgotten their lines,

The audience’s faces have begun to tighten in barely restrained dismay,

The stage hands have all clocked out and de-unionized.

Strobe lights bounced off walls,

Painting obscenities along the corridors,

Redeeming friendship coupons.

Jumeirah listed as a deductible on the paycheck.

Lifeguard towers are cozy.

Almost enough to atone the wagon ride.

Not the front door,

Not the Gas station shoplifts,

Not the Construction-site Hand-jobs,

The In-utero tempest.

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

Investor-State Dispute Settlement

Promissory Note
You have matured as an aneurysm
Your use of pronouns are seldom and provoke want.

Clutch Free Throws
As we approach tip off some under the bleachers fuck you has captivated the hearts and minds of the nation: alimony is finally off the table.

Pompoms-a breakaway NCAA
The parole board has green-lighted proposals for the whites in their eyes to use all available tools to combat recidivism.

The scuttling fishermen are hard boilers in a B-Movie.

Mother-ships of Convenience
“What would you say to the allegations?”
“Unfounded in scripture. Unholy in their essence.”
“And the accusers?”
“Blasphemers, who believed they were wronged. Below-average GPAs,welfare queens, anti-depressant overdosers, would-be fornicators.”

Ceiling Fan
I wanted to tell you about my brother. He was born a few years after me. I barely remember the times he was a kid, not that he grew past it. He was one of those children who died in the death throes of smallpox. I would say that I miss him.

Photography: Patrick F.Tobin

Beached whales on the first day of thermidor

Beached whales on the first day of thermidor

You sssshh me because it’s the world’s best kept secret and that’s all you are telling. Even if i am the one the cashier on the graveyard shift at mcdonalds calls welcome back mister. And he’s loving your bangs, even post-mortem, and your stumps for fingers tornado the ranch and dollops of-effacing i am a pig and i am ready. The safe cracks. But somehow he forgets his lines and no you would not like today’s special with the sauce on the side, please.

Photograph: Robert Chappell & Stefan Czapsky

The People’s Republic of Disjointed Narratives

The People’s Republic of Disjointed Narratives

3:38 AM- the mosque at mohammedpur is closed.

The steps are open, but we are not to wear our shoes.
We are all men, or are said to be men.
The security guard in cammo blows the security guard in navy,
Rahad notices this and immediately throws up laughter. We acquiesce and look. the guards, and they are not men, intentionally so, are seen retreating from their positions.

Generic bangla cinema hall music plays, preferably about want.

4:07 AM

It is my fourth mountain dew.
The intersection of the four roads are a convex of parked buses, which are usurious in the daytime. The conductors are missing.
Topu complains about the crisscrossing cement mixers, driven like ambulances,
A billboard losing it’s gum-arabic for the fresh new thing,
Overpasses becoming gardens.
It is the serenade of development.

9:46 PM on the day that hardly exists

We have finished our banquet at Chankarpool.
The bill was split. I paid both halves.
The other wanted to write patronizing prose on men with rolling pins stretching dough.
But am advised against it.
I am sensuous.
I have been reading phenomenology.

4:52 PM- it is pay day at chandpur tea estate, chunarughat, habiganj

The Cashier shuffles change as the tea workers’ fingers hang from window rails,
A raise has been in effect for 3 weeks,
85tk a week.
From.
69tk a week.
Maybe the plantations owners are kind.

7:17 PM

Tomorrow i will see a broken-winged canary playing duet with mother,

a monkey with a noose on,

and twenty-three tea-gardens rallying for their land, and against the special economic zone proposed on the people’s land

For now. It is

an ink well of around me.

24 days in february

24 days in february

Ashwaq

Disassembling your vertebra,

Into sepulchers hooking anchors to the bed of your mismated imagines, through mute button, where you are struck by baby i am tired, or a morsel of eggs, roti, and a before you sip, you realize some metaphor about the ocean throwing up eroticisms only infrequently, and these infrequencies are the ones you tune in for, along the tracks to the west of the burial estate, where you hope you die cradling yours, and yours what the state-schools taught you a factory-line would look like, and the same party line you toe in your jackfruit for teacher contribution to throw back at you at the engineering geometry set, yours, contribution to society, yours, yours, girl as future as past-wife tugging your arm for pocket money, as you bite your teeth and become your father thinking as your son, as a caricature of change as caring-center, as heart-beat in February’s fields, whatever that means–

Sathi
A mediation on the Boyfriend.

Robi nilkhet abasik elaka,

Sedan’s Front bumper in tundra,
the ambulance limps off of terminal reds counting cyclical to 199 and back to peanuts shelling, thudding, at one with a tarmac in seige.
Your chocolate, chewing gum eyes belie your hatred of rom-coms, and the hawker pelts you a dozen, but not before your bargain reaffirms the story of men. And chivalry places herself beside you, and she is heard dislocating her execution from narrative, because the narrative is the groom as the magistrate takes off his shoes, and the synthesis of the abortion clinic sans reciept, brewing ballast, no cargo of slut or 8 weeks, or 9 weeks, or 9 months, which as sam bee pointed is a caesarian in parlance, and the narrative of ultra freedom presented with billboards dripping in supervision of basting syringes, garlanded by sanitary napkins;
Kintu, Amar chai sheratai, tai amar jonno only the means of machinery on the farmland; the antiseptic vikrampur mistir bhander can rollick in his meadows, with his ironed, dress, and the tint-sangbadics chained to a uturn with islamophobia walkie talkies, will cobble manuscripts
For minivans giving out am_rosh thumping to rokto lal, rokto lal, rokto lal

Sumaiya-r proti shagor

proud sponsor of
Onar ta birochito amar ta to shorochito.

Sama-on bollo apnar kobita chara ar kono kobita porina. Shomoy nai.

Ripon ideal college er hoye keno dhaka colleger shamne gelo. Ey shahosh niye labaid er intern-daktar ra onek gayan dilen. Oni keno eden college gelen na, jeta ekti dharmik purush er kache theke asha kora jay. Shudu mehmaner jonno noy. Cashew nut biscit birat mullo-hrash-er jonno. Jonno

Dokhin city corporation moyla wala ke 3 tar shomoy ashte boleche. Uni eshechen 10 tay, ekti shushil chakor-er kach theke ja asha kora jay, to shey ek dhok dharalo pani pan kore, bharot-er etihash shomporko boi khujte gelen.

Onar age, boro chul chilo. Uni bolen kintu boro chul rakhle biye hoy na. Meye ra pochondo kore na. To onar ekhon choto chul. Uni amader chul katte nished korlen.

Shihab-Shimul
To Dhaka, je onek kotha bolle.

In descending order, no chronology.

Tsc-ir bathroom er pechon, ek khachay cricket,
Rickshaw wallar theng-e lathi,
Marjan-er hate mic, mic e shunay dilder-er paris kabbo,
Boi melar majhe,
A police-watch-lamp clinging to a visibly irritated orchid of comms equipment. Like in the hills, where the bushes were the hotbed of checkpoints curried in chalk: SHIBIR, with pretense.

the SATV reporter who inquired the wisdom of using anti-bangla on 20th February.

First as language, then as cane

Proti shong-jogey nirapotta,
Like in aid packages,
Slingshot off aircraft carriers,
swimming with a coast guard escort,
Stamped with the longshoreman’s exemption from import duty,

And this is all assuming there is a humanitarian corridor, and the third world nation in question has not crucified the United nations In last night’s state of the union, with hashtag “foreign interests,” or worse, hashtag “foreign vested interests”

The Stall is a cowlick 

But those are pipe dreams. Power doles dissertations, with one hand tied behind it’s means of production, on the importance of hard work and that there is no such thing as entitlement–in this world, it will add.

This dissertation is not written, rather it is reproduced in the iotas where rats in television store cheese, or the breakup one can lighthouse from weeks ahead; so you will see it in the nuclear family strong-arming it’s daughter on the societal pitfalls of marrying outside the caste, and happens regardless of the amount of years in bride school; this will usually be accompanied by the claimed foreboding coercions that are gossips, and so like the prime meridian “amar mey hoyle ekta thappor ditam” or “mere feltam,” and finally consolation “thak bhabi,” and expunction, where she will be known and thought to exist, but through constant replication of the discourse of the fallen Madonna distilled through the male gaze will be extinct or at the very least archived.

Sayeed Kokhon protigha korechen je uni onar babar nam niben na.

Because, the inheritance tax is a 100%

Artwork by Rahad Mahmud

An Anti-Production of Scully & Mulder

An Anti-Production of Scully & Mulder

Scully and Mulder were back this week,

And so was back nostalgia as SuperBowl halftime shows, and halftime puppys, and halftime anti-apartheid insurgents as latex, and i was still torn, at the time of writing, whether it was all guerrilla marketing for an un-red-lined middle class, or guerrilla marketing for the Nets’ repatriation movement in Brooklyn, so Jay-Z, the pretend Prokhorov, could finally have a chance of not sliding checks past the internally displaced, or a revival of the celebrity as activist, or the celebrity as revolution. But then, i thought, whether it mattered if the hand that feeds you, also removes your lungs, block by studio, timbre by timbre, sonorous LP by sonorous LP. Infirmaries built atop billboards. Soup kitchens built atop Prison abolition. Isn’t that what the Black Panthers were about?

Endogenous depression
I never enjoyed how scully was presented as the party-popper corporeal, as if not delving into conspiracies about FEMA death camps was anti-humanist. and then what? And as if Mozambique was liberated by the age of reason, and not the carnation. And someone at the av club pointed out that “my struggle” should have been named “our struggle” or at the least “my struggle against your struggle, against it.” But, we are supposed to identify with mulder, however crazy his theories, were, however, ultimately, unfalsifiable and full of hope, for a world that would fashion hope in nylon strings, and mail it back to you, as hallmark card, sweated in polyester.
Depression from immanence, from consistency,

Not,

From car crash,

From brick window,

From clubbing to the temple,

From expulsion from matriculation,

Or Ralph’s death,

Or mother’s anniversary.

That was the kind, Scully was talking about.

So, we had to entertain Mulder; against pulling the curtains on a world which had no monsters-of-the-week. Because, and she never said this, the monsters were never under the bed; they were in mother’s room, they were, the whistle underneath the librarians desk, the creases in pant-suits, free jazz in a faraday cage, parliamentarians bailing-out the parliament from self-aggrandized bonfires, frats eulogizing cult of personalities with assemblages of “disco sucks,” kids parkouring up pick-ups for documentarian lens-flares. Blinding watchdog binoculars, locked in on fluoride cabals, third world agency infiltrations.

Indiscriminate. even you. Mr. You follow the drugs, you get drug-addicts and drug-dealers, you follow the money, you follow the money.