October 11, 2020

“Tumours on My Chest” —Poems of Anindita Sarkar

“Tumours on My Chest” —Poems of Anindita Sarkar
   

Tumours on my Chest 
 
Tear drops, popcorn, kidney peas,  
red ants collectively navigating 
through a complex quarry,  
a fable of sequins,  
or say like the child  
with knotted limbs 
who couldn’t make it  
till dawn break.  
Is it vitriolic? 
Not like the toothache that barges in 
when we are mid-flight into our dirty deeds,  
but like the cramps 
on arcane purple mornings 
when you are buried in deep sleep. 
Will they appear again?  
You mean like the hairs 
on my bald terrain?  
Theory says yes 
like uneasy questions 
searching for meaning 
I hope this time they are photogenic.  
 

   
Robot Mom  
 
No girly time 
but a relic of disenfranchised relationship.  
She weaves the worn-out pillowcase 
with my butchered dreams,  
ignites the chipped tile fireplace  
with paper-cuts from my Origamis  
she wouldn’t let my art to exist  
like my ballerinas grimed in dust.  
I had mistaken a manipulated voice  
for my mom.  
Series of unarmoured bickering 
unnecessary work of everyday parenting 
circling like conjured apparition 
with a body reeking of ambition 
never appreciating  
my indecipherable paintings 
despite gazing at it thrice.  
When she held the arrant cat in her arms 
it wasn’t about love,  
‘die’ a generous word 
she would confer   
misreading the product of my obduracy 
and during the times 
I whispered about my female lover.  
I wonder if I am even alive.  
 
 

The Last Girl I dated 
 
I was never interrogated! 
no, not once in the span 
of thirteen months we had dated,  
I would gulp martini and blush insane  
while she taught me female anatomy without any coyness 
she would boast about the stacks of cotton  
she took away home in paper bags 
smelling of moth-repellent  
in the nocturnal hours. 
with burning passion she talked  
of her conceited stance  
with her props: gloves, masks and scissors,  
the cluster of tumours she has massacred,  
like I made Origamis  
from paper-cut obituaries.  
cynically she would guffaw in morgues,  
read near-death-experiences as bedtime glory 
kept a monkey’s paw as talisman  
and a leather-strapped diary smeared with ideograms.  
Once she boomeranged in jubilation  
while reading the abridged version of Cornelius,  
but chocked her angsty patient with asphalt.  
When she cursed a dog with abomination  
it could never bat an eyelash, 
I dreaded to tell her about my belly pain 
and the vitriolic leech gnawing my brain. 
I left her without any expletives 
because I couldn’t register her metaphysics,  
until I received a libation.  
 
 

At the restaurant surrounded by Mannequins 
 
Group of three girls absorbed in a risqué chat 
delectably ogling at the single guy 
with a stern backbone never ruffling  
dining next to their table.  
They mutely played mimicries  
their lips intact with the ochre from Greece.  
 


An old interracial couple  
about to make a confession,  
on the occasion of their fiftieth anniversary.  
one couldn’t lift the cup of vinegar,  
the other dozed off unwary of any immanence.  
 
Two bards dressed in overcoat 
men without a temperament, 
gesticulated about the books unread 
and about their prodigal habits 
that supplanted their wives with mistresses.  
 
The landscape also had a muse,  
a Victoria’s Secret model 
waxy thighs and tresses opalescent  
a face of stubborn tendency  
she could make one candidly smitten  
but no one cared to shrug away a glance.  
 
I could sip my juice,  
Spit and Rip out a tooth 
and pay the waiter  
with dismembered mannequins  
but I waited for them  
to express a gamut of human emotions.  
 
 
 
Death Certificate  
 
Welcome to Death View Clinic  
Read the cardboard sign 
A red-faced man reeking of gin 
Was consigned with the anteriority.  
‘I need a death certificate for my wife’ 
Explained the pensioner  
A loner at his retirement home 
As lean as a popsicle stick.  
‘You have to wait till sunset glow’ 
The red-faced man cared to speak.  
Few hours of weary pain  
In dull remembrance of days erstwhile  
He surveyed the worn-out lawn 
And the epitaphs immured 
With wild mushrooms.  
She was a lipstick-lesbian,  
Had a girlfriend  
Who didn’t even attend her funeral  
And he a gay 
With his share of dirty deeds.  
Their marriage was one of convenience 
Was the wait worthwhile?  
Eyes full of sleep and lost lustre  
He clomped down to the cafeteria  
A daydreamer still, at eighty 
‘You should get another one 
Without waiting for a special occasion’ 
An illogical chunk of his brain murmured  
For nobody will be there to fetch his.  

***

Anindita Sarkar is pursuing Mphil degree in Comparative Literature from Jadavpur University. She is from Kolkata, India. She is also an UGC Junior Research Fellow. 
This is her first feature on The Fictional Café.

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