Sanket Mhatre (Voices Within)

Sanket Mhatre is a poet, columnist, curator and Marathi lyricist. He was the chief assistant director of Kavyotsav 2001: the first bilingual poetry reading festival of Marathi and Kannada poets. His title song for the daily soap 'Radha Hi Bawari' was awarded the best song at Zee Alpha Gaurav. Crossover Poems is his brainchild that unifies poets from multiple languages embracing sensibilities unique to every language. Sanket Mhatre has performed at multiple festivals such as GALF, Vagdevi LitFest in Orissa and Kala Ghoda Literature Festival to name a few.

Where You Belong

If I ever knew you belonged 
to the corners

I would hide the screens of my eyes 
and just keep the corners empty
Squeezing out the last of my tenant tears

If I knew you belonged to the corners

I would keep my crevices intact 
and let my body peel away into the weather
Intersect lines on my forehead to create extra room for a rain-soaked day

If I knew you belonged to the corners

I would light up the space between my toes
Place a lamp on the seating within my navel
Decorate the concaves of my armpits 
with the scent of your lips

If I knew you belonged to the corners

I would build a house full of corners
Erasing rooms and erecting walls
That never square up
Leaving a green angle where you'd reside

If I ever knew you belonged to the corners

I would create tiny hamlets on the fringes of this country that nobody 
would ever pass by
Unname a few towns
Build roads, each taking you to a new corner

If I knew you belonged to the corners

I would inhabit the last planet in the galaxy
And make edifices that shy away 
even from the moons

If I knew you belonged to the corners
I would merge all the corners in the skies
For all your births and deaths to culminate 

Let me redraft the symmetries 
of this space
While you stay in the folds 
of my dreams

In the meanwhile, 
let the skin of my existence 
Be a makeshift corner 
where you belong

Truth Could Be A Poem

Truth could be a poem you never wanted to read
Lines that could punch a hole in your stomach
While you sit by the poolside taking in the blow
Truth could be a chat window romance passed off as poetry
Potent enough to asphyxiate you with the brutality of their romance
Truth could be a blatant realization that your words were repeated
Once before
by a different lover in a different city in a different room
Truth could be a love poem
Like a bullet shot through an existing wound
Or an iron rod inserted through your rectum
With no recourse
Truth is knowing that truth has so many possibilities
And one of them is you.

The Impermanence Of It All

We are a perfect imbalance.
Thin line of absolute abandonment
Twists the gut inside
Ends up dripping out a poem,
One drop of blood at a time.
Maybe, you have it all figured out
Maybe, this is for me to write
After emerging from the pits of uncertain hollows
Not with the joyful completion of a poet
But with the suffering of a half-accomplished writer who can lose anything, anytime
(Let me tell you, I have dealt with this before and I know that)
Your impermanence is designed around my words
You do it with the seasoned hand of a mechanic in a car shop
You can open the flap of my chest anytime, check the wires that caused me to stop
You can rev me and put me to a standstill any minute.
Some days, you are an eternal beacon
On the rest, you have flung me far and deep with absolute certainty of never finding
The tense of your feelings, changed.
And this might as well lead us to the end.
This childish shape shifting that you think neurotic joy is more painful
Painful to cut the chord, disengage the wires, replace the ignition
But you are a child, never told what bending of the heart can do
You were given a free hand to deal with flesh & blood
You understood early: Pain causes poetry.
And you designed an entire curriculum around it.
But you don’t know one simple thing yet –
Cars do come with self-start function now. 

Voices Within-2020 :: Setu, February 2020

1 comment :

  1. You have a way with words and I can't quite decide whether your thoughts wear the words or vice versa. Though I am not qualified enough to comment upon the merits and demerits of poetry in general,I absolutely loved the 'Truth could be a poem'. Again, neither do i know what made me like it so much, nor why the other two didn't quite hit the spot for me. They could be much better than the one i liked for all i know. Hope you understand what I mean.


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