Poetry at Sangam



Six Excerpts from code memory by Aryanil Mukherjee


the momentary lapse between life and poetry
is so hard to accept
although lightning and thunder have attuned to it

I avoid the circle
but the cylindrical poem reconfigures it      open at both ends
allows the flow                            of waste water
I don’t need to underscore its grime
just the pure passage of men, women
and the metaphor

feeling under its feathers
the real bird body conforms now to the imagination of touch
did it elude the birdcatcher?
each spice lends itself to the gravy
the cigar put out in wine
lies astray beside the goblet

if you choose to pronoun-play
that’s not easy
it doesn’t necessarily change the speaker
the person
its like being in a dream
where I exchange positions with ma
and its never a thing
about gender reassignment



that I picked out a rose from your bouquet
was not to suggest compression techniques
or the abstract nature of decay
not even to replay love
as the ultimate inexpressible

even the Jarwas have language
and a way to capture memory in it
lets not try to decipher its alphabets

I pick out a rose
and the property changes hands as serenely as ever
and little does my wiper know
that this fog has grown out of some kind of collective grief
the document shredder was emptied out
to the birds and
I could almost never figure out my lines

the bonsai tub was filled with samples
of broken narrative
do you know why?

to remember raintrees that survived the brushfire

let me tell you why I read this fast
I’d love to see those strained eyes
fill with pearled droplets
around the Bengali oleander



the violet boughs that gravitate towards you ma
ma earth
who taught them?
the art of being grave &
how much learned skill weighs down in the mist
towards the shape of our palms

can you guarantee ma   the recipes you wrote are all
exclusively yours?
never prefaced
nor role-played in
by another soul        another pair of hands
or another text?

far away down
the sea tidies up this afternoon     waxes it
like the apple in the grocer’s bin
you climb down the hill in your skirt     yellow collar
a butterfly alights from nowhere and you said –
the ones that survive the winter
bring on the amber of new year
upon their designed wings

window opens
to the new amber shine -
the racks of antique books
of antique amber
yesteryear butterflies
cankerous and of unspeakable flights
and a forgotten song –
catch me     catch me if you can
you float like a butterfly and sting like a bee



Kandarpa’s wife Rati
the goddess of sex
also called smarapriya
or the memoried lover
whose sense and absence both
would cause a state of lovedness
a reign of desire
whose symptom and attire
is sleeplessness -
a polymorphous phase
that creates many forms of
anxiety   concussion   trance   felicity
anorexia   consecration   loss of subjectivity
orgasm following the effusion of lifelike ragaras
or the pure white holy nectar
of the ragas
of death
alternately perceived as
want   pensiveness   vexation   panegyrism
frenzy   malady   retardation
there are other conditions
that come from other views –
associated with the pleasures of gazing
of company   and touch
offering allegiance   -   a state of eternal awakening
of slenderness   and immaterialism
shamelessness as a deity of paranoia
from syncope to seizure
and death – these ten states
taking a toll on the esthetics of the body
raising its temperature   causing a fervent ambering
 of its parts   reducing the sylph to a twig
leading up to
impatience   lovelessness   preoccupation
that more or less crowd the concept of
smaradashaa   or memoriedness
and                              essentialize it



this area is closed
the stairs crumble
their wood      rotted and clogged

miniscular    beady  vestigeal  vague  granular
as the astragalus of microscience shelved within
generic sciences      a relay race of
minimalist poetry
from a torn garland to a new one
betel leaves stacked in a brass case
rewritten in calcium daub. scribblings don’t resemble
shed carnations anymore   they feel like itching spikes

        and that is our new poetry

its that re-writing
returns you home

around the shambles
the railings
and lowering foliage
there is a trodden path
the gradually transforming history book in racist claws
erasing in every reprint      each edition
Vietnam detached from the Vietnam War
the snapping of unseen wires
wires that made the iron curtain
whose one side we see from its own side

the silverfish serves as the reader’s classical role model
inviting its entire generation
to eat   live   make merry in the
grooves of our favorite edible books
while my mortal digits lie punctured
in a revolutionary’s chest

draw a sequence of moments, however unconnected that’ll succeed in making up a life. hold the phrase interior – a phrase without words – an egg that broke to emptiness and frustrated the cook. people can see a rope that is rolled sinuosamente and accompanying closely to everything – donde or adonde – that affects. draw an awareness – a bridge across the flow of time – however brittle. however incongruous.



this time I stayed in a hotel room that was pierced
                              by the tropic of cancer

gradually like this
my in-between life has turned mid-polar
the pain of translating the passive resistance of literature
to another
what is history to a country is memory to its neighbor
a memory of dismemberment
is recollection reliving ?
or a reconstruct
a kohl-case         where one lid inverts
and closes upon the other

with each day light alters its sparkle
and at an abruptly piercing moment
we notice
the swamp-sketch on the lampshade
a new country. erupting the seeds of unknown landscape
arrives elementary shapes
lines    curves
a land of Euclid
the calling signs of smooth red slate
looking down on a page of the earth
from the plane’s rectangle
a Kindle book of sorts
that enlarges life
thru rear window ethics
and on its pulpy wafting folds
floats our moment of this      now
from the second floor window across    that tune

         of the things that bring the breeze…
         of the songs that make its crease…