Poetry: Kushal Poddar

The Memories' Bridge

I count the utility poles.
Their shadows divide the bridge.
Their tips buried in messages
clouds exchange.

I tick them one by one.
The car crosses. This much close 
we can go, this far.

I do not know her 
who leaped from the bridge.
We still call it 'Suicidr Viaduct '.

Today it rains on its bent back. 
Tomorrow it rained.
Yesterday never arrives. 

"Please leave a message.
I cut the call, scribe a name
on my foggy mind, line through the same.
***


A Layman's Lexicon

"Madness is a socialist word."
My mother whispers.
I know. I know how it levels
all those depressed, bipolar,
schizophrenic people, 
Dionysus, Muses, Eros and 
my grandfather suffering
from PTSD since the event 
we do not talk about.
Madness embraces the mess.
The mass. The journey and the end. 

She turns and says, "We will need
a shovel." All afternoon we dig
our minds and by the time moon awakens
we have buried all our memories."
A mass burial you may call it 
although every event is one. 
Everything happened to everyone
seems same, immaterial
for the ensuing night.
***


The Confused Truths

The song stuck in my mind/head
was never recorded.

Somewhere it originated; perhaps
while standing with my palms sweating, 
heart scattered between its beats,
perplexed in front of the heaps
of choices arrayed in a supermarket row,
failing to differentiate one brand from another,
the truths still within their expiry date from
the beliefs staled. I fail to maintain a scale,
fail the lyrics unscribed before finalization.

You say I speak a lot about the song,
write about it in letters. I also chronicle
winter sun, walking downslope, geese 
flocking over watery silhouette although 
I have not visited such oblivions. 
Hence logic pardons me from
the murder I talk about often. 
***


The Reading 

The poet arrives wearing
the Armani his father borrowed
from his friend in the decade 
of shunning suits for flowers.


The poet has nothing underneath.
A hot day, summer, he
sweats pride, amused that 
no one knows his bare soul,
but he cannot utter  'Soul' 
without a squirm.
***
 
Bio: Kushal Poddar, the author of 'Postmarked Quarantine' has eight books to his credit. He is a journalist, father, and the editor of 'Words Surfacing’. His works have been translated into twelve languages. 

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