Poetry: Sreya Chatterjee

Small little poem on big, bad longing

Sometimes I miss you
You who never are, never were
Because the you in you twists and turns like slippery alleyways of the night
Indecipherable contradictions with no end in sight
Maybe you are me, I just need to look longer
Maybe you are you and you sail through Neptune in your fancy gizmo spaceship
And that’s okay, if nebulous space-dust is all you throw in face of my wide-eyed wonder
But look, let me envision you.
Neurotic and poised, ugly and vicious, and ravishing and saintly
And buzzing with noise, and silent as a dead dead sea
Red as flashing fires, and of course colourless as the din of a noonday street
All things and nothing, at once, you get the gist right?
So then I can change as you change, just fitting, just right
Days when torrid storms sweep across my skin, I’d like you lascivious
And then on days of self-loathing alienation I want you absent, gone forever, wiped away without even the promise of never coming back
Again, it’s me I want – to understand, hold, analyse
You must be incidental
But also, you must be cataleptic, earth shattering, a phenomenon of monumental proportions
Then I could be nothing, a hollow cipher
Decimated entirely
As I hurry down to the cite of crime
Scribbling little poems from what pieces of you I can gather
But that’s just till the poem is done
It’s not even me I want, just the poem
The easy play of words between teeth
The hopscotch of rhyme
So wait, and change, and don’t change
It’s the poem that counts, really
Everything else, the world - is just froth, inconsequential nothing
Let the poem breathe
You and me, we’re incidental.

A Bond Villain Prototype

If I had it all coming in a flash of thunder rolling down downy quilts one day
Or in rumbles of rivers, coagulated mud and silt
If I could have youth on platter roped with silken bonds of spring
Or a mellow afterglow that only voracious lust can bring
I’d choose you.
I don’t need all those things.
(Not that I need you either)
But it’d be nice to keep you, a little souvenir in my puzzle collection
Picking at your fingernails with a decorative brush, death and decay sediments on your tired forehead
As pink sunsets grow fainter and spines frailer, I could laugh my villain laugh from the lair
Even as the dawn seems close enough but not quite and the maid leaves without a two weeks’ notice.
It’d be nice to have things you don’t need, once in a while
Not out of desperate hunger, but just out of will
It’d be nice to look haughtily down upon the universe and its myriad wonders
And then pluck you out carelessly with two fingers, like an anarchist overlord in a ridiculous black latex suit.

Filler Poem

This is a filler poem
Just enough words to get the number of poems submitted up to three
Sometimes life demands verbiage, magazine submissions too
And all poems are filler poems, per se
Just flitting past empty chasms of meaningless days
Desperately trying to make sense of the grooves with words
Empty words, songs
Contrary to what is believed by the pupils in English class,
The metaphors drag themselves in.
They must
Life is vapid otherwise
Meaning must subsume.
So it is that my father spends his evenings hooked to old celluloid numbers
Black and white belles, mushy men in muslin-cotton, songs in sepia
These are filler songs
Something to whisk away the monotony of a nine to five existence
Something to move the mind to other things from the horrid economy or a grotesque neighbour
If Geeta Dutt is to be the saviour of humanity, who am I to disagree?
Let her salvage mankind one song at a time
‘’Hum apke aankhon me is dil ko basa dein toh?”
Fine. That works just fine. Hold on a moment.
Let me just put on my glasses first.
The cataract has been bothering me for quite a while.

Bio: Sreya Chatterjee is a postgraduate student of English Literature from Jadavpur University, Kolkata. She writes fiction in her spare time and has worked as a freelance writer for various platforms. Her poetry was recently published in LiveWire.

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