You & another poem




You will be the midwife

To whatever little I have,

You will be the midwife

To what little miseries I cherish

You will be the mast

To my lost catamaran

You will be the frozen froth of my tiny sea,

To my cries over dumb questions.

You will be the midwife

To my defeats, my flights, my residue of avarice,

For the moments that shall compound my calendar

My plotless existence.

You will be the midwife

To teach me how to love you,

To hate myself

To pull a pure blanket of cheap flowers over my conceited body

To stop the brown rigor of earths consume me,

And my hubris!

To protect the licking violent golden flames from devouring me,

To stop the wind flying me over the moon,

To woo the water desist from floating me away,

Yet you will midwife,

My end

My middle

My beginning:

You will be the midwife to my destruction,

You will eat me like a demon

You will preach me like a gospel

You will worship me as an angel

You will destroy me to


To shudder at the discovery

There has never been any Me,

There was only You

That you mistook for Me!




Chitragrib the Pigeon & an Exhaust Fan

She was no Eleanor Marx
Nor was I a Him; yet
I hid behind a lonely tree
At Rabindra Sarobar, she searched me with a
Rheumatic heart, unsteady on her tiny feet.

A pigeon meanwhile cooed nesting in an old building’s cranny
And boomed

Her little broken, discolored toys, recyclable
Littered on a pock-marked, red cement floor
You put them away as
‘matter out of place’
She cried: where are my things?

Elders said: Ask the pigeons!

She prayed: Payla , payla, de, de!

Oh, pigeon, return my things…
The pigeon never knew; the pigeon never flew…

Four scorching summers later, the pigeon morphed;
Chitragrib was the name: yet to learn
How to fly.

A martinet with an uterine pride ruled and
Rued: she didn’t learn her school homework right;
And an accomplice for the mischief:
Well, who else? You guessed it,

The pigeon never flew.

One score and seven years later
Early winter chill coveralled the Indira Gandhi airport
In the wee hours; a bunch of lanky, unkempt, frail bipeds
Waved at me
H1-B executed!
Did the pigeon fly?

I wondered.

Crimson granite, bathtub cream-of-yellow, ornate toilet and an
Exhaust duct wrapped in plasticity of humanness
To be fitted; the shopper sang, spreading all
On a lazy-Susan: ‘this doubles up both as a fan & an exhaust, Sir’
‘it sucks in and it sucks out?’ My frowns did a Jacques Derrida,
‘Ye’ was the answer.

Time passed with the only two hands
aeons sank in the cipher like flakes of mica in the sands.
A boom, boom, boom…
And a flutter of feathers…
Lo, it’s a pigeon… it,
Nay, a she, brought in waste
strands of straw and wood and what-have-you.
A nest grew; battling the rotors fiercely like
A Seattle one-room pad
braving a snowstorm, diffident;
The duct closed;
time and again, time and again

Time and again.

The pigeon never flew…
“‘Tirra lira,’ on the toilet seat
‘Sang Sir Lancelot.’”

A housemaid took charge for that was the wish
Of the lady with the Uterus; shoved and poked
Pushed and poked…
The fan worked

Settled I to this New nothingness
To hear suddenly the
Bakam, bakam, bakam… again again
Onomatopoeia ornithological of
Pigeons’ Bengalispeak
Of revolt
Oh! Oh! The pigeon never flew.

The great Virgin took form in the
Commanded it be done again, and by the
Man selling indulgences; a holy redemption!
Peeped I and peered, priggish as a primate:

there’s an egg tiny as a blue-white marble pellet
breathlessly, namelessly, defenselessly before
the ‘doctrine of eminent domain’
pushed I this all into the abyss below like a
Nero tutored by Seneca; must I well play the fiddle
Of Eminent Domain;

The pigeon never flew…

I switched off the exhaust! turned on the
To suck in, to suck in only in… in… in… in
So, the pigeon never knew
And the pigeon never flew.


Saswata Sen is one among the several Patty Hearsts of India whose curiositas must end in The Purgatory. He has been a journalist and a closet writer, among other things.