Two Poems by Arnab Chakraborty


Today, like most days

There were a lot of people in the market

Of poetry.

The highest were of course

Like finest chinaware

Created with love devotion and sacrifice,

And like all great things in the market

Received little attention

And littler reward.

The 200 rupee poems were being sold out

At breathtaking pace

Because it came with the face

Of a pretty poet.

The 1000 rupee ones belonged to minor canons

Etched with the blood and toil

Of dead poets

Who died defending the cause.

While the 10,000 rupee poems

Belonged to the classics;

Like the Tagores

The Elliots

And the Shakespeares,

Because they were fossils in the hands of sales executives

And their motives

Had aged gracefully

For far too long.

Now they could be moulded into desirable shapes,

Without undesirable untouchables

Parading the margins

For recognition.

And like all other days,

I stood like a beggar at the gates,

My verse, as ruined as my bowl

And the edges of my soul

As frayed as my rhyme

And rhythm.

Then one young woman

Out of pity perhaps,

Lagged a little behind the others

All neatly dressed in the aesthetics of their time

She gave me a little wine

And the beggar’s little pots

Filled with the milk of her kindness,

And the acid of my thoughts.



The day I decided to seriously write poetry,

I realised that bank accounts,

Job profiles,

Toned biceps,

Functioning liver,

And sound mental health,

Were all going to become disposable,

Like cheap sanitary pads,

Like rotting manicure ads

And bills that you hide,

When you do not want your date to know

How much you are really worth,

Before you can show her/him your charms.

The day i decided to seriously write poetry,

I lost all my rhyme, meter

And pride.



Centuries pass by

Under my eyelids


Like ink


Onto the dreams of others on sweat-stained beds

In the corners of ruinous huts

By the edge of

Fractured fragmented cities,

And I,

The privileged stockbroker of their absent voices

Am at once,


The Dancer-Destroyer of the world.

And also,

The urchin who dreams of him.



In the tiny dark alley

Between a row of old

Multi-coloured houses,

And the skeleton

Of A half-dreamt apartment,

There was once a tiny little shrine.


A nameless stone

Had unknowingly become god for a while;

Before being forgotten

And ignored

When Gods backed by rich sweet men

Claimed the simple faith of humanity

In exchange of protestations

And costly demonstrations

Of religious ferocity.

When the shrine was crushed by a giant marble slab

That killed a nameless worker,

All the hopes and dreams of Man and God

Together turned to dust.



At the end of the world,

There is no Heaven

No Hell

No Jesus

Or Judgement day,

It does not fade away like a dream

Nor gets blown to smithereens,

Only One Grand Panda

With a torn yellow gas mask

Walks up to you with a sign

That says,

“I thought you loved me more.”


Arnab Chakraborty has lived a rather varied life in his twenty-seven years in the dystopic sector of Behala in the lovely city of Calcutta. His love for poetry compelled him to leave a career in civil engineering, bringing him to study literature instead, after a year of working as a correspondent at IBNS. His writing is informed by his many experiences in academics, journalism and beyond. He currently resides in Calcutta with his parents and his four cats.

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