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New Poetry, Fiction, Essays

Poetry by Sayan Aich Bhowmik, Christopher Stolle , Gabriel Eziorobo, Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon, Arathy Asok

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Sayan Aich Bhowmik is Assistant Professor of English at Shirakole College ( affiliated to the University of Calcutta). When not under the burden of answer scripts and meeting deadlines, he can be found nurturing his love for movies, writing and poetry. A published poet, he is also the editor of the blog Plato’s Caves, a semi-academic space for discussion on life, culture and literature.

 

 

 

 

GOOGLE

 

Last April I had to Google you out and

Search your address on an App,

Designed to recover forgotten taste and smells.

Your neighbourhood was a country of

Broken lines on a badly drawn map.

The lanes had dates on them,

Bellowing out memories like

A colonel giving orders.

Like tracing a naked body for the first time

I followed the narrow roads

Into a civil war, into refugee camps

Into check posts where they search women with care.

And deal with men with no foreskins.

The bylanes take me to a whorehouse

Filled with such sadness between the pillows

You’d think twice before entering the women.

It is in those lanes that I lost you

But that’s Okay I guess.

After I had logged out

I just couldn’t find myself.

Not on maps

Not in the mirrors.

 

 

 

SALAMANCA

 

There in salamanca

Lived a man who sold pistachios

And fine muslin.

With his bottle of potions

You could see the

Milky Way crystal clear.

During warm summer nights

When horses ran to their imaginary homes

Across Andalusia

And a strange sad light kept

Dripping from the stars

Our man from Salamanca

Would play on his violin

A song about peasants

Sleeping empty stomach.

About streets without names

About mirrors that no longer

Show our hidden faces

About train whistles heard at the dead of night

About nights that refuse to end

About ends that refuse to begin.

Such songs are no longer sung

Our man from Salamanca

Has gone with the horses

Only that sad light from the stars

Keeps dripping.

 

 

 

 

Christopher Stolle’s poetry has appeared most recently or is forthcoming in the “Tipton Poetry Journal,” “Flying Island,” “Branches,” “Indiana Voice Journal,” “Black Elephant,” “The Poetry Circus,” “Smeuse,” “The Gambler,” “1932 Quarterly,” “Brickplight,” “Medusa’s Laugh Press,” and “Sheepshead Review.” He works as an acquisitions and development editor for Penguin Random House, and he lives in Richmond, Indiana.

 

 

 

 

HUGHES’S BLUESES

For W. E. B. Du Bois

 

Rise up from Harlem, you ancient soothsayer.

Lay down your mystic vernacular for us to witness.

Lay into us with your weary-boned cries

for justice and reverence and togetherness.

You may feel tired, but you have support

for your vision, your calm, your fuse.

 

Light into us with your fiery mantras.

Enlighten us about darkened souls

and crushed dreams and lonely love.

Shine down upon us, poetic preacher,

and let your choir lift you serenely

toward embracing your almighty hopes.

 

Poetry is our deity, and you’ve saved us

from bounding through our days without regard

for those around us, within is, beside us.

You have gone, but your words, stamped

in books and in memories and in other voices,

will push us to realize your peace promise.

 

 

 

ERODED HALOS

(after watching a program on German television about exorcisms on young girls)

 

omnipotent images

buried in Hitler’s eyes

depict faces

burning like winded candles

flick-a-flickering

but turning colder

as young girls sleep,

 

awakening in tears

from mirages

bleeding like wounds

as they swell,

but these girls stay silent,

hoping for someone

to eradicate their doubts

 

about voices

making them talk aloud—

defying their edicts—

guiding their prayers when

they need answers

to questions about echoes

that now scream—

 

and they haven’t any

hint about sounds

they make during lonely

nocturnal outbursts

when some find themselves

as heathens,

trying to defeat a Devil

 

who gave heartache

to their now-grieving mothers,

and fathers talk

about their daughters

who want to escape

from what’s inside their skin—

except it’s healing,

 

trapping holy wars within

precious young virgins

who grew up with faith

for Heaven’s hearts,

but bright flesh turns

into ashes

as they infinitely burn

 

on imaginary crosses

to sacrifice their love

for morbid hatred,

consuming their desire

to give love,

but choice has been taken

from their hands,

 

although their soul direction

was to horizons

where they could forfeit

their troubles

for untainted beginnings

to fresh lives

where Forgiveness cradles them

 

from temptations,

but they became led astray

into situations

where anything goes as nothing

without sins

repeated against moral mortals

who seemed gullible—

 

like these timid girls

who once laughed

and would smile in every photo

because it was appropriate,

and no one knew their struggle—

until they shook

and someone found them shaking,

 

dripping with scars.

 

 

 

Gabriel Eziorobo  is a  writer and a poet from Nigeria, with two poetry books
and one for freelance writers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

It is finished
They say it is finished
they say will do us well
more than the colonial masters of the past
that we don’t need to worry about anything
but learn how to be slaves.
They say it is finished
they made us believe
the things for the deaf people
they say we don’t need to worry about anything
but learn how to be deaf.
They say it is finished
they put us here,in this paradise
which prisons are better off
they say we don’t need to worry about anything
but learn how to be prisoners
hoping to be free someday.

 

 

 

Ceinwen E. Cariad Haydon previously worked as a Probation Officer, a Mental Health Social Worker and a Practice Educator in the NHS. She lives in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, and writes short stories and poetry. She has been published on web magazines and in print anthologies. These include Fiction on the Web, Stepaway,Poets Speak (whilst they still can), Three Drops from the Cauldron, Obsessed with Pipework, Picaroon, Amaryllis, Algebra of Owls and Riggwelter. She has recently completed her MA in Creative Writing at Newcastle University. She believes everyone’s voice counts and intends to work with hard to reach groups after graduation. She intends to grow old disgracefully

 

 

Red Sun

After Paul Nash’s painting, ‘Sunset: Ruin of the Hospice, Wytschaete 1917’. This is held at the Imperial War Museum. Nash was a war artist in WWI and WWII and he was a surrealist. Traumatised after WW1, he suffered a breakdown that lasted for four years.

 

Blaze through me,
quicken my blood
and madden my reason.

Surge into my belly,
shift my gravity.
Tell me what I know,
that I know I should not.

That no-one ever should.

 

 

 

 

Arathy Asok hails from Kerala, India and works as assistant professor in English at the Government Victoria College Palakkad. She has had her poems published  in various national and international journals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woman, bala,  at an evening on the road

 

I saw you across the road
in the store, the veg market, crossing the road,
I see you look at me
I see me look at you
I watch you with all that I have lost and hope not to regain
I see you with all I could have done
I see you
And I forget what I see
Because it disturbs me so.

Dark feet in rubber hawai chappals
Bata, paragon, lunar, or one got for twenty rupee a pair
The nails brown, broad, chipped, grotesque.
There are maps on the white flesh
Blue prints of foot left to rust
And between the fingers the earth, rich, brown,
With blades of leaf that looks at the sky
In the eyes, years of sights
Of looking at the sky for rain
At the parched earth for water
Feeling the silk rustle of green paddy fields
Turning to gold with the rolling months.
That morn
The men with rolling buttocks walk ahead of me
Their legs swathed in cheap leather polished to sparkle
Young shoulders are straight and the faces shaven clean
Light blue and grey, creased pressed trousers.
What are you a world apart?
The bullock cart passed you by in the roads that you never saw.

It is darkness now.
I have closed the door.
The rooms are empty.
There is no dust.
There is silence and nothingness to keep company.

 

 

 

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