Prasenjit Maiti

Prasenjit Maiti (b 1971) is Senior Lecturer in Political Science, Burdwan University, West Bengal, India. Dr Maiti stays at Calcutta and may be contacted at pmaiti@vsnl.com.

Serenade 

tonight 

Why 

2001 

Gimmick 

nostalgia 

Another winter 

Across 

Traditional 

 

adieu


 
Serenade

What about a woman
without trappings, what about
walking along walks that
are no more, what about my
writing that is not published
anymore? What about a woman

without trappings whom I can take
along walks that are no more

like distant heartbreaks? What about

my writings that cannot express

themselves? What about

my women whom I do not meet
anymore? What about my woman

whose name I do not know

and whose distant lips haunt me

in my nearby heartbreaks?


 

adieu

We were the excesses into the gory
shameless nightfalls as teacups and
china and stutters share a similar face

across the years and the births of our
endless spasms, we were searching

crannies and darkness to hold each other
fast unto eternity to swell in your sweat

your women aroma, your heaving cups

overwhelmed at the sight of the darkening

areola flooding our vestiges, overflowing
the shores of your first virginity, yet you

have gone away and are no more to be
found among the cloisters of antipoetry

nothing more is to be lost, apparently

with your birding away from all those terraces
poolsides and stairs, passages and landings

that once ached like our bodies

our laughter and lost distances


Traditional

I like my women long: eyes and bodies
and I like my days short like dolls

that pillow against your bust

and I like my days cut short

by a sudden, bloody euphoria

I like my days dead, haughty and hungry

like so many hollow women, cut and dried
like virgin forests, like the disturbing rustle

of fall, like wasted memories

You never happen to miss me
anywhere, around your lips

while licking the froth

of quite empty eventides

alone in some winter woods

or crying and rising and falling

like we were the waves

once breaking against the endlessness

of passions, in the swell and flood

of our desires perched like birds
you never miss me when in love
or wistfully alone



Another winter

 

If you think you can speak to me
I can speak to you speechless and dumb:
speak to me, my love, my silly fancy

do speak to me like soundless waters

breaking on the rocks of yesteryears

like whispers, like fragrances: donít you know

and canít you see and wonít you care

whatever happens to my folly
and my images? Still you paint you honey faces

across acrid tea cups as I start collecting

my soul around, the bits and pieces

of shrieks and laughter

from the fancy bedrooms of my desires

and whiplash: locking horns in horny memories


nostalgia

I kneel to you as I must, the sky lowering itself along the river mouth of Calcutta, the sun lackadaisical and alone, I kneel to you as I must in the only manner I happen to know, your eyes like Calcutta my favorite defeat, our loitering along school in winter and the ice candies of summer like the distant city lights of Calcutta my ignominy and our evenings, our strolls and pavement trees, I kneel to you as I must in the only manner I happen to know  

tonight  

the door opens and Iím about to enter when you ask me to caress your mound and Iím so crestfallen that I tuck up like nobodyís business and look at you with wild-eyed wonder when you explain youíve got to catch a flight to nowhere and do I mind withdrawing my nothingness stuck on you, it hurts so much and besides it is not sure enough where to enter? where am I going my youth like Oedipus, where Iím going like billy-o?

 

Why

do I love you so and regret my winter evenings spent alone in Calcutta as the smog rolls across the river and churns up old sorrows best forgotten and drowned in the cream being whiplashed and the coffee being stirred among the familiarity of snug old ghosts and darkness? Why do I love you so and miss my beats as I strip you naked in my dreams and ravish the wonderment of your soul like grapefruit punch? Why do I always blow my lines when I write to you, my youth galore, my sadness wine, my fairness cream, my winter anew?  

2001

They say I sodomize my days and works of hands but they cannot even wait and watch my sunsets across your ample breasts dark purple and acrid as the years have gone by . . . They donít even have a word to say about my return from abroad sweating stammering and afraid and the stormy afternoon when we made one another and you were so violently sick and bloody that Iíd to even hand out your white napkin that turned red as the sun turned red in Calcutta my beloved and my desolation . . . they donít know anything and yet they dare say I sodomize my days and works of hands applying cream across your arm pits applying litany to my sorrows applying vodka to one of my final visits to Bengalís poetry churches . . . tell me my sonny shall I dare sing hey nonny nonny hey and returneth as I must from dust to smirking dust? 

Gimmick

It was late in the morning when the sun was finally persuaded to rise, rinsing his gleaming teeth of fire with yours at the nasty slipstream of memories, crushing angry passion flowers and wild berries among your virgin forests to face the day like a man as he must without you Ö and why must you be always so cold and serene like the distant stars? this sunny day is like any other among the serenade of sorrows that remind you of cold battles foregone and old soldiers deserted like nobodyís mundane business Ö it was late in the evening when all the bottles of perfume finally rushed to woo you and your aroma and musk of richness that made the sun go quietly down across the yonder rivers like a dandy whimper Ö and so the sun must rise and the sun must set and the sun must cry and wry its useless hands till youíre aflame and nearly all your rivers go all so blatantly dry