Volume 4 Issue 2, June 2020
Special Issue for Indian Poetry

Pragati Gupta

It Was Four

It was four in the clock and dying past in the mind.

The cars on wheels, the moving feet, the chirping winds

They cut across my face

And I see an abstraction on the wall that they sold for ravaging bucks.

I started homeward with the limbs that poked fun

At the history of sexuality.

I wondered it was four in the clock.

 

The gates took me to my school, last apartment and my grandma's place

(Places that usually come to life in sleep)

And got my present long forgotten.

I built that lego house and crawled benches

To find death and the boy smiling at me.

I still wonder if it was 4 in the clock.

 

I reached home meeting death

And divulged thin secrets in crisp papers on sale.

They couldn't have been mine

(For I was naked the entire time)

And mother said I was losing my teeth.

It never ends. It is still on.

And I wonder if it was four in the mind.

 

 

 

 

 

Puppets

Every spring I see an act of love that carries some soul in it.

They play instruments every evening promising doubts and wreckage.

I become a puppet. They are the makers.

Real handlers. The noise is scattered and beautiful

And vague and unique.

 

They overlap, create sandcastles in the air.

 

I sit my eyes closed. The tune makes a few touches.

Every soul is fit to sit, no tickets.

They play instruments even now. They repeat.

 And sit. The souls outnumber

In a club of slumber. The day ends and

 

We remain puppets.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Year’s Content

 

January breeds discontent again.

I feel stiff, my shoulders are cranky.

Rains have settled for good.

I see traffic lights murmuring in the wind

And longing to get a hold on to a switch.

They flicker, come to rest,

And again shine bright.

That grey street is backlogged

With unheard horns

Too loud, too cowed

And in grids.

 

I see the world in grids now, boxed grimaces

That you occasionally display

And appear acceptable.

I do not care less or more

Yet to score a 100 lows.

 

I cringe at an eye, a mind or a fly

For January breeds discontent,

I feel stiff and shoulders cry

A yard to lie.

 

 

 

 

 

April 15

The day was 15th of April and the night amongst the unknowns

Love making has been an art taught

At schools of decrepitude

Where classes have more doubts than answers

To pacify the ever-opulent series of duels.

I was reading Cavafy to you and the passage turned Greek to the night's eyes.

The coffee was nearby, the wicker chairs had

But a bird's eye

And you penetrated to create a space within me

That still belongs to the sharpness of tongue and the heat of quilts.

 

The day was 15th of April and the night remained an unknown guide

As we caressed the nerves and it shrieked with morning's fear.

The art we drew, and recited and copied

Was inside a phone booth, red and checkered

And nobody cracked a word, like a browning wound

And lights murmuring in the distance, our

Cups cold and wet, bled indifference

Upon the poet's eye.

 I need to know you, still.

 

 

 

 

About the poet

Pragati Gupta is an assistant professor in English at Techno India University, WB. Besides being an avid reader, she nurtures a passion for reading, writing and living poetry. Her poems have appeared in various online and offline magazines and blogs. Collections like The Betrayal, Cologne of Heritage: Incredible Bengal have housed her poems. She participated in various poetry-reading sessions and slams as and when they happen.

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Published by The Alternative.