Evening Light

Brave bat in a bowler hat
Blood shot eyes question
What time does this light

The light descends elsewhere
Its shadow rising here
The bat changes into an owl
Dreaming of Minerva

A pealing scab
Pain blooming pollens
Turmeric twilight
In her mortar and pestle

Bring me a balm
From another evening
What peels, blooms
Pestled into heart-dust

Dust that muffles the street-light
Murmurs to tired eyes
Look up, this evening won’t last long
Eat. The bread is still warm.

Memories of dusty evenings
Render evenings to dust
The owl sitting on the lamp-post
Will remember nothing

Summer surrenders to this night
The heat of noon breaks
Evening’s horizon
Dark ink blots on paling light

Night is summer
Heat evaporates in the body
Two across a table
Words – brighter than light

This flatland wakefulness
Stretches to prehistory
Marred by light wounds
Stings of dawn – applause!

Empty seats
The audience is dead
Body of the martyr
Dawning upon history


[This is a collaborate poem, on the lines of the Japanese ‘Renga’. It was written over email, when Srajana was in Bangalore and Manash was travelling by train from Delhi to Bangalore. Srajana begins the poem with the first stanza, followed by Manash. The stanzas alternate between the two. Manash brings to an end the theme begun by Srajana.]

Srajana Kaikini is a writer, curator and researcher. She was at de Appel’s Curatorial Programme 2012/13 in Amsterdam where she co-curated the exhibition Bourgeois Leftovers. Her work has been published in journals such as Typoetic.us, m-est.org, Coldnoon, Art Barricade, and JCRT.

Manash Bhattacharjee is a poet, writer and translator. His poems have appeared in The London Magazine, New Welsh Review, The Fortnightly Review, Elohi Gadugi Journal, First Proof: The Penguin Books of New Writing from India (Volume 5), The Missing Slate, etc. His first collection, Ghalib’s Tomb and Other Poems (2013), was published by The London Magazine.

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