Voices Within: Lopamudra Banerjee

Lopamudra Banerjee is an author, poet, translator, editor with seven books and five anthologies in fiction, nonfiction and poetry. She has been a recipient of the Journey Awards (First Place category winner) for her memoir ‘Thwarted Escape’, the International Reuel Prize for Poetry (2017) and International Reuel Prize for her English translation of Nobel Laureate Tagore’s selected works of fiction (2016). Her poetry has been published in ‘Life in Quarantine’, the Digital Humanities Archive of Stanford University. She has been a Featured Poet at Rice University, Houston in November 2019. She has also co-produced and acted in a poetry film ‘Kolkata Cocktail’ (2019).


Unraveled

To let every atom of a forbidden rain 
Pierce my crust and core 
To let the glistening pearls of sacred tears flow 
when they gush, unhindered. 
To bare open, surrender to the naked richness 
of a flawed being 
To embrace the architecture of flesh 
and the poetry of a body 
That has endured the lull of music 
And the sordid dark of many a death. 
To let go of the vain lushness of fairytales 
And the chaotic hunger of sweet nothings.
To rest amid the fierce nudity 
of many unborn verses. 
My life, the unraveled seed 
of a virgin poem. 
Let it be, let it be,
Let it be clothed in fire, unsheathed. 
***


Read Me

Do you desire to read me, sitting on my boughs, my bark, my branches, stubbornly, tenaciously clinging to me? Do you desire to read my verses, lyrics of my angel choirs? Well then, read me at your will, construct and deconstruct my lissome letters, words, fragments, ravaging them, wreaking havoc on them, penetrating their volatile contours. In this night garden of your throbbing wants, cut open my roots—violet, indigo, red, magenta and fire, and leave the imprints of your bleeding lips. Cut open my roots as you spread your wrath and venom on me, curse me with your hissing prose and brisk rhyme, but still, read me. Read my crimson tales, my perforated core, grant me immortality as you still read me. 

Read me whole, read my light and intense parts, read me as you find me ugly and lopsided and crazy and magnificent all at once, read my discarded heaps of scraps even as in your conscience, you crave to wash down, unlearn the lessons of my body. At the end of it all, why do I see you then, prostrate at my feet, your lofty head drooped at the edge of my arms in inevitable surrender? 

What did you see in the quiet, subterranean flow of my gestating words? Did you read it all, and become a fallen human, like me? Well, no, trees are felled, women are rendered fallen, maimed, but men, the rest of humanity stay static and true, true to the volumes of history and myths written on the landscapes of time, true to your flesh, bone, blood and soul. Read me, still, dark and barbarian at one end and opaque, marble-white at the other end. Read me till the end of time, till the apocalypse of the sexes lets you construct and deconstruct me in lust, passion, anger, domination, subservience. Read me, till there is nothing left to collapse, to incubate, to germinate. 
***


The Voice of Time 

‘…time was not passing….it was turning in a circle…’

Gabriel Garcia Marquez, One Hundred Years of Solitude

The voice of time
Reminiscences of my slender passages of birth 
The swirling of fragmented poetry within my core. 
In each syllable of time’s rhythmic narratives 
The clarion calls of blackened scars.
In each memory line of my body 
The combustion of my hard-earned dissent. 
In the voice of time 
Cloudbursts of rain and night thunder 
Swallow the earth 
And we humans stand, 
Accentuating the holy hymn of truth 
Each of us, a blip in the ocean of eternity. 

In the voice of time 
I speak with the tattered edges of my consciousness
Celebrating, commemorating 
On the private, the public universe, 
The poetry of persecution, rejection, mercy, retribution.
In couples, tercets, quartets, sonnets, 
in the wholeness of my creation. 
The voice of time 
Rendered strong, in the common thread 
Of our shared histories. 
Time speaks, over the cracks, 
Its tectonic plates shifting between 
The binaries of explosion and hibernation.
***

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